Every kid is unique and genius with different abilities and talents and only academic excellence should not be made a measure of intelligence and/or success. As Albert Einstein has said, ‘Everyone is genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’
Parenting is an art and it is not about raising children; it is about raising parents. As the timehas changes; we also need to change conventional parenting to modern-day parenting. Few tips for modern-day parenting are as follows:
Let’s Treat our children respectfully like individuals, and also respect their individuality and uniqueness. This will help them to grow as individual with self-respect and esteem.
We should at no cost scare them or make them fearful about anything including their results in examinations and/or their future because fear kills creativity in the children which in turn make them under confident and low in self-esteem.
To nurture creativity and holistic development; other than academics; children should also be exposed to various creative activities, sports, music and dance, and whatever the children show interest into that interests of children should be nurtured, supported well and prioritized.
The Children should also be taught the value of compassion, peace and non-discrimination. Above all, the Children should be taught to remain happy in all the circumstances and to achieve such mental hygiene, they should be taught spirituality and meditation from a very early stage for living a creative, happy, compassionate, peaceful and balanced life.
To grow children well, their confidence is required to be boosted. Children lose their confidence and self-esteem when they are criticized or scolded in front of others. We as parents should never scold or criticize our kids in front of others and in case, we need to scold or criticise them, we should do it in private and we should also let the kids know the reason for it. As a saying goes, ‘appreciate in public and criticize in private’, so we, as parents, have to follow this adage in its letter and spirit.
The emphasis mustbe to mend their bad habits and patterns, and not to shun them in such a way that they lose their confidence and self-esteem. We have to communicate in such a way that the message should be that they are not bad and do not lack anything, but their actions are not good and/or they have omitted to do certain things.
Avoid saying negative statements to the kids. We should avoid using the words ‘don’t’, can’t etc.,instead, we should use positive and encouraging words. Their energies should be channelized in a positive manner by; letting them find their true interests and what they are naturally good at. We can only excel in the thing we love and not in the things we do not like. Hence, our endeavour as parents should be to identify the God gifted and natural talents in our kids, because,they can excel only in the pursuits which are their inherent and natural talents.
Children should also be given plenty of exposure. They should be exposed to various cultures. We should take them to various places. Well-travelled children who have lived with people of multiple cultures having different colour, caste and creed are more accepting, grow well, adapt well and feel happy no matter where they go or with whom they live, because, it will help them to understand people well and know how to easily mix-up with the people of different cultures.
This is the time, we need to change our orthodox concepts of success, happiness and life, and must come out of the old thinking hat that only professional and successful people are Doctor, Engineers, MBAs etc. Let us look at the reality to understand if these people are the only ones who are really happy and successful. We need to give enough space to our kids to make career choices as per their interest and inherent talents.
Last but not the least, we should endeavour to raise children joyfully, because what we all wish for our kids is success and happiness in the future, but what about present? Is present not important? If parents and kids are not joyful and happy in the present, then, what is the assurance that they will be happy and joyful in the future. Let us contemplate and raise our kids joyfully as their true selves, who will know their uniqueness and talents, and by doing so, they will become truly happy and successful grown-ups. We should also start implementing in our lives what we expect from our children and try to lead by example because, children do not follow what is said but follow what they see. Ultimately, parenting is not just about raising children; it is about raising parents.
(The author is a Life Coach at Sachetan The Mind Gym)