How to be a better parent

Every parent is the best one a child can have. The changing times and awareness has made parents seek ways in which they can be better parents to their children. Some ideas for the same are listed below:


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1) The rules made for the house apply to the parents too. Expecting your child to watch only half an hour of television, while you veg out for hours in front of the idiot box, is not realistic. Walk the talk and be a good role model for the children to follow.

2) Each child is a unique being with his own set of talents, habits, likes and dislikes. Do not compare your child with another. Do not make comparisons even between siblings. Just because your elder son aces arithmetic, it does not mean your younger one should too. He may be more interested in sports or music. Encourage, guide and help your children overcome their obstacles without comparing them with others.

3) Allow your child to fail. Failure, as it is said, is a stepping stone to success. Let your child make mistakes. Don’t be anxious to protect them. Let them learn from their mistakes and challenges. The next time your eight-year-old writes an essay for a school homework, don’t hover around him. Don’t be overanxious to correct the spelling errors and give him ideas. Allow him to use his creativity and develop his own spelling for the words he doesn’t know. Provide your help only after he makes his efforts and only when he demands for it.

4) Children love attention. When they don’t get positive attention (kind words, smiles, hugs, kisses and cuddles), they wouldn’t mind putting up with even negative attention (scolding, shouting and even spanking). If you need to reduce the negative behaviour of your child, try overloading them with positive attention. Mostly, all negative behaviour (whether it is from your 18-month-old toddler or your 18-year-old teenager!) is only a cry for attention. Some parents find it difficult to hug or physically exhibit their affection towards their teenage children. Though these kids might seem embarrassed, all children love attention. However, it might not be a good idea to show your affection for your teenage children in public and definitely, not in front of their friends.

5) Follow your instincts. In today’s world, there is a lot of contradictory theories on what is good for your child. While someone might insist cow’s milk is good, another might insist that you keep your child away from milk. Unless and until the advice is from a doctor, you do not need to adhere to ideas that go against your gut feeling. Have control over the decision-making process for your child. Do not be swayed by what other parents may or may not be doing.

6) Do not offer any material things for comfort or praise, especially, do not use food or television for this purpose. A prized toy for a child who has topped his class is alright but chocolate each time your child cleans up his room is definitely not right.

A parent who is cool and composed even during chaos, who is consistent with the rules and routines, who nurtures independence in the child and who is always ready to lend a helping hand is the best parent a child can have.

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Archana Sarat is a freelance writer and author. While on most days you can find her tapping away on her laptop, sometimes she does turn her hair loose and paint the city red. Her works are published in various popular newspapers and magazines like The Times of India, The Economic Times, The SEBI and Corporate Laws Journal, The CA Newsletter and many more.


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