The Art of Re-Parenting

“Children’s brains are a tempestuous place. They have no control over what is chemically affecting their bodies and sending their little emotions into overdrive. They are growing and developing each day. And oftentimes, that can present frustrating (and embarrassing) scenarios for parents and caregivers.

But what children need from adults during these times isn’t shame, never shame, but validation that what they are feeling is real.”

– Scarrymom.com

 

My generation has already touched the half century mark. Most of us have kids who are grown ups and of college age. We remain excited and worried at the same time about the security of their future. The world is going through a recession and we find our kids at the cusp of their new lives.

I am convinced that this is yet another occasion when our kids need a lot of support from us. While, the first time around we were ourselves young adults and were trying to learn the paces of parenting, now again it’s time to put to test all the wisdom and skills that we have learnt as parents. It’s not a bad opportunity this time around as we already know where we had faultered the last time.

The art of Re-Parenting is a way of God to allow us a second chance to get it all right. This time it will be a win-win for all. Some random skills that come to mind which have a greater win percentage are discussed below. Add more to the list and share with others to help other parents re-enter this new and crucial phase.

Listening. Perhaps, the single most important skill is to patiently listen to the child. He is a grown up and must be allowed space to express his mind. Even if there is confusion in his mind, it will get expressed.

Agreeing. While listening is a step, it’s incomplete without agreeing. We have to increase our percentage agreement with our kids.

Inviting the child. It’s clear that this time she has grown up. Hence, an invitation to join the conversation is a good prospect. Any attempt towards a one sided conversation of dos and don’ts is a waste of time. Allow the child to speak First. Then, listen without interrupting her. Nine out of ten times, the child is clear and only needs an acknowledgement or support from us. We must not Cut her point of view but must build on it.

Examples not lecture. This phase of our lives has already given us grey hairs of wisdom. Hence, in order to smoothly get across to the child it’s very important to cite examples and true events from your own life or from the lives of others. Examples have a unique way of sticking to the memory like  Fevicol.

Frame Questions. As a life coach, I have learnt that children respond best to simple questions. Avoid long philosophical dialogues. It’s pointless. Nothing but garbage will enter their minds. The Better way is to ask simple questions which evoke simple answers from them, thereby giving them a sense of responsibility and recognition. They not only feel like an adult but will , in most likelyhood, surprise you with their acumen, too.

Never Shame Them. We have all failed somewhere in our lives. We exactly know how it feels to be shamed by failures. So, never pick up the hammer of shame and crush the dreams of your child.

Identify Skills, Potential and his Dreams. We must identify these fast. Our attempt must be to enable the process of their dreams coming true by carefully orchestrating their Skills as per their potential. Remember, each one of them is unique. Each is different and has his/her own skill set. The trick is to identify what specific skills our child has and whether we have done sufficient to propel the potential to allow them to get to their dreams.

Engagement by Emotions and Touch. In the era of Smartphone where chatting superseeds face to face conversation, it’s important to occasionally engage them emotionally  by touch and hugs. It will keep the dopamine receptors alive and the child will not ‘die emotionally.’

Technological Enslavement. Perhaps, the biggest challenge for us is to deftly prevent this from happening. The more dependent the child becomes on technology, the more likely he is to become a slave to it. It’s a loaded point but merits gauged attention. Enslavement kills discretion, wisdom, decision making and adds layers of garbage as confusion.

Father’s must take responsibility. Perhaps, at no other time in a child’s life would a father be required to play a more important role. Mothers in our society have a life long role. But, father’s can’t run away from their role when at this time he/she seeks clarity, confidence and courage to jump into the blue sky.

So, it’s a never ending list. But remember, it’s now or never. The child is ready for its maiden flight away from the nest. The question is whether the parents are ready or not.

 

 

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