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PARENTING

Parenting norms, rules, methods have all been de rigueur for years now. And many a times a beautiful, natural process becomes a regimental, rigid or even an artificially laid out environment perhaps not very conducive for warmth and happiness.

The fact remains –a home consists of so many complex layers. By providing a powder coating, the inner termites cannot be addressed, also when there are so many personalities involved in a household, how can only the youngest yet to be a complete person be made to comply with strange universal rules. The dynamics in your home would certainly vary from the dynamics of another home-even your parental home.

Every family, every home has a unique way of functioning. If a change is sought in one, it is inevitable the seismic effect will reflect in the other members too. So the fact remains- a general idea of what can be nice, suitable or indeed comforting for the well being of a child need to be considered, but without understanding the pulse of the family, the equation between family members and their personalities (all need to taken into consideration), it is next to impossible to provide a thorough in-depth counselling advice to care givers.

Each parent is unique; hence each of the parenting methods they use will vary. Many stick to tried and tested formulas they have observed from their parents, some may prefer to go with what is suggested and discussed by friends or colleagues, and there are many who follow a parental coach or expert to the T, rather than take on the ramifications of applying oneself to the task at hand.

There is no right or wrong parenting style just as there is no perfect parent. I suggest you trust your instincts as much as possible. Have a stress free approach and enjoy the years of direct parenting. Don’t forget you are a parent for life, but a care giver only till the child is dependent on you. Childhood plays an important role in an individual’s life. The values, love, affection, family structure are all learnt during this beautiful phase. Irrespective of age, a child always observes and learns from the parent. Hence the onus lies on the mother and father to be watchful of one’s actions and words. What one sees or hears from one’s parent one tends to learn and imbibe mainly during childhood…and sometimes all through life. Like Carl Jung said, “children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk”.

Footnote- parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do. –Matt Walsh

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New beginnings

Life is always giving us opportunities to start afresh ..but do we recognise those choices coming our way? or do we choose to ignore them? Many choose to just keep their eyes shut at these treasure troves waiting to be unravelled. These treasures may have been specially picked and chosen for you. Maybe its natures way of understanding just what you need at that specific space and time and nudging you to grasp that chance to begin with a new perspective.

But if we choose not to acknowledge that even small pebbles can be building blocks, then how much further can life lift us from innate inertia? It is so easy to blame, point fingers, accuse and admonish others or life or circumstances, but so difficult to actually rise up to a situation, pick up those pieces and move on with resilience.

Right now that’s exactly what life is offering – opportunities. All you need to do is recognise those opportunities, make choices-it doesn’t even have to be perfect choices, but shake off that sense of inertia and push against the tide….move, and just keep on moving, and soon you will see, even the toughest of rocks standing your way will be forced to break down and give way to your determined and sincere intentions.

Believe in yourself, your abilities, your choices.

“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid” -Basil King

After the dust settles

The time to step back and assess a situation is soon after the crises is over. That’s when we can truly see and understand the why, what, and how. Also there comes a stage of resignation, least resistance and resilience. A time to rebuild and grow. All these stages come at no specific time or sequence, yet it does come in some form, at some time.

What does one do at this stage? For example after the pandemic, when will hopefully things go back to some level of normalcy? Or stress/trauma situations; after a divorce or separation ? after the loss of a loved one, after the termination of a job or a forced retirement? there are a lot of afters, but its what you do therefter that counts.

A loss of any kind is the most difficult to handle. But as long as there is life, there has to be hope. seek all the help that is needed to stay afloat- physical, mental, and emotional. sometimes even financial. its not everyday and everytime help is required. Never hesitate to ask a genuine friend to lend a helping hand. There are times when well wishers may not know how or when to ask , so dont hesistate.

Friendships and Hobbies

Make new acquaintances, they just might blossom into something valuable. Do things you always hesitated to do before – travel solo or with a group, learn a new skill or take up a course, maybe learn music or dance. Definitely eat healthy and stay fit with exercise. Connect with old friends, especially when you know how precious time and people are. Volunteer your services at an NGO or a school or an orphanage /old age home- the fastest way to heal is to unselfishly help others in need.

Faith and self confidence

And more than everything else have faith – in the almighty (in whichever form of prayer you like) or belief in your own self worth and capabilities if you are a non believer, and you will find the strength within , and ways to rebuild one’s life, and trust in your own innate powers.

Here’s to rediscovering yourself.

Parenting woes- 2

As one is a parent for life, there cannot be one rule that fits all. in other words, as each home is unique, so would ones parenting methods also be individalistic. But some pointers can always help in this adventure called parenthood.
Children learn the fastest from their parents- it may not seem like it many a times, but subconsciously then pick up so many varied cues from how their parents behave, interact, and go about life in general. and this is mostly regarding the values passed on to the next generation.
A home where respect is given to all members, especially to the elders, will surely be  lesson that stays in the childs mind for future reference too. Also, when conflicting messages are conveyed, for example an advice given by the parent is not also followed by the parent, then that’s  surely going to complicate matters- remember practice what you preach?
A parent who breaks the traffic rules even once without regreting the act, will have an ever observant ward willing to do the same as and when the opportunity arises. A home where the members waste water, throw away food , litter the place, are not environmentally concious will surely have an impact on the children irrespective of the fact that the elders preach otherwise.
And that is why guardians need to be be ever conscious of the fact that they are under observation by the most gullible minds in their home. This definitely does not mean that one needs to behave in an unnatural or atificial manner, only that it is an opportunity for us to grow and improve ourselves just so that our children learn the best from the best. Happy parenting 🙂

Parenting woes -part 1

Parents very often go into a frenzy especially with feeding their children, and the most popular or convenient (inconvenient for many others) method is to take the child outdoors and distract them using birds, dogs, flying saucer and what have you, to get a couple of morsels of food inside. Once the bowl of porridge is wiped clean-the agenda is done and the child is taken back indoors. Over a period of time, the outdoors has come indoors and the television took on the role of distracter, and then it became the laptop, the tablet, an iPad, a phone etc etc.

So the view got narrower and we went from the great outdoor to the intense indoors, but with variety entertainment at the swipe of little hands. If spongebob SquarePants fails to entertain, then the avengers come to the rescue or maybe even the animal planet.

And so it has become the norm- keeping a child constantly entertained- no bawling baby, or cranky children to be seen as most are staring into a screen, just like their parents or caretakers are.

And we wonder how children are addicted to screen time! A glance around an airport, or a train station shows a similar scenario. Isn’t it time we stopped being distracted parents, just so we don’t end up having distracted children ?