SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 37

THE BEST GIFT TO YOUR CHILD – YOUR TIME

“Mummy look at my drawing,” with all innocence she begs to call the attention of mummy to her work of colors.

“Mummy how I look in this dress, Daddy can you listen to me once.” In most of the homes, this is the most common demands we commonly hear.

And Mommy and daddy don’t answer. And this response too most typically happens in many homes.

As parents, we work hard every day for our children. Parenting, we have to understand, is more than buying those gifts, dropping at school, celebrating their birthdays. The parenting is seen more importantly, in giving your time – both physically and emotionally.

While each of us requires praise, its requirement is highest for children. How much attention you are as a parent willing to allot depends upon how much time you are keen to devote to spend with your child.

To give the best advantage to your child the best gift you can give him is your time. To provide him as much as he demands that is appropriate for his age.

Children spending time together with parents in various activities are likely to become a common platform for understanding between parents and children. When a child sees happiness flowing freely between herself and her parents, she feels valued, and her sense of worth builds up.

Every child needs a good amount of bonding time to spend with their parents frequently.

At home, parents have to plan a definite time for family togetherness activities. It should be a part of the daily routine. Theactivitiesencouragechildren to develop strong emotional ties with their siblings and parents.

Parents if they can allow specific time in the evenings to spend with their children with schoolwork, or completing home works, planning for projects.

The time spent, often, during their school years with children would help them to approach parents with less fear. And enable openly talk over their academic problems. When children are comfortable with their parents discussing academic issues, it can help them perform better at school academically.

The enthusiasm of the parents quickly flows to their children. If parents are good-humored, full of positive energy; the children don’t fall behind to follow them. Children mostly imitate parents. Whatever the parents set as good behavior by spending quality time the children they are more likely to adopt those behaviors. That could in future help them when they grow up.  They learn to display sharing, kindness, and understanding in their relationships in their lives.

If parents are alert and willing to spend time with their children, they will discover all the elements that interest the children. They can have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Certainly, this is the best way to weave together the family unity and harmony.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 36

PARENTING STYLES

Parenting is always a challenging responsibility. Since the last two decades, there has been a major change in how we are raising our children. The tensions, frustrations have increased, and the modern-day parents never seemed happy with not so favorable results from their parenting styles.

Our parenting styles can mean a million intentions we represent to our children. If he’s healthy, emotionally strong, do-gooder, hardworking, honest, self-confident everything we see in our children as they grow up is directly linked to our parenting style.

Check in what parenting style you fit in:

1.  HELICOPTER PARENTING:

In this approach, the parents constantly hover over their children and are ready to do anything if they notice what the child needs. They finish their home works, science projects. They make sure once the child demands it, it’s ready before them.

Like an eagle, the parents swoop at any moment to rescue their child and solving every problem for them.

The disadvantage of this style is the child always is in a dependency mode. Once they reached adulthood, they work with a disadvantage as they are unprepared to handle the many struggles of life.

If parents always go to their rescue the children get little practice to cultivate important skills of life like self-reliance, problem-solving, social skills, decision making.

2. AUTHORITARIAN PARENTING:

Authoritarian parents never consider the child’s feelings. Moreover, the parents demand absolute obedience. There don’t give any freedom for the children to follow their mind. They insist they aren’t any room for discussion and follow the rule, “what I told is correct.”

For authoritarian parents, punishment is the only alternative to discipline. The essence of this parenting style is to push, push, push the child until they achieve, achieve, achieve.

Children of authoritarian parents have problems with self-esteem and are constantly under threat of punishment, and they grow mentally mild and as weak personalities.

Children may also become hostile and aggressive. They may never set eyes on future or success ideas as most of the time they focus on the anger they feel about their parents. To avoid punishments, they may cultivate a tendency to lie.

3. PERMISSIVE PARENTING: 

Many parents would want to be their child’s ‘best friend.’ In friendships, it involves most of the times saying ‘yes’ to everything asked. Same lenient tendency prevails in parents who are generously permissive with their children.

