Mental health is the key to successful parenting and reaching an achievable goal. Take a quick look at the importance of being a composed or a patient parent.
Like children, even parents deserve mental health. Parental well being depends on the self-image, composure and confidence of a parent. If you feel good about yourself and like your life as a parent, you will pass the benefits on to your children. Following are six principles for assertive and composed parenting. They are not hard and fast rules, but simple realities to be kept at the very front of your parenting consciousness. Use them to believe in yourself.
You are the `expert' with your child
Most people will know how you should be as a parent. But do not play target to an unending stream of advice, opinions, criticism. Just pay attention to relevant information from your mother, other well-meaning relatives and your family doctor. After all, you know your child better than anyone else, even the doctor.
A relaxed parent is a better parent
Relaxation brings clarity of thinking and full enjoyment of your child's childhood. If you are tense and nervous about your moves, your child is likely to feel the same. For example, be sure of your choice of your child's diet. Even if someone comments on your child's thin frame, be confident of your choice of food. Consult a doctor only if you suspect a major weight loss. More than 90 per cent of parenting involves common sense. There is no such thing as a ``right '' or ``wrong'' method. Judge yourself in relation to your child's needs. Mistakes are as integral to parenting as are children. As you love the child, you cannot possibly harm the child. So relax and be confident.
Children are more normal than adults think
Every child is unique in terms of development, personality, intellect and behaviour. Therefore, much that is labeled abnormal is actually normal. Parents should not try too hard to look for too much wrong in their children. Moreover, some abnormality is bound to exist in every child's life. Expect the unexpected sometimes.
Authority belongs to parents
Parents and children are no equals. Children have a right to unconditional love, respect, security and care but not authority. In your family, the authority rests solely and unquestioningly with you. Therefore, do not be too democratic with your children. Never let them take your statements very lightly.
Discipline is action, not words
Do not nag, plead, coax, debate, question or threaten the child while enforcing discipline. Children rarely pay attention to pure ``talk''. Raising children needs fewer words and definite action. If you `talk' too much, your actions will not make any difference.
Responsibility is your child's, not yours
Parents are made to feel miserable and ultimately responsible for nearly every problem their young one faces. Naturally, parents tend to believe that their child rearing skills proved faulty. But your parenting is not the only influence in your child's life. Your child's psychological make-up and the world outside also have a tremendous influence. Therefore, do not blame yourself for everything wrong in your child's life. Similarly, you need not take the credit for everything favorable in the child's life. You provide the choices; the child takes the decisions.