Let me start by asking what is strong foundation in a child? It is self confidence, a positive attitude which will propel the child to greater achievements in life. Although humans have unlimited potential to attain greater heights, all of us put a limit to our potential by self-assessment by deciding and fixing our worth in our subconscious mind. We develop our own opinion about ourselves in our childhood. At this stage we set a limit to what or how much we deserve and most of us honor this self-imposed limitation throughout our lives.
During childhood parents look after the child when child is fixing her world-view in her subconscious. The parents have strong influence on this process. Therefore they are in the right position to shape the child’s attitude towards her life. How can parents ensure that they are providing proper direction to the child?
First of all, it is important to recognize that the input given to the child does not matter to her as much as the input she receives and registers in her mind. There is a difference between what is given to the child and what she receives.
The parenting skill is the ability to see from the child’s perspective. It is recognizing what input is registering with the child. Once this skill is in place the parents can ensure that the child receives, accepts and registers the right emotional input.
There is hardly any doubt that parents love their child. But is the child getting this message? The child should constantly get the message that she is loved unconditionally, not as a reward for something. She needs to be assured that she will be loved and cared for no matter what she does. She needs to feel that she is an important member of the family.
The child then ingrains the belief in her subconscious that she is an important member of the society. She will radiate a feeling of warmth towards others and will create situations where others reciprocate to her with similar feelings. Her acceptance in the society will be natural, beyond any doubt.
Another crucial input the child should get is that the parents will be available when she expects and wants them. The child does not require the company of the parents all the time. But whenever she does, the parents should not only be physically present but should be willing to give her full attention. When Papa has to go to the office, the child should be informed and she will understand that Papa will be unavailable till the evening. In case mother has to go out, she should inform the child. If the child expects to find her mother and cannot see her, she feels insecure. When this happens too often the sense of insecurity becomes prominent which will have negative impact on her life.
There is another reason why parents must give proper response to the child when she approaches them. Parents will certainly want their child to develop the ability to get favorable response from the people. By responding favorably to the child’s needs, as perceived by her, the parents create this ability in the child. She develops the skill to behave and create situations whereby others will be inclined to give her a favorable response.
Great achievers take initiative and responsibility for their actions. Parents can help in cultivating these qualities in the child. Disciplining the child is ok, but this should not suppress her initiative and creativity. In fact she should be encouraged and rewarded for showing her creative talents. She should be given as much opportunity as possible to express herself in any way she wants. She should get the message that she can, and she is allowed to make things happen. She is not a meek receiver of what is given to her, but a mover who can get what she wants, a go-getter.
The best way to teach human values to the child by setting personal examples. The child learns a lot by observing her parents. As a parent, you should keep in mind that your child is watching you ALL THE TIME, even when she is physically not present. Just be aware of this fact and watch out for examples you are setting for her. It is very good policy to ALWAYS remain truthful to your children.
I have touched upon some qualities the parents would like their child to have when she goes out into the world and how they can help her in achieving those qualities. The role of the parents does not end with being a provider. They have strong influence on her emotional build-up which decides what type of person she is going to be later in life.
Parenting skill requires that the parents understand the child’s perceived needs and her perceived world, and respond suitably to turn her into a person they would like her to be.