Our mothers are our inspiration for so many things. We learn everything from them. And we want to follow in their footsteps. But now, the times are changing. People face new challenges every day, and they need to adapt to these circumstances.
Now, as we are stepping into a different era from when you were young, the dynamics have changed. We modify everything in a few years to be hand in hand with change. Even our textbooks and school syllabus change. If we are redesigning everything, then there must be an alteration to your parenting techniques too.
How your mother raised you was the right way then, but it doesn’t need to be valid even now. She did what was necessary to make you a fine human-being then. The ultimate goal is still the same.
However, you cannot copy-paste everything she did while raising you. You have to tweak certain aspects of it and make it your own. Here are some parenting tips that need to be tweaked to get it right now.
You have to cater to your child’s needs 24*7.
Children need to become more responsible. They are going to have a hard time trying to find footing in the world when they are adults, no need to add on to the troubles by making them incapable. As children start growing up, they need to become independent beings that can survive on their own.
When they are children, they have a safety-net, you. But when they are adults, who will be their back-up then? You can’t be there for them for every moment of their life. There are things one has to do on their own. You shouldn’t delay the process. Start as early as you can.
When kids are babies, they need your full attention. But, once they start walking, talking, and understanding what you say, you can delegate responsibility. I am not saying you make them cook a dish on their own in the kitchen. Go for age-appropriate tasks. Start easy and then keep on increasing the difficulty of tasks.
Make them do their things as soon as they start going to school. And slowly, they will be independent. If you keep doing everything for them and cater to their every whim, how will they learn? It is going to be a mean feat as it is going to be tempting to help out, but you need to control yourself.
Keep children before you always.
Yes, they mean the world to you, and yes, you will do everything for them. But no, that does not mean you get to ignore yourself. Children are your priority, but you have to be there on the list somewhere too. You need to tell yourself that your needs matter.
Your emotions are not dispensable. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you are going to have to face the consequences of it, and with you, your entire family. You need some time for yourself. You are not a machine after all (and even they need to power down).
You don’t have to make sacrifices all the time. While having dinner, if everyone is full and there is still that last piece of sweet remaining, you can eat it. If you are hungry and your kids are not, you can eat before them. There is no need to be guilty if you have some fun on your own.
Do what brings you joy. A happy mother equals a happy family. You set the tone in the house. There is no need to keep the old ways where a mother’s sole purpose is raising a child. There is much more to her than this.
You have to make decisions for your kids because they know nothing.
Now, this old belief is not wrong. But it is valid only for the beginning stages of a child’s life. When they are infants, or even till when they are toddlers, you are to be the one to make all the decisions. But, that doesn’t imply that you have to keep doing this when they are older.
Once they start going to school and having an opinion, you should start considering what they say seriously. Involve them in the decision-making process. Ask for their opinion too. That is how they will learn to make correct judgments.
Avoid questions not related to food, studies, and games.
Any questions other than these get the same response, “ you are a child, you won’t understand.” Agreed that they are kids. But does that really mean they won’t understand? Did you try to explain it to them? I know there are a lot of concepts that will be hard to explain to a child, but that doesn’t mean you have to dodge the question.
Explain the situation to them in the simplest of words you can think. If you don’t answer their questions, they will always have doubts in their mind and a misconception built upon the half-knowledge of the situation they have. And who knows, maybe you can find a fresh perspective when you talk to them.
Kids are full of surprises because their mind is unscathed. They think on a very fundamental level, whereas we try and over-complicate things as much as is possible.
Children don’t need to have an opinion on family matters.
Earlier, everyone would live in the same home for decades, and there were a lot of people living under the same roof. And in such cases, there were a lot of people already making decisions. If kids are added to the equation, there are just too many cooks to spoil the broth.
But, this is a new era, we don’t have as many people living together anymore. Also, the needs of families have changed since you were a child. These needs require an opinion from the kids too. Have family meetings often. Listen to each other’s viewpoints and then form a decision collectively based on everyone’s position.
If they are given freedom, they will be spoilt and disrespectful.
When you keep pulling a stone on sling backward continually, there are two things that can happen. Firstly, the sling breaks, and we cannot reach our goal. Secondly, the stone goes so far that we cannot retrieve it. The same analogy applies to our kids too.
If we restrain them long enough, they will run so fast and so far away from you that you won’t even see when they are gone. Or worst-case scenario, it hampers their personality, and they are forever dependent on you.
Every new generation will come with a new set of problems. And then, maybe, these will be the points that are outdated and will need changing. The key is that you keep adapting and adjusting to the new circumstances.