Becoming a parent is an unexpected event. No one actually rehearses how to do it until it actually happens and there we stand wondering how to deal with the little soul. However, as time elapses, parenting comes to us naturally.
What kind of an adult and a parent one becomes is partially learned and partially acquired by instinct? Our genetic makeup determines the kind of person that we can potentially become but our environment overshadows our hereditary tendency and finally determines the person we actually become.
Now no one wants to be a bad parent. We only want the best for our children. But our attitudes are greatly shaped by how we were treated as a child and the kind of person we actually became. The voice of conscience that takes us to a guilt trip in moments of solitude is actually the good person inside each one of us; it’s our genes speaking to us, reminding us of the never-ending possibility of improving ourselves and become a better parent.
Here are some simple behavioral modifications that can help you improve your parenting skills:
1. Treat them the way you would like to be treated yourself:
It’s strange but true. Everything we give to others eventually comes back to us one day like a ball bouncing off a wall. So treat your children with respect and care, the way you want to be treated yourself. There would be times when they will take you to your wit’s end and coerce you to show them your evil side, but try not to make it a routine. Spanking or calling them with bad names will not only spoil their self-image but can come bouncing back to you someday. You wouldn’t certainly like that happen. Would you?
2. Mean what you say and say what you mean:
Most of us are in a habit of saying things we don’t actually mean. Like we may treat our children to cut down their screen time if they do not complete their homework on time or buy them their favorite gadget if they pass the exam with flying colors, but most of the time they are just manipulative tactics employed to pass the time. What we don’t realize are the negative impacts of such careless behavior.
Making false promises to your kids breaks the bond of trust, resulting in the failure of manipulation in future. Making tall claims and intimidating your children without any genuine follow-up gradually allows your children to take you for granted and your talk non-seriously. So make it a habit. Never lie to your children. Only say what you actually mean and once said, make sure you mean it too!
3. Give them space and freedom:
Agree or not, parents consider their children as an opportunity to relive their dreams and fulfill their desires. We want our kids to see the world with our eyes. This selfish streak forces us to restrict their own flight. We want to steer them at our will and show no compassion for their interests and natural inclinations. Sometimes, this obstinacy can destroy their careers and tarnish their personalities.
We should realize that they may be our kids but they have as much right to freedom of making their own choices as we had and it would be downright cruel to alter the course of their lives to suit our wishes. Give them space to breathe freely and support them in realizing their true potential. May be that will give you more happiness and a greater sense of pride one day.
4. Let them have their own share of misery:
Parents are naturally over-protective. They never want their children to fall or get hurt in life. They would do whatever it takes to take the pain away from their lives. They over pamper them and show them only the optimistic side of the world. But as is the rule of the world, there’s always a time when reality shines in our faces and we are forced to see the dark side of things too. We have to have our own share of pain and misery to learn and groom ourselves but for a person who doesn’t have the slightest idea about it, things may become really difficult. In the face of difficulties and hardships, they may give up altogether and quit. So, if you want your kids to grow up as strong, stable and successful individuals, stop shadowing them. Let them fall sometimes so that they would learn how to get back on their own feet.
5. Don’t forget to show your love and appreciation:
One of the greatest mistakes parents usually make is that they are quick to notice the flaws in their children and criticize them but they often forget to notice and commend them on doing something good. And even those who do, just state their appreciation in plain words that are hardly encouraging. We often feel that there is no recurrent need to express our love for our children thinking that they are already aware of our emotions. Some of us have locks inside ourselves that keep us from openly expressing our love. Remember that the bud of love needs repeated showers of expression to blossom. Although it may seem tough at first especially if you are a reserved parent but inculcates the habit of appreciating your kids on a daily basis. Don’t wait for them to accomplish something big. Break your barriers and cuddle and fondle them to the fullest. After all, childhood comes only once!
6. Be their go-to friend in times of need:
Children are impatient, little creatures. They can’t wait for their needs to be met and their questions to be answered. Keeping in mind that you are the only one who loves them selflessly and unconditionally, don’t let them slip away from your hands. Life may be hectic and you may have your hands stuck in different chores, but if your child wants you to listen to what happened at school or answer an innocent question, put your frustrations aside and listen to them. Refrain from passing judgmental remarks and blaming them for any unpleasant situations. This will make them feel comfortable about sharing all sorts of things with you. Don’t let them form their perceptions and opinions in the light of other people’s experiences, who may not necessarily be their well-wishers. Giving them their due attention will not let the emotions from piling up and your child will be able to sail smoothly through the ups and downs of life.