I believe, parenting is best defined as a journey full of learning and unlearning. Right from the point when that little bundle of joy arrives,  you are constantly forced to revisit all those beliefs and convictions you have acquired over the years. No matter what and how much you have read on parenting, it just doesn’t stand a chance before what your baby would make you learn every single day. Your pre-accouchement exploration will only aid in providing some direction, rather than educating about parenting itself.

Being a mother of a two-year old has been an eye opener in so many ways, I realize how much I have learned, and unlearned, from him. In my quest to become a successful parent, I am actually learning how to be a better version of self.

Here are top five things my toddler has taught me in just a few months of his existence in my life.

1. Discipline:

No morality lessons from school days, no scolding from parents, no fear of faring poorly in the college, no pay / leave deductions at the work place has taught me the importance of discipline in life as my son has taught me. Discipline has never been my forte, and I have often faced the consequences, so I wanted my little son to understand its real value and have a sense of a routine life right from the very beginning! I tried it since he was an infant, and it started showing results when he was 7 months old. Encouraged, we have continued till date with some variations as per his age. Honestly, the reason for putting him in a strict schedule was highly selfish. I wanted to lead a pre-Vyom life (yes, that’s my son’s name) to the greatest extent possible; I didn’t want him to be a spoilsport with his tantrums and wayward routine. We planned his schedule to suit our own daily routine. But the reason which was selfish proved to be a life changer! I had to discipline myself in the first place to make him disciplined. Mere words do not have any lasting impact, you must practice what you preach! Believe me, this has made a huge difference to me physically, mentally and emotionally.

2. Language:

Since our childhood, my father always emphasized on using good language and correct pronunciation. I endeavored to instill the same sense in my son. Funny thing is that it went the other way around! Being brought up in a middle class family, where sophistication is not the way of life, so many terms are used as a mark of affection; dudu for doodh (milk), mamam for pani (water), tata for garam (hot) and so on; the entire household virtually starts acting like a child. Speaking in this way does sound cute, however this has repercussions (more on this in some other article). After reading some literature on parenting and developing linguistic skills of children, we decided not to do baby talk with Vyom. We remained cautious about choice of words in his presence. Our conversations mainly revolved around positive and fun-filled subjects. This really taught me and my hubby to be positive most part of the day. No need for me to explain the benefits of positivity in life! Our dearest Vyom thus unknowingly made us conscious of our language, making us more positive than ever before.

3. Authenticity:

My husband and I made few rules of parenting, not making false promises is one of them. Parents making hollow promises to extract certain behavior from their children is not uncommon. From the beginning of our parenting journey, we ensured that gratuitously luring Vyom for getting what we wanted would be strictly prohibited. This has resulted in our maintaining trust level with our beloved son. Initially not resorting to it was a bit tricky, but gradually we got habitual to it. This authenticity with my son has impacted other segments of my life too. In my equation for managing multiple stakeholders at work and in personal life, authenticity plays a pivotal role. When there is some delay and people express their unhappiness, I don’t try to hide things or make up stories. The strength of my bond with my son has taught me that its best to admit the truth. I honestly confess that yes, there was delay from my end due to whatever reason, however I would resolve it shortly.

4. Theory Y in working:

All contemporary articles on parenting advocate non violence with children. The parents are advised not to resort to scolding or striking their wards (theory X)! Quite honestly, our parents never believed in the theory X! Being a firm believer in modern parenting advise, I do not put these tools to use in normal course. However, there is another way of handling your children in a positive way; I discovered that Theory y, i.e. realizing that children have their own way of doing and understanding things. Believing in them, trusting them and giving them freedom along with a sense of responsibility can also extract desirable behavior from them. Now I strongly believe that theory Y builds a better child-parent relationship.

5. Empathy:

Many parents would tell you how empathetic they became towards other children and parents after the arrival of their little one. This might be a cliché, but I would still like to reiterate it once more. My son has taught me to be sympathetic towards the perspective of others, how so ever wrong they might sound from our view point. Just looking something from multiple angles helped me in keeping certain relations alive which otherwise would have just withered away. It not only helps in keeping relations sweeter, but also helps in being better negotiators in multiple situations.

I have tried to include things that have really impacted my life in a positive way due to my interaction with my little one. Please comment and share your experiences. What your parenting journey has taught you about yourself, and the life itself?

About Author

By: Swati Saxena is a post graduate from a prominent Business School and currently working with a fortune 500 company as a Human Resource professional . She has wide experience in developing and delivering corporate trainings, managing teams and executing challenging projects.

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