Not many parents boast of nurturing a resilient kid as ironically, many of them don’t nurture their kids on their own. They appoint a nanny or enroll their kids in a daycare center which has A-Z facility minus the love, affection and reliability that’s required for the wholesome development of a kid during the developing years. Blame it on nuclear families or the change in thoughts of the growing generation these days we are committing a grave sin of nurturing children who lack resilience and attachment.
Ensuring that our child grows well-behaved and acclimatized to the world outside with abundant love, affection, goodness and happiness is the foremost duty of every parent. As a parent we might think about our child’s grades at school, performance at the dance function, securing high-pay jobs and settling down in life all of which are indeed important in one’s life. There is something beyond all these that’s first and foremost important for succeeding in all walks of life and that’s resilience.
A Child’s Greatest Possession
Resilience is the ability to stay flexible in life whatever come may. It’s the quality to take everything in your stride, ups and downs, hardships, life’s shocks and surprises and unexpected downfalls, and still be happy and healthy in life. This quality was existing by default in our parents and grandparents as they lived together in big families. The quality to adjust and accommodate automatically comes for those people who live with others and make adjustments for a peaceful life for everyone in the family. Gone are those days and in today’s world we live in a society where there are not more than three people in every home. Such a parenting culture and the extreme use of smartphones and other electronic gadgets can totally hamper the child’s opportunity to learn and practice resilience.
Each one’s perspective of ‘formative years’ differs but to me the child’s first five years play a crucial role in molding the child for the awaiting future. Research has shown that presence of stress, abuse, negligence, violence and mental illness in caregivers has the ability to change a child’s architecture of the brain. These physiological changes affect the cognitive development and pave way for physical health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and other mental health problems too. To prevent all these mishaps, help a child develop resilience and take the child in the right path its necessary to practice the below-given tips diligently:
A trustworthy adult: The role of the primary caretaker plays a prominent part in nurturing the kid. If the kid realizes that he/she has a helping hand, isn’t going to face the problems all alone and that they matter to someone then this can be a step towards success. Every parent wants to have a good rapport with their child, but today’s life demands more of your time for office work or house chores. Despite this, try spending quality time with your child and give all of your attention to him/her while playing with the kid. Talk openly about the day’s experience, ask about their school friends and spend time doing things together. Give him/her a clear indication that you will be there by his/her side during thick and thins of life and love him/her unconditionally. You might be surprised but parents are children’s first role model and they learn a lot of things by imitating them. For more details on this please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
A sense of self-regulation and adaptation: Your child must be able to prioritize things in life, stay without distraction, make plans, negotiate, enjoy being with others and manage emotions. Its all said easily but without practice accomplishing these is not possible. The best method for this is through unstructured play time where the kid plays alone (which helps the child engage himself/herself) or with others (learns cooperation). Staying strong without yielding to your child’s whims and fancies, consistent discipline and helping your child manage emotions without getting extremely sad or irritated helps a lot.
Channelize your child’s hope, faith and culture: Hope is what keeps us all moving forward in life. Each of us cling to hope via different means. Some become a part of a faith community which helps them get through tough times but if you don’t believe in all this you can always fall back on spending time with family, joining a community or doing service. Whatever it is, believe in a way and stick to it to handle challenges and succeed in life.
Relying on yourself: Parents exist to take care of their child, but this journey cannot go on forever and there would arise a time during which we need to help our kids fly by themselves. The goal of every parent is to make their children self-sufficient, smart and capable to handle problems and come up with solutions. Giving them independence, letting them make certain decisions and insisting that your child learns by himself/herself helps them get a hold on the actual life scenarios-a kind of a trailer before the main picture starts! Its not easy to let them on their own and we never wish to see our kids hurt (mentally or physically) but with your guidance and motivation you will be surprised to realize that your child can achieve greater things. For this, learning to be physically capable is extremely important. While running, jumping and climbing children not only realize their strengths and weaknesses but also how to overcome their weaker areas and emerge successfully.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.