Welcome aboard this blog train – “My Parenting Mantra“. We have some awesome bloggers who are going to drive it for over a month. We promise to bring you some enriching contents that will add to your own parenting experience.
Meet all the blogger moms who are part of this blog train here – www.facebook.com/merogandmom
Children everywhere are like the seeds of the future of our world.
-The Dalai Lama
Parenting is like gardening! We can sow the seeds. We can water them, nourish them and set them in the sunshine. We try to protect them from the elements as best as we can. One day they grow up into the big independent trees. They bud. They bloom. They show up their true colors. But they have their very own set of characteristics. They add their own beauty to the landscape. They provide beauty, shade, oxygen, clean air, water, fruit, nuts etc. ((Which can not be claimed by you alone!;) ).
Likewise, our job is to nourish and protect kids, but most important, it is to appreciate the beauty in our kids. A child’s needs can be correlated with the tree needs, Earth(Strong Support System), Water(Enriching Nourishment), Sun(Healthy Surrounding/Exposure), Air(Freedom to live). The stronger his connection to these sources, the stronger he will grow to be. But, all take a great deal of patience. The important thing is that, we need to set them free to live their own life when they are ready to thrive and flourish.
People have been raising kids since ages. There are a several different ways of parenting and a several ways to be a good parent. There is no approved theory of parenting. But there are just few parenting mantras that have worked for me which are –
1. Positive Parenting
I think, having breakdowns in my child’s life is absolutely normal part of his growth! But setting clear limits when required, sends message to him and the society both (who is judging me when my child throws himself on the floor) that I am calm, controlled and matured enough to take right decisions and actions for him (being his first teacher at this early stage of his life).
I just try to ignore those onlookers who are trying to judge me! Ignoring them is such a good strategy!!😇 Staying calm, poised and composed helps a lot. Cause, if I loose it too, it will likely make the situation more stressful or challenging! (No doubt, I fail to do this many times 😉 But I try to control.)
Validating my child’s feeling and not behavior, makes him learn how to deal with strong, powerful and difficult emotions. Redirecting him by soft positive communication helps too. I know, my child can learn better from consequences and through subtle messages!
2. Emotion Coach
Unlike adults, kids can not express their feelings and emotions.
It is very much required for me that, my child should learn to STAY CALM, express his POSITIVE and NEGATIVE feelings, and enjoy the experiences in a confident and successful way which can develop POSITIVE SENSE OF SELF in him! I try to let my child know, all the emotions that he feel are absolutely ok, But not all behaviors are ok! Offering kisses and hugs helps a lot when he needs to get calm down.
Simple communication helps a lot in day to day life, like –
“HOW ARE YOU FEELING? or “IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SAD ABOUT SOMETHING.”, “I “I AM FEELING HAPPY TODAY BECAUSE TODAY WE ARE GOING TO GARDEN!”or
“I AM FEELING SAD TODAY BECAUSE YOUR DADDY IS NOT WELL”.
Labeling my child’s feelings (when he does not have the words to express how he is feeling), helps him next time to explain his state of mind.
3. Early Fun Learning And Play
What is Expected from the Young Kids in early age? – REAL PLAY is a BIOLOGICAL NECESSITY,
which is “as vital for healthy development as food or sleep“.
I completely believe in the fact that, “Playing OUTSIDE makes children SMARTER, HEALTHIER and HAPPIER”.
Also, I am totally convinced by the idea of early learning for kids (after doing a lot of research on this subject). No! early learning is not about teaching only alphabets or numbers at early age! It is everything about the EXPERIENCES OF EARLY LIFE. Early childhood education begins at home. So, we have adopted montessori lifestyle at home, where my child can explore his own world through the practical learning.
Holistic development sees the child as a whole person –
physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, morally, culturally and spiritually.
While,PLAY IS THE FIRST WAY CHILDREN LEARN TO MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD AT A YOUNG AGE. Everything we do with our baby/toddler –
caring, nurturing, playing, touching, talking, eating, walking, reading, cuddling, singing help jump-start his/her Brain.
4. Boredom Is Good. Stay Out Of It.
I let my child get bored many times. As, boredom is the beginning of a whole, new, eye-opening world for him and the best way to learn about the world and to learn about himself.
Here are a few “Dis-boredom Strategies” I’ve found useful which are – Asking him some open ended questions such as – “What about playing outside in the garden?”, “What about playing with a toy you haven’t played with, since a long?”, How would you like to help mama today?”, etc.
I know when he is bored, I need to stay out of it.
It’s essential for him to learn how play alone and banish boredom(without touching gadgets). After all, our ultimate goal is to empower our children with their own skill set and they need to create their own solutions for boredom.
It’s better to have patience and wait sometimes. So, I don’t feel like jumping in all the time.
5. Value Of Humor In Life
I like to be humorous! I am not a serious parent. I try to laugh spontaneously at silliness around me.
Also, Laughter makes kids’ life merrier and optimistic. So, why serious? ;). Happy kids are socially and emotionally strong! So, I try to encourage my child’s attempt to laugh at something silly and funny.
We try to keep our environment funny and joyful at home. We make exaggerated facial expressions while singing songs or telling stories, we throw dance parties for two of us (or for our family), form weird funny sentences, make unusual sounds and funny faces, plan some small pranks (not scary though),etc.
But I make sure to teach him the most valuable lesson of laughter that is,
THE LAUGH IS NOT HUMOROUS AT ALL IF IT AFFECTS/HURTS ANYONE.
We thoughtfully try to divide our child’s time into important activities like sleep, screen-time, outdoor play, indoor games, family times, etc. We make sure screen time does not come under my son’s free play time. I have realized one thing that, electronic media can be very effective in keeping kids calm and quiet, but I want my child to learn other ways to calm down and pacify himself.
Definitely, I need to be a A GOOD ROLE MODEL for that. So, I try to use my gadgets when my son goes to school or mostly during his sleep-time. (Even if I touch my phone for some work in front of him, I try to tell him that it is for some important office work and not for entertainment purpose). I never feel pressured to introduce technology to him at such an early age. Digital media/gadgets are instinctive and kids can learn them quickly and anytime. I am sure, he will learn to handle them when it will be required.
We have fixed screen-time for our child but we make sure to use it as other expressive and entertaining media such as,CRAYONS, PAINTS, ART MATERIALS, BLOCKS, COLOR DOUGH, MINIATURE FIGURES etc. and creative mediums like SINGING, DANCING, DRAMA, etc.
7. Spirituality and Morality
I know my child is too young to know about these things but I just want my son to build his conscience which is going to be the foundation of his life. So, when should I let my child know about this all? – The Sooner The Better!
Childhood is the ideal time period of life in which to take an interest in spirituality. The impressions received at a young age become deeply ingrained. I always tell my son that, God cares for him and I will always try to tell him that,
The simplest way to worship god is to love God and he doesn’t need to love god out of fear! As God is the best companion who will never leave him alone throughout his journey of life.
I always ask my son to repeat the Almighty’s name with love before he goes to sleep and when he grows up I want my son to remember god every moment in his life. At the same time, he will be given all the liberty to explore whom to follow, why to follow, to follow some god or not to follow or to become an atheist in his life.
Also, I want my son to do all his duties faithfully and conscientiously by putting it above everything else. Neither praise nor blame should distract him from the path of his duties. I want him to know that, his conscience is the best judge. He can only do his best and leave rest to god. If any mistakes happen, that is perfectly alright! If someone scolds him harshly about any mistakes, he can learn through them and he does not need to take it to heart.
Hey!! Continue to be a part of our blog train journey with my fellow blogger Preetjyot ,who is a skillful mom to a toddler, blogging at www.mylittlemuffin.com,next to share her parenting mantra with us. Stay tuned for that!!!
Also, don’t forget to share your opinion in the form of comments below!!!