Parenting starts the day we start thinking about having a child in our life. In olden days we used to have joint family where children used to get exposure of all the age groups and types of personality which is required to develop an assertive and wholesome personality. Parenting is a process of role modelling through which children imbibe desirable habits and skills. Since their birth children learn through observation and imitation and every habit/ attitude and skills they acquire shapes their personality. As a parent we need to have a clarity about the habits and skills we would like our children to imbibe so that we can practice them in our daily life for an effective role modelling….keep on reflecting…”am I demonstrating right values/ habits and skills to my children”. Some of the brick for effective parenting are given below.
Get to know the teachers
It is a good idea to meet each of your children and their teachers. Ask about their expectations. Find out how much time your child should spend on homework each night. Find out whether there will be regularly scheduled tests and if so, when. Ask about the best way to get in touch if you have questions. If the teachers use email, be sure to get their addresses.
Find a niche for yourself at your Children school
Unlike in the lower grades, middle school classrooms do not need extra adults on hand. But you can volunteer in other ways. Serve as an adviser for an extracurricular activity such as the school paper, chess club, or science fair. Help out in the computer lab. Being in the school is a great way to get a feel for what goes on there
Do behind-the-scenes work
If you can not be in school during the day, ask teachers and other school personnel to pass along some work that you can do on your own. Photocopy homework assignments; collect recyclables for a science or art project; serve on a parent-school advisory council; join your middle school PTO or PTA.
Go to school meetings and events
Attending concerts, plays, assemblies, meetings, and other activities are a good way to become familiar with your children school community.
Check homework of your Children, but do not do it for her
Offer to check math problems, proofread written papers, and look over spelling words. If you find a mistake, point it out to your child and help her figure out the correct answer.
- Know your child. Be aware of strength and weaknesses of your child.Praise them for strengths and work on one weakness at a time.
- Be a good role model...be the change you want to see in your child.
- Allow your child to draw/ paint and scribble on the walls of your home...you can repaint the walls...but the childhood is irreversible.
- Do not just drop your child to summer classes/ sports classes or hobby classes…as far as possible be at the venue and cheer up.
- Give him/ her exposure to all the age groups…
- Attend to their what why and how.....you may not have the answers...listen to their questions...acknowledge, validate and answer. For difficult questions, maintain a question book to document all the unanswered questions and try to answer gradually.
- Be a partner to the development of your child...attend Parent Teacher Meetings, Cultural day, sports day and other activities…attend from beginning till end.
- Gift yourself to your kid.Whatever time you are with them be 100%....talk listen play….
- During festivals like holi, deepwali, New Year Day, Easter etc...take your child to his/ her friends home.
- While buying/ renting home make sure that the locality has play area.
- Place things of day to day use by child at his/ her height.
- Your love is the best vitamin for your child…shower in plenty.
- 3Es of parenting...exposure..exposure..exposure. Parenting is a human affair..provide them as far as possible live exposure.
- Give them exposure to all the religions.
- It is ok to say no with love and logic.
- Play with your child...indoor as well as outdoor games/ activities.
- Listen to your child...do not be in a hurry to correct. Listen attentively and later on respond with positive words.
- Help them to do their home work, assignments....never do it for them in greed of good grades.
- Read….read and read along with your child
- Teach Problem solving
- While in restaurant read the menu for your child and encourage him/ her to decide/ order...this will facilitate decision making and language development.
- Abstain from daily mini skirmishes of a married life in front of your child.
- Let your child accompany you for shopping...while making shopping list...take their help.
- Share your childhood experiences with your child.
- Maintain your child’s portfolio.
- Before doing anything ask yourself...”will I like my child to do it” if yes go ahead.....if no...do not do it.
- Provide a home library to your child.
- Let your child experiment...with furniture...mobile..laptop..etc
- Respect your child’s pace...let them get ready, eat..walk at their pace...respect individuality.
- To celebrate your child’s birthday...give him/ her a budget and help them plan...
- While planning important celebrations like marriage anniversary, marriages etc..involve your child and invite their friends in such celebrations.
- Be positive while communicating with your child...less of “Do nots” more of “dos” for example....instead of “do not watch TV”, you can say, “watch TV for 1 hour only”.....
- Allow your child to express...wait till they complete, do not be in a hurry to respond.
- Appreciate choice/ decision of your child
- Children have right to privacy
- Believe in child first
- Be a child with your child
- Encourage your child for what he/ she is
- Encourage your child to spend time with grand parents
- Help others and encourage your child to help needy people...
- Awake your child gently in the morning, it sets the tone for the entire day.
- Allow your child to try different activity..cutting vegetable, tying shoe laces.....
- Talk about the things in your surrounding
- Give your child exposure of two to three languages, children easily pickup
- Grades and percentages are not only indicators of success in life……..Encourage participation in hobby, extracurricular activities and activities for holistic development….
- Let your child be comfortable in her/ his mother tongue, avoid saying, “speak in English only”……during formative years self-expression is more important than language.
- Practice sky watching and nature walking…..show interest and talk about things in the surrounding.
- Ask your child reflective, open ended and value driven questions. For example, “Share your experience of helping someone”, “How you have changed today”……talk to him/ her like a friend to help them open up and express their feelings and experiences.
- Whenever your child’s friend’s visit home….take good care of them.
- Follow rules and guidelines in your day to day life….being in queue, wait for turn….
These are some of the bricks which will help your child become a responsible and productive person, lastly remember, your child is watching you and imbibing values/ habits/ attitudes and skills which will shape her/ his personality…..at every action just ask..”will I like my child to do it…..”.