Sometimes, even a couple of kids at home can be a handful. They may be doing their own thing and still drive you up the wall. Fighting amongst themselves, playing musical toys with only one key being pushed insistently, making a grand mess with blocks, soft toys and other assorted entertaining contraptions that you bought in a moment of indulgence ( or sometimes, to assuage your guilt) starts your brain ticking away at a dangerous speed.
Parenting can be such a great challenge even when you love your kids, want to spend quality time (and also quantity) with them and help them become responsible and emotionally mature adults. There are times when our human failings become all too apparent even though deep in our hearts we want to be just good parents.
I am not an expert in academic terms but still I act as one because I am a long time parent ( and this long time seems very, very long in my memory) and I learn every day by being in the battlefield. I keep observing what works and what does not. You learn every moment, with every child because all children are different and you are a learner forever.
A couple of things I would still like to share, that in my opinion work well across ages and temperaments.
Cast away your worries and day-to-day stresses every once in a while and be attentive to your child. To his/her needs, whims, moods. Let us start with young children. Mood tantrums, fussy eating, destructive behaviour? Pay attention to what are the underlying reasons. If you take out a little time and do things as your child wants done, the child would become reassured over a period of time of your love and care. Your instructions and suggestions would be better received.
This could be expressed in many other ways. As in, “Set an Example”. The important thing is to acknowledge that you are the parent at most times, a friend and a co-conspirator only for very little time. You need to decide about acceptable behaviour, limits and the values to be inculcated. Sure, you need to do the same things to set an example but most of the times and especially in formative years, children need to be guided gently, again and again. If they slip up, the course correction needs to be on your side as well as theirs.
Yes, I know this actually sounds harder than running a marathon but that is how it is as all parents would testify. As for would be parents, this post would get ignored and tossed in the bin (if it is possible to toss an electronic device) with a shrug.