By Gayatri Jhaveri
One of the most beautiful feelings is when your offspring is born and enters your life. The journey from then becomes a road filled with experiences and learnings. Parenting is one such lesson no school, teacher or human can teach. We only learn while we are in it and experience it day by day, time by time. Sometimes we feel exhausted, and sometimes the bliss is unexplainable. All those sleepless nights seem worth it, while the anticipation of how many more still walk with us.
Understanding your child is one of the most important things that one needs to learn as a parent. It is very helpful in becoming effective in guiding and nurturing your child as they grow and mature. You need to bear in mind that your child has a unique personality trait that remains consistent throughout life. Being a responsible parent is hard, especially in this day and age when parents spend more time working rather than being with their kids. Quality time is difficult to achieve when you are trying to juggle your time between corporate life and parenthood. Not many people achieve success in parenthood and this could be frustrating on your part. Understanding your child is one effective way of becoming successful in the art of parenting.
Our aim is to be with you while you're on this journey. We may not experience the same situations as you or feel the same emotions, and yet we understand you and how parenting can be difficult to Breath in.
One of the ways you can understand your child is by observing them as they sleep, eat, or play. Look for the consistent traits. Which activities do they like best? Is adjusting to changes easy for them or do they need time to become familiar with these things? These things are the normal characteristics of a child and your child may not be an exception.
It's in every parent's nature to see his or her children in ways most others don't. In some cases, wearing rose-colored glasses benefits the self-esteem of parents and kids alike. In others, though, it can foster denial that helps no one. Various studies have proved that children learn more from observing and experiencing the world than by taught words. Responsible parents provide the right examples and behavior to their children to learn from. Instead of saying 'be polite', demonstrate politeness by being polite in your everyday life. By understanding your child's development, you will be able to provide them with opportunities as well as toys that can boost their development and prepare them for the next phase of their growth. At the same time, you as a parent would be able to set expectations and limits that are acceptable to your child.
Children are not pets, that parents put on a leash. They are not trophies or medals that should be showed off to friends, so the latter would feel inferior and less fortunate. The problem is, parents sometimes "exploit" their children by telling everyone in the neighborhood or their circle of friends how lucky they are to have such great kids. To make it worse, some parents become too cocky and fail to realize that they are putting quite a lot of unrealistic expectations on their children. And when their kids do not meet these expectations, they would be so disappointed in them or get mad even because, well, their reputation among their friends would get tainted. They would end up a laughingstock in the Proud Parents Society and, of course, no parent wants that. There is absolutely nothing wrong to be proud of your children, especially if they are doing so well in school, sports or anything they have put their interest in. But, please, parents, be realistic and reasonable. There are a lot of ways to show how proud you are of your children without compromising their reputation, your ego (which you surely take care of so much), and especially your relationship with them. You can just hug your kid and tell him/her how blessed and happy you are to have such great son/daughter. It is better and means a lot more to him/her.
A child's image of his/her parents depends, among other things, on how the latter sees and treats the former. And being at the front line of a child's growth and development, there is a great chance that kids will see what their parents do and say as (always) true and correct. If parents will treat children as equals - people who think and move and have a life of their own - and with more consideration to their actual being but still maintaining (and certainly, not abusing) that due parental authority, then the kids will feel more appreciated and secured. In effect, they will admire, respect and love their parents more, and eventually become great parents themselves.
No matter how young a person is, the fact remains that he is a human being - a thinking person. As such, he certainly knows what he wants. A kid may understand less than adults do, but that does not at all mean they do not understand anything. A preschooler knows what he wants to be when he grows up (only that this might more likely change depending on the values and interests he develops and the environment he grows in). A teenager knows whether he likes to take engineering in the best school there is or he wants to pursue his passion for music or photography instead. Even a baby knows when his mother forgets to feed him. Parents should respect their children's thoughts. It is not because they are younger than adults, who are self-proclaimed mature people, should disregard what the youth have to say. Parents should genuinely listen to and understand their children and not impose on them their own thoughts and values. In our next series, we shall present with things responsible parents do and things responsible parents do not do. We do not mean to offend the parents, but we aim to support them and help them understand their children.
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