Four-point strategy: A fundamental approach to modern parenting

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Sep 2018 12:34:18


 

By DR RASHMIN DESHMUKH,

 

This is not an expert’s word of advice on parenting as the title may suggest. These days so much is communicated about the happening theme, through media messages, articles, blogs, workshops etc. The professional advice on the subject of course holds a value. Yet, modern day parenting remains a difficult to tread path for majority. Why? Is the question that naturally follows! 

While parenting tips are being increasingly used by conscious parents to tackle children’s tantrums and address difficulties on the route, a lack of fundamental understanding of parenting dynamics has led to it being perceived as a challenging task. If we deeply introspect, and rightly analyze the core of parenting crux, if we simply apply ancient values and traditional wisdom to it I am sure parenting can be a soft take.


Things in the contemporary world have changed for sure. According to parents, kids have become very ‘hyper’ aggressive, peevish and obstinate. Specialists say there is definitely some genetic change in children. And children feel they have every right to exercise their smallest choice and freedom in their tied up, routine at an early age.
Ambitions of present day parents so also the desires of their offshoots have precociously heightened to mountain peaks. All this is given a bad boost by an increasingly materialistic environment.


Here I just want to focus on the core of good parenting gained through a difficult yet endearing experience and encompassed in four simple but vital points. If parenting is based on these four pillars I am sure it can turn it into a steady, happy and great going.


The first point -Parents need to be peaceful come what may-For a positive parenting the primary requirement is the parent’s composed state of mind. Modern day life is undoubtedly stressful. Additionally parents have also grown pushy, expectant, ambitious, and insecure about children’s life and future. This initiates tremendous stress and sets up agitated responses of parents leading to an inability to handle with poise many trying situations, which parenting involves. Parents please do bring moderation in every way, master anger and other negative emotions, first be at peace with yourself. Keep repeatedly telling yourself that many times silence can be the best response for any moment. Practice meditation.


Today many parents carry high parenting ideals and want to be the best parents. But in their attempt to perfection parenting, they somewhere depart from being ‘natural’ in their approach. The endeavour thus enters into an artificial complex mode instead of easing off to a simpler one.


Dear parents, ideal parenting isn’t all about making your children role models of ideal character and conduct or ‘like yourself’. It is simply and naturally (sans force) inculcating positive values and nourishing constructive and creative sentiments in children. Today most mothers and fathers carry guilt of not being able to devote much time for kids. Children really don’t want a handsome share of parent’s time they only want a small piece of your huge cake. They just want few moments to be listened, loved and fondly caressed. I think every parent can gift children these little moments from their over timed clocks.


Parenting is neither an art nor a science it is just God gifted parental ‘presence’ in children’s life. The ‘presence’ needs to be practiced with certain basic virtues of unconditional love, divine peace, great patience, endless positivity and selfless devotion. So parents need to permanently set mind at ease, practice equanimity and react placidly in their worldly existence as parents.


Point number two- Empathy for children. We proudly consider ourselves competent, caring and loving parents but many of us are unable to gauge the subtle ideas, thoughts, feelings as well as the development stages of our children. We need to develop an imaginative empathy and insight into our children’s tender heart.


Actually we need to land ourselves to the same level as children. We often operate at a different (higher) level of our own considerations, wishes, morals, and apprehensions and children dwell at the normal level of their playfulness, love, possessiveness, naughtiness, innocence, ignorance. The mismatch, leads to misinterpretation and misunderstanding and conflicts follow. Children’s reactions are often misperceived by parents for example, possessiveness in a child may be out of unalloyed attachment, obstinacy may be due to insecurity and anger may be a reflection of anxiety, fear or physical pain. This leads to trouble. We need to understand and respect the individuality of our brood. Without fail we must update ourselves with knowledge of child psychology.


Point number three - Let parenting not be centred merely on ethics, values, principles, social norms and traditions and on cognitive development. Let emotional and spiritual development be the heart of it. Let the good sentiments like, love, gratitude, kindness, compassion, sympathy, brotherhood and even empathy develop and prosper in our progeny in a finely guided way. Let value building not be a forced activity. To the maximum parents can guide children regarding what is right and wrong and also alert them about the future consequences of inappropriate actions. You can guide children to goodness but can't impose it on them.


Prospering good sentiments in children will automatically take them to the righteous path. And if after all the efforts children are not ready to walk on the path shown let them learn from their errors, these mistakes, often lead to natural and durable value building.


The fourth point- Parents being role models- For me parenting has revealed one fundamental truth that children learn less when we preach them theoretically however repeatedly and eagerly we express. Children simply mimic our behaviour and quickly adopt ‘us’ in every way. They talk the way we talk, they smile the way we smile, they react to life’s events the way we react, they interact with people the way we do. They follow the rules we follow and also practice values that we demonstrate.


In fact at a very early stage children begin thinking like us and even develop interest in things we show inclination for. This is because the same blood that runs in them, knows well where to flow. So parents becoming role models, and demonstrating ideal demeanour before offspring is the key to their best blooming.  Let parenting be based on the above four imperative points and I have immense faith they will lead to a gracious parenting.


I conclude with four lines of heartfelt advice for neo parents. Please do teach your children how to rightly take failures and disappointment because current generation is absolutely not used to it. Learn to say no to their unreasonable demands in a clear yet sober manner. Restrict their use of electronic gadgets in any and every form. And last don’t burden your children with your own aspirations it will forever bury their beautiful childhood and also, their natural self.