When it comes to parenting, I feel Indian parents are the most responsible parents. They take care of their child throughout their lives. If we see western societies, we often see how parents make their child independent after a certain age, and they both enjoy their own individual lives.
It is a good way of making kids independent and strong. However, the essence of staging in a family with your parents is something you’ll find only in India. Indian parents are always concerned about their child’s well-being, no matter how old they grow. They help their kids in all aspects of life.
Many times children urge parents to be more modern and learn from other parenting styles. But, as they leave their homes, they start realizing the value of their home and family.
Being a life coach, I have given many people parenting counseling. Most people come with their own set of problems. However, I always see a sense of concern in every client. Either the parent is concerned over their child’s behavior, or a child is unhappy with the parenting style of his parents.
A few days back, a family came to attend a counseling session with me. The parents had a 16-year-old boy. They thought that their son has gone out of their hands and that he does not obey anything they say. Being a teenager, the concerns of parents were riding high. They did not want their child to fall prey to wrongdoings at such a young age.
The health of the father had started declining because of the irresponsible behavior of the son. His concern and fears for his son started reflecting in his health. The child was, however, following the same pattern of avoiding his parents and their instructions.
As they started taking parent counseling services by me, I realized the problem behind all this was the generation gap. The parents were still following the orthodox methods of parenting where they wanted their son to study all day, perform well at school, avoid social gatherings, and all such activities. They would always keep a check on him, and the child started feeling suffocated.
The father always shouted at him, thinking about the method of handling stubborn kids. This method of the father had made his son least bothered about anything.
When I counseled the father and asked him to be polite and a bit more open to his son’s lifestyle, he agreed. Soon his father would adjust and amplify his son’s actions. He would not scold him or be harsh on him. Even if the som made some mistake, he chose to talk to him and sort matters politely.
In the next session, I asked their son how things have been with his dad lately, he said, “Suspiciously well!” He was surprised to notice his dad was no more shouting at him. When the son started seeing this difference in his father’s behavior, he too started adjusting and obeying his parents. As he saw his father putting in efforts, he thought of putting his part in the action and making this right.
Gradually they all started adjusting to each other’s way of living. The son started performing well. In the third session, when I asked his dad how his health is, he said on a scale of 1-10, my health has reached 5, from 3 in just two sessions. They were very satisfied and happy with the counseling.
This incident made me think that most parents give the best of parenting when their kids are young, but as the kids grow up, they start getting away from their parents. The healthy parent-child relation should last forever and not just for a phase. I know each one of us tries hard to be the best parent to our child, and I know we give our best in the process.
10 Parent and Child Relationship Problems
Indian parents always strive to give the best to their children. They work hard to provide their children with sources and skills that their parents could not provide them. However, in this urge to be the best parents, they make many mistakes.
There are many flaws in Indian parenting that make their child distant and ignorant. Although parents do not deliberately do things wrong, they just find their wrong methods to be right, when they are not.
I have counseled many parents, and I have seen many flaws in every parenting style. There is no perfect style or parenting method to follow, but there are a few mistakes that can be avoided.
Over-Protecting your Child
There is no doubt that Indian parents are the most protective parents. Being a parent, it is natural to be concerned and caring about your child. All parents become possessive and concerned about their child. However, soon this concern changes into a loop. A loop where you are always around your child to make sure they do not do anything wrong. Helicopter parents raise very unstable and indecisive kids. When you become over-protective, you start fighting battles for your child. There’s nothing wrong with protecting them, but those battles are meant for them. If you’ll always be there to protect them, they will not learn anything in life. You basically solve their problems, make their decisions, and keep them near your eyes. However, when children grow up and move to different places for education or work, they have no idea what to do. Since you’ve been protecting them all these years, they go out and look for someone who can help them now. Over-protecting your child will make them weak. If you want your child to become independent and confident, you need to let them live their life on their terms.
