Chubby, thin, tall, short, happy, cry-baby, restless, peaceful...children come with such varied traits that arriving at common laws of good parenting would be absolutely inadequate . Yet good parenting would constitute of almost similar methods, to achieve the same end result, that is, to raise a child to be a good, happy and healthy human being.
All children behave as well as they are treated. Consequently Good Parenting would mean doing everything which would make a child loved, cared for, cherished and treasured. My experience in parenting so far has been an enriching and highly satisfying experience and I have found the following simple rules that I followed, to be very gratifying.
Communicate: It is very important to listen as well as speak to your child. The satisfied burps of an infant to its cries of pain or hunger will convey so much to you and guide you through parenthood.. As the child grows up it is important to listen to the child`s point of view, inorder to encourage his/her individuality. Also speaking to your child is the best way to impart values, and to assure the child of your unconditional support whenever he may need it.
Nurture: Providing your child nutritious food rather than easy convenient off-the-shelf fast food will ensure that your child will grow up to be a healthy adult, for a healthy person is a happy person. Teaching your child to adopt hygienic habits as a way of life, ensuring quality time with children in simikar age group and with family each day, will go a long way in fostering the rounded development of your child.
Love: Love can be conveyed by simple sweet words or simply by holding the child close to you. The warmth of hugs and kisses, through the power of sheer proximity, will strengthen the bond between parent and child .
Bond: Spending time with your child will give the child a feeling of security and warmth. It will make the child feel loved and cared to have his/her family around him/her. An effort should always be made to ensure regular interactions with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. This will expose the child to viewpoints of different generations and enhance his understanding, tolerance and patience powers.
Encourage: Each child is special and possesses a unique talent. Encourage him/her in areas of his/her interests instead of forcing him to pursue interests of your choice.
Discipline: Inculcating discipline in your child is a hallmark of good parenting. A well mannered child will reflect his upbringing bringing appreciation for your parenting methods..
Be firm: There may arise situations where you may be required to refuse your child his wish because it is detrimental to his well being. Do not give in. However difficult your child may behave, a parent has to learn to say "NO" sometimes, in a pleasant but firm manner or make the child see your point of view by effective art of persuasion. But be firm.
Persevere: At times you may wonder if parenting is worth the effort. The only answer is a big `YES`. Persevere... Trust me, nothing can prepare you for the top of the world feeling, the kind I experienced recently. I was encouraging my son to go on a short holiday with his friends when he told me..."Mamma, I spend enough time with my friends everyday, I want to spend some time at home." Did I feel on top of the world....that is an understatement.
Befriend: Become a friend to your child. Every child needs a confidant as he passes through various phases in his journey from infancy to adulthood. Your child should be able to confide in you his most disturbing thoughts as well as the happy little occurrences in his life to enable you to guide him through this most fascinating journey.
Pray: Definitely the most powerful tool available to us, prayers bring solace in grief, strength in weakness and light in darkness. You bet there are many a times during parenthood when we feel the need to pray. Teaching your child to pray will enlighten him to the presence of a supreme power above us all, to whom we owe our existence and place in this beautiful world, to whom we can always look up to for guidance and help and to thank when things are going fine. After all a family that prays together stays together.
These according to me are the ten laws of good parenting ..maybe another parent would agree to disagree and add a few laws of his/her own.. After all, "Good Parenting" happens to be a journey, not a guided tour....a journey to be undertaken, explored and experienced firsthand.