As we all believe in hands on learning and on the job way of experiencing, we have our own share of ups and down as Parents. The bumps hit us more when we think that we have innate skills of raising children and we can’t go wrong.
If we understand what Parenting is not, it helps us save ourselves from some obvious mistakes that we as Parents make.
- Parenting is not a milestone, it is a journey: “The day she/he joins a pre-school, I can go back to work”, “The day he becomes 18, he’/she can be on his/her own” are some statements that we use to fool ourselves.
Children remain our topmost priority after entering our lives and remain unfazedly so for the rest of our lives.
We can never think of this relationship as one we can take our attention off from. It has a beginning but no end. It is an unending journey where journey in totality matters more than milestones.
My daughter is appearing for Xth grade exams this year. The night before one of her exams, she was a tad nervous. “Will you be upset if I don’t do well tomorrow” she asked.
“Not at all,” I said, “I can’t be upset with my daughter for her performance. I will be upset to see her upset.”
“That is what makes our relationship stronger,” she said.
Her performance is not a milestone that influences me, our journey together is an influencer.
2. It is not about instructions, Parenting is a Prayer: “Why didn’t you listen when I told you to keep a smile while singing?”
“You made silly mistakes because you did not check the answers at the end of exam”
“How can you forget to put an alarm?” are remarks – helpless, angry or matter of fact – which we are familiar with.
We want our children to sail smoothly and as a result, we try to make it easy for them. We foolishly think that our step by step guidance will equip them to face future challenges while the opposite is true.
We need to give them open ecosystem to explore, to think, to fail and to try again while we observe them with a consistent silent prayer on our lips.
This 24X7 prayer from the periphery has more power than any other zero defect instruction booklet of the world.
3. It is not an expectation, Parenting is a Surprise: “I have sacrificed all my comforts in order to provide for her sports training”, “My child has fulfilled my childhood dream” are very common success defining opening speeches.
Children can be molded into means of attaining pre defined achievement or success but setting them free to explore the possibilities of a unique life is far more enriching and enlightening. Micromanaging results into many wins but kids might lose their own stories in our repeated monologues.
It will always be refreshing and apt if we encourage our children to spin a surprise life for themselves while we pray from the periphery, being a consistent part of their journey.
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.
Also read her best articles here!