Friday, April 8, 2016

PARENTING – HOW TO BRING UP CHILDREN

Let me confess that I am least qualified to offer unsolicited advice on Parenting and How to Bring Up Children

Both my children were “parented” by my wife – I was only around for “disciplinary action when my wife would report the issue to me for necessary action and to read them the riot act”, if required

No wonder my kids are close to my wife even today – and – my kids consult me mainly for administrative issues and when they want “advice” – or when they are referred to me by my wife for any issue.

The “love” aspect of parenting was always provided by my wife – and – I was generally around, if required.

This is the case even today.

So – I cannot claim to be a good parent.

(However – I proved to be an excellent “pet parent”  I was both “mother” and “father” to my pet dog Sherry – right from her birth till she passed away to her heavenly abode).

During a recent blogging workshop – I noticed that “parenting” and “bringing up children” was a very popular topic on which there were many blogs.

In fact – many women had started blogging because they wanted to share their thoughts and experiences on “parenting” and “bringing up children” – and – there were many blogs and websites dedicated to “parenting”.

So – I thought – why not share my views on “parenting” – based my observations and experiences.

PARENTING STYLES and BRINGING UP CHILDREN
OLD FASHIONED versus NEW AGE PARENTING
Musings of a Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

OLD STYLE PARENTING

Nowadays – there seems to be a lot of role ambiguity about the roles of the mother and the father in parenting and bringing up their children

Here is a tried and tested orthodox parenting style which clearly defines the parenting duties of each parent  the father and the mother  and removes all role ambiguity in the matter of bringing up children. 

OLD FASHIONED THREE STAGE PARENTING THEORY

My late father-in-law was a wonderful man  a cherished mentor to me  and I pray that may his soul rest in peace.

He once told me  I think just after my wedding  a time-tested age-old three-stage parenting theory for bringing up children.

THREE STAGE PARENTING THEORY

STAGE 1 : (0 to 5 Years)  MOTHER IS THE PRINCIPAL PARENT 

From birth  till a child is five years old  the mother should pay maximum attention to nurturing the child.

In fact  the baby should be under the full care of its mother.

As far as the baby is concerned – the father should be generally around as a source of amusement and joy. 

The father should play a supporting role  as a father figure. 

He must play with the baby  entertaining the baby  and be a source of happiness, fun and joy for the baby.

Mother Nature has so designed things  that  at these young ages  the baby biologically needs its mother’s physical affection (nurturing, breastfeeding, ablutions etc).

A small baby can do without the father  but cannot do without the mother

However Metrosexual a man may try to become  to the best of my knowledge  a man cannot breastfeed his baby  only a mother can do that.

A small baby needs the mother physically  and  most importantly  the baby needs the mother’s emotional love the most.


STAGE 2 : (5 to 12 Years) – MOTHER AND FATHER EQUALLY SHARED PARENTING

Between 5 to 12 years of age the father should play a vital enriching role in the child’s life.

The father supports, buttresses, reinforces and inspires a sense of discipline, security and confidence in the child.

At the same time  the mother plays a complementing role as the more loving and principal parent.


STAGE 3 : (12 to 18 Years) – FATHER IS THE PRINCIPAL PARENT

It is only after the child becomes 12 years old that the father begins to play an increasing major role in the child’s development. 

Now  the father must take charge as the principal parent – while the mother recedes into the background (playing the supporting role as the father did in Stage 1). 

As children become teenagers  they require firm handling (especially boys)  and teenagers require inculcation of discipline and a sense of responsibility. 

Meanwhile  in case there are younger children  the mother will be busy performing the cardinal role as principal parent looking after the younger children who may be in Stages 1 and 2 of their lives.

In case you are a single parent then you will have to perform both the roles in all the 3 parenting stages

However  this may prove difficult. 

Just imagine – if you are a single parent  and  if you have one child below 5  and  the other child is above 12.

For the younger child in Stage 1 – you will have to perform the 100% Mother Role.

And – for the older child in Stage 3 – you will have to be 100% Father”.

You will go crazy due to role ambiguity – and your kids will get confused by your contrasting behaviour. 

That is why it is not advisable to divorce or separate  if you have children.

I am of the view that divorce of parents may adversely affect the all-round development of children. 

While a mother plays a prominent role in inculcating emotional balance  the father is the one who shapes personality and inculcates discipline.


PARENTING WHEN CHILDREN BECOME ADULTS

A Parent is like a Trustee

So – once your children become adults  and they start earning their living  and they fly off from your “nest”  you have to just let go  and observe your birds fly high in the sky. 

At this stage  it is best to give advice only when it is asked for.


NEW AGE PARENTING

Dear Reader  do you agree with this traditional parenting paradigm…?

Or  do you prefer the New Age Proxy Parenting Paradigm described below…? 

NEW AGE PROXY PARENTING STYLE

Maybe I am an old fogey  with outdated views  but sometime ago  I was shocked to learn that a young mother working abroad had sent her three month old first born baby to India with the baby’s grandmother (the baby’s mother’s mother).

The old lady had gone there to assist in her daughter’s delivery – and grandmother came back with her daughter’s baby to be brought up here by the old grandparents.

The old lady grandmother would be the proxy “surrogate” mother – while the biological mother continued to stay far away from her baby to pursue her career in a foreign country.

Is this an ethical thing to do and is it morally correct from the baby’s point of view?

Is it in consonance with the biological laws of nature for a mother to willfully deprive her new-born baby of natural physical and emotional maternal love for the sake of her selfish career ambitions? 

Is it not cruel on the hapless child?

Is it fair for the natural mother to deprive herself of the joys of motherhood?

I find it unimaginable that a mother prefers to willingly remain away from her small baby.

Even the father would like to remain with his children.

Can a grandmother  or a nanny  fulfill the natural role of the mother better than the child’s own birth-mother ?

How will this lack and willful deprivation of natural physical maternal love  and the absence of a father figure  affect the development of the child in later years…?

Will it affect their interrelationships as parent and child…?

And – what about the interrelationships of the child with others  in later years  like the child’s future inter-relationships with friends and spouse?

We are born wanting a loving, nurturing attachment to our parents (particularly the mother).

Within the first year or two of our life  we all develop an image of our "love object" and our relationship with that person.

These images comprise feelings, fears, needs and wants – the mental-emotional yearnings of an infant baby for his or her parents (especially the mother).

Suppose the birth-mother fails to meet the baby’s natural needs and yearnings  can someone else  like a grandmother  or a nanny can this surrogate mother take the birthmother’s place as a proxy “love object”?

And  if so  what are the repercussions of this proxy surrogate parentingon the development of the child…?

A grandmother playing a mother’s role – won’t this cause an ambiguity in the child’s mind…?

Well  I don’t know the answers to all these questions.

Do you…?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. This article is based on my personal experience. It may or may not work for you. Please do your own due diligence before deciding your parenting style.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 

This is a consolidated revised and abridged repost of my articles on parenting written 15 years ago in the year 2001 and posted online by me Vikram Karve in my various blogs including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/parenting-theory_452027_blog  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/03/bringing-up-children-part-1-three-stage.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/parenting-styles-old-fashioned-versus.html  etc
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