When my wife first gave me the news that she was pregnant, I felt that I was not ready to be a father. This is true! I thought that I was not responsible enought at that time to be a father.
My wife was happy and excited. I had doubts about my abilities to raise a child.
Somehow my wife motivated me and I was ready to accept the fact that someone was coming into our world. He would call me ‘father’ and would learn the lessons of life from me! I had entered into a new stage of life.
From that moment onwards, I had decided to become a committed parent.
I shall be adding more posts to this category gradually. However, today I am posting here an article that I had written for my child’s school magazine. This was written around one and a half year before this date. It suddenly popped up into my mind today morning. I feel that it is worth sharing. Please note that the ideas in the article are the thoughts and feelings of mine and are eighteen months older. After that, I have grown up in this area and I shall be adding my current experiences and insgihts too in coming posts.
So please read further and comment: (if you find that it is too long, please have patience. Just read on; if you are a committed parent, you shall find important insights from it. You may also notice a diffenrence in my writing style then and now.)
How can I be the parent I want to be?
We all love our children. We wish to give them all the happiness. We all wish that they succeed in this complex, rapidly changing & highly competitive world. However, let me tell you that just by loving & wishing we cannot make dreams for our children come true.
So what is that which can make the difference?
We can not be perfect but we can surely remain committed
I see with myself and with many of my client parents that in spite of love, care & dreams; living a life of an ‘Effective Parent‘ is some times difficult. It is a fact that even if we want to give the best to our children, it is not possible to deliver it all the time. So let us first accept that ‘it is ok’ to have hours or days when we can not be our ‘true-parentselves‘. However, we can be committed to become more effective every day.
Commitment keeps us on the track
Nobody teaches us how to parent our children. We have learned many parenting styles just randomly and so it is very likely that it may not work all the time. When we are committed to be ‘the parent we want to be’, we search for better ways of doing our parenting. We do not get discouraged when things go wrong. We do get disturbed for a moment, but then, after a while, our commitment gets us back on our path.
For parenting, it is not only the knowledge of what to do that is important but actually applying what you know, learning from the feedback you get & making changes in our approach , that really works! It is a skill to be developed, not the knowledge to be gathered! Many times, we read good books about parenting and then conclude after few weeks that it does not work in our case. Let us understand that we cannot learn driving a car, playing tennis or even doing our business just by reading books. The same is for parenting. It is a skill to be developed & it can be done only by doing, learning from doing, refining & fine-tuning our approaches and then applying them again. The more you do with this attitude, the better will be the parenting style in the long run.
Specific expectations generates focused actions
Many times, we are not ‘specific’ about what we want for our children. We have a vague idea that OUR CHILDREN SHOULD BE GOOD. But what do you mean by ‘GOOD’? Here I am trying to emphasize on the specificity of our expectations or dreams. The more specific we are about what we want to see developing in our children, the more specific our actions would be & then things will start manifesting in real life.
Parenting is like gardening
We also need to see what fit better with the temperament & present likings of our children. As parents, we are not building a house with the plans we have designed, but in stead, we are gardening a plant which has its own potential to grow provided it is timely & appropriately nourished. We can not force a plant to grow in a particular fashion; we can just trim it, guide it & enjoy the process of growing & developing. So, we are in the process of gardening not in the process of building a non-living house!
Flexibility and creativity
21st century is the time where the world changes rapidly than ever before in the history. In this age of information, lack of an access to information is not a problem. The problem is how to handle, organize & use from easy to available loads of information. With this, parenting our children also has changed. The styles & methods, which have worked few decades ago, are not always useful or sometimes counter-productive in this era. Flexibility & creativity are the most needed traits for the parents of today than ever before. Cultural values, which we live with for years, may not always be appropriate & will not easily be accepted by our children due to the effects of globalization. We need to be more flexible as we will have to change more often & faster to match frequency with our children. Parenting needs to be more creative as today’s solutions will not work tomorrow! What has worked for ‘A ‘may not work exactly for ‘B’.
So, In short, we can be the parents we want to be if
- we value unconditional love for our children the most & remain committed to learn, grow & develop with changing time.
- We clarify & become specific about our outcomes.
- We respect the individuality of our children & design our ways of parenting accordingly.
- We accept difficulties as a part of the process & become more flexible & creative in parenting styles.
I believe that truly committed & unconditionally loved parenting is a basic need of every individual. If lived, we and our children feel fulfilled!!
Thanks for investing time till the end.