Tiny is growing up into a naughty baby & you all know how difficult parenting a naughty baby is . She screams and shouts. She croons or breaks into a jig the moment she gets the beats of a dhin-chak song. Ah! She delights you with her antics and laughs when you make crackling sounds, stick your tongue out or tease her playfully. And one day you don’t get to see her laugh as she looks at you intently and then slowly a small pink tongue just peeps out of the little mouth. Yep! Your baby just imitated you. Aw! Mommy you roll your eyeballs in wonder and laugh out aloud. The two of you practice the same antic the whole day. Yes! You are in a sense of wonder. Try explaining your happiness to someone … Ah! But happiness can only be experienced not explained.
Your Baby is on a learning spree
As your baby grows she observes more and more. She is getting introduced to the world around. Yes! You guessed it right she is on a learning spree so, mommy watch out for what you say and do! You are her first teacher. Whatever you say or do resonates back through your child – an important learning for parenting.
One night I was running late with my errands and my baby almost fell asleep without dinner. I kept her awake by playfully blowing into her face, laughing and tickling her.
Well! For me it was yet another experience with motherhood but I was proved wrong. My baby had learned my tricks so well. I was in for a rude surprise when one day I decided to enjoy a cosy afternoon nap as my husband offered to babysit our little monkey. Well! The moment I dozed off she came looking (read hunting) for me. In no time my sleepy mind could feel someone blow here and there, next she tickled me, laughed and last she caught hold of my lids with her little fingers whispering … ‘Mama open eyes( read eysh) … Bibby (read baby) play’ … I reaped my karmas and played with her in a state of ‘near-slumber.’
Well! All of us have a lot to share from our experiences but then the finer details from all our innumerable activities bring to fore an important aspect. If your child apes the way you lie down on the bed, the manner in which you talk or even the style in which you cross your legs or exercise… then why don’t we introduce them to all round healthy development. Yes! We know that it is not healthy for the child to watch a lot of television but still they get hooked to the idiot box. We know that early to bed and early to rise is a universal mantra towards health and success yet we slouch, waste time and sprawl here and there. Oh! We need to change ourselves to groom well. We need to practice what we preach. We need to walk the talk as we are the role models – must have for good parenting.
Discipline: A way of Life
As a new mom discipline helped me a great deal. Here I wish to confess that I was never a disciplined person till the time I married a soldier. As I shielded my eyes from the glaring sun he was up and about. He did not order me around but slowly his energy levels and my lethargy, his great spirits and my lazy responses, his erect posture and my slouch, his food choices and my junky tastes just everything about his energetic lifestyle made me turn over a new leaf. Slowly and gradually I was transformed. Thankfully I was ready to walk the talk much before my baby was born.
Discipline (important in parenting)came to me as a torch light and I carried it forward in a dignified way. Needless to say my hubby was like a pillar of strength. When I tripped over my new schedule he was quick to ease the situation but seldom criticized me. Early to bed and early to rise, adherence to healthy eating habits, morning showers to feel fresh and energetic etc were some of the aspects that were inculcated in our little angel. Slowly he would take the baby for walks in the evening and encouraged her to play and explore. I realized that our disciplined lifestyle left a lot of room for relaxation, fun and rest.
Involvement: Key to learning & good parenting
Involved parents are great teachers to their little one. Involvement comes hand in hand with patience as it is not easy to stay in tune with the child’s energy levels. My friend Aruna would sit with her three year old son (Sagar) to play with blocks or any kind of recreational games. She would not even get up to attend to her pending tasks. I realized that she would give her 100% to her son. The result was that her child developed great interests. She would read out books to him, answer his questions with patience and never gave him made-up answers. Once she looked up the net to satisfy her son’s query. I marvelled her for her involvement in child rearing and made her my role model. As her son grew up he turned out to be so meticulous and didn’t leave a single stone unturned till he found the right answers. Moreover he enjoyed games as well as school books.
Exploration: Great way to hook child’s interests
I think I will get a lot many agreeable nods if I pick exploration as a great trick to hook children to varied constructive hobbies that keep them away from becoming couch potatoes. My little one was not interested in dolls or balls. Her favourite places included the kitchen, bathroom and the little garden we had. Oh! I would watch her feel the depth of the bowl and her discovery of the strainer that couldn’t hold even a drop of water. This gave her a lot of delight. I realized that if I held back my child then she would not be able to discover the world around. I knew I had to be cautious and firm to keep her out of the bathroom but the natural sense of learning came only when her movement wasn’t hampered. One has to find one’s way by self-exploration. I did maintain a firm attitude but at the same time gave her the liberty to splash water, rub soap and play with bubbles in my presence.
The kitchen garden made her so cautious. She watched my hubby who would carefully tread around lest he stepped on the little saplings. Oh! She would lift up her micro frock to tip toe around the small garden. But she learnt to water the plants and by five years of age she was great with weeding, cleaning and taking care. She realized that she wasn’t supposed to trample the vegetation or pluck flowers. The point here for parenting is: don’t let your fear of injury hamper the child’s urge to learn; neither push the child to achieve what you think is right but at the same time remember that exploration calls for an independent individual.
Challenges: Help children find solutions
As parents we should delete one word from our minds. The word is ‘problem.’ Now we need to substitute it with another word that exudes optimism. The word is challenge because the moment we describe something as a challenge we want to face it. The moment we wish to face something it becomes possible. Yes! Words carry a lot of power within them; we need to recognize the same. A challenge also brings in the spirit of sportsmanship and then everything appears to be a game. When we face challenges our children also get empowered to do the same. Life is all about ups and downs so we need to groom them that challenges are opportunities. From fastening the shoe laces to poor grades …just everything can become better and better when we accept the challenge.
Children of all age groups learn the maximum through role models. Parents can really influence children to become great learners. It calls for efforts, patience and the ability to be with the child in mind and spirit. I acquired many traits and made them positive changes to rear my baby. Yes! I improved as a person when I made some conscious changes in my life. The learning spree is still on. Happy Parenting!!