Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting takes a lot of skill and patience and is constant work and growth. Social skills and behavioral functioning a child acquires during the early years are fundamentally dependent on the quality of their interactions with their parents.
Parenting skills are often assumed to be self-evident or naturally present in parents. But those who come from a negative/vulnerable environment might tend to pass on what they suffered onto their families. A parenting style is the overall emotional climate in the home, some known parenting styles are as follows.
This is sometimes referred to as right style of parenting, it combines a medium level demands on the child and a medium level responsiveness from the parents. Authoritative parents rely on positive reinforcement and infrequent use of punishment, there is a give-and-take atmosphere involved in parent-child communication and both control and support are balanced.
Authoritarian parenting styles
Authoritarian parents are very rigid and strict. They place high demands on the child, but are not responsive to the child.
Child’s freedom and autonomy are highly valued, and parents tend to rely mostly on reasoning and explanation, parents are undemanding.
Children of permissive parents are generally happy but sometimes show low levels of self-control and self-reliance because they lack structure at home.
An uninvolved or neglectful parenting style is when parents are often emotionally absent and sometimes even physically absent. They have little or no expectation of the child and regularly have no communication.
Parenting style is significantly related to children’s subsequent mental health and well-being. In particular, authoritative parenting is positively related to mental health and satisfaction with life, and authoritarian parenting is negatively related to these variables.
Why parenting is getting more difficult nowadays?
It is certainly more difficult to be a good parent these days than previous generation. Although parents are most common caretaker of the child, others may be an older sibling, a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other family member, or a family friend.
According to Dr. Karl Pillemer of Cornell University the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is second in emotional importance only to the relationship between parent and child.
Children benefit when grandparents are involved in their lives, grandparents also enjoy benefits from the relationship with their grandchildren. But generations are moving more towards smaller and nuclear families which does not have place for grandparents, siblings, aunt and uncle, which makes children totally dependent on parents for emotional support.
When parents are more stressed up from their own office work and other personal work, they unconsciously show frustration on children, this makes major impact on emotional well-being of children.
Important tips for Good/Positive Parenting
1. Inculcate Cultural values
Cultural values play a major role in how a parents should raise their child. Cultural practices, social norms and traditions changes and so is parenting as time change. Children should always be raised inculcating respective cultural values.
Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values. Storytelling is a means for sharing and interpreting experiences.
Many times stories heard in the childhood makes greater impact on children’s life. Different forms of storytelling can be followed.
• Oral storytelling
• Oral interpretation
3. Be a role model for your child / self-regulation
Many times parents expect mountains from children but forgets to look at self, to a great extent children learn from observation, specifically in home. So as a parent try to follow rules whichever are expected from your child, this will help your child.
4. Teach your child to deal with her failure.
World today is getting more and more competitive and the world of information than world of knowledge. Many grownup kids and even adults for that matter lack the ability to deal with failure, as this aspect of parenting is generally ignored while kids are growing up. Do not shield your child from every upsetting situations, it will make them unfit to handle the reality of life.
5. Don’t lose your temper
Don’t lose your temper or shout at your child. You are only showing the kind of behavior you want to discourage in your child. A little patience can make all the difference between wanting to be good parents and actually being good one.
6. Let child do the things by his own way
Don’t tell your child how to do the things. They find their own ingenious methods of doing the things, your way of enforcement only frustrates child. At times you will be surprised to see the way by which they achieve things.
7. Do not criticize child
Do not criticize the child but criticize the behavior of child. Make them aware that it not him/her which is causing the problem but certain behaviors of them are causing problems. Love not fear/criticism is the key to child’s emotional and physical development.
8. Respect feelings of your child.
Make sure your behavior is not impacting the self-esteem of the child. You should love and respect child irrespective of age, size, physical condition and mental condition of the child. Children too have feelings like you.
9. Respect the viewpoint of child
When child says “No” to you, does it irritate you? but he saying no to you does not mean he is undermining your authority but he has a different viewpoint. You should try to understand his/her point of view and make use of your skills to explain your point of view. This will gradually make impact on child’s mind and he will start understanding you and your point of view.
10. Let them make mistakes, boost their confidence.
Do you ever apologize to your child for your mistakes? No? Do you expect from them?
You have to be open enough to apologize for your mistakes, if you expect your children to follow the same. Mistakes are never deliberate, mistakes happen. Give and take (rewards and recognition) is the best way to help children not commit same mistakes again and again (eg. If you do things this way next time, you get this reward.), it is important to develop your child the ability to take right decisions, but it is more important to develop in him the courage to face life when the decisions go wrong.
If you make them feel guilty for mistakes they will be discouraged to take up new challenges. At times you should encourage them by getting defeated while playing with them, this boosts the confidence of the children.
11. Want respect? Learn to give.
The moment child sees his parent’s talks with disrespect with others around him, child follow suit unknowingly. You should be humble when you talk to people around you. You should lead life by example and be child’s role model.
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