4 Secrets To Successful Parenting
Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry. ~ Alvin Price (Tweet this)
Gone are the days when mother was the epitome of all happenings in a house. Gone are the days when mother was meant to cook, iron clothes and clean the house. Women are increasingly rubbing shoulders with men, and men increasingly share laundry, dishes and household chores. Men, who were often regarded as part-time parents, are no longer the only part-time parents in the house.
With all good things that change over a period of time, so has parenting. Children have become very smart and so should the parent. So, how do we balance the act of the then and now and become successful parents?
Successful parenting often refers to the zenith a child achieves – either academically or otherwise. But in today’s scenario, the need of the hour is to raise a child who is able to turn along with the path, jump a few hurdles, roll in the sand and hop, skip and jump his/her way to glory.
What is successful parenting in today’s world?
While critically examining the changes in today’s society, here are a few major concepts that have appealed to me.
1. Cocoon and comfort
Ryan, as a child, did not worry about climbing trees, playing on the streets or travelling by bus to school in grade 6. However, as a parent, he feels that he should give his child a better life and sends his child in a chauffeur driven car to the best sports academy with technically correct equipment.
We all live in the dreams of our yesteryears and hope to see those dreams fulfilled for our children. In the hope that they may not live a childhood with dreams not fulfilled. But what we fail to understand are two-fold:
- The dreams of your child are not unfulfilled dreams of you as a child
- It is always better to prepare your child for the storm rather than protect them from the storm
Ryan’s son might want to travel by a bus and that might in fact, be an unfulfilled dream for that child. Also, he is so used to the luxuries of the car – that come difficulty, he may find it difficult to cope without a car.
So, it is always good to provide comfort to your child rather than cocoon them from the world.
2. Embarrassment and peer pressure
Nina’s little son is usually a naughty, sweet and caring child. But the moment he steps into a supermarket, he throws tantrums, threatens to break the cutlery and wails loudly. Nina, mollified by his son’s behavior quickly gives him a chocolate or a toy that would keep him busy while she shops.
It doesn’t take much to the IQ of a 3-4 year old to understand that embarrassment works magic to get what he wants.
Another silent devil is peer pressure. Though this term is usually used in the context of youngsters, parents are as much subject to succumbing to this vice as a child.
The moment someone in your office says that their child can sing like a nightingale, write like Shakespeare and dance like a flamingo – you start to wonder if your child is somehow not encouraged enough to do more, or if your child is wasting time and not developing the right skills.
The key traits that we need to appreciate is that every child is unique and needs to be handled differently – embarrassment or not. Corrective action at an appropriate time can help resolve immense heartache at a later date.
3. Guide or Friend
A constant dilemma as a parent would be on how much to guide your child and how much to be a friend.
I have seen quite a few parents get into an argument with the teacher in school for their child securing low grades. Teachers too nowadays seem cautious in view of increasing awareness and competitive business of schooling. As a result, the child thinks that it is ok to place blame on someone else for their failures.
The parent in the above case, would have been better off trying to understand where the gaps are with the child rather than blaming the teachers, school or administration. It is not always advisable to be a best friend to your child, the way they perceive a friend to be.
It is very important to guide the child and ensure that the child is walking the right path, no matter the amount of hate we might be subject to for speaking harsh truths. It is also important to visualize the long term impact of life lessons that a child learns in today’s date. Every action that we take is a lesson to the child.
Children learn more from what you are than what you teach. Be your child’s best role model.
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings. ~ Hodding Carter (Tweet this)
4. Center of our world or part of a family
Anna wanted a doll house because her best friend in school bragged about one to her. But in all honesty, she was a typical tom boy. Anna’s parents cut corners and bought her the best doll house. Anna was thrilled – for one whole day! Then the next day, the doll house lay forgotten while playing out on the field.
Children, often tend to make demands assuming that they will be fulfilled. We, as parents, need to take a call, whether it will be parents vs the child or parents and the child. It is not prudent to go through extreme difficulties to fulfill every wish that comes from your child. Remember, you are not a genie that comes from rubbing a bottle. It is fine to tell your child that you, as a family, cannot afford certain things. You will be surprised with the amount of understanding a 3-4 year old might have and the sensitivity with which they respond.
Another point worth mentioning here is that, in today’s age, neither parent is a full-time parent. So, there is no concept of good-cop, bad-cop in the household. It is important for both parents to pamper, admonish, discipline and laugh alike. And more importantly, both together have to deliver consistent messages to the child in words and deeds.
To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. ~ Anonymous (Tweet this)
With the changing face of relationships, life styles and technology, it is but more important to ensure that your child grows up to be an individual who is strong yet sensitive, resilient yet kind, hardworking and smart. It is important to ensure that your child is prepared to start from zero, celebrate each success and not expect rewards for simple chores.
I have always liked the phrase – “Prepare your child for the road, not the road for the child.”