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Parenting Scrutinized #MondayMusings

I cannot get through my child’s mind and understand his thoughts. Do I need to take him to a psychiatrist?

I’m not sure whether I’m handling my child properly. May be I can refer a few books which can help me get a grip on it?

I’m not happy with the kind of friends my child has. I wish he would take my advice and choose his friends wisely.

I bet once in a while we’ve all faced such questions and have tried to find answers through channels that many of us have begun to rely on more assertively than we are prepared to accept. And why not? There is extensive literature available quite easily, there are dedicated television programs, there are blogs, there are friends and well-wishers ready to render advice at the slightest hint, and if nothing else, there are professionals who are ready to help us out at a hefty price.

Yet, we find ourselves baffled and anxious many a times. Isn’t it? Even after doing every possible thing we find ourselves less equipped to tackle issues that we face with our children, sometimes on a daily basis. Some of these issues are laughable at best whereas some are serious and deserve intervention.

From my personal experience, guilty as I am of having referred to parenting books et al, at the outset we’re informed that ‘every child is different’ and what works for one child won’t necessarily work for another. Correct. The problem starts when we find that our darling baby doesn’t fit into any of the descriptions the author has put forth and we start wondering whether this was all an exercise in futility. Agree?

However, at times we find that there are matters for which our seasoned parents and relatives too probably don’t have any suggestions. Our situation wasn’t as complicated and competitive like today. Children weren’t forced to step into adulthood with the constant bombarding of sex and related issues, there weren’t enough television channels or mobile phones and/or video games to distract them from people, numbers on marksheets weren’t extremely important or the prices of their clothes, bags or shoes weren’t a point of discussion or envy for them.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to spend some much-needed quality time with their children, and sad as it may seem, there’s a chance they don’t know their own kids all that well. Sometimes the child is difficult to handle or has issues dealing with authority. In such cases, consulting a psychiatrist would probably be the right thing to do, but will it not distance it from his family further?

I’m not anti-parenting, but there are simple things for which I believe we need to dig into our own roots, instead of simply referring to what we’re told. In extreme cases we can anyway get all the help we need. Parenting is a process that continues and changes with every child and every phase. It is something we need to imbibe and learn and personalise for our own benefit. We cannot be told what to do every time, can we?

Westernisation has affected and influenced us in more ways than we can imagine. What once used to be a simple conversation between parents and their children has suddenly become a round-table conference kind of heavy stuff. It isn’t always about something being right or wrong, advisable or disallowed, or popular or despised. We decide it, for ourselves and our family. Expert advice isn’t compulsory, is it?

Any comments, disagreements or suggestions are welcome. I too am still a learner. 🙂


10 thoughts on “Parenting Scrutinized #MondayMusings

  1. I’m not a parent, as you know, Varsha. However, I do tend to agree that the experts don’t always know it all. Keeping the lines of communication open between your child and you, is one of the most important things you can do. And also remembering that there’s no such thing as a perfect parent is important! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you agree Corinne. I’ve seen parents of my age really make a hue and cry about which expert’s advice they follow and how it is important to consult experts for kids’ development. I don’t agree with it. Who said even with the best advice we won’t go wrong? We’re bitten by the perfection bug, sadly.

  2. Guilty of consulting parenting books, don’t be. If this can make you feel better I attended 2 parenting courses, both 3 months long where the mothers used to meet the instructor/co-coordinator once a week. And this was when my son was only 2 years old. You can imagine how clueless would I have been.
    My son is still small and my circumstances may be far different from yours so I can’t suggest you anything in terms of how to handle your child. You are right, taking to the psychiatrist might further take him away from you because this is going to tell him he has problems or rather he is a problem. Corinne mentioned it rightly communication is the key. But I am afraid that won’t happen until both the parent and the child are thinking the other one is wrong. This is true your child also will be feeling you are wrong in stopping him from the way he is conducting himself. Accept the present situation and just let it be for a while. Deviate your mind to his qualities, he will be having a many of them and start telling him, talking to him about them. When the focus of conversation changes there will be better co-operation. This might not appear like a parenting advice because it isn’t. We are all together in this.

    1. Wow Anamika…that was quite a thorough comment!
      You attended parenting courses? I had looked for them but somehow didn’t sign on for any. 😛
      Circumstances…exactly! That’s what most people don’t understand. Not having help or handling every chore at home are things no one can advise you on. You have to learn and apply your own logic.
      Communication is crucial, true! Most matters can be understood and resolved by caring and sharing what we feel for each other. Kids need encouragement the most.
      We are in this together, yes. I’m glad that we can ask and tell each other these things. Thank you! 🙂

  3. I may not qualify as someone who knows anything about parenting but I strongly agree with all that you said. What experts can do to help has its limitations, and the ways of bringing up a child is developed on its own by what the parents’ think is the best for them. But it is always best to hear opinions from different angles to make a final decision that suits you the best.

    1. How true Dashy! I think what works best is to go ahead with commitment and confidence and not crave for approval at every stage. After all parents do want the best for their children. The ways they adopt do matter.

  4. Been to a counsellor once and the doc many many times over trifles, so pretty guilty. The thing is Varsha, when we lived in joint families we had exposure to many age groups of kids as we grew. Our parents were also always around with help and advice and most importantly they knew when/if something was wrong with the baby. Now however with no help, as a new parent I was completely clueless. So each time something unexpected happened I panicked and sought expert help. I had no clue what to feed the baby, how to massage them or what to expect of them. I think one should seek help – all kinds and from all sources – and then apply one’s own thought process before trying it out on the child.

    1. Bingo there! As a first time mother I found myself clueless a lot of times for minor things and it was tricky to know what the best thing to do. One thing though, with my husband’s help, I avoided letting others make me feel guilty for not doing the ‘ideal’ thing. We know and decide what works best for us. I also asked my mother a lot.
      Thank you for your comment. Good to see you here. 🙂

  5. How old is your child? May be together you have to find out what he really like to get involved in certain activities to get distracted from your usual daily routines and the friends you do not like. May be sport or music or whatever might engage him to get rid of an extra energy which is on my opinion a main problem of certain behavior. May be he likes animals and i do not know horse riding or similar. In this case you child might be sure that you care about his preferences and start being more open with you. Just a suggestion if it does not work just ignore.And do not feel guilty about anything as far as in your mind you know exactly that your main goal is your child`s happiness and satisfaction, everyone makes mistakes before finding the right way which work in your particular circumstances. Good luck!

    1. Wow…thanks for the detailed comment.
      My son is 8. I try and involve him in my daily activities and he helps me out happily while feeling important. We watch games, songs and movies together and have a lovely time.
      I will use the pointers you have given too. Hope they help me in cementing a better relationship with him. Thank you for stopping by.

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