You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.
Let’s remember those words of wisdom by Maya Angelou and make a child’s experiences positive. Let’s avoid these parenting traps.
Yours Vs mine: Should a parent compare? No, because by trying to prove that yours is better than mine, you are making a grave mistake that hurts a child as much it offends the parents. Each child is unique. They have different talents, temperament and attitude. They tend to grow at their pace, and the pace varies from a child to child. Each child has a different learning style that needs to be respected and encouraged. So just let them be.
The object of display: Should you make you child exhibit his or her skills and talents in public? Most parents enter that trap to show off their child, but often it may not go down too well with the prospective audience (other parents), and at best appears tacky. It may also make your child wary of the exercise when you prompt him/her to perform, often impromptu, in front of others. Refrain if you are again tempted to ask your child to perform a dance or recite a poem again. A child is an object of affection, let’s not make him/her an object of display.
Count your blessings: Should you criticise, complain or scold your child in front of others? It is a bad habit that may just help you vent out your anguish and fury. But in return, your constant criticism and nagging may develop an inferiority complex, and it may live on with the child forever. So just be careful before losing your temper or tongue. The child is your reflection, and you need to introspect to correct his wrongs. Behave with your child as if someone is watching you. Perhaps that will keep yourself under check.
The pursuit of happiness: Don’t educate your children to become rich or teach them the many benefits of materialism. Teach them to be happy. If they know how to stay happy, laugh it off, and smile for no reason, they will learn the value of everything and not just the price of anything. A happy child will spread happiness around and that’s something to cheer about. The quality of being happy will prove to be an asset for the child, his/her immediate family and the society as a whole. Let’s keep a watch on our behaviour and let the lesson of happiness start from home.
Practice but don’t preach: Like each child is unique so is the parenting style. we as parents can imbibe the best from each other, but being preachy about parenting and flaunting your knowledge and skills of being a wonderful parent may be a little unbearable. Do what you think is right and best for your child but don’t impose it on others, please. You are right in your given space, time and circumstances, but remember not to undermine my efforts. Even I am trying to do the best that I can for my child.
Remember that being better parents is an everyday struggle and it’s not something that any of us masters. The heartening thing is also that it is not something any of us gives up on either.
Every time I look at my belly button, I think of my mother, and also of my children, and the connection between three of us.
My belly button is a story of my connection to my own mother and my motherhood. It reminds me of where I came from, and what came from me, pieces of me. Connected by the umbilical cord. The cord may have been cut but our (mine and yours) belly button would always serve as the reminder that once our bodies were connected and I was a part of my mother and my children are a part of me and will always be. Near, far, or where ever they are.
When I think of my mother, I thank her for nourishing me, and when I think of my children, I yearn to nurture them well and do all that it takes to make them good, responsible and happy beings. Perhaps, it is the best payback for the decades of hard work that my mother has put in making me what I am today. I owe it to her more than anyone else.
When I think of my mother, I realize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And will always be. Today, tomorrow and forever. I can imitate her but can never be like be her. Thanks, Ma!