Parenting the right way!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Aug 2018 12:51:11



By sonal fuke

The other day while watching a movie in the theatre, I suddenly heard commotion and screaming of a child in the otherwise dark and quiet theatre. My curiosity led me to find out that a 5-6 year old cute lad had asked for ice-cream in the interval but the father happened to get popcorn and that too very late! The child got mad and started yelling on the top of his lungs! This whole scene was easily more gripping and thrilling than the movie so I kept following what was happening next. The dad summoned the multiplex employee and asked him to get ice-cream. After ice-cream arrived, the noise instead of muting down again shot up! The 5 year old was again throwing a tantrum, “you got this ice-cream so late, now you have to give me 2 ice creams, I’m telling you, I want 2 ice- creams !” Astonished as I was, I could not believe what the father did next. Irritated, wanting to watch the movie and to curb the tamasha, he again summoned for the multiplex employee for more ice-cream!! I felt a sudden urge of holding a parent counseling session right there, but I controlled the psychologist in me and quietly got back to my movie watching.

We, as a society, are at the cusp of the traditional and modern style of living. Neither can we entirely adopt the traditional methods of raising children nor we are very comfortable with the new lifestyle demands. We cannot fully rely on our earlier generation for parenting tips as zamaana badal gaya hai, nor do we have formal training for parenthood considering the fast changing world.

There are lots of enhancement sessions conducted for employees of corporations, to improve leadership skills, soft skills, managerial skills, so on and so forth. The skills are evaluated from time to time and the company makes sure that everyone improves. The purpose is to create congenial environment at workplace and harmony amongst all humans working and bringing in prosperity to a company.

Not much formal training is available at the home front. We are left on our own to perform all the duties of a spouse, a parent and a member of the family and society. We read blogs, we google for our answers, talk to friends and certainly there is nothing wrong in that, but we do not a have a boss at home who will evaluate us on our performance and we go unchecked. If somebody tries to correct us, we dismiss them as being judgmental. A screaming child in a movie theater unknowingly gives us our evaluation report and raises an alarm as to something is not right somewhere as far as parenting is concerned. Is it the child’s mistake? Did the child learn this behaviour in an instant? The child has been exploring their and our boundaries and is constantly figuring out what works, what doesn’t. Based on the response to the first tantrum, the child either throws a bigger tantrum or accepts that tantrums do not work.

Typically preschool children of working parents either stay with grandparents at home, at day care or with a maid. Long hours of separation creates guilt in the psyche of the parent. Guilt being a negative feeling, generates some unhealthy techniques to compensate for the long hours of separation. For example children easily get away with back answering, playing on phone, watching TV for a long time, parent agreeing for chocolates and similar junk food. Parents might not realise, but instant gratification on a routine basis makes a child emotionally weak and vulnerable. There is a definite rise in childhood and adolescent depression, anxiety disorders and suicides. Somewhere we parents should take responsibility of where the society is going. Delayed gratification is a solution to some of the unwanted behaviour of children. They need to learn to wait, to hang in there without throwing a tantrum, to accept a straight ‘NO’ from the parent. We need to make them strong from within who can accept failure with courage, we as parents need to know the difference between loving and pampering. We need to use our better sense of discretion as to when not to give in to the demands of our children and which ones to fulfill. Expectation of story telling is a legitimate demand which needs to be fulfilled, where as “ice-cream and now” could just be attention seeking and undesirable demand. Many times parent complain that grandparents have spoiled the children by giving in to the demands every time. But again, if the child does not look at you, the parent, for approval before unwrapping the chocolate bar, (even if the grandparent has given it), the parent has not done his/ her homework.

As we try to improve the work culture of an office, we should also think a little bit about the long term investments that we have in our home. Our relationship with our parents, spouse, children, taking care of their emotional needs, helping each other with chores, synergizing the environment at home and ultimately raising the family to the next level is the direction in which we all should be going.