Raising happy and informed kids is one of the main visions of parenting. Nowadays, good parenting skills are imperative to a child’s mental and physical growth. In order to make a child reach her full potential, it is important for a parent to adopt mindfulness towards rearing a child. It will enable a child to become more independent and make effective decisions in future. Good parenting helps in making kids flexible, better adjusting and emotionally sound people.
It may sound like a cliché but having family time can make a lot of difference to a child’s growth. Even a simple activity like watching TV together can add to a child’s mental wellbeing. With the plague of technology hitting every household, it seems that family time is becoming an endangered activity. Not only kids but even the parents are spending most of their “me” time on their cell phones, laptops using social media, maybe, just killing time by “reading” about good parenting but not really applying it in life. But still the figure quoted by ‘The Telegraph’ is quite alarming wherein it shares that “Children are spending an average of 23 hours a week on smartphones and other gadgets – twice as much time as theory spend conversing with their parents.”
Kids, who are obsessing over new smartphone launches every week, are bound to have weak mental health in future. They are constantly being exposed to the virtual world and the difference between reality and the virtual existence is unbelievably bleak. They are being over exposed to “ideal” forms of life- pictures showing parents going on trips with their children, new cars, new gadgets, and photo shopped models, hyper enthusiastic YouTubers, influencers, adding all to their kitty of unreal ambitions. They are unable to decode the difference between real and unreal. Many teenagers taking therapy confessed that they feel a sense of lack when they look at the “ideal” look and life of the social media influencers. It is generating a sense of insecurity and low self-esteem among the kids. Now all this has its roots lying in ineffective parenting. A child requires having a balanced perception, set by their parents during the growing days. Parents must understand the need of effective parenting and sound family time.
But guess what? It’s never too late!
Let’s understand the direction in which our kids are heading and how this can be reversed for the sake of kids’ sound mental health:
- First and foremost, having at least one meal together. Now this simple activity requires a family to come and bond together. Starting from a simple discussion of menu, serving in the favorite cutlery, making effort in arranging the table and later cleaning up will make it a cooperative affair. All gadgets and electronic devices must be kept away during this time, as a rule and it must be used only for family discussions. It is not just a fulfilling affair but also a way to check the direction/habits in which the child is developing. It will also give the child a sense of security and well-being.
- Reading is an underestimated activity by many parents. It is an important way of not only making your child connect with you more, but also, gives them a creative vent. It will encourage them to become good listeners and fonder readers. Also, while reading, a parent gets a chance to peep into child’s psychology, wherein a parent can ask question like what is the moral of the story, which is your favorite character etc. Encourage them to apply the morals in life.
- For teenagers, parents can go for watching TV together. While watching, parents should encourage and ask questions to make them feel empowered.
- Playing games are another way of connecting and making them feel secure and build in good leadership.
- Listening to music, singing, painting and many such activities done together will motivate and harness their creativity.
- Camping, Picnics, celebrating festivals and visiting extended family members will foster stronger connections and ethics.
Such simple and effective parenting activities can make a real-time difference to the mental health of their kids. It will boost their confidence and make them sound and worldly-wise beings. They will be better equipped to handle the challenges and stress in the coming times. It will make them feel accepted and secure. Secure kids are innovative and confident in their approach towards life. Thus, it is our duty as parents to nurture such bonds and give in making the world a beautiful place to live in!