Parenting is fun, provided we are trained on that, unfortunately we have to learn by experiences !
5 Major concerns of Single Parents
1. Timing Crunch: Unable to give time is a loud response of most single and working parent. Work-Life balance is often talked but hardly practiced by these single parents. It is quite an acceptable situation to believe, however a simple rule of life says “Larger the time you invest in any relationship, stronger the relationship will be” Going by this fact, one should plan as much time as possible to be with the child no matter what age is of your child. Here are some time tested techniques:
- Before and After office hours, make a systematic routine to shrink your world only for your child. Mobile phones and social media are a strict NO.
- Compulsory joint activity such a swimming, exercising, or even reading books together can bring magical outcome
- Try not to talk sensitive topics such as career, money, education, friends etc.,until you establish a deeper connection. Do not mimic yourself like your parent.
2. Missing Emotional Cord: Less time spend with child can lead to constant erosion in emotions. Creche and Baby sitting or even sometime your own people can not provide the emotional cushion that child seeks from you. By saying those sweet words like “love you my prince..” or “take care my princess” will not serve the purpose. What is needed is real emotions and not socially faked one. Here are some recommendations:
- Be with child in his/her own small world and just be there.
- Undivided attention and caressing as much as you can will help you a lot.
- Celebrate smallest moment of their day.
- Again, like suggested in earlier point, go on a joint activity, walking, playing etc will help you establish your loving caring image in child’s mind.
3. Lack of trust: As child grows older, he watches you going through your own personal grind, and continue to remain scared of loosing you, soon he will develop fear and mistrust. On the other side, he may start hiding things from you fearing a strong opposition. This cycle becomes frequent as the child grows older and turns in his/her teen age. Most recommended ways to build trust are:
- Do not hide anything from your child, be it your own relationship with other person, or your professional challenges.
- Share as much as you can with your child without doubting his/her maturity. This will open the highway of communication.
- Involve your child in all important matters and discussion, it will instil the sense of responsibility and develop transparency in relationship
4. Establishing Disciplines: The most difficult task for single parent is to establish the norms and standards of discipline in house. Since the amount of work and other responsibilities loom over head, parent might end up being softer to the child and more pampering parent. This behaviour is chiefly exhibited with a thought of not letting the child suffer the trauma of having single parent at home. But after sometime it becomes difficult to set the rules. Try following ways if that is the case:
- Set the ground rules and announce them.
- You adhere each rule without any exception.
- Discipline is better inculcated rather than being imposed.
- Bring Equality and Transparency in every matter and for every child.
5. Managing Career Aspiration: Majority working single parent feels that career is jeopardised if focus is shifted on child. Parent constantly remain under stress of being selective, selective for career, location, type of work etc. There are cases where even single parents have been successful. It is all about deciding priorities at the beginning and than setting the different family and professional goals. Here are some workable recommendations to manage your career aspiration:
- First thing first, set your short term, medium term and long term goals. Goals are family goals and professional goals.
- Identify and create a better support system
- Set clear expectations with child about the importance and need to have better career. Even you may have to set expectations with your parents.
- Set expectations with your employer, supervisor and other stake holders, about your time devotion for the work.
- Develop an acceptance for your strengths and your limitations, this will reduce self-stress.
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3 Most Effective ways to Teach Values to our Child
As parents we are designed to deliver few essential things to our kids. One such thing is teaching them values. Imagine, a situation where a father is a smoker, and how he would say to his child about “Do not smoke”? Well, exactly this and many other conflicting situations we face with our children.
Let us evaluate this, Out of 100 things that we do for our child, let us list down those which are value based. Of course buying clothes and toys and books would be considered as a mandatory service to our child. But, can we list down few things that will be clearly value based things? For example, asking your child to wash hands before eating food and finishing homework on time every time.
1. One at a time principle:
This is very important as we often give multiple values and overlapping advice, but it leaves little impact or no impact in some cases. Best way is to determine one value and continue to emphasis on that for about a fortnight or a month, depending on the child’s overall acceptance and understanding. Remember do not get tempted to pass on two three values in one go. One at a Time will be much easier for your child to remember and practice.
2. Exemplify your behaviour:
“Practice what you preach” Most parents complain that the child is not obeying the rules, my question to all those parents, “How many time do you obey rules?!” Child learn from observation. He sees you breaking the rules so easily and carelessly, for example while driving your car how often you jump the traffic signal? or how often you reach late to office ? and how often you lie over the phone when your child is listening your phone conversations? these are the indicators that we need to first exemplify the values.
3. Reward the behaviour genuinely:
It is easier to reinforce the learning if we timely appreciate and reward even a slightest behaviour change in our child. Most parents consider reward as a bribe and hence practice rewarding as and when they want to get over certain things. While few others think that rewarding will result in habit of ‘Give and take’ and so hardly reward their child. Remember parents, if you are willing to make your child a truly value centric adult in future, you got to give rewards for every improvement shown by your child. The catch here is to reward genuinely and reward behaviour. Do not reward for the sake of pleasing the child. Child is smart enough to understand your intention and gestures. You can reward him for keeping his books at a proper place, or watching Television at a scheduled time only, or even may be for washing his own clothes.
There are several ways we can inculcate the values in our child, but easier is the better. It also gives us a sense of satisfaction when we see immediate and profound change in our child. Do apply above techniques and see the different.
Have a Happy Parenting !
Help your child to show gratitude for the things he/she is receiving.
As parents we are always anxious about the weird behaviour of our child. Many parents even complain that their child is not valuing anything that we are giving. Most of the child’s demands are fulfilled instantly, still child does not have a feeling of gratitude or does not value those things. Do you want your child to develop gratitude and starts valuing the things he is receiving? You need to learn Parenting Skills.
Introduce the concept of ‘work to earn’
Work to earn is a concept if your child is trained on this, it will have miraculous effect on his ‘ thankless’ behavior. We as parents are too emotional most of the time and we do not want our child to suffer with a feeling of ‘less’ and so we provide everything that our child demands without saying NO. We sometime stretch financial budget to buy that costly remote control car, which the child will have no value! This leads to feeling of frustration and helplessness. Parenting Skills can help you over come this and many other child related issues.
How to implement ‘Work to Earn’ method
Child can understand simple things and so make work to earn a simple task for the child. Announce a coupon or token system. Each token is properly cut and made of hard grade paper material and should be long lasting (should resonate the value from its look). Each token is let say of $1 or Rs 1.
Important points to remember before implementing the method:
- Remember the highest denomination of the token will be of $10 or Rs 10.
- You may prepare three denominations like $1, $5, $10
- Decide the ‘Task value’ in advance and announce it to the child
- Task such as cleaning own room and arranging toys may fetch higher token value for example Rs 20 or $20
- Create enough excitement along with a stricter rules to earn the token
- Allow your child to earn as much as he wish in a day.
- The earned token will remain with him and let him accumulate the number of tokens.
- Set a day or a date when your child can convert the tokens into actual currency from you and can spend it as per his wish.
Above method if follow religiously, will have the best effect on child’s mind set and he will start valuing and appreciating the things. This is completely non harming and honest method to rebuild the child’s mind set.
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Do write us your feedback and experience after implementing the method.
The concept credit goes to the practicing psychologist Ms. Komal Baxi , for detail visit http://www.komalbaxi.com
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