3 Life Long Gifts From Parents To Children

3 Life Long Gifts From Parents To Children.jpg

Though children are the pivots of parents’ lives for good, it would be really meaningful and valuable if parents did these three things for their children – love, limit and let them be.

Love: Children need our love the most when they deserve it the least. We are the only people who could love them unconditionally. It is hard not to judge, it is difficult not to compare, it is tough not to lose cool but it is imperative to love without judging, comparing and fuming.

When we love them unconditionally, they learn to value life unconditionally. When they have the confidence that they can come to you anytime with a broken nose, a broken heart, a broken bank balance or a broken life, they will have the courage to bounce back every time they get knocked down. Love them, show them that you will love them come what may, forever.

I always tell my fellow parents that Parenting is an emotion. One should become a Parent only when they are sure of having this emotional energy which keeps them patient, sane and hopeful as a parent for the longest of time. The emotion called Parenting keeps us awake for nights when they have a cold or an exam or a late night party. This emotion keeps us calm when they defy or fail an exam or mess up with a senior. This emotion keeps us concerned, even when our kids turn fifty. This emotion keeps us content, even when we miss them in our empty nests.

Limit: All the cool, friendly parents of today need to remind themselves that their children need parents, not friends which they have many. When parents are disciplined, children adapt their ways. We must gift emotional discipline, health discipline, time discipline, learning discipline and moral discipline to our children. Our children need to learn to face rejection and disappointment as an integral part of life so that they don’t get unusually angry or depressed. Ensuring development of healthy habits for eating, exercising, sexual activeness is our prime responsibility.

Showing them by example to organise and prioritize goes a long way in making them self reliant. A strong value system coupled with habits like reading and researching helps them decide between right and not so right choices. Limiting them is a skill we all need. I always tell my parent colleagues that kids don’t learn when we teach them something, they learn when they are ready. We should keep showing them the right behaviors and they will pick it someday which could be today or years later.

Let them be: Having expectations is natural for Indian Parents as we are used to parents owning lives of children. We are to our children what a gardener is to plants and trees in a garden. He looks after the plants’ well being every day, adding manure, required fertilizers, cutting, mowing, pruning, but he doesn’t own the plants, the flowers and the fruits.

Despite all the care, some plants get uprooted or wilt due to weather conditions. A gardener observes and tries to control the damage by being caring as well as vigilant. Parents do the same by observing silently, encouraging from the sidelines, guiding casually without being pushy or authoritative.

We can show them the path, but we can’t walk for them.
We can teach them the words, but we can’t talk for them.
Let them bloom into their own persons with their unique fragrances. Let’s not try to make them a version of our dreams and expectations.

About the Author

swatilodha

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What is common between a Football team Coach, a CEO and a Parent?

Football PlayingA football team coach could be a successful player himself or he might have started coaching when his professional career didn’t scale great heights.  A successful player turned coach would have more difficulty shedding his ego than the one who is only a successful coach. A sports team coach needs to shed his ego completely in order to manage mammoth egos of players.

A CEO of today can’t retain talent if he throws his weight around. As hierarchical echelons are biting the dust in new shared spaces offices, team members expect their superiors to be guides, not bosses. Experience in terms of years has lost the importance it used to carry. More openness to be a constant learner and keeping haughtiness at bay would make a CEO successful today.

My mother-father could demand obedience and get yes as an answer from me without any question. My ego feels so embarrassed when my daughter tells me to stop fretting over exams. She asks me ‘why’ for so many things in a week that I wouldn’t have asked in my whole childhood. As a mother, I am as old as she is.

We need to shed our inflated egos as coaches, leaders or parents.

A coach is coach because of the team; a parent is a parent because of the children. We got a chance to learn before them as we were born before them which is hardly an achievement.

The more humble and giving we become as a coach, a CEO or a parent, the more are our chances of accomplishing great results.

All the three need to observe each of the player, team member or child closely before starting to deal with them. A continuous close observation, a few concrete instructions and unconditional support at all times are hallmarks of an effective Coach, CEO and a Parent.

Share your experience here or on Facebook if you feel that your parenting experience adds to your leadership / coaching role.

Parent

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

Thank you for Changing my Life

Swash.JPGAs an entrepreneur, I started a company called SWASH (Skills, Wit and Attitude are shaped here) in 1997.

I designed a few courses to help children, adolescents and professionals to build confidence, ignite their motivation, and hone their public speaking skills. Apart from life skills and soft skills enhancement, I offered them my eyes to observe their heartfelt emotions, my ears to listen to their unsaid stories and my shoulder to lean on in distress.

