2016 Mar 14
Parenting with Joanne
In an age when growing up with a single parent is rather common, it is hard to imagine the ideal of a dual partnership in bringing up a child. However, there is no mistaking the effects such a balanced partnership, can bring for a child.
On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly common for one of either parent to become more involved than the other in their child’s daily life activities. This, I feel, is a trend that needs to change if we want to see our children grow up with a good understanding of how a family functions. Read on, and find a few important yet overlooked needs of a child.
- Daily needs met by two
It is not enough for a child to just see one parent around the house and be actively involved only with the other parent throughout the day. It is important that children feel that their needs are met by both parents on a regular basis. For instance, if the morning routine of brushing their teeth, having breakfast and getting ready for school is done with the mother, there should be some amount of taking care, done by the father in the evenings. Children need to know that both their parents are keen to meet their daily needs. This builds their confidence in both parents and helps them understand that both parents care about their well-being.
- Discipline needs partnership
Another point that is very often taken for granted is discipline in the home front. Being an educator, I have the opportunity of meeting parents on a frequent basis. The growing tendency seems to be where one parent acts as the disciplinarian while the other takes a rather passive role. This lopsided view of disciplining a child is rather ineffective, I must say. Children from such homes, seem to have a wrong view of discipline stemming from confusion that is created at home. I do not intend to say that both parents should be extremely hard on a child. But what is important is that the child sees unity between the father and the mother when something is explained as being inappropriate or unacceptable behavior.
- Praise needs partnership too
In keeping with the previous point, children need to see unity in praise at home too. If a child is praised or rewarded for good behavior, it should be done by both parents and the child should feel this agreement in order for that praise to make a complete effect on him. For example, if an eleven year old takes the effort to clean his room on his own and the mother praises the effort yet the father scrutinizes the effort by finding fault in the little things that have been left undone, the effect of the mother’s praise will be nullified.
- Quality time with both
Spending quality time with your child is the responsibility of both the father and the mother. It is usual for one parent to take care of the child’s needs while the other takes on the role of the ‘fun’ parent. Love can be expressed to our children in many ways. Doing for them is one way that comes without asking. However, spending time with them shows them that you value them enough to give them your time. This is a need that should be met by both parents if we want them to feel loved in more ways than one.
- Outside the home, on behalf of your child
Parent meetings in school, your child’s theatre performance, cricket matches are all occasions that need to be attended by both parents. When you attend your child’s parent teacher conference together, you tell your child that both care about what is happening in his school career; a huge part of your child’s life. When you attend your daughter’s theatre performance together, you are in effect telling your child that you are both proud of her accomplishments. Actions such as these speak much louder than your words and will help your child feel cherished and significant.
Joanne Sathyadass has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism, Psychology and English Literature from the University of Bangalore now serving as a Special Needs Educator
For any queries please email Joanne on email@example.com