Well, how difficult is it to raise a kid? People from our parent’s generation go crazy when they see all the hue and cry over our kid-raising ideology. Gone are the days when people give more thought to their plants rather then raising kids. Growing up in the eighties in a small town in India we hardly saw any special effort in doing things for children. In our childhood we have not been given undue attention by our parents nor did we expect any. We were just kids, not a project for our parents to prove their efficiency. We had no special privileges of our own kid’s meal, theme birthday parties or lots of hobbies and extracurricular activities. Still, we as kids did so well in our life, we got that bonding with our parents and had much more discipline and values in our life. Seems like an interesting subject for research, why? Because everyone can see that we are not doing something right.
These days kids are super intelligent but they are missing much of their innocence. Lately, the time has changed and expectations for a kid are soaring. I remember when I was ten years old my only extracurricular activities were playing outside, drawing and reading books. We as kids were always answerable to our parents regarding our poor performance in tests and nobody cared about the psychological impact on us. Still, not only did we survive, we thrived in the real world. Today you can not find a single ten- year old who is not doing at least three activities per week. They don’t have time to play because they all have five days a week after school hobby classes. Parents are making a fool of themselves while pushing kids to all the classes which sometimes they don’t have any inclination towards. Looks like we are not raising kids, we are raising robots.
We were a generation where parents never thought about child psychology, we were never given a medal for participating nor anybody was concern about us getting germs while playing in the mud. Our parents taught us how to deal with failure so when we didn’t achieve many things later in our life it didn’t break us. We don’t hate our parents after so many horrible episodes of disciplining us in our childhood.
Helicopter parenting has its own drawbacks. After trying hard not to be one of those type of parents I have always struggled to keep the balance between the independence of thought and parental guidance. The best way to do is to loosen the rope with their age and maturity and just be there in case they need us. This has always worked with the kids and time to time helped them with their growing independence and increase their confidence level.
At home with a tween and a teen always made me conscious of finding a right balance and trust me it really is difficult to let go of a child to do things by his or her own way. In the beginning, I have spent quite a few sleepless nights thinking about how they will cope or what type of decision they will make when they will be on their own. Having said that I have always felt that whenever we have given the chance to do things on their own they have done amazing and made us proud. Real world, real life will be the game changer of parenting world and we cannot hold hands with our kid’s lifelong. Sometimes you don’t get that gold medal or that perfect score. Believe me, they need to learn to take their failures in a positive way. They need to learn that it is humanly impossible to win every time. One thing I always tell my kids before any test that the preparation is in your hands, give your hundred per cent, try to achieve that perfect score but if after your effort result is not that good don’t sweat over it, just prepare for the next one with even more force.
Homes are for free expression not for good impression, and understanding this is quite important. If kids will be able to express themselves without fear of judgement then only we will understand the deep thoughts hidden inside them. Nurturing positive thoughts is the first step towards good parenting. we need to understand that there is no perfect parent and no perfect kid. However we try, we cannot do everything for our kids. End of our sincere efforts counts in making kids independent personality. We need to understand that with a winning attitude we should also teach our kids to understand the importance of enjoying the moment. Peer pressure is not only harming kids it’s making us parents’ lives really stressful. We need to understand that we are showing by example that its good to sweat over somebody’s achievement rather then enjoying our own pace. We should stop doing that ASAP. Easier said then done, but I believe we need to start from somewhere . With our kids we also need to play by our strength. A future generation of happy and content people is totally dependent on today’s parenting. Believe me, this is totally achievable and with the right approach we can certainly make parenting more enjoyable, and childhood more fun.
We as a parent are a worried bunch of adults who are not sure about the challenges. As we are still learning the art of raising kids we make quite a lot of mistakes. We need to understand the same way, kids are also sometimes prone to make mistakes and nobody is perfect here. If we focus more on our relationship with our kids and try to understand their point of view, I would bet that will be a welcoming change . Having said that I know its really difficult for any parent to look beyond his/her parental duties but as a child’s intellect is growing that will take their collective thoughts to a new high. The result of these will be a more content parent and a happy child. Let’s not burden our home with those types of pressures and make each and every day more enjoyable. On that note…
There is no such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one.