Society was undergoing huge alterations due to a collapse of joint family systems which were unravelling due to professional demands. This has brought in a lack of adult family members with additional time to take care of the children. The absence of meaningful interaction with grandparents & other family members definitely impacts the emotional and sociocultural growth of a child. This also has its unfavourable impact on the parents’ minds but they have to concentrate on their careers because of their times today.
The women these days are no more ringing the same conventional image of a mother i.e., of a stay-at-home mom. With the improved education among women and the higher costs of living, the part of the woman has altered from being only at home to sharing the load of providing for the family with her husband. This had led to a gradual reverse in roles between men and women in today’s society. Men and women are sharing even the household chores & children’s responsibilities.
The lack of meaningful interaction with adults has led to increased time spent on other avenues like gadgets, malls, and even putting children through various activities to occupy their time. And no matter however much one occupies the child – keeping in best of day cares or with trained nannies/ care takers the child lands up experiencing a vaccum in family life due to preoccupation of parents and absence of other adult family members.
This twenty-first-century reality has to be handled with a paradigm shift in the area of parenting. Parwarish brings conversations on parenting which explore behind the science and art of parenting. With changing times, what worked for us as children does not work for our children today. The challenges today are very different. Below mentioned are few things, which we discuss in details during our sessions.
- Always begin from the space of I don’t know !
Many times we as parents are only interested in defining a problem and providing a solution to our children. We want our children to process & imbibe this solution quickly. So a child comes home from school and really seems quiet & upset, we are keen to find out what happened, assume what could have happened and jump in with the reasons for the same and the coming actions to be taken for the same.
Eg. – Oh ! Did the teacher scold you, was your homework not complete? You are upset, but you should focus on completing your work on time ! Remember the many times that such scenario unfolds in your own homes. Please hold your horses. Can we just give our child breathing space – the space to be upset. Can we as parents just listen to him. His experience – the understanding, the learning & the meaning that he/she is making out of it. This can only come into being if the parents give the children an open space and literally come from the dimension of “I don’t know what has happened to my child, let me just ask and listen to him”.
2. Its okay for your child to get bored.
One of the biggest concern parents have is how is the child involved and spends his time learning new things. This also reduces their guilt of being away from the child. So they tend to pack their child’s day after school with activities, tuitions and extra classes. This packed timetable leaves the child with very little time to visualize, explore, wonder and be creative. These traits are highly critical in the overall development of the child. It is okay for the child to have free time to explore the play area, the grounds, the gardens, to roam with their friends or just be with themselves at home. Hence, always leave them with enough free time to explore their interests.
- The myth of time.
We can’t have 25 hour days. And as children grow up, their engagements with the outer world will only widen the gap of time between parents and children. Make the most of the available time with your children. Talk and engage with them. Do away with your gadgets at home. Dinner or breakfast should be a sacrosanct time to ask them what’s happening and genuinely listen to them. What might be trivial for an adult could be a daunting task for a child. It is not just important to make time for your child but also important to be mentally present with them. This involves giving them un-divided attention and having an active dialogue with them.
Dr Shruti Jaiswal is a mother to 3 year old, consulting homeopath & parenting expert with Parwarish.