A lazy afternoon with time at hand
The mind slips into the valley of yester-years
Rummaging through an old trunk of steel
My hands touch a surface smooth and cool
I pull it out.
Eyes brighten, lips curl up at corners
Flicking through the pages I chance upon that one
My daughter’s snap taken when just a kid.
Days, years roll by before my eyes
I cannot help but smile when thinking of her growing years
Years when I too grew with her
I’ve taught her a lot
But she’s taught me more
She’s molded me from a raw young lasso to a mother mature.
**The relationship between a child and its parents is akin to that of a potter and his pot. Just as a potter molds his pot with patience, love and care so too should parents take due care while molding their ward. Patience is the key to building a healthy parent- child relationship. Whatever your worries, your frustration don’t vent it out on your child. Children are fragile and need to be handled with care. One wrong word, one wrong deed and they shatter easily. It takes just a second for you to shatter their faith in you but days, months or maybe years to mend the broken faith/ bond. Be patient and experience your child warming up to you.
**Shed the ‘I know better attitude.’ Give a patient ear and listen to your child with an open mind. As the saying goes ‘Child is the father of man’. Many a time children show us the way, teach us how to deal with difficult situations.
**Even in the midst of a tight schedule find some quality time for your child. Watch their every move and expression, imbibe each word they speak carefully, make it known to them that you are their best friend they have and that they can share anything with you. Build a bridge of trust with them.
Children open up to those they are closest. By doing so you not only keep a tab on their actions and movements discreetly but also ensure that things that need to be confined to the four-walls of your home remain so. You also have the advantage of guiding them down the right path as well as providing them the right kind of emotional and psychological support especially in their adolescent years.
**Teach them to manage failures at a very young age itself. Don’t shout at them/ punish them if they fail to fare well in an exam/ assignment/ don’t live up to your expectation. Instead make known to them that failure is a part and parcel of life. What matters is not the failure but what one learns from it, how one tries to convert it to his/ her advantage and makes it his/ her stepping stone to success.
Anger only helps shatter a child’s confidence, make him nervous, prompt him to lie and hide the truth whereas patience, understanding and words of motivation help him face the truth without a shudder, boosts his confidence and spurs him on to success.
**If you ever have to scold your child/ take him / her to task do so in private away from prying eyes. Elders often forget that children are sensitive; they too have self-respect and that scolding them in public means hurting their self-respect which can turn out to be counter-productive.
**While you scold your child in private make sure you praise him/ her in public. This helps boost his/ her confidence.
**Keep a tab on the company your child keeps. This helps you make sure that he/ she keeps the right kind of company and does not fall prey to unscrupulous elements/ bad habits.
**Make your child realize the value of food and money at a very young age itself. While saying this I am reminded of the time my daughter was just around three. Whenever we went out shopping the first thing she’d ask me if she wanted a book or eatable was, “Do you have money?” It was only after I’d convince her that I could afford her need that she’d put forth her request ( ‘request’ and not ‘demand’ because even while ordering for the item she’d look up at me with doubt and say, ‘It’s Ok if you can’t buy.’).
**Teach your child table- manners when just a kid. (You can easily mold children the way you want when they are raw.) It saves you as well as your host (when you are dining out) a lot of embarrassment.
**Sharing and caring are positive traits and need to be developed at a very young age. Make your kid amenable to sharing his/ her things but at the same time make sure that he/ she know where he/ she must stop. By doing so you also ensure that people don’t take undue advantage of his/ her generosity. As for caring it helps develop the humane side of his/ her nature and prevents him/ her from committing/ getting involved in crime. He / she will also turn out to be a responsible person.
Something that I find disturbing now-a-days is the lack of respect one sees among the young, for elders. Children as mentioned earlier are like raw clay. One can mold them the way on pleases. So it is imperative we make our child aware of the importance of elders in our life and develop in them the right kind of attitude.
**Make your child independent at a very young age itself. This goes a long way in developing his/ her survival instincts and has a positive impact on his/ her personality. At the same time it eases your load. You have more time for him/her and the rest of the family.
**Last but not the least:
Develop his/ her thirst for knowledge. Answer his/ her queries however foolish they may seem. Remember children too are prone to frustration. The benefits of the above are: a) they will not throw up a tantrum. Saves your ear-drums from torture. (b) You too learn in the process for to answer some baby questions you need to research.
Inculcate the habit of reading when your child is around 3 or so by providing him/ her right kind books, those that are bound to interest him/ her. It is a fact that once the love for books is established, it remains so life-long.
These are just a few tips. The list can run into pages. But then let’s keep the rest for another day.