Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Creative Parenting

As parents we are programmed to make all the choices for our children. Whether it is a choice for the right kind of age appropriate toys, what to eat, what to wear, what to read, which shows or movies to watch on the television, we end up taking the whole end ownership assuming they are lousy choosers and ‘Mom knows best’! Even though at times we do give them their right to choose, we condition their choice by attaching a string at the end of it; the moment we see that it is not being directed to what we perceive the right direction is, we pull the string, put our foot down and ensure that the choice coincides with what we want. In this process of bombarding our choices on the child we often forget to appreciate her way of looking at things and more importantly ‘her choice’.

Being a parent is no easy job. Physical openness and awareness towards everything is very important. Whether your child is watching the right kind of programmes on the devices we give them, whether she is reading the right kind of books, whether she is having the right circle of friends; being aware is very crucial and infact the first step towards good parenting. However, in this strive for protecting our child against the most perceivable alluring evils of daily life we forget that we are actually restricting her from being herself and being independent. Yes a child is very vulnerable in the early stages of life and it is important that we as parents should take the right decision, but it is equally important to give her the opportunity to take that decision herself; and if she fails the assurance of a support system is at least we can guarantee. The very chance of giving them a chance for making a decision for themselves, from as simple as which toy to play to brushing their teeth without any assistance, gives them a sense of empowerment. A sense which will help in building up their level of confidence and not fearing failure!

As the interactive session on how toys and creative playing help in the mental and physical growth of a child came to an end, a certain video where an interview with an employee working in the designing field of a world renowned toy manufacturer caught my attention as a parent. Certain pieces which the author focused on how to encourage a child for being more creative started looming in my mind. Like many other parents, controlling my child’s activities is something I am used to leaving little place for her to grow and create. Whether it was directing her on how to play with her Legos or discipline her on the table manners, limiting her life with fewer options was what I was doing. But like all children, being instructed and guided all the time was making her a rebel. Often she just did not care to what I was saying making me more frustrated. A particular line in this video that the author said started making sense in the given hostile environment that I was facing with my child. He said a continuous monitored domain where a child is incessantly told what to do and not let them be themselves made them reprehensive and hostile towards the parent who is making them the subject of rigorous control. Sometimes they just shut themselves off and refuse to understand and reason out no matter how much you try. So it is very important for we as parents to understand why our children behave so radically and refuse to do what they are being told. As parents we should appreciate and respect that they are humans too with their own set of desire, wishes and moods. Anything said which is against their wish, desire and mood per se will result in such hostile behaviour. It is not that they are inherently designed to revolt, but they are being tested to their relatively smaller tolerance and acceptance limits. As parents it is very important for us to guide our children in the right direction, but it also as much important to give them the right kind of resources, ensure that they are safe, and just allow them to be themselves. Children by birth are curious by nature and this curiosity will make them try different things, and squeeze out their creative juices, thus resulting in creating wonders. Continuous and restrictive monitoring will only do more harm in the long run; however, orientation of the available choices at hand and allowing them to make the choice will help them in taking unbiased and confident decisions.

As parents our only aim in life is to raise responsible, independent and good human beings and the urge to fulfil this aim directs us in dominating everything in our child’s lives. But our endeavour for raising a self-confident child who makes the right decision for herself and others can only be realised if we start empowering them with more opportunities for taking those decisions. As the age old adage goes ‘practice makes a man perfect’, so does good parenting tip goes, let your child be what she/he wants to be, if not always but most of the times. Controlled parenting along with creative parenting is what I think is a key mantra for successful parenting. 

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