“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” – Bette Davis
Parenting is a challenge for everyone, whether you are a silver screen icon like Bette Davis or the parent next door. Raising children is a responsibility that comes with a fair share of everyday parenting challenges that can easily swing you from overwhelmed to wanting to give up. Then, perhaps, the only thing that keeps you going are those ‘toothy grins’ and ‘warm hugs’.
There is nothing glamorous about changing diapers, deciding on nutritious and tasty food options and disciplining your children the correct way. Amid this, you wonder if effective parenting is at play or not?
Here are the five most common parenting challenges and solutions that can help you tackle these challenges daily.
Nutrition versus taste
As a parent, you are caught between providing healthy food or tasty junk. The former makes your children whine, and the latter makes them happy. This everyday battle with your conscience for fussy and picky eaters can be a trying situation.
Try to plate their food in creative ways with funny faces on sandwiches or loads of colourful combinations. Allow them to pick one cheat meal in a week which could range from burgers to pizzas, etc. Another interesting approach would be to start a story around the food that they are eating. For instance, brinjal is known as the king of vegetables. You could narrate a story around this king to keep them engaged and feed them with ease.
To screen time or not
As a concerned parent, you are worried about how your children interact with the gadgets. The concerns range from health issues like the effect on eyesight, the content quality, and, of course, the isolation from peers.
You could begin by scheduling a time for your children for gadget usage. The gadget, in particular, can be restricted by blocking certain apps, etc. that you want your children to steer clear from. The most important measure apart from these is allowing them access to quality content that adds value to their screen time. Using learning apps that cater to their age group and interactively teach them. For instance, Disney. BYJU’S Early Learn app offers a perfect blend of offline and online learning. Children can learn basic English and Maths concepts with their favourite Disney characters. They can solve worksheets placed in front of the tablet’s camera and receive instant feedback. Learning happens through play. Similarly, the Osmo products give children an opportunity to play along with their peers and use the gadget as a medium to facilitate qualitative learning and playtime.
Endless mess around the house
Cleaning up the house every few minutes after the children have created a mess is quite a challenge. Repeatedly organising space and putting back the toys, paints or other paraphernalia is bound to aggravate you.
Lay down guidelines. If the children are old enough, they have to put away every toy, etc. they use back in its allotted place. If the children are younger, create a routine for yourself, so you do it twice in a day max and refrain from getting overwhelmed when you see things scattered. You can get the little ones to help you out and inculcate the habit of tidying after their work by showing them how you do it. Such practices early on can help you manoeuvre their habits and foster a sense of responsibility.
Striking a balance between parenting and other tasks
Office, household chores, and handling children can drive you up the wall. You inevitably lose track and find yourself in a guilty space. Not being attentive enough to your children and at the same time, having to close a work deliverable is a complicated situation.
Try to create a schedule and stick to it. Encourage your children to play on their own when you attend to the office or household chores. Planning every activity helps you spend your time more efficiently and juggle all roles in the best possible way. For example, you can get your child to do a puzzle, or draw something while you attend an office call. When you are doing household chores, you can get them to assist you. When you are baking or folding clean clothes, you could get them to stir the ingredients or pass you the piece of clothing which needs to be folded.
Practising ‘tender loving care’ for your ownself
Parenting leaves you with little or no time for yourself or with your spouse. This can adversely affect your relationship with yourself and others. Being a parent, you often sideline these relationships as nurturing and raising children is of utmost priority. However, studies indicate that this is detrimental for your health and mental wellness.
When you are planning your day, do include some ‘me’ time or plan some alone time with your spouse. You can choose to let the children be with their grandparents or friends for those few hours of unsolicited time that you make for yourself. This time will help you rejuvenate and pay attention to yourself and your life partner. Studies indicate that couples who work on their relationship along with parenting raise healthier and more emotionally balanced children. Another benefit is that you can develop or work on interests that you can sustain, especially when the children grow older and are less dependent on you. You are less likely to suffer from separation anxiety and empty nest syndrome if you build habits and practices that will keep you engaged when the children are gone.
Share your parenting tips for balanced parenting in the comments section below.
Mariam Taqui Ali (pro tip: the middle name is pronounced tuh-key) A Word slayer, pluviophile, baker, traveller; among other things, knows the correct usage of punctuation and the difference between your and you're. She spent some time (read a lot of time) writing, editing and keeping track of word counts. Her trysts with writing and editing has led her to interact with experts from diverse industries like healthcare, wellness, HR, business and technology. Having experienced all that, she continues her professional explorations, to learn, to grow and to be a value add. Drop in a line at [email protected] if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!
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