Neetu’s kids were fighting a lot and her friend suggested a book on dealing with sibling rivalry. She thought it was silly to read about how to handle children but finally got the book.
Their family and friends all asked them similar questions — Generations have brought up children without training. Is this a fad? What is there to learn about parenting? Isn’t it instinctive? Can anyone tell you how to bring up your child?
Sonali and Arvind said, “Today there is so much scientific information out there on what children really need for their development. We want to do the best for our baby. We would like to put careful thought into the practices which help our children and the ones that don’t. We are learning in the class how warm loving interactions with caregivers is what shapes the pathways in a child’s brain. If parents play such an important role we would like to have the knowledge of how to do it well”.
Kabir shared, ‘I remember how rebellious I was as a teenager. I would fight with my parents and do things behind their back. I gave them such a tough time. In those days they didn’t have the information about what kind of changes take place in the teenage brain and were at a loss about how to handle me! But now we do and I would like to be an informed parent. Attending the talk has helped me understand so many things about my son. I can see he is trying to form his own identity and I need to support him. And the world today is so complex and challenging. I want to know how to help a child handle the onslaught of consumerism and technology”.
Neetu’s admitted that the book was a revelation to her. She discovered how parents unknowingly create rivalry between children by comparing and saying things like, “Let’s see who comes first.” and “Why can’t you be like him”. She learnt skills for helping her children work out solutions to their problems by themselves. All these parents are looking for ways to empower themselves while doing this complex and challenging task — raising children! They believe that we can build on our instincts by using science and information available on what a developing child needs. In fact one of them even said, “If we bring up our children with more care and compassion, I think this world would be a better place.” So what is the message for parents.
Parenting, the most important job in the world, deserves support. Books, discussion with other parents, workshops or information from the net can enrich our parenting. For optimum brain development children need to feel safe, secure and loved. Bringing up children with awareness prevents us from interacting in ways which may be harmful to them. Knowledge and skills help us enjoy the journey of parenting.
Kesang Menezes is a certified parent educator with Parenting Matters, an organ isation to empower parents to build deeper connection in families. Visit parentingmat ters.in for more information.