As I watch my child sleep, it daunts me how time flies. It was only yesterday when the nurse gently placed him on my chest as the doctor switched me up.
Almost 6 years now, I still remember that first look. The blush of his cheeks, those delicate transparent fingernails, that sweet smell of his breaths – I remember them all. And I remember those in utero- movements from much before as well!
With time, both me and my son have evolved. I have endured the highs and lows that come with birthing, quitting job, giving up dreams and starting afresh.
As for my little one, he has grown from a little baby to a curious, kind, wonderful boy. He has forgiven me on so many occasions, when I failed to be a good parent, displaying emotional maturity fit for an adult. He has taught me to smile and wonder at the most ordinary things and most importantly to live in the moment.
Over these years as we discovered each other, we found our various strengths and encountered many challenges. I would like to call them ‘Parenting Challenges’ as there were two of us in the situation. If he challenged me as a Parent, I tested him as a child.
What has come out of this short (and long) span of time, is the Awareness of Parenting. It is almost like ‘Mindfulness’ to certain virtues that will forever guide me (and you) as a parent. Certainly the trials will morph into situations you and I cannot discern right now, but these principles of gentle parenting shall certainly guide us.
Just like the virtues of Honesty, Compassion, Respect, Empathy, Kindness, Forgiveness have mentored generations of human kind and stood the test of time, these Parenting Goals will keep you afloat and counsel you on your Parenting Journey.
1. Children do not need to carry the weight of your expectations. Let them find their own callings.
2. Cherish the child you have. And don’t let the drive to raise a perfect child ruin the child you are blessed with.
3. It is the balance of sunshine and water, that helps a plant grow. Provide that balance to your child.
4. Work on your child’s emotional development. That’s is the key to their soul and a healthy mind.
5. Choose wisely! Your child’s mental health is more important than their grades.
6. Be your child’s guide and let them take the lead. Allow your child to discover themselves and build their spirit with kind, encouraging words.
7. Watch out how you talk to your kids. They can only hear you when you yell. Listening requires connection.
8. Fear Never teaches! A scared child will still make the same mistake, but will learn to hide it better.
9. Your child is unique. Love them for who they are…not what you think they should be.
10. Anger plants fear, not connection. Connection is the key to discipling your child, not anger.
11. Children don’t need control. They need from you is structure, routine, connection and awful lot of LOVE.
12. Don’t be hard on yourself. You are continuously growing and learning as a parent.
13. It is OK if your child hates you on some occasions for correcting them. Your job as a parent is not to please them, but to guide and correct them.
14. Lead by example. That is the best way to teach your kids. Your children mirror what they see.
15. Build a relationship wherein your children can confide their worst mistakes in you. That will happen only when you listen more, talk less and don’t criticise.
16. Teach Respect from Early Years. That is one virtue that will take your children far.
17. Take time to teach Kindness to your child.
18. Raise that child who is loved and respected behind her back.
19. Invest time in yourself. Always remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
20. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the ordinary, the imperfect! For life is nothing but just that. Savour the moments!