Raising them right

Published On: April 21, 2017 08:54 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Raising a child is no easy task. And for some it is a downright scary prospect. We have mothers who have successfully raised children talk about the lessons they learnt on parenting. And, as they say, hindsight is 20/20. 

Usha Gurung

It’s true there are no guidelines to parenting. I don’t believe any of the books or seminars on the matter actually work because even within a marriage, each parent tends to have a different experience with each of their children. It really depends on how you approach it.

Our generation obviously grew up in very strict households where our parents’ words were the law. But that parenting style doesn’t work anymore. I think it has a lot to do with the kind of exposure that is available to our kids these days. It took me almost a decade into being a mother myself to realize this. 

Initially, it used to be quite frustrating at times because I was going about dictating my child’s schedule. In hindsight, I can see that, it’s was the classic parent trap – where you just order the kid and offer no explanations for it. She had to eat when I thought it was appropriate, participate in activities I believed to be interesting and so on .So the child’s in a bad mood and when they don’t listen, you are in a bad mood too. This really puts a strain on your relationship. 

So if I were to give any advice, I’d recommend new parents to take the child’s perspective into account as well. Regardless, of how young they are, you have to listen to what they are trying to say and understand where they are coming from too.

 Now I’m not saying this is going to be easy. Trust me, you will need patience and loads of it. There will be many moments where you will be tested but then again, as the adult, you have to take up that responsibility. 

We obviously can’t expect the child to be the mature one in this equation. A kid will naturally act like a kid. But when you acknowledge the child as an individual with their own personality and interests and stop enforcing your beliefs and priorities on them, it becomes really easy to raise them. I noticed that this helped develop a bond between me and my daughter and, consequently, it became easier to guide her as well. The effort you put in to try and understand their perspective pays off. They are willing to listen more and get your feedbacks, thus making your job a lot easier. 

Gurung is a mother of a grown-up daughter who thinks there is no good or bad parent. Every parent is doing the best he/she can. 

Nisha Sharma
As parents, you are bound to feel like you are walking on egg shells most of the times. Are you being too strict or are pampering them too much? Are you making them dependent or making them feel rejected? There are always multiple factors to consider here.

However, in my experience, the best thing you can do as a parent is set the boundaries early on and be consistent about it. Kids respond to this kind of approach. This works especially well with kids, when you are trying to monitor their behavior. We see too many mothers and fathers struggling to cope with unruly children and their tantrums and I can’t help but feel that it is because they haven’t been firm enough with them about their expectations from the start.  

I believe it’s what helped me with managing my son during his growing years. It’s not that there were no mischief on his part but he knew when he had crossed the line or was going to cross the line and put efforts to check himself. As a parent, you find that this awareness really helps to discipline your child. 

But, of course, that’s not the only role you play. As a mother, I had to put constant effort to strike that right balance between being strict and being friendly. Even as a 23-year-old, my son still cherishes the moments we spent together when he was growing up. He talks about all these memories and I feel so grateful to have taken the time out of my work to be there with him. Back then, I really didn’t know, it would matter this much. But now, I feel that my son is still affectionate and unreserved because of those moments. So, needless to say, I also highly recommend spending as much time as possible with your child.

Sharma believes it’s important to discipline kids while raising them even if it feels wrong at the time. You’ll be doing them a favor in the long run. 

Sarala Bista

Motherhood is apparently something that comes innately. I was 20 when I got married and a year later I held my first child. Although it would seem that I had it easy living in a joint family and being a housewife too boot, I found out that it actually is a continuous learning process where there is no definite right or wrong. 

In hindsight, I think I would have waited a few more years to have my third child so that my second born would feel a lot more loved. Although she doesn’t say anything these days, while growing up she used to think that nobody really cared for her. “Papa loves my sister and Mamu loves my brother, who will love me?” was a question she frequently asked as a child. Either don’t have much gap between two of your babies or wait until he or she is at least five years old and a little mature before adding another member in your family. 

It is important, especially during the teenage years, to be friendly with your children. People should be very careful to not take their anger out on the children. Not only is it wrong but, most of the time, the children will never forget it, no matter how many years pass by. Almost all of us think that scaring them is the only way to make sure they don’t take up bad habits during these formative years. Looking back, I realize this was a wrong mindset to have. This just entices them and they find other ways to do the things they have been forbidden to. My middle child would sneak out of the back door when I had guests over. For her, going out was more important than the consequences that would follow when she came home.  

Bista has two grown up kids, both of whom are settled in the US. Her daughter is also a mother now and she sees a lot of herself in her daughter. 

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