5 Real Parents' New Year's Resolutions
Every time the New Year approaches, we make promises to ourselves that this year will be better than the previous one. While some people have weight goals, or financial goals for the New Year, we spoke to fellow mums on their parenting resolutions for the coming year. Over a tete-a-tete, we mums chatted about our various parenting goals and what needed to be worked on in the coming New Year.
So here we are, sharing with you some insightful parenting resolutions from fellow mums that remind us that there's always room for improvement.
1. Have more Me time
Focus more on 'Me Time' and understand its value. Taking me time for granted can be toxic for your own growth as a human being first, and then as a parent. It's time you understand the importance of putting yourself first even at the risk of being called 'selfish' which does us no good.
As ECCE trained teacher and a mother of two boys aged 2 and 12 years, Purva Mehta shares, "Somewhere I would feel too guilty when I would be doing my own stuff and blame myself if the kids did something wrong. Also, I realized that I was always ready to put all my priorities aside for them. I am going to stop and have a 'me time' set aside for me as I have realised that it is important to be happy first.
2. Ban the guilt
Guilt is bad for a parent and has a notorious capacity to curb personal growth. You will notice that no matter how much time you spend with your children, you'll always feel it's never enough. No matter how much personal effort you put in, you may still feel you could do better. There'll be trips you may have not taken or projects you did not accept just because you felt 'guilty' for being away from your kids or happy without the kids. You have to realize that if you want to teach your child to be happy by doing the things she loves, you have to set an example for her first.
Purva pitches in, To let go of guilt is very important for all mothers. It is important to balance out all the different facets of your own life.
3. Give more space
No matter how often we hear this, we seldom realize the importance of 'space' in a parent-child relationship. It is very important to understand that respecting an individual's space and privacy is very important. By doing this early on, it helps your child understand that their mums and dads need their space too to enjoy the things they love doing.
Nilanjana Srivastava, is a mother of two girls aged 21 and 18-years. While her elder daughter is pursuing undergraduate studies in Canada, her younger one is preparing for her IB and applying to universities abroad.
With one daughter away and the second one preparing to leave home, Nilanjana has decided to embrace a whole new parenting strategy for the New Year, Let them fly, give them their space and time to grow into their own, while remaining connected. Not being needy and not hovering like a helicopter; just staying connected shall continue to be my parenting resolution for 2018. When she is not being a mom, she keeps busy with her career in a foreign bank and driving sustainable living.
4. Reduce screen time
Almost every parent is concerned with the amount of time their kids spend in front of the screen be it the television, tablet or smartphone. This New Year, make a resolution for your kids to spend more time outdoors or at a sporting activity rather than in front of the telly. Yes, you may be tempted to prop your child in front of the TV screen while you finish off some chore, but engaging your child in other activities also helps you bond with them.
My New Year's resolution is to divert my kid from technology (mainly the tablet, TV or mobile) that he uses while having food and make him enjoy his food, thus enriching the family bond and creating a healthy physical and mental attitude at home, shares Kalpana Chetanwala, mother of a 5-year-old son.
"In this age of "YouTube zombies" and adulterated content available online - the one most important resolution to make is to make screen time, especially smartphones/laptops/iPads limited and supervised, " explains Avantika Chitlangia, a Social Media Strategist.
She further adds, "I realized that as long as my toddler doesn't see us using the phone, or finds it lying around, he doesn't ask for it. He is then busy playing with his toys, but if he sees us using our phone or finds it on the desk, then he wants it and can be on it for hours if we let him be. So I resolve to not use the smartphone once I am home from work, hide and only check it once he is asleep. I get notifications for calls on my smartwatch, so I won't be missing any important calls that way."
Chief Connect Officer of JAMM's network and a mother to a 7-year-old daughter, Ritu G shares, "We plan on continuing our monthly Digital Detox Travel, where we look forward to exploring new places. We also look forward to nature based activities, treks, camping, kids' festivals and carnivals that can keep us away from gadgets."
5. Setting healthy habits
Usually most mums are concerned about inculcating healthy habits in their children be it personal care, organizational skills and grooming.
As Salloni Mirchandani Malkani, the Co-founder of The Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI) adds, In 2018 I would like to focus on the importance of incorporating better levels of hygiene, organization and cleanliness in my kiddo. He is to be a teenager next year and I don't want to focus on this once he is 13.
She further adds, He is already doing the basics on his own but I would like to get him to read about and learn about newer personal care measures so that he learns to take care of his body as something he has to maintain to his best. It's these basic routines that get you to prioritise yourself. So I would like him to remember to oil his hair regularly, cut his nails on his own on an assigned day.
Salloni laughs when she says , Oh boy, oh boy, OH BOY! While I absolutely love a child who comes home all sweaty and dirty after playing, I want him to keep his surroundings clean. He needs to spend at least 5 minutes a day dusting his room as in the long run this is what grounds you and provides a de-stressor. I want all of this out of my way so that he and I can focus on bigger and better things as he grows up.
As parents, we should remember that there's no perfect parenting and there's always room for improvement. We don't have to drastically change our parenting ways, but we can gradually incorporate these positive elements into our lives. By setting aside a few minutes for 'Me Time', banning the guilt, giving space, reducing screen time for self and the kids and inculcating healthy habits we're gradually paving the way for personal growth both for ourselves and for our children as well.
We'd love to hear about your own parenting resolutions for the New Year. Add them in the comments below!
Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai and a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women's University in Mumbai. She started her career 16 years ago by writing children's books, e-learning, content management for international websites and magazines and writing lifestyle and feature articles. She's the founder of The Lifestyle Portal an e-publishing platform that focuses primarily on entrepreneur profiling, entrepreneur directory listing, workshop reviews, feature stories and more. She's also a Certified Parent-Child Play Practitioner and a Certified Story Teller.
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