The Parenting Mantra
Parenting – there’s so much to it, much more than we can fathom. Since the time I have become s mum in fact when I was expecting I started reading articles and blogs about parenting. People sharing their experiences, what worked for them, what didn’t? Though my daughter is just 11 months old, I see that she now follows what we communicate and that has opened new doors for me. It has also made me conscious of so many things I might inadvertently do/say that I need to be mindful of. It makes muse over many other things. Some of them that I feel are worth penning go by –
1) Create a positive body image for your child. Today with social media taking over our lives, everyone obsessed with posting the best selfie, having the picture perfect look and figure, I would not want my child to be a part of this body shaming culture. The way I can help her develop a strong self worth is by setting the right example in the first place. I look so ugly in this dress; I have become so fat look at my tummy bulging out. Don’t we say this at times by looking at ourselves in the mirror? The child is listening. Here we are giving him a message fat is ugly. It’s important as parents we take pride and embrace our bodies first. Only then can we teach them that there is so much more to beauty than what is out there.
2) Squabbles and arguments are bound to take place between 2 people, it’s hard to digest that they would agree in perfect harmony over every matter. It was different before a baby. Now when you have a little one watching, it’s important to be mindful about what we talk. I was stunned to see my daughter who was all of 9 months exhibiting signs of discomfort when I and the husband were having a tiff. When a 9 month old can sense this, you can imagine what an older child would go through. It is bound to impact them in an adverse manner.
3) Minimize your screen time: We all love doing various thing with our phones- I like writing blogs, reading blogs by others and online shopping, you may like something else. But once home try and switch off from the phone world completely if you really want to spend quality time with your kid. Multitasking won’t work here, when it comes to a child, undivided attention is what is needed. Don’t complain then when the child grows up and follows your footsteps of being immersed in his tab or phone 4) Be conscious of gender biasesVery often what we do and say may subconsciously breed gender biases. Let’s start early – let us raise fearless daughters who grow up with the belief that they can achieve what they want- not being a boy doesn’t stop them from doing anything. And let’s raise our sons to be respectful and someone who does not shy away from entering the kitchen or doing household chores.
5) Birds and bees – The recent spike in cases of sexual assault make it clear that there is a need to talk openly to children about not just the good and bad touch but so much more. It’s time we give them the age appropriate information, build that trust. 6) Children these days get everything far too easilythan we got at their age. With most couples working, the standard of life is much better but what worries me is ” do they realize the worth of things?” Do they know that everyone is not as fortunate as them to get everything on a platter? A peek into the lives of less fortunate by visiting an orphanage ( I have done it personally and it always makes me feel humble). I intend to take my daughter along when she grows up, not to tell her see you are so lucky but to teach her compassion and show her the true world” beyond the 4 walls that she is confined to at present”.
7) Earn your bread or maybe I should say brownies. Rather than giving in to each demand of children, we can allot them tasks like help mummy lay the dining table, or make the bed, and allot them points for each job well done. This can also include good behavior within its ambit, once they accumulate a certain number of points they can buy say the toy they wanted or have McDonald happy meal. That way they understand that there are no free lunches and we are inculcating the habit of helping with household chores
8) Finally a happy parent raises a happy child, only when you are truly content could you pass on the same to your offspring. As adults life is far from blissful. We have our share of worries and stress including office tensions, emi and other domestic worries but it’s important we do not brood over it in front of our children.
One miraculous thing motherhood has done to me is – the moment I step into the house and look at my little girl’s smiling face I forget all my office tensions. Parenting is a roller coaster ride. I find myself evolve as s human being after I became a parent. I constantly learn new things, make mistakes, learn from them and grow. Here’s a toast to all those who are a party of this wonderful ride. Cheers!