As a young mother, I took parenting very casually. My focus was just on instilling values, giving the best of everything to my children and discipline them.
At that age, I didn’t realize the challenges of good parenting, I had no idea about handling the children in a kind, calm and patient manner and I didn’t have much of guidance.
My world revolved around my children, though.
I have had my moments of frustration but I can proudly say that I have raised two emotionally balanced and financially independent individuals who can take bold strides to venture into any sphere.
The excerpts of the following poem have always inspired me:
Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed;
And tears of sweet affection shed?
When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
Mother…the first caretaker, the first emotional anchor, the first teacher and the only real Angel in the life of a child.
She has to live up to all these expectations.
As a baby opens his eyes, it is the mother’s face that fascinates him, it is the mother’s heartbeat he can hear, it is the mother’s tender touch that she can recognise.
With her unconditional love, intuitive understanding and selfless sacrifices, she makes an indelible impression on the minds of her children. She is the sustaining force of a home and fills it with color and candor.
Guided by God Himself, she possesses divine instincts and therefore a mother’s influence is eternal and infinite.
“It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!”
― Ezra Taft Benson
Tips for being a good mother:
- Be gentle and soft, as a child can understand the caresses more than a usual touch.
- Speak softly to convey the power of loving messages.
- Never yell at your child for your frustrations and disappointments are beyond his grasp.
- Be firm and stand by your decisions.
- Never argue or fight with your spouse [in the presence of a child] as it undermines your self- esteem.
- Be positive and honest in your dealings.
- Don’t pamper but discipline lovingly.
- Spend quality time with them.
- Let them take their own decisions when they want to.
- Be the best guide, without forcing anything down their throat.
- Infuse confidence in their dark moments by adopting a positive attitude.
- Respect their opinions and independence.
All these responsibilities, which have been assigned to a mother are so gigantic that she has to work round the clock to nurture her children. As they grow older, she looks after their needs every moment, nurses them, reads to them, builds up their confidence and serves as a role model.
A mother’s debt can never be repaid. So…
“Love your mother. Respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. … Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness.”- Elder Ballard
– Balroop Singh
Picture credits: Rishika Jain.com
DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT BY PROVIDING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT
Emotional Quotient [EQ] is the ability to handle our emotions in such a way that we learn with each step, each experience and move ahead, without getting emotionally scared or charged.
Children learn the initial lessons of life from observation and interaction.
It is the mother who appears to be most loving and caring; it is the father who appears to be cooperative and supporting. Children pick up these emotions instinctively.
LAY STRONG FOUNDATION:
Parents can lay a strong foundation of EQ only if they themselves are emotionally balanced and strong. A calm parent can pass on positive emotions to children in a spontaneous manner, even in their formative years.
We have to be receptive to the little demands of children and fulfill them, without any delay. If a child is delighted at the sight of a storybook she likes, it’s a good idea to read it as many times as she wants.
FOCUS ON YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE:
Children learn to respond with identical emotions, without making any conscious effort if they are in the company of well-developed emotional quotient. So we have to focus on our own EQ too.
“It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.” David Caruso
It is imperative to be sensitive to the feelings and needs of the children to make them emotionally sensitive. Each child thinks differently, reacts in his own way and has his own potential and capability.
We must respect their thoughts and reactions. We must empathize in order to understand our children to build their self- esteem.
Emotionally intelligent children have greater resilience and persistence but it does not come in a day. It is picked up slowly from the environment that we provide to our children.
We should never snub any fear or anxiety of our children. The right way is to encourage them to face them, accept them and deal with those emotions. It helps them to understand that fears, frustrations, anger etc. are natural emotions and can be overcome.
We must train our children to handle their little battles in their own way. We can soothe them, calm them down and encourage them but eventually they have to deal with them.
Emotionally charged moments should be handled very cautiously. It is better not to raise your voice, stay calm, express your viewpoint and let your child distinguish between good and bad.
We must give them the liberty to take their own decisions to become emotionally strong. Emotionally balanced parents lay the foundation of successful relationships.
Emotionally impaired individuals fail to express what lies in their heart and their relationships lack affection and warmth. Emotionally starved children become insensitive to love, respect and care.
As parents, it is our duty to provide a healthy environment for holistic development of emotions.
RELIGION AND CHILDREN
The views of our children are shaped by the way we look at our religion. The upbringing of our children is greatly influenced by the views we hold. As Helen Keller says, ”it is wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky. Behind me and before me is God and I have no fears.”
God doesn’t seem to be abstract to children if respect for Him is nurtured and developed at an early age. In such a home, faith comes as easily as breathing. Faith doesn’t mean religion has to guide us at every step or worshipping becomes a daily ritual. Imposition of faith never helps.
Children would always bless their parents if they create such an atmosphere at home that nurtures a spontaneous belief on which they can bank during crisis. A faith that reinforces the strength and the power within them, a faith that makes them feel the presence of God around them that encourages them to go ahead and face the challenges.
Religion is much talked about but is actually understood by a few who use its tenants to bind each other. It can stimulate family values, act as a guide for behavior and promotes humility, respect, goodness and care. It is the stepping-stone to the spiritual training of children.
Parents who don’t guide their children at the right age fail to inculcate an important value, which could mold their personality. We can’t wait for children to grow up and choose their own faith. Such children may never trust God. They would always be confused and may doubt the existence of God.
The unknown power that lowers psychological stress is the power that we call faith in God. The confidence it provides and the self-esteem that it enhances can only be felt if we give an early training to our children.
I often ask my students whether they believe in God. One of them very honestly told me that he believed in God because his parents told him so. He further added that his confusion and doubts about His existence melt away when he sees the faith of his parents.
It is also the responsibility of parents to inculcate the right religious values. Never try to undermine other religions while talking about the splendor of your own religion. Lets not show intolerance for the faith of others in the presence of children.
The seeds of religious intolerance are sown at home only. It is important to discuss that God is one but is addressed differently by different people. It is through the respect for all the faiths that our children feel empowered t face all the challenges of life successfully.