Why does parenting seems more challenging than before? It appears to be taking more time, energy and effort to raise our children than our parents’ did. This new phenomenon did not appear overnight, in fact, things changed gradually. There were lesser expectations a decade or two back then and kids are kids – free and happy but respectful and even fearful of our parents. These days, parents still loved their children but then, things were not the same like before.
Over-protective towards your child
Children are weak, fragile and so precious to us, and we will try all ways to protect them from harm and danger. What we don’t know is that our shield and armour is going to make our children extremely dependent on us, making them less likely to be successful in the future.
Do you know over-protecting your child against the harsh conditions and reality of their life would cause them to give up easily in times of adversity? We stop them from trying because we as parents know best, by stopping them in time, we stop them from the possible heartbreaks due to the failure and lessen the trouble created. As a result, they do not get the chance to explore, fall, get back up and learn again.
As a parent, why not take a step back and give our children the chance to fall so that they would learn how to climb back up again? Don’t solve every problem for them, teach them life skills and problem-solving skills so that they have the confidence and ability to think, solve and carry on during the worst situation.
Remember that you cannot be there for your children in every situation, teach them skills that will enable them to survive in today’s society.
These days, we have only one child or maybe two. This means that they get all the attention they need. We are like the Angels that grant all their little and big wishes. We protect them because they meant so much to us. Sometimes, we overdo it and did not realize until the situation gets trickier for you and you find it difficult to reject them. They, being smart children, would in turn try all ways to persuade you or manipulate you such as having tantrums or acting out in public until they get their way. Yes, you didn’t realize but we seems to have become fearful of our own children! Do we give in and get them what they want?
The answer is NO! We want our children to be happy but by giving in to all his requests would cripple them. By saying “No”, you are helping them to develop the skills that they will need to understand and cope in the real cruel world.
Help your child understand by explaining to them why they cannot get what they want all the times.
Be a firm and assertive parent and set limits for your children.
You will not be able to control how they feel but you set the ground for them to understand. If you child is old enough, you can teach them to set short-term or long-term goals as they work towards what they want. It is not going to be easy so take it slowly.
Over-reliance on digital technologies
These days, technologies seem to be taking over our lives. We spend a significant amount of time each day on our mobile, iPad and laptop surfing the internet, interact with people over social media sites and spending tons of time engaging in games. Walk into a typical home and you will be likely to see everyone is the family hook up to their own entertainment.
The scary thing is, we are hooked to the digital world and so are our children.
You will not be shocked to see children watching cartoon on their gadgets during meal time, traveling time or even during their leisure time because it is too common these days. They hardly get a chance to go outdoor for exploration or for pure fun. The modern-day playground for children happens in the fantasy world, they no longer get a chance to sit on the swings, slides and the merry-go-round that we used to have so much fun in.
In addition, we rely on these gadgets to engage and entertain our children (for our convenience) so that we can have some time to focus on the things that we need to do – drive, cook, work, household chores, own leisure pursuits – with a little peace. You may not realize that these technologies and devices could actually alter the ways we think and behave and significantly affect the overall well-being of children.
What we can do is to stop the obsession! Go on a “digital detox” for the whole family and do the real things – go to the playground and play, borrow books from the library to read and engage in fun pretend play with your children. If you need to keep your child’s mind occupied, substitute these gadgets for books and educational toys instead.
Stressing yourself out – Being the “Kiasu Parent”
We have been hearing this phase of “Preparing Your Child For The Future” but do you really know what it means? Does it mean sending your child for every available workshops and enrichment classes? Or getting all the assessment books for your child to work on so that they can ace all their subjects? Or maybe learning how to walk before the child can crawl and to sing before the child can talk?
It is essential to prepare your child for the future but are you doing it right? Too much of a good thing could backfire too. It can get extremely unhealthy for the child to suppress all his emotions and stress, developing a fear for his own future.
Preparing a child for the future means you need to:
1. Provide endless opportunities for the children to explore and develop their interests so that they would grow up to have a mind of their own.
2. Instil the right values and ethnics in your child so that they would grow up with the right mind-set and attitude towards life.
3. Celebrate every small success that the child has made.
4. Teach and guide them but still, providing the base for them to fall and learn.
5. Understand and appreciate your child’s uniqueness.
6. Build Resilience in them.
7. Empower them so that they can gain a sense of confidence, courage, strength and control to cope and handle the challenges that life brings.
With all that you will get the perfect PICTURE to prepare your child for the future. Parenting is not an easy task, take all the time you need to learn. Most importantly, you are the role model to your child, be someone they will respect and look up to.
By Crystal Tan