Tuesday, February 16, 2016

10 Steps to Happy Parenting !

Happy Child Development
Happy Parenting
When it comes to raising happy, balanced kids, behavioural science has a few proven guidelines to ensure they turn out just fine. From bringing in the fun element to leaving them alone, just at the right time – here are 10 research-backed advises from socio-psychological sciences.

Jokes do the trick …
Ease up! Let go all unwanted emotional baggage. Research papers have claimed over the years that when parents lighten up, pretend to be funny, be playful or crack a joke or two with their kids, it allows the children to think creatively, develop the art of communication and human networking, and above all manage stress better. Parents who do not mind being the clown, often have their children thanking them later in their lives!

Being positive is the way to go …
Well this certainly is a no-brainer! How often have we seen that parents who repeatedly rough up their kids or resort to physical admonishments and outright violence, while handling their children’s failures or mistakes, land up raising overtly aggressive kids and young adults. The bad news is that behavioural belligerence at an early age (sometimes as early as 5-7 years) is a sure sign of uncontrollable aggression later in life, even towards the loved ones. So, it’s like that vicious chain of a ‘violent parents – violent kid – violent teenager – violent parent’, that’s hard to break. So, reassess yourself, as a parent. Modify, if need be. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

Cultivate a culture of self-compassion …
Self-pity and guilt has been well-recognized to play havoc among parents. Especially, with those who get to spend less time with their kids or those who are not equipped to extend certain social and material privileges to their children. It is very advisable to duck the undercurrents of remorse or self-pity. Self-kindness, empathy towards others, awareness and recognition of personal challenges, without being judgmental or apologetic is an extremely handy life-skill. Getting carried away or bottling up is certainly not the path to take. Children learn the art of self-compassion, humanity, resilience and the right ways to cope with difficulties from their parents. Are you listening?

Know when to let go …
There’s always this inflection point when kids tend to actively seek ‘freedom’, from the relentless scrutiny and control of their parents. However much we may dislike them, research findings clearly suggest, it’s probably the best for parents to know when to let go. Young adults with parents who are control freaks are known to be unusually self-conscious, apprehensive and often closed to new ideas. On the other hand children who are known to be brought up in a more relaxed environment are far likely to be self-assured, open-minded and independent. That’s doesn’t imply a parent needs to be completely hands-off. It simply means that parents do not need to act like drones, hovering perennially above their children’s heads – scanning and controlling their kids’ very existence.

Look after your marriage …
It is never enough to talk about the importance of a relatively happy and stable relationship between partners who intend to give birth to and raise emotionally stable kids. Obviously, it’s easy to preach. It is becoming increasingly challenging for couples to keep their home and relationship completely stress-free. Difficulties springing from modern life are galore and every new issue is weirder than the previous one. Yet, wherever and however partners can put in effort, they must do so. Who would want their child to suffer from sleeping disorders or see their kids grow up emotionally under-prepared to deal with the crests and troughs of life?   

Take care of your mental health …
Recognize early signs of depression and tend to your mental health. Glum, negative parents, who do not display enough concern about fixing the problem, do not do any good to their children. Pre-school children, being raised by depressed parents, have thrown up gloomy results of emotional health during researches. Brushing it under the carpet is certainly not what is being prescribed here. Seek help, if you suspect that you are depressed, for the good of yourself and your growing offspring.

Be good to your kids …
A secure, comforting attachment with the child is extremely critical in arresting chances of problematic behavioural patterns at a later stage in life. A warm bond, that allows space for occasional mistakes, is a stable base for emotionally healthy mental expansion of the child. No matter how much importance is assigned to bravado these days, kids still love to look back at their parents as an all-weather, safe and secure haven they can always come back to, if the need ever arises in the outside world. Children who have not been too close to their parents find it difficult to emulate the positive aspects of parent-child relationship during their own adult years. So, cozy up!   

Occasional arguments do little harm …
A little autonomy or an occasional debate or two at home is never too bad for your child! Interestingly, it has been found that however exasperating it might be, kids who are sometimes argumentative are somewhat better equipped to deal with peer pressure in the outside world. Hold on, I am not suggesting that kids should be encouraged to be confrontational at all times. But, it is also important that kids learn early to stand up for themselves, in spite of consistent parental support.

Nothing’s ever perfect …
There’s no need to torment your brain by setting ridiculously high standards and then struggling to cope with gaps and failures. Whoever told you that there’s a living animal called ‘the perfect parent’? New parents do not need to be serious enough to follow what the social order expects them to be like. No one’s been perfect, muss less any society. So, why bother? Be yourself; be confident in your intent and abilities. And, this is not a motorized task at hand, which can be ‘executed’ with mechanical precision, aided by a few formulae and global quality standards. Hey, this is the only unadulterated joy – parenting! Love it, enjoy it, succeed, falter, cry, laugh; above all, live the experience. Remember, not all are blessed to be a parent.

Above all, know your kids …
Parenting was never meant to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of an approach. It has been found that parents who were able to personalize their style, in keeping with the personality type of their child, have enjoyed a successful and pleasurable parenting experience. Depression, angst, nervousness, anxiety are often associated with kids who have had to deal with excesses of rigidity and compliance at home.  Even, well-meaning parents, inadvertently land up hurting their child, trying to be forceful and inflexible, at all times. It never hurts to be sensitive enough to look for cues from your child. There’s no harm in extending an extra yard of the rope of help and care, especially for kids who have difficulty in regulating their emotions.

Happy parenting!


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