What does raising kids imply? Providing a roof over the kids, food on the table and an education that can empower them to become independent in the future.
This definition of raising kids was fine and even perfect until the late 2000s. All 90s kids would agree that this is the way we were raised and we turned out great, I’d say kickass.
But after having turned into parents, this same methodology doesn’t seem to work. Was the plan at fault? No, but the times have changed now. The level of care and love, the extent of affection and intrusion into the space of a child that was enough and acceptable in the past now seems overwhelming to our kids.
I realized parenting isn’t what it was during the good old days. It was definitely easy back then. There weren’t any paedophiles lurking in the form of teachers at school, ice cream sellers actually sold ice-cream and not drugs, video games were fun and kids didn’t end up doing suicide for the sake of it.
Here’s parenting in a nutshell for the modern new-age couples.
1- Sense of entitlement
Previously kids were thankful to their parents for providing a roof over their head, for funding their college and helping them establish themselves in the fast life.
Research suggests kids nowadays have a deep-seated sense of entitlement. They feel that parents provide for them because they are supposed to. This in turn leads to an ungrateful attitude towards any and everything the parents do. And mind you providing for a family in today’s times is no easy task. The economic crises that the world is struck with only seems to rise at an exponential rate. The worse affected are the middle and lower class people who struggle to make ends meet.
Now imagine you work so hard to give your kids a life that’s better than what you had, but your actions are met with statements like “it’s your job dad, you’re supposed to provide for me”.
Another weed that is the result of this sentiment of entitlement is being dissatisfied with what you have. It’s all a vicious cycle that needs to be cut at the roots.
Here’s how you can save your children from this grim situation. Start by living a minimalist life. Kids don’t know about all the bounties of this world. They are happy even if they are given one single toy. In fact, studies have suggested that kids who have fewer toys turn out to be more creative. Also, they learn to value things better.
Next thing you could do is practise gratitude at home. Kids are great imitators. So starting with a little prayer time either during meals, as soon as the child gets up or during bedtime will do wonders. Initially thank God for each thing provided to you. And after a few days of doing it ask your children what they are thankful for. Include them in your prayers and turn it into a family thing. By this way, you can avoid the sense of entitlement set in your child’s life and help him value things.
2. Education is important but it’s not everything.
Growing up I often felt that the main aim of my parents was to help me stand on my feet. As if all their efforts were concentrated on this one task. We are taught that possessing a successful degree will help us achieve financial independence in life.
Nothing wrong with that but in a bid to succeed we completely forget the most important part of life. We need to like what we do. I am sure many agree with me when I say, not all of us get an option of pursuing career options we like. Corporate jobs pay well, being a doctor, engineer or having a master’s degree provided you with a fixed monthly income.
Many startup business ideas have perished in coffee shops or during living room conversations with parents. That’s because they are perceived as unconventional career choices.
What I would want to do with my kids is to assert the importance of financial independence in their lives but at the same time, I would also encourage them to chase their dreams. Regrets are worse to live with.
What can be done differently here is, doing smart work. Get a degree along with doing what you like. If you want to be a singer or be a businesswoman then learn the deets of it don’t just wing it. Be serious about it.
Do let me know how you intend to emphasize the importance of doing what you like and not just building a career in your child’s life.
3. Time is an indispensable commodity that needs to be valued.
We have all heard this almost a million times in our life. Maybe the reason we failed to understand its importance and imply it has been the way in which we were taught about it.
Kids will not listen when we tell them
“You shouldn’t waste time”
But they will follow suit when they see their dad being punctual to his work. When mum turns up well in time to pick kids from school.
What is time well spent?
The answer to this question will vary from person to person. What is it to you? For me time well spent is with my dearest ones, my kids, family and friends. It is the moments spent in hard work for my personal and spiritual growth. It’s the time spent in accomplishing my tasks of the day and then in the night when I lay back and check my task list, I derive ultimate pleasure from seeing all the green ticks.
If I value these things in life, then alone my kids will learn to value time. The teachings of parents, the principles for raising kids remain the same over the years. What needs to change is the way we implement, explain and imbibe them in our kid’s lives.
What are a few life lessons you wished you were taught earlier by your parents?
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