The Formula for Right Parenting: First One Will Surprise you!!!!

I hear many people talk about how good they are as a parent. Of course, they do not take a vote on this. They decide it themselves. They judge their own parenting based on the success of their child/children. They share the formula of successful parenting with the people who care to listen to them.

Let me share the Formula number one of right parenting-There is not one.

Let us get real. Human emotions are complex. They are unique. They are unpredictable.

Any person who claims to understand what it takes to be a good parent is fooling themselves and the rest of the world.

I do not claim to be a good parent. I do not even claim to be an average one.

Parenting is a complex and deeply personal journey, guided by many factors such as culture, upbringing, and individual circumstances. While there is not one-size-fits-all formula for 'right' parenting, a few fundamental principles can help guide parents in nurturing healthy and thriving children. This essay outlines a holistic approach to parenting, focusing on communication, emotional intelligence, setting boundaries, fostering independence, and self-care.

Effective communication lies at the heart of positive parenting. Open and respectful communication builds trust between parents and children, creating an environment where thoughts, feelings, and concerns are shared freely. Listening attentively to children's perspectives fosters their self-esteem and teaches them valuable skills for navigating interpersonal relationships. Clear communication ensures that expectations, values, and boundaries are understood, reducing misunderstandings and conflicts.

Emotional intelligence is a cornerstone of nurturing well-adjusted children. Parents who model and teach emotional awareness help children recognize, understand, and manage their feelings. Encouraging emotional expression in a safe and non-judgmental space enables children to develop healthy coping mechanisms and interpersonal skills. By acknowledging a range of emotions and teaching how to regulate them, parents empower children to face challenges with resilience and empathy.

Setting boundaries provides children with a sense of structure and security. It should consider the children's age and developmental stage. Clear rules and expectations teach children about responsibility and consequences. It should balance discipline with understanding, ensuring that the consequences of crossing the boundaries are instructive rather than punitive. Respect for boundaries fosters a sense of autonomy while instilling a healthy respect for rules and norms.

Fostering independence is a vital aspect of parenting. Encouraging children to make age-appropriate decisions and take on responsibilities helps develop their self-confidence and problem-solving skills. Parents should provide guidance and support while allowing space for children to learn from their experiences. Allowing them to experience success and failure builds resilience and a strong sense of self.

Incorporating sensitivity for cultural diversity into parenting practices is essential, especially in a diverse world. Acknowledging and celebrating cultural heritage helps children develop a strong sense of identity and respect for diversity. Cultural understanding also teaches empathy and equips children with the skills to navigate a globalized society.

There are a few things that you need to remember as a parent.

Your children are not your property. You cannot treat them whichever way you feel fit. If you treat them as your property or future investment, you commit a certain sacrilege against creation and the Creator. There will be a price.

As a parent, we refuse to make our children independent.

I am not referring to financial independence here. We do everything possible to see that the child/children remain dependent on us in some way or the other.

You want your children to be attached to you. You may not have that attachment in your other relationships. But with your children, you want them attached to you.

I have a suggestion: Before you decide to have children, you must think about these things. But let us assume that they are already. You want your children to be at least better than you.

Parents need to be straight forward with their children.

It is hard for most parents because this is the only relationship where they get to boss around. They have a committed audience in their children. Wherever else they speak, nobody will listen to them. But remember, this happens till the children reach their teens. You lose that audience once the children feel they have ‘grown up’.

What do good parents do?

They get along with each other. One of the most important things that differentiate great parents is how they interact with each other. Children of parents who do not get along with each other, whether married or divorced, are not as well-adjusted as those from families where there are no parental conflicts.

Researchers note that kids from a single parent family may fare better than those from a two-parent home where the parents fight often. Good parents know that no matter what happens between them, if they want their kids to grow up happy and will adjust it, they must figure out a way to get along.

They show physical affection. Children thrive on warmth and affection. A child who feels loved will have greater self-esteem. A warm touch or a caring hug can let a child know how much a parent cares.

Physical affection lessens the chances of children becoming aggressive, antisocial, and having other behavioral problems. While adolescents may be embarrassed by physical display of love, there should always be words of support and empathy to take its place-a good parent know that.

They spend quality time with their children. Children have different personalities- some may need less time than others, but all children benefit from quality time with their parents. It can be anything from playing sports to cooking or helping with chores.

There is no better way for parents to show their children how much they love and cherish them. On busy work days when they may not have much one-on-one time with their children, good parents spend more time interacting with them.

They listen and understand. Parents often spend much time talking to their kids rather than with them. But we all want to be heard. We all want to know that we matter. When a child feels hurt, parents use that opportunity to show them all is fine and talk through it.

Regardless of how old their children are, great parents make sure that they take the time to listen to their kids and to understand their thoughts, fears, and concerns. Acknowledging children's thoughts will help them develop the confidence they need later to take risks and challenge themselves.

They guide and support. Parents naturally want their kids to succeed and may push, prod, bribe, demand, or even threaten kids with punishment to get them to practice an instrument, excel at a sport, achieve top grades, and so on. But good parents know that being a monster mom/dad is not likely to get children further than providing them with guidance and support.

Gently nudge if/when they need it.

They do not make their children the center of the universe. Some parents allow their lives to revolve around their children. But kids who dictate everything that the family does have too much power. Children who think they are the center of the universe grow up to be self-absorbed and entitled.

Great parents empower their kids to make appropriate choices while maintaining a clear hierarchy and teach children to focus on what they have to offer the world rather than what the world owes them.

Do not confuse discipline with punishment. Punishment is all about making kids suffer for their wrongdoing. Discipline teaches them how to do better in the future. And while great parents give out consequences, their goal is to teach kids to develop the self-discipline they need to make better choices down the road.

Encourage kids to try new things. Some children have no problem trying a new activity, while others are never quite up for it. Many children avoid the unfamiliar. They prefer not to risk attempting something new, leading to missed opportunities and setting a negative pattern that can persist into adulthood. Great parents encourage their kids to try things that can push them out of their comfort zones.

But they make sure that they push their kids for the right reason, to try something new, not because these parents want their children to be something they are not.

They protect, preserve, and develop their children's unique gifts. Identifying talents and children is very important, and it is equally important to nurture them. It goes hand in hand with the previous point. Parents can best recognize their children's talents by giving opportunities to explore many realms of expression. They note their interests and abilities.

Children are like sponges that soak up the reactions and actions of people around them. When they sense genuine interest in their abilities, there is no limit to what they can do to become even better. Great parents encourage and inspire their children to build their self-esteem and confidence in their gifts and talents. They create a suitable environment for the kids to express themselves freely and openly.

The formula for 'right' parenting is a nuanced and dynamic blend of effective communication, emotional intelligence, boundary-setting, fostering independence, self-care, flexibility, and cultural sensitivity.

There are no universal prescriptions, but these principles provide a solid foundation for nurturing children's well-being and growth. Parenting is a continuous journey of learning and adaptation, where love, respect, and guidance shape the path towards raising confident, empathetic, and resilient individuals.

By Suresh Nair