There’s good, passive, la authoritative, permissive and many other styles of parenting. More often than not, preset standards about parenting styles are a labelled methodology defining the modus-operandi of this much talked-about word called ‘parenting’.
What style are you?
Labels aside, parenting is a daily affair and the dynamics pretty much change time to time. Children grow, needs change, times change and its natural that so do the parents and their beliefs adjust apropos to the situation and the circumstances. These however are modifications that happen over a period of time. The base, which we define as foundation parenting is something that begins from infancy and remains a benchmark against which we mark our successes and failures as a parent.
7 Little changes that will make a big difference in parenting
This foundation parenting is what we aim to explore in depth. While there are no laid down guidelines, we aim to serve you with some general guidance that you can build on as you go along.
Here we list down 7 things that are small, baby steps that will add immense value to your relationship with your children and to your own methodology of dealing with them
1. Quality ‘we’ time
This does not imply watching TV together or sitting in the same room whilst simultaneously checking up on the phone. Quality ‘we’ time is rather defined very simplistically as time that is spent in each others company engaging in an activity that the parent and the child mutually love to do.
It need not be a noisy, bring the house down activity. Perhaps just reading books together and discussing what message the book was trying to give out is a joy in itself. Besides, it’s a wonderful way to snuggle up and just be content in each others company. What’s more, you’ll also discover some hidden talents such as a vivid imagination or a scientific bent of mind when the child inclines towards certain topics more than others.
3. Teaching them responsibility One at a time
Most children like to participate in activities that require them to play grown-up. Now even studies have gone on to prove that inculcating a responsible habit such as laying down the dishes at dinnertime or helping in the kitchen does indeed teach them a valuable lesson in conducting themselves responsibly in their careers and personal lives besides making them conscientious adults. Do remember to include the boys in this process.
4. Friends and friendship
Anybody who is a friend to someone knows the value of friendship. Inculcate and allocate some time in a day where the child plays and interacts with his/ her friends and learns some crucial life’s lessons in the process. Beware of wrong friends though.
5. Talk and listen
Today, there is much emphasis on oratory and public speaking skills with listen skills taking a backseat. When the children return from school or at dinnertime ensure that you allocate time to listen, share and talk with them while avoiding the obvious urge to judge.
6. The influence of relatives and elders
It can be anybody, a grandparent, an aunt or a cousin. As a parent, consciously nurture the bonds that children have with their extended relatives and you’ll find that children not only learn to reciprocatebut also understand early on the value of families and elders.
7. Avoid perfectionism
You are not perfect, the world is not and neither should your child be expected to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfectionism. Stop trying to achieve it and teaching it to them.
Do remember that exercise and play time are very, very important part of a child’s life (and yours too). While the benefits of getting regular exercise and daily walks have been expounded over the centuries, we as adults tend to prioritize everything else before hitting the concrete. With the children, it is vital (almost mandatory) to be playing outside and getting a bit of sun time.