Pampering and Giving-in to Tantrums
It has been a common practice in Indian parenting to pamper a child until they get spoilt. I have seen many parents who are ready to fulfill the very vague demands of their children out of love. I remember one of my friends had a 12-year-old son. We were at a party and were greeting each other. She introduced me to her son. The child seemed a bit arrogant and didn’t wish. So, I went ahead and said, “Hello Beta! How are you?”
He did not respond and went away. His mother laughed and said he’s a bit shy. The child came back after a few minutes and started shouting and crying.
When his mother asked what’s wrong, he said he wanted a mobile phone because everyone has one. It was insane for such a young child to demand such a thing, but his mother agreed to make him quiet. I thought it was just to avoid a scene. However, when we met next month, the child was carrying a mobile. I asked his mother, “Isn’t he too young to have his mobile?”
The mother very casually said, it’s not a problem, he’s our only child, and he can have what he wants. Today, parents give in to their child’s tantrums to avoid seeing them suffer. But, it spoils them, and they do not learn how to control their emotions. For a child to learn the difference between what is right and wrong, they have to decline certain luxuries.
Extra Screen Time
When we were young, we would go out to play with friends in the evening. As a child, it was the best part of the day. We would breathe in the fresh air, socialize, and learn new things every day. I guess all parents have played sports and games during their young age. Not only was it a great pass-time, but also, taught many life lessons. However, today, when I see children stick to the screen, it breaks my heart. Parents often give their children mobile phones, so they can play games and not disturb their parents. In fact, I have seen so many mothers who would switch on the TV while feeding their children. Parents need to understand that these screens are burning very crucial playful years of their children. It is also the prime reason why most children have poor eyesight from a very young age. Today, times are tough due to the pandemic, however, many things can be done to replace screens. You can do art and craft together, play board games, dance together, or just sit on the terrace. Such small activities will make your child healthy, both physically and mentally. It will also form a strong parent and child relationship.
Stop Comparing Your Children
“ Sharma Ji ka beta came first in class!”
How many times have you heard your parents saying this? I think every Indian parent has this habit of comparing their child’s success to someone else. They are hardly concerned about the efforts that the child has put in, but more concerned about not winning the competition. I believe it is the biggest flaw of Indian parenting. The habit of always comparing and demotivating their child has created a very ill feeling in every child’s mind. I remember once my daughter came home after getting her results. She came and started telling me the marks of other children, and then told her marks. I asked her what I do with the marks of her friends? I immediately asked her if she gave her best or if she thinks there is scope for improvement. She said she was satisfied with her marks because she had prepared this much only.
However, she promised to put more effort next time and improve her result. You see, it is this simple to understand and appreciate your child’s performance without bringing other kids into the scene. Every child has some strengths and weaknesses. As a parent, if you’re able to find your child’s strength, then nourish the strength without reminding them of their weaknesses. Your child might be great in English, but not good in Maths. However, the Maths topper might struggle with English. There is no point in comparing children.
Insulting Children Publically
I have seen many parents who feel proud of scolding and insulting their children in public. Yes, many parents think that embarrassing their child in front of others will not make him repeat his mistake. Let me ask you, how do you feel when your boss insults you in front of all employees? Do you feel motivated or insulted?
When your child does something wrong, ask them to stop politely in public. You can go home and talk to them about how you felt about their actions outside. However, if you’ll insult a child in public, one of the two things will happen. Either you’ll break his confidence, and he won’t be able to attend social gatherings with fear, or you’ll make your child hateful and vengeful towards you. Your child will never learn a lesson from public embarrassment. You should talk to them personally to avoid making them hate you. I have seen many children filled with inferiority complexes because of such harsh behavior of their parents. Such children seek their parent’s approval even before answering a basic question.
Teaching them to win
The movie, ‘Chhichhore’ beautifully portrayed how Indian parents always teach their children to win. From a very young age, a child is motivated to come first in studies, sports, or extra-curricular activities. Hardly any parent says, ‘Just give your best and enjoy.’ All parents say, ‘ Prepare hard and win the competition.’
