Years ago, when we were parents, kids, you must’ve had certain ideas about how you’d be as a parent. You may have wondered how you’d treat your kid with love and make sure they follow their or your dream; whichever way things work out.
You may have babysat your siblings when your parents went out back in time or, you may have changed diapers once you got older. Point is, we’ve all been experiencing parenting for long enough now. Some of you may be parents too!
All parents think is how blessed they’ll be once a kid comes on- board.
However, is that the case? What’s reality like? You can probably leave a comment about this.
Parenting : Expectation v/s Reality
Irrespective of what age group your kids are or will be when you face parenting issues. There are certain things which you ask parents or parents-to-be think about. Tasks like how you’ll dress up your baby in colour-coded ways and not leave him with a diaper on or how you’ll enjoy a bath day with the baby.
Expectation v/s Reality
Well, let’s imagine the expectation v/s reality scenario instances.
The ‘Simple Task’ of Dressing Your Cute Baby
Expectation: Look how adorable you are. Mama is going to put on the cutest outfit and make you look charming for the photographs! My baby is going to be the style icon nobody is going to forget!
Reality: An hour and seven outfits later, she’s back to being a diaper baby. Maybe it’s all about the ‘less is more’ perception. This is tiring!
Busy Day and Baby Bath Day
Expectation: Bath time? I must make sure Ducky the Duck is around. A fresh baby from head-to-toe is happiness. The baby can relax during and after the bath. It’s going to be so much fun! I’ll manage anyhow.
Reality: The baby is pooping again. How many times do I need to bathe the baby before he stops pooping? Cleaning the house is no more something I need to do because the baby will anyway make a mess in a while. I feel stressed!
Baby Grows and Talks About Career
Expectation: Kid, we’ll pay for your college and you can study whatever you want to. Or, you can become a designer like ME! Don’t worry, we’re right here for you.
Reality: Ended up with a mood swing child who wants to go backpacking to Europe and not study at all.
Parenting on your best day can be very heartwarming. On the worst days, it’s going to turn out to be your worst enemy too! My point here is that parents have certain expectations and not all kids can meet them. Life is a two- way street and we’ve got to find our way out as parents or children.
Parents role in Parenting
Parents play a major role in the personality development of their child. Take care of your kids by understanding your real roles as parents. I am not talking about you clicking photos with them for social media posting. There’s so much more to parenting than just that!
- Biological needs of your kids are your responsibility. I’m talking about the basic living needs which need to be met for your lid; food, shelter, good lighting, no labour, enough sleep and so on. When kids are growing, it’s your job to provide them with the optimal care they really need.
- Quality & protective environment needs to be provided as well. Your kids need to feel safe and sound at home. A tolerant and very positive atmosphere at home is the key. However, don’t forget to let them explore and find solutions to their problems. With the way technology is advancing, you can now get walkie talkies for children – which allows you to a) monitor your children and b) helps improve their communication skills.
- Education is a must for your children. That is what is going to help them make their own decisions in life, develop skills and so on. Education by most parents is misunderstood thinking that their kids will fulfill their dreams once educated. However, that’s not really why education is given. Remember, it’s his life, not yours.
- Be their guide because they have nobody to take help from except for you. Be their well-wishers and make sure you facilitate them while decision making. In fact, there are so many courses to help you pick up the right parenting strategies.
- Be supportive and motivate your kids and let them know you care. Be it giving a reward for an achievement or failing a test; be their friend and support your kids. However, don’t overdo it. You don’t want them to become spoiled brats, right?
- Socioemotional skills need to be developed by you, the parents. This is done in little ways like enrolling them into a school, letting them play ball every evening and so on. Encourage your kids to express their feelings, develop qualities of being assertive, integral and value-oriented. Take them to orphanages and help them have hands-on experiences to develop socio-emotional skills in no time.
- Discipline, but gently because they’re your kids and you want them to visit you when you’re old. Respect them and they’ll respect you. Assertive attitude is the key here.
- Please understand, your kids are not here to be your parents. You’ve got to get your life straight and make sure your personal issues do not hamper their childhood. Several studies have shown how kids get affected by divorces or any home issues. It makes them disturbed adults in the long run.
Don’t let your kid blame you lifelong
Messing up your kid’s life is something you obviously never want, especially when you’re the one who’s blamed. However, studies have shown that dealing with difficult parents and their expectations are one of the major reasons behind a kid being messed up. Don’t let your kid blame you later in life; keep the following points in mind so that you don’t mess up your kid’s life. You are important to your kid at the end of the day.
- Don’t threaten to leave your kids behind – Dr L. Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development has spoken openly about how children’s development is based on the way parents treat them. The last thing they want from you is a threat of you leaving them behind. They love you and they need your support, protection, care and much more. You may leave them damaged if you keep threatening your kid.
- Don’t lie to your kid – This is just hypocritical to do! You cannot expect your kid to be an honest and integral young adult if you don’t preach what you say. For instance, it’s okay to tell your child about his pet’s death; he’ll learn how to deal with grief. There are certain ways in which messages are conveyed to kids; it’s got to be soft, kind and very interpersonal. To develop these skills, you need to learn from professionals who know how to deal with kids and you’ll get quick results!
- Try not to misbehave – I understand that you have bad days too. Remember, they’re children and they replicate parents’ behaviours. Be calm, keep your mind with you and do not have sudden outbursts. You’re important for your kids; that sure will help you keep together.
- Parenting styles may differ – Just because one kid only understood what you were trying to tell by being loud, doesn’t mean that it applies to the other one. You’re dealing with individual differences here. It is important for you to understand the personality of your children and deal with them based on their needs.
- Don’t overdo it – After a certain point, kids need to be given the freedom to go on a date, for example. Remember, there’s nothing wrong in socializing but, there are limits. Your parenting over the years is the only thing that is going to save them. Trust your parenting, trust your kids.
- Be your child’s friend – This may sound absurd but, give it a shot. At least one of you can handle the kid well then. Generation gaps will definitely, make you grow apart; you stay strong and grow with them!
- Do not be abusive – This is a complete no-no. In fact, irrespective of the reason, you can go to jail if you beat up your kids! More importantly, you’ll affect their emotional, social and other aspects of development.
- Junk food is worse than no food – Please do not feed junk food to your kids. No matter how tired you are, home-cooked meals, house gardening and so on helps. You do not want your kid to become obese or get terrible heart diseases, ever. Right?
- Don’t assume that you can’t be a good parent – You obviously can and will be an amazing parent! Nothing is nothing. Keep that in mind and keep going!
Your kids love you, so do you.
Keep going with this policy all your life. Trust me, it’ll be a beautiful journey. In fact, there’s no shame in seeking out for help. Dedicate your time to them because they need you in their initial years more than ever. However, that does not mean you have to throw your life away.
Strike a balance and never regret your decisions ever. Your role is important. Work towards being an awesome parent before they grow up!
Niall Kennedy is the Creative Director at ”Preferred training networks”. He has over 20 years of experience in Professional Development Industry. He has published 4 business books – “All Aboard the Brain Train,” “Healthy Leadership,” “Errant Workplace Behaviours,” and “Hidden Observations”.