21 Jan 2022 | 6 min Read
Author | 56 Articles
We all want our children to be happy, healthy, kind, confident, and successful. We want to be the best parents and raise perfect children. However, in today’s world parenting has become like a circus act! In an age where information is easily accessible, parenting has become confusing and stressful. Besides confusion and stress, all the guidance, advice, and information available leads to guilt and doubt as well.
But who said parenting would be easy? It’s how we deal with it that makes it either easy or difficult. As a mom, I’ve learnt that parenting is never about one-size-fits-all. There is no right way or wrong way or set rules to raise kids. Each child is different and so is each parenting style.
Parents learn through experience, so did I. I may not be a perfect parent and am not claiming that my way is the best, but here are a few tips I would like to share about parenting from my own experience and learning while raising my daughter.
Love Your Kids Unconditionally
I’ve realized that the most important thing you can do for your kids is to just love them. Love them without judging them. Love them for who they are and not for their achievements or the way they look.
Love them as they are and watch them grow confident and content when they know they are loved unconditionally. Remember, as parents our job is to provide our children the basic needs but our main job is to love them.
Spend at least 15 minutes everyday with your child no matter how busy you are
Spend Quality Time With Your Kids
Make time for your child no matter how busy you are. As a working parent, it’s often difficult to get together time with your kids. Most of the time parents end up feeling guilty for not having spent enough time with their kids. Stop feeling guilty, rather set aside some time every day for mommy and baby time.
You may schedule to spend just 15 minutes every day, but make those 15 minutes special for your child and devote it only to her or him. My special time with my daughter was just before she went to bed every night.
We spent our time reading together, sometimes singing silly songs, talking about our day, discussing things that made us happy or sad, etc. Believe me, that was the most de-stressing time of the day for me too! And what’s more, it has helped me create a lifelong bond with my child.
Practice ‘Pocket-Friendly’ Parenting
I never showered my daughter with expensive gifts but what I did was little things that matter. Simple things like putting a surprise note in her school snack box, camping with her under a tent in the living room, or listening to her favorite songs and singing out loud with her (Yes! I know all the Disney princess songs by heart).
You don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket to make lasting memories with your kids.
Expose them to as many things as you can but never force them to do something that doesn’t interest them. I let my daughter try everything from ballet to kathak, piano to singing classes as and when she showed an interest in those activities.
I let her explore and to my surprise, it was the Ukulele which she eventually learnt to play on her own and she plays it like a pro! That’s when I realized that self-directed learning is the best.
Teach your children to enjoy the little things in life
Let Their Creative Juices Flow
Another thing I’ve never believed in is enrolling them in creative classes like art and craft. These classes often direct children to draw or color or paint in a certain perfect way. That’s the worst thing you can do for your child. It not only kills their interest but also their imagination. Let your kids be, let them imagine, let them color out of the lines. So what if your child wants to color the sky pink? Or the trees blue? Let them imagine.
Make them feel important and responsible by asking them for their opinion and help. I’ve seen the look of pride in my daughter’s eyes when I’ve asked her for an opinion on something as simple as what I should wear or even asked her for help to fold the laundry.
Asking kids to help you make decisions and contribute ideas for things like what to order, which restaurant to go to, or what movie to watch. This gives children a feeling of self-confidence and value. It also teaches them to respect other people’s opinions.
Express Yourself Openly
Show them how it is ok to feel sad, angry, scared, or worried sometimes. It’s good, to be honest with kids. Pretend not to know everything. Admit and apologize when you are wrong. When you express your feelings, emotions, and shortcomings to children, they learn from them and also how to deal with them.
When you don’t have an answer to something, tell your kids that you don’t know but maybe together you can find out about it. You’ll be surprised by some of the solutions that kids can come up with!
Have conversations with your child and make them feel important
One of the things we do a lot as a mother and child is talk. We talk about everything that we are feeling, about friends, school, new things learnt. I tell her about my day in the office, what I am working on, and so on.
Communication Is Key
I’ve realized that by communicating with my daughter she feels she can share anything with me and she is being heard. She loves to share anything that goes on in her life with me.
Being a first-time parent, one of the initial mistakes I made was to run to my child’s rescue every time she had a fall or a fight with her friends. I would be there to help her confront the class bully. I was overprotective.
When I realized that my daughter was becoming timid and was scared of the smallest fall, I slowly let her fight her own small battles, let her fall, and get up. That was the best thing I did for her. She not only started confronting bullies but helped other kids who were being bullied! She also learnt ways to solve problems with her friends.
The point is to let them know you are there for them but don’t hover around them.
Our job as parents is to love and guide our children, not force them to become the person we want them to be. I am still learning but I hope some of what I’ve learnt and shared will help you. Trust yourself, give it your best and just enjoy the company of your little ones.