So here I am again with some more reflections on the challenges of bringing up kids. And the lessons I have learnt in that process
I and my sister are 13 years apart in age and I always envied her for enjoying a happy active childhood with my parents who were then, young and healthy. By the time I was born they were well into middle age and the youth and vitality was dwindling
However as I grew older I realized the advantages of my position in the family .When I was having sleepless nights with my toddlers, my sister’s kids were well into teenage. And as I was stumbling with each stage of child growth and development, my sister provided me with rare insights on how to deal with each phase and tried to prepare me for the next based on her personal experiences. She herself was learning to cope with a different set of problems of adolescents. After listening to my endless wailings about one such taxing session with my then four year old difficult son ,she sent me a copy of a letter my father had written to her when her kids were about that age and she was having a hard time with them..She had saved that letter all these years .
That letter contained what I have started referring to as the Ten Commandments of Child Rearing. I want to share these with with all of you as they may come in handy at some point of time.
It’s an old, well worn letter, so let me put it more clearly:
1) Keep your cool. Be patient
2) Set example. No double standards
3) Child’s ego is as important as yours.
4) If a child’s ego is hurt, have a face saving device.
5) Child does not like to be insulted.
6) If there are too many rules —likely to be broken every so often.
7) Punishment useful only once in a blue moon.
8) Slapping or beating futile shows helplessness.
9) Get into the child’s shoes to have a look at his world.
10) A child is a child after all.
The fact that I was not the only one groping in the dark, trying to keep my sanity in the face of their different demands when my kids were four and one year old ,was reassuring. But more than that, The fact that Papa had realized her problem all those years back and guided her based on his own experiences while bringing US up was truly unnerving!!!.Was I a difficult child? My sensible mature sister, a brat? Hard to imagine. But in every age and time all parents more or less face the same situations. If you are lucky you get a sister like mine to reassure you —and as for the rest of you– well—you have my blog!!!!!
Till next week then…