As parents, we become immediate role models for the little ones we nurture as soon as they come into our family. Unfortunately, we are not powered with degrees in hand to raise these little ones and using a combination of information – from experiences of the elders, our peer group and what’s available by way of information today on social media, we manage to fulfill our duties and responsibilities.
If one had to define a parent’s Key Result Area (KRA) – it would probably include loving the child unconditionally, looking after the basic safety, health and hygiene, ensuring that the child learns in an environment that provides holistic development and enabling children to be healthy, cultured and responsible citizens by the conversations and exposure the children receive after school hours. A warm loving and safe home environment often lead to more confident, secure and well-balanced children. Statistics validate this, and we have all seen this as educators what the home environment does for a child’s self-esteem.
Seems straight forward doesn’t it? to be a parent? KRAs defined well so now it is simply about ‘execution’ and this is when unknowingly parents leave some questionable impressions firmly imprinted in a child’s mind.
A few examples:
1. Disrespect – In the context of what’s happening in the country, this becomes extremely important. As individuals, we all have our personal opinions and perspectives else we would be like a burger that rolls of the collection till! We obviously have these because we are unique ourselves and have our journeys and background. However, how many of us can actually claim to not “reacting” and “venting”, it a way that is unbecoming? We tend to rigidly stand our ground, dismissing another person’s point of view. These can happen in everyday dinner conversations to the choice of channel to more serious altercations in public places. Children are absorbing our body language, our choices of words, our tone and the general reaction we tend to have about something that does not agree with us. The conversations that follow on phones when we describe someone, we do not like also leads to impressions being formed in their mind, how situations must be handled. And this then becomes a part of their personality and their own mechanism to cope with situations when they disagree. Think about it – were they born with this? Or did we as adults, unknowingly “cloud” their minds? So think before you react, and be careful about the personal beliefs that cannot be a shared perspective and ‘enforced’. Be mindful of the tone and what you say, because your child may be watching his/her role model and believe that is the way to be!
2. Impatience– In this fast-paced world, where we could avail of any service at a click of a button or a call, we often expect all the work to happen in the same fashion. The quotient of patience is somewhat getting extinct. We tend to resort to faster execution and quick results but that doesn’t apply in every situation or task, rather it becomes the cause of the failure. Thus, we as parents need to be calmer and our endeavour would be trying to achieve something with the best possible outcome despite somethings taking a bit longer because that is what our child will be learning from us. Quick fixes are good but what the message the child receives is “get it over and done with”. Does that mean quality is assured? What about revisiting work tasks to ensure that it is done well?
3. Indiscipline–When it comes to indiscipline, we cannot blame our children completely as they look up to us as one of their role models. For instance – if we complain that our children are always on their gadgets, just estimate all the work you get done with that device – from ordering groceries to clothes, from logging in complaint calls via chatbot, from ordering food to “banter” on social media to reading on-line or watching movies – everything you do is digitized! So if you don’t read the paper yourself, will not be available to eat with your child on the dining table, away chatting with your friends on the phone, and do not indulge in physical fitness, it is unlikely that your child will do the same unless the child is motivated. We all know, most of our children need that motivation and this comes only if you model it for them, yourself!
4. Lack of Communication –Verbal and Non-verbal communication, how you represent yourself on social media, what you post, how you communicate with peers, relatives, your house help or strangers are all being “clicked” as visuals by the little ones whom you nurture. Your tone, choice of words, the way the body stiffens up, the way you laugh or adopt a sarcastic tone, your lack of smile or a frown, all cues that the children pick up as ways that they have to act in similar circumstances. So, watch that word, the tone!