Parenting is an exhausting job for which no certificate or graduation ceremony is organized to honour the parent; moreover, there is no prescribed syllabus or a guidebook to teach you ‘How to go about it?’, which makes it even more stressful, but this doesn’t imply failure. I’m sure that you’re doing a great job as a parent or a guardian but if you feel numbness in your feet, if you freeze in your sleep, wake up tense in the morning and you tend to blackout thinking about the future of your teenage son/daughter; then you know what the title talks about. But is the ‘great job’, good enough? Is your teenage kid really doing well at school? Is the score card of your child dazzling enough to secure his/her future? How can you monitor your child’s progress or deterioration, without being a ‘Helicopter Parent’? Keep reading this blog and it might just answer your questions.
Has your kid or adolescent ever told you how his friend’s parents are “So cool!”? That is not something that you can achieve in a day. Just like a juicy fruit, it takes its own sweet time. But how did the parents of that kid managed to be cool and left your kid in awe of them. Here’s a list of some elements that will not only ease your ‘Parenting Game’ but will also make you a ‘Pro’ at it.
Communication : Adolescence is a confusing stage, as the individual is neither an adult nor does he/she remain a child. Imagine being told by everyone to act one’s age or be more responsible for one’s actions but then being reminded of the inexperienced young age when trying to prove his/her worth. Often parents who are ‘Cool’, are so, because they know how to reach out to their kids without endangering their kid’s reputation. You might think of it as a stupid notion but it’s true, just the way we have a reputation in the society or at the workplace, our kids do too. So the next time you talk or complain to their teachers, or your friends, acquaintances, relatives etc. of their bad habits or share embarrassing information concerning them, either do it in their absence or the absence of their peers. Just talk about their day at school, the competition that they participated in, or the birthday party that they went to, etc.
Questions : It’s hilarious how parents try to impress their guests while trying to impose their kids to recite a poem, or mathematical tables, formulas, or flash their sparkling trophies to emphasize their achievements, I’m not saying we shouldn’t do that we should, but only if we are asked to do that, if those trophies look intriguing to your guests they will ask you themselves. It’s funny how as parents we turn ourselves into a desperate salesman when it comes to attain the approval of the society that we turn our kids into a product that we ought to sell to the customers aka our guests in order to meet our yearly quota. How amazing would it be if next the time we saw our kids and asked them about their problems at school, their experiences good or bad, their friends, their favourite food, colour, and hobby or even play ‘Never have I ever’, Charades or maybe do JAM sessions. These light-hearted conversations and JAM sessions will help your kid to open up to you, connect and share the bond with you that will make you an exclusive parent and ease the communication.
Comparisons : This is something that we all are guilty of doing, be it as a customer in an electronic goods store; a child at a toy shop; a grandparent referring to the ‘good old days’; a mom at a grocery shop; a parent at school PTM; a teacher in a class; or relatives or neighbors or our close acquaintances who never fail to emphasize how the other kid is better than ours. But we should know that there is a fine line between motivating our kids by promoting healthy competition and/or pushing them in the arms of inferiority complex as a result of criticism. So, whatever or with whosoever you draw a comparison of your kids with, make sure they are inspirational and not taunting; presenting our kids with taunting comparisons might induce a lethargic attitude, not only towards their performance but it also hampers their grooming and personality as they tend to develop “I’ll never be good enough, so why try?” attitude in them.
Rewards & Praises : Who doesn’t love rewards for their performance be it on the professional front or the services that they provide. As employees we wait for appraisals, increments, a bonus, or even a salary hike for our performance during a year; then how can we not praise or reward our kids for the same? Many schools nowadays, post a list of students who score 90 or above marks in a subject on the school website to keep them motivated; as parents we can set perks and rewards as consented for, by both parties — the parent and the child. But what if the reward was set for securing 90% and the child secured 85% or 88%? Are we still liable to present the reward to our kid? Well, yes indeed, because ditching the rewards would make our kids loose their faith in us; but a proper counselling with the reward will motivate them to improvise and will also guide them to adopt a more productive academic strategy the next time.
Planning & Plotting(Part-1) : Ever since COVID-19 made its abominable debut into our lives, we have been praying for a better tomorrow. But don’t be disheartened, this is in fact, a blessing in disguise. With our kids at home 24x7, we have a better chance at observing them, monitoring their actions, we can also witness their academic strategy first hand, so not only do we have an opportunity to help them plan their academic strategy but we also have a chance to test the planned strategy and alter it if/when needed. Planning and plotting the curricular and co-curricular activities will not only help you and your child discuss about their study plan, hobbies, leisure activity, talent and opinions but will also make your child acquire better management skills, tecah them to keep cool under pressure, and keep an efficient work planner in the long run. Hence this will make your child an efficient manager, a better communicator, and a calm and composed leader, with a better success rate.
Planning & Plotting(Part-2) : Students should rely on smart academic planning because it can prove to be very beneficial as it lets you manage your time cleverly, so not only can you manage your studies but also make time for other co-curricular activities or follow a passion. So make sure that you revise your literature (any literature) lessons once a week but for mathematical and/or other arithmetical lessons it’s twice a week (or thrice, if you’re weak at it), this will keep you updated with the syllabus and relieve you from exam pressure, which will help you perform better during exams. If you are participating in school functions and co-curricular programs make your Saturdays and Sundays, ‘LEARN-DAYS’. No…I’m not asking you to sacrifice your precious weekend, just “PLAN IT WELL!!!”….