Having trained thousands of participants in last fifteen years, I felt like asking them if SWASH still meant something to them. Three days ago, I closed my eyes and tried to remember as many names as I could from various years (from 1997 – 2007) .

I wrote around thirty names in under five minutes and posted a small note to them on Facebook. (I searched twenty of them on facebook, sent a friend request which was accepted within a minute. I was already connected to the rest)

In the note, I asked them:

  1. When did you join Swash (at what age) / What were you doing at that time?
  2. Do you remember how you felt at Swash? Do you still follow what you learnt?
  3. Do you honestly believe that a guide/coach can influence you forever?
  4. Did I touch your life, enrich it in some way or waves of time have wiped off all of it?

I wrote it because I missed my students so much. I wrote it because I wanted to know if life coaching really helps.

To my surprise, I received sixteen responses immediately which were all liners like

“I cannot forget you ever Ma’am”

“You are the best mentor I ever got, thank you for making me feel special once again.”

“A Pranam and a big hug to you, Madam”.

They all promised to send detailed answers (already got 5 this morning) but their immediate responses warmed my heart and nourished my soul.

Have you ever felt the same warmth and contentment?

It doesn’t hurt sometimes to ask your loved ones what you mean to them.

Swash

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

How well do I Fail? #BigIdea2016

Failure is Welcome 1

I learnt to fail early in life. I failed more as parents had high expectations from me. It is not about failing or realizing that you are failing. It is about how we respond to it. It is about how our environment responds to it.

A personal failure teaches lessons differently from a crisis which is related to family or workplace.

Childhood failures made me resilient.

I studied in a Central School where only children were present. Till middle school, I was unable to speak English which caused a lot of embarrassment in front of students from army background whose parents got posted to this remote town. They would bully me or laugh at me when I tried to speak in English. This sense of inadequacy made me struggle on my own. My father would subscribe to Reader’s Digest (I have a full collection of Reader’s Digest since 1969, thanks to him) (http://readersdigest.co.in/) and I would read it from cover to cover without understanding most of it. I persisted alone, spent nights with dictionaries, wrote word-meanings, underlined sentences and muttered to myself. I fell in love with English and turned around my failure.

I was short and failed in sports. As I didn’t enjoy it much and was generally the softest target during dodge ball and Kho Kho sessions, I accepted it. I chose a response of laughing with others at this weakness of mine. I learnt to celebrate this weakness by laughing at my failure at serious sports. (I tried tennis and badminton for two years before admitting it)

If parents allow children to fail naturally, it makes them confident for life. My 10th grade failure (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-good-storytellers-make-leaders-dr-swati-lodha?trk=mp-author-card) made me fearless for life. My parents and I learnt to welcome failure with that incident. It bonded us to fight any adversity head on.

Leaders who choose to befriend failure and transform it into a beautiful lesson and stepping stone can manage any crisis. Biggest life lessons come out of crisis – how we handle them and respect them.

All turnaround CEOs are not magicians. They are failure friendly and detached doers. They expect to fail, accept it and take actions objectively to turn it into a success. A detached leader would disrupt without getting emotional about the existing product or company.

I started my first venture SWASH as a unique learning ground for children and adolescents. I started it in 1997 when I was an MBA Student. Teenagers, students from engineering and medical colleges would come for month long courses and make relationships for life. By 2007, things started changing. I needed to scale it up but the way I used to invest myself in students; I didn’t find a way out.

I failed to create a team who could listen to youth, nurture them and guide them through their delicate and thorny adolescent years. My attachment to SWASH led to its failure. There is a great need for such institutions which can become anchors for talented youth and people in general but in a digital avatar perhaps.

Admitting failures as parents and leaders prepare us to fail better next time and create grander success.

Ask yourself – Do I respond well to failure? If you expect, accept and disrupt failure, you are gifting an amazing future to your children and your team.

Learn More – Follow Me (Dr. Swati Lodha)

5 Signs that you are failing as a Parent #Big Idea2016

photo-parent-child-riding-bikesIt is very important for me to keep a tab on my ability and competence as a parent. Just as I cannot take credit for success of my organisation, I would never desire credit for raising a happy, confident, value centric child.

Nevertheless, I would always keep assessing my parentability.

You are failing as a Parent:

  1. If you cannot disambiguate your childhood memories:

“When I was a child, I always polished my shoes.

When I was your age, I never asked for pocket money.

When I was in 10th grade, I got my first watch on topping my class.”

You are telling the truth to your children but what about the remaining truths like when you bunked your school, when your father found out about the love letter you wrote to a classmate or when you cried whole night to go for a friend’s wedding.

