Parenting in a Changing World

As the world continues to evolve, the environment our next generation is growing up in is very different from the one many of us have experienced. Raising children – whether it be as a direct parent or caregiver, or as mentor or guide – is a role many of us will take on however temporarily. As such, it can be beneficial to recognise the difficulties these children may face, some all-too familiar, some foreign. How we respond to these challenges is important not only for their development, but also for our own well-being and our relationships with our loved ones. Today we will take a quick look at parenting in this ever-changing world.

Parenting will look different for everyone. What works for one family may not work for another. With this in mind, the bellow recommendations for parents should be considered in light of your personal situation.

Listen.

With time seemingly in short supply, taking a moment to truly listen can seem hard to do. It is important to remember that the messages our children want to convey to us can be verbal or non-verbal. Only by paying attention and listening can we give them the space and time they need to express themselves.

Act.

Children are always taking in information from and learning from the world around them. They pay particular attention to adults and role models in their lives. Try to remember that they will see, imitate, and internalise many of the messages you send through your behaviour. This is true for the “good” as well as the “bad”. Children are often more observant than we give them credit for, understanding much more of the emotions behind a situation than they may let on.

Express.

Children thrive on the praise of their loved ones. Acknowledgement of their efforts and achievements, however small, can be influential in developing motivation towards higher goals. Praising a child for the work they put in towards a goal, not necessarily the achievement of the goal themselves, can often be more beneficial towards their success and well-being in the long-term.

Wait.

Try not to be too quick to jump in when they face a challenge. Children are curious by nature, and often learn best by experiencing and figuring things out on they own. Where safe to do so, give them space to explore while remaining ready to provide comfort and assistance when requested. Where your child succeeds or completes part of a task, give praise and encouragement.

Discipline.

Set rules collaboratively where possible and be clear and consistent with their application. Understand that making mistakes is human and part of the learning process. Praise good behaviour. If a mistake does not have the potential to cause harm, instead of scolding try to explore what went wrong and help them find an alternative solution to the same problem. This approach falls in line with authoritative parenting, which is generally considered the healthiest for both you and your child.

This short video (4:14) from Psych2Go provides a good description of the different types of parenting styles, including authoritative, and their effects on your child.

Even if we do our best to follow what the research says, it is likely that we fight with our children from time to time. When disagreements with your child inevitably arise, Dr. Becky Kennedy provides a helpful approach to repair (14:03).

It is also increasingly important to delegate time in our often overloaded schedules to our children. Time spent with caregivers is cherished, and allows the opportunity for you to listen, understand, and teach.

Parenting is a demanding task. Try not to criticize yourself for inefficiency or providing insufficiently to your children. The current world can be overwhelming. Parents juggle different roles and responsibilities. Avoid comparison with other families. Everyone’s situation is different. What works for one parent may not work for you. This is okay. Providing love for your children and doing your best given your own conditions is what is important.

If you feel yourself making comparisons to others and your own expectations, it may be helpful to check out the concept of “Good Enough Parenting” (4:32).

It is okay for you as a parent to make mistakes too. By helping our children to learn and grow, we may learn and grow as well.

We hope you have learnt something from this week’s instalment.

Along with the videos, the following source informed this article:

We hope you will join us next week as we consider the vital role of sleep in wellbeing.

Wishing you a wonderful week,

TCS Team

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@brittaniburns

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