Parenting 101: A Parenting Guide

Being a parent and raising children is undoubtedly, one of the most fulfilling experiences any individual can experience. The bond between a parent and child is special and unique and although it does entail a lot of patience and hard work, the payback is incredibly wonderful and extremely joyful, to say the least. It’s often said that few human challenges are greater than that of being good parents while few opportunities offer greater potential for joy.

However, children don’t come along with a manual which makes managing them, all the more challenging. Moreover, as there is no one standard rule which can be applied to all children, what works with one may not work with another. Parenting simply can't be reduced to a set of rules; each and every child requires varying levels of attention, expression of love, and toughness.

Successful parenting eventually comes down to the relationship you have with your child. Parenting is no easy task. As your child grows up, there are a few questions which invariably crop up in your head such as:

• As a parent, are you doing enough to make your child feel loved and appreciated?

• Will your child eventually grow up to be a strong, successful, respectable and independent individual?

• Are you raising a child who eventually becomes a responsible citizen and a future leader?

• Will your child’s latest piece of art eventually lead him to be rechristened the next Michelangelo?

Parents only want what’s best for their child and no parent would want to make mistakes when raising their children. If you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration, advice, or just a push towards positivity, here are a few parenting tips could go a long way in ensuring the happiness of your child.

1. Discipline and Setting Boundaries

There’s no place for anger in good parenting. Parents must realize that children are prone to accidents and mistakes. Rather than reprimanding them for poor behaviour, as a parent, you need to set certain boundaries which detail out what's acceptable and what's not. Moreover, you need to be consistent with your decisions by ensuring that your rules stay firm. Fluctuating rules could result in your child's misbehaviour. Mean what you say and say what you mean.

2. Practice What You Preach

Be the person you want your child to be; if you expect your children to be honest, then you should practice honesty as well. Similarly, if you expect your children to be virtuous and honourable, you must also be virtuous and honourable. When raising a child, the same rules need to be applicable to both sides. Your child looks to you for guidance and strength; that's part of what being a parent is. And a big part of your responsibility is to guide them with your own actions. Make sure you ‘Walk the Talk’ and your child will follow suit.

3. Be available for talk time

More dialogue and meaningful communication is an important aspect of parenting and a vital way to ensure you form an ongoing relationship with your child. Talk to your child and give them ample opportunities to talk to you as it’s crucial that you listen to what your child has to say. They need someone to share their hopes, dreams, and fears, and you need to be around to reinforce your ideals. Moreover, by keeping the communication lines open, you'll have a better relationship with your child as your child will feel heard and valued. Just listening to them talk and/or clarifying their doubts or concerns will help them make sense of their experiences and integrate fond memories.

4. Facilitate A Supportive and Loving Atmosphere

It’s important that you try to set aside a time on a regular basis to do something fun with your child. Play with them, read books together, suggest or be open to activities; just go with the flow and knock yourselves out. Additionally, remind them how much you are looking forward to spending this time just with them as it will make a significant difference to their wellbeing.

5. Be the role model your children deserve.

You need to keep in mind that your behaviour serves as a model for your children’s behaviour. Kids learn by watching their parents so be sure to set a good example. Children are like sponges so everything from how you behave with others to how you dress and talk is absorbed by them. In turn, they will treat others the same way. Don’t be afraid to display the traits you wish to cultivate in your child such as kindness, friendliness, respect, honesty and loving. If you made a mistake, don't hesitate to apologize. Good behaviour and manners start from home so setting a good example is very important

6. Help your child follow their passion

Don’t forget to expose your children to a variety of different activities and do your best not to limit your children to what is comfortable and familiar to you. Your child might be in equal parts, passionate about football, learning the guitar, or becoming a rock star. As children, it’s not always easy to figure out what their gifts and passions are. A key factor in extracurricular success is that kids enjoy the particular activity. Aviva Kidoscope is a digital platform that helps you do just that by identifying and nurturing your kid’s talent early in life. Moreover, Aviva’s Online Assessment Test under the Kidoscope platform can help you discover what they are good at while helping them further their interests in that direction.

The Bottom Line

There’s no perfect and absolute way to raise children. As parents, it’s considered a gift to help your children find their talents and nurture their passions. You can’t predict where your child will end up and pushing them toward a certain passion won't guarantee happiness or success. However, you can support them in the present and allow them the freedom to pave their own road to happiness. Savor these special moments you share with your child and enjoy it now as it will be over far too quickly.

AN Jan 19/18

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