Parenting is growing more and more tougher every passing year. We hear strange news from parents, especially of teenagers. Teenage time of children has become a terrifying stress to parents now. Earlier in the ’90s in our (Indian) culture, we didn’t hear much about parents who have gone through such stress stages in life. In this technological era of 20th century, everyone takes reference from written books and experts even for a day-to-day living. Parents take advises from counsellors to bring up their children. Analyses show that the number of children taking counselling is increasing tremendously. If you are a parent, a parent of a toddler even then you might have thought about all these at least once.
What must have led to these kinds of stress between parents and their children? Whatever it is, a strong bond nurtured since the child’s infancy can solve all these problems. It’s hard to keep trust and hold on, but for our children, we can go to any extent by putting effective efforts in parenting. I’m not here to teach you, because every parent-child is unique and every household is different. Nevertheless, I would like to give you some simple daily routine improvements that will give a strong bond between you and your child and at the same time you can bring up a good human being.
You must be a stay-at-home mom or a working mother, you have got a routine, right? First, you assess that. From the time you wake up to the time they sleep, think what you do. Are you a person who starts the day with your phone and lose a few minutes in that? Are you a person who prefer to give junks and send your children to school easily? Are you a person who compromises when children misbehave with elders and hurt young ones? Are you a person who is careless about what happened in your child’s day? Are you a person who simply sends the child without making sure that they have finished their duties? Are you a person who does not ever tried to nurture even one good habit in your child? I have some suggestions for you if your answer is yes!
Start your mornings gracefully
Wake children up with a kiss or a pat. Do not make their mornings FAST by rushing and panicking. For that, you will have to put them to bed early and let them wake up like a blooming flower. Daily routines may be different according to the geographical location and culture we reside. It is better to stick back to our ancestor’s habit with some modern improvisations. Like waking up early, brush-bath and dress up; Providing children nutritious food especially in the morning, do not prefer the easy food. The food you serve them in childhood is important to keep them healthy forever and also it will stay as a beautiful memory in their mind which will be everlasting. The sweeter the memories of childhood the stronger will be their relationship with the associated people.
Speak to them
Running behind the busy schedule without communicating with the members at home will leave the bonds apart. When you communicate with your children, be wise and speak in a simple language. Do not feed them big philosophies. When I became a working mother after being a long time stay-at-home mom I was feeling quite difficult to cope up with my own guilt. But, I found it relaxing when I talked with my children. I told them why I work and how I still consider them as of utmost priority in my life. Parents, especially working mothers have to convince their children why they work even though the reason is just the love to work and earn. They will understand and stand by your side sooner or later.
Always kiss, Hug, pat, play, laugh and be genuine to your child
Children feel confident and safe when they have their parent’s comforting physical touch. The practice of early interpersonal touch is connected with a child’s self-esteem, life achievement, and social skill in the succeeding years of their life. It also positively influences the child’s physical and psychological development.
Hug your kids when they wake up in the morning and before they sleep at night, and as many times you can during the day as appreciation and encouragement for their good deeds. Pat their shoulders, maintain eye contact while talking to show them you care. Older children might not like the physical touch or may appear embarrassed when you hug or kiss them in front of their friends.
While playing with children play the role of a child yourself with your kids. This enables them to cooperate with you. Parenting doesn’t always have to be a serious stuff. Sharing a few lighter moments benefits in creating some great memories while holding your anxieties in control. And above all, be genuine to children. Never ever do things to get anyone’s credit or attention. It happens sometimes when grandparents and parents show off their affection towards the child and sometimes between competitive couples also! This parent-child space is not meant to make any dramas and a relationship made so will not stay forever.
Limit the Screen time
Be it yours or your child’s. Whether it is the television, mobile phones, video games or laptops they all harm the brain development and slow down the ability of children’s thought process. Do not stop giving but keep a boundary on everything. On the haste of restrictions and checking do not forget not to become a helicopter parent which will adversely affect your child’s future. Let them know what are the trends in society but they need to have control to make limits. When it comes to elders, screen time limiting is so important. While at home around children, parents should take care to keep their gadgets away. Because children may feel that gadgets are more important than them. Sometimes parents may be doing their work or tracking the current affairs or engaged in social networks. Children, as well as elderly around you, might feel that you are killing time in a smartphone/gadget. There is nothing more important than your relationship with your loved ones.
Nurture bedtime activities and reading habit
Bedtime should be relaxed and not forced, but usually waking up and putting kids on the bed is the most chaotic ones. If you allow some time for bedtime you can hear them opening their mind, daily activities, their worries and fears even without asking. Listen to them and recognise their feelings to comfort that you are there for them to resolve their difficulties.
Reading habit should be nurtured very young, say for instance, when your child is as young as 6 months, pass the love for books by introducing small board books and showing the pictures and naming them. It will eventually become a reading habit that stays throughout in their life and this habit can make a strong bond with parent and child. Introduce them age-appropriate books. First, you may read out small books later make them read simple books and make it complex slowly. When you introduce books to children consider established publishers that are made keeping in mind the child’s psychology. I recommend Dr. Seus‘ books to children. They are must-read(out) books to children.
For a change sometimes tell them old stories you knew or your own entertaining or interesting childhood stories. In a time, my children demand stories that are different and extremely funny on a daily basis. For that, we together made a funny character and took that character to every possible comic situation. They love that and have a special feeling towards our own family story character.
Teach them sharing
These days kids are getting more than what they really need. There will be a big pile of colours, notebooks, stationaries and toys in every household where children are there. But still, they are possessive and reluctant to offer even a small broken toy to a friend and they themselves do not play much with it. To avoid cluttering of stuff at home, bi-annual stockpiling organising may help. Include kids in the phenomenon and let them give away their toys and stationaries which they do not use. To avoid irresponsibility and possessiveness, the parents first have to stop buying loads of things to children. An initiative of sharing can be started at home among siblings.
Teach children valuing relationships
Valuing relationships, respecting elders and caring young ones is another major key to nurture a better generation. In the era when the culture and civilization are decaying, children are growing self-centred. Instead of growing up selfish, children must learn to value others and their feelings.
A few decades back, an elderly person was the most respected and important person in the family. Now that has changed and a child is the centre of every family now. A child has to be taken good care and loved that is true. But, now we arrange our everyday plans, meal plans and everything according to the child, the result of such a system will be terrible. Instead, if we give importance to the elderly person, for example, a grandfather or grandmother, if not, father or mother, children will learn to respect the elders just like everyone else do. Real life examples work more than advices. These days parents teach everything verbally, try showing them through your own life if you want to make them follow something.
God and prayers are individual opinions. According to me, I recommend hanging on to a religion, God and ethics because at times everyone will be feeling alone in life. At that time if we want to open our mind and speak to someone without even thinking, a belief of god will be really helpful. Along with individual beliefs, teach children to accept and respect others opinions, beliefs, culture also.
Bonding is a multifaceted process which begins at the time of baby’s birth and when you took that little one in hands. There is no magic equation and it can’t be deliberately made. A baby’s basic requirements will not be yielded if the connection isn’t strong. The concept is actually that simple. When parents complete their primary function of nurturing, loving, and caring for the child, it forms a well-defined and unique parent-child bonding.