Parents heavily influence a child’s growth and development. Because of their actions and years of experience, they can certainly train a child to grow up as a responsible citizen, and even correct a child’s mistake in order for him not to stray from his values. Gone are the days when you need to have a wooden spoon in order to discipline your child. Our society calls for a more practical approach in dealing with our kids. And parents are expected to be intentional about this. It’s called parenting.
Parenting calls for moms and dads to immerse in their child’s life. Princeton University’s journal article entitled “The Contribution of Parenting to Ethnic and Racial Gaps in School Readiness” states that the hundreds of activities that parents engage in with or for their children are called parenting. It also notes that some studies subdivide parenting into categories of behavior such as discipline, monitoring, and teaching.
But at present, our modern times demand for a modern type of parenting. Some are widely distinct, while others are a combination of mixed parenting styles. Since we’re living in a modern lifestyle, parenting is being inclined towards being open-minded: one that is flexible, and maintains open communication with kids. What does this parenting style offer? How does it help your child to grow well while maintaining a good relationship with you?
The Current Face Of Parenting
Parenting during our modern times is facing lots of challenges. One, there is the rapid advancement of technologies and the ever-growing internet access of children. Gulf News’ Speak Your Mind discussion had its panelists talking about social media, Siri, and the attention of modern-day parents.
Don Joe Martin raised a good point by saying that children, at a young age, are already experts in handling devices since parents have encouraged their kids to utilize these gadgets. But they’ve also forgotten to set limits. Children easily turn to Siri for quick answers but nothing will replace a loving human who really understands their needs—the parents.
Along this issue, it was also discussed whether social media destroys parenting per se. Sofia Aqeel Ahmad points out that there should always be a balance, since being a parent is one of the best things that can happen to a person. If parents spend more time checking notifications rather than taking care of their children, that’s where the problem is. Parents should be able to prioritize children over social media, and they should be aware of time spent online and time devoted with kids. Experts suggest that a regular play time schedule can help kids be offline, and be able to spend more time with you to foster a closer relationship.
Lastly, it was pointed out that modern-day parents are physically present but their attention is on the virtual world. Parents are too occupied with their busy schedules working that they spend time online during night time after work rather than relax with their kids. Once they’re finished checking their social media accounts, they’re too tired to spend additional time with kids. This cycle makes parents miss out on quality time spent with kids, such as allotting a special day with them in the public playground and establishing a stronger play communication with your kids.
The Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends shows that in the past half century parents roles have interchanged, with fathers being more involved in child care and house chores, while moms pursue careers outside their home. The study even reveals that parents feel stressed balancing work with their family life, as 50% of working fathers and 56% of working mothers find it hard to juggle responsibilities between these 2 important aspects of their lives.
And parents seem to miss out on the importance of kids’ and parents’ interaction. With a jam-packed week because of work and other commitments, it is easy to skip a play day with your kids. There are also times when parents just head over the table to eat and then quickly go inside the bedroom to rest, forgetting that they need to spend time with their children.
With these current challenges and situations that are being faced by modern-day parents, how does open-minded parenting come into play?
The Face Of Open-minded Parenting
Open-minded parenting involves a basic understanding of this simple truth: you are not in control forever of your child’s life. As he grows up, he will be able to learn how to decide for himself, take responsibilities for his actions, and act according to his interests. This kind of parenting not only understands, but it should also facilitate a learning process for kids while avoiding imposing things, especially when it comes to their interests and wants.
This kind of parenting can be a healthy mix of different parenting styles. You can get the good points on how you were raised as a kid by your parent by using instinctive parenting, while keeping in mind the present time; there might be things that worked before but isn’t applicable nowadays. It can also involve attachment parenting, in order to form a strong emotional bond with your child. This can clearly make your child feel loved and secured but avoid overdoing it, since you might be too overprotective of your child.
As such, you can be more open-minded when it comes to your parenting by always keeping in mind that children can make decisions too quickly without thinking it over. As a parent, you can connect better to your child by using a language that he/she can relate better so that your message comes across. Encourage them to have time for self-reflection so they can check if the situation that they are in is either good or bad for them.
Let us also take note of the advantage and disadvantage of open-minded parenting. Using this parenting style can help you guide your kids better, but it can also make you justify your child’s behavior too much, even if he committed a mistake. Saleh Al Shaibany’s article about modern day parenting challenges points out that a parent can defend an unruly child and kids can repeat their nasty actions with their parents still behind their back. Because of this, it is always recommended to check yourself if what you’re doing for your child is indeed the right thing to do.
You also need to incorporate this parenting style if you have kids who are shy. Remember that it is not wrong to be shy, you just have to encourage kids that they can overcome their shyness and they can make good use of their hidden potentials. Allow them to interact with other children who can be their friends inside the play area while utilizing different playground equipment and enjoying accessible playground for all. A child that becomes more confident is one of the benefits of playground interaction for parents and kids, since they get to have an improved self-esteem with proper encouragement from parents inside the play area. Also, kids can be more sociable through playgrounds with active play. If your child feels that he is in safe ground with you and the other kids, he can overcome his shyness little by little. Simple playtime for shy kids can mean a lot to them, especially if you’re there guiding them and making them feel at ease.
Communication also plays a big role in being open-minded, and is a good reason why open-minded parenting can subsist less sociable kids. If you communicate well with your kid, you’ll have a deeper understanding why he/she is shy and you can show your support and affection more, since you know where your child is coming from.
The Open-minded Parenting Scheme: What’s In It For Us?
The open-minded parenting can be of good use to parents and kids, when conducted properly. Accepting and understanding your kid can help him be more confident with himself, especially when the time comes that he needs to face life’s challenges. Parenting can be challenging, but keeping an open-mind can help you make the right decisions which can make your child the best person that he can ever be.