Raising a healthy and happy child is a challenging task, requires a watchful eye, an ear to listen, a truck load of patience, acceptance and an open heart filled with unconditional love. It takes a village to raise a child and that’s where a parenting skill comes into play. Children are needy and demanding right from birth, so parenting a child is no easy job. But only a happy parenting makes a happy child.
Parents are the first teachers in a child’s life and dealing with the present generation, it is very important that a parent also treats their child with respect. Positive parenting shapes how a child sees himself and the world around him positively.
Dr Ishinna Sadana is a Certified Parenting Expert and Counselor with a PhD in Human Development. She is an acclaimed counselor who has the coveted recipe for successful parenting and raising happy, resilient children. New Insight in Ludhiana, Punjab, is a centre where she takes personal counseling for parents for a joyful parenting experience. She also conducts workshops for parents to build a stronger relationship with their children.
She shares with Maxxo about effective parenting, which can become a positive experience in one’s life…
- What is conscious parenting?
Conscious parenting is being conscious of your own reactions and response as a parent. Your job as a parent is to love your child so listen to them, feel them and understand them. When you understand their needs, you can help them and correct their behaviours. Become curious to understand the reason behind a typical behaviour, because behaviour is a type of communication.
A very big part of conscious parenting is having a connection with the child. Children can not behave according to us all the time. So by understanding them and praising them more than criticizing them, parents can have a better connection with the child.
As a parent always have 1:5 positive interactions with the child to have a positive relationship with him. Talk to children without judging them and accept them. Understand that whatever your child feels is real and have empathy.
- What to do if your child does not listen to you?
If a child does not listen to the parent, we have to observe the kind of interaction we have with the child in a day. A child does not like criticisms which come out of negative interactions. So you need to put in more positive interactions, to have more positive influence over your child. If we are conscious of our behaviour towards our children and understand how it affects them, we can definitely influence their behaviour, help them regulate, be resilient and form a beautiful connection with them.
Always say what you mean and mean what you say because if you do not mean what you say, you lose your credibility. Empathize with your child because connection is the way to correction.
- How does the relationship between the parents affect a child?
The relationship between a mother and father determines the kind of relationship the child would have with his peers and his partner in future. A child observes his parents carefully, the way they talk or interact with each other and absorbs all of it. So if the parents have negative interactions, the child learns that kind of coping mechanism. There would be noticeable anger outburst and defiance in the child due to this. So if you want your child to listen to you, you must listen to them first and display behaviours of caring, listening and respect with every member at home.
- Parenting and Anger don’t go well together …
A child’s behaviour is just like the tip of an ice berg. There are layers of feelings and unmet layers underneath it. Change your perspective of looking at your child’s behavior because he might be going through emotions which he alone cannot handle. He needs your help and love at this time.
Parents setup boundaries for the child to follow rules in daily life. But with time parents become uncomfortable with a child’s reactions of tantrums, being stubborn and anger due to these rules and limitations set by them. Accept your child the way he is and praise him more than you correct him. Believe in him so that he would believe in himself. That’s the key to raise a happy and successful child. Children do not have emotional regulators like adults so be calm and handle them. So if they are angry or throw a tantrum, the parent needs to understand that the child needs help. Parents also get angry when they take it personally… mostly children are just being children and when the nuisance they create is taken personally, they end up being angry. Parents have a major role in children’s emotional well being. When we understand that children’s problems are real, we can easily connect with our children without giving in to their demand.
- One of your posts in Instagram says –
‘Empathy is the key that unlocks your child’s brain when she’s upset and allows your reason to get inside’ – Rebbeca Eanes
Empathy is extremely strong to connect with anyone. Such gesture lets the child know that you understand him and whatever he is going through, by accepting him. Empathy gives you more influence over a child and helps to strengthen the bond you have with the child.
- How important is it in today’s scenario for a parent to spend time with the child?
It is always important for a parent to give a child some time in a day. The most precious gift you can give your child today is your time, undivided attention and your presence around him. They really need you and your guidance. One to one time should be given to your child in a day, everyday. It must be a time filled with fun, without any distractions. This helps both the parent and child build a good bond.
- How to handle tantrums or meltdown of emotions in kids?
The parent has to be calm and composed when a child throws tantrums or shows meltdown of emotions. One must understand that the child is going through a hard time and not giving you a hard time by such acts. Empathise with the child to connect with him and try to know the reason behind his problem. Tantrums and meltdowns are seen often in children because some demands are not fulfilled. So don’t give in for these acts because the child would assume that the tantrums and meltdowns would work out everytime he has such demands. Be calm and let it pass with time….
- How can a parent say NO to screentime during lockdown?
Managing screentime as a parent is in your power. Parent must set clear boundaries with the child in his presence. Also be alert about the content they watch and the duration of screentime too. This will help both the child and parent from getting confused.
- This pandemic is like World War III now … in such an uncertain time, how would you convince parents to be optimistic and not to stress or pressurize kids about studies?
As parents we need to understand that even children are stressed and frustrated being homebound during this lockdown. They have many questions in mind to which even parents don’t have answers. Now it has been more than 2 months of lockdown and while adjusting with this new lifestyle, we can not ignore a child’s studies completely. We should also remember that studies should not be an added stress for them during this time, so parents must refrain from pressurizing them for studies. Parents must understand the child’s state of mind and how the lockdown is affecting him. If the child is having constant struggle with studies, the parental interactions should be more conscious. Parents must understand their children and approach the situation with utmost optimism.
- How should a parent deal with her child when she has never ending questions regarding the COVID-19?
A parent should answer the child’s unending questions because children are anxious and have many questions in their mind about this new uncertain situation of life. There would be many doubts which if unanswered will create confusion and they will act out in different ways because of anxiety. Children will not feel good about this and there will be more challenging behaviours from them. Parents must show immense patience towards their repeated questions and answer them honestly and in an age appropriate manner.