In the modern DINK (Double Income No Kid) families parenthood is facing an extinction of its very existence. Modern trend in family life today takes parenting as a burdensome experience dragging families into a shattered condition. Fast lifestyle and consumerism of computer era view parenting also as an enigmatic experience.
But in reality, parenting is an experience of sharing the joyful creation work of God. It is in the family that a child undergoes the wonderful transitions of infancy into childhood, childhood into adolescence and from adolescence into fully developed personality. It is an interesting journey of failures and successes.
Parenting needs a level-headed approach to bringing up children without spoiling them. It is a patient and perseverant journey.
Ten important tips to make parenting an experience of pleasure.
1) The problems of child-rearing lie with the parents and not the children
It is the mother that carves out the growth of a child. In the South Indian language there is a saying, “As the mother is, so is the child.” It is cent percent true. A restless, impatient mother turns her child to be an attention-seeking adult. A mother who makes parenting a bargain gets a demanding and selfish child. Newton’s law, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction,” is not exempted in parenting.
2) Take parenting as a delightful journey and not a painful exercise
In our parenting activities, such as getting things done, bathing, feeding, packing the school bag, etc., one should not forget that those are the luckiest times for which many parents long.
3) Assign a time for every daily chore and make it a fun
It is with the daily chores that most of the parents find parenting a burden. If each daily chore is assigned a time and made into a regular ritual, with the child playing as much a role as the parent, the parental duty becomes fun and not a burden.
4) Play with your children
“Time has become a commodity that we are running out of in terms of family.” The fast and busy life spares no time for our beloved children! Playing with the children has become a thing of the past. Parents want to watch TV or movies and children also do the same. There is no interaction. A family that plays together stays together. While you play, leave behing your parent image and be a child.
5) Make simple rules and stick by them
Children are intelligent and they easily find loopholes in discipline. Simple rules, suitable for them, will be healthy for the children. Kids do not like parent’s shouting or bad language. Parents also are expected to be exemplary in following them.
6) Be aware that comparisons are odious
Unhealthy comparisons irritate children rather than doing them good. Children are not mere puppets. They too have feelings and emotions. They are not dolls to wind them and set them down. Respect their personality and their right to say ‘no’. Do not scold them in front of others.
7) Teach the children frustration tolerance
A poor tolerance of frustration is the source of all anger and emotional behaviors. Children are frustrated at the inability to take ‘no’ for an answer. A good parents needs to say ‘no’—a gentle ‘no’. Your ‘no’ should not sound like any punishment or threat. Explain your child things. This is, of course, a difficult lesson; but very important in parenting.
8) Spare the rod and rear the child
A parent who resorts to corporal punishment, slapping of abusing, is only displaying his/ her own inadequacy. Punishment or negative reinforcement means the withdrawal of some privilege or action which shows displeasure. It is true that drive us up the wall with their behavior. But we have to learn patience and correct the child in a positive way. Criticize the mistake and not the child.
9) Your moral presence is important
Nowadays we find parents rushing their children around for so many extra classes like, swimming, music, gym, etc. thinking that they are engaging their children in ‘quality time.’ They feel that hey are free when they send their children to such classes. The children have to be free. They should be allowed to have their own time. But wherever they are, your moral presence around them is quite necessary.
10) Never try to bribe them off
Perhaps your may be under the impression that money can buy anything and everything. But practical experience says it is not true. You cannot assuage your guilt by buying your children gifts. Your presence cannot be substituted with expensive presents. If you are employed you may find it hard to spare time to spend time with your children. That does not mean that you can compensate your absence by plying them with expensive gifts. Try to spend as much time as possible with your children. Make up the missing moments.
Your child is your joy. In Tamil there is a Thirukkural poem which means, people who do not experience the joy of a child only will say music and other entertainments are pleasurable. Parenting is a joyful journey. It is an experience of ‘heaven on this earth’!