In Today’s World which is consumer oriented, lawless and sexually permissive, parenting has become a challenge. Too much exposure to audio and visual media from an early age coupled with ineffective parenting has made kids selfish, self indulgent and seeking instant gratification. They are given to impulsive behaviour and may be frustrated.
Because the family is a training ground for preparing children to take their place in society as responsible adults, parents need to periodically evaluate their styles of working. They must possess a progressive outlook while adhering to old world values. Child rearing principles are changing as the world changes and parental functions will also change as the child develops. From disciplinarians they grow into friends and teachers. It is good to bear in middle the Biblical adage –
No one can boast of being a perfect parent. It is through trial and error that one learns how best to mold the personality of a child, based on his personality. Love, patience and negotiating skills form the foundation of good parenting. Teaching respect, responsibility and resourcefulness should be the aim.
The love of parents is instinctive and must be unconditional. It is best expressed in how a child is nurtured. Patients shouldn’t be ashamed to show emotion. A child is never too old to be given a hug. Open affection between husband and wife is the most reassuring to the child. He will have confidence that he’s safe and secure in their love and that they are always available to direct him. Superior communication between parents and child makes for bonding. Only if there’s a healthy relationship between them can discipline be inculcated.
Discipline is for the positive good of their child. A kid needs discipline and bounds teaches him to respect authority. Obedience ought to be expected at all times. Praise for good behaviour is vital. But he should also be taught to accept’No’ for an answer. Discipline provides a structure for psychological and social growth. He learns to live by the family code of ethics and develops self confidence and responsibility for his actions. Discipline however must be consistent. Correction must be carried out in a positive way and not by punitive measures. An individual must be kind but firm in enforcing rules. The child should know that discipline is like”a garland to grace his head and a chain to adorn his throat.”
Overindulgence and mollycoddling can stunt a child’s personality. It will rob him of his problem solving skills. It will ruin motivation and make him slothful. There are many reasons why parents become over indulgent. Both parents could be working and feel guilty of not spending enough time with their child. They could be divorced and compensate by giving him a lot of liberties. They are anxious parents who want to overprotect their child. So they give in their whims and needs. Some parents find a means of fulfilling their own needs through their own child. Helicopter parents do not allow their kid to grow up and make their own decisions.
Permissive parents on the other hand let their child do what he enjoys. They are non-directive and non-demanding. Anything that the kid does is fine with them. Parents are so involved in their own lives that they don’t have any opportunity to play an active part in the life of their child. Such a child is insecure and lacks leadership. He knows that his parents won’t bother about what he does. There are no guidelines or limits. Such a child is confused, makes wrong decisions and will drift into delinquency.
At the other extreme are authoritative parents that are control freaks and impose strict rules that have to be followed. They’re critical of everything the kid does. They ruin his self respect by making disparaging remarks. There is never a word of praise. Risks and punitive measures are inflicted for minor flaws. Because of this, the child becomes a nervous wreck, living under a cloud of dread. But as an adult he may develop an anti-social personality resulting in frequent brushes with the Legislation.