In Today’s World that’s consumer oriented, lawless and sexually permissive, parenting has become a challenge. Too much exposure to visual and audio media from an early age coupled with ineffective parenting has made kids selfish, self indulgent and seeking instant gratification. They are given to spontaneous behaviour and may be frustrated.
Since the family is a training ground for preparing children to take their place in society as responsible adults, parents need to periodically assess their styles of working. They have to possess a progressive outlook while adhering to old world values. Child rearing principles are changing as the world changes and parental roles will also change as the child grows. From disciplinarians they develop into friends and teachers. It’s good to bear in mid the Biblical adage –
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he won’t turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
No one can boast of being a parent. It’s through trial and error that one learns how best to mould 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’s best expressed in how a child is nurtured. Patients should not be embarrassed to show emotion. Open affection between husband and wife is the most reassuring to the child. He’ll have confidence that he is safe and secure in their love and that they are always available to guide him. Superior communication between parents and child makes for bonding. Only when there is a healthy relationship between them can discipline be inculcated.
Discipline is for the positive good of their child. A child needs discipline and bounds teaches him to respect authority. Obedience should be expected at all times. Praise for good behaviour is important. But he must also be taught to accept’No’ for an answer. Discipline provides a structure for psychological and social growth. Discipline however has to be consistent. Correction must be carried out in a positive way and not by punitive measures. One has to be kind but firm in implementing rules. The child should know that discipline is like”a garland to grace his head and a chain to adorn his throat.” (Proverbs 1:7-9)
It will destroy motivation and make him slothful. There are many reasons why parents become over indulgent. They could be divorced and compensate by giving him too many liberties. They are anxious parents who wish to overprotect their own child. So they give into their whims and needs. Some parents find a way of fulfilling their own needs through their child. Helicopter parents don’t allow their kid to grow up and make their own decisions.
Permissive parents on the other hand let their kid do what he likes. They are non-directive and non-demanding. Anything that the kid does is okay with them. Parents are so involved in their own lives that they have no time to play an active role in the life span of their child. Such a child is insecure and lacks leadership. He knows that his parents will not bother about what he does. There are no guidelines or limitations. 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 which need to be followed. They’re critical of everything the kid does. They ruin his self esteem by making disparaging remarks. There is never a word of praise. Threats and punitive measures are inflicted for minor flaws. As a result, the child becomes a nervous wreck, living under a cloud of fear. But as an adult he may develop an anti-social personality leading to frequent brushes with the Legislation.