Today we all are 21st century parents raising 21st century kids who are far more ahead in thinking, grasping and growing. I am a mother to a 4 year old lovely girl and there is never a moment when I don’t feel how fast kids are nowadays. When we grew up our parents never went to any parenting class, lecture or read any special books to raise us but still we were raised healthy, happy and intelligent. So what has changed now? Why do we need guidance as parents which our parents never felt the need? The biggest change I think is the change in lifestyle.
Today the role of a mother is not only as a mother as it used to be but she is a socializing wife, ambitious career woman, a doting mother, a loving friend and so on. There are so many hats a woman wears and the same is with men so parenting is a specialized job in today’s multi tasking world. But to me it’s not as tough and taxing as stated, expressed and communicated by many parents around us. Children may be hyper, fast, super intelligent etc. but we should not forget that whatever be the era, their needs are very simple. All they need is unconditional love, understanding and attention. If there is any problem with any child and we go deep into its cause, it would definitely be lack of one of them.
This is one aspect we all parents need to be very careful about. There is no doubt that we all love our children very much and it is our responsibility to discipline them but in that it is very natural for us to become parents with conditional love. “If you do this, I like you”, “If you don’t do this, I won’t talk to you”, “Finish your homework or I will not take you out”. I am sure most of us can identify with this very well as we all use these conditional tricks with our children many times without realizing that we are teaching them manipulation at tender age.
What a child needs to complete acceptance of their selves as they are and a love which never ever fails. A child needs to develop that security within that his parents love him inspite of everything including his shortcomings, mistakes, bad grades, poor behaviour anger outburst etc. If we could provide our children with a safety net of unconditional love and security, whenever they fall in their journey of life, they will always fall on our net of love and never get hurt as we as parents are always there to make them walk again.
The most basic need of a human being is to be understood. In spite of being grown ups we all associate ourselves mainly with people who understand us. Then think about that tender little child who is out in this world only on the faith that his/her parents will understand. We feel that what is it that a small child needs to be understood when they still don’t understand anything? This is our grave mistake. Most of the times my little one can make out in what mood I am and she will try her best at her level to soothe me without me saying a single word. So what does this mean? Their understanding levels are at a very developed stage since birth.
In fact what I feel is as we grow we come more and more self oriented and become numb towards our environment and people around us.It is very important to understand what a child feels at each stage and at every age. When they are infants, we need to understand their cries, as toddlers their tantrums, as children their talks and as teenagers their action.
Attention is something that a child needs 24 hours. Sometimes as parents we get really drained with their constant demands of being attentive to them all the time and humanly it is very difficult to do that in the best way all the time. But if a child has an attentive parent, the security a child develops within is tremendous and as a grown up he or she will be a confident and a secured person who can achieve a lot. Hence paying undivided attention to our child is really important in developing our child’s security levels within.
Being attentive to our child means conveying to our child at each moment that you are important to me and you matter a lot to me.
So friends, new age parenting is tough but if enjoyed as a journey, it is loads of fun. Life is nothing but an attitude shift, the same way parenting is nothing but a mental shift from me to US.