is important to treat children as individuals and not just as extensions of
ourselves to impact their lives positively. Read on to find tips on raising
Parenting in today's times is a huge responsibility. Our children are trapped in this race-pace world of competition. Thanks to the influence of satellite television, gaming machines and computers, at seven and eight our children are already trying to unchain themselves from the family and take their place as responsible citizens of the outside world. It is as early as this that they accrue a sense of dignity as individuals and like to be treated as such. Their opinions matter too. Children of today are sharp, know-it-all little individuals, and before you know it, they are all grown up and ready to take flight.
As parents we have our backs up against the wall. This is more because we live in an age where the bringing up of children is more puzzling for us parents, as we ourselves have lost a lot of those old-fashioned doctrines handed down to us. We are confused about what kind of morals, ambitions and character we want our children to have.
Our dependence on materialism has afforded us technological marvels, but in the area of human relations we face dire poverty. Even etiquette in social life has coarsened. Chivalry rode off with Indian nobility and manners have been wiped away with attitude.
This begins with the adults and seeps down to the kids. So when we hear 12-year-olds say, 'Its my life!", don't get bowled over. Try ignoring their choice of colour for walls or furnishings, for instance, they feel slighted, and make sure you pick up their 'I live here too, you know!' vibe.
As parents we raise our kids but often flinch at our own interpretations of what they tell us. A friend once told me, "I have a pretty intelligent kid but he want to be a 'bania' (shopkeeper)". The "but" in her statement indicated that she was horrified over his seemingly harmless ambition. The parent was obviously worried about what her peer group would think of her. What she failed to understand was that her kid would probably grow up to have great marketing skills!
In groping to find an identity, our children try out a number of roles; that of doctor, teacher, idealist, cynic, leader of lost causes, ascetic, artist etc. The consequent outcome will be influenced by three factors, according to the doctor of all baby doctors, the noted Dr Benjamin Spock: the pull of dependency, the intensity of their rebelliousness and the kind of outside world they find and what it seems to expect of them.
So, what can we do as parents? If we have down-to-earth, tangible goals, respect for our children, and respect for ourselves, we could set a pattern of inspiration for them - one that will build character and render them emotionally secure individuals. It is this emotional factor that will decide the final outcome. It happened to us. It will happen to them!
We can raise our kids but we cant run their lives, what we can do is this:
TALK to our kids about everything from their toys to the happenings in the adult world.
LISTEN to our kids, they might voice a personal problem or even offer a solution to your nagging problems.
WATCH our kids, sometimes actions speak louder than words.
TELL THEM PLENTY OF STORIES based on our own experiences, it will go a long way in helping them cross their bridges when they come to them.
Every child is deeply sensitive. The home is where he learns about sympathy and empathy. If he gets, he will give, so be sensitive to their needs and don't brush them off. This doesn't mean that you have to provide their every want, but give them reasons for refusal. Do allow for their inputs, and do work on reaching compromises.
God lends us our children until they move from being little individuals to adults. So treat them as the individuals they are, and not just as extensions of yourself. This will help you forge a better bond with them, and you will be able to impact their lives positively.