Looking around today, the scene of kids holding gadgets or other forms of technology is not rare. Talking about childhood, we often tend to compare ours with those of kids today. What do we see? A stark difference!
While we played with neighborhood kids outdoors, children today prefer sitting indoors with their expensive iPads and PS 4s. The definition of ‘having fun’ is very different from what parents of today’s kids knew back in their days. Are the children to blame here? Well, of course not! “It’s the fault of the parents”, says grandma. But really? Fault of the parents? Who is to blame then?
Just like there has been a significant change in the way kids grow up these days, there has been a change in parenting too. Gone are the days when one parent was busy at work and the other was busy taking care of the home and kids. Today, in a majority of cases, both parents are well-educated, well established professionals with steady jobs and secured incomes before they even plan a child. They do not take advice and suggestions at face value but instead do their bit of research before taking a decision for their child. Parents today are also more involved in the child’s decisions and daily activities.
While there has been a mild improvement in the way new age parents are bringing up their children, the number of ‘pampered’ children have been constantly on the rise. A close observation of a small family with school going children gives us more clarity. We often see children throwing tantrums, being stubborn and adamant on what they want. Well, this scene is not different from what kids have been since ages. But, what differs today is the way parents deal with these tantrums. There is a fine line between ‘what the child wants’ and ‘what the child needs’, which is very important for the parents to understand. If you are old enough to read this, you definitely made a visit to one of those times where you were reprimanded for asking for something you didn’t need but wanted because your friend had it. But, parents today have either lost patience or give- in to their child’s ‘wants’ and let them feel they have an upper hand.
The feeling of the parent when they ‘fulfil’ their child’s wish is albeit noble. But, little do they know what they are up for as the ‘crazy’ teen years appear. When your child grows from being a ‘kid’ to a tween and then a teen, parental skills need some tweaking. Rules, regulations, deadlines, are few of the things a majority of them would definitely not follow. Parents today are aware of the terrible teen years their child is going to enter and make a pre- conceived notion about it. This negative approach from the beginning might be a stepping stone to your child turning rebellious. When they realize the negativity in the expectations you have of them, they are mentally prepared to make your worst fear come true. A pampered child will turn into a rebellious teen if parents start imposing rules the child was not aware of as a kid.
Parents always think the best for their children. That’s the instinct and love they have within them the moment they become parents. But, what if you do not like or approve of your child’s choices as a teenager? While you could say a strict ‘no’ when they were younger, disapproving their choices as a teenager only agitates them more. Being patient and appropriately explaining to them about your opinion or telling them the fact in a particular situation helps them understand your perspective without making them rebellious.
Most issues with teens, and even rebellious ones is effective communication. New age parenting is more involving than parenting in the last decade, but what it lacks is ‘communication’. A major reason for this is the lack of time on the parent’s hands owing to their own careers. The key to improving new-age parenting to bring up responsible children includes empathizing with your child but at the same time set limits. Effective communication including active listening is irreplaceable and is lacking in today’s parenting techniques.