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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Parenting Is Not a Child’s Play

Parenting shall basically aim at helping children to separate from parents and in the process help them become independent. This is easier said than done, for parents, more particularly Indian parents, are always found to be eager to do everything for their children. In the process, they would think, analyse, and indeed work for their children, ignoring the fact that it is the child who has to perform all these deeds.  

This obviously makes the child less competent to catch up with the demands of life when he happened to be on his own. To come out of this over-protecting syndrome, parents may cultivate habits, such as —

Allow the children to make choicesit is a common sight in most of the families that right from dusk to dawn, it is either the father or the mother who decides for the child. Even in mundane matters like what dress to put on, what and when to eat ... all are decided by the mother. This unwittingly generates ill-will among the children for they are not given an opportunity to have their pick.

Instead, if a mother picks up two sets of dresses and questions the child: “Which color dress—red or blue—you want to put on? This obviously gives an option to the children to have his own choice giving him a feeling of asserting his own choice.
Show respect for child’s struggle—allow a child to struggle on his own for an answer, encourage him to fail but not to give it up. Doesn't matter, in the process if he wastes time, energy and even resources…. For, that’s an invaluable education. Watching him with a smile, you may subtly give him leads… or put such questions, thinking about which, might lead him to stumble on the answer for the problem on his hand. Even this if handled discreetly, leads to better results.  

Don’t harass the child with too many questions—if you keep on questioning a child,
no matter whether it is a routine issue or something special, they get annoyed. And no wonder, in the process if they give indifferent answers …. And remember this ultimately spoils the healthy atmosphere in the family.

Don’t rush to answer questions—don’t show eagerness to answer all their questions… this can never make them realize that they can find answers for many of their problems on their own. Put a counter question that makes him to think and in the process lands with an answer of his own.

Encourage children to use sources outside the home—the world is not an aligned place. There would be occasions when a child needs to seek help from others. So, children must be encouraged to seek information needed for their decision making even from sources outside the home. It obviously widens their canvas.... their understanding of the life around the home.... and its incongruence with what he had perhaps seen in his home. This cultivates the courage to look in all directions and seek help from wherever it is available in furtherance of his/her life.

Be Aware, You Are an Unspoken Example—you may be silent… You may not even communicate with your children. But don’t forget, they watch youindeed, they are constantly watching you. And learn a lot from your silent communication. So, guard yourself while you are with your children from indecent behaviour.

Inject hope into life—much of the pleasure of life lies in dreaming, fantasizing, anticipating and planning. Encouraging children to cultivate these traits help them in looking at life in great hope. Hope being the spark of life, generates action. Action ends in results. Results—could be as anticipated or simply far from it. But a child learns to enjoy his very endeavor. And also, learns to own the results. It gives him courage to keep working on it till the desired results are obtained. It tends to give pleasure. Results mean success of the endeavour. Success breeds success.

The journey of parenting is a bitter sweet undertaking. Parents love and encourage their children to become well balanced independent human beings to lead a life of their own confidently. But on the day they head towards it, often, a tinge of sadness overwhelms parents. But that’s parenting! 


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