Being a parent and being a responsible parent are two different things. Anyone who has a biological child, or has an adopted child is a parent. But bringing up your child is no child’s play. My clients often come with the issues about parenting. They blame their children for not being responsible. When they grumble about the so called bad habits of their children; I often end up asking about their own habits.
Everyone wants to change the others but is not comfortable with the thought of changing oneself. Down is the list of a few dos and don’ts for the parents. Please feel free to alter the list as per your own preference:
· Do teach your child to appreciate the beauty of the nature. This small lesson teaches them many things—to appreciate everything around, to be happy in all circumstances and to give without asking; just to name a few.
· Teach them discipline at an early age. Do not wait till they become ten years of age. Earlier the better.
· Understand that love and discipline are two different things. Please keep love and discipline in two separate compartments of your heart.
· Teach them to be a responsible person. Let them keep their things at the designated place.
· Teach them respect—self as well as for others.
· Teach them equality.
· Give them freedom to be themselves.
· Give them some “Me-time.” Privacy is a very important factor in one’s life. If you will respect their privacy, they will respect yours.
· Teach them the advantages of living a principled life.
· Teach them the values like honesty, sincerity, truthfulness, punctuality, and love and respect for all.
· Teach them the value of time.
· Teach them it is good to be themselves.
· Give them a warm environment to grow; nurture their talents.
· Show genuine interest in their activities.
· Use a proper voice tone even when you do not agree with them.
· If they did something wrong (as per your own awareness, knowledge, or beliefs), try to understand your child’s stand. Every human being is different, and so are every one’s thoughts, beliefs, priorities, and understanding at any particular moment.
· Please, please do not compare your child with someone else’s child. We are all individuals and not identicals!
· Refrain yourself from repeating the same old, boring sentence—“while I was your age…” OMG! Hell with every such thought. Your circumstances and your kid’s circumstances are very different. It’s good to tell them about your time, how you were raised, what difficulties you went through, what were your talents, and quite a few other nuances from your life. It is a great idea to share your experiences with your kids; but please do not compare your childhood days with your child’s inability to do something that you did with utmost ease.
· Don’t reprimand your kids. Just show your disagreement in a subtle way, or tell them in a way that they don’t feel insulted. Raising your voice or scolding your kids is no option at all.
· Do not force culture, religion, your own thoughts, beliefs etc. Give your children the liberty to choose. You guide them but not force them.
· Do not spoil your kids in a materialistic manner. Parents often think that if they won’t provide all what the child is asking for, the child will think that the parents don’t love him or her. Let the child understand that love is not equivalent to providing only material things. It surpasses all fluff.
· Do not overload your child with your own aspirations, unfulfilled desires etc.
· Don’t expect too much from your child beyond his or her capacity.
The list is too big. I’ll keep adding many more things to this list.