Meet Namrataa Arora, our new Guest Blogger: After 14 years of working as a Talent Development expert in the Corporate world, Namrataa 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.
In one of the discussions I was having with a group of parents on raising kids, one of the fears expressed by most parents was that of protecting their child from the unknowns in the environment. Every day, we witness a new form of ‘unsafe’ and it seems paranoid to assume that our child will experience it at some point of time. But that’s how we tend to be. We tend to be paranoid and rightly so. The truth is that anything can happen at any point in time so one can never be careful enough for what might be in store.
To be able to expect that we can protect our child from all evils may be a bit like saying that we will start living in Mars.
So, what do we do? This is a tough one for sure, but when in doubt, it is best to go to the basics. Consider starting from ‘A’ : ‘A’ as in Awareness.
How much time do we spend in trying to get ourselves up to speed on what is happening around us…for instance, what do we know about party drugs? What do we know about webcams that can act as spy cameras? Do we know how to handle a fire?
Agreed that it is tough to know everything while we focus on earning a living and managing a household, but well, our being aware is really the first step to our making our kids aware of the evils that exist. Educating our children about the ways they could be harmed might be our best shot at keeping them safe.
The next question is, however, when is the right time to educate the child. As a parent, I believe, our best guide is really our intuition. The more tuned in to our child we are, the more we know the best time for something or the best way to get a point across.
Many of us might already be on this track but for those of us who have not yet embarked on this journey, here are some tips to get us started:
a) Establish an ‘awareness regime’ for yourself – Earmark a particular time in the day or week when you would be able to spend time reading up the issues that are plaguing today’s generation, what are the happenings in your city, what are some issues your child’s school is working on addressing, etc.
b) Earmark some thinking time – Reflect on instances when you believe communication with your child seems to have not worked. Did you fail to get a point across because you might have been using an authoritative stance? What do you think might get your child to listen to you?
c) Create a communication window – We don’t really plan the time we spend alone with our child. It may be incidental and hence, communication might not be clear or complete. Try sitting around the table after a meal or at tea time or hang around after a hobby class. The frequency is not as important as the quality of that time and how intentional you are about communication.
The ultimate outcome of parenting, perhaps, is an individual who is aware of what is out there and who is confident enough to make a choice. If the child is aware and educated about the environment, chances are, he / she would make an informed choice or hopefully, want to communicate to solicit advice. In the absence of a communication window, the child is likely to be drawn towards experimentation and the rest may become an uphill task to deal with.