Parents are born but parenting is a learned skill!!
\Just because one is blessed with a child, does not necessarily make him or her a responsible parent. Modern-day parenting, like all other life skill, has a completely different set of challenges these days. Children are more aware, have a wider exposure to everything owing to free internet; they are technically more equipped than parents. Parents have lesser patience and more stress of modern lifestyle and on the other hand, children have activities and things as a source of escapism. All these make parenting a seemingly tough task.
This week we had an opportunity to interact with Rekha Vaghela, a parenting coach. Her calm, composed and collected personality with a compassionate tone was a perfect mix one can look for in a parenting coach. Let’s get an overview of this interaction.
Rekha comes with a background in human resources and been a corporate trainer for 13 years, purely out of passion. Now her audience changes to parents but the passion still continues. Reading and exploring new things is what fascinates her. She believes that the children of today are the roots of the nation’s future. And if they are cultivated right, they will take the nation to another height.
WHY BE A PARENTING COACH
Her objective clearly is to help parents and children to align their goals; long term as well as short term. In the initial years of any child, according to Rekha, parents have a major impact on them. Later the child gets impacted by society, teachers, role models whom children choose to follow. She was quick in putting up the analogy of a child being a seed and parents being the gardener who nourishes and cultivates the seed. Well done garden talks about the gardener.
Rapid-fire initially seemed too childish or kiddish for a personality like hers. But the way she sportingly took it up, talks about her adaptability. Her choices purely came out of the need to connect with her audience. Her love for activities, being a friend to the parents, having more one on one conversation talk about her urge to connect with the parents. Her concrete learning also comes from having a real-time mentor from a human resource background who walks the talk.
INSIGHTS INTO PARENTING
Parenting in earlier times was simple. Parents are getting busier in their lives and children have easy access to the internet. Children have a lot of time and inclination to explore as compared to parents. This creates a gap and is the major cause of parenting issues. According to Rekha, it is not just the time but the quality time with the full attention that the children are looking for. She was quick to mention children have their own set of challenges irrespective of being in a nuclear family or a joint family.
9 PRINCIPLES OF PARENTING
Parenting and principles!! Unusual, but yes she has come out with these 9 principles out of her experience and interactions with parents. She calls them principles for a reason – because we don’t have a handbook for parenting it is important to correctly understand and implement this. Hence she calls them principles. They might just help parents set certain do’s and don’ts however, one needs to be flexible as per the age of the child.
One of the 9 principles is Responsibility. Parents need to make them responsible as against spoon feed and pampering. Do parents need to be aware that in process of showering love on the child are they depriving their children of being self-reliant? The idea is not to make them dependent. Children who can walk and talk are capable of doing a lot of small things on their own. It is definitely important to take care of children and not overburden them, but the process should not hamper their physiological growth. Each event should be looked upon as a learning opportunity.
TIPS ON PARENTING
Parents need to have a structured plan for parenting.
- Be yourself. Do not do something that you do not value as an individual since it would not go a long way. Just be authentic. This has no alternative
- Be a consistent parent. With work from home being so prevalent, the child observes you even while you are in the role of a professional doing your job. If there is a disparity in what a child sees in you as a parent and what the child sees in you as a professional you will not seem consistent to the little mind of a child. Be mindful of the access you have with your children while working from home
- Keep your word. As a parent, you have hundreds and thousands of things to take care of, but for your child, that promise of one ice cream by the end of the day is his entire world. If you forget that or ignore that, the child might just lose faith and trust in you. You may have a logical reason but if the child does not understand it, it just does not stand true. Say sorry, even if it is difficult.
IMAGE MANAGEMENT AND PARENTING
Parents are the first image icons that children look up to. She has this acronym W.A.T.C.H. wherein W is words, A is actions, T is thoughts, C is character H is the heart (feelings). This gives a holistic view which kind of coincides with both, image management and parenting. She stressed on the importance of having a strong self-image for parents so that the child carries a positive perception about parents. This influences the growth and relationship between parents and children.
Parenting is not taught, but with this era of information bombarding, parents need to roll up the sleeves and up the game. Whether you are aware or not, as a parent, you are creating a legacy for your child and that will have an impact on his 360-degree growth, all throughout his/her life. Be mindful of that. Parenting is no more a trial and error thing.
According to Rekha a good book to read on parenting for children under 5 is “How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk” She quotes this as a bible for parenting. Another book for parents to elder children is “Peaceful parent Happy Kids” the book highlights the concept of Coaching and Connecting works and not Control.
Parenting is art and science at the same time. It is up to us how do we pick it up.
We at Mega Image Consulting have rolled out a pledge, an Image Pledge on Valentine’s Day. Let us all out of the love and respect for ourselves take the pledge:
“Dress the way you want to be Addressed”