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Good Parenting: Is that the real goal?

Parents would be on top of the world should they hear the words, “What good parents they are!” Thus, it will come as a shock if they were told that there is another, perhaps healthier way to parent. It is a term known as responsible parenting, which interestingly enough, differs from the common term ‘good’ in many ways.

Culturally, several patterns have set into the lifestyle of parenting in India. Dad is the playful, child-spoiling fun parent, and mom is the ‘villi’, who makes her kids eat vegetables, do household chores and complete homework. Similarly, in an attempt to show our children all of the love and to feel satisfied that we are indeed doing justice to our parental role; we tend to over indulge and protect them. The easiest way to understand the difference between good and responsible is with an example:

Good parent: Don’t worry Raghu, I will complete your Chemistry project tonight which is due tomorrow. You must get 80% you see or else Appa will get angry. See what position you are putting me in.  (mom taking the ownership)

Responsible parent: Yes, I remember you saying you have a chemistry project due tomorrow. You did have fun playing cricket and now it is time to finish your project. Do you believe this time is enough to come out with ideas? I am willing to guide you Raghu, however you need to work out the methodology.  (putting the ownership on the child)

Sometimes parents find it difficult to distinguish between over-protectiveness, taking responsibility for the child and giving in to all of the child’s desires with the healthier counterparts of protectiveness, helping the child develop responsibility and knowing when to step in and say no. This thin line of a difference can go a long way in shaping the lives of our children.

What happens when one day we set them into the real world to fend for them? Perhaps now is the time to consider alternate ways to parent children. After all, times are changing; maybe our parenting methods ought to as well. Happy Parenting.

Signing off Varsha