Raising a child is an art, and parents are the artists

Shower your child with gifts on occasions but not whenever they demand for it unless it’s very important.

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Raising a child is an art, and parents are the artists. Your child trusts you and they value your opinion. They learn more by observing your actions. Raising a child can be a tough job but artists do their best when they’re passionate in what they’re doing. Done right, parenting can be very rewarding and bring great joy in your life.

Here are some ways to good parenting:

Being a good role model

For a child, their parents are the most trusted people and a child will blindly follow their every action. It’s the parents who teach them what’s right or wrong. Children tend to watch and imitate their behavior, their actions, and how they deal with people. When parents are not in a good mood, they tend to lash out, use curse words, and be abusive in front of their children. Think about this; is that how you want your child to behave when they’re angry? Children should be taught to disagree respectfully. Strive to be your best self from within and be a good person.

Show love and keep promises

Shower them with kisses and hugs when they go to and come back from school. Let them know, no matter what, you’ll always be there for them. Showing affection gives them a sense of security. Listen to them and what they want to tell about things that happened in their school. When they tell you something, and ask you to keep it a secret, don’t share it with your spouse or their sibling. You may think it is nothing but for them it’s very important. This will build a bond of trust, and they will never hold back when sharing anything with you. They realize that you respect and care about their privacy. You don’t have to make them the center of the universe but when possible give them your attention and spend quality time.

Appreciate them

Appreciate when your child learns to iron her clothes herself, when she saves an ant from drowning in a puddle or when she teaches her younger sibling to throw the wrappers in the dustbin. When they show empathy, and when they try to be independent; compliment them, and encourage their positive attitudes. Treat them with rewards once in a while. Be there when they win an award in a school. Parent’s support and appreciation boosts their self-esteem and builds their confidence. Eventually, you’ll see your child growing up as a good human being.

Discipline your child

Don’t be amused when your child hits somebody for fun. Let them know when they’re being disrespectful or showing bad manners. But even in such cases, DO NOT hit them, sit them down and have a talk with them, explain why it is unacceptable. ‘Because I said so’ is not an explanation. Let them know that their actions have consequences; rewards for good behavior and punishments for misbehaving.

Be cautious when to encourage or discourage your child’s behavior. If you start doing their homework because your child doesn’t, you will always be a slave to them. Keep an open line of communication with your children.

Avoid pampering

Shower them with gifts on occasions but not whenever they demand for it unless it’s very important. “I never had a chance to have things I wanted when I was a child, but I want my son to have everything he demands”. Don’t ever do this, your child is not an extension of yourself, your child is an individual that you love and care for, it is not an opportunity for you to relive your life through them. If you do you will always be a “Genie” to your child. Your child needs to understand that you’ve worked hard for years so that they can have what they need.

It’s okay if they fail

Don’t start saying “I told you this would happen”. Give them opportunities to do things independently, don’t hover over them. They don’t have to do it right every time, it’s okay if they fail, assist them to solve their problems but do not do it yourself unless needed. Tell them it’s okay to fail sometimes and motivate them to try again. This develops their emotional strength, and they will learn that there will be challenging times or ups and downs in life, and giving up is not an option.

Let them be independent

Don’t do things for your child that they can do by themselves. If your boy wants to prepare tea for you, let him; assist if he asks for it. Let them experiment and figure out things by themselves unless you feel they are at risk. Appreciate when your daughter learns to iron her clothes and let her do it. When they realize that you let them be independent and trusted in their ability, it boosts their self-confidence and helps build a healthy relationship.

Don’t compare and criticize

“Boy in the neighbourhood scored A+ in mid-term examinations, why didn’t you?”, “You haven’t scored well in the exams this time, I won’t be able to share it on my social media.” Don’t put pressure on children to fulfill YOUR expectations. Talk to them, ask if they’re having difficulty understanding any subject, and how you can help. Also, we have a very bad habit of criticizing our children in front of others. When you go to a salon with your daughter, the hairdresser doesn’t need to know that your daughter spilled coffee on your dress that morning. This can be a cause of serious problems in the future, at some point, your children will start developing a negative attitude towards you and you will start complaining that your child does not listen to you. Respect is always mutual, respect them and they will respect you back.

Accept your mistakes

Nobody is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, so whenever you make any, do not hesitate to accept it. Don’t assume that you’re always right just because you’re older. Don’t yell at your child and shut them up when you make a mistake. Admitting your mistakes gracefully and apologizing for it sets a good example. Your child won’t hesitate to accept mistakes if you set an example. Whenever your child makes a mistake or thinks that he is in trouble his thought should be ‘I have to tell my parents’, NOT ‘my dad is going to kill me for this.’

A child comes in your life because YOU want them to. Don’t bother to bear a child only because your parents or in-laws demand to play with grandchildren before they die, or in a fear of being questioned by society. It’s important that you and your partner truly desire and decide to have a child.

Nikita Shrestha Shakya is a newborn photographer. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Psychology at Tribhuvan University.

Click here to visit Nikita’s personal website: www.nikitashresha.com


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