The parents set rules but never supervise to enforce them; they have the opinion that a child will be at their best with little interference. They and lenient and behave in a manner ‘I want my child to like me.’

There are quite forgiving, and they adopt an attitude of ‘kids will be kids.’ They often encourage their children to talk with them about their problems but allow a free will to choose their inferences either good or bad.

Most of the children with permissive parents enjoy a lot of freedom and are aware of the parent’s leniency. There is a chance; when children grow up, they may not accept authority or rules. It might lead to behavior problems and may suffer from low self-esteem.

4. AUTHORITATIVE PARENTING:

This parenting style is the backbone of parenting. It is a parenting style where parents care about the child behavior. They are responsive to every day emotional needs. They are always watching from a distance how their children are functioning.

Parents have the patience and are non-judgmental about the acts of the children. They understand the child’s feelings and stand by them when it is required.

The parents encourage independence use positive discipline instead of harsh punishments.

Children under the guidance of authoritative parents are happy, healthy and successful.

They become good at making decisions and good at social skills.

They enjoy good self-esteem, and they are more likely to become responsible parents who are competent and assertive.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 35

FAMILY VALUES

All children are the reflections of parents. They look at us as models and follow to set them on a higher moral plane. They learn many of their attitudes from us.

They also develop many other life important values through the culture, and family atmosphere they are raised in, from many adults around them, their friends, religious background, schools, and so on.

Family values include the qualities that are more important to us as parents and what we choose to stick to at all times. They may include hard work, honesty, integrity, kindness. Our family values let us know what is right or wrong for our family as a whole.

It is the parent’s responsibility to establish values for their children. Teaching moral values is an important element of effective parenting.

FAMILY VALUES MAKE A DIFFERENCE – A CHECKLIST

What as a parent you can do:

We have to establish and make clear to our children the family’s religious and spiritual beliefs.

We have to model how discipline is nurtured and will be supported at home by the adults and by teachers at school?

We have to be clear about how the concept of education is viewed and encouraged at home. We have to emphasize that education perceived as emotional development and their multiple intelligences empowerment is taken into consideration?

Set behavior guidelines for all the family members how to respect each other? Ensure that the children receive equal respect as appropriate for their age?

Look what you encouragingly establish all family members converse positively both verbally and in body language. Parents’ must see that there is respect in the way you talk to one another among all family members.

Children learn moral standards and family values by watching parent’s choices and reactions and observing how you conduct yourself in casual behavior and regular day to day goings-on.

So parents have to be aware that what they do in the ordinary casual happenings and daily activities of every day hold powerful, influential lessons for the children.

PARENTS KEEP A WATCH OF YOUR ATTITUDE: FOR EXAMPLE:

How you speak to your relatives, how you treat your family friends, strangers. What hobbies or habits you follow, how you spend your time. What types of movies, TV shows you watch. How you handle your daily problems and moral conflicts. These are the attributes and behavior of the parent’s children watches closely and internally instills them accordingly.

As a parent, it’s your conscious decision to make sure how you establish the family values and moral standards that you child want to pick up and want them to copy.

Parents’ have to be very conscious about the core family values – the ones they hold most dear, wanted their children to follow throughout their lives, and never move away from them. It is what we call in traditional terminology “the family name.”

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 34

PARENTS VS TEACHERS

PARENTS PERSPECTIVE

As a parent, you invest enormous time, effort to help your child grow into a straight, strong and intellectually effective individual.

We see most of the time parents blame themselves for the child’s bad grades or bad behavior. It could be wrong that we are seeing our children may be in a wrong perspective.

When a child complains about a teacher, we as parents do nothing at all.  They keep, instead, cajoling the child that it is a temporary problem and you are too young to understand and altogether avoid the unpleasantness of confronting a teacher head on.

As a parent, the school you selected for your child is a personal best because it directly expresses your lifestyle, your values and your aspirations for your child. And you believe that you made the right choice.

The concern of parents should be like ‘I must take care of my child; I’m the only person in the world who cares for my child and her education.” And it’s my responsibility to see that my child doesn’t enter into an ill-equipped school or sit in a classroom monitored by a bad teacher.

