Thursday, July 25, 2024
Speak Your MindThe soft spot of parenting

The soft spot of parenting

Nowadays, especially those of us who live in cities, are in our thirties or forties, and have had some education that would give us the entitlement of the ‘educated,’ are keen to read books or any literature on how to best raise our children. With the advent of the internet, Google has become the best friend of mothers (and fathers) and those that are mothers-to-be.

It starts the moment we learn about our pregnancies, and holds particularly true for first-time mothers and fathers. We google everything and anything related to pregnancies and motherhood. We read so much that it sometimes makes us question the need to consult our gynaecologists, and it seems like we almost always know the answers we would hear from them during prenatal visits.

Symptom or no symptom of pregnancy, addiction to Google is typical of almost all educated women who are expecting a child, and particularly if this is their first one. We know what to eat, how to sleep, what to drink, what vitamins to take, and how to exercise. We prepare ourselves for the big day, readying ourselves even for the birth process, be it natural or caesarean.

And post-birth, the googling continues. “Has my child reached the major child development milestones?” is a constant thought in our minds until our children do reach the major milestones of standing on their own two feet and uttering cute words.

Still, of course, the googling will not stop. Any time we notice a behaviour that catches our attention, Google is there to solve the mystery of child psychology and behaviours. Not only do we rely on Google to understand our children and to plan on how to best raise them, we also do not want to miss TV and Radio shows that discuss these hot topics. We are always on the lookout for better approaches and strategies to create a citizen that is not only healthy and successful, but also happy!

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But in spite of the numerous reading materials and shows we expose ourselves to, sometimes the ways in which we have been brought up ourselves get the best of us. We might read and hear over and over again that hitting our children or yelling at them does not bring any positive outcomes, but yet always find ourselves in the exact situation we are desperately trying to avoid. We hit our children, and we yell obscenities at them. We have read and heard a thousand times that the best thing we can do as parents is to actually be with them and for them, physically, emotionally and spiritually. But what we often find ourselves doing is the opposite.

Is parenting something to be advised? Can we blame a child’s undesirable behaviours on the parents and the way the child was raised? Yes, and no, I would say. While parents might take the lion’s share in shaping the adult their child will become, a lot of other uncontrollable factors also come into play. I have learned as a parent that, while you might want to replicate ideal methods of parenting from ideal sources, at the end of the day, not everything that concerns your child is up to you!

I say from my experience that the best thing we can do as parents, especially when it comes to shaping the characters and behaviours of our children, is to let them grow being themselves. I see parenting as watering and taking care of a plant that grows bound by a metal enclosure that is large enough for the plant to grow in its own natural way, but tight or small enough to prevent the plant from growing in the wrong direction that may expose it to the risk of breaking and dying.

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