Pressures Of Parenting – Tips On How To Alleviate Them

The times are changing and so are the challenges of parenting. The 21st Century may have brought to us many technological advancements saving our time, reducing our efforts, making things easier and more comfortable. However, there is no gadget yet devised that can make a parent’s life less stressful. This piece will dive deep into exploring the real pressures of parenting – tips on how to alleviate them.

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Parenting is certainly challenging nowadays as nuclear families have become the norm in most places around the world. And in a majority of houses, both parents pursue careers that take them away from home for a larger part of the day. Compared to previous centuries, more and more women are entering the workplace as education for girls is on the rise and women are either augmenting the family income and/or realizing their potential. Apart from that we also see a significant rise in single-parent families.

In this fast-paced scenario, a different set of parenting skills is needed to match steps with the changes. We cannot bring up our children in the very same manner and use the same techniques as our parents did. They did their very best for their time. We should do what is best for our time.

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Different styles of parenting – Tips on how to resolve:

One constantly hears of how parents possess different parenting styles. Here are the ones that have been observed:

1. Authoritarian parenting

In this, the parents’ word is law and children have no say in any decision to be taken. Those who adopt this style are strict disciplinarians who demand complete obedience from their children and can be aggressive and dominating

2. Authoritative parenting

This involves being reasonable and having a set of rules which consider the children’s opinions too. It is a positive way of parenting which pre-empts problems and tackles issues sensitively and sensibly

3. Permissive parenting

Leniency, friendliness and very few or even no rules are applied to children to follow. Good behavior is not enforced and bad behavior is not discouraged (unless it gets out of hand)

4. Uninvolved parenting

Neglect arising from a lack of knowledge of the children as the parents are distant and disconnected from them. This could be due to being a part of a dysfunctional family or some mental issue or bad habits or substance abuse on part of the parents

5. Helicopter parenting

Overindulgence and excessive interference in every aspect of children’s’ lives. Constantly hovering over children and smothering them in what is misinterpreted as love and concern. However, this may stunt children’s development.

Of course, these are categories and we keep falling into one or the other at different times depending on the circumstances.

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The parenting journey

Whether we are authoritarian parents or permissive parents, we should always be aware of the needs of our children at various developmental stages. Children from 0 to 6 years of age are blessed to have parents who are their first teachers. As 90% of the brain develops by age 5, these are very crucial years and children imbibe strong values from their parents. From ages 7 to 14, parents can be termed as coaches who are supporting them in their endeavors, making them more and more independent. During the High School and College years, young adults wish to break out from anything that limits their growth and are learning to become their own people. Parents assume the roles of guides matching strides with their children and giving them life lessons along the way. After turning 21, the young citizens are ready to claim their place in the world and parents are the supporters who encourage them from the sidelines to make their mark in a brave new world.

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Successful parenting

Let us look at how we can be ‘cool’ parents. The parents who raise children that we ourselves, as well as others, would be proud of. The parents who are considered fortunate. The parents who do not have to worry constantly about their children’s physical, mental, psychological, spiritual health and wellbeing. The parents whose children embody 21st Century learning skills such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication among others. Successful parenting is also about raising self-sufficient, independent individuals who are compassionate and good human beings.

What can we do to make our children 21st century citizens?

Quite simply, we should take time out of our busy schedules to be with our children at least for an hour every day. Quality time is significant. We can spend as much time as possible with our children but it should be time that helps us to get closer to our children, to connect with them, to celebrate their lives, to support them in their dark hours.

We must endeavor that our children are well balanced, independent, mindful, tolerant, and knowledgeable enough to make a wise choice. It is in our hands to mold them into becoming excellent examples to other young people. If they are encouraged to be humane and to work towards making our world a better place for all and especially to focus on making ‘India shining’, then they will surely work to make our country glorious and our world beautiful.

