Parenting is a journey of lifelong learning and evolving. It is almost like growing up all over again with old experiences revisited, stories retold, emotions repeated and memories retracted with the difference that now, we see them from a parent's perspective.
May be that is the catch! What happens if we start looking at each situation and expectation from the same point as we had seen it years ago as children ourselves? How did we feel when mother wanted us to wear a particular dress which we were not willing to? And why did we not want to? If I look back in time, I possibly had a reason to not like that but surely I could not explain it to my mother at that point of time.
Many times, we as a kids also made choices which were hard to explain and equally hard to understand the parental difference on those. The responsible reason to our behaviour cold be many ranging from need of freedom to emotional needs or simpler needs or clearer communication or more.
Having lived through the 2 am feeds, it could be time for toddler tantrums, back-to-school blues, or handling your teens. Their brains have an immense growth spurt when are young and by the time they are six, they already have 80-90% of adult size brains. Which is precisely why these days, early learning is stressed on by researchers, educationist and psychologists across the word.
The child's brain remodels itself intensely during adolescence continuing through mid 20's. Teens actually experience significant developmental changes within themselves when the unused connections on the thinking and processing part of your Braun are pruned away while other connections are strengthened. This is the brain's way of becoming more efficient, based on the 'use it or lose it' principle.
With the growing years your child is likely to become more self conscious about physical appearances, changes and their self esteem is often influenced by that. And like in Ridley years the teen is also continuously learning about consequences of their decision and actions and are still developing their decision making skills. Parents would also have to be alert if their child's Search for identity which can be influenced by peer group, cultural background and family expectations.
As children grow out of toddlerhood, they start seeking independence in their own world. And the demand for independence just keeps growing which likely to engage in more risk taking behaviour while at the same time, they are still developing control over their impulses.
From pre-teens to teens, you may notice your child's strong feelings and emotionsat various times. Even the mood is fluttering and unpredictable. These ups and downs are partly because your child's brain still learning how to cope up and control emotions in grow up way. Standing by them and bring empathetic to your child is the foundation of compassionate parenting.
Five pillars of compassionate parenting are
Understanding is one of the most important aspects that we all should learn as a parent. When we understand our children we become more effective in guiding and nurturing them as they blossom into mature individuals. A good way to develop an understanding of your child is to start observing as they sleep, eat or play and look for consistent trails, like what activities so they like best or is adjusting to changes easy for them or is she less verbal about things or what is her way of expressing or what is her/his interpretation of a front and many others such details? If not God, surely secrets of good parts lie in understanding the details.
Bring aware and showing faith in the competencies of our children build their faith in themselves and their faith in us. A pre-schooler would fight over these while a teenager could fight to go to a nightclub alone. It becomes imperative to understand the peer pressure the teens go through and communicate the parental fears across before dictating the big No. Given the understanding and available choice of decision making, children appreciate the responsibilities, be it a toddler or a teen.
From the toddler years, children learn to gain independence through the developing motor skills or any of the developmental milestones.
As parents one of the most important goals is to raise children who become independent and self reliant. Parents should be mindful of this fact and appreciate the individual side and freedom required to raise such a child.
Freedom and independence do not mean complete free range parenting or giving in to everything children say. Freedom means offering choices and offering the freedom to choose and decide. Freedom of choice, freedom of choice, freedom to attempt activities and even daily task, freedom to ask questions, freedom of decision making are the internet human expectations which we often miss our considering in children.
Freedom means letting go of decisions which are not critical in a child's development like it is ok if your child wants to decide what to wear to a friend's party or a family gathering or it is ok if your child decides to finish her studies after the part-time. What is important is that you offer enough thoughtful choices and let your child know the rationale of your selections.
The parenting need is to find ways and means to offer freedom within set boundaries and keep expanding the boundaries as they grow older. We have to encourage each child to develop a strong positive sense of self and equip them with the skills necessary to live happily and successfully in a changing world.
Parents often forget that sometime or the other, children have to fight their own battles on life. So, offering life on a silver platter is just a digression from the realities. Giving children this freedom we let them learn better, help them accept their emotions and teach them accountability.
Love never spoils a child, what does is indulgence. Knowing someone loves you unconditionally and will be standing with you through thick and think makes you so much more confident of self and life overall. Perspectives change. As a child I would be more prone to own up my decisions or mistakes if I know that would not change the love for me or affect my relationships.
But the moment this love makes way for indulgences it's meaning changes. It becomes convenience. Hanging over the TV remote to the child because she/he has been crying or flooring ask over and the caregivers did not have the patience to divert the child's attention is not love. It is immoderation. Unconditional love did not need to prove itself with gifts, toys, chocolates, giving in to every tantrum or through any conditional reaction. Children, no matter how smart and intelligent they are, they thrive on love. Age just loving them is enough. Expression of love is equally important. When we kiss or hug our children when they are asleep, they do not feel emotions. But the same expression gives a remarkable boost to their confidence, their emotions web they are awake
And when we love someone, we also have expectations from them, a lot indeed! Expectations are never ending if we let them be. Seeing the realistic hopes for your child is as important as your child up for failure or causing undue stress on them when they are unable to achieve those. And it can happen effortlessly when we appreciate as themselves and can make the appropriate guidelines for them. Parents should not set expectations based on their own childhood. If you may have been lousy at a subject, does not mean your child should be lousy to, and even your aspirations cannot be dumped on the child. Expectations should be realistic, achievable, long term and in sync with the child's aspirations.
Communicating with each other in this world of virtual flutter and stressful lifestyle is not just important but imperative to stay connected.
Bring a child is difficult. Growing up, is even more difficult.
So how hard must it be for a child to live though incomprehensible communications and emotions till they reach your age to understand the perspectives? It must be hard enough!
Let's not make it more difficult by giving them a world of 'No' or a world of 'FEAR'. Negative dear or negative emotions create long lasting impression on a child's memory, impedes a lot more in getting up than we usually think and this contributes to the final make of the child to individual. Communicating the reasons behind you 'no's' will be more helpful than dictating a no or instilling the fear to keep your child away from something
Communication with your child about the freedom you gave, about your worries around them, about the expectations, about the limits and the facts that you care for them makes the BIG difference.
Parents need to be aware that they are not just raising children but raising the future parents and treat them accordingly. If the is any easier way to parenting children of any generation then I believe parents should never stop returning to their childhood and continue learning and adapting. If required, always feel free to seek professional help because the child is yours and everything about you is going to impact the child.