6 points to help you raise better kids!

What I see these days it scares the crap outta me!!! I mean like really!! I am referring to these kids of the age of 0 to 10years and their parents. It like a whole new world to me. For over a year I have been observing families around me like new parents or parents of young kids and somehow I am baffled each time I see them handling their kids. and this seems like a generation thing. I know many couples who have kept the idea of having children on the bench for a while, just so that they get over their fears before they get there.

In my mind I had decided quite early that I am going to raise my kids exactly the same way me and my sister were raised, because I have absolutely great respect and appreciation with the way I was raised. I also thought that all my generation friends are going to be on the same page as me.
But what I missed out was – the Big difference being we were fauji kids and these were civilian kids. I do know a few civilian families matching the same standards of bringing up and background but that number is very little. But hats off to those parents who maintain the right balance, eventually it shows in your kids.
I am not bragging about my fauji background I am rather trying to highlight the basic fact that despite having many struggles and hardships fauji families face they raised their kids very well, with enough love, care and guidance, without obsessing about them.

Parents & friends please do not take any offence with this post, treat it as rather a helpful document (if I may call it so) or just a note sharing my experience.

Below are my observations, hope you can derive the best outta them. I see parents make the following mistakes today, and it makes me wonder 20 years later will these adults be able to contribute to the society or their surroundings fairly, when their parents have probably missed out on teaching them the basic of survival, just because they were busy providing their child what they never got as kids. Its a tough job I understand but don’t make it tougher by avoiding some basic life lessons that can transform your child’s behavior and personality.

1. Are you treating your spouse like a child and your child like a spouse??: So this is a very common one, most often I see young kids hogging all the limelight at home and at public places. They are the center of attraction of not just the people around but also their mother and father who have already spent all day with them. The kind of attention and warmth a couple needs to have for each other shifts to the kids and somehow they seem to think that is the good parenting trait. And all the ordering, stern looks and harsh pointers are saved for the spouse. Whether at home or outside I see couples exchanging flat, maid like looks and comments to each other. Somehow If I saw my parents treat me and treat each other this way I would have never respected their relationship, and would have probably always asked them to choose me over each other. I am sure I would have also become way more attention seeking, always dependent and looked after kind of child. If you do this then it time to relook at the way you are projecting your marriage before your child.

2. Teaching the lesson of ‘respect’ too late: Respect is not fear, its a feeling of regard for elders, younger siblings, servants , house helpers, others choices and opinions, our national flag or anthem. However I often see parents saying before a 4 year old kid, that he/she is too young to understand this. Which I disagree to, completely. You do not have to teach your child that word ‘respect’ instead teach him the feeling or emotion behind it. and the earlier you start the better they will grasp and relate to it. Suddenly when the child is 8 and you want him to understand all of this, he may not adapt to it and have ways to avoid it. It should be an integral part of his bringing up.   If you experience this, pls take a step back and re assess your parenting model.

3. Lack of discipline: I see kids getting away with anything and everything like slapping their mothers, to crying and howling in malls and public events and a lot more chaos just to get what they want. Put their foot down for every random wish they have. ok I understand you don’t want to be a strict parent but you have to teach the child the ability to abide by some rules. some day he will have to follow it right?? At school, at college at work. if you get him so used to free will he will soon not value it. Don’t be harsh, but at least be firm about the things or habits unacceptable by you. Your kids need that, trust me. I see kids grown into adults who did not have a hint of discipline while growing up, and trust me they are not a happy and averagely successful lot!

4.Rewards & gifts: Why are parents of this age mixing the two? Your child has certain needs like clothes, education and food. Now gifts are what he gets on an occasion but reward is what he gets when he accomplishes something. If you want you child to be a start performer  or become a result oriented adult. encourage him with rewards. Set a target, if he achieves give him that toy. if he does not, make him strive harder. remember you are preparing him to survive in the competitive, hard adult life. Don’t let your leniency take away his ability to set goals in life and meet them as well.

5. Set them free: why are you glued to your child 24*7?? You love them we know but overdoing this bores him. Trust me when I say this, I have had kids tell me how they want to do things with their own age group. Also it makes the child hungry for your attention and in fact everyone’s attention. You are making him a center of attraction invariably wherever you go but someday when he joins school or college and he does not get the same response from others he may get disappointed or even devastated. Hence its important you step back and let him lead his life with his things to do. Not everything he does has to involve you all day.
But to cut the chase short instead of giving them experiences, parents are choosing to shower them with materialistic gifts that they soon get bored of. you know why?? because you haven’t gifted the child something he cherished, something that changed in for the better and made him feel like a winner. Instead of letting him play on that phone or that swanky digital toy, send him out, make him join a dance class or karate or whatever? Where he interacts, learns and feels like an achiever. Don’t home bound him just because you think so. You want to raise you child well, balance his routine. with outside games, activities, interactions with all age groups and recreation.

6. Last but not the least, don’t shut down opinions or feedback from people who do not have kids yet, they may be better at analyzing or understanding child behavior, which can eventually help you make your child a better person in every way 🙂

Why you must give credit to people?

Most of us suffer have a fear of giving people credit for what its worth!
The credit that is due, something you know in your heart, loud & clear. Yet you wait for that perfect day or moment to tell them that they did you good or perhaps even avoid doing it ever!
Telling some one what they did was great or complimenting them on a great job is nothing but a form of practicing gratitude. In the older times it was a part of good  manners as well.
Insecurity cripples us at many levels. When we go ahead & give people credit for something they did great, or compliment them in any way, we step away from an insecure mindset.Yet, It’s a process which makes us vulnerable, may be that is why we avoid it so much!

Giving credit is nothing but telling someone that their act of helping you, guiding you, teaching you or supporting you was acknowledged. It is a simple form of gratitude. I am not talking about only family & friends but also people who you went to school/college with or worked with, who may have been in your life for a brief period but added value to it. Someone you have’nt seen for years but did you some good.

I often see now, when we lose someone, we all have so many nice things to say about people once they are gone, we leave no stone unturned to share their greatness on social media, but all of this unravels only once they are gone!
Why cant we do this before someone goes??? When they are alive??? Why cant we tell those stories now??
What are we scared of? Why Do we feel they don’t deserve it today?? 

I was once stuck in this rut, but I soon realized karma comes a full circle, the more I will avoid standing up & applauding someone who deserves it the more is going to come back to me. No one will stand & applaud for me either.
I broke that chain, I made myself vulnerable & starting telling all those people who needed to hear it from me. Not everyone took it the way I expected but that did not matter, I knew I had started doing something good for my mental well being. And I continue to do so, it makes things easier for me, it makes all the positive vibes rush in to my life. Gratitude has that power!

Gratitude makes us feel better, the more you practice this the more you will receive.

Here are 4 more reasons why you should take out time & thank some people you need to:

  • Gratitude improves psychological health : Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. 
  • Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression : Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kind, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.  Empathy leads to mutual respect, which improves the quality of you interpersonal relationships.
  • Grateful people sleep better : When you practice this gesture of gratitude towards another person your mind resonates those vibrations, and surprisingly when you recall those grateful sentiments before bed you end up sleeping better and longer. 
  • Gratitude improves self-esteem : A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem- grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
So go ahead, open that old photo album, rekindle some old forgotten relationships, call that old boss or classmate of yours, thank them for watching out for you or just letting you be.
I hope this helps you realize that life & karma both are so forgiving, they can offer us double of what we can offer them.

Stay happy stay blessed!