By: Laiba Muhammad Aamir
Before 17th century, the society was almost completely patriarchal. It was way too simple. Homes would be run only by male members while the female members performed only the job of obedience. Since then, a lot of advancement came and the simple society gradually became a complex one. Freedom became the most prominent shout-out of this era but with freedom came responsibility, upon the shoulders of parents, at first place. Parenting now is not as easy as it used to be in the past.
Parents are those revered people who give body to our lingering souls, add pleasures to our lives, make a unique person out of us, show us the actual purpose of life and tell how slavery can turn into freedom and the other way round. They are those we follow the footsteps of. Children, in one way or another, mirror their parents and their parenting. Parenting is an art that first needs to be learnt rather than applied. Due to many individual and social reasons, this art is long forgotten. The more complex this art became, the more it was left behind.
Let’s discuss some tips for the revival of this art:
Be your child’s friend
Jane D. Hull said, “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” Parents should treat their children like close friends because children spend most of their time in their early age in their parents’ shadow. The curtains of friendship are more transparent than those of the parenthood. Be that parent to your child who comes at the top of their ‘friends’ list. Parents need to show their authoritative side only when it is pressingly needed. Don’t let your children keep secrets. However, this friendship should not forget rules and respect.
Learn from your children
Don’t always act like a boss who pretends to know every single word. Give this confidence to your children that they posses this capability of making someone to learn from them. Learning should not be bound to age or relation. A baby who is taking its initial breaths can teach you a lot more than a 70-year-old man. Give this surety to your children that you trust them. It is a grim truth that – particularly in our society – most parents take it as insult when their children want them to understand something.
Outings and sessions
Do not confine your children to the walls of school and home. Try to increase their exposure to the outside world. The more one does interaction and exposure, the more one can learn. In addition, arranging session on daily basis also leaves a very strong impact on a child’s mind. If parents want to be in their children’s memory, they need to give them proper time every day as said by Charles R. Swindoll that each day of our lives, we make deposits in the memory bank of our children. This session may include sharing daily routine and experiences. However, in modern time, these interactions are usually ignored because of busy schedules which are one of the major causes of children’s indifference to important matters.
Be tolerant to your child’s criticism
Mostly, parents do not take criticism by their children seriously; rather they get angry with them. This is not the way to deal with them. Try to dig out the reason why the criticism was even made. Children feel more than parents believe they do. Getting harsh is not the solution. Parenting is all about patience. You need to be a good actor pretending patience. Never let your ego come in between when it is you and your child.
Alternative of hiring a maid
Because of the busy schedules of working parents, specifically mothers cannot give enough time to children. They prefer to either put them in a day care or hire a maid at home. No problem. But don’t expect same behaviour from your child the way a normal child behaves who is reared in the shadow of blood relations. There is no other way.
Children start showing their natural talents at an early age but sometimes they get spoiled or go into hibernation because of the strict rules followed by the parents. Do not impose your will on your children. Give them freedom to express themselves. Your job is to show good and bad. Let them know their own selves. Give them the confidence of making firm decisions.
Teach them to socialize
Most parents are overprotective and over-possessive about their children. In doing so, they, nonetheless, put their confidence and social skills into danger. Encourage your children talk to and converse with people. It will help them explore their own selves through community exposure. However, some people think that if a child is brought up all alone in a mirror-walled home, it will grow up with all the positive adjectives. No way! Teach them how to live in this world.
Think before you speak
Carl Jung once said, “Children are educated what the grown-up is, and not by his talks.” Actions speak louder than words. But, also the conversation between parents leaves a very long-lasting impact on a child’s mind. It can affect its personality in more than one way. So, parents need to be extra-conscious while discussing anything before children.
Stop embarrassing them
Most of the parents rebuke their children in public. It is severely damaging to their inner self. Make yourself and your child sit calmly and discuss the issue(s). Embarrassing them in public is never a good way to mould them into perfection. Many times, when children get low grades, parents discourage them so much that they stop struggling. Why not to tell them that everything serves a purpose!
The art of parenting is not an art to be learnt only by parents but every human being. At one or another stage of our life, we all regret if this art is left unlearnt.