Have you ever wondered where the word parenting comes from? It comes from the Latin word parere, which means to bring forth. In week 4 of the #ReadInstead Lit fest, our author and clinical psychologist Dr. Anubha Majithia hosted a super helpful parenting masterclass in which she talked us through five things parents should teach their children. Watch her masterclass here –
Here are the five simple, easy and effective things that you can teach your children to make them capable human beings. It is important to emphasise the word capable and not successful because if you can teach your child to be capable enough to handle any adversity or circumstance, they are more likely to lead a successful and holistic life.
This can be done with a simple activity in the morning and evening. Get your child to think about all the things that they’re grateful for. It will help you bond with your child and also make them aware of so many blessings and things that they need to be thankful for. It sets the stage for positivity and more importantly, for feelings of being content.
2. Divergent thinking or thinking creatively
Thinking creatively about various problems and coming up with solutions is key. One trap which most parents fall into is to solve their kids’ problems rather than getting their kids to solve problems themselves. This can be changed if you can teach your children problem-solving skills. Get your child to write about whatever they are facing or whatever is troubling them in clear words. After clearly defining the problem, come up with new solutions that can be used to resolve it. Remember to encourage your child to come up with the solutions and don’t come up with the solutions yourself. This simpler problem solving exercise helps the child develop problem solving skills. They will be able to manage any adversity or challenge with a smile on their face.
Assertiveness is about putting your word out in a non-threatening respectful way to another person, looking the person in the eye when you’re talking to them, and resolving the inter-personal conflict at hand amicably and in a manner in which you feel more in control. Assertiveness as a skill is very important in managing our interpersonal and later our professional lives.
Discipline is usually mistakenly seen as the parent setting a schedule for the child. If this goes on till late in life, the child will never be able to manage themselves independently, and they will become anxious when they don’t have a person telling them what to do. Discipline should be not imposed, but internalized. For example, if you get them to do some home chores, it gives them a sense of responsibility and more importantly, it helps them rise above the idea of ‘I will do only things which I like.’ Getting the children to do home chores from an early age will ensure that they become disciplined enough to take responsibility for a particular action and follow through with it.
5. Giving back
This is the last and the most vital lesson. Giving back is extremely important and it needs to be instilled from a young age. We live in a transactional world, and we keep taking from everybody. This leads to a situation of self-absorption and self-obsession. We are only thinking about ourselves, our comforts, and so our self-esteem becomes very fragile. If instead from an early age you can commit your child to a social cause – it can just be giving water to the guard or giving some food to the needy – it can help them learn to see beyond themselves. It can develop a sense of gratitude, it will develop a sense of humility, and it also helps them become a responsible social citizen later on in their lives.
Stay in, stay safe, and #ReadInstead!