The first part of the book analyzed and discussed around the simplification of the stuffs and environment around the kids in home. Remaining read touches upon the aspects of schedules and activities that the households are built upon and how same impact the child’s growth. With technological advancement and changed working patterns for parents, the responsibility matrix and schedules in households have changed significantly between the kids of 80-90 era and post 2000. Where on one side the change might have added to the financial capabilities of the parents, it has taken toll on the schedules and time availability for the parents with kids. The book offers a look on the issues that we miss to notice and changes that can avoid them and improve our child’s growing journey.
• With increase in the uncertainties in the work schedules and mostly both parents being working, the child gets a very uncertain environment around him. Psychologically this is not the very best thing for the child, the uncertainty around his day to day life adds to the mental chaos to them and they tend to react in fussy manner.
• Ensure to at-least have a next day rough schedule available and do inform the sketch to kids. Let them know what to expect, when. We as parents try to shield these things to avoid any burden to kids, however telling it more clearly will only add to the freedom for them. Let them know that you have tight schedule ahead for 2 weeks in office and hence they should expect you late and bit tired for 2 weeks. This known change will give them time to adapt and make changes in their behavior.
• There should be a defined family time, morning or dinner as it suits the way for you but ensure to have something from the two. It may not happen all days but should happen most of the days. The family time can be not always filled with fun acts or heart to heart talks but should give the feeling of connection and belonging for sure.
• At times we feel that weekly dinner outing or once in fortnight movie night can compensate for our absence from regular life; kindly note what stands out in long run and deepens our relationship are the common threads that run throughout and repeat: the family dinners,nature walks, reading together.
• The phase of adolescence tests this depth; the more comfort and ease a child can feel recalling the family times; you can expect him to share more with you and also be confident about his belonging and ability to deal through the teen struggles.
• The schedule should ensure that the kid gets ample rest and sleep. Due to overwhelming activity plans the sleep is usually slaughtered crippling kids with energy and strength.
• Stories fascinate children and they love to hear them repetitively. Let the stories remain stories with fairies and imagined creatures. Do not try to turn them into sermons or too much information. Einstein once said, ”If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
• Extra curricular activities is the new facade. There has to be a list of minimum 5 to 6 activities for a kid to pass the criterion of being a competent and future ready genius. Today’s child might have tried professionally and refused as many activities by the age of 10 as you would have learned in your life till now.
• We have classes arranged for them and the reason we have for same is because
▪ the child loves it
▪ it is required to grow an all rounder
the truth behind same; many a times is we want the kids to be busy so that they do not complain about boredom and our absence.
• Don’t worry too much about removing the boredom of your kids. Boredom is seen as precursor of creativity. We should ensure that the kid gets to devote energy and time to any activity that they are engaged with.
• Kids should have the opportunity to play. Here by being play it is meant that kids play in parks and with kids without any coach or referee; basically different from the sports that they train for. In sports rules exist and the boundaries are fixed, it only develops our ways of playing further. In play there is opportunity to learn process of making rules,finding solutions and negotiating. This process helps in grooming the child’s social acumen and develops the personality.
• Security has become the main reason why we fear from allowing our kids to play in open areas. While ensuring safety of kids is our responsibility, however cross check that your fear is fact based or hype created by the social media and 24*7 news channels running in living rooms.
• TV sets are not required in home; not in the common areas at-least. TV has very devastating impacts on the initial growth years of the child. TV,cartoons and video games take the child away from the reality.
• Neurologists have pointed out that in initial years of growth when the brain development is prominent, kids should be involved in interactions, activities involving environment around them and problem solving games like peekaboo.
• Violence that the kids get fed to in videos and games makes them insensitive to the feelings and they cannot be blames for such behaviors in life further.
• We should watch what we talk in front on kids. This is not something new, we all watch it and ensure to not take up adult talks in front of kids. Agreed we do not talk property and marital matters in front of kids; these fall in the concrete range. However there are many soft things to take care here.
• Matter of fact is our kids observe and hence feed themselves on our behavior. What we say and how we say; to the more routine thing is also observed and can be leading to a habit formation.
• Listen and observe with minimal talk. We as parents jump at every opportunity we get to teach and preach our kids. Mostly it is needed to just listen and observe. Too much talk from us makes the kid to restraint an d hold back. Every act does not demand immediate correction.
• Co-parenting is a very normal thing nowadays. Do it as much as possible with no boundary on who can handle which task. Any task related to the kid can be handled by any of the parents, gender is no issue here. It depends more on your personality type.
This seems to be exhausting; we never felt the parenting to be that tough in our parent’s attitude while they were on job with us. However when compared the gravity of responsibility as a parent, the list is just a mole.
It is as simple as you want to make it and can turn into as complex if we allow the fears and worries to be exploited by the external forces like markets and media. Keeping process simpler, connected with the basics can help the overall cause and rest assured your child will learn and grow his own ways steadily.