When we became parents, a journey of self learning and self realization starts. Its an endless journey with new experiences, good and bad, everyday. Sometimes what we think is right, turns out to be wrong for our kids. And that is how we learn from our mistakes. The key is to never shy away from our mistakes. We should be ready and fierce in accepting new challenges in life. First few times we will be afraid, but then it will be a gradual learning process. Every parent has a different experience with the same situation. We all have our version of the situation to narrate. And that is what parenting is all about. We have lots to discuss about the same scenarios. So plunge into it and have your own experiences.
I came across this wonderful idea about the ABC of parenting and thought of listing it in my blog for all the parents. So here I go with the A to Z lessons of parenthood.
Accept your child
Its easier said than done. However we call ourselves liberal parents, but there are somethings which we want them to do it our way. Isn’t it? Be it in any age they are. We have certain expectations which we want them to follow. We may be right in our thinking but in today’s time, to have a opinion is the new cool. So sooner or later, our little cubs will have their choices and den. And their rises the so called generation gap where every one has their own opinion to impose. So as a parent, accept them with their choices and decisions. I know its difficult for us, parents but then, they are the unspoken perks of being a liberal and broad minded parent, we always wanted our parents to be.
Be consistent and fair
Our children follow our habits more than our words. So its important for us to do the same what we are teaching them. Their is a very thin line between black, grey and white. With time we realize that life is not only about black and white. Its mostly in grey. The fight for all the parents is how to thrive in this grey world and teach our children the hardships in a simpler black and white. But its not possible. Right? For them to learn the right approach to handle things in life is for us to learn to be consistent in our approach towards situations, be it black, grey or white. Draw boundaries for them to make them understand the thin line between things they can get and which they cannot. Don’t hesitate in teaching them the hardships. Be fair with them and yourselves. Be consistent in your approach towards their tantrums for them to learn it the hard way to except things.
Every child has fears and insecurities. And if your child is not in ‘sharing all your fears’ terms with you, its going to be a very difficult phase for you as well for your child. The fear could be of anything and everything. Generally they lose their confidence and self esteem during these testing times. In such years, your child needs your comforting. Its important for you to tell your children that you are there with them no matter what the circumstances. Try to motivate them and talk to them about their daily activities and things they go through. They will gradually open up and your constant support and assurance will calm their fears and will give them their lost confidence and morale.
Teach your child to dream. Dreams are like a destination for which we work hard. Make your child like a confident free bird who have the courage to dream and the determination to reach there. Acknowledge and appreciate their dreams, big or small, and give them the space and wisdom to attain the achievable. It may happen that your dreams for them are different from their dreams for themselves. Be strong enough to accept theirs for them to be happy.
Encouragement is necessary for your child at any stage in life. Point out their strengths and promote a stronger confidence in them to move ahead and achieve big things in life. Their choices may be different and not in sync with ours but then , we as parents, should encourage them for their , right and due choices, to excel in them. Also encourage them to try new things in life. We should praise them for their efforts and make them feel proud of their accomplishments.
This is a very important virtue to be taught to our future generation for a peaceful nation and world. The bigger picture for me is to make my child happy, healthy and hard working. So when the ultimate goal is this, why to burden the child’s mind with teaching them to hold grudges. Its important to teach your children to forgive others and themselves for their mistakes and move ahead with a lighter mind and heart. And for that we, as parents, have to do the same for them, their mistakes and ourselves.
A proper guidance is necessary for every child to build their mind and body. They are like a blank paper and a proper guidance can fill them with beautiful thoughts and requisite manners. A proper guidance includes empathy, redirection, solving social conflicts and using natural or logical consequences.
With the upcoming technologies, very often, we tend to spend more time with the phone than with our family and kids. So make a schedule of keeping all the electronic devices in the house away for a hour or two and spend that time together with the family. Spending time together is one of the most vital parameter for parenting. A recent Survey said that a human being cannot stay away from his handset for than 20-25 mins if not sleeping or in washroom. So please prioritize. All things and calls can wait, but this time, of your child’s growth will not wait and cannot be reprimanded once gone.
We need to invest our time, more than our money, with them to make them a better and good person. In today’s scenario, we all are too busy in chasing our dreams. So when is the time to help our children know and overcome their shortcomings and mistakes ? We all should be aware of our and our children’s shortcomings. But for them to excel in life, by leaving their fears behind, its important for us to invest some quality time with them by spending many hours of little moments. We need to be their with them, as parents, to tell them the difference between right and wrong, ask them about their opinion, have a conversation with them, reading and telling stories to them etc.
Jokes lighten up the mood and gives the family a good laugh.
We all promise somethings to our children at some point of time. But the key is to keep them. This is a way of telling your children that they are important. This will also teach them how to stick to your words, even in testing times, apart from teaching them to build a trust and affection for you.
You can keep your children closer with your ears than with your arms. Every relationship is built on communication. Successful communication can move mountains. Parenting, at its core, is the ultimate communication relationship. Active listening paves the way for us to have a better relationship with our kids. Its very important to listen out their point of views and opinion. We should always encourage them to say what they have in their minds by having a peaceful listening exercise. If you will not listen to their small stuffs eagerly today, they will not tell you their bigger stuff when they are all grown up. Listening to them peacefully and attentively will build up their confidence and they will also know the importance of listening and respecting other’s opinion.
Character building is the base of our and our child’s existence. This will mark the fate of our and their future. Its important to be done from the day they are born. Its an ongoing and strenuous process because parents are judged for their every word and action. It in turn is the first step of building their character. How we conduct ourselves with ourselves and others will instill them with their character building habits.There is so much truth in the words that everything , good or bad, done by us, returns to us someday. Thus, find the right habits for building their character as it will be your character judgement as well.
