Expert Speaks / Positive parenting

Parenting is All About Giving a Peaceful and Nurturing Environment to the Children

Parenting is All About Giving a Peaceful and Nurturing Environment to the Children

Dr. Madhumati Singh

11 Jul, 2016

Giving a peaceful and nurturing environment to the children:
A home with minimal conflicts and negativityis a fertile land for healthy saplings to grow into trees. Family environmentshould be with minimal noise. Differences between parents should be sorted inthe absence of children, no matter what age. Parents have to earn the respectof children by conveying to them that they are capable of handling life like responsibleadults. One of the effective methods is to assign at least one day in a week tofamily dinner when all members sit together (with table manners in place) toeat. It is important for the children to know that both the parents aretogether as a unit, in thoughts and in action. A bad marriage (attributed to alcohol/drugabuse, violence) is better dissolved than continued on a hope that the childrenwill rectify it. Study shows that living with separated parents is better thanliving with squabbling parents. Also, mothers must learn to delegate some ofthe duties and responsibilities towards effective running of the house, as ithas been observed that most homemakers are stressed out with daily chores,deemed as thankless, monotonous and frustrating. They tend to be on a shortfuse with children, often leading to a stressful environment. Children should begiven instructions politely, with ample patience and encouragement to sharehousehold chores, so that everyone feels part of ‘team family’ that has thepower to strengthen bonding.

Parents should give wings to children’s curiosity:
The world has become a huge playground with anambiguous boundary wherein one area merges with another. What is dangerous andwhat is not, what is acceptable what is not, is fast merging into each other.The resources of parents should work as a playground of opportunities to lendwings to the curiosity of a child, so that he/she has a wider exposure to allthat is new and progressive around him/her. The new millennium generation ofparents and children are on a constant roller coaster of fast changinglifestyle, habits, trends, fashion, etc. The bright side is a vast area thatallows exploration and redefining what suits the family unit best for optimalprogress and growth. The flip side is the unknown domain, full of apprehensionsand concerns of safety and security of the child- aspects that influencehim/her that are good and bad. The avoidable and the unavoidable! In such avulnerable environment, it is important for parents to work like a navigator orcompass. They should be well versed with the changing trends in childdevelopment, ready to bridge the generation gap by being more open to acceptingchanges. Also, being more informed about what are the new aspects in theirworld - be it varied vocations and career options, changing dimensions offriendships, new technology and innovations or the internet world. The abilityto link this generation and their generation is one of the most crucial tasksfor parents. If successful, it then becomes easy for the parents to direct,guide, inform and share with the child, so that the child has the freedom toexplore with the life jacket of parenting to help him swim through the roughtide.

Effective communication:
Effective communication is when both partiessum up the conversation with ‘I’m OK. You’re OK”. Parents come in this worldmuch before their children and so a certain degree of maturity and patience isexpected out of them. Things have to be politely explained to the children,also, as objectively as possible with the intent of being open to clarifications.Difference of opinion should not be perceived as “argument with parents” or “answeringback to parents”. For bridging the generation gap, active hearing ismore important than talking/ giving instructions. We often perceive listeningas letting the child speak what he/she has to say (while framing sentences andwords in our minds (WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY/COUNTER) without paying attention towhat he/she is saying, without any recall of what is the significant pointhe/she made. This offensive-defensive approach of communication is fast learntby children and thus begins this vicious cycle with both parties saying to eachother – “you will never understand me.”
Active listening involves: Attentive listeningand noting significant points made by the other person. Then listening to moreclarity made upon the points, helping reach a clear point of view. Then puttingacross your point-of-view with possible cross-examination. And then, finallyreaching a negotiable compromise so that both the parties are OK! If we can bepatient with our boss at work or at meetings with our colleagues, we can surelyimbibe this virtue in parenting, with our children.

Be a role model foryour children:
Parents and the home environment are the firstcontact point of this world for a child. This place sets an imprint in thechild’s psyche and development, and most of the impact of this environment ismade during the first 10 years of the child’s life. If you have done your jobexceptionally well the first 10 years, most of your work as parents is alreadytaken care of and consider it as insurance for your child’s future.Parents are the first role models for their children. So make sure to live up to thetitle bestowed upon you. How you deal with your relatives, friends, helpers,boss, colleagues are being observed by your children. What are your workethics, how disciplined are you, how well do you keep your promises – are allbeing seen by your children. Be realistic with what you can deliver as parent.Your concept of money, truthfulness, sincerity, your concept of peace, goodness,health, happiness- all is being soaked by your children. Your children willcopy you first. Set your standard of excellence high and the rest will fall inplace.

Macro and micro parenting:
Micro parenting is the daily management/ welfare ofthe child, which goes well with the parent who is mostly available for thechild at home, in most cases, the mother, and macro parenting is the biggerwider aspects like - financial stability, social security, etc. which is donewell by the father, in most cases. Effective homes have been observed tohave both these areas clearly earmarked, and delegated between the mother and thefather. One dominant parent for micro/ macro parenting helps in the empowermentof both, the parent and child. However, there can be cross-examination betweenparents, NOT in front of the child, where both have a chance to put their ideastogether to reach a consensus as to what is the best option for the child(keeping their egos aside).

Encourage independence for self-esteem:
Perhaps the most important aspiration for positive parenting isto help the child become self-dependent and empowered. Always avoidcharacter-chipping approach (you are lazy, you always get into trouble, youwill always be a failure, you never listen to me etc…) and replace it withtasks-centric things (please keep your study updated, you need to beresponsible for your actions, you will do well next time, I love you my dearchild etc.). Learn to delegate work related to the child and also home-related,and always appreciate, no matter how small the work is. Also we are living ingender-equality times. Encourage gender equality at home. Teach the children toplay their most important role well- that of a student, and take responsibilityof all aspects that go into this role (marks, friends, games, extra-curricularactivities, creativity etc.).
Children will need regular inputs and words of wisdom andguidance from you as parents because in each heart (no matter how old we grow)there lies this soft voice, which asks: “Am I a good child, mummy?”