Of Parental Roles and Responsibilities

To have a child is every parent’s delight. Then, somewhere along the way, there creeps in a feeling among parents that despite their nurture and care, their child has not “come up to expectations”.

Of Roles and Responsibilities

Of Roles and Responsibilities [Illustration by Shinod AP]

Here it becomes imperative for parents to introspect and identify areas of concern before jumping to conclusions regarding the behavioural pattern of the child.

As parents we tend to think of our children as our extensions forgetting that they are individuals in their own right. My son has taught me this valuable truth, the essence of which may provide interesting reading for parents similarly situated:

  • Never give an example of your own upbringing while criticising your child’s actions. The term generational change has some meaning after all, and it is reflected in society in the form of prevailing social views, be it on the kind of academics that is considered “good” or the kind of lifestyle that is thought of as interesting.
  • Encourage your child to participate in the constructive activities he enjoys even though it may not be your favourite activity. What you have to ensure is that it should be learning oriented and creative. Do not try to link the activities with his career graph from a tender age.
  • Involve yourself regularly in his activities to give him a feeling that he has a friend in you. This attitude will make things easy while dealing with your son and in making him give you an attentive ear.
  • Extend guidance with appreciation and not criticism. You must be patient enough to answer your son’s queries to convince him and at the same time respect his viewpoint as well. This will make him respect you more as a parent.
  • Disciplining should be in a very subtle manner and practiced occasionally only. Avoid criticising your child when his or your friends and relatives are around. After a certain age even your child feels like an individual and you must respect this individuality.
  • Discuss topics covering areas that he likes, such as sports or news to gauge his level of awareness and involvement.

I have realised that a son sees his father as a role model and so the onus is on the parent to be careful against depicting any false behaviour in his presence.

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