How will your child turn out?
Let us face it. Ever since you conceived that little bundle of joy, the one thought that simply refuses to go away is how your child will turn out. At different times this thought takes different ramifications. If one day you fear that you might turn out to be a lenient parent and spoil your child, the next day you think about the many external influences that may impact your child. While there is no wishing away the many issues that render parenting difficult, the fact is that it is important to focus on the present and believe that who your child is today is more valuable than who he will be in future. In fact, futurizing is one of the most dangerous things we can do as parents. Not only does it rob you of the now, it also comes in between your ability to solve problems. And if one goes by the maxim of what we focus most on, grows, then of course we are only setting ourselves to increase our problems, real or imaginary!
Here are some things you can consciously practice each time you are bitten by the worry bug:
- Differentiate between what actually is and what merely can be– Stop to objectively consider whether the problem really exists or is it something that you are projecting on to the child often based on your own life experiences. For example, did you spend your childhood grappling with low self esteem and now are overly anxious that your child may do the same, without any objective reason? In fact when particularly seized by a bout of worrying, it is best to stop in your tracks and ask yourself what really is the possibility of the event happening. Chances are that a miniscule probability percentage will stare you in your face and set your fears to rest. Another important aspect to consider is whether you are engaging in over generalization or even mind reading. Being conscious of these aspects itself will tend to reduce your worries.
- Do not lose sight of the fact that change is the only constant– This maxim isn’t just true of all aspects of life in general, but also about kids in particular. Remember that all children go through phases, change and mature. To draw a conclusion about the future basis their current patterns alone may not be the best way to tackle the situation. On the contrary, if you behave “as if” the child is responsible and mature, you will see his or her behavior change to match yours. Whatever else you do, do not lose sight of the fact that kids are work in progress.
- Practice mindfulness– Last but definitely not the least, practice mindfulness. There is nothing better than living in the present moment and engaging with the child than worrying about an imaginary future.
Finally remember that no purpose will be solved by worrying about the road ahead, or worse still trying to prepare the road for the child. Instead focus on raising resilient children and preparing them for the road ahead!