“Don’t’ worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
– Robert Fulghum (American author, and religious preacher)
How can a parent know he or she is doing her job well? Many parents worry if they are doing it just right, or they feel guilty for not being good parents. Or they wonder why their child has no difficulty learning to drive a car but struggles to understand how to use a lawnmower or run errands at home. Instead of allowing the mind to run riot with imaginary issues, ask yourself if you are doing these three specific things with your children. Answer to this would reveal your success as a parent.
1. Unconditional Love
Is your love for your child dependent on her good grades in school or winning the swimming competition? Are you drawing social mileage out of your child or do you accept her for who she is? The French Renaissance writer Francois Rabelais said it eloquently, “A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit.”
When the child realizes that her parents love their position more than her, she’d likely seek attention, love or approval; slowly she’d even recoil. You may get upset by her tantrums and uncooperative behaviour but it’s been seen that children who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways. Only when parents show by their actions that their love for their children is not dependent on who they become or what they do, they have been effective parents. As parents you have brought this child of God to this world, and now it’s your responsibility to do your best to help this child in her sojourn here. And the best gift you can give her is your unconditional love.
2. Good education
Giving your children mind expanding books, encouraging them to learn and grow and discover their own potential is a great way to show your unconditional love. Decades later when your children are adults, they’d surely thank you for this service that you render now. Children are by nature curious and seek to explore the world. If you help them find answers to their own questions and help their minds evolve, you are doing your job well.
To be continued…