Tagged as: #child

Parenting styles and beyond

If you have watched the movie “Parental Guidance”, you will remember how parenting styles can differ between adults and between generations too.

Try listening to conversations between children, you will often hear them discussing parents and their different parenting styles. (If parents can discuss children with their friends, do not forget that it can happen the other way round too. And possibly what you hear may not often be particularly flattering since children say it as they see it!)

If you google, you will probably find styles of parenting such as authoritative, permissive, uninvolved, authoritarian etc. As a parent, I often wonder –

  • Do parents always stick to a particular parenting style, based on their personality?
  • Is it really possible to classify parents into parenting style categories?
  • If any parent were to read up on a particular style and apply it, does it guarantee similar results?
  • What about the parenting style of the spouse? Is it of any significance?

If you have read upto this now, maybe the following will also make sense to you –

  • What about situations? Isn’t that a dynamic variable?
  • What about ‘the child’- the very focus of this entire written matter?

Oh yes, so the above two are basic variables in any parenting journey. Imagine the possible permutations and combinations with only these two variables!

I remember a parent who read up so much on parenting styles and trying to figure out what kind of parent she was, losing her peace of mind because she was unable to deal with her little one using any of the styles!

Now, consider this situation:

Scene : My friend’s twelve year old son Sanjay had come home a month back with a lot of ‘C’ grades in his report card. She confided about how she felt guilty about the situation and how her approach did not work. So what had she done?

She had immediately grounded him, put away all gadgets, prohibited playtime and tried to force him to study. The result? Sanjay became defiant and waited for opportunities to sneak out his gadgets from their hiding place.

Her spouse decided to try a different approach. He did restrict gadgets, playtime etc. but also made it a point to daily sit with Sanjay for at least half an hour and work on weak areas. He made him understand the importance of good education and hard work and also rewarded Sanjay’s good efforts. Most importantly eventually Sanjay confided in him about some troubles at school which he was unsure how to handle. My friend and her spouse realized that in their busy work schedules, they had almost neglected the emotional health of their only son.

By being more involved in their child’s life, they understood how to deal with the situation.

So in this case, the spouse’s approach worked better and so…there was peace at home!

Parenting BlogAnother friend of mine who is a parent of twins, always believes – the solution lies in tweaking the parenting style to situations and expected behavior of child.

Possibly the best way to know if your style is successful is…to check if both you and your child are happy with the solution and if the expected outcome from child is achieved.

So readers, imagine you are faced with the following situations, how would you deal with them? Do write your thoughts to us in the comments section.

  • You and your 5 year old son visit the supermarket and your son throws a temper tantrum to buy his favourite candy, toy and books for him and does not allow you to do your own shopping.
  • Your little girl, all of 8 years old wants to wear lipstick and nail polish, like the girls she sees in Advertisements and TV.

(Image credits – Edwin Kats)

A tale of little children and long flight journeys

A tale of little children and long flight journeys

flight journey_01 It was an occasion for celebration one – which was going to be well attended by ALL family members. And when I say ALL, I mean ALL!! Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents et al! The dates were decided, the Hall was finalized, the menu was decided and we, the audience were going to be present. It was a much needed break for me too –celebrating my parents Silver Jubilee wedding anniversary. So why was I a little worried? My tickets were done too – and that was the worry. Why? You may ask. Anyone with a toddler will give you the prompt answer! TRAVEL and children simply don’t seem to go together.

The last time when I travelled with my toddler, I had even spoken to my gynaecologist friend before the journey –
“Is there any way to keep my toddler quiet during a long flight journey?”
“No! But why don’t you try having a sleeping pill?”. I forgot to take into count her brilliant sense of humour!

flight journy _02So why was I really worried? Because the last time I had flown with my 4 year old, he had ensured that most of the passengers on board our aircraft had their necks craned towards us – very keen to know the latest antic of my ever-so-energetic 4 year old. He was done with asking me few hundred questions, had finished his biscuits, had doodled all over the few papers I had managed to dump in my bag and he was still bored! I thought I was suitably packed for a long flight journey – but apparently no! The Television on the flight also proved to be of no use – there were no programs suitable for his age. I had made up my mind during my last journey – no more long flight travel –ever!

But this was an occasion I needed to attend. So this time I decided to plan well in advance. The first thing I did was to speak to friends who had similar aged children as mine. Suggestions poured in. I compiled the most tested ones and decided to put them to practice. Here’s the cream of our discussion –

  1. Firstly, they advised, always ensure that your child is well fed before a flight journey. A hungry toddler is more likely to throw tantrums than a well-fed one!flight Journy_03
  2. None of my friends generally engage their children with electronics, but it is indeed a boon during flight journeys. Download age-appropriate Apps and games, well in advance. Let them use these New Apps during their flight journey. Don’t forget the books too. Children have a knack of asking parents what they think may not be available. The trick is to anticipate their thoughts
  3. Snacks and more snacks! – Children never tire of snacks. This was so true, I realized while travelling. One can never pack enough when it comes to children’s snacks I think! Oh and don’t forget the chocolates and water in sippy cups too!
  4. Snacks and more snacks! – Children never tire of snacks. This was so true, I realized while travelling. One can never pack enough when it comes to children’s snacks I think! Oh and don’t forget the chocolates and water in sippy cups too!
  5. Pack puzzles in small pouches. Most importantly ensure that all their stuff is packed in one bag. Digging into different bags with a screaming toddler is not really a scene you want to be caught in, unawares.flight journy_04

I followed each and every suggestion given by my friends and thankfully had a smooth journey. My little one slept for about 2 hours of the 6 hour journey. Which reminds me- to arm myself with a pillow during my next trip!

Dear parents, this vacation season most of you must be gearing up to set out on travel trips with your families. Try out these simple tips given above – they worked out just right for me! Do share your experiences with little ones during long journeys, with us!