The bearing and birthing of a child is a much-anticipated joyful experience. Next to marriage, child birth is one of the major milestones in a couples life. This is especially true for the mother whose body, mind and emotions are in constant state of flux and transformation during the nine months of pregnancy. The coming of the child into the world changes their lives forever. Caring for and bringing up a child till they become self-sufficient is a lifetime project. There is no standard manual which lays down all the different things one must to do to raise the child. It is a journey that has no clear milestones, one that every parent has to navigate on their own as each child is unique and different. So the question that often comes up is – how do we raise our children? How do we want our children to be when they grow up?
Since this a blank book, every parent can choose to be the author of their parenting journey. The incredible creation of the baby with flesh and bone in the human form is a splendor of nature. From the time the baby is born – when nature hands it over to us – it is the parents’ love, patience, maturity and creation of a conducive environment that is important for the baby to explore, grow and come into their own being. Essentially this period of growth and exploration is called the “Flowering”. Thus parents have a tremendous and wonderful responsibility to let the child “flower” without any negative intervention.
Are there any tips for parents to create the necessary ambience for the “flowering” to happen? Yes, there are. The first step is to know if you are ready to carry out this responsibility of nurturing another human being for a large portion of your life. The next thing is to see is if you have made yourself into a joyful and loving human being one that can withstand the pressures of parenthood without all the negative emotions – anger, irritation, judgment – that spills out when triggered. The important point here is to not be perfect parents, but to be willing and joyful people, who will happily carry out this responsibility. It is like “raising yourself first” before even considering “raising your child”. If these two criteria are met, then parenting can be a very rewarding, meaningful and joyful experience.
Below are some simple guidelines that will help pave the way for joyful parenting
1) While disciplining a child’s behavior must be done, it is also important to be conscious of how and when it is done. Having a constructive and conscious conversation without the anger, impatience and frustration shows the child that you care about the feelings behind the behavior. If the child is not open to a conversation, find a time when both of you and your child are able to talk about it in a constructive way, without turning it into a lecture.
2) Create the right ambience in the house. A joyful, loving and supportive atmosphere does wonders for the child’s emotional and psychological stability. Lead by example and consciously avoid your own temper tantrums when you are tired or irritable. Know that children that are extremely sensitive to a disruptive atmosphere will avoid conversation altogether. Create a certain sense of joy, love, care and discipline both within yourself and in your home.
3) Know that children learn by observation. How the parents are and the atmosphere at home helps shape their personality at an early age. Maintain awareness of your thoughts and emotions. If you need assistance keeping up the awareness, invest time in yoga and meditation. The benefits are well worth the investment. Your contribution to the next generation should be that you don’t leave a brat in the world, you should leave a human being who is at least a little better than you.
4) Most parents love to turn into teachers as soon as the child is born. Other than showing the child survival skills which they need to have, it is best to avoid teaching what you think they need to learn. Create a immersive experience for your child by exposing them to nature, art, colors etc. Let them explore and learn accordingly to their natural propensity. Allow the child to look around, spend time with nature and with themselves.
5) Spending time with your child helps you understand their innate abilities. One thing parents should avoid at all costs is push their own ambition that they wish to see realized in their child. At the same time, too much pampering and protecting the child from challenging situations will only ensure that the child will turn out meek. Strive for a good balance and concoction of love, caring, discipline and toughness in your parenting.
6) Encouraging the child to think for themselves and to use their own intelligence. That is the best insurance you have that the child grows up well.
The next generation of children should be such that they should be happier no matter what the circumstance, dream bigger, aim higher and work for not only their wellbeing but for the wellbeing of their community. If we can contribute in this manner towards our child’s upbringing this lifetime’s project becomes worthy and fulfilling. That can start only at home.
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