Are we doing it right?
The excitement of having a child of your own - the anticipation of it, for nine long months, is a roller coaster ride of various emotions coupled with multitudinous changes biologically. Once the child is born, the mother, the father and the entire family around celebrates. It's a gorgeous world filled with every single being who is ready to welcome another of their kind - with an excitement to give it a life, mind and space of it's own, the challenges involved in it come quite inextricably.
There may be innumerable tips, ways and hacks to make it towards fantastic parenting, but the beauty of parenting lies in the exclusivity of each parent's journey. Every parent wakes up to the wish of giving the child their everything and beyond and goes to sleep wondering if they have succeeded - If there was too much carrot and on certain days if it was too much stick. Balance isn't overrated, its attainability is painfully underestimated. Some children come with special needs, some others are given them regardless. Some take pride in claiming to have raised their baby girl like a boy, and some others soothe their soul by claiming to have pampered their little brat like a girl. However, the one and only one thing - presumably the biggest thing of concern in good parenting is the responsibility to shape the child into a responsible human being.
With all sorts of standards, set benchmarks and trends going on everywhere, certain rules of thumb with respect to good parenting didn't have to reorient themselves with the changing fads, lifestyles and the expectations that come along. Here are some of them:
1. Respect isn't a one way street
Most times parenting is often identified as a hierarchical process. The child is demanded to respect the parent without an appropriate justification, except for merely quoting the difference in age and also for having witnessed more summers than the child. To respect, does not start or stop with an indisputable factor of age, nor does it limit itself only to women. The choice of words not just with them, but around them; the demeanour towards things, animals and other people (near and far) - leave the young impressionable minds to absorbing what they see - irrespective of age, gender et al.
2. To let them be
The concept of 'my property' ceases to exist from the time the child comes out of the mother's womb. It is from then, only a matter of 'my responsibility' - not to be mistaken with 'my dreams for him/her' - but just about until what needs to be taken care of to keep the child safe, out of trouble, independent and accountable.
3. The what, how and whys
One of the most characteristic traits of growing up, is questioning. The ways of life, the laws of it and the extents too. Now, that dies with age - for some, unfortunately at a very young age. The sooner the parent realises that apart from certain life hacks, there's not much really to teach a child. For, if one looked closely, the child is the one that questions without qualms, enjoys without worry and cries without boundaries. Let the child question every single thing around - because there is nothing silly firstly, and lastly nothing is sillier than wanting to curb that urge in the first place.
4. Exemplify the love
It is one thing to talk about love, and another to illustrate it in actions. From as early as not understanding words, to a stage where only rebellion seems like an option - what an individual can learn by observation and daily affirmation, no other method has been found to be more effective. Treating your partner with love, taking care of plants, mingling with animals, helping without expecting in return, the attitude of gratitude and forgiveness should be a routine, rather than a weekend lesson or reminders during chiding sessions.
5. Disciplined freedom
When a child is given the access to unbridled freedom, it often leads to surfacing of overwhelming amounts of thoughts, words, actions and deeds. However, this is where the role of a parent pitches in. It is not to cut the wings, but essentially to warn the child about apparent pitfalls. For extra pertinence to parenting in this generation, technology is a very powerful tool to give the child the freedom to explore on one hand, and the opportunity for the parent to track, communicate and hold their child accountable to their varied explorations.
Every parent wishes good and only good for the child, but since good is subjective, one should shift the focus from what is good according to them, to what is right for the child, so that their enthusiasm is channelized, curiosity is dealt with, anger is compartmentalised, love is requited and learning is multiplied.