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Everyone loves their child. But there are some things Indian parents often do that are huge mistakes; we need to actively watch out against these.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on parenting, and I have never claimed to be. This advice is based on my observation and personal experiences. I know what its like to be a kid and a teenager in need of parental support, hence, I am just expressing my opinion.
Everybody loves their kid, there’s no doubt about it. Every parent has their own way of expressing love.
My mother displayed her affection by constantly rebuking me for my mistakes; they have also explained things calmly, and even had several arguments with me to make comprehend her point of view.
No parent is perfect, and neither are their parenting styles. However, there are many mistakes parents make that negatively affects their child.
I don’t care if you can’t spend time with your kid, stop handing out wads of cash to them to ease your mounting guilt. Both parents are equally guilty of doing this. Teenagers can misuse money, spend on unnecessary items, just because they have enough cash.
I get it. The world is expensive, and your kid needs money in case of an emergency. Give them enough money to buy food, travel home or buy stationary. But that’s it. Handing out excessive cash because you want to make up for not spending time isn’t going to benefit your child in anyway. It doesn’t matter if you’re as rich as Warren Buffet, you have to make your child understand that nothing is free in this world, and money must be earned the hard way. Give them pocket money, and negotiate the allowance if your child is dissatisfied with the amount.
Incentivising your child to household work, in a home where they live, is not advisable. Your child owns the home as much as you do. Its their ‘job’ to look after the house, just like it is your responsibility. They have to keep their room clean, cook and step up when you need help.
Stop spoiling them and motivating them for doing what they are supposed to do. Assign them chores, criticise them if they do a bad job, or if they forget to do their work or they just bail out. Remind them that they live with you too, and are a part of the household.
Don’t let them make excuses like: ‘I’m busy, I have homework, Why don’t you hire a maid? That’s a menial job, I’m exhausted’. As adults, you are also knackered from work, and you still maintain your house. They will be adults sooner or later and they need to learn responsible.
Children will realise what their sexuality is. If they identify as anything other than heterosexual, don’t throw a fit.
If you suspect that your kid has a different sexual orientation, ask them, talk to them, but DO NOT freak out in their presence. Cry, yell, scream when they aren’t around. You have a right to express your emotion. But remember, suicide and depression rates are high among LGBTQ community, and your less than ecstatic reaction will compel them to run away from home, turn to drugs, have excessive sexual endeavours or even lead to suicide. Just consult a psychiatrist, take your child with you to an expert after you make peace with this issue, and then decide what to do.
No amount of yoga, therapy, or straight sex will make your kid heterosexual. If you cannot accept their sexuality yet, don’t let them be sexually active until then. Until you have familiarised yourself with the issues and mental landscape of the LGBTQ community, don’t take any drastic steps.
Talk to LGBTQ groups online or contact Stonewall and especially a psychiatrist if you still lack information. Until you and your child are sure that your child is a member of the LGBTQ community, don’t be in a hurry to react. You are only going to lose them in the long run. Show that you are trying to discern their sexuality.
It doesn’t matter which substance your child is addicted to, it is not always your fault.
You have to be around for your kids during this time. Understand the events that led them to become addicts, talk to them only when both of you are calm.
There is no shame in admitting that your kid has a problem. Send them to a rehab facility, doctor, surround them with loving people who aren’t addicts and stop displaying your hatred.
Yes, you’re mad at them for being an addict, yes, you are disappointed in them, yes, you wish you were a better parent. But remember, now is not the time to play the blame game.
The onus is also on your child. They should know better as well. Unless they are too young to understand what they have done, explain it to them and stop them. Keep an eye on them. It doesn’t matter if your child picked up drinking and smoking from you or your husband, it has got to end. Explain to them that there is nothing cool about ruining your health, and educate your child about the ramifications of their behaviour. Its not going to a cakewalk, but you have to stay strong for your kid.
So, here are the few mistakes I’ve seen many friends and relatives make when it comes to parenting. I know parenting is not so easy, and is a full-time job. But the key is always communication. Talk to them regularly, and be veracious. Your words and actions should prove that you care and are on their side no matter what. They must trust you and your opinion, and let you take the lead whilst making important decisions in their lives.
Image source: shutterstock
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