Prudent Parenting

Prudent Parenting

Our attitudes, confidence levels and approach to deal with difficult situations are formed during childhood. Parenting children under age 10 is therefore one of the most difficult tasks and calls for a tremendous sense of responsibility. But young couples often find themselves unable to cope with raising healthy and happy children. To help such couples, Saraswati Mandir Trust’s Pre-Primary School at Naupada organised a series of lectures by experts. Titled Paalak Shaala, meaning School for Parents, the lectures were held in two batches – one for parents of students aged around four years on July 24 and the other for parents whose students are aged around five years on July 31. The lectures, held between 8.30 am and 12.30 pm, saw a massive turnout of 700 parents collectively.

The first speaker was Dr Ashok Paranjpe (MD, BAMS), a well-known authority in the field of diet and nutrition. In his lecture, he urged parents to move away from the popular tendency of relying on supplements only and highlighted the importance of a balanced diet for their children. According to Paranjpe, a high-protein diet is not sufficient. For proper physical and mental growth, the child requires complete nutrition which is available in seasonal produce, green vegetables and natural foods. These foods are rich in medicinal values and also build resistance (immunity) of the child. He also emphasised the role of physical exercise for children suggesting that they be encouraged to indulge in physical activity. Running, skipping and jogging are great for children. He insisted parents on teaching children the traditional Indian Suryanamaskar, which is a great all-body workout.
The next speaker was Arun Naik, a psychologist with a vibrant personality, who gave loads of sound advice to parents. Naik underlined the difference between growth, which is quantitative and development, which is qualitative. According to Naik, parents must give more importance to the latter. He said that for a proper development of the child, parents must learn how to deal with difficult situations in a calm and balanced manner. Talking about expectations, he revealed that parental pressure to perform often takes away the child’s joy of participating in competitions. Instead, the child should be allowed to enjoy without any expectations whatsoever. Naik ended his session by emphasising on showing children the immense possibilities of life rather than categorising their every act as "good" or "bad".

It was then the turn of clinical therapist and counsellor Sunila Dingankar, who used several examples to illustrate how parents can effectively mould the thought patterns of their children. She outlined four behavioural patterns of parents: firm, firm and indecisive, kind and indecisive, and kind yet firm. According to her, the last one, firm but kind, is best way to deal with children.

Parents who attended the lectures were so moved by the wisdom they received that they appealed for regular sessions covering wider issues of concern. Taking into account the enthusiastic response of parents, principal pf the school, Rohini Rasal, announced the setting up of "Paalak Charcha Vyaspeeth", a congregation of parents to discuss the various issues. She also made the school premises available for the meetings. The first meeting is scheduled for August 07 at 5pm and interested parents have been invited to participate.

Bestselling author Robert Fulghum says, "Don’t worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you". Parenting is, first and foremost, about setting a good example and then ensuring gently that your child grows up healthy, self-reliant, and fulfilled. Isn’t that every parent’s dream?

One Reply to “Prudent Parenting”

  1. Most pre-primary children spend about 3 hours at school and 21 hours at home with their parents. Hence it is perfect that the Saraswati pre-primary school chose to educate parents on important parenting issues. I’m sure parents , and in turn their children, will benefit immensely from these lectures and discussions. For the benefit of those who cannot attend the lectures, I suggest the writer to encourage the parenting experts to publish their articles on this website.

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