I am sure you must be wondering who on earth would like to learn about how he or she can ruin their kid’s life. But trusts me, parents, we do this, unknowingly often. I am sure at some point or other you would have wondered if I am doing a right job at parenting. Being a parent can be downright daunting. Just like no pregnancy is same, similarly, no parenting is same. Everyone has a different style of parenting.In fact, if you google a word parenting the page will blow up with links like crazy. Everybody has questions and everybody has some answer around this daunting job. It isn’t an easy job, it is more like an art and not science which we all learn throughout our lives. Yet there are few decisions that we take, contribute to the child’s health or overall well-being.
Sharing with you all few traps which we well-intentioned parents unknowingly fall into.
- Agreeing to all their demands:- Go back to your own childhood and remember how you were raised, how not all your demands were agreed by your parents.Not everything we wanted came to us every time. We had to work hard to get what we wanted. We need to practice the same with our kids. Make them value everything
- Dressing your child in expensive designer outfits all the time:- It’s not a question if we can afford today or our parents couldn’t afford back then. It’s about valuing things. My childhood was very simple and me and my sister(3 yrs elder to me) we used to share clothes. In fact, we still follow that after so many years of being married (It has helped us keep our bond strong). Being 3 kids in a family we used to get new clothes every Diwali, but there was an immense charm in that. We valued and cherished it thoroughly. Times have definitely changed and maybe as parents we need to keep kids at par with other kids. However, we need to let them have a simple childhood, without burdens of designer wear always.
- Placing her needs above everyone else’s:- I am sure comparing the parenting style then and now, but I am doing this as I feel we are a product of altogether different parenting. These days we ask our kids often ” how do you feel about it?”. We brought ourselves to the level that we would do things as per our child’s feeling and not what is right for them. The child may not feel like doing homework, or may not feel like talking to someone, or may not like to study at the moment knowing it’s his exam the next day. So, are we going to let them mull over how they are feeling? Maybe its about time we frame our questions differently by asking them What do you think? rather than How do you feel?
- Amusement/Entertainment as the highest priority:- We often make our plans keeping our kid’s entertainment in mind.If the child wants to play a board-game we will ensure that the demand is met. Or if she wants to watch her favorite cartoon for 100th time we will happily abide by the request. Or rather when we are in public areas, we don’t want our child to scream and embarrass us so we hand over the gadget so that the child is engaged. Slowly this becomes a norm and your child will get used to maneuvering you, to keep them constantly amused and entertained. Gone are the times when there were such special days once or twice in the year, now we are trying to make each day a special one for our child. We are going over the top with frequent special outings, fun food, and over the top parties for kids. Let your child find happiness in small things of life, as you have grown with all these small things hence you value all that today. If you place everything on your kid’s feet, trust me your child is heading for trouble.
- Customizing the menu as per your kids wish:- No child should eat what he does not like!!! Do you follow this? Hope not. We should not plan our meals as per the choice of our children. They don’t come with instruction manual and they don’t know whats good or bad for them. We take that call. Hence ensure everything that is good for your child, they have it.Obviously, by this, i do not mean to say that the child should be denied his favourite food. But that’s a luxury which should be allowed once in a blue moon.
- Your marriage takes a backseat:- Usually, once the child is born most of us focus on our children more than our marriage. And when our kids need anything we would be ready to burn the midnight oil and get things done, however when our spouse needs something we might just say please do it yourself since I have too much already on my plate. Believe it or not, your bond with your spouse is the one which requires most of your attention and needs tending. The greatest gift that we can give our children is a strong marriage. It is the foundation of the future for your child. It provides them security, love, belonging, strength and an example which they will follow in future. Remember that quote, home is the first school. Teach them well.
- Enrolling your kid for endless extracurricular activities:- Give time to your children in their early childhood. Try and understand their liking towards a particular hobby. Give them the option to choose what they like the best (definitely, you know better but give them little power, this will help them in decision-making process)
- Not scolding your child for her mistakes:- Always taking your children’s side even when they are wrong or supporting them for their bad behavior. Many parents don’t know the correct way to discipline a child, so they choose to do nothing instead. One need to set clear and consistent rules and consequences for children.If they act out in school or public, take away a privilege such as television or playtime with friends (For younger kids/toddlers don’t talk to them or make them stand in a corner till they realize.Remember discipline comes from the early age. Use timeouts for misbehaving at home and explain why the undesired behavior is unacceptable.
- Don’t share your faith in prayer:- Does your child see your faith in the power of prayer? They can see our devotion once in a month or only as per the special occasion.If we want to pass the vibrant faith of prayer to our kids then we need to practice it often (possibly daily). Pray together as a family. Memorize chants together as a family. Let your children see your faith in everything that you do.
- Fighting with your spouse:- With complete sympathy towards the couple who fight often. I would still like to highlight that calling names to each other, yelling and threatening in front of your child can have the long-term physiological effect. Keep it civil in front of the kids and take arguments into another room or outside. Take your child to a doctor to help get them through a divorce or family problems. Instill in your child that name calling and violence are unacceptable ways to deal with conflict.
I am sure out of the above at least one of the points would have hit your nerve, try attending to that painful nerve. Until the time we have kids living under one roof with us, let’s make the best of efforts to be the parent which we wish to reproduce for future. Cos they don’t come with an instruction manual they follow what we do and what we do they implement and what they implement is the repercussion what they have grown seeing. So you see its vicious cycle. We need to do it the right way today.
Last but not least, everything highlighted above is my personal opinion, you may or may not agree with some or most of it. However, I am trying to help the ones who fall into either of the 10 points (which includes myself)