Children respond to the environment in which they are raised. Studies have shown that their learning capacities and emotional health are a result of the stimulation and nourishment, physical and emotional that they have received during their early years. This can go a long way in determining the kind of adult the child will grow up into - emotionally stable, warm and caring. After values are not taught, they are imbibed!
You become a parent the moment your baby enters this world. Parenting skills need not be learnt in a classroom or through extensive reading. Yes, picking up valuable tips surely does help. It is neither an inborn knowledge that one acquires the moment one becomes a 'parent'. As a parent, you too learn through trial and error. Rely largely on your instinct and bond well with the growing infant. As the baby grows, so do the demands on the parent. Fret not if you make some mistakes. We all learn along the way.
Wise is the man who said - 'Before having kids, I had 3 theories about raising them. Now I have 3 kids and no theories!'.
Parenting is not about one magic formula that you can apply. There is no 'one size that fits all'. What suits your sister's kids might not work for yours. Often, what worked with your first-born might not produce similar results with the little one. There are certain principles of parenting that never go out of style; that hold good with different environs and generations. But keep your parenting goals clear, providing an environment of love, security and ambience for learning and growing.
Disciplining is another important facet of parenting. Whether it is the temper tantrum of a three year old or the sulking ten year old, every parent will have a similar story to tell. Look at behaviors or attitudes that you want to address. You can't expect many positive changes to happen all at once. Effective parenting involves making sensible decisions and following practices that help the child understand what behaviors you seek to modify. Explain the change rather than forcing it down with an authoritative talk. Often parents hesitate to set limits. Keep the discussion focussed.
Always remember that your kid is watching you and most often learning happens when you are not teaching. Be involved in your child's life - let them know they matter to you. Shower them with love; love never spoilt any kid. But when you substitute your love with material gifts, lowered expectations or leniency, that's when it can spoil a kid.
Keep your parenting style to suit the growing child. A 4 year old needs to be treated differently from a 10 year old. Always establish your rules and priorities. Remain consistent about it. Don't keep changing the rules every other day. It is perfectly normal for any child to test the limits. While it is frustrating to the parent, it is perhaps the only way to differentiate between right and wrong behaviors; between what is okay and not okay.
A child learns a lot from the memories that are created for him; without even meaning to. It is ok if your child sees you struggle or even cry sometimes. Similarly it is nice for kids to see their parents be loving to each other, be respectful to each other. Your fitness habits and eating habits will influence the child for a long time. If you are a spiritual person, get the kid involved in some similar activity or prayer.
This parenting section is for every parent - working mom or stay-at-home mom. Read up our features on parenting through the first few years of a child. We take you through age milestones and early parenting woes. Find out about sibling rivalry and how you can cope with it. If you have school-going kids, you will find all you need on coping with homework and activities you could involve your children in. Creating daily routines is one good way to handle this.
As a parent, you would want to give the best for your children. Give them love and care and build their feeling of self-esteem. Respect the child at all times. After all being a parent is the most important role that you will be playing in your life!