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When parents become friends to their children, obstacles turn into opportunities says, Kavita, a Hyderabad-based practicing psychologist. Get an insight into parenting, in the regular column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Raising children is one of the toughest and most fulfilling jobs in the world. Something you may not be prepared for, which happens gradually as you learn along the way. Modern parenting is quite opposite to the traditional parenting style. Kids of this generation are much quicker, faster and a lot brighter than the previous generations. It becomes important for parents to fine tune their parenting skills and if needed, adopt a friendlier and less stressful parenting style.
Being a friend to your child should not be confused with being a part of his peer group. It’s about adopting a friendly parenting style, one that is a mix of autocratic and permissive types.
Here is how modern parents can educate themselves about the current requirements of parenting
- Educate themselves on the best parenting practices possible and integrate those new modern techniques with classic parenting techniques that have worked for them in the past.
- Prioritise their families over responsibilities, commitments, and/or personal interests.
- Unselfishly put in the time, effort and day-to-day commitment necessary to raise happy, competent kids who have a clear sense of their values, beliefs and goals.
- Strive to improve their physical and mental health, so that they can be a right model to their kids,
- who would grow up into well balanced, fulfilled adults.
Guidelines to Modern Parenting
- Appreciate: It is important for parents to appreciate the ever-changing nature of parenting, so that their child progresses properly.
- Balance: Parents must learn to balance their work and social commitments with their family commitments, so that they can do justice to both.
- Consistency: This is one of the main requirements for kids to learn how to predict things. Consistency is a key learning tool for your child, because when something is consistent, he can rehearse it and incorporate it, until it becomes a part of him.
- Encourage: Parents much encourage their children to be themselves. They must highlight their kid’s special gifts, talents and encourage them to shine in those fields.
- Forgive: It is important to forgive the mistakes of children so that they understand that learning is a continuous process.
- Personal Time: When parents schedule personal time for themselves, they grow and evolve into better people. The child then learns these skills from the parents.
- Model the right behaviour: As children learn from what they see rather than what they hear, it becomes important for the parents to model the right behaviour in front of the kids. When faced with crisis, they should learn to handle it in an efficient way, so as to maintain decorum at all times.
- Set Boundaries: Each age has a phase, wherein the child acts in a certain way, which can be a cause of disagreements and stress for the parents. When limits are set, children learn to respect boundaries set by parents and avoid crossing it. This makes them more responsible.
- Support: Kids need to be close to the parents in order to confide in them after a certain age. Being approachable to them in times of need is a good practice. This makes them feel secure and safe which aids in a balanced upbringing.
- Empathy: Parents need to develop empathy as it would go a long way in fostering close relations with their kids. Listening is a very important skill, which needs to be honed. Very often kids just need someone to listen to them, as they express their thoughts. It may or may not need any fixing. Giving unnecessary advice at all times should be avoided. A good listening session with a warm hug may be all that they need most often. There is a time to forward your thoughts and views. Parents should learn to schedule that for another time.
- Expect changes: Changes occur constantly and life is always in transition. There could be various factors involved, like employment changes, new siblings entering the family etc. Modern parents must take it in their stride and be ready to change their parenting style accordingly.
- Priority: It is important for parents to give priority to their family first and then to others. Children are keen observers and quick learners. What they see is what they follow. If you want your teens to spend quality time with you, or your married children to allocate time for you, set this as a rule right from the beginning, in your family.
Parenting is a skill that requires constant monitoring and continuous efforts. Your family is your haven, the most rewarding investment. A well-behaved child growing up to be a responsible empathetic adult is any parent’s pride.
Photos sourced by the author from internet.
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