CONSCIOUS PARENTING | Raising the Child withinsmmcp
The sole intention of parents is to give their child the best, even if they themselves may not have enjoyed the best of things in their childhood. In the process, they may behave and intervene in the child’s development and this may not be in the best interest of the child. When they see their child going from bad to worse, they wonder what’s wrong. This is when parents start to seek help from friends, available resources and then doctors to figure out what best can be done to develop.
Every parent has been a child before and most children grow into parents. The child-parent relation goes to make the world the way it is the personality of the child. Every parent must accept the fact that every child is unique and has an individual persona with different needs, wants, desires and requirements. A universal debate amongst experts is that of the role parents and environment play in the development of a child’s personality. One is always trying to learn about the delicate interplay of the nurturing environment versus the innate nature of the child and the factors that contribute to the development of the personality of the child into an individual. Recent research by psychiatrists who have mapped the development of children from the time they are in the womb confirm that parents have an overwhelming influence on the physical and mental attributes of the child they raise.
The interesting revelation is that the influence starts at the time of conceiving. The science of Epigenetics, that involves the study of factors that control the genes, states that the health of a child is programmed in the womb and thereby a lot depends on the parent’s psyche around the time of conception and pregnancy. The same epigenetic influences also continue after the child is born because parents continue to influence their child’s environment.
Research emphasises the importance of good parenting in the development of the brain. It shows that parents are and continue to act as genetic engineers even after the birth of their child! Hence, a happy parent has a happy child which goes to make a happy family. Most of the time, parents focus on giving, nurturing and providing. Parents are satisfied when their children live up to their expectations. However, frustration and helplessness set in when the child doesn’t respond favourably to any help offered by the parents. Parents then must take recourse to an external therapist or counsellor who counsels and guides the parents to strike a balance. The therapist identifies the disturbing pattern in the life of the child as well as the environment and helps the parents resolve the same through various ways. This shows that “the environment” the child grows in plays a major role in the development of the child.
This environment can support, nurture, provide, stabilise and allow children to blossom with their uniqueness. In nuclear families, parents and caretakers constitute the immediate environment. Hence, parents can be the best therapists and counsellors for children, since they live with their children on a day-to-day basis. The first step towards effective counselling is through “Awareness”. Aware parents will not only take charge in the given situation, but also own responsibility about their role in contributing to the development of the child. An aware parent needs to know that children are naturally in a hyper-impressionable state. They are easily vulnerable to suggestions from external influences such as television, media, video games and any other overbearing influences in their environment. An aware parent also realises that conditioning, beliefs and attitudes instilled during the formative years influences the adult patterns of behaviour and the state of health in the later life. Parents also need to know that their own childhood patterns and beliefs are likely to influence their parenting skills in a large way. In other words, every parent “has a child within” which needs to be addressed first to take care of the child outside. In a true sense, conscious parenting is about being an Aware Parent and taking charge of the role a parent.