Challenges of being a 21st Century Parent
The 21st century has brought with it, its own set of parenting challenges. Being a parent is one of the most challenging, most interesting and yet the most rewarding job we ever undertake. This is truly a gigantic task faced by a parent in today’s fast pace of life. Today we need to tell our children, as parents or teachers, that “God’s seed is in you. You can achieve anything!” On the other, the days of innocent childhood are shaded by war, violence, drugs, human conflict. In addition they have to face the emotional conflict/ warfare of the world at home and also at the school. There is an electronic, a technological and an information revolution taking place. The shift has taken place. We may not even realize how the world has changed so rapidly and how it is impacting our kids. A spiritually connected child, in these scenarios, is always a caring and a balanced child and therefore is a treasure for the Universe. Once the child is set upon the path of ‘getting connected state’ with the supreme consciousness, there is no stopping a child. The parents can do little to eliminate external factors them; there are ways however, to help control them.
Childhood Bonding and Eating Disorders
Today’s children are spending less time outdoors and more time in front of a television. Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle often lead to childhood obesity. Child obesity is at an all-time high risk. These days, children diet mostly consists of junk food. Parents should encourage their children how to eat balanced nutritious meals, like fresh fruits, vegetables, etc. They need to be guidedto drink plenty of water each day instead of soft drinks. Parents need to set personal examples, so as to encourage their kids to stay active and balance their television and computer time with outdoor activities. Also, they should encourage their children to play on a regular basis in the open playgrounds. On weekends, the entire families, for bonding, read books and have fun time together; this will potentially open lines of communication and build excellent bonding with their child.
The Pros and Cons of the Internet
The Internet is a magnificent educational tool for the children. It provides them with access to infinite information and knowledge. Children can complete their homework online, they can do research for their school project and also they can listen to their favorite music. Through emails, chats, sharing photos and videos, they can keep in touch with their friends and family all over the world. They can learn new languages through online training. There are unlimited possibilities.
Simultaneously, Internet is also one of the most dangerous tools they can get their hands on. With just a click of the mouse, the child gets access to different websites that have adult content. For parents who may not have the time to monitor their child’s internet time, there are programs such as Net Nanny that restricts the material each computer used is allowed to access. These programs basically block the websites that may contain offensive information. It is suggested that parents should take time out on a regular basis, sit with their child and guide them about the Internet norms.
While video games can be a great source of entertainment for the kids, parents should always ensure and check that the games their kids are playing are suitable for their age group.
Sometimes, there is lesser communication between kids and their parents due to both parents working. Other factors are increase in stress levels of families due to financial pressures, domestic abuse, etc. This results in more tension within the home, which in turn leads to an unhealthy environment for children to grow up in. These things should be taken care of by parents. If the parents are working, they should devote ample time to their kids when they are at home. They should discuss openly on various issues so that the kids feel encouraged to share their problems and feel free to talk about it. The environment at home should be filled with love, laughter, fun and peace so that the children feel happy and relaxed at home. As a parent, we should spend more and more time with our children so that we can get a better idea of what our children are being exposed to and potentially we would be able to minimize the risk. Also, we will be able to develop and nurture great bonding as a parent.