With family sizes decreasing and a lot of couples opting for single kids, ‘Parenting’ has become a religion. We want to do everything ‘the right way’ and raise rock stars. Thus, there are numerous discussions and theories revolving around it, each having its own pros and cons. Here we highlight three such concepts.
What we call intuition or hunch is actually a sub-conscious decision that we arrive at based on our experience and knowledge, but without conscious reasoning. So, intuition has a solid basis and is not really random. You can almost always feel it in your gut if you are taking a right decision for your kid. Questions may range from ‘should I allow my kids to watch television?’ to ‘there is something not right with the baby, should I visit a doctor?’ Reassurance and support from family and friends may help but at the end of the day it is your call. If parents were to feel confident about their decisions, it would minimize anxiety and stress, and eventually help in creating a happy space in the home. Some may argue that Intuitive parenting is a lazy style of parenting, but with the plethora of situations we have to face as parents, a sixth-sense does develop that helps in taking such decisions.
It is a no-brainer that Intuition needs to be supplemented with Intelligence—driven by reasoning, measuring pros and cons, evaluating impact of each action and probably preparing a back-up plan as well. In a spectrum of decisions that parents take, perhaps 60 to 80 per cent would be falling in this category. While over-analyzing a situation is not advisable, we still have to be cognizant of all possible factors. For example, a situation when you need to decide if one of you quit your job to take care of the baby or to put the baby in daycare or he/she stays with nanny needs to be fully thought through, and it can neither be intuitive nor compromising.
3. Individual Differences
In between the above two would fall the concept of Individual Differences. In layman’s language, ‘individual difference’ is what makes a person what he/she is. It is a person’s personality, beliefs and traits that makes him/her different from others. A father’s intuition and intelligence may not be the same as the mother’s. Why it is important to recognize these differences? That’s because while parents may be in agreement on most occasions regarding their child, there are bound to be instances when their views may not just be different, but diametrically opposite, and in direct conflict. These differences arise because of the different upbringing of the parents themselves. Parents may also belong to different religions, castes, cultures and states, which will influence their values and beliefs. Some of the common issues that crop up between both parents may be related to how much freedom should be allowed to children, food habits, activities to enroll kids in, visiting grandparents, etc. It is in the best interest of couples and also their children that you reason it out, recognize the differences and compromise. You win some you lose some.
There is no right or wrong in raising kids. All parenting styles ultimately have the same purpose—to provide a nurturing environment and inculcate the finest values in our kids. Raise your kids, not just with your brain, but also with your heart and your soul!