By Nur Usman.
We enter the world as tiny little beings then transition into adolescence leading on to maturity of old age. The cycle has been going on and on since the beginning of time. What do we do through this life cycle? We study, we work, we progress ourselves towards a better future. We are engineers and doctors and all things fancy and sometimes just plain simple individuals silently playing our parts. But these are all the things we do to build ourselves. There is a huge responsibility that nature drops so miraculously on our shoulders, what might that be? Parenting, off course! It is the toughest job in the world because you put in the effort for developing and building another person. Your child.
Years on the parenting styles have been very diverse, as is the way of nature. Let’s remember the relationship we had with our parents when we were young, parents were strict and the leaders. Meanwhile the little ones used to be the followers, obeyers. Going further back, ask your parents how your grandparents raised them, even stricter, lesser communication and huge communