I am no Big Granny nor a Perfect Mommy to lecture on such trivial topics. But yes, I am a mother of two and that definitely makes me eligible to share my experience with other parents. With the 7-8 years of parenting experience, these are some of the mistakes I found most parents make, including me. Yes, yes. Of course, if I didn’t make these mistakes, how else do you think I would realize them…isn’t it? 😀
Mistake Number 1– Giving in to Tantrums
He definitely equips them with a TeraByte or PetaByte processor, because they know how to tackle you before you learn to tackle them. Just weeks old and Lil Love knew when to make faces, when to scream, whom to look at for sympathy, whom to look at to get Mom scolded. She’ll cry uncontrollably turning the house upside down. With this I get bombarded with enormous amount of advice; mostly unsolicited, from none other than the elders of the family and the neighborhood. The little tiny bomb, that you popped out with great difficulty breaking half of your nerves and bones, now learns how to make you give in to her tantrums. To avoid the ruckus created by her screams, everyone asks you to give in. Under pressure, you give in. Victory for the little bomb, but the first but sure shot defeat for you.
Believe me, these are the same people who had scolded me fiercely, given a slap or two and even threatened to throw me out of the house, or send me with that bearded Babaji who used to come asking for alms during my childhood. Never mind.
- Do not give in easily. Let the child wail for a while. Who knows he/she might become the next Indian Idol. 😛
- Firmly but politely tell your elders to let you find your way into the land of parenting. You’ll make a mistake or two, but you’ll definitely find the right track.
- Most importantly, ensure that Mr.Right is on your side. The worst feeling is when the partner in crime holds you responsible for every single nasty act of the co-produced product. 😡
Mistake Number 2 – Lying in front of the Kid
“Hello….”, I pick up the phone while placing the washed plates in the designated space. “Ma’am, I am calling from so and so trust and need your help to save a dying patient.” “Sorry, I am in a meeting.”, I said immediately disconnecting the phone.
Two days later, Anu (my firstborn) lies about something and upon being questioned again and again, she says,
“Mamma lied two days back and nobody scolded her.”
- Do not offer money in charity. You’ll only get into the database of countless NGOs and Care centres.
- Do not ever lie in front of your toddler. If you do, take the pain to explain the situation making it easy for her to understand the necessity.
- Apologize when you make a mistake. Don’t make an irrelevant excuse.
Mistake Number 3 – The number and frequency of ‘NO’
This is something I learnt from my experience in raising Anu.
“Don’t climb up the stairs alone. You’ll fall.” “Don’t pluck the flowers. It’ll hurt you.” “Don’t drink it. It might be expired.” “Don’t do this. Don’t do that.”
In an effort to be the perfect Mommy to the perfect Baby, I used to be over-protective and over-possessive of the firstborn. Unfortunately, my excessive love, affection and disciplining made her highly under-confident. So much that her teachers only have one complaint during every PTM we attend:
“She’s too reserved, too shy and doesn’t make friends. She’s good at studies, computers, solo activities, knows everything, and is very creative, but doesn’t come up on stage or take initiatives.”
My mistakes are being rectified by Lil Love. She’s the one who is making Anu more confident, more forthcoming and a little dominating by giving her the right amount of competition. We just try to keep the competition healthy enough and not go out of control.
Mistake Number 4– Keeping High Expectations
Do not expect so much from the kids that it becomes a burden on them. Accept that they are another individual with a heart and soul of themselves. They are on their way to learn their survival instincts and let them learn it the hard way. They’ll make mistakes and why not, when we do make mistakes at this age. It is silliness that we assume kids to know everything from mannerisms in public places to goody goody talk with complete strangers. Give them space. When I scold Anu for not talking to someone who came home, Lil Love comes up with:
“Bachhe ki jaan loge kya?”
She sure has picked it from some silly cartoon show, but she definitely knows when and where to use it.
Mistake Number 5 – Assuming all Five Fingers are Alike
We believe we know what’s right for our child. We also believe that every move we make for one child will be fine for the other child too. Every child is different. Just like every adult is different. For me both my daughters are way apart. One is very shy, the other one is extremely outgoing. Similarly a method you adapt for disciplining one child may or may not work for another child. I just wonder how the class teacher manages 20-25 kids, all a different variety. I have trouble managing just 10% of that. 😦
Mistake Number 6 – Using Threats
“Finish your food or else you’ll not get to see you favorite cartoon show.”
“Do this right now or you’ll not go to the park.”
We all have out own mood swings, right???
Then, what’s wrong if a child wants to skip a meal or doesn’t want to take a bath at the said time. Once in a while, give it to them. Let them enjoy their freedom too. Do not ever scare or use threats. It affects their personality. I am sure we all agree that they’re already burdened enough and more. Why not give them a little break here and there? Trust me, you’ll treasure the smile and the hugs you get in return. 🙂
Mistake Number 7 – Getting Old Beforehand
“Papa, dance with me.”
“Mamma, let’s do a race.”
Why should we shy away? Are we that old? And why should old age stop someone. When I see the kids making their grandparents, their Dad and me dance/play/sing with them, it is a very satisfying feeling. Trust me, be a child, with a child and then its,
“Who needs 30+ or Revital of Jiyo Jee Bharke fame?”
I am sure you will have a lot of your experiences to share. Do share it or write to me separately at firstname.lastname@example.org.