Who are children?
Children are little humans who start out their lives with an unconditional positive regard for everyone around them. They assume that we’re doing our best at any given moment. Otherwise, they would’ve already asked us, “Mom and dad, I don’t feel loved enough, can you love me more?”
Children come in many shapes and attitudes. Some want power, some thrive in connection, while some curious minds love clarity. But, they’re all alike in what they seek – safety, acceptance and harmony.
What should parents learn?
Emotional neglect can haunt children all their lives. During their childhood, it can make them feel unsafe, undervalued and under protected. As they grow into adults, it can make them defiantly self reliant to a point that they can’t see anyone care for them like how only they can. This means they don’t see a real value in investing in life sustaining emotions like love and nurture.
So, how can we try our best to parent them?
Indulge in self care:
First and most importantly, nurture yourself. Daily. Make it a non negotiable part of your day. How will you fill other vessels if you’re not fill yourself? How else do you plan to spread happiness around the house, if you don’t have it in excess supply? Kids pick up on stress, so watch out for that monster.
Understand their needs:
Be still while you’re around them enough to pick up on their cues. For example, they all want time to wind down after a long day at school. Its just like how we crave down time after a long day’s of work.
Listen to them:
Our children are constantly giving us feedback with their behavior. They pull back when they don’t like some of our rules. They throw tantrums when their demands are not met. They tug at us incessantly because they’ve a desire to be heard.
Build a ledge of trust:
Navigate the subtle the balance between trust and protection of your child. Show them you trust with your words and actions. After all, they trust and expect you to care for them as a parent, so trust them with being a reasonable child.
Listen and be heard:
As mothers, we’ve tears of joy, sorrow and shame. And the most frightening for a child is the tears of shame rolling down a mother’s cheek. Don’t scream the discontent about things in your life on your child. Children who’re constantly exposed to rejection and ignore, exhibit behavioral problems. To make up, they become bullies at school.
Share your values:
What’s the most basic moral compass that’s driving your life? What’re your ethics, values and responsibilities? Who’ll care about your child even if he has all the right grades and scholarships, but turns out into an asshole? We all know the parents of children who’re assholes.
Just by virtue of being their parents, we assume we are their leaders. You simply can’t get away with saying, “Do as we say, and not as we do.” Just think about that. Its preposterous.
Make peace with your past:
OK, our lives are not ideal for us to be ideal parents. Maybe you’ve been a victim of neglect and abuse yourself. But, right now, you’ve a chance to make a positive difference in the little person who’s literally put his life in your hands. Having a terrible past, doesn’t give you a license to be the awful parent you had.
Have memorable conversations:
Learn first hand from your child what lights them up with excitement. Seek out those activities and do them over and over again with them. Ask your children to set high expectations and goals for themselves. Boredom is a mainstay of anyone’s life. Teach that and the value of personal growth and community service.
Cut your losses:
So, you didn’t read a book and tuck the kids into bed tonight or were not able to pack lunch that morning. Cut your losses and move on. Make tomorrow a better day! Try this. Lower your expectations for how you plan to spend your evening. Think of the top three things that you’ll do with your children. Keep the list short, simple and stress free. Once you’ve accomplished those simple things, you’ll motivate yourself to keep going all evening on fun engaging activities for the entire family.
Empower your children:
Unless its life and death, you don’t need to rush over to help. Help them understand how things can become silly to unacceptable with only just one bad choice. Our goals should be to empower them to believe in themselves, and work towards realizing their highest potential.
Be a role model:
How sad will it be if your child was a victim of your mid life crisis? Take stack of your life goals and see where you stand. Don’t make your family’s life a product of your lack of prioritizing.
Let’s try to remember our children as infants. Isn’t it amazing that we’ve managed to love them as infants even when they left us exhausted with so many sleepless nights? We still love those same children who’ve left us with bodies that we don’t recognize anymore. I’m speaking to you dads.
Ultimately, the standards of ideal parenting can come at a personal cost of burn out. That doesn’t mean, we’ve to be so selfless and giving that we lose much of ourselves in the process. But, isn’t it our duty to raise them into compassionate and successful adults?
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