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The concept of one world is to be introduced and fostered. Let us teach them to keep away from bias and not polarise them. Make them believe in the oneness of the world. This is epitomized in our Indian ethos: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakan as practiced by our great nation is our cultural heritage and our gift to the world. Not only should we teach them about the importance of familial bonds in our nuclear family, but also our extended family and the other families in our city, our state, our nation, and our world – irrespective of caste, creed, religion, color, language and all other such social, economic, communal, linguistic and political barriers.

Atithi Devo bhava is another ancient Indian aphorism that makes our country unique. Reverence as a host should be extended by them to visitors in the form of relatives, friends, people from our own and from other countries of the world (again the spirit of oneness is to be emphasized). Treating the guest honorably should be a practice inculcated from a very young age.

Respecting others becomes as important as respecting oneself if one follows the ‘oneness’ philosophy. It is not just guests who should be respected, but also the domestic help, community helpers, neighbors, acquaintances and all those who we meet and know and even those who we don’t meet or know. Exhorting our children to respect their school and teachers and other staff and classmates also goes a long way to making them appreciative of those who play a pivotal part in their lives and this also improves their interactive skills.

Some firm rules (after negotiating with children) should also be in place regarding the use of technology, pocket money, and managing finances, time spent friends, curfew hours, homework and assignments and exam revision and more such related aspects.

Let us teach them to pray, to be generous and empathetic, to love the environment, be risk-takers, be doers, be curious, be lifelong seekers of the truth and readers and lovers of art, theatre, music and science and math and all other subjects that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

When the going gets tough:

When things go wrong and we realize that despite our best efforts we are unable to see eye to eye with our children, or when we are at loggerheads with them due to some reason/s, then let us not feel pressurized, stressed and depressed. There is always a way out and reconciliation is just a small effort away.

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Here are some options that could be considered:

  • First and foremost, give them our time and attention. Discuss the problem with them. Listen to them. Show an intention to understand their perspective.
  • Try to understand their perspective. Understand their perspective. Give them space and respect their thoughts and feelings. Vent out our feelings in a controlled manner. Take them out. Go where they wish to lead us. Bend. Blend. Negotiate. Renegotiate. Come together. Reconcile
  • Be a part of Parent Circles with other parents who may be like-minded, of our age group, share the same interests, come from the same backgrounds or those who may be totally different from us – the biggest connection is that we are parents.
  • Join social media groups and forums like the parent communities and parenting groups on Facebook and WhatsApp. Encourage each other, collaborate with each other to help nurture the next generation. Discuss with each other. Share tips and experiences. Talk about people, places, ideas, resources that are needful.
  • Seek the help of experts such as counselors and child psychologists. Participate in Q and A sessions, attend symposiums and workshops on good parenting skills. Schools have counseling departments; arrange meetings with teachers and resource persons. Talk to people who can shed more light on the problems you are facing. Speak to family, friends, relatives. Ask our parents!

We may or may not get on the spot solutions or quick fixes but hopefully, these should help ease our troubles. Let’s extend our hands out for help and support. Sometimes our children will be our saviors and at other times we can survive due to the kindness of strangers. We too could help others in the same way whenever possible. Let’s be ‘cool’ parents!

This piece has been contributed by Ms. Naghma Shaikh; AS Level English Language Teacher- JBCN International School, Borivali

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70 thoughts on “Pressures Of Parenting – Tips On How To Alleviate Them”

  1. I Totally agree all points with Author, Tq very much for a eye opening article for parent, I have shared it with few parents and friends in Hyderabad. I wish you write many more in future. TQ

  2. My father was authoritarian, I am authoritative in parenting . I do agree quality time is a must. We learnt a lot from our parents. Even if it’s parenting, we treat our children, the way we expected ours to do. The next generation too would be different. They would give their children what they didn’t get from us.

  3. Some really valuable tips are given in your blog, I am sure they will benefit me as a parent.

  4. Great work Ma’am. This write-up gives good tips for parenting.Especially different styles of parenting. The write-up on different style of parenting can help parents to become cool parents.

