I think Parenting is like sitting on a see -saw where the mother and father can never get off. The balancing act just continues and parents have to have boundaries but the rules need to change with every situation that you deal with.
How you are as a parent does play a very important role in forming the personality of your child as s/he goes into adulthood. These foundation years will set him/her apart and build those blocks for a strong value system that will help them tread the journey of life and fight every battle that they may encounter.
There are obviously different kinds of parents and be honest and choose your belonging. A lot of our styles are shaped up by the way our parents were but just a caveat here that times have changed so factor that in. When I think of parenting styles the first scene that comes to my mind is this one:
You know Ratna Pathak Shah in Ek mein aur ek tu or her as Imran khans mom in Jaane tu ya jaane ne
Are one of those new age parents, indulgent yet strict as per the needs of the situation? Do you pace up and down till your kid gets home or panic if the phone in not reachable?
All parents have their own style of parenting - their way of bringing up their children. According to Bela Raja, child guidance counsellor, one's parenting style, if negative, can have an adverse effect on the psyche of the child even to the point of causing damage. "A good style of parenting is one where parents respect the needs and emotions of their child as much as the child respects the parents. It's also important for parents to encourage the development of the child's self-esteem. They need to teach him/her to feel good about themselves. Moreover, no matter how silly or insignificant it may seem, a child's concerns have to be addressed, even if it's just the fear of entering a room alone," she says.
That's why I always say Parenting has no rules and it’s like a new class for me everyday. If you want to follow guidelines defined in your book then you are being rigid. Today’s children with their presence of mind will take you by surprise.
I would want to believe that I am more of a guide and a moderator with my child. I don’t think she fears that I will punish her or get angry. That fear has been long lost. I think my daughter though doesn’t fear me she definitely respects my emotions. She is worried about upsetting me or hurting me. She is worried if her best friend, her mom will be happy with her behaviour or not. I let her fight her own battles and tell her to make her choices. I fail sometimes, I succeed sometimes but I am trying each day. Am I over protective? I don’t think so.
Here are some parenting styles and what the potential outcome could be like:
Beta don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t climb up you will fall, don’t go on a horse you will fall and get sick.... rules rules rules... A child growing under overprotective parents faces severe detachment problems as an adult. If you don’t let them face the highs and lows in life they will grow up to be excessively dependent and will not have any decision making power.
TIP: Let your child breathe! Spread his arms and feel the fresh air. Make his own choices but always be there for him incase he falls.
What I’ve learnt from a lot of my other friends who are good parents too is to inculcate trust in your child and expect the same from him. My daughter knows that if mummy has promised something she will fulfill it no matter what. It’s important for the children also to know that you trust them. Never put them in a spot for lying to you seems like the most logical option. TIP: If you have an excessive urge to check on your kids, have a frank talk with them and look for a solution. For instance, they can call you every time they reach their friend's house, instead of the other way round.
Modern day parenting which can be demanding, stressful can result into parents losing their cool often. We should ensure that use of emotional or physical violence can scar them for life. Any sort of abuse can damage a childs self-esteem and confidence.
TIP: Identify the first signs of losing your temper.
See if it's the way your child talks or their mistakes that annoys you. Take precautions at this very stage.
Pushy parents: Leads to suicidal adults
We have been seeing enough of these kind with so many children committing suicides due to academic pressures or peer pressure. Children cannot cope and live upto competitive parents and are scared to admit their opinions to their parents. Amy Chua had highlighted her passion for being a competitive Chinese mom in her Book The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom. Click here to take our quiz on are you a tiger mom? They prefer giving in rather than voicing their own opinions. Read here about COMPETITIVE PARENTING and here about sharing your emotions with your child
TIP: Share positive feelings with your children. Share your expectations with your child and tell him its okay to lose. Let him taste defeat and failure to enjoy success.
Comparing parents: Leads to a show off
Comparisons with peers, with siblings can be quite daunting on children. Parents in this can be so over powering that the child may feel worthless and may stop believing in themselves. A feeling of I am good for nothing may just creep in. Put your self in your childs shoes,would you like it if your boss compared you with your peers or your mother in law compared you with some one in the family.
TIP: Even if you disagree with your child, use positivity. Avoid comparing siblings and phrases that hurt.
Passive parents: Leads to arrogant adults
Parents, who don't participate in their child's activities or those who feel too sorry for being hard on their child, turn them into difficult adults. Such parents are often unable to say 'no' and the child grows up to be an overconfident person, who cannot accept mistake or accept criticism positively.
TIP: Spend quality time with your kids. Do things together, such as painting, story telling, going to the park, etc. In case they make a mistake, point it out gently. Do not give in to your child's whining, crying or temper tantrum, as it only reinforces the behaviour.
Also read this great article by Better parenting here
Share with us what is your parenting style.
Image source: Better parenting & Alexplus three