PARENTING




Parenting is the greatest challenge and responsibility     


Parenting is the greatest challenge and responsibility we will ever accept in our lives. Good parenting consists of a great deal of trial and error. As parents, we make many mistakes along the way; and we learn from each mistake and move forward.

We are responsible for our child and they look to us for guidance and support, from infancy to adulthood. Providing this consistency is important to their happiness and well-being. The importance of good parenting means we want to give our children every opportunity to be happy and succeed in life.

As parents we offer unconditional and constant love. We can teach them many lessons of life; forgive their mistakes, accept them for who they are and offer them a safe and happy home. In good and bad times, love them anyway. Wise parenting involves nurturing, providing loving support and also, the ability to let go. Parenting does not come easy to most of us. It is with great effort, much anxiety and many prayers that we raise our children. Our hope is they will become loving, responsible and successful adults who live fulfilling lives.


EFFECTIVE PARENT CHILD COMMUNICATION

EFFECTIVE PARENT CHILD COMMUNICATION

Every strong relationship thrives on good communication. The ‘Parent-Child’ relationship, being a beautiful yet fragile one, needs effective communication too in order to flourish. While communicating with your child, the most fundamental step is listening attentively and in turn creating a safe and trusting environment that your child can depend on. This will encourage him/her to express himself/herself without the fear of being reprimanded or scolded at. Unfortunately, in today’s fact paced, multi tasking world, we tend to react more to our children rather than acknowledge their feelings as real and treat them with the respect they deserve. Children too find it difficult to relate to their parents’ views and this, in turn, leads to unresolved conflicts and the communication channels between parent and child begin to grow narrower. Understanding the need of the situation and communicating accordingly can help reduce conflicts and strengthen the parent-child bond.

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BALANCING LOVE AND DISCIPLINE

BALANCING LOVE AND DISCIPLINE

The most well rounded and well adjusted children are those who are brought up with the right mix of love and discipline. Children of all ages need to feel unconditional love and acceptance from their parents. This, in turn, helps them grow into kind, confident and secure individuals. At the same time, every child needs discipline in life in order to help him/her grow into well adjusted citizens of society. Love and discipline are two sides of the same coin and cannot exist without each other. But when does love become over indulgence and discipline become brutality? Understanding that there is a fine line between these elements is essential and bringing up your child without depriving him of either love or discipline will enable the child to develop a well rounded personality.

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HANDLING SIBLING RIVALRY

HANDLING SIBLING RIVALRY

All siblings fight. A sibling relationship would be incomplete without its fair share of squabbles. Despite this, most siblings share a strong bond of love and camaraderie. Yet, there are times when the problems between siblings escalate into full blown conflicts that affect their relationship adversely. This, in turn, affects the dynamics of the whole family and leads to tension and unrest. There could be many reasons behind sibling rivalry and at such times, parental attitudes are most essential. Parents find it difficult to see their children get hurt and are often left confused about when to step in and when to remain mere spectators. Parents find it difficult to remain impartial in such emotionally charged situations and often resort to extreme measures. Dealing with such situations with utmost tact and letting siblings sort out their own differences, in most cases, is very important. Ensuring that genuine love and affection prevails between siblings even in such times of crisis is vital.


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HANDLING HOMEWORK HASSLES

HANDLING HOMEWORK HASSLES

In the race for academic excellence, it has been seen that the amount of homework a child brings home has been on a steady rise. Gone are the days when children could complete school work and yet have enough time to explore, be creative and spend some leisure time with family. Homework today gives children barely any time to breathe and many a times, intrudes upon family time or play time, both which are of utmost importance to a child. Amidst the child’s tuitions, hobby classes, play time etc, it becomes a herculean task to fit in homework time as well, without compromising on other activities. Parents are often left confused about how involved they need to be in their child’s homework. How much help is too much or too little? In these cases, children look to their parents for help and it becomes important for parents to teach their children the importance of structuring one’s day properly and developing effective study skills in order to maximize learning in minimum time.

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TAMING THOSE TANTRUMS

TAMING THOSE TANTRUMS

Tantrums include a wide range of emotional reactions including, screaming, crying, throwing things, stiffening the body, breath holding spells, angry ranting, excessive stubbornness etc. Tantrums can be thrown by children, young and old, in social situations or in the confines of one’s own house. As a child grows older, his/her tantrums change shape and become less ear shattering and violent. They take the form of linguistic responses, like arguing etc and involve lesser action. Tantrums are born out of emotions and feelings that the child is unable to deal with and control. They usually stem out of fear, insecurity, jealousy, anger etc and many a times are purely attention seeking by nature. These tantrums result in a lot of embarrassment in social situations and often leave parents confused about how to deal with them. Dealing with these tantrums effectively and training children, early on, to recognize and express their feelings appropriately can help children grow into well adjusted and well balanced individuals.


