Introduction to Parent-Child Relationship:
“Parental love is the only love that is truly selfless, unconditional and forgiving” – quoted right by Dr. T.P.Chia. The relationship between a child and its parents is the symbol of the purest form of heavenly love, affection, unconditional sacrifice, and forgiveness. The greatest blessing to a kid is to have parents to call Father and Mother. Likewise, being a parent is one of the most challenging, crucial and blissful responsibility one can have.
Parenting can also be termed as child-rearing. It deals with the continuous process of raising a child from infancy to adulthood through adolescence. Parenting involves supporting and protecting the physical, emotional, environmental and intellectual phases of development of the child with enormous patience.
Raising A Happy Kid:
The most important role of Parenting is not only to raise a kid but also to raise a happy kid. It involves understanding the needs and requirements of the kid, giving them moral support and proper education and pave the way towards being successful adults. This way parents can raise happy kids who grow into happy adults eventually. All parents want their children to be happy, and there are some scientific ways of parenting which may help in raising a happy child. Some of them are;
- “A Connected Childhood is the key to happiness” quoted by Dr. Edward Hallowell, M.D., a child psychiatrist. As he says, the first and the most important step for ensuring a lifelong practice of happiness is to keep the child connected with parents, family members, neighbours, friends, helping hands, pets even plants. Even if there is one person who loves the child unconditionally and provides moral back up to the child, the child will clearly be raised as a healthy and happy child. This feeling of being connected will always motivate the child towards good things. The child will always think himself to be a part of a bigger community where he is loved, wanted and understood. This eventually will create a barrier between the happy mind of the child and the feeling of frustration, anxiety, depression, and fears of being left alone.
- Teaching kids to be kind to others: Teaching kids to be kind to others is another important role of parenting. This not only builds the good character of a child but also helps in forming skills of the child to make them a better person for society. According to research, this quality of kindness makes the kids happy in the long run.
- Praising the child’s efforts: Being a parent, one should always encourage his or her child to become more efficient in the skills which he or she possesses and praise his efforts, rather than indulging them towards the pressure of perfections and competitions. This will ensure the proper upbringing of the child as an optimistic and successful adult and provide him happiness, inside and out.
- Encourage outdoor plays: Parents should encourage the children in an outdoor play where he or she may come across other kids of their age to build a relation of friendship. Playing in green grasses, coming in contact with mud and water is good for the child’s happiness, it would help him grow humble.
- The attitude of Gratitude: Parents should teach their children to say “Thank You” and mean it whenever they get any help from others, no matter how small it is. This way children will build an attitude of being grateful which will strengthen the child’s relationship with others and make him happy from within.
- Not spoiling the child with expensive gifts always: Presenting the child with an expensive gift which he wanted may be a matter of happiness and accomplishment to parents, but it ruins the happiness of the child in the long haul. Always being treated specially and getting everything they want makes a kid happy initially, but he becomes more materialistic and demanding in the future. This leads to the dependence of the child’s happiness on monetary aspects. Thus the absence of expensive gifts may lead to prolonged unhappiness of the child.
- A little sadness is vital for prolonged happiness: People appreciate light more as there is the presence of darkness in our lives. Likewise, a little feeling of unhappiness is also important in a child’s life to help him understand the importance of happiness. Though parents always want to see their children happy, dealing with little sadness helps children to learn how to stay calm in adversities. It also teaches children to cope up with obstacles of life and build social relationships and become compassionate.
Spending more quality times with kids:
In today’s modern and busy lifestyle, time passes by the blink of an eye. Nowadays, parents worry about not being able to spend enough time with their kids. Working parents feel guilty about working all day long and making their children get deprived of quality time with them. Recent studies have shown that it is not necessary to spend a quantity of time, but quality time with proper engagement with children may help them getting raised better. There are several ways by which parents can ensure the times spent with their children are of high quality.
- Parents should have a face to face conversation with their kids daily. This conversation should be encouraging and helpful to the kids.
- Parents should make their children feel their love and care. The kid should know how much he is important to his parents.
- Making and eating food together may form a special bond between parents and children. Dinner time can be a great way of being connected with the kids. Parents may utilize the dinner time by asking the child about his /her day in school, activities, things that made him happy that day, etc.
- Playing with children and helping them in their activities may form a greater bond of happiness between parents and children and make the relationship stronger.
- Parents should indulge in laughing a lot with their children. This helps the kids to be frank to their parents and share everything with them.
- It is necessary for the parents to spend quality time with their kids. Thus, trying to avoid television, being away from technology, not answering phone calls, etc. are important to indulge in quality time.
- Parents should listen to their children whenever possible. This may be a scheduled time or activity, like reading bedtime stories to the children or listen to theirs. This way the parent-child relationship may be improved optimistically.
Dealing with Adolescence:
Parents somehow manage to live through the early days of growing up of their children, and also their preliminary and middle school days. But the teen years of their children appear to be more challenging and struggling for the parents to deal with. As during the teen years, children step into the adolescence period. This teenage is the period of their intense growth, physically, emotionally and intellectually. Teens are very energetic and enthusiastic during these days. But many kids suffer from a drastic change in their physical and mental health, which leads to a conflict between them and their parents. Teenagers want to see the world, become more independent. Thus a separation appears between parents and kids. Parents seem to be more controlling or more indifferent towards their kids. There are some proved ways to deal with the adolescence of their kids;
- Research more about teenagers: Parents should educate themselves more and more about the teenage days and how to deal with them. They should also be ready to face conflicts and sudden unusual mood changes or behaviour of their children. This way parents can cope with the changes happening to their kids in the teen years.
- Communicate more: Parents should talk more often with their kids and also listen to their problems as a friend. It’s also important for the parents to talk about different physical or hormonal changes to their kids.
- Act more friendly: Parents should behave as their kid’s best friend. It is important to imagine parents in the places of kids to know them better. Understanding kids as a friend is more important to know their teenage years much better.
- Don’t expect too high: Teenage years are more important to grow and set the career of the children. They focus on their studies, and also different co-curriculum activities. Parents sometimes put much pressure on them for good grades and other good positions. Parents should also understand the dreams of their kids and what they want.
- Respect kid’s privacy also: Teen years are the phase of life when kids are growing and stepping in becoming a young adult. Parents thus should not invade too much into the privacy of their kids unless and until there are some warning signs.
- Observe the warning signs: Parents should keep an eye to the too drastic or chronic changes of their kids. They should watch their behavioral changes more accurately. Some of them are;
- Sleep disorders of children.
- Changes in personality.
- Changes in the friend circle.
- Sudden poor grades.
- Indulging in tobacco or drugs.
- Extreme weight loss or gain.
Parenting in Today’s Digital Age:
Parenting was much easier when the world was not so connected through smart-phones, smart gadgets, and the internet. After the invention of these always-connected devices, raising kids became further challenging for parents. Kids nowadays, having smart gadgets in their hands are open to the far wide unknown world. They do daring things and make huge decisions without thinking about the long term consequences. Thus kids suffer from a digital mishap during their adolescence. Not only kids but parents are also spending their time more in the virtual world. This leads to a communication problem between kids and parents.
A recent study reveals that depression in kids has hiked by more than 60% between 2009 and 2017. This leads to a severe psychological disorder in teenagers. This depression is mainly caused by addiction to the digital world. Children are being engaged in social media and digital media more and are welcoming unintentional troubles in their lives. Cyberbullying and cybercrimes are ever-increasing against children more and more. Some tips and tricks may be used to deal with parenting in this digital age.
- Set limits of using media both for parents and kids: Technology can not be denied in today’s digital date but we can set the limits for using it. Parents should limit the use of technology for their kids as well as for themselves also.
- Indulge in family media time: Children can share the screen time along with their parents also. This way, they can indulge in co-view and invest in more knowledgeable entertainments.
- Be a good role model for the kids: Children also try to imitate their parents. So, parents should set a good example of using technology and smart gadgets in their lives and set the time also.
- Create Tech-Free zones in the home: Technology should not invade everywhere in kid’s lives. Children’s bedrooms should be screen-free.
- Having Parental Control over online activities of kids : Children need to use computers, laptops and other smart gadgets for their studies and other constructive purposes. But parents should always keep an eye to the apps and websites the kids are using.
Modern Parenting Styles:
Nowadays, life is always busy and hectic. A huge number of mothers are going back to work. Single parenting is also increasing day by day. Families are becoming more nuclear. Gone are the days when kids were raised in a joint family or in a larger community. Every parent is different and unique. But there are some common traits of parenting. Thus parenting styles can be classified into four groups.
- Authoritarian or Disciplinarian: In this parenting style, strict discipline is maintained. Punishment is a major part of this style. Here parents communicate more with their kids, but kids don’t indulge much to share their views. Parents’ expectations are much high and kids are less independent in this parenting style.
- Permissive Parenting: This parenting style is exactly opposite to the strict parenting style. Here children are allowed to do whatever they want. Punishment is very rare and communication is both ways. Kids are allowed to share their views often. The expectation is not very high and parenting is more nurturing in this parenting style.
- Uninvolved Parenting: In this parenting style, parents are indifferent towards their kids and children are allowed to do whatever they want. Communication is very rare and parents are not at all involved in kids’ decision making. There is generally no expectation of the parents from their children.
- Authoritative Parenting: In this parenting style, parents set proper expectations for their kids. These expectations are rational, clear and reasonable. Children tend to follow certain disciplines which leads to the way to their success. Communication is appropriate and exactly set to the limit which is needed for raising happy successful kids.
This can be concluded that parenting is a blessing as well as a challenging job. Parents need not follow a specific parenting style. It’s important for the parents to be real to their kids. Parents can understand the needs, requirements, physical and emotional states of their children the best and provide them the required moral and intellectual support to become a successful young adult.
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