Parenting practices have been evolving over the years with factors like community, family size/type and individual preferences influencing it. Being a parent myself, these are a few things that I have noticed in my journey so far:-
Boys Deserve Freedom Too! –
My son’s first favourite colour was Blue. He then moved on to almost all the colours he knew and has finally settled on Orange. Even if this fondness stays for a short period, I am a bit relieved it is not fixated on blue. I do not want him to be confined within the pink-blue binary.
Although I know that the colour he chooses as his favourite should not be my concern as a parent and whatever he chooses must always remain his own calling. However, not being rigid in the two colours binary will surely help him in avoiding the so-blatant-and-so-obvious choices the market offers.
The ‘Men are from Mars, women are from Venus’ argument has done more harm than good in explaining the difference between the sexes. The social construct around gender has limited not only the aspirations of a female child but has also hindered the emotional growth of males. While it is heartening to see girls doing well in all walks of life and their parents beaming with pride in their successes, boys too need to be liberated from forced masculinity.
Believe me, my friend’s daughter and my son are both equally happy playing with a cricket set and a kitchen set. You should try the imaginary coffee they make. It’s awesome!
Creativity Doesn’t Flow From A Faucet –
We all want our kids to be creative geniuses but when it comes to creating something tangible we want their work to be the best among their peers so much so that we end up helping them way too much.
Have we not seen immaculately worded projects or flawlessly painted artwork kids submit in their classes?
What I have learnt from the privilege of being a parent is to let the kids take on the challenge in their very own way. Their signature style can only develop if they stop following somebody else’s. The creative juices don’t flow from a faucet. One’s oneness needs to be nurtured over time.
Show Them Respect –
The first thing that we teach our kids is ‘Respect the elders’, but do we treat our younger ones likewise?
The answer is not always in affirmative. No matter how much our children take after us, they are not mini versions of us. They are a person in their own being. We need to let them be in all their glory.
We need to understand the dreams they have for themselves. The best way to do so is to listen to them. Listen to them intently and completely. A toddler deserves your attention even if they speak gibberish. Involve them in age-appropriate discussions. If you are a working parent, tell them why you are. If not, tell them why you aren’t. Children understand things much better than we expect them to.
My child was born a child. He is already what he is supposed to be. But I wasn’t born a parent, so I have to learn how to be one. And what I have learnt so far is that I need to improvise every single day.
About the Guest Blogger
Mehak Nain – Mother of class 1 student studying in Ryan International School, Vasant Kunj and a Government servant by profession, she is an avid reader herself and loves to read books with her 6-year-old.
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