New-Age Parenting Tips

Heemal H Bhat

Principal, Hansraj Model School, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi

“There are only two bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Bequeathing these two priceless legacies has become not less than a challenge for the modern Indian parents in view of the unprecedented explosion of virtual world, mounting materialism and disintegration of joint family ideology.

Due to an indiscriminate ingress into quack reality dished out by media, the youngand impressionable minds have become more vulnerable than ever before. With so many distractions and baits at play, the child is bound to lose track of his priorities and falls prey to foolish daredevilry and herd mentality. Unfortunately, it turns out to be taxing and arduous for the parents to maintain equilibrium between one’s roots and modernity. Upholding a perfect blend of traditions and contemporary world becomes a major challenge that falls on the shoulders of the parents. Instilling a sense of pride and belongingness in his roots and identity along with adapting him to the changing needs of his times is constantly keeping the new-age parents engaged with their kid. Consequently, the distance between the parents and the child grows bigger and plays havoc with the ever so sensitive relationship.

To avoid the hiccups of unforeseeable, it becomes imperative for the parents to promote holistic growth of their kid that involves not only physical and intellectual development but lays identical emphasis on the emotional and social augmentation of the child. Parenting is more about good judgement rather than fulfilling basic needs of the child. Not letting the so called generation gap play its vicious role, the watchful parents needto understandwhen to help and when to back off. Before attempting to bring desired changes in child’s behavior, it is equally significant for the parents to grow emotionally and mentally. Pushing children to imbibe talents we wish to witness in our child is not desirable round the clock. It is crucial for the parents to bring necessary changes in them as the child grows.

Effective parenting is an art that focuses on the intricacies of raising a child and strengthening the bond between parents and their loved ones. The basic task of parenting necessitates few attributes like:-

  • Meeting the child’s basic needs:-Watching over your child’s safety and health and participating actively in his schooling should aim at fostering positive intellectual growth of the kid.

  • Nurturing skills:- For healthy social and emotional well-being, opportunities for encouragement and enrichment play a vital role in one’s growth. It is rightly said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Parents need to give children the freedom to learn and experiment to cultivate their skills.

  • Acknowledging passive learning:-Kids are like a mirror, what they see and hear is what they do. Be a good reflection for them. Avoiding harsh language, aggression and violence in the presence of children is the ongoing requisite for all parents. They need to understand that passive learning has a long lasting impact on the vulnerable minds of the children. Clarity of thoughts and viewing in terms of child’s opinion paves way for bridging the gap between children and parents.

    Accordingly, our efforts should not be directed towards legislating the thoughts of the children but focus on regulating our children’s behavior or helping them regulate their own behavior. Positive reinforcement and infrequent use of strict punishment supports the development of a child’s autonomy within reasonable limits thereby enhancing capabilities and psycho-motor skills of the children.

    In this mechanical world, parents also believe in quick action and immediate results. Parenting is an ongoing process and not a consequence of instantaneous efforts. As a parent, a little involvement in child’s personal needs can have a profound impact on their sensitive minds. The secret of child’s psychosocial development and fine parenting is concealed in parental involvement. Keeping in mind the paradigm and tectonic shift in the parental roles and responsibilities, I hereby offer some practical Parental guidelines to be internalised and actualised through actions.

  • Begin with you:- Do you model the behavior you want your child to adopt? Preaching behavior that is undesirable of you leaves a negative impact. Love and logic play an essential role in inculcating value-oriented thoughts and connecting the juvenile minds to our roots. Anger and frustration feed misbehavior. At times, we as parents need to step away from situation before addressing it.

  • Making time:- Spending quality time with your child supports child’s growth. Why not have some gadget free time at home.

  • Rules and routines:- Simplify rules for clear explanation and cheerful atmosphere at home. Flexible and dynamic rules make the children self-reliant.

  • Get to “Yes:- We wish our children to ask for permissions every time. Don’t you think it is draining to always be the voice of “No”. Set rules that should be followed at home and get them to hear “Yes”.

  • Focus on the positive:- Recognizing positive behavior should be done unconditionally. Deciding rewards for every positive action do not have enduring outcomes.

So, as Jane D. Hull has famously said, “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents”, let’s re-evaluate and redefine our role for the amelioration of our kid.

Happy Parenting!

Heemal H Bhat

Principal, Hansraj Model School, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi