“A mother is the truest friend we have when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us.” ―Washington Irving
Parents significantly impact their kids. Whatever they do, children are always influenced by it. ‘Like mother like daughter,’ or ‘like father like son’ phrases sound quite satisfying as compliments to your parenting. But, they sting just as much when meant as taunts.
You, as parents, can make or break your child’s personality by being the best or worst versions of yourself. Your life is a guide book for them that they will take a page out of and apply it in their life. So, you better make sure that every page out of your book is a lesson that will have a positive impact on them.
Take care of yourself.
It means taking care of all the aspects of yourself alike. There are two kinds of health you need to maintain. Physical and mental. If we were a car, then our body is the ‘chassis,’ and the ‘engine’ is our mind.
When you go for servicing, do you say just look at the body of the vehicle and let the engine be? No, right? If we can understand that about a machine, then why not about ourselves.
Nowadays, in our busy schedules, we have started ignoring both these essential attributes. And what happens when we don’t maintain our machines? They breakdown. From the previous analogy, you can put two and two together and comprehend what I am trying to say (you will have a meltdown). We don’t want it to happen to our children. And for that, we have got to maintain ourselves.
It is one of the lessons that you continually teach your children but never learn yourself. Food is the fuel of our body (today is just full of machine analogies, isn’t it?). It is crucial in the proper functioning of all our bodily systems. An unhealthy diet will not only fill dirt in our anatomy but also weaken our immune system.
If your home follows the ‘eat-healthy regimen,’ then kids learn quickly enough. And who enforces schemes in the house? You.
Being a mother who is capable of standing on her own feet imbibes this quality in her child without even meaning to teach it in the first place. When you have spent a considerable amount of your life acquiring the skills to be independent, it does not make sense if, in the end, you don’t use them.
I know there are some unavoidable circumstances due to which you may not be able to continue working. But that doesn’t mean you cannot still practice independence. Don’t depend on anyone for outdoor tasks like going to the bank, paying bills, being able to travel on your own.
Handling your finances is not optional. Learn to drive a two-wheeler at the least so that you don’t have to wait for somebody to take you anywhere.
Children learn in their value education textbooks that they have to respect everyone. But where will they see the practical? Don’t wait for someone else to ‘maybe’ teach them in the future. Do it yourself. Respect everyone around you, acknowledge their importance in your life frequently.
Do not, ever, belittle someone on any grounds. ‘Bad habits’ stick quicker than ‘ good habits.’ They are going to learn demeaning people way faster.
Settling differences cordially is also a part of this chapter. When living in a society, you will have some disagreements with others. That is fine, but what is of the essence is how you handle them. Do you discuss it as mature adults, or do you do it in an uncivilized way? I hope it is the former.
Not trash-talking about anybody
It has become one of our favorite past times. A day doesn’t go by without us criticizing someone behind their backs, and this culture seeps into our children as well. They learn from us that it is okay to bad-mouth people when they aren’t listening.
This practice lowers your respect for people. You have got to watch yourself in front of the kids. They form ill-informed opinions about people from what they hear from you (not to mention they will embarrass you in front of the people you talked trash about)
It is not a sign of a cultured person. Make yourself useful elsewhere. Use your free time to be productive or just watch some TV. If your child never hears it, they won’t learn it.
You are a parent, and as long as you are not living a double life as a spy, you have no reason to hide things from your kids. Be transparent and straightforward with them. When they ask you questions, answer them with utmost honesty.
I know kids tend to ask very tricky questions whose answers may not be understandable for their age. But, these are the trying times. Be as honest you can be. This exercise is a great way to bond with your children. They start trusting you because they don’t have a reason not to. Moreover, children will be sincere themselves when it is their time to answer awkward questions.
Have a hobby
There is no point in making your children take up a lot of hobbies in their childhood if they are never going to do any of it again. You have to be their inspiration. Everybody has something that they love doing in their free time but ignore it due to our busy schedules.
We lose ourselves in the troubles of life so much that we forget to connect with ourselves. We have lost the connection. And children will walk in our footsteps and do the same.
Be a better example. If you have a hobby, then follow it from time to time. It rejuvenates you. You have a fresh perspective and a clear mind. Gift this practice to your child.
Focus on personal growth
If you stop learning, you stop living. Always focus on making yourself better than you were before. If you have time on your hands, don’t spend it all in watching TV serials or doing something equally unproductive. It is not personal growth if you become a couch pumpkin from a couch potato.
I agree these means of entertainment are necessary, but to a certain extent only. If the only amusing thing in your day was the lives of people you watched on TV, then you have some introspection to do.
This sort of laziness and stagnance seeps into the family. And the next thing you know is, your kids are sitting and watching these daily-soaps with you. If you want your kids to learn new things, you have to encourage them by doing so yourself. Learn something you always wanted to but did not have the time for it. You can learn new things together.