After becoming parents, we tend to have biased and selective childhood memories. We only remember our achievements, our niceties and our obedience as kids. We conveniently erase all the memories of heartache we gave to our parents.

If you hide your shortcomings, your defiance and misdeeds, you are hiding your true self.

  1. If you live under an “I know everything” umbrella: Though we prepare for every small test, every interview, we never prepare for playing the parent role. We just feel like gaining all the parental wisdom by ourselves. It is important for us to admit that we need to reinvent ourselves after we become parents. We need a potion of discipline – balance – patience to start the journey. It is prudent to learn and upgrade our knowledge consistently on the way.

If we fail to curate our technology use, if we fail to appreciate their web content and music downloads, we will not be able to observe the evolving of our children into the personalities that they want to become.

  1. If you tell and not show: If you tell your children not to use mobile phones on dinner table but you keep checking your messages between meals (urgent office work!), if you tell your kids to exercise while you create new excuses to avoid Yoga or Gym sessions every day, your instructions will have no impact. It is very difficult to be a 24X7role model but then whosoever told you that Parenting is a joyride was genuinely kidding.
  1. If comparison bug has stung you:

”How many marks did the topper get?

Who got the highest package?

Why don’t you be punctual like me?”

If you use such questions, you must be comparing yourself too with your friends, colleagues and anyone worthy of your attention.

It undermines your confidence and self esteem. It makes you feel inadequate and it robs you off of your uniqueness.

To future proof your kids, tell them to benchmark themselves against themselves resulting in gradual and steady improvement.

Winners are trend setters who focus on breaking their own records. They are winners not because they win but because they focus on self improvement.

It is a norm in my household that we never discuss grades / performance of any other child. “I am interested in your performance only” is my standard response to my daughter. Love yourself the way you are. Love your children the way they are.

  1. If you are not grateful enough: When people feel entitled to get the services of a servant, a driver, a waiter as they are paying for it, they will never be grateful for all that they have got.

An ungrateful parent can never raise a grateful child. If you fail to develop the attitude of gratitude for everything from a day well spent to luxuries of life, you fail as a human being.

ENTER 2016 WITH THESE POINTS TO PONDER. THIS IS A BIG IDEA NOT FOR A YEAR BUT FOR LIFE”.

 

Are you bringing out the best in me?

Extraordinary“Will he/she get mad at me? Will he/she judge me and laugh at me? Will he/she make me feel stupid and useless? How do I make him/her happy? Will he/she leave me?”

Do we come across these thoughts often? It might be any relationship which makes us think like that. It could be your parent, your spouse, your friend or your boss.

These thoughts signal that we are spending our lives with people who don’t bring out the best in us.

Our intentions, as parents, as spouse, as superiors, as friends might be to help our kids, spouse, subordinates and friends but we might not be getting the right results.

Psychiatrists and counselors in Mumbai claim that children as young as six years are showing signs of depression. Psychiatrist Dr. Harish Shetty meets at least one child every day with a strong tendency to die. Children are stressed more due to pressure from school and parents, cyber bullying and reaching early maturity.

As parents, are we bringing out the best in our children?

Childhood is not a parking lot for adulthood. We parents and teachers are guilty of curtailing the childhood and compressing it too. We curtail their childhood by making them compete early, by handing over the gadgets at a ridiculously early age. We compress their childhood by packing in innumerable structured activities to make them a master of piano, soccer and abacus. Can we find ways to bring out their imagination, bewilderment and a sense of happiness in the present?

Ask your spouse if he/she feels facilitated, cooperated and encouraged by your words and deeds.

During my women empowerment workshops, I come across brilliant women who have given up on their enterprising selves owing to lack of understanding and support from their partners and families. Our social conditioning and polarized expectations don’t bring out the best in us.

The tech orientation program offered by MotherCoders  (http://www.mothercoders.org/)to young mothers is an exceptional move to bring out the best in these talented women who can, give an opportunity, balance computing with childcare.

As leaders, do we invest enough time in our team to figure out the kind of people they are, the kind of priorities they have?  

It is generally said that people join organisations but leave their bosses. If a superior stifles your mind, hurts your self esteem or manipulate situations, you will be sulking and fretting over petty issues.

Do you feel embittered and helpless in your important relationships?

It is time to remind yourself that you need to spend your time and energy with those who empower you, embolden you to realize your potential – personally, socially & professionally.

“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.” – Rumi

References:

  1. http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/index.aspx?eid=31804&dt=20151216
  2. http://www.mothercoders.org/
  3. http://peacefulrivers.homestead.com/rumipoetry1.html