As a parent, your primary concern is to see that an incompetent teacher or ill-equipped school shouldn’t damage your child love of learning.

TEACHERS PERSPECTIVE

The school or the school principals’ routinely inclined to ensure that the teacher’s incompetence or bad evaluation or ineffective teaching practices hidden from the parent’s scrutiny.

Laws, school administration, teachers unions tend to protect teachers, good or bad from any accountability for their performance.

Though parents go with genuine complaints regarding their children, teachers are never compelled to accept responsibility for their failings.

In whatever manner you carry your complaints to the teachers, they are more articulate; more experienced at shifting the blame away from them and exactly place it tactfully on the head of your child.

It’s the accepted norm and parents take it as a bitter pill when the teacher comments: your child isn’t learning because she is lazy, underachieving, misbehaving or lacking in some way.

A teacher who is insensitive, incompetent or argumentative will get less effort and less achievement from her students.

Teachers are in a service profession. And the best teacher is one who gets the most out of the students. We see a teacher with high qualifications, and she backed by years of experience endorsed by the school principal. But when she fails to be effective in the classroom and can’t get students to achieve can be called as a bad teacher.

A teacher without experience or not supported by adequate qualifications but proves to be successful in bringing out the best from the students can call as a good teacher.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 33

THE ABC’S OF SMART PARENTING

Smart parenting guidelines involve principles that parents have to follow. These principles, prudently followed while raising the children will help maintain a more peaceful household with better-behaved children and less upsetting climate for everyone involved.

Good parenting rules require flexible techniques. There are rules to be followed to call you a smart parent. The first is to understand your child’s temperament.

As a smart parent, you need to gauge the most fundamental moods, characteristics, personality traits of your child. These features comprise your child’s temperament. A smart parenting style is meaning that as a parent you have to adjust your approach to the unique personality of your child.

Each child as he grows acquires a unique temperament. Not all children demonstrate the same mentality. Some children are easy to handle, and some children are consistently hard to tackle.

A smart parent easily understands what the child’s temperament is: ‘easy or difficult.’ They immediately recognize the children who require more attention and who are difficult to manage asks for more patience. Children demand more repetition to cultivate good manners and a good attitude. They often require more time and space to adjust. Smart parents must indeed have to show enormous patience and understanding to raise healthy children in their homes.

LOOK AT YOUR PARENTING STYLE

Parenting styles involve the methods by which parents raise their children. Before trying to understanding the child’s behavior patterns, it’s required to examine our temperamental style as a parent.

It’s important to know our parenting style can affect the child everything from his health, his emotions and later how much he succeeds when he grows up.

A smart parent adopts a parenting style that ensures healthy growth and development. They are aware that the way we interact with the children and how we treat as individuals will go a long way in influencing the children the rest of their lives.

Further, a smart parent is familiar with the best nurturing skills like:

They create appreciable surroundings that allow the children to express their ideas and wishes. They listen to them without prejudging them and without criticizing them.

The parents offer them more opportunities and good choices so the children can have more freedom to make reasonable choices so they can tend to have more control over their actions and activities.

A SMART PARENT NEVER SPANKS

Spanking is a common form of discipline still used on children everywhere. A smart parent knows that spanking not beneficial for children. It is a fact because they increased the likelihood of low self-esteem, poor health, and negative effects on social and psychological development.

It is evident spanking is not safe, or not effective to bring in any changes in child behavior. If the parents notice any changes in a child after the spanking, the effects were seen short-term only.

A smart parent chooses ways to use positive and non-abusive methods with their children. And they follow healthy nurturing habits while the children are growing up.

They always concentrate on the positives rather than on negatives. Because looking at the negatives in a child is always stressful.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 32

ONLY CHILD

I hear routinely from new age parents about their resolution to have only one child. The reasons behind this decision could be many: The present of work culture demanding enormous psychological and physical pressure and time. They may also include economic implications, like good education and lifestyle demands. When both the parents being too busy with their jobs.

