Raising A Happy Child: Making Conscious Parenting Choices
India’s most renowned parenting experts, including Arundhati Swamy, Head of Parent Engagement Programmes at ParentCircle, come together as Firstpost launches Season 3 of 9 Months, a web series.
By Team ParentCircle • 8 min read
Everybody knows how to raise children except the people who have them. — P J O’Rourke
Yes, the joy of welcoming the most precious moment for every parent soon paves the way for challenges. Raising a happy child requires making conscious parenting choices and spending quality time with your child. This is because a good early childhood lays the foundation for a confident and successful adulthood. To help new-age parents in their parenting journey, Firstpost — one of India’s largest news and features sites, has launched Season 3 of '9 months'. After the immensely successful first two seasons, 9 Months - Season 3 focuses on topics such as toddler-parent relationships, toddler health and child education.
“We have attempted to include parents with varied parenting styles and their experiences. There are research-based opinions and tips which will be beneficial to our audiences,” says Azim Lalani, Business Head, English General News cluster, Network18 Digital. As the official Magazine Partner, ParentCircle is confident of sending out very positive messages to the parenting community. Nalina Ramalakshmi, Founder and Editor-In-Chief, ParentCircle, says: “It is extremely important for parents to help children feel Capable, Accepted, Resilient and Effective (C.A.R.E.), and we believe this needs to begin early. As someone rightly said, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. I am happy to see such an elite panel of experts voicing their thoughts in this series.”
We now bring you excerpts from the first few episodes of 9 Months - Season 3, which primarily focuses on how working parents can balance the best of both worlds. The discussions feature Arundhati Swamy – Head, Parent Engagement Programmes, ParentCircle, Aditi Mathur Kumar - Author and Digital Media Strategist, Teejay Sidhu - Actor, RJ and Film Producer (also the host of the series) and her husband, Karanvir Bohra, Actor, Producer and Designer.
On finding the right ‘help’ for working parents
Arundhati: When you are a working parent, finding the right help to look after your child while you are at work becomes important. (While selecting a candidate), look for references and recommendations. Beyond that, talk to the person before entrusting that responsibility. Look for kind, compassionate people who are honest in their work. Speak to them about what kind of childcare you expect from them.
Aditi: It’s also important to have a trial period so that your child can also pitch in her feedback.
Arundhati: Yes, Aditi. I think it's helpful when parents tune into their kids, because children are constantly sending out signals about what experiences they've been having in the absence of the parents. So, it is best to talk to them and look for cues, both verbal and non-verbal:
- It could be an emotional outburst
- It could be sharing something nice that happened.
It's all about listening to them completely and understanding what they're trying to communicate.
On ‘connecting’ to your child after work
Arundhati: First, the parents need to ‘switch off’ from where they're coming from (work) before they enter the home. And sometimes, the journey back home gives you that time. The moment you enter your home, the most important thing is to reconnect with your child because that's what your child is looking for. She has missed you the whole day. She has been well taken care of (in your absence) but needs you because you are the main caregiver. So, a warm smile, a hug, or just sitting down with your child wherever she is, will help you connect.
On parenting as partners
Karanvir: One thing I realised is that my mom or the chachis (aunts) and the tais (caretakers) — they never had male help. And, when we had (our) twins, I knew I can't replace the mother; but I could be a good assistant to her. So, I became a very good ‘dad assistant’ right from the start of pregnancy. Whenever my wife wanted, I would always be there because I think raising children is a big deal. And now, we are a team. We try as much as possible, to be very relaxed and chilled-out parents.
Teejay: I think that we were, kind of, on the same level. Let’s take care of them, but not panic.
On dad’s involvement in today’s world
Arundhati: It influences the child the same way that her mother would do — the child's physical, mental, emotional, social and cognitive growth. Dad’s interactions with the child will be different though. It is more spontaneous. Lots of tumble and rough play — it gives the child confidence to go out and explore within safe boundaries. This is also because dads are willing to take a little more risk than moms. They pass on the sense of security and confidence to the child. That's actually the first step in building a child's self-esteem. After all, toddlers are meant to take further steps away from parents, knowing that the parents are there, watching over.
Just the beginning
These were just the snippets! There are exciting episodes in store and you cannot miss watching them. Stay tuned.
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