Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Entering a Happier New Year with Your Child

As the New Year approaches, loving parents and guardians often find themselves at the doorstep of new resolutions that are worth making. A cursory glance at some of the common Dos and Donts on their list shows that they are nearly always focused on self-improvement. Typically these would include things like: I won't shout at my kid; I'll teach them colors; I'll not pester them about their homework, and so on. Ironically, as these loving mums and dads struggle to attain perfection of parenting, they easily slip out of the success criteria for a happier relationship with their kids. Let us look at how we can improve the relationship of a child to his/her parent or guardian.

Things that Interest the Kids

The simple reason underlying the anxiety of so many parents about their children is that they fail to understand what their children love. Most of the time parents are bent on improving their kids by such standards as timely sleep (health concerns), less television (attitude concerns), more study (good grades), food supplements (better diet), and so on. While they give a feeling of acting an ideal parent, soon the perfect parents feel the stress building up between themselves and the children. Children feel lack of freedom and poor motivation to act in ways they would otherwise have liked to act. To make the scene stress-free and happier, provide your child with interesting stuff that motivates his/her energies. You may choose to lay out a new selection of toys or household objects.

Relax Your Standards

Fixing too strict standards for a happy relationship undermines it. Most of the time, most of the things between a parent and his/her child are going okay. It is only on some occasions that a child starts resisting going to bed or show eagerness to eat up the supposedly perfect diet. Do not magnify it by inserting your own anxiety's lens over the matter. If the child persists in his/her unusualness, try to get to the root of the problem. May be the kid has watched some scary movie or heard a chilling story which is hindering his/her sleep; may be he is not attracted to the look or taste of the food you are offering. Relaxing the standards also means relaxing your own burden. If you are playing the well-known indulgent parent, the one cajoling kids each and every second, you must change your way of showing affection. It is not uncommon for excessively coddled kids to roar his/her head off when the parents leave him/her at home. Practice a reasonable level of strictness about timings and behavior.

Breaking the Rules

One working key to mutual happiness between parent and child is allowing yourself to break or bend the rules. Critically analyze your attitude rather than the child's; mostly it is the adult's failure to see things in positive light that causes discontent. Focus on the beauty of the relationship between you and your child rather than infesting your mind with worries about the child's graduation grades. Live in the present or you may spoil its beauty with unnecessary imposition.

Setting Achievable Goals

Many parents, in their overwhelming affection for their kids, set themselves unattainable goals; doing this and that for babies, some or all of which are not that easy to do. The result is disappointment and aggravation of anxiety. Such loving parents do not realize that the child's wee mind does not, and cannot, appreciate the procedure they follow for giving them the final product. If you go 200 miles off the town to bring jelly for your kid, he/she will not feel any happier than if you had brought it from the neighboring store. So save your time and spirits for giving your children simple pleasures of life. Take a look at what resolutions you need to make and what to break before seeing the first sun of a new year.

Resolutions to Make

First, you will need to get time for yourself so that you can gather enough energy for enjoying caring for your child.

Make time for your partner. Children grow healthy in the care of couples with healthy relationship.

Stop making 'to do' lists. Save your time for your children.

Keep in touch with your friends. Listen to their family life, especially the way they interact with their kids. Learn from their experiences.

Never gloat over making comparisons with other parents. See your family as a self-contained unit.

Resolutions to Break

Do not expect your kids to remain stimulated all day long. They do need some down-time.

Do away with your perfectionist habit of doing all your child's tasks for him/her. This stops their growth and preys on your healthy care giving.

Of course, you have sense enough not to expect your child an ever clean doll. Learn to enjoy the child's energies in dirtying him/herself during play.

Allow the kids some time with TV. They are humans and they need enjoyment.

Do not force patience upon your self. If you think the child needs a scowl, give a mild one. But don't scare him/her to death.

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