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”.

 

How giving are we as Parents and Leaders?

Joy of givingThere was an old woman who would climb up to this small church with a small bag clutched in her hand. After saying her prayers, she would sit on the stairs, take out a blue stone from her small bag, look at it for some time and then move back. A young boy would see her every day. He was attracted towards that blue stone. On Christmas day, he went to the old woman and wished her.

“God bless you. What do I give you?” she asked.

“I want the blue stone that you have.” He blurted out.

Within a second, the lady handed over the blue stone to the boy. The bag was empty after that. The boy was ecstatic to receive the stone and rushed back home. Christmas and the blue stone kept him in high spirits throughout the day. At night, he kept the blue stone under his pillow and went off to sleep. Sleep eluded him that night.

Perturbed, he went to the church next morning. The old lady was climbing up as usual. He rushed to her.

“I want something from you”, he said.

She smiled and pointed at the empty bag.

“No, I want your feeling because of which you gifted the only precious possession you had. Please give me that valuable feeling” he requested.

She smiled. “I have many precious possessions that I can give you”, she said. “A smile, a helping hand, a blessing“.

It is difficult to give away whatever is precious to us. Values and valuables – can be and should be shared.

In today’s time, it is difficult to give time, concern and attention. Rather than giving likes and comments on social media, how nice it will be to give some real time to our children without mobiles in our hand.

Rather than compiling presentations full of jargon and feel good data, how valuable it will be to give some real empathy and human attention to our colleagues.

The art of giving and receiving is becoming scarce. Giving with happiness and receiving with gratefulness are a depleting phenomenon. Let us learn to develop an attitude of giving and gratitude.

Donating and giving are different. Donating is easier as we give what we have enough of. If we give what we don’t have enough, we give a bit of ourselves in the form of our time, concern and empathy. That will be a real gift.

Receiving with gratitude is to remember it eternally. We should not want to return a help or a favour to the same person who extended it to us. We should try to at least give it to someone who needs it. A chain of giving and receiving binds all of us together. Let us start today.