Parenting is a huge responsibility. It is somewhat easier to become parents but it is tough to become good or perfect parents. Parenting/Nurturing is one of the most challenging roles.
Parenting is a lot about love, emotions, care, sacrifices, and less me- time. But before all these things, it's about building a character, setting examples, positiveness, and making your children self-sufficient and an independent human being who is in charge of himself and not dependent on any other person, not even you.
Living in a typical Indian society and closely observing the parents around me, I feel that there are certain things that Indian parents are actually doing wrong. Whatever their intention is, but the end results are not good for their kids and also for themselves.
1. Overcaring and over-protective
It is natural to go through the ocean of emotions after being a parent, but instead of just flowing, sometimes we need to control these emotions.
Love, care, and protection are important for children, but not to the extent that these throttle individuality and skills of self-reliance and a sense of responsibility. Extra love and extra care are actually hindering their positive development.
Providing resources and fulfilling the needs of your child till he crosses his teenage is okay but at the same time, we should teach our child that parents are just his nurturer and they will guide them whenever needed but they are not responsible for all his needs and deeds.
Parents should never support the unnecessary needs and demands of their children, even if they are capable of providing them all.
2. Making them dependent on you
We have seen our parents burdened with difficulties from an early age, whether it is the maintenance of the house or earning for themselves, our parents planned on giving us a much-privileged life. So no matter the means, they made sure that their beloved children don't have to work around as much.
They sheltered us from all the difficulties. From things like waking up early to prepare our tiffins to get our uniform ready by the time we get that one extra hour of sleep, they've done it all. Now, we don't know what really goes behind getting things like food and clothes ready. We've never done it before.
This is perhaps their biggest mistake, not even letting your children know your difficulties and struggles. Children are actually just other human beings and they need to be taught each and every basic thing/chore. Now here, gender should not be the constraint. This is for both son and daughter.
Parents should involve their children in household chores and should teach them things like cooking, laundry, cleaning, dishwashing, money management (of course to their level).
Children should be taught right from the small age that life has its own set of struggles and everyone has to work to move on this path. Things like electricity bills, grocery bills, milk, newspaper, and TV bill, etc, should be in their knowledge so that they can learn and see what all it takes to run a family.
Everyone is sufficient to take care of their children throughout their lifetime, even a small bird. But still, that bird pushes her baby out of the nest, to encourage the baby bird to fly, to make her independent, and find her own food and path.
3. Over Indulgence
When children get unearned privileges and are fawned/shed upon by their parents, they develop a false sense of entitlement. They come to believe they are the center of their universe and expect instant gratification for every wish. Such children grow up to be self-centered individuals with no inter-personal skills. As a result, they are most likely to face challenges at work as well as in social and personal relationships.
If we want our children to be self-reliant, honest, and upwardly mobile adults, we must allow them the space to commit their own mistakes and pay for these even as children. It is only when they face obstacles that they learn their own strengths and weaknesses, and get the opportunity to adjust their learning and gain confidence.
Children must be allowed to go through and deal with all these experiences with some guidance. Good and bad, these mixed experiences make them learn and help them to improve.
Make your children feel loved, but also teach them to be loving and caring; make them feel secure and protected, but also to be independent and self-reliant. Indulge them, but also ensure they know that the love and care they receive must translate to responsibility and humanity. Teach your children, the value of money not because you do not have enough, but because someday the child may bless you for that learning.
Challenge your child and try pushing your child out of his comfort zone. Children should be taught that life is a process of continually growing and personal learning and the importance of helping make this world, a better place.
4. Expecting but not modeling the behavior
Parents always want their children to be well behaved and an ideal human being. But this is not possible just by telling them what is good or bad. Children learn more from our actions. They closely observe their parents. Parents are actually the first teacher and also the most impactful one.
Children always look up to their parents, especially young children. Children always try to copy their parent's behavior.
In addition to describing good behavior, parents should also strive to model good behavior for their children. For example: if we want our children to say thank you, please, etc, we should check out how often we ourself use these words in our daily life.
Apart from imitating behavior, children also consciously and unconsciously imbibe attitudes, thought processes, and mindsets from their parents.
Modeling good behavior should also take place outside of the house, such as by holding doors open for others at the shopping center, waiting for the light to cross a street, and waiting patiently in a queue. The more that children see their parents acting appropriately the more normal it becomes, and the more likely they imbibe the good behavior from their parents.
Model the traits you wish to see in your kids: respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, tolerance. Exhibit unselfish behavior. Express thanks and offer compliments. Above all, treat your kids the way you expect other people to treat you.
5. Always prioritizing children
No doubt, for any parent the most precious possession is his/her baby. Parents love their children like crazy and take care of every single need or requirement of their children.
But sometimes, they overdo it. They prioritize their children so much that their own needs and requirements take a back seat. They make all sorts of sacrifices - big and small.
As a nurturer, it is the responsibility of every parent to fulfill the needs and requirements of their children but this is not the only responsibility they have. They should never meltdown their own necessities. Taking care of yourself isn't a luxury—it's an essential part of being a good parent.
The first relation of any human being is with him/herself. Focusing on your needs does not make you selfish. It simply means you care about your own well-being, which is another important value to model for your children. Self-care doesn't mean to be selfish. It is one of the most productive habits which everyone should consider. Practicing self-care actually helps to become a better parent.
And always remember that a happy parent will eventually pave the way to a happy child.
Thank you, wonderful people. Sending good and healthy vibes your way!