Dr. Sarita Bhargava – Pediatrician.
Qualified PALS by Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
Author of a very popular book ‘Your Precious Gem & You’.
Parents like to bring up children according to their own ways . Some like to adopt the measures in which they were brought up while others condemn the old methods of upbringing .The practices depend on the career of the parent and his desire for the career of his child .
Parenting practices depict the specific behavior parents adopt in raising children .Depending on the occupation and likings , we can see a number of ways for upbringing children.To promote survival skills an agriculturist / hunter parent trains his child to use the various tools from an early age . A parent demanding academic success will start reading books to the child from infancy .Parents in individualistic countries interact with their children face to face and talk about the children themselves .These children learn to act independently and recognize themselves at a younger age in the mirror test . In contrast, people in communal cultures talk about other people when interacting with the child .The child is made to see what the mother is seeing. He is thereby given the message of mixing up with the community .The children in this culture develop self regulation and co-operation earlier than those in the individualistic cultures.
The child who recognizes himself as an individual plays by himself whereas the child from the communal culture waits for the mother’s instruction for picking up the toy to play .He can control his emotions to play with the toy and will also readily share the toy with other children whilst playing.
Is child’s behavior always a reflection of his parents that is to what extent the child’s behavior resemble that of his parents—Parents raise the children according to their interests and taste . Children are seen being deprived of developing their sense of self. The Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran rightly says ,“ Though children are with us and come through us their soul does not belong to us . We are the stable bows from which our children as living arrows are sent forth.”It is not necessary that the child will have the interests and likings similar to his parents and therefore their careers will be different.
Parenting requires a lot of skill and patience . Parent’s patience is tested at all times ,as when teaching various aspects as discipline , good behavior , social etiquettes and social lessons. Parenting with irritable mind excites the child to take up hyperactive behavior . Research shows that children benefit most when the parents are of calm temperament and have a helping nature .They will not scream or yell when they are in anger but believe in talking to the child after being calm.Talking and listening to the child with patience helps to bring the two closer.The parent thinks before speaking and readily communicates to the child about being upset at the moment. He decides to talk with the child later on about the disturbing issue. The child should be heard to properly when discussing the tough issues . The issue can be discussed in many sittings .If the problem cannot be solved then opinion of social workers ,school counselors or other parents can be taken .The parents should make an attempt to deal with the problem issues when they arise ,as they are small in the beginning .They should talk about the tough issues straight way ,so that the child gains confidence in them regarding their attitude of caring and helping him solve the problem.
The parents are considered great when –
- parents are able to develop a warm, caring , supporting family . All members should respect and support each other . They should spend enough quality time together .The family members should be all together at the dining table for meals at least once in 24 hours .Family members should be on outings weekly which will enable them to enjoy collectively .A lot of issues can be taught to the child through play and fun activities .
- Have open communication with the children : When communicating with children have an honest interaction . Listen to them carefully and welcome their suggestions .Parents should take children in their confidence by talking and listening to them in such a manner that will show that they really value them . They should fulfill all promises which have been made. The children should be treated in the manner as they themselves want to be treated by others.
- Connects children to other responsible adults : Make the children meet responsible persons like their friends and elderly members in the community. They teach them the manner of interacting with them and regarding them .Use of THANKYOU and PLEASE should also be conveyed .The adults can be the Role Models for the children outside family. They will be a boon to the family as the children will learn a lot by interacting and observing them. Parents should fix the time for study , outdoor play and TV viewing .Children should be allowed to play in the parks or secure playgrounds under the supervision of the elder sibs or some elders .The time period in front of the TV and using internet should be limited and supervised.
- Get involved in the children’s school activities :By this the parents show their responsibility for educating them. They should be in touch with the teachers. This can be done by attending the parent teacher meetings and conferences held in the school. The parents can communicate through emails if they fail to attend the above meets. They can also get involved by becoming coaches for games.
- Empowers the children to contribute : They should share the work with the family members and involve them in housework.The children can be assigned the household chores according to their age and ability .The children feel valued and gain confidence when they complete the assigned chores and are happy on their achievements.
- Provides safety : It is their moral duty to provide safety to the family. The children should be cared for responsively and supported so that they feel secure . For providing physical safety parents should remove all injurious objects that can harm them. The electric sockets should be covered and all chemicals in the kitchen should be kept under lock .Latches of the toilets should be child proof meaning the child should not be able to open or close them by himself. The children should be instructed about avoiding running and playing on roads , climbing trees and boundary walls .The teens should be advised to use helmets whilst driving and avoid rash driving.
- Set boundaries and high expectations: They should be clear , consistent and reasonable while setting the limits which should be in accordance with the development stages of the children. The consistency should be maintained in disciplining them for improving behavior. A balance should be maintained between praises and finding the faults .Positive behavior should always be rewarded .Talk to them in a positive way eg . instead of saying” don’t throw the bottle” the child can be asked to keep the bottle nearby .They should boost the children morally and must show positivity .
- Make effort to know their children’s friend :Ask the children to invite the friends at home .They should interact with the friends for knowing about their family. They can ask about their interests and extracurricular activities .The children should be shown the way of welcoming friends. This can easily be shown by pretend play between the mother and the child ,mother posing to be the child’s friend.Children love to play with their friends and if they can host them it is a very exciting experience for them.
- are a positive role model:The parents should be the role models for children.The children observe the parents since birth and imitate them in all acts .They will learn the acts which they see their parents doing. Children will quarrel if they see the parents having too many discussions and conflicts. They develop the habit of watching the TV when they see the parents watching it for a long time .Children develop the habit of lying if they make them answer to the visitors or on telephone that they are not at home .A role model is one who has ability to influence lives ,values and life style. Parents have to change their life style if they want to instill good values in their children .
- Utilizes the resources available and reach out into the community . The parents should make the children meet the renowned people in the neighborhood and teach them how to interact . The children should also be shown the path of rendering services in the community program and celebrations. This act will help them becoming laborious and co-operative .
- The parents should start educating themselves in the subjects which the children will be learning .The parents should be well versed in operating the modern electronic gadgets like the mobile phones and the computers so that children does not underestimates them . Children are seen overriding the parents when they come to know their inefficiencies in operating the modern electronic gadgets .