Negotiating doesn’t necessarily mean giving in. It means that you give your child the opportunity to exercise his voice & mediate for his personal wants & needs. Negotiating with your children is an important part of parenting. Children need a little say in their lives. When they feel like they have some control they are more likely to obey & go along with what you say. Also, it better prepares them for the inevitable onslaught of choices they will face over the coming years. It’s important to consider your child’s age & ability when negotiating. Keep things at a level that they can understand. If they want to buy anything or want to do anything, hear them out and negotiate with them to make them understand the importance of little things in life. They will get to know the value of small things we get in life. The things easily available to them will make them complacent towards life and they will ward away from the difficult situations in future.
Open your mind to the opposition from them
Every child has his/her opinion, just like us. Let them have their opinion about things. Listen to those opinions patiently and keep an open mind for their say as well. Its very important for them to understand others point of views , and for that we need to be open about theirs.
We as parents really look forward to the time when the child will start playing all alone. But its very imporatnt to have a play session with the kid/ kids as it will teach them the importance of team work and leadership. Play with them to spend some quality time with them while making them learn things. Playing WITH your kids doesn’t have to be elaborate or take a lot of time. It can be as simple as throwing a ball or role-playing with dolls or action figures. It will deepen emotional connection, have fewer attention-seeking misbehaviors and more cooperative kids and fewer power struggles
Decision making is an art which we all need to work on and excel. So teach your children the importance of taking quick decisions and owing up to them. Responsible decision-making is the ability to make choices that are good for you and for others. It is also taking into account your wishes and the wishes of others. The ability to understand yourself, your actions, how your actions affect others, and what is socially acceptable all go into the responsible decision-making process. Throughout the school your child will become more and more independent until he’s ready to leave the household. By continuing to support your child and allowing him/her more responsibility and room to make their own decisions, you can put him on a path to success after school. Once or twice they will take wrong decisions. Stick to them as a family and give them the support of learning from their mistakes and encourage them to move ahead in life and take new decisions.
We often forget that children aren’t born with a built-in sense of respect for others. While each child has a different personality, all children need to be taught to be respectful. From birth, kids learn to manipulate their world to get their needs met—this is natural. But it’s our job as parents to teach them respectful ways of doing this. This is the foundation of our manners. The way we treat our elders and youngers and situations, will determine our behavior and family values. So teach your child to respect every body and things, big or small, rich or poor, to have a respectful life in return.
We all love our children undoubtedly. But its very important for them to know this fact. We can communicate our feeling to them by showing it to them through our words and actions. They should all know the value of displaying affection and the importance of not shying away from it.
The first lesson of every child starts from your own home at a very early age. So don’t be a judge as to when to teach them what? Don’t wait for them to be of certain age to teach them certain things you want to know and follow. Teach them all what you them to know, as early as possible. It will be etched in their mind and they will start incorporating them from a very early age. Prepare them for hardships in future from their early years as they will be ready very soon to face the world. Some virtues like honesty, respect, patience, integrity, modesty,trust, simplicity, truthfulness, perseverance,wisdom, kindness, loyalty etc should be taught from the foundation of their growth years.
You know your child the most. Since a very young age, parents are aware of a child’s potential. Parents should unlock those hidden potential of their children and make them aware of them. Parents responsibility is to open the close doors for their children and show them the world inside, but the decision of entering which door, should be left on them. And whichever option they chose, we should encourage them for that.
Time is valuable and the time once gone will never return. So first learn to value the time yourself to make them understand its importance. Value the time when you have it rather than repent over it when its gone. Children should understand the value of time and money since a very young age as then only will they value it at a later stage. Reach the places on time, have a routine, follow the clock sometimes, give yourself a timely target to finish etc will help you and your child understand the importance of time in a fun way. For their realistic demands, give them fun activities to perform in turn for their demands. This way they will get to know the value of money and hard earned things in life.
As a parent we should teach them the importance of our surrounding. We all know that we have limited resources. If we will waste what we have, then, may be many of others will not receive what they are entitled to. Its an endless chain and we should stop wasting things at out end to see the desired result. Children are the future generations and they are the bearers of what we are sowing now. So they should know the importance of resources to benefit the most from them. As its rightly said that “Today’s wastage is tomorrow’s shortage”.
It can be of your achievements as a parent or your child’s achievement which can make you happy and excited. Their little things should not be judged and corrected every time. Your child is learning new things everyday throughout , so they have their own learning process going on continuously. Thus their little achievements, make a huge difference to them and their confidence. Be as excited as them for all what they accomplish and try.
Yearning for seemingly impossible is the path of human progress. The day we stop yearning is the day we stop learning. Don’t be afraid of learning new things in life. Age is no bar in learning new things. Life itself is a learning process and we should teach them to yearn for learning and growth at any age and scenario. Every child has an inner timetable for growth, a pattern unique to them. Let them take their path and have a yearning to learn and grow.
Our children learn from our actions more than from our words. Its very important to be calm and avoid annoyance in their presence, for them to learn tolerance and patience. If we will be annoyed over things not happening our way, it will be difficult for us to teach them otherwise. I read a story which is very apt for this, When the milk is splattered all over and your child is looking for your reaction, remember that it takes only 5 mins to clean the spilled milk but it takes much longer to clean up a broken spirit.
There are no set rules of parenting. Just like, every child is different, every parent is different, and they have their own set rules of raising their child. I have just stated what I thought could be of use for referring to , in case of a blockage. In today’s scenario, parenting is an art which involves lot more effort than being just a loving parent. Just like every parent have certain expectations from their children, even they have their expectations from us, parents, and its very important to fulfill some of them for a healthy and happy parenting. So all the best to all the new and experienced parents in this journey called parenthood.