THERE ARE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF HAVING THE ONLY CHILD:

ADVANTAGES:

The kid grows up with a closer parent-child relationship. That can give him undivided attention from the parents.

That being the only child means that parents have only child to spend their time and money and not to divide among the siblings. And to enjoy more love from the parents than the normal.

As an only child, he needn’t face any complications because of an overbearing, envious, competitive sibling. He can be free of any of these emotional burdens.

As an only child, they can have a higher degree of self-esteem because of continuous attention paid by the parents. Strong self-esteem can increase the confidence levels in an only child.

As there is no competition and complications from the siblings, the child can grow up with more independence and fend for themselves better.

DISADVANTAGES:

Arrogant, bossy, selfish, spoiled are the terms used to describe the only child.

Because the only child has all the attention and love, they are likely to stand a risk of acting like “I’m an emperor attitude” which may not be liked by his peer groups.

This sort of excessive attention and care can prove detrimental in the long term for the child. It may create in the only child a ‘me-me-me’ mentality. That may discourage the child not to think of others.

The most noticeable disadvantage of being an only child is the feeling of loneliness. Not having a sibling to play with regularly and be able to share their thoughts and events. Thus it may result in not forming friendships and to get along and help others.

Not to have siblings will not let the child handle school-related problems like teasing, negotiating, and teamwork. Usually, it’s the brothers and sisters who help develop these skills in day-to-day situations.

Whether you have one child or many, it is the duty of the parents, to help the child to become a healthy individual. They deserve the best from the parents. The key parenting secret is always treating each child as if he is the only one.

 

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 31

HOW TO TALK WITH OUR CHILDREN

It is surprising to note many parents are not so good at how to talk with children. For most of them, they talk with an impression that being parents the children are obliged to listen to them.

But the reality is the tragedy we witness among the parents and their children the growing discomfort of miscommunication. Or many failed attempts to built bridges to reach them so that children toe the of parents’ line of expectations.

In whatever friendly ways the parents attempt to look at when they are grown up. The poor nature of communications between them is the result of a parent’s lack of sympathetic relationship; when not nurtured when they are young.

From their childhood days the parents’ desires, advice, ideas revolve around one belief. We want to mold them; we have to impress them with our ideas, our ideology, and our desires. As parents, it never strikes us that the child has his thinking mechanism. The opinion of his own and he entertains his fantasies. He is very much an independent character full of ideas and energy to sustain them.

To reduce the conflicts and confusion that might lead to discontent among parents and oppressiveness among children the parents have to follow a few tips about how to talk with their children:

Good communications are possible only when we respect the child and his point of view.

We must not force them into our thinking mold. Insisting what we are preaching is the right way. We know what is right for them.

Each child has his in-built creative means to achieve what he wants in his life. He has enough mental faculties to shape his personality. Parents’ job is to be logical referees to supervise their small efforts in achieving them.

We have to recognize as a parent our job is to guide our children. We also have to learn, very early, the means of how and what we are guiding our children.

It is pleasant and easy to speak to children. It’s known young children are so very free in expressing themselves. For parents, it’s not difficult to discover while they are talking about what is that they are thinking and to what is the purpose behind it.

Ignoring the opinions of the children and what they are planning to convey. We parents resort to criticizing them, rebuking them, ignoring them or find fault with what they are trying to express.

This defeating act of the parents would be very discouraging to the children. There is a likelihood they may not share any information expecting it would invite censure from parents.

If these hurting experiences multiply, they may gradually close the doors of communications upon their parents.

Expecting children should always do the ‘right’ thing, always manage all his works decently, and behave like an angel. It would be ridiculous presumptions from the parents’ side. Speaking to children conveying these ideas would never encourage a good communication climate in the first place.

As parents, we are too much interested in pushing our point of view and our frame of assumptions about our children. We behave as if we are very much sure of how our child feels and type of emotional bent they have.

There is one notion a parent must understand that for any issue there is more than one point of view – we may see it in one way, and our children may presume it all together in a different angle. If we are comfortable to accept this contrast we will able to communicate with our children not being rigid with ‘I’m right, and you are wrong’ attitude.

