Parenting is not at all an easy task to do and hence, it’s one of the most researched areas in social science today. And why is this job so difficult? Because we always tend to compare our children’s life with that of our own childhood, which probably existed 30 years back! Often parents forget about the huge difference that exist among these two very different generations and the immense change in attitude, reactions, behavior and habit that generation gap can bring into play.
Unacceptance of the ways of life of the young generation, prejudice – that every new habit and behavior of the new generation is harmful or is useless and the desire to control our children’s lives reigns havoc in the minds of many parents. They seldom trust their children or believe them to be capable or responsible of taking their own decisions and end up, bossing or taking the upper hand in every issue related to their child. And needless to say, their children end up becoming a diffident person with personality problems and find a hard time to cope up with the outside world when their parents are no longer present to guide and support them.
So what do you want? To see him grow up to be a mentally and physically healthy human who is confident about himself? Or if you want to take the upper hand always and boss over him?
Well, if you really want him to grow into a respectable individual capable of taking his own decisions, then a right amount of love with liberty, control and discipline are the right ingredients for parenting your child.
Discipline and Freedom:
We adults, in spite of surviving in this World for so many years keep on making mistakes and learning and re-learning from them. Your children are fresh flower buds, new on this Earth and unknown to all dark things that make our adult lives complex. Hence, it is an obvious fact that children will make a lot of mistakes! But remember, we are all different individuals and hence our capacity to learn and interpret is very different. For example: May be you are afraid of deep sea diving! The moment you hear about it, you are filled with fear about what troubles you may face if you try the sport! Death by drowning may be one of them! But one day you discover that your child is exceptionally good at it! He does it effortless, flawlessly and maybe he earns a big name one day by the virtue of being exceptionally talented at this sport. So you see, the same thing which seems to be a “very big mistake” or even “fatal” to you, is actually a boon for your child!
So, from next time if your child runs to do something improper don’t run after him immediately, instead let him follow his wishes ,see him fall and get up on his own, let him explore the boundaries of reality and see how fast he learns ! Your job is to tell them and make them understand very clearly about the pros and cons of a particular thing and even tell them strictly about all the negative consequences he may face if he goes in the wrong way. But parenting is not about taking charge of everything always and clipping your child’s wings, instead it’s about having faith in your child and teaching him to value freedom and use it rightly. In this way you teach him or her self-reliance and resilience.
How can healthy parenting positively affect the parents?
Healthy parenting enables your children to grow up to become responsible citizens respected and loved by the society. Yes definitely! And if your kid really learns to respect freedom and become disciplined from an early age it saves your sanity and emotional balance too!
Healthy parenting is a gradual process not an occasional one:
Healthy parenting is a habit that the parents and the kids should grow with. It is no doubt difficult and requires a lot of patience and understanding from both the parties, especially the parents. Here I jot down some of the ways which you can follow to make your parenthood easy and enjoyable –
- Keep in mind that your child imitates your behavior and your reactions to situations. Hence, try being the best when he or she is around. You should never use swear words, or talk harshly or argue in his presence. “Thank you”, “Sorry”, “My pleasure”, “Please” are some of the good manners that you yourself should regularly practice in front of him if you want him to adopt these good manners.
- Be a keen observer to his activities, his likes and dislikes and his reactions to situations. However, every child is unique and hence, you should never compare him with others. Read his behavior, which activity he loves the most, how he behaves with elders as well as children of his own age and most importantly, how he reacts to things he does not like, such as drinking milk or studying. If in any of these, you feel his or her behavior or reaction is not going right, teach him gently.
- Never leave a scope to praise and appreciate your little one for anything good that he does! Your child is new in this world and hence, is learning all the time. He must understand and learn to differentiate a good work from a bad work. An appreciation for a small good manner will get embedded into his mind and he will remember how highly his mommy has praised him and hence, whatever he did must be a very nice thing!
- A good environment with positive vibes is very important for the growth of a child. Your own life may be messed up but never ever let that mess affect your son or daughter. A clean and hygienic home, with green and blue walls, preferably painted with cartoons, in places decorated with indoor plants and flowers, well-defined places to study and play and containing lots of books not only infuses positive thinking into your child but the habit of growing in an atmosphere of knowledge and wisdom makes him into a talented and learned individual in future.
- Parenting is not all about giving in to your child’s whining but also, to know when you need to be strict and say a “No”. Studies show that individuals with more success and higher esteems are usually brought up in homes which were stricter. But being strict doesn’t mean beating him black and blue. You need to firmly state your “No”, even if you need to repeat it a dozen times. Children are also good at manipulating but do maintain your stand but also explain to him why are saying “No” to him and what can be the consequences.
- Entrust him with responsibilities that he can manage such as bringing home the newspaper everyday from the balcony, checking if all the water bottles are filled in the kitchen or not, asking him to pack his own toys after he is done playing with them etc. Catch him being a responsible child and reward him for that. Regularly carrying out small tasks will make him responsible and disciplined.
- Cuddle up with your baby and a book and read out to him every day! Your voice will affect him positively and he would probably want to hear you more. This induces imagination and creative power of the child and may make him an avid reader in future. Develop his interest in Mathematics, Science, Geography and History by citing stories from these subjects whenever he is around you. You can show him different kids’ Youtube videos on these topics and ask him later on what he had learnt from it. Recite poems and rhymes, play him good music, teach him how to paint and buy him good books on popular science.
- Make simple yet grand memories with your baby and he will never forget them in a life-time! Can be as simple as going out for an outdoor game every weekends or swimming together on Sundays.
- Make him sit to pray every night and express his gratitude to God and wish for the family’s well-being.
- Last but not the least, when he or she is a little older, you should teach him the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. Tell him about the different areas of his or her body which nobody should touch and if anybody does, he or she should inform immediately to you or to the class-teacher.
Thus Healthy parenting is a healthy habit that can make kids grow to become wonderful individuals and should start from his/her day 1 of the on this Earth. Thank you!