Smart homes, smart cities, smart phones, smart this and smart that…and now… ‘Smart Parenting’ too!
By Arundhati Swamy
So, how do we explain Smart Parenting? The Harvard ‘Making Caring Common’ Project, talks about the importance of teaching children to care about others.
In a world where families are characterised by higher disposable incomes, consumer driven economics and social lifestyle aspirations, children tend to grow up feeling a sense of entitlement, preferring individualistic attitudes and focussing on self-elevation. And, teaching to care seems to be the perfect antidote for children growing up in such an environment and with such attitudes.
Research in human development tells us that the neural connections for caring, compassion and empathy are present even during early life. However, children need parental guidance during their early years to help them develop confidence and learn to care for others.
Smart Parenting is about parents learning to adopt practices that provide strong building blocks for healthy parent–child relationships, for character building, and for preparing children for a future where there will be a great emphasis on self-control, emotional regulation, and good interpersonal skills.
The parent–child relationship is the essence of Smart Parenting. It is the most enduring relationship that develops over time and is influenced by characteristics of both parent and child, and the family as a unit. A nurturing relationship mitigates risk factors such as emotional trauma or negligence; it gives emotional strength to cope with the challenges and conflicts within and outside the home. It is not about being overly soft with children; rather, it is about how to strike a balance between care, warmth and control while raising and disciplining children.
Be a smart parent, practise Smart Parenting!
About the author:
Written by Arundhati Swamy on 26 December 2017.
Arundhati Swamy is a family counsellor and Head of the Parent Engagement Program at ParentCircle.
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