Listening to our children means trying to accept and see his point of view, his logic and acknowledging that he too has thoughts of his own. Parents’ role is to see he is guided and helped to take advantage of this multiple viewpoints and see how this awareness contributes to the creative progress of the child.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 30

CHILDHOOD FEARS AND ANXIETIES

Fears are a normal part of growing children. They seem to be afraid of a lot of things.

From time to time, as they grow every child experiences fear.

Fears are a normal emotion.

Most of the children between ages 4 and 12 show many fears and concerns. Fear of darkness; particularly being left alone in the dark, is one of the most common fears in this age group. So is fear of animals, such as large barking dogs. Or cats or lizards. Some children are afraid of fires, high places or storms.

As parents, we have to keep in mind the children may or may not tell us what worries them. So we have to look for expressions or signs that give us a clue of any symptoms of their worries. Like:

Sleep disturbances: Difficulty to sleep alone. They find difficult to go to sleep.

Avoidance to go to school or taking exams, refusing to listen, too stubborn to move

Nervousness: Nail biting, falling ill frequently,

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?

It is the parents’ responsibility to teach children the coping skills. These skills can help them deal with whatever troubling situation they may face. It would be better that we help our kids to practice these skills regularly. If they can convert these skills into helping habits, they can be used for their future lives.

Don’t ignore their fears. Pay attention to what they are saying that is troubling them. Don’t shoo away their fears. Try to understand fears through the eyes of their age. Once you understand the main cause of their anxieties, you can teach them ways and skills to help them cope.

Fears can be transmitted. Like when parents fear darkness, they can also find their child trembling along with them. Children always watch parents and whatever our dominant fears and anxieties could pass on to children.

Try to check, monitor and control TV consumption. Images from movies, music videos, and internet, and television news, stories can instill fear at disproportionate levels. It’s important to monitor the child’s TV watching habits, especially what they are watching before going to bed.

Recognize that your child’s fears are real. You shouldn’t ridicule, underplay, or trivialize, or ignore your child’s fears. Don’t lecture or use logic to silence them. All these wouldn’t help the child’s fears to disappear.

Support them. Help your child feel safe. Your words have enormous comforting power. Use them generously so that they feel safe and comfortable.

Encourage the child to speak about his worries. If he is encouraged to speak about his fears assuring good attention of adults allows him to feel that his fears are manageable. The fears never should grow out of proportion in your child.

Since fears are a normal part of life and often are a response to a real or an imagined threat in the child’s environment, parents should be reassuring and supportive

The simple, sensitive and straightforward parenting can help resolve or at least manage most childhood fears.

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 29

OTHER THAN EXAMS WATCH FOR INTELLECTUAL BEHAVIOURS

Sunny a ten-year-old is a dainty little one who has all good intentions to work hard and watch for good grades on his progress report. The moment he sets eye on the question paper on the exam day he finds himself simply disturbed. He could see no questions he had worked very hard to remember and write. To his annoyance, he finds the paper filled with the questions that he has assumed ‘not so important.’

The wariness of his previous day’s sincere hard work is now staring back at him as the questions he learned by rote have simply not appeared on the test paper.

He is a sad boy now. He started to think about what might appear as low grades in his forthcoming progress report.

As a parent do we appreciate all his hard work and sincerity to do well in his exams? But the progress card doesn’t reflect the effort.

It’s an age-old academic custom for the parents to correlate grades and test scores to their child’s learning. The primary focus of any parent – well educated or otherwise, the number of A’s and B+’s that fill in the progress report of their kid. That is the bottom line of a child’s intellectual measurement. They worry consistently about how their child compares with the neighbor’s child.

Parents or teachers never think of any alternative behavior as criteria to assess the kid’s creative and intellectual development.

When we see the children become young adults and when they face the complex challenges of the world. The process demands all capabilities like intelligence, reasoning, creativity, intellectual perseverance and craftsmanship.

