Monday, August 21, 2006

Child Care - Mistakes Most Parents Make.

Parenting a is like a trapeze artiste's balancing act, ever challenging. But here are tips to avoid common mistakes parents make.

Stop Comparing

You must understand that every child is unique. The genes are different. The family environment, the education, social circle, role models, lifestyle and habits vary. So are you reasonable in expecting your child to be like your neighbor's or friend's? If your neighbor's son scores top grades, your daughter could exhibit leadership qualities, be talented at sports or play the guitar like no child does. Why do you have to compare? Let the child be judged by what he does, not by what someone else achieves.

Comparison Breeds Contempt

Parents in their rush to keep up with Joneses of today, put a lot of unwanted pressure on children. The child, for them, is a reflection of their abilities, think parents. Loss of social standing on account of average performance of children is a constant worry. Parents hardly care about the abilities, interest and talent of children, pursuing their own agenda of raising a super-kid who makes them proud.

But, seldom do they understand that comparison breeds ill-will amongst classmates and friends. Sometimes it's a war like situation with face-offs between parents rushing with children's answer sheets for revaluation. And some parents ridicule the child: "Look at John, he's scored 99% in Maths. You are a 'bla bla bla'. When will you get 100% ?" Instead of John inspiring the child, it instills hatred for John (and parents too) who the child feels is responsible for the spanking and ridicule faced by him.

In hindsight, the parents could have positively put across the idea that John scored 99% because he does math for an hour everyday, practices, seeks the help of teachers to solve problems and enjoys the subject. And that "You too can do it if you follow similar methods. Shall we start from today?

Comparison Kills Individuality
Children are like flowers, they'll grow up naturally to give you unending joy. Do not force the child to ape someone or something, by comparison. Let the child grow-up finding it own way, of course guided by you all the way. Comparison stifles the child, forcing him to do things like others, just to please you. And he'll soon lose interest in those subjects.

Instead create interest, set goals, encourage, and guide him. He'll do better. He'll respect you for this. And it will bring the family closer.

The parents are the biggest influence on a child in the formative years. Boys are naturally inclined to 'act' like their fathers and girls imbibe a lot from their moms. Hence it becomes imperative that parents must portray themselves in a good light. Everything they do or say has a bearing on the child's outlook.