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True Joys of Parenting

Simple Steps to ensure Holistic Growth of your Child

Author: Soja Namboodripad

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/parenting-by-author-soja-namboodripad

Parenting is one of the most rewarding responsibilities, yet, humbling, and challenging process we will ever engage. The first persons the child comes in contact with are the parents (especially the mother) and so his /her relationship with the whole world is determined by what happens between the child and his/her parents. The style of parenting plays very important role in the development of the psychological, physical, emotional, social and intellectual aspects of a child from mother’s womb to adulthood. While no one can provide you with a fail proof road map to parenting with support from reliable sources and experiences you can create your own.

Parenting has its own innate pleasures. It can enhance the child’s self- confidence and sense of well-being. But, it is not an easy job. It demands a high level of commitment and dedication from the parent’s side. Being self-aware is the key to connect with your kids.

Understand the need to focus on nurturing your mind and body. Please make sure that you are eating healthy, doing mindful exercise and getting proper sleep daily to stay fit. The practice of Dhyanam (Meditation) will help you to have mental health, clarity and peace. A quiet and balanced mind and healthy body is very important to have a proper understanding of your child and his/her needs.

But today, almost all the parents have a very busy schedule and despite their wish, they get hardly any time to spend with the child. Even if they do, are they able to spend quality time with the child realizing the need of it? Still their expectations regarding their child’s performance are very high.

Parents Expectation can influence the child positively if the relationship is characterized by closeness, warmth and the amount of activities shared together like reading, playing, sharing works at home, sharing responsibilities, visiting places together... This quality time spend together will have a positive effect on the child’s life skills, aspirations, expectations and on the child’s character as a whole.

As a parent, what we have to do is just helping, guiding, supporting and encouraging them in a proper way.

On the other hand, if the parents make a frame and try to push children to make fit for the frame, will it be successful? It is like nurturing a plant to make fit for the frame, will it be successful? It is like nurturing a plant and stopping its natural growth by cutting its branches and leaves because you want that plant in a fixed shape which you think will look nice.

Please understand that children are children, the much alive people on earth, they have their own individuality, creativity, thought process and have their own limitations to perform any activities. Respect it. Mutual respect is very important in any relationship. As a parent, what we have to do is just helping, guiding, supporting and encouraging them in a proper way.

Drop your unwanted expectations for them, we don’t know what they are destined to become. (In fact, do you know what will happen to you the very next moment?) If we make ourselves free from the bondage of expectations, and decide to support their growth and development in a proper way, chances are very high that they will grow beyond our expectations. It may not be in the way you dreamt it, but will certainly be in their natural way which will bring harmony in their life.

When I say, just give support and guidance, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be authoritative or should not punish them if they are repeating the same mistake. You can, or you should. But, before doing that, first control your emotions if you are getting agitated or frustrated, find out the real reason what made them think/do so, or why they are repeating the same mistakes. Address the real issue. Think from their perception too, and then take action. In fact, they are ready to listen to you; they want somebody to tell them in their language and in the right way. First be ready to listen to them. Don’t get carried away by your own thought process, conditioned beliefs and unwanted expectations. You may have to regret later.

Most of the time, the reason for our unhappiness/sorrow is our expectations. Where do these expectations and conditioned thoughts come from? Are they even what we want? Those expectations may belong to us or they may belong to our parents and peers or of the society. With their influence, we form our character and develop a certain mindset. Then our expectation regarding anything will be based on our belief system, our ego, our obsessions, our ideas and so on...which are already conditioned. For example, we decide whether a person is good or bad according to our beliefs. We judge- “that person smokes a lot, so he is not good, I hate smoking”. Here while making bad judgment; we ignore all other qualities in him. If we realize this fact, we will be able to see the things in a new perspective. Can we drop our expectations and judgments? At least, to have a peaceful mind, can’t we expectations and judgments? At least, to have a peaceful mind, can’t we try to reduce our obstinacy regarding the result for each and every little thing?

Being Emotionally Honest is very important to build trust and security feeling in our relationships and to have a peaceful and successful life.

We dream that we should get happiness from others, and believe that we are unhappy because of them. But, we do not realize the truth that these are all wrong conceptions created by our conditioned mind, our wrong judgment and perception.

We are expecting our child to do things according to our wish (they also might be expecting the same from us!). If that didn't happen, we become frustrated. Think of the child... How frustrated/agitated will the child be? But he/she would also feel helpless to speak out because of fear of a negative reaction from parents or sometimes they may not know how to handle the situation and may over react to it in which case the parents may misunderstand it as back answering or lack of respect. Some parents will come to the conclusion that ‘the child hates me, she/he sees me as enemy” they will feel sad, become upset and it will come out as anger and they will show it on the child. The result of such behavior of parents on children can be violence, behavioral problems, low self- esteem and theymay face issues in adjusting socially.

Being Emotionally Honest is very important to build trust and security feeling in our relationships and to have a peaceful and successful life. The relationship that you have with your emotions is usually created in the beginning of your life. It is during this time that you should have the awareness about the emotions coming into your mind, and then, your ego mind will come to associate what emotions are safe to have and what are not.

Parents can create an emotionally safe environment, where the child and adolescent are free to be emotionally honest, or they may create just the opposite.

In fact, parenting starts when the couples decide to have a child. Our traditional texts and medical texts like SushrutaSamhita, CharakaSamhitaetc. gives us a clear idea about how to conceive a good child, how to give care during pregnancy, after birth, till the child completes Koumaaravastha(youth). Our modern medical science also agrees with the traditional texts which says the state of mind of the couple during placing the seed into the womb determines the type of child to be born. Yes, Parents' role in shaping their child’s psychological, physical, social and intellectual abilities starts from there.

Lack of ability to express true feelings and intentions of both parents and the child is a destructive pattern that causes genuine trust in the and the child is a destructive pattern that causes genuine trust in the parent and child relationship to deteriorate. This type of parenting makes children insecure, hurt and confused, with no tangible way to resolve the negativity.

Let us understand our children from their perspective and help them to grow with self-confidence, self- responsibility, freedom to express themselves, respecting one’s own value, respecting the culture and values of family and society.
Thus let us help them to be a good human being.

Children will feel a strong sense of inner security, when they feel accepted by parents as they really are, and not just as the image they believe they needs to illustrate. Then, they will get the inner strength to become emotionally honest with others because now they do not have the fear of others rejection. Simultaneously, they will develop their observing skill also. They will become confident and sensible too, which will help them to be more free to be themselves and with everyone. This process will generate intimacy, and genuineness in the relationships. They can use this new strength to cope with other areas of risk in their lives that can stretch them and expand new opportunities. This quality of Emotional Honesty attracts other people who are also secure. This will lead to the child having a very fruitful and positive secondary group.

We adults also can follow the same principle. We feel most understood and happy when someone understands us as we are. Feeling understood is very important at any age. Take a little more effort in understanding them, providing them with their emotional needs and wants (keep in mind that wants are not the same as needs). Commit to avoiding upsets and start interacting with authenticity and integrity. This will make our relationships much more fulfilling.

Let us drop our unwanted expectations and learn how to be natural with the proper balance of mind. Let us understand our children from their perspective and help them to grow with self-confidence, self- responsibility, freedom to express themselves, respecting one’s own value, respecting the culture and values of family and society. Thus let us help them to be a good human being.


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