Parents’ can assess their kid’s growth in the following aspects:

1. PERSISTENCE   

2. LISTENING TO OTHERS

3. AWARENESS OF OWN THINKING

 1. PERSISTENCE

Whenever a school going child given a problem,  in the first instance, he doesn’t see a solution. He immediately gives up saying, ‘I can’t handle, and it is very difficult.’ If they don’t find an immediate solution, they are not taught to look for an alternative strategy.

What we find lacking in the children is the ability to handle a problem taking it head on until they come up with an acceptable solution. They lack persistence.

Persistence helps any child to search for alternative planning for problem-solving. It is the characteristic that has to be encouraged and practiced both by parents and teachers. This approach has to start from their early age.

A child who is persistent will enjoy the following advantages.

  • He develops a sense of confidence to solve a problem systematically
  • They try to understand how to begin and what orderly steps to follow
  • How information has to be collected and analyzed
  • How to keep progressing even though if they face any hardships until the problem is solved.

2. LISTENING TO OTHERS

Listening is one of the key social skills. It is the ability to listen to another person. Understanding others point of view and empathize with their feelings is one of the highest forms of human relationships.

Children with good listening abilities benefit in their social skills. It will also help them to give importance to others ideas. And it gives them an impression that not to take others point of view poorly.

It also helps the children to connect with their friends in the school and team activities.

3.AWARENESS OF OUR THINKING

This is being aware of our thinking process. If children are aware of their thinking process, they carry a special advantage. It enhances their learning process. The child with this realization will be able to put in definitive steps how he can solve many of school-related problems.

It is the knowledge about how we think, how we make decisions, how logical we are. The advantage of this skill enables us fairly aware of the direction of our thoughts and how strong and weak they are at the moment. It’s almost a self-directed learning.

 

SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 28

PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE

Children are among the most vulnerable groups in the country and around the world. A survey conducted by a humanitarian aid organization, World Vision India revealed in May this year that one in every two children is a victim of sexual abuse.

The survey was conducted across 26 states of the country and covered 12-18 years age-group. It is estimated that children below 12 may have a higher abuse rate. They are more vulnerable age group.

More than 48 percent of girls wished they were boys so that they could escape abuse. But, the study also found that boys (over 54 percent) were at equal risk of abuse as girls. And puzzlingly, persons in trust and authority, including parents, were identified as major child abusers.

Parents’ awareness is a necessary protective arm. The method is they should encourage the children to discuss any matter unusual that happens in the school or the neighborhood.

Parents can help protect their child from sexual abuse by teaching them the important facts and telltale gestures. This coaching must start as soon as they are admitted to the school.

The children should be aware of the following acts:

  1. They should know what parts are called as private parts and why. They should be aware that genital and buttocks are their private parts. No adult should touch them. If any adult ever touches them in these private places, you advise the children, to report to mummy and daddy immediately. Identify and label male/female private parts. Explain how private parts are different from public parts of the body and why.
  2. Explain to them that adults or older boys should never ask you to touch these private parts on them. They should know it is a very wrong thing. If an adult asks you to do like that, you should tell mummy and daddy right away.
  3. Tell them they should tell mommy and daddy immediately if an adult or an older child ever shows his or her private parts or asks to see yours.
  4. Make them clear that if someone is kissing you or hugging you in a way that feels uncomfortable or funny, or frightening, get away from that person, ask for help and tell mommy or daddy.

Please take your children’s comments about who touches them or makes them feel not so comfortable, very seriously.  The sad part is that a great many cases of child sexual abuse perpetrated by friends, closely known relatives or family members.

Please stay on guard and listen to what your children have to say.

Children who disclose their abuse within one month are at a reduced risk for depression.

If your child can talk about the abuse with you, then they are less likely to suffer from depression later in life-related to the abuse. Believe them when they talk to you and LISTEN.

Sexual abuse can be hard to think about and harder to discuss, but it’s important to address these issues and educate yourself so you can teach your child what to watch out.  Every step you take, every talk you have, every time you listen – you are protecting your child from sexual abuse.