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BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY

BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY

How often do you come home to hear your children complain about not spending enough time with them? How often do you genuinely want to devote quality to your children and their needs but find that you are left with no energy to do so? In today’s world, parents have to juggle an overwhelming amount of responsibility at work and at home. Increasing work pressures lead to lesser and lesser time with family, which in turn, leads to children feeling neglected, insecure and angry. So is it possible to achieve a perfect balance between work and family? It is, but it is not automatic and requires continuous effort and work. It is important to remember that creating that balance is an ongoing process and needs to change with changing times. Making a conscious decision to work at it, setting realistic and attainable goals, understanding how to prioritize and staying true to one’s values can help in coming one step further to attain that balance.


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KEEPING UP WITH CHANGING FAMILY SYSTEMS

KEEPING UP WITH CHANGING FAMILY SYSTEMS

Over the years, family units have undergone a major change and family sizes have become smaller. In urban India, joint family systems are rapidly being replaced by nuclear and single parent families. In single parent families, the parent often finds it very difficult to keep up with the child’s growing emotional and economic needs and ends up feeling overburdened and overwhelmed. Most single parents, also being working professionals as they are the sole breadwinners in the family, find it difficult to balance work, children and household duties. Many a times this leaves children feeling neglected, hurt and deprived and these feelings, if not dealt with early on, may end up becoming a part of the child’s personality later on in life. The parent sometimes is left confused about how to take on the multiple roles of a father, mother, friend, disciplinarian etc at the same time. In such cases, disciplining your child early on, establishing ground rules, spending quality time with your child, being involved in your child’s life, asking for help from appropriate individuals and agencies when required and teaching your child the value of money and being financially responsible can help build a foundation for a strong and deep bond between parent and child.



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HELPING YOUR CHILD HANDLE PEER PRESSURE

HELPING YOUR CHILD HANDLE PEER PRESSURE

Being a child in today’s world can be tough. Children are faced with challenges from a very early age and have to make tough decisions at every step of life. Their morality is put to test very often and the battle between being true to ones values and giving in; in order to fit in makes life hard for them. Peer pressure is an inevitable force that children have to face and this force, many a times, leads to children doing things just in order to be ‘cool’. The need to belong, to be popular and to be liked is what drives children to behave in a certain way. Peer pressure usually hits the peak in a child’s teenage years where acceptance by peers is vital and the child begins to get curious about trying new things. Furthermore, being surrounded by temptations makes it very difficult for the child to say ‘no’. Therefore, as parents, it becomes essential to instill in children a strong sense of individuality and values from an early age. Teaching them the difference between negative and positive peer pressure, instilling in them a sense of self and confidence in order to say ‘no’ when needed and helping them identify their true friends is very important. Helping them grow into confident and secure individuals so that they don’t have to rely on external validation and approval all the time is also essential.

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Dealing with negative emotions in the family.

Dealing with negative emotions in the family.

Children go through a range of emotions in their daily lives at school, play and home. The easiest emotion to handle and deal with is happiness, joy and acceptance. The most difficult emotion is anger, resentment, hurt and rejection. It is these negative emotions that children need help to deal with.

Dealing with an angry child is often the most difficult and painful part of daily parenting. Especially when the parent may have issues related to dealing with their own emotions like stress, frustration or otherwise due to the pressures of daily living.

Children usually learn and copy from the parents and hence the parent has to make an extra effort to act and behave in a controlled manner even under demanding situations. When a parent gets angry at a screaming child, this action reinforces the child’s behaviour and also exposes the trigger points to the child.

Managing one’s negative and angry emotions is a lot of hard work especially in front of the child, but this is one of the areas that a parent must learn to deal with to avoid possible damage in the future to the child as well as the environment that the child is growing up in.

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Educating the child about Good touch and Bad touch

Educating the child about Good touch and Bad touch

Children today face a very real and scary danger that has a long lasting effect on the child’s future.

Children are exposed to “inappropriate touching” not only by strangers but also from known adults who might be relatives or family friends.

The concept of “Good touch / Bad touch” must be explained, very clearly, to children at an appropriate time when the child is old enough to understand.

Apart from explaining the concept, importantly, also explain what the child should do in case of “inappropriate touching” by anybody and also foster in them the confidence that there is always someone at hand to help and unfailingly rescue the child.

As soon as a parent knows that their child is able to grasp simple concepts, they should try and explain the concept in simple and unambiguous terms.

Parents have to be aware that having an empathetic relationship with children along with open communication and knowing who the people are in your child’s life are the best defense for your children.

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