Being a parent is one of the best feelings in life. Many parents remember for a lifetime the first time they held their child in hands. Touching and holding the newborn baby is a divine feeling. Child’s birth is birth not only for the child but for the parents also because parenthood is nothing short of a new beginning in life. Parenthood is an opportunity to embark on a new journey in life. There is no perfect parenthood because as the child grows, the parent also grows. As the child grows, a parent understands new things about life and the child. Parenting a toddler is different from parenting a teenager. Parenting needs constant adaptation, patience, kindness, understanding, and time.
Every parent aspires to give their best to the child and goes the extra mile. Parenting is joyful and, at times, challenging too. How to make it more joyful and enjoyable? Here are 15 tips.
15 tips for joyful parenting:
1. Minimize your stress: Parenting needs patience. When a parent goes through stress, parent cannot give the best to the child because stress is overwhelming, and it drains the energies. With stress, it becomes challenging to give the needed attention to child and parenting feels like a burden. So, regularly de-stress yourself through yoga or meditation and minimize the stress in life.
2. Give time: Children need time of the parents. They look for human interaction and patient listening. They are curious to learn and share what they have learned. For children, their parents are heroes and heroines of the world whom they admire, and they want to spend time with them. Modern life is filled with demanding jobs, and it becomes challenging to give time. So, parents should carefully prioritize their schedules and allocate a certain amount of time to children.
3. Be strong: When a parent is weak physically or emotionally or mentally or financially, parenting becomes challenging. So, a parent should build strength in all these areas of life. A strong parent becomes naturally effective at parenting and becomes a great role model for the child. By seeing such a strong parent, a child learns to be strong in life. So, take the time to build yourself.
4. Walk the talk: Children don’t listen to their parents but observe them and try to follow them. So, in parenting, actions speak louder than words. If parents want their children to inculcate good habits in life, the first step starts with themselves. They should start practicing whatever they want to preach and then preach the child through their own example.
5. Don’t compare: Don’t compare a child with his peers or siblings or neighbour’s kids. Every child is unique and has strengths and weaknesses. No child is perfect. When a child is compared to someone, it impacts the self-esteem of the child and sows the seeds of rivalry and hatred, which takes years to heal.
6. Never beat a child: Yes, children throw tantrums and become cranky at times, but beating them is not the solution because beating a child lowers the self-esteem of the child and creates emotional pain that lasts for years. When a child is hurt physically, over a period of time, the child becomes rebellious in nature and thinks it’s ok to hurt others physically. In their own lives, they end up becoming bullies or violent people. So, never beat a child.
7. Discipline with firmness: It is important to discipline a child because the foundation of discipline laid in childhood helps the child to grow into a strong and disciplined person. Child needs certain direction and guidance in life, and this need is fulfilled through discipline. Sit with the child and discuss the rules of discipline you expect the child to follow. Also, mention the consequences of not following the rules upfront. Have an open discussion with the child about the discipline aspect. A parent can discipline a child without raising voice or beating. Just being firm and not giving in to the demands of a child will reinforce discipline at home.
8. Establish a routine: When a child has a fixed routine, tantrums come down, and it becomes easy and productive to parents and the child. A fixed routine helps a child rest well. Establish a routine for the child where the child knows what to expect and what to do. Create a routine with ample free time to play, learn new things, storytime, etc.
9. Create a safe environment: Make your home and your family a safe space where the child can openly express his thoughts and inhibitions. Create openness at home. Give the feeling of safety and security to a child.
10. Appreciate: When your child does something right, wholeheartedly appreciate it. Appreciation improves the self-esteem of the child and gives motivation to do better. Appreciation strengthens positive behavior in a child.
11. Encourage outdoor games: A child needs outdoor games for healthy development and growth. So, encourage the child to play outdoor. These games help the child to become physically strong and active. Playing outdoor also helps the child to relieve any stress or suppressed emotions.
12. Identify strengths: Every child is special and has unique strengths. Identify these strengths and nurture the child to develop in these areas. Help them capitalize on these strengths and build expertise.
13. Limit gadget time: Too much of gadget time drains the energies of a child and exposes the child to unwanted radiation for longer periods. Excessive usage of gadgets also causes emotional distancing, erratic sleep cycles, insomnia, hyperactivity, and crankiness. So, limit gadget time.
14. Strengthen your marriage: In parenting, both mother and father play an important role. For a child, these two people are role models, and when they fight among themselves, it hurts a child. Yes, in marriages, fights do happen, but try to minimize such friction as much as possible. One of the best gifts parents can give to a child is their own happy marriage. So, take time to strengthen your marriage.
15. Communicate: Open and regular communication makes a great difference to the child. The child needs attention and acknowledgment. So, communicate as much as you can. Listen to the child and understand the child’s world. Ask questions and answer the child’s questions with patience.
These are some tips for effective parenting. When these tips are practiced, the journey becomes easy and beautiful for children and parents. Parenting is an art and science and is a continuous learning process that happens every single day. It needs a lot of patience and understanding. It is the only phase in life which brings in unconditional love. Only a parent can experience unconditional love. Enjoy this beautiful gift of life.