Well, there’s no harm in winning or motivating your child to be the best, but what if they don’t win? Most parents throughout their lives teach their children to win, and never lose. But is it possible for someone to always win in life? No, it isn’t!
No matter how hard you try, you can never always win. However, when you teach your children that their only target should be to win, they do not know what to do when they lose. They feel they have failed and their life has no purpose. They do not understand how to tackle failure and take some critical steps. Failure is inevitable, and you need to teach your child to learn how to feel and manage the emotion of pain. I always ask parents to let their child whatever they want and however they want. If they win, they win will be theirs, and if they lose, the loss will be theirs. In both cases, they’ll deal with their emotions and grow. In the urge to win, children forget to enjoy the journey. Motivate your child to win, but also teach them to be comfortable with failure.
Lack of Communication
Indian parents are far off from their children in terms of communication. As I had discussed earlier, most parenting problems arise because of the communication gap between parents and children. Most parents create an atmosphere where children are not allowed to openly talk about their feelings and emotions. Being a counselor, many parents and children come to me for coaching. Most children say that they are unable to express themselves to their parents. What happens is that a generation gap is created between the child and the parent. It gets really difficult to break this barrier. This gap keeps on increasing with time. When children become adults, they do not find the necessity of overcoming this gap. When they feel unheard in their home, they start finding someone outside with whom they can talk openly. If Indian parents could create an atmosphere of open communication, then most of the parent-child relationship problems will vanish.
Parents Never Apologize
I think it is not only about parents but for everyone. People today are never ready to either accept or apologize for their mistakes. People would rather put fake blame on someone else than accept that they did something wrong. However, it is one factor of wrong parenting that has made us the way we are today. You see, our parents never apologized to us even when they were wrong. They would commit a mistake but cover it up with something else. It made us feel that parents are older and they don’t have to feel sorry. So, when we became parents we did the same with our children. We thought as parents we are not supposed to say sorry, and we are continuing this tradition. However, it is high time that we accept our mistakes and say sorry despite being a parent or older than children. A mistake is a mistake, and it needs an apology. If parents accept their mistake, they do not become small but earn even more respect for their children.
Taking Decisions for Their Children
As I said, Indian parents are quite keen on making decisions for their children. It starts with taking minor decisions to make even life-changing decisions for their children. If we see in other countries, parents let their children be independent when it comes to life and decision making. However, Indian parents never feel their child is old enough or ready to make his or her own life decisions. Some parents interfere so much in their children’s lives that their children start feeling suffocated. I have counseled many children with mental health problems because their parents forced them to take engineering. I have seen so many marriages break because children married only because of parental pressure. Sometimes, even unknowingly parents make decisions for their children claiming it to be best for them. However, not all decisions taken by parents are always right. Indian parents need to trust their child and parenting. They should know they have raised a child who is capable of shaping his or her own life.
Do Not Try to understand their child
Being a life coach, I have counseled many parents and children. There’s nothing new in seeing parents say that their children do not understand them. It is also not new to see children complain that their parents do not understand them. Well, most of the time, parents think of themselves as superior. Since they are older, they often think they’re more experienced and acknowledged. It is why they hardly try to put the effort into understanding their child’s point of view. Whenever a problem arises, a child prefers to hide things from their parents. It is because they think that their parents won’t understand them. I always tell children how their parents are their biggest well-wishers, and they need to trust them. But, I also tell parents to form a bond where a child comes first to you with their problems instead of hiding them from you.
No parent is perfect, and no course makes you better than other parents. The only thing that matters in parenting is how well you understand your child and how safe they feel around you. Parenting never ends, and so it is never too late to improve mistakes. If you’ve been following any of these parenting problems, check them and change them to ensure a healthy parent and child relationship.