It was last year around August 2016, when my son Shriyans then in class IV had a social science formative assessment test at his school and I happened to go through his syllabus for the first time. I am referring to the XSEED Social Science Grade 04 Content Book and the very first lesson was on “Changes in Family’.
The lesson talks about a girl named Nina who goes to spend her summer holidays with her grandparents and learns about changes in the families over a period of time. The main sections were and ‘Changes in a Family after the Birth of a Child’, ‘Change in the roles of Men and Women in a Family over time’, ‘Changes in a Family after a Wedding’, and “Caring for the Differently-Abled”.
My attention was grabbed by first two sections.
Why?, simply because it touched upon how a birth of a child brings about a change in a family especially where the responsibility of the adults in the house increases. The daily routine of the family changes to take care of the needs of the baby and it is where the family members become an important part supporting each other.
But not every time there exists such kind of family support and it is where Parenting plays an important role. Father and mother both, equally responsible to bring in the desired transformation during all the growth stages of the child.
I am sure everyone would agree that bringing a child into this world is the easiest job and that it is an ability which comes naturally to every one of us and quite effortlessly without being taught.
But the question is “Is it so easy and natural for each one of us to raise a child supporting their physical, emotional, social and intellectual development, especially from infancy to adulthood?
I found the answer is not that easy.
When I dwelled upon and ask many of my friends who are parents to kids under age 10, some having their kids in pre teens and some even has teens. I asked them for the plausible answers and there were many mixed responses. I later categorize them as, “My Way”, “Your Way”, “Others Way”, and the “Right Way”.
Well, Parenting is all about knowing and promoting the “Right Way” that eventually prepares a child for being a self-reliant and independent individual.
During my post graduation days and even during the corporate life I had often heard of this cliché, one should have “Out of the box thinking”. And I always used to wonder what box is being referred to?, Does this box really exist? Even if it really exists then can anyone teach “How to think Out of THAT Box”? because, unlike 2 + 2 = 4, out of the box thinking was never taught during my school life and later there was no separate elective offered.
Well, the smart management gurus and learned individuals from corporate use this cliché as a metaphor for ‘creative thinking’.
But not all are creative thinkers. Are we?
That’s because “Creative Thinking’ was never a part of the syllabus or course curriculum.
Similarly, Parenting is never taught at school, at college, not even in the family or by relatives, forget about the corporate.
To know what the “Right Way” of parenting is, we as parents need to learn and understand some basics of human psychology when a child is born.
You may ask why psychology? Aren’t we grown and experienced enough to know what is good especially after being parents to a couple of kids now?
The answer lies in a reality that we usually ignore or simply because many of us are unaware of. And the reality is that as we have grown and become adults, and in the process carried certain filters and lenses that have defined our outlook and perspective towards life in general and also towards other individuals.
These filters and lenses have ensued in constricted approach and limited outlook because there are innumerable filters to apply and equally countless lenses to see through primarily because of the different culture, religion, education, economic background, value systems and partially our own upbringings. There are endless permutations and combinations of these parameters that are typical to each individual just like the unique finger prints.
Think for a moment what would happen and how would you feel if such filters and lenses simply get removed and don’t exist for each one of us.
Imagine it is now. And while you are reading the remaining article, you are with a clear and clean slate with no previous impressions of parenting.
With this state attained, my question to you now is, if you happen to learn something new about parenting, wouldn’t you be treating your children little different if you know a better way to do it?
I am sure the answer would be “Yes” from most of you unless one is not open to unlearn and learn, the concept would not seep in.
Everyone would agree that childhood has been the turning point for each one of us and it is no different for children. It may be worthwhile to note that by the age of 4 – 5 years, the children have grasped all that is worth learning for life. Rest is then consolidation through failed experimentations and sometimes aimless explorations.
And it is this period of growing years; parents need to be extra cautious about the getting the foundation right and later curing it with love for the rest of the life.
The crux of parenting is all about understanding your child and in the process making him an ACE.
A – Ability (It can be ‘Accrued’ over period time OR is ‘Inherent’)
C – Concentration and Confidence (It can be built around)
E – Energy and Enthusiasm (It varies from Person to Person)
But in doing so, it is important to understand the mind of children and guide them the ways and means of this world through the different growth stage that eventually defines and conditions their life.
So, where do we start from?
Well, the simple answer to this question is that all the parents need to follow a simple principle defined and dictated by nature. The same fundamental truth, a universal proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief for a chain of reasoning
I am no expert but yes, I was able to course correct myself on parenting after I understood this basic principle that relates to a child’s mind. I am now much more positive in building a strong relationship with my son in the time to come.
If you want to know the details about his principle, stay tune for the concluding section on parenting in my next post.