Sowmya J Krish

To raise them to be safe or to thrive?

This is a topic I connect with so much, i.e the amount of conscious and unconscious influence parents have on their children. Ever heard of the saying “Actions speak louder than words”?

That pretty much defines how your kids learn from you. They observe and take in much more than we give them credit for. Even when they are engaged in their play, their senses are connected to their environment taking in everything from who you are speaking with to your tone and body language and the overall energy emanating from that interaction. These days we are all much more spiritually aware than how it was even about 10 years back. So we need to look at a more wholesome way to raise our children.

So let’s look at 3 things (limited to this number for the purpose of this blog or we could go on and on!) we do to ensure they are safe. Mind you, I am not just talking about physical safety, but we also protect them from a myriad of other things.

  1. Give them the ‘best’ education.
  2. Sharing with them what good behaviour is and the consequences of ‘bad’ behaviour.
  3. Parent from a position of control i.e you operate from your knowledge of what safe looks like and teach them to navigate similar experiences, imaginary and real.

Now here is 3 things I suggest you do to enable them to thrive, and by that I mean really let them unleash their beautiful spirit and enjoy this beautiful life than just navigate through it with the least possible harm J

1. Help them to learn how to understand and self soothe their emotions. An important point here is to ensure you do not categorise emotions as good/bad, acceptable/unacceptable etc. All emotions are human and hence valid. What happens is the lack of self regulation or ability to find support when unable to self regulate is not taught. This step may also need your own emotional regulation to be revamped.

2. Spend atleast ‘n’ minutes of focused time with them. There is no set number here because it can be different for people. However, the key is taking a consistent approach to spending a few minutes focused on your child/children, with everything else including intrusive thoughts reminding you of work to be done PUT AWAY. Yes, put that all away. The world will function without your constant grind for a few minutes.

3. Children are born with a clear understanding of their needs and how to ask for what they need from others. What happens gradually, due to exposure to different environments, is that they then start believing that not all their needs are valid or they need to deny themselves some needs to fulfil others. This creates anxiety and all kinds of ‘negative’ behaviors in the long run. As human beings, we are happiest when all our needs, both physical and emotional are met. If you see dysfunctional relationships and adults acting in ways that show us they are stressed, including yourself as parents, you must understand that you are not tapped into and aware of vital needs and whether they are being met or unmet. Mind you, this looks different for every person, except for the basics like food, shelter, clothing which are termed fundamental needs.

I hope this gives you a more conscious way of looking at the way you parent and if you try the 3 tips (as a start) to help your child thrive, you will notice that you will start thriving in unexpected ways too. Go on, give it a try! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.