January 31, 2018

Parenting Related FAQs

Not Sure About Understanding Your Child's Behavior

Check Out These Parenting Related FAQs

1. My 15-year-old son is browsing on his phone at 3:00 AM. What should I do?

Lets first look at the context of the question. What do you want to address - the symptom or the cause? Do we know what is he browsing ?Why is he browsing? why at that time? these are some of the diagnostic questions and not ‘questioning him’. Lets get the concern first and the diagnosis of what you want to address before addressing it! The only next step is to talk to him and know from him - without you being the senior detective and an authority. Chat-up and know - before you do anything. Would like to take an analogy. I saw someone shooting the other person in cold blood. What do I do ? (this question can not be answered without knowing what was happening and why(this guy was an army officer defending his country at the border and he shot the armed terrorist). Happy parenting 🙂

2. Why does my 10-year-old son never want to study?

This is a question most of the parents are stuggling with. The reality is that if parents and teachers stop pushing children then maybe we won't have many children studying! This stems from the fact that we have a warped understanding of studies itself. In our (adults) views too its a serious, difficult, arduous yet have to kind of activity. It's work!! And hard work!! How many people would enjoy or rather want to do something which is all of the above. Especially children when they have an option to playing which is nothing of all this but on the other hand fun and stimulating too! To study is to inquire, to explore, to experiment,to think and to be engaged with something intriguing. It's not in studying but in the whole context of studying and the way we think, communicate and the process we use to push children to study creates the relutance at one end and hatred at the other. Lets explore the subjects, let's get them to observe, question, and explore the topics. Every topic of every subject IS intriguing, they were born out of someone getting interested in what they saw and explored.

3. How can I encourage my 2-year-old son to try a new food?

There are two critical aspects of eating, which I have seen parents not use in inculcating good eating habits in children. 1. Eating is a basic survival need of the body 2. Every taste is an acquired taste So if you want your child to eat healthy and eat a variety of food. Give them a variety and do not worry about they not eating. It's only when we start giving options i.e. what would you have? That they start becoming fussy about it. I may be sounding unconcerned about the child but I am coming from the concern for the health and eating habits of a child. If not given an option and good healthy food made available - they would not only eat it, but also would develop a taste for it. Which would in turn ensure their health!! What we need is a bit of patience and belief in the above 2 tenets.

4. What is the major difference between modern parenting & traditional parenting? Is modern parenting better than traditional parenting?

Not sure about what you mean by the terms modern parenting and traditional parenting.. but I will take a guess on that and provide some insights on the subject.. In my view parenting is always being done from the past i.e. completely dependent on the way the parents were parented! Whatever we liked (or whatever worked for us) in our own parenting.. what our parents did and we approved of, is what we are implementing as a parent on our children. And stuff that our parents did which didn't go too well with us is what we are avoiding in our parenting with our children. Nothing wrong with this style if it's working. But more often hat not this doesn't work!! What we don't realise is that our child, the current environment, the society, the level of exposure and us are very different from us, our environment 30 years back and our parents. This method of parenting WILL not work for our children at this age.. Most of us have moved from an authoritative parenting to a permissive or helicopter parenting. In both the cases it's not conscious parenting i.e. understanding the needs of the child, his requirement in the current situation and environment and then doing something appropriate to the current situation vs. coming from what worked or didn't work for us. The game is to move to concerted parenting. Parents and children working together and playing in a concert of life - a joyful and fulfilling experience of togetherness.

5. What are the things that every parent must educate their daughter on?

The question itself has a connotation I don’t agree with. By asking this question we are starting from the premise that there is something different we want to educate our daughters on. (than our sons). Having said that - the reality is that even if I say they are not there is a stark difference is our society.

This is what our list for our children (both son and daughter) is…

YOU are unique

YOU are capable of Everything There is nothing you can’t do. Humans have unlimited potential - dare to dream and play it.

There are NO FAILURES in life - just iterations..

Trust yourself.. WE will ALWAYS trust you, love you and be with you.

LOVE yourself. YOU are beautiful. SO is everyone else.

YOU are the CREATOR of your life.. go create it.

GO play your life.

LIVE to experience life.

Experience the sadness the way you experience the happiness, experience the pain the way you experience the joy..

Honor and respect yourself; honor and respect everyone else! Nurture your uniqueness and that of others around you.

and Finally - EXPRESS yourself as yourself. You don’t have to fit in.

These may sound philosophical - if you read it again they the foundation of their life for them to build on. practical and doable

6. If you could give only one tip on how to be a good parent, what would that be?

Your child is not you.. what you went through as a child, is what you went through, what worked for you is what worked for you; what didn't work for you didn't work for you; the environment you had is the environment you had. Your child has his own needs, feelings, thoughts, wants. Shift to concious parenting of a different human..

7. Is it okay for parents to secretly snoop through their teenagers’ stuff?

Let's not complicate this..

  1. Would you like anyone snooping on your stuff. And if someone does or think of it what kind of relationship would you have with the person?

  2. This question talks about the 'trust levels' between the parents and child. If you are worried about your teenager getting into some trouble or hiding stuff from you. It's because there is trust deficit in the relationship. So if you really want to address this.. address the fundamental issue of trust - sounds difficult but it's possible.

In simple terms address the issue not the symptoms.

Let's start authentic conversation and build trust and responsibility in our children vs. being a watch dog.

8. How can I start building trust with my 5 year old son?

Building trust with the child.. this is actually a paradox! Trust is not built. Trust is kept intact and nurtured.

Your child always had trust in you. His life / his survival depended on you and you took care of him. So you always started with your child completely trusting you.. 100%

Now the idea is too look at what can come in the way that this trust gets broken and then work on those barriers.

If I ask you what are the qualities of the person you trust. You would say that the person

  1. Trusts me!

  2. Doesn’t judge or evaluate me

  3. gives me space to share and listens to me

  4. Doesn't hide from me. Is open to sharing himself

  5. Believes in me



So prepare a similar list for yourself and start implementing them with your child!!

Bingo!! It's simple (but not easy).

it's all about implementing the list which you just prepared.

Happy parenting 🙂

9. How do I teach my 14 year old daughter studying in 8th grade to be disciplined and not lie?

Lying is a symptom and not the issue. The idea would be to go behind why a child is lying. We don’t lie until and unless we are afraid of the repercussions of telling the truth. Check out for yourself - why is your child afraid of telling the truth. Is he getting intimidated, wary of reprimand or punishments, fear of being ridiculed, being lectured etc. Something is coming in the way for him to tell you the truth. The logic is simple you can’t do anything - coach him / support him till the time you don’t know the truth yourself. You would get to know the truth ONLY if there is a space for him to say the truth. Listening, creating a safe space to share anything needs to be created by the parent. Differentiate between listening time and correction time. don’t mix them. Listening happens through empathy and just listening without reacting. Correction time and ‘what next’ needs to be done at peace time - once the emotions are acknowledged and settled.

10. How much should we help an eleven-year-old with his homework and getting ready for school?

Before I answer this question.. I would want to ask you a question ! Do you want to make your child dependent or independent? someone who is self-reliant or is dependent on others to do what is important for him? These questions may sound stupid. But that’s the choice you need to make for yourself and your child. At 11 would you want him to develop self reliance / responsibility / being independent or focusing on his /her scores. Remember they will fall before they get up and start walking. That’s a normal learning curve. If you really want to support your child. Spend time in helping them plan out their homework and make them responsible for the actions and the consequences there of. In short - let them do everything themselves - encourage them to take responsibility, trust them and respect their actions and results. They will take time in making it happen.