“If you score above X0% in your final exams, I will buy you a bicycle.”, “You behaved badly, now mumma won’t talk to you anymore.” Have you ever heard or said these statement? I heard it being said to a child and it kind of confused me. Firstly are you trying to send a message to your child that while all his friends peddle away in the park, he will have to earn the right to have his own bicycle? Secondly, is it not the child’s responsibility to make sure he fared well in school and to the best of his ability? What message was the adult sending to the child – that everything in life is either a reward – a brand new bike; or a punishment – no bike? Does a child have to constantly behave in a manner so as to make you love him? I made up my mind in that moment that when it comes to my child I will be unconditional. He will see reason in order to learn the big stuff in life.
Years ago my husband and I were lazing on a fairly secluded beach in South Goa. There we witnessed a sight, which we quickly made up our minds for, was to be our parenting mantra for the future. We saw a little boy who belonged to parents from Europe. It was actually a group of some 3 families who were travelling with babies. He was dressed in nothing but plain white underwear and was frolicking freely on the beach, playing, falling, running on the sand. His parents sipped their drinks under the shade of the beach resort’s cafe. The child was living his life. He must not have been more than a year and half. He could barely walk. But he was out there, living the touristy life. And we wanted it too. We wanted to give our future child that carefree life.
Most parenting is about receiving conflicting opinions from people around you. Your own parents and grandparents give you information from a time where most things were natural, homegrown and uncompromised. While you want to believe and follow much of their wisdom we find that most of it is not practical or available today. Speaking of friends, colleagues and peers, you may not have babies around the same time or maybe geographically scattered. Parenting philosophies also may not match. How then do you gain information, that has been tested by application and proven to give results? How do you find support in situations which you know your friends and family may not understand or have experience in? Continue reading
If the world of books was a wonderful place where one could get lost in time and travel to an enchanted place, children’s books are the way to get there. Parents today are increasingly introducing their babies and children to books from an early age. You would guess this would be when the children start reading. But, No. Children are being read to from the time they are as little as a newborn or even before – from the time they have been in mummy’s tummy. Continue reading
Why is the sky blue? Why doesn’t the doggy wear a diaper? Why do we do potty? Where does the water in the washbasin go? And the most famous one – Are we there yet? Thankfully babyT is still a little too young to ask that last question. But hey, did you even attempt to mentally answer these questions? Did you seek the right answers full of logic? Then you are wrong my dear friend! Parenting is all about finding innovative answers to the many questions your children will ask you, because the same questions will be asked to you a million times over. Sadly most parents lose their nerve when their children ask them questions. Half hearted attempts to answer turn to frustration and soon enough the child learns to not ask, not learn and not be curious. You see asking questions is a very healthy habit and you, the parent must encourage it. It’s not just learning the facts and information, it is a lot more than that.
At a time, not so long ago, parenting was about being the leader, absolute authority and disciplinarian. Today we see a very different version of this. Look around you, parents are asking their children for their choices and preferences. They are handling difficult situations much like they would mediate adult conflicts. They are setting goals and providing opportunities to their children much like how it happens in the corporate world. Have parents today gone nuts and living in some crazy bubble? Or are these techniques showing positive results on the development of the child? Positive parenting is seeming to raise happy, healthy kids and showing similar results on the parents too. Continue reading