Decoding Parenting: Five common myths about parenting
If you are married, you have to have children. Spouses have compatibility issues, elders advice to have kids. Women are on a career break, hence decide to have babies. How often do we find people opting for parenthood just to fulfill a necessary obligation of society? Ask them about parenting, and prompts comes the reply, “Once a child is there, you learn to manage everything. It is not that big a deal.” Is parenting really that simple?
In this article, we try to bust some common myths about parenting:
1) Parenting comes naturally to a person
This is one of the biggest myths about parenting. Most of the parents believe that there are no special skills needed for bringing up children, thus often mixing parenting with materialistic accomplishment. A baby is crying, give him a phone. A child is failing to score well, arrange for tuitions. But is this parenting? Well, we are not saying parenting is about techniques. No, it is not. It is about understanding your child – the need to recognize that every individual is different, every child is different. Parenting is about treating every child in a manner which is appropriate to his behaviour and understanding, and in the process making him responsible for his life.
2) It is my child. How can I ever do anything wrong with my child? I will always want the best for him?
Of course, no parent would ever wish bad for their children. But have you ever thought – what is the impact of your parenting on the child? Is your parenting making him a positive, confident, responsible individual who can make independent choices in his life or are you making him an unsure person who is completely dependent on you?
3) Spending plenty of time with children
If time was a factor, all housewives should have great kids. It’s not about the number of hours you spend with them, but the quality of time that matters. Are you constantly pesky (like telling them, don’t watch TV, finish homework, eat food etc., – the children, if trained well, can handle these things of their own) or trying to build a bond by having a general conversation about their life and other things. The funda is simple – whatever time you spend, let it be constructive.
4) Buying expensive gifts/fulfilling every demand of children
This is another common practice among parents, esp., those who are unable to spend time with their kids. In order to overcome their guilt, they try to fulfill every demand of their children or shower them with expensive gifts. As we mentioned above, it is not about quantity but quality time that matters. Children want parental love and care more than materialistic things. Gifts cannot be the replacement for parents.
5) I will not (ill)treat my kids the same way as my parents treated me
Your parents’ behavior towards you affects your parenting style in a big way. If they used to beat you, you are likely not to repeat that with your children. If they had been strict disciplinarian, and you hated it, you would be liberal with your children. What you experienced as a child, you derive your parenting techniques from there; often forgetting that your times were different from that of your children; often ignoring that your children are different from you and hence may feel and think in a manner unlike you; often not understanding the impact of your actions on your children. It is important to understand that things that worked for you may not work for your children and vice versa.
The Peeper Times would like to thank Sushant Kalra, Founder, Parwarish Institute of Parenting, for his contribution to this article. Parwarish Institute of Parenting is actively engaged in educating parents on child development.