When a child is born in the family, there is so much joy and celebrations in the air. The proud parents beam with contentment seeing their little ones shine. But many-a-times, the joys are short-lived as life sets its full course and unexpected turn of events distract the parents from spending the quality time with their kids. And that is when the digital medium gets engulfed in the little one’s life or the nanny becomes an integral part. And often, the parents fails to observe the missing element here. We fail to understand what the child actually needs or why do WE need to have an active approach in OUR child’s life?
Isn’t the above quote 100% true? We go to work and earn money, buy a house, pay lakhs for schooling, buy branded products, go for expensive holidays, to make our children feel that they have the best of everything. But let me tell you something, no amount of money or luxuries can replace the happiness in a child’s heart when we as parents spend a lone time with the child. We need no resorts or play areas to make him/her feel loved. So, let me begin my Chapter 1: Active Approach – The ‘A’ in parenting essentials.
A. What is Active Approach?
In simple words, it means getting all involved proactively in your child’s life each day, everyday. Active Parenting is a term coined on the basis of mid-20th-century research of social psychologists Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs. It involves improvising parental approach on a continuous basis and staying abreast of new developments in child psychology and teaching methods.
B. How can we do it?
- Acceptance: For a long time now, comparison has played a major part in raising a child. Right from the moment he/she is born, the colors, features and developmental milestones are in constant comparison with either the parents of the child, or siblings or with the relatives and friends. Once the child gets enrolled in school, his grades, skills and talent are in comparison with the world(thanks to the digital era). Every time, a parent or the family says, ‘Look at your brother/cousin – he is much better than you, has scored 95%, etc”, the child gets pushed backwards instead of getting motivated. A child who is raised in such environment generally grows up to be a shy and inconfident or a person with low self-esteem. So, let us ask ourselves, DO WE WANT TO RAISE OUR CHILD like this? If, the answer is NO, then ACCEPT YOUR CHILD!
Accept them as they are, with all their goodness and flaws. Tell them it is okay to be poor in something, when they can be much better in other things. Tell them, it is perfectly fine if they cannot sing or dance and support them for the things they love. Research and read on improvising their skill or talent.
- Adaptation/ Adjustment: I often see many parents letting go of the things they like, for the sake of their children and later imposing their desires on the child. Please, parents, let us not do that!
Having a child of your own is purely your decision or might be by accident. Relax, you are blessed. So, be happy and live happy. If we are sacrificing our requirements considering it to be the best decision of the child, then let us move on, never look back and not shoulder the responsibilities on our children. Let us adapt or adjust without any strings attached. Trust me, it is the best mindset, helps all to stay in peace and in harmony. Teach your children the hardships in life, it will be useful to them as LIFE SKILLS. It is not always necessary to give them all the luxuries and have a simple life for yourselves. Adapt and adjust to have a better life, but let it be for all of you in the family. By this mindset, the relationships will be much better. Let us raise our children right.
- Attention: As per the quote by Anthony Witham, ‘CHILDREN BECOME SPOILED WHEN WE SUBSTITUTE PRESENTS FOR PRESENCE’. As per many studies, this statement is found to be true in many cases across the globe. A child with parent-attention-deficit is more likely to have mental problems as compared to any other deficits.
Being a mother to a toddler, I know how much attention Ayaansh craves for – when I am alone with him/with my hubby/out with friends or at a party. He loves to be the epicenter of my life and relishes all the attention I give him. Imagine this little soul, who never gets bored of you, and clings to you at all possible situations. Every relation a human chooses comes with an expiry, but the mother-child relationship is so unique, God-gifted and wonderful. The little soul is in so much awe with you. Enjoy Mummas, the tiny little creatures are the most priceless in your life. Now Daddys’, please don’t get dejeceted, you are equally loved by your child. So, even if you are dead tired after a hard day of work, come home with a smile in your face to your child and see how he/she can expand it for you. All the tiredness will be gone in a jiffy.
- Activities: They are the most instrumental contribution to our children’s development. Activities can be in form of toys, books, outdoor or indoor plays, or can be a theme based activity box like @Flintobox or @FirstcryIntellikit. They can be in form of any sports or any motivating visuals. As a parent, first try to understand your child’s area of interest, read and explore the options available in market and choose wisely according to what suits your child’s likes, your budget and his/her safety. It is also vital that you as a parent spend the activity time with your child rather outsourcing it to grandparents or the nanny. A child learns better with a parent rather than others. Studies have found that the impact is much better when the child learns with his/her parent.
- Appreciate: Last but not the least, appreciate your child in his/her tiny achievements. Let the toys be stacked in the reverse way, let the colors be painted wrong, appreciate – because the child has attempted stacking the toy or has tried his hands in coloring. Their interests develop further more. When we as parents appreciate their little effort, what they gain out of it, is TREMENDOUS CONFIDENCE, TRUST in YOU and their love for you grows in multitudes. A ‘WELL DONE!’ or ‘VERY GOOD’ goes a long way than we imagine. So let the positive words flow out of you and let the child soar high with open wings. This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge on the first alphabet ‘A’. You can find all 26 posts on ‘A TO Z OF PARENTING ESSENTIALS’ under the hashtag #themummastartupwritesa2z in Facebook instagram and Twitter.