Parenting is a challenging and unique experience! By ‘unique’ I mean that it is something that comes to us only by personal, practical experience. It deals with practical, real-life contexts and therefore can be only-self-taught. Books explaining principles of Parenting or the experiences of others can help us- but cannot be really passed from one to another.
I’d like to share few key factors in my personal parenting experiences:
TIME: I believe my parenting involved the quality of time spent with my daughter, Anoshka. I realised very early that first of all, a child needs the presence of the parent! And all the rest, like toys,games and the likes, becomes secondary.. I have devised new games, experiments and techniques to satisfy a growing and a very intriguing young mind.This on- going process every day, for the last 6 years, has taught me how to be a parent or should I say a good parent.Once Anoshkastarted her schooling I stepped into another phase, as my experiences were made richer as my daughter shared what she learned every day. I want to know about her day, her progress, and what new thing she learned that day. The evenings would speed by with vivid and animated narrations of the events of the day.
LISTEN: My morning starts with the world revolving around my daughter as she surprises me with something new to say about life; and it will come as a statement. I ensure I listen and react to every word my daughter has to say since I do not wish to ignore her or hurt her feelings but at the same time make sure that the communication is meaningful.
AVAILABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS: As a good parent I try to answer Anoshka’squestions onwhatever subject that captures her interest. She is a very observant child. Her questions varies from philosophy to science to basic common sense. I take her seriously and answer he every question, I believe that is the best way to impart knowledge.
Her questions, though innocent, trigger off a lot of thinking in us. Anoshka’s questions could vary from simple to profound to abstract. For example she asks about the vitamins in a fruit to how God made us to where doesGod live.
UPDATE MYSELF: A child is always exposed to peer pressure It becomes the parent’s responsibility to help the child understand modern ways and peer pressure. In this way parents can walk with the child through her temptations, and confusing times. Anoshkahas conversations in school with her peers about material things like owning a phone or an i-pad or a particular car for instance. I think it is my duty to guideher and make her understand on seeing the difference between thingsthat are a necessity and things that are a luxury.
DISCIPLINE: Yes I am quite a disciplinarian. My wife Kajal ensures that every member of the family must switch off our mobiles, TV, computer/Facebook in the evenings so that we can make time for one another-rather than being pre-occupied with ‘machines’?
We also help her to be responsible for her things, so that she puts away toys, keeps her room tidy and books in place.
BE A ROLE-MODEL: My wife Kajal and I are careful how we conduct ourselves at home and outside. It could be a simple thing like courtesy- wishing each other in the morning or a simple “thank you” when something is done for you. Our daughter is very teachable and receptive to appropriate morals and values we want her to learn.
We realise that Anoksha watches us all the time, and learns from us. Knowingly or unknowingly, she picks up attitude and behaviour traits from us which will go a long way in making her the person she will become one day! We help to define her future. What an awesome responsibility!