India Parenting and Values

Parenting basically denotes a Process that includes certain skills, techniques and methodology. It is a dynamic process that keeps on modified according to the changing ways of the society. It is mostly influenced by the social behaviour, norms, customs, ideologies and the personal attitudes. Parenting involves two major doers (a mother and a father) but it is not only limited to these two people rather someone else in the family can implement parenting of the child. Because parenting is not an individual based process rather it is skills based.  However when we talk about the personal growth and development of the child, parents are directly pointed out in this scenario. Parents and their parenting play a very significant role in a child’s life because a child truly imitates his parents in the initial times of childhood. That is the peak time for his learning and understanding. A child tries to become alike and preaches his parents, for him the parents are his foremost ideals. He/she learns from them and tries to follow what the parents do in their real lives. Hence, what a parent thinks, acts and behaves have a direct correlation with the attitude and behaviour of the child and therefore parenting always needs to be evaluated, enhanced and improvised.

Parenting and Values

Parents act like a guide, motivator, protector, nurturer and a counsellor for the child. Each parent has a unique way to inculcate their beliefs and ideologies into the child. The biggest role that, parenting plays is that, it satisfies certain needs of the child and the society. Every child or individual has certain needs like physical, emotional, social, spiritual and creative. A child needs physical security, love, affection, appraisal, safety, social interaction, companionships, peer groups, motivation and creative activities for his growth and proper development of the intellect and body. During parenting, parents try to teach the child to socialize; they provide him such atmosphere where he receives exposure from the outer world. Parents act like a teacher as a stage for their child; they teach him the wise approach to walk out in the outer world, they teach him values and give him the vision to perceive the world and people around him. Parenting becomes an important aspect of life when it begins to work upon the other vital needs of the child besides the basic necessities. Only through the medium of parenting, parents try to observe the emotional, spiritual and creative needs of their child. It is in a way a kind of explorative process for the parents where they explore the personality of their child and the extent of their own potential too.

Values are the basis upon which we live our lives. Values have a magnificent role to play in an individual’s life. Without values life becomes worthless. Values denote towards those attributes that give a good and positive form to one’s life. Following of those attributes brings good conduct in life and brings wisdom to lead the life. Values like courage, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, wisdom, purity, integrity, sacrifice, service, humbleness are such attributes which make the individual; enlightened and bring forth the real joy and happiness in life. Values make a person wise, sensible, mature and a better human being. People who know the importance of Values in their life, are certainly the ones who can bring change in the society, they can become good leaders and can contribute towards the welfare of the society.  Parenting and values have an interim relationship. Through parenting, parents teach and execute the values in front of their children. Parents want their children to inculcate good values in their lives and hence they need to be very careful and wise with their approach. They need to look after their techniques and actions through which they are projecting those values. Values cannot be taught theoretically they must be practically applied. And for this, parents have to bear a great responsibility to first follow those values in their lives and then encourage the child to follow the same.

Since we are discussing about India parenting and values in this article, I would like to concentrate upon the suggestions for how to improve the parenting style which enables the parent to teach and encourage the child to inculcate good moral values in his life. Learning and following of values is not a compulsory part of a child’s life but it would definitely bring new transformations in his/her life which would make him valuable in his own life and for the society.

Following are the suggestions for the Indian parents to improve their parenting:

  • BE AWARE AND SPREAD AWARENESS: parents first of all should be very aware about their parenting. How do they perceive parenting, how much importance do they give to this process and how do they want to execute it in their lives, need to be looked after. Parenting is an essential process in both parent and child’s life hence how it has been commenced; requires a deep thought from the parents. The way parents treat and act in front of their children has a huge impact therefore parents must respect the importance of their parenting. They are in a process of not only bringing up a child but they are actually shaping up a human being who is the future of the family and the country. Parents should also make other parents aware about the importance of parenting in everyone’s life. The more they would share their experiences with other parents it would surely be going to help them in a long run. Today most couples are educated and they are aware of their responsibilities and roles they need to play in their lives. They should make a right use of their knowledge and education in improving their parenting and their vision. Once the parents are aware they would be able to teach their children; how to make the right use of knowledge and skills in their lives.
  • SPIRITUAL ENHANCEMENT: spirituality is an approach to lead the life with the true knowledge of the self. Once an individual is acknowledged of the reality of the self he is able to perceive the life with a broader and clearer vision. Besides the other needs of the child, he also has the need to be spiritually acknowledged. Here, the parents need to understand that the knowledge of one’s self is very much essential to live the life in a prosperous and healthy way.     Therefore they should provide such an atmosphere and encouragement to the child to step on the path of exploring the self. Encouraging them to read spiritual books, reading the experiences of spiritual masters, discussing their wise thoughts and motivating them to adopt meditation in life would be the best ways that the parents can implement from their side. Parents can take the child to spiritual talks and seminars where they can listen to spiritual and motivational speakers and shall inculcate values of wisdom, knowledge and bliss in themselves. It would obviously help the parent also to flourish as a person. Today young children and the youth need to be guided a lot. They require good guidance and directions and if at such an age they are given spiritual knowledge, they would definitely grow and transform into strong personalities.
  • ENCOURAGEMENT TO SELF EVALUATION: self evaluation is necessary for each one of us because it enables us to improve our average features and helps in rectifying the drawbacks. Two minutes of self evaluation can make your next two hours. Parents should first learn to follow this thing and then encourage their children to follow the same. Self evaluation can hold you back at many terrible stages of life. The one who realizes his mistakes and corrects them immediately; is a wise person. He knows his qualities and loopholes, he also knows where his/her life is heading to and where he needs to stop or move forward. Parents should cultivate such kind of communication with their children where they can help them to evaluate their thoughts and actions. Parents should allow the children to develop their own experiences whether good or bad and should always be present with them whenever they need their help. In such a case the child would be free to choose and decide about his welfare. This kind of attempt would help the child to raise his/her Self-esteem and self-confidence.
  •  PARENT’S CIRCLE: although it is always must to keep a check on the child’s circle and the company he/she is into but it is also necessary for the parents to be aware for the kind of circle they are into. We most of the times neglect this aspect that in what kind of company of friends and neighbors the parents are living. The parents’ circle also leaves a deep impact on the child’s attitude and behavior. Because a child is watching his parents every minute and time. He is aware of the talks and the activities his parents are involved in. They know whom their parents are meeting and kindling with. Hence parents should be conscious of their circle. They should be involved in good circles of other parents and friends where they can share and express good talks with each other, where they can do something productive and where their children also get the opportunity of getting involved with nice peer groups. Especially the mothers should take care of this thing that having a group of friends which is just engrossed in organizing tambola and chit-chats events, will divert the child’s mind. Rather if the mothers try to get involved in constructive activities and circles like social working and volunteering then it would positively help the child to inculcate the values of Service and Compassion for others.
  • SYSTEMATIC TRANNING AND COUNSELLING FOR PARENTING:  parenting is a process; it includes certain techniques and skills that need to be applied by the parents during parenting their children. These techniques and skills need improvisation and need to be understood well by the parents. Hence parents need to be trained and counselled well so that they can make their parenting style improved and thereby their child could be benefited. These trainings and counselling can be conducted in the schools and colleges of the children. Schools and colleges can organize such training and counselling sessions and workshops where they invite the parents and can share and learn new ways and approaches of parenting. This would surely widen the perceptions of the parents and would help them to understand the personalities of their children. Parents should be enthusiastic to attend such workshops and sessions because it would give them the opportunity to meet other parents, to share and express their problems they encounter during parenting and while dealing with the fluctuating temperament of their children. Such workshops will positively affect the parenting styles and skills.
  • SET EXAMPLES: every parent wants their children to be successful, courageous and a true human being. And to fulfil this wish parents are required to constantly inspire, motivate and encourage their children. They need to become an example and set examples for their children. They should be very much clear that whatever they do will become an example for their children. A child is imitating his parents whatever they are doing from talking to walking. Childhood is a time when the child creates his/her role models. And no one else is the foremost role model except a father and a mother for the child.  Hence the parents are performing good and wise actions, should be taken care of. The whole personality of the parent teaches many things to the child. And what they cannot teach them verbally, their actions can teach those lessons to the children very easily. Parents can also set examples of great leaders, thinkers and successful persons who have done great works for others, whose actions contributed to the society and who worked selflessly for the country. Children believe in their parents and they much more believe in their actions, hence parents should never ever try to commit any such thing that may spoil their image in front of their children but that which helps the kids to learn great values.
  • POSTIVE COMMUNICATION: communication plays a very important role between a parent and a child. It is actually an open communication that can correct many misunderstandings and can reaffirm the understanding level. Communication should never be stopped between parents and the child. In fact the parents should always try to make their communication creative and healthy and that which facilitates freedom of expression to the child. Only a positive communication can bring the child close to his parents. Interaction which involves openness, freedom, no hesitation, acceptance and that which aims at maturity and sensibility would always help the child to feel free and to convey his/her inner thoughts and feelings. Parents should always consider that they convey positive thoughts to the child. Positive communication will help the child to cultivate the habit of listening and sharing the thoughts freely. Youngsters need to be dealt with a lot of compassion and patience, their thoughts are contemporary and sometimes wild therefore parents should be very positive while listening to their thoughts and should behave with cooperation while solving the problems of their children.
  • AFFIRMATIVE DISCIPLINE: discipline is always necessary to give a right direction and conduct of one’s life. Children need to be disciplined but not by force. Force and compulsion might make them to rebel and revolt but if they are being instructed to love and positive attitude it will become much easier to discipline them. Discipline should not be served negatively. The more of “no’s” parents would apply in their parenting; it will affect the child’s intellect in a negative way. “Do not do this”, “do not touch it”, “don’t you dare to do this”, such instructions would not let the child grow and explore. The child would become dumb and weak. Rather parents should disclose and share the exact and right reason behind every task they encourage or stop the child to perform.
  • QUALITATIVE SOCIALIZATION: children need socialization as it gives them exposure and confidence to settle down in the society. It makes them learn the culture and the ways of the society and make them aware how does the society works. When children move out of their homes in the outer world it is totally new to them. Wherever they go out and when meet new people, they bring back with them at least one feature of that place and person. Schools, colleges, teachers, friends, relatives, neighbors, recreational activities and peer groups play a significant role in the socialization of the child. A child quickly adopts different habits and attitude from his outside world and this would surely affect the value system of the child. Hence parents should be careful in this concern and try to provide the right kind of socialization by choosing a good school and college, by keeping a watch on the company of the child. Parents should make the child involved in those recreational activities which are learning and educative and that which help the child to reveal his own hidden ideas and potential.
  • CREATIVE APPROACH TOWARDS VITURES: it has been said that a life full of virtues is the best life one can ever wish for. Virtues are like the gems that make one’s life beautiful and happy. And what more desirable for a parent than to have wise and good children in their life. Virtues like patience, courage, contentment, tolerance, humbleness, love, introvertness can and should be taught in a creative way. If the parents simply dictate the child that “you should love others”, “you should be humble and tolerant with others”, then the child would simply ignore these teachings. Here the parents again need the practical projection of the applying the virtues in their life. Their actions should accompany a virtue and become a lesson for the child. Parents cannot force the child to love and be humble with others but if they are truly humble with others the child would automatically learn how to love others.
  • HOLISTIC PARENTING: providing a good parenting is not only the responsibility of the parents but also the responsibility of the other family members as well. Through parenting the parents and the family members are basically projecting their own personalities in front of the child; they transfer their ideologies and project their actions. Hence parents and other family members like grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt and other elders should be somewhere aware of how they are projecting themselves in front of the children in the family. Each elder member of the family should behave with manners; their interaction with the child should be civilized and positive. Each activity they do with the child should be informative and productive. Elders can teach many good values through their small actions, like storytelling, visiting parks and temples with the kids, teaching handicrafts other home activities for the kids and etc. While the parents take care of the basic needs, the other members of the family can help them to fulfil the other needs like, social, creative, emotional.
  • ATTENTION ON EMOTIONAL NEEDS: every person has feelings and emotions and especially a child is full of feelings which need to be understood well. These feelings and emotions become easier to complicate when the child steps into adolescence and adulthood. And there begins the tough task of the parents. Parents need to be very calm and composed while handling their child’s temperament. They should first of all give full respect to the child’s emotional needs. In such an age a child needs a friend more than a dictator or a formal parent. Hence this is a big responsibility of the parent to provide the child a healthy surrounding where he feels safe and where his feelings are given full respect and time.

In this article I would like to mention a brief about the parenting of single mothers. Being a single-mother is itself a challenging task for a woman. There she has to play the role of both the parents (a father and a mother as well). And this is what makes the parenting challenging for her. She has to make a balanced approach during her parenting and needs to provide an atmosphere for the child where he can grow up properly. Since single mothers are the only bread-earner of the family, they need to move out of the home for the livelihood and to provide her children all the facilities and education. She has a little time to spend with her kids, hence she should concentrate upon making her little time as qualitative with her children. She should be very communicative and should take care that her interaction is good with her kids. While she is away home she can take the help of someone trustworthy in the family to take care of the child. And when she is back at home her rest of the time should be fully devoted to the child so that he doesn’t feel left aloof. The life of a single mother is itself an example for her children where she can teach them to be brave enough and to face the life with utmost courage and determination.

Every activity, idea and action are cultivating a new Value in a child and parents are fully responsible for each habit, attitude and value cultivated in their children. A child is like a blank paper and parents are the writer. Parenting is nothing else but the projection of parental attitude, ideologies and actions. What they act shall be imitated by the child. Hence parenting should be done very cautiously and carefully yet maintaining the freedom of expression for both the parents and the child.

Parenting doesn’t mean only to bear up a child; it means to create a Personality!

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