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Aligned Parenting


Namrataa is a certified Life Coach and Founder of Life Beyond Motherhood. She specialises in coaching mothers on finding their life balance. She can be reached at namrataa@lifebeyondmotherhood.com . She also blogs at http://worldofmoms.wordpress.com.

Gone are the days when one would say, ‘there is no school which teaches parenting’ because there are such schools that are functional and in demand now. However, not all of us might be inclined to learn about parenting and we might want to discover things along the way. Well, to each their own. Parenting is a unique journey which each of us must traverse for ourselves. Then, of course, there is the child – a result of the parenting that is doled out. If the child is a result of the parenting received, I often wonder how a child processes information that he / she receives which might sometimes be contradictory. For instance, one parent likes to binge on junk food while the other is on a health trip or one parent believes academics are the way to success in life while the other might think academics are really quite irrelevant in the long run. So what does the child believe? Research has proven that when presented with two scenarios, human beings are more likely to pick the one which presents an easier path. The easier path that gets chosen, may not necessarily be the best path for the child. Does one parent work on undoing the path that he / she does not want the child to follow? It can all become quite a mesh and at the end of it all, can leave the child unsure about his / her choices in life and have a lasting impact on his / her self-confidence.

So what does one do? The answer is similar to what organizations resort to when they want to cascade a certain culture – ‘Alignment’. Well, it might sound unrealistic, but think of it this way. Culture Alignment, in an organization, is meant to get employees to align their own objectives with the organization’s objectives. Similarly, parenting needs alignment too. Communication is key to any kind of alignment. If parents end up arguing about how they do things differently, the child is at a loss. If, on the other hand, parents are able to discuss about how to handle a particular situation and how to provide the child with consistent messaging, the child would be clear about what is acceptable and what is not.

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After 14 years of working as a Talent Development expert in the Corporate world, Namrataa Arora Singh decided to re-invent her career. A Certified Professional Coach (CPC) from the International Coach Academy (Australia), Namrataa has been coaching women across the globe for the last 6 years. Namrataa specializes in working with mompreneurs, single moms and working moms juggling a full time career with other responsibilities. You can read more of her blogs on http://worldofmoms.wordpress.com.


3 thoughts on “Aligned Parenting

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Namrataa – I agree theoretically with all that you say. But could you help me out with this – how this actually play out in actuality? While my husband and I may agree on some really important things about child-rearing, there will always be some aspect that we have completely contrasting views on. For example, one spouse may believe that academics are more important than anything else, and the other may want to focus equally in all-reound development. Given that they have such contrasting views, it could be very difficult to reach middle ground, with neither willing to concede the other;s viewpoint, simply because these are strongly-held beliefs. So what then? However much the spouses discuss the issue, they are not going to come to a consensus – how would they deal with the child and what would they communicate in such a scenario?

    Please advise.

    Reply
  2. Meera

    Hi Namrata,
    You are raising an important issue, I think we all struggle with this! I like the way you have drawn a parallel to the ways of working in an organization — if in an organization we are able to work for the organization’s interest – we should be able to do so at home as well — put aside our interest and aspirations and see what works for the child!

    Reply
  3. Namrataa Arora Singh

    Kritika, Meera,

    Thanks for your comments. I think you raise a pertinent question, Kritika. While I think reaching 100% alignment on everything is certainly not feasible, what is feasible is perhaps a division of tasks and responsibilities among parents. Let us take for instance, academics. One parent might argue that a daily discipline is necessary for the child to complete education and would want the child to excel at all subjects. The other parent might feel that in this day and age, being a topper at school is quite irrelevant. The discussion can start with what the common goal is. It is for the child to be confident and successful. What are the ways that are currently in place to enable that. Is not being able to top in the class an issue that is impacting the child or the parent? It might require the parent to think again on what is realistic to expect of the child and step back a bit but not give up. If one works from the point of view of the child, solutions emerge. We tend to get stuck more because we think from our perspective and follow our scripts which are ingrained in us as a result of our life experiences. At the end of the day, the child needs to feel that both parents want similar goals for him / her and that is most critical to get aligned on. How one gets to it, does need to involve some flexibility. The answers do lie in the gray area and are really not black and white. They don’t say ‘child is the father of man’ for no reason :) Parenting grows us and evolves us often into better human beings. What do you think?

    Reply

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