  5. A very good article. Covers all aspects of parenting. A good guide for parents.
    Well done, Naghma ma’am

  6. Ma’am, great work . Especially different style of parenting .It is very informative and also interesting.

    1. It’s a must to understand the need of our children. Very nicely written, needed advise to new 21st century mom. Thank u.

  7. Not a parent, but this is the kind of information that needs to be circulated in order to enhance parenting skills! Great job!

  8. A must read for every parent indeed. Now a days parenting has really become challenging.The tips given in this article will help many parents who are struggling to connect with their children and make them a better human being.
    Thanks Ms Naghma for such an informative article…

  9. Parenting is a conglomeration of everything, no one’s ever learned completely. Like every lock has a different a key, every child needs different combinations of parenting skills.

    This crisp article pens down all the potential parenting techniques which are really effective . Thus, making it totally empowering and worth reading.

  10. Truly superb!
    An apt insight what we ought to know & be conscious about which we might at times tend to overlook or ignore in this fast & hectic present day lifestyle that we are presently living in.
    An eye opener!

    1. I’m sure many parents can identify with your article, Ms. Naghma. Parenting in today’s world is definitely a challenge for each and every parent. Channelising, advising and uplifting children to meet the demands of the present age and at the same time retaining the value system, requires parents to think out of the box. Congratulations on a thoughtfully written piece which I’m sure will inspire many!

  11. Very well written ! your writing has changed my perspective in some areas on parenting.Thank You !

  12. Kudos to the writer for presenting a well-researched topic with wonderful insights and practical tips on parenting! It’s a must-read for all parents!

  13. Awesome read. ‘The child gives birth to a mother.’ I guess its all about learning, adapting, adjusting, compromising, sacrificing n finally looking back n thanking THE ONE ABOVE for everything good or bad that you did or had to do for them/to them.

  14. Tips on good parenting. Must read for parents to mould children with challenges of 21 century.

    It is very well articulated with precision.
    Make parenting more meaningful by being teachers, coaches, guides, and supporters.

  15. A very relevant, thought provoking and beautifully written piece. This is a must read for every parent as there is so much to learn and reflect on. The concepts of”one world” and “aththi Devo bhava” are so significant and they need to be reinforced and passed on to our future generations by us. Thank you very much Naghma Ma’am for addressing the issue of parenting and sharing this article with us.

  16. It’s very useful information and gives important tips on parenting which is challenging in the 21st Century…
    Thank you.!!!!

  17. A very comprehensive and informative piece of writing dealing with the topic which requires constant reiteration. Very well written.

    1. I’m sure many parents can identify with your article, Ms. Naghma. Parenting in today’s world is definitely a challenge for each and every parent. Guiding, channelising and uplifting children to meet the demands of the present age and at the same time retaining the value system, requires parents to think out of the box. Congratulations on a thoughtfully written piece which I’m sure will inspire many!

  18. Very interesting and helpful.
    Actually parenting is the most challenging job.

    The brilliance of the article talks about your rich experience, Ms Naghma

  19. Parenting has changed over times. Children are no longer the way they were and used to be. We need to change according to time. Good parenting is not how good a parent is but how ood your child is. Or else the chil under your care will either become a robot or his/her childhood will fade into the oblivion

  20. Excellent…. a perfect amalgamation of tried n tested techniques interspersed with modern day strategies too.
    Wish all parents would follow this🙌🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👍🏼

  21. It is a worth reading piece. Parenting in today’s time has become a challenge for many of us. This writing gives some very useful tips for a successful parenting. I wish to recommend every parent to read through and implement the advice in their lives. If followed, I believe the children will definitely become responsible citizens and parents will be relieved for their children’s future.
    I appreciate the effort of the writer.

  22. It’s very informative, parenting is very different and difficult job in 21st Century.
    Thank you for sharing some good tips . They would really help me as a parent.