As a working mother of 2 boys, one 6 and other 11, satisfying myself being a good parent has been a constant challenge for me. A thought process which keeps me constantly engaged, enthralled and worried too at times...rather most of the times. I am sure almost all parents specially mothers have encountered it. Specially as a mother of two kids who are at different ages of growth coping up with parenting challenges becomes all the more difficult..
When I think about challenges of parenting so many issue crop up...emotional issues. Physical attributes...sibling rivalry...school challenges... emotional insecurities.. aggression and so on..I am sure there could be many many more add ons to this list.
But then the question which keeps on recurring to me is If there is one sure shot formula for effectively handling all of these so that at the end of the day I go to sleep patting myself for being a good mother.
And after reading so many of articles and publications and also secretly practicing many of them, what I gathered is, that there is no standard practice or style of parenting which can be applied in general. And this so for a very simple reason, as all flower saplings cannot be treated in the same way. Some need to be pruned..some need to be grafted and some need to be treated the other way so that they grow into health plants… Similarly each child is an individual with his/her own unique set of attributes , fantasies, strengths and challenges . Therefore each child perceives and responds to situations differently but we parents generally reciprocate in a predetermined way to our children based on the way we expect them to have behaved or responded.
For instance we often yell at our kiddos for not responding to our instructions instantly. I myself used to do so until lately I realized that my younger kid instead of responding vocally to what I said simply used to do it quietly without even letting me know that he had done it. Unlike his elder brother who vocally dittoed that he would do it which always gave me confidence that he is listening to me and following me more seriously. Resulting which most of the times I turned up suggesting my small son to be disciplined like his elder brother..Never could I realize how offended he must have been at all such situations.
Though a very simple experience but then this lead me to believe that the most important principle of parenting for me was to realize and understand that since neither of my children are similar I need to be in absolutely two different persona at the time of dealing with two of my own children, may be in a very similar situation... I know and have realized its not at all easy because as parents we constantly keep on challenging our kiddos but find it equally difficult to come out of our comfort zone. But then gradually I also realized that this was the key to make my children believe that as a mother I understand them and can absolutely correlate with them. And that neither of them is good or better but both different in their own specific unique way. I have seen this giving enhanced confidence to my younger kid who is more of introvert to open up with me and share his day to day chit chattings of school, small successes and failures which he encounters daily at school with play mates, which of course are of great significance for him.
Understanding the personality and attributes of the kid and then establishing a communication mechanism which gives confidence to the child, I believe, is the most important step towards effective parenting. As they say that a good communication established half the problems stand solved.
I know this is just the start of the journey and there will be constant challenges creeping up but one thing which I am sure of now is that each of my child can turn up to me with the same confidence that Mamma knows them rather understands them equally well..