SUPERDAD: YOU DON’T NEED SUPER POWERS TO BE ONE
Patriarchy has been hard in this world. This is not just for women, but for men as well. See, we men are expected to bring home the bread, and if we show a dash of failing to do so, we’re suddenly not men anymore. So we grind ourselves from 9 to 5 just to bring home something that makes falling asleep easier, only to get up the next day and repeat the same thing over and over again. And it is in this process of feeding that we lose track of what’s important: the people we are feeding. While taking care of the whole family is essential, we shall focus on the cornerstone of the family for now: the children. Chances are, the happier you keep the children, happier your Mrs. will be.
- LOVE YOUR WIFE
The logic behind this first and crucial step is to demonstrate to the child that one should be respectful of others. When a father figure is seen being loving and respectful to his wife, the child quickly learns that s/he should do so too. That way, you’ll bring up a well-mannered child who won’t talk back to you.
- BE WITH THEM
Children equate time with love. A father who spends time with his children is actually demonstrating interest and enthusiasm in the child’s life. According to various researches, via active participation and direct involvement of dads, children can achieve higher grades, better self-esteem, and are less likely to get into drugs and alcohol. If that sounds like a fair trade off for missing out on beers after work, read on.
- TAG TEAM
Like your partner in life, your wife and you should double as a team. Be there for each other so that you can be there for the child. One way to approach this is by playing the Good-Cop-Bad-Cop way. Let one of you be supportive of the interests of the child while the other be the controller so that those interests don’t deviate him/her from what is important.
- CONTROL YOUR DEMONS
None of us are saints, we all have our vices. We know drinking and smoking is bad, but do it anyways. We might have even considered dropping it but relapsed in soon. Let the child be your motivation this time and give up such habits. It’s heartbreaking for any parent to catch their child in the act. And most of the times, the child learn them from their parents. It’d be a good time to stop now.
- DON’T LAY A HAND ON THEM
Old school parenting seems to have made a leather belt for smacking mandatory. We must have been brought up in that way, and may contribute to the fact that we are at times afraid of our parents. And that’s where the fallacy is; there should be no room for fear in the household. Discipline them, yes, but don’t lay a hand on them. You might get them to do something, but they’ll do it out of fear, not respect.
- KEEP TRACK OF THEM
Once your child starts going to school, you will not be able to have a close eye on them 24/7. So be active on keeping track of them. Go to parent/teacher meetings, attend sports day, ask them about their homework, upcoming tests, and so on.
- DON’T BE A STALKER
Now yes, we did tell you to keep track of your kids, but there’s always a chance of overdoing it. Don’t ask them what they did in school every day, go to their school every weak, call up their teachers every other day, and don’t ever be mad at them if they don’t give every detail of every activity they did throughout the day. They’re kids; they learn a new word every two days, not every hour. If you start to do this, they think that it’s more like reporting rather than sharing, which will make you a control freak. You don’t need to have each of their friend’s parent’s number on speed dial.
- GET OVER IT
Your child may not be able to get straight A’s all the time. In those times when they don’t, or even fail, don’t go at them with all guns blazing. Be mad at them, yes; but get over it quickly. Rather than telling them that they can’t do anything right, let them know that there’s always next time. They’ll do far better this way than from being made to feel guilty.
- MAKE THEM INDEPENDENT
Often, parents tend to take their child’s project works upon themselves, make it by themselves so that their child will get good score. They might but what we fail to realize that the child didn’t put any effort on the project and this will have two adverse effects; i) they will not learn anything and ii) they will feel that when a difficult task comes their way, their parent will do it for them; hence rendering them independent. Help them, but don’t do it for them.
- DON’T GOOGLE EVERYTHING
Online articles on how to nurture a child are written on blogs, not stones. The ways worked for them, it doesn’t mean that it will for you. There is no hard and fast rule to parenting; it’s all trial and error. If one thing fails, adopt a new technique, and for once, trust your instincts. You can do it!
Words: Nirveek PPJ Shah & Shreeya Sangroula