If there is one thing you can never get right – it’s parenting!
And that’s cause there is no right way of doing it anyway. Without learning or sometimes even reading enough about it, one day we become parents. There starts the journey of pretentious expertise – as if we are just supposed to know how it works!
What we seem to forget is this – when a child is born, a parent is born too.
So, as an eight-year-old parent of my eight-year-old twins, I must confess that I’ve had a blast learning, unlearning and relearning with them. Making mistakes and quickly getting back on feet has been pretty much a daily rigour but the ride has been fun for the love it entails.
Conscious parenting has helped me to get more things in order than I would’ve otherwise managed. Here is what has worked for me and might just, for you too:
Be open to learning new things –
Go easy on yourself, knowing that you are growing as a parent, at the pace with which your child is growing to be an adult. So, as much as I teach a few new things to my ‘lil ones, I’m just as open to learning new things from them too. And I do.
A huge personal learning for me has been to ‘walk the talk’. My duo of careful listeners bring back a few statements I make when they feel the need to remind me of it – and I am forever thankful to them for that. And of course, they are miles ahead with a lot of things I’m yet to catch up with – like their code (abbreviation)lingo and the world of online games!
Asking them for what I genuinely don’t know (and that list is growing like how) has made them believe that no one does, can or perhaps even need to know everything. And it’s ok to say that you don’t know when you don’t – a lesson I learnt the hard way in my life.
Back in the 20th century, parents seeking an apology from their young children wasn’t really a thing. So unfortunate! Apologizing is a good thing. It means you are aware of your fault. It’s a courageous trait, isn’t it? Can the weak apologize? Whenever I make a mistake, I’m quick at accepting and owning it up and apologizing. And that is what my kids do too. With kids these days, preaching does not help; practising does.
Don’t be over-protective –
One of the biggest mistakes we can make as parents is to be over-protective. We so badly want to ensure their safety that we don’t let them go out of their comfort zone. What we fail to understand is that our over-protective nature will only stymie their growth. Allow them to make mistakes, let them get a little hurt, encourage their curiosity, for that is how they will learn.
I have noticed many parents discouraging their children from doing this or that because THEY believe it’s a wrong thing to do. Preparing them too much takes away their real preparation to handle the tough time in store. Life is not a bed of roses for anyone, and thank God for that! Plucking every thorn from their way is setting them up for a disaster to be wounded deeply the day life pricks – an inevitable eventuality.