Recipe for good parenting | 2018-09-13 |

Recipe for good parenting

Masum Billah     13 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Recipe for good parenting

Promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood can be termed as child rearing or parenting. Children start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents' eyes. The tone of voice, body language, and every expression of parents are absorbed by their kids as they learn a lot about how to act by watching their parents. The words and actions of a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else. The younger they are, the more cues they take from their parents. It hints that parents should be careful enough as they are constantly being watched and observed by their children.

Today we are living in a busy world. So, it's often difficult for parents and kids to get together for a family meal, let alone spend quality time together. Kids should be allowed to do things independently that will make them capable and strong. But there is probably nothing kids would like more than getting together in the family. How can we do that? We can get up ten-fifteen minutes earlier in the morning to have breakfast together. It is definitely good for physical health and developing family bond. Adolescents seem to need less undivided attention from their parents than younger kids. Because there are fewer windows of opportunity for parents and teens to get together, parents should do their best to make them available when their teens express a desire to talk or participate in family activities. We should avoid blaming, criticising, or fault-finding when we meet our children. It may undermine their self-esteem and can lead to resentment. We may have strengths and weaknesses as family leaders that we cannot avoid. Our expectation from ourselves and other family members particularly children should be set considering these facts.

How well your parenting style matches the personality of your child has a major impact on how well-adjusted they become later in life. Naturally, most parents try to understand the needs of their children, but it’s not always easy to figure out, especially when behavioural or emotional problems enter the mix. Confidence is crucial to good parenting. Your kids must believe you what you’re doing, or they could feel insecure and have a harder time trusting others. It’s important to meet other parents who face the same challenges as you do. Learning new parenting strategies is important, sometimes you just need the listening ear of someone who knows what you’re going through. Sometimes it’s enough to just be in the company of other parents who are going through the same experiences.

What works for one child may not work for another as every child is different, and parenting classes cannot solve everything. They can, however, give the participants strategies that they can apply in their everyday life, help them meet other parents in the same boat and increase their confidence in their own parenting ability. High quality caregiving, characterised by a sensitive, cognitively stimulating, and moderately controlling approach, is crucial for children’s development and safety. Indeed, many of the skills children acquire during the early years are fundamentally dependent on the quality of their interactions with their parents. For instance, parents play an important role in fostering children’s early learning such as language and problem-solving abilities and in shaping their social-emotional skills such as emotion regulation, reactivity to stress, and self-esteem. Furthermore, parents have an influence on the development, maintenance, or cessation of children’s positive and/or negative behaviours. The quality of parenting children receive during the early years affects three key determinants of later success in school and they are cognitive potential, social skills, and behavioural functioning.

Parents who are able to understand the causes of their child’s distress and who are confident about their parenting abilities tend to be more nurturing, comforting, and assertive. In contrast, parents who believe their children have more power than them in difficult situations tend to use less effective parenting practices by becoming either hostile or submissive. Similarly, parents who have inaccurate beliefs or poorer understanding of developmental milestones tend to be less sensitive to their child’s signals. Finally, parents’ own psychological functioning can influence their caregiving approach. For example, there is emerging evidence that parents who experience anxiety are inclined to adopt an overprotecting style of parenting. As much as responsive parenting is fundamental for the cognitive, social, and emotional development of young children.

Discipline should be applied evenly to each child in the family. A child may complain about the unfairness when discipline is applied, but another parenting skill is the ability to explain why the discipline is fair. A related skill is the ability to withstand the cries of a child when the child wishes to do something that a parent has denied. Older children may use sweet voices and adorable upturned eyes in order to get their way. Part of the set of discipline skills is standing firm.

Teaching skills can evolve as the child matures. Early in a child’s life, the ability of a parent to explain things in words the child can understand is important. Words that are well beyond the child’s capacity to understand will not help the child to understand. On the other hand, constantly talking down to a child may hinder the child’s language growth. Finding the time to answer a child’s questions is another important skill. Often this can require patience as the child repeats the question “Why?” This education goes beyond explanations for how things work in the world and descriptions of objects. Skillful parents also explain relationships, emotions and concepts such as love and spirituality.

Lots of practical solutions for parents as well as tips for improving communication, building positive relationships and other useful parenting skills. The goal of parenting is to teach kids to develop self-discipline. Here go some guidelines for parent child relationship ---(i) setting aside time on a regular basis to do something fun with children at home (ii)  order, request, command should not be given if sensed that they will not obey it (iii) agreeing on what behaviour is desirable and not desirable.

The behaviour we expect from our children should be clear. Suppose, if we say to one of our children ‘Your room is messy.’ It does not clearly give what we mean. Rather it is better to say ‘You have left dirty clothes on the floor, dirty plates on the table and your books are not well arranged on the shelf or table.” And Gradual changes in behaviour of the children should be expected. We should not expect too much and very quick change.

We teach our children, but our children teach us too. Our children are mirrors. Through them, we see our flaws, our mistakes, and our humanity. Through them we see our strengths, our gifts, and our deep, abiding love. The best and the worst in us reflect as we parent. When we pay attention to these reflections, we learn, we improve our parenting.

Parenting is demanding, frustrating, overwhelming, and definitely exhausting. It’s also delightful, surprising, heart-growing, and the best blessing we could ever have dreamed. Every parent knows that being a parent is the best way to develop parenting skills. By doing, we learn. We may make mistakes, and say and do things we later regret, but what matters is that we try. We’re constantly learning as parent. We must remember that good parenting skills involve more listening than telling, i.e. we must give importance to our children’s talk rather than our own talking. We can ask those questions such as ‘what is that like for you’ tell me more about that’ how did it make you feel, what your opinion about it is’. Such kind of design of questions will give them scope to explain or describe something in detail through which they will analyse something critically. 

Good parenting skills help children become healthy, productive and successful adults. The health of a growing child includes both physical and emotional health. Couples who are approaching parenthood may feel daunted by the prospect of developing the skills they need to be successful parents, but parenting skills, like other skills, can be improved with practice and dedication. It does not happen automatically.


The writer works for BRAC Education Programme and formerly taught in Cantonments College, Cadet College and Rajuk College.