10 Parenting Lessons We Learned from Our Parents
No matter how many books you read, sites you surf online or people that you talk to, nothing truly prepares you for becoming a parent. Sometimes when things get really tough, you wonder how did your parents do it? Were you as naughty or defiant as your child today? How did your parents bring up you and your siblings when technology, finances and other conveniences were limited!
We spoke to a few parents about what they learned from their parents and this is what they shared with us:
1. Give space to the children
They actually know more than us and it stands true even today. Whether we like it or not, they are right most of the time. What I also learned from them was to give the kids space, says Prerna Chimni Mohapatra, a homemaker and a mother of two boys. You would have noticed that constantly nagging and hovering around the kids wont do any of us any good; hence giving space always helps.
2. Dont expect kids to be perfect
Most importantly, dont expect your kids to be perfect and always remember, no one will love you as much as they do, adds Prerna. This is a lesson we have to learn as humans first and then as parents, that no one is perfect; hence we cannot expect perfection from anyone else, especially our own children. Removing these unrealistic expectations will take off a load from us as parents and from our kids too.
3. Learn to say NO at the right time
A father of two young boys pitches in, Don't say yes when you want to say no. Well, I suffered from this when I was a child where even if I didn't like something or didn't want to go somewhere, I just couldn't say NO. I distinctly remember my dad telling me, 'don't say yes when you want to say no. Just say no!
4. Instill good values
I learned the importance of learning good values from my parents. I understood between good and bad deeds, and to have a clear conscience at the end of the day. To treat people as you would want to be treated. To fulfil our ambitions, they have sacrificed a lot in their life and no one can be more proud than them to see us reach where we are, smiles Dr. Sunita Rajani, a London-based Pediatrician.
5. Let them make their own mistakes
Rhituparna Mitra, a mother to a little girl shares what shes learned from her parents, Don't try too hard explaining to the children what's right and what's not. They might just still try out the wrong for the sake of experience and if you have been good to them, wisdom might prevail.
6. Be a friend
Dr. Madhura Kuchekar-Ware an Intensivist and mother of twin boys adds, Well, the list is never-ending. From my mom, who was sometimes strict where no meant no, to being the best friend in sensitive issues she has made me so comfortable to share everything to her that I never ever thought of hiding anything from her! Being a friend to your child is the first step towards a happier parent-child bond. When you become friends, it takes the load off in many respects and allows you and your child to enjoy the entire process of growing up both as a parent for you and them as young adults.
7. Be a good listener
Dr. Madhura further adds, My mum would always listen to me more than instructing me what to do or what not to do. When a parent is a good listener, a child will never have the requirement to seek help outside. A parent has the capacity to a counsellor, friend, guide and much more. If your child knows that you will listen without judgment, he/ she will always come back to you, knowing that you will understand. Nothing can be more satisfying and peaceful in a relationship where both parents and children know that they will be heard.
9. Give second chances
Dr. Madhura explained that though her school results were sometimes not up to the mark, her mother would remind her that there are more chances in the future. Remember, marks and percentages are just one part of your childs academic life, it is not their entire life; so it would be unfair to judge them based on their marks.
10. Have patience
I am a mother of a three-year-old girl and live in a joint family. Like every new mother, I too had to struggle hard with managing a baby, mood swings, household chores that left me with no time to relax and many more things. As my daughter was growing up there came many issues, which are actually the part and part of a baby growing up or their milestones but what I learned from my parents is you don't have to react for every single thing. These days, were actually lacking in patience and as a result, we create too much hype and get confused and make others confused too, shares Hetvi Mehta a homemaker.
The thing is, we will always have something to thank our parents for what they have imbibed in us. Right from giving space, set realistic expectations, learning to say no at the right time, good values, making our own mistakes, being a friend and a good listener, to be patient and that there's always a second chance.
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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