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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 9 : One Random Parenting Tip

A few years ago, when my son was about 8 years old, he expressed an opinion about something that was contrary to our immediate family’s views. When asked from where he had got that idea, he mentioned that he’d heard it when he stayed over at a relative’s house. We discussed it with him to help him understand why that relative had that opinion, and why our opinion differed; at no point did we tell him that person was wrong for the simple reason that he wasn’t – it was his perspective, born out of his life experiences.

Someone else who was present during this discussion later commented on it, saying that this is the reason why we must not allow our kids to spend more time with certain relatives. Somehow, this made me feel a bit uncomfortable and I wondered if my approach of letting my kid spend time with other adults besides us parents was wrong.

A few months after this incident, I happened to attend a life skills training workshop at NIMHANS. The trainer, who was a specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, made a pertinent point. She said that we must encourage children to have a trusting, deep relationship with some adult other than the parents or primary caregivers – this could be anyone else – a relative, a family friend, a teacher or even a friend’s parent. Having such relationships helps to improve the emotional and social development of a child. An adult whom a child trusts, respects and values may also be able to help the child in cases when the child is not willing – for whatever reason – to listen to the parents.

Listening to this advice, I felt reassured about our approach of letting our child interact with other adults. There is the chance that as in that incident I mentioned before, he may pick up something that doesn’t gel with our way of thinking or doing things. However, as long as we encourage an open communication and teach him to think things out rather than blindly accept what someone says – whether it is us or the other relatives – it should be quite okay.

In today’s social setup, with nuclear families on the rise, our kids are deprived of the social safety net of the ancient joint family system. To discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these family systems is beyond the purview of this particular post. However, what is undeniable is that exposing our kids to a variety of opinions and thoughts will equip them to cope better when they grow into adults and have to deal with the fact that the world’s way of looking at things may be different from theirs.



NaBloPoMo November 2016

4 comments:

  1. I fully agree. I had such a childhood, and it gave me varied views of the world and such an open mind, I LOVE my parents for allowing that!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this..indeed...you're one lucky kid!

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  2. Agree with you completely! Giving exposure to kids on various interests and views, broadens their horizons, boosts their confidence and enriches them too. And it is so very vital in the times we live!

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