As parents, we become immediate role models for our little ones. Unfortunately, we are not powered with degrees to raise our babies. So, what do we do?
Parenting these days is a combination of information – from experiences of the elders, our peer group and what’s available by way of tips & tricks on social media…and this way we slowly being to fulfil our duties and responsibilities. If one had to define a parent’s Key Result Area (KRA) – it would probably include loving the child unconditionally, looking after their basic safety along with health and hygiene, taking them to school and giving them the education they deserve, ensuring that the child learns in an environment that provides holistic development and enabling children to be healthy, cultured and responsible citizens by the conversations. But out of all the things that parents do, one thing’s for sure – that a warm loving and safe home environment often leads to more confident, secure and well-balanced children. Statistics validate this, and as educators, we have all seen what the home environment does for a child’s self-esteem.
Seems straight forward doesn’t it? to be a parent? with KRAs defined so well, it becomes simply about ‘execution’! However, parents can unintentionally leave some questionable impressions firmly imprinted in a child’s mind. Here are a few examples:
As individuals, we all have our personal opinions and perspectives. We all are our unique selves and have our journeys and background. However, how many of us can actually claim to not “reacting” and “venting” about it in a way that is unbecoming? We tend to rigidly stand our ground, dismissing another person’s point of view. These can happen in everyday dinner conversations to the choice of what TV channel to watch to more serious altercations in public places.
We need to remember that children are constantly absorbing our body language, our choices of words, our tone and the general reaction we tend to have about something that does not agree with us. The conversations that follow on phones when we describe someone we do not like also leads to impressions being formed in their mind on how situations must be handled. And this then becomes a part of their personality and their own mechanism to cope with situations when they disagree. Think about it – were they born with this? Or did we as adults, unknowingly “cloud” their minds? So the lesson here is to think before you react, and be careful about the personal beliefs that cannot become a shared perspective and ‘enforced’. Be mindful of your tone and what you say, because your child may be watching his or her role model and believe that is the way to be!
In this fast-paced world, where we could avail of any service at a click of a button or a call, we often expect all our work to happen in the same fashion. As a result, the quotient of patience is somewhat getting extinct. We tend to resort to faster execution and quick results but that doesn’t apply in every situation or task, rather it at times becomes the cause of its failure. Thus, we as parents need to be calmer and our endeavor should be to try and achieve something with the best possible outcome despite somethings taking a bit longer because that
is what our child will be learning from us. Quick fixes are good but what the message the child receives is “get it over and done with”. Does that mean quality is assured? What about revisiting work tasks to ensure that it is done well? think about it!
When it comes to indiscipline, we cannot blame our children completely as they look up to parents as one of their role models. For instance – before complaining about how children are always on their gadgets, just stop and estimate all the work that you get done with that device – from ordering groceries to clothes, from logging in complaint calls to ordering food, from catching up on all the “banter” on social media to reading on-line or watching movies – everything you do is digitized! So if you don’t discipline yourself, you will not be available to eat with your child on the dining table. If you’re away chatting with your friends on the phone for a long period of time and scrap physical fitness from your regime, it is unlikely that your child will do the same. We all know, most of our children need that motivation and this comes only if you model it for them, yourself!
Lack of Communication
Verbal and Non-verbal communication, how you represent yourself on social media, what you post, how you communicate with peers, relatives, your house help or strangers are all being “clicked” as visuals by the little ones whom you nurture. Your tone, choice of words, the way the body stiffens up, the way you laugh or adopt a sarcastic tone, your lack of smile or a frequent frown, are all cues that children pick up as ways that they have to act in similar circumstances. So, watch that word, the tone!
Being a role model and motivating children to do the right thing can be hard, but not impossible and the best way to start is by starting yourself! Happy raising, parents and remember, your children are what you make them.
About the Guest Author
Ms. Fatima Agarkar, is an educationist who believes that the teaching landscape will transform if teachers and educators can reimagine their role from ‘teaching’ to ‘reaching’ them. Fatima has been focusing on the generation of innovative educational modules and her in-depth academic know-how, nothing but truly defines her ceaseless passion.
Fatima has been awarded by Giants Group for her outstanding contribution to the field of education, the Young Achiever’s Award in the year 2017, Singapore based, Best of Asia’s, ‘Enterprising Educator in the year 2018 and as an entrepreneur ‘Best Edupreneur 2019 and Best Leadership’ by Progressive Academic Excellence India (Maharashtra 2019) and one of the 10th finest inspirational educators in 2019 by TKR, India. A pioneer of change, her extraordinary and inspiring actions indicate towards nothing but reforming and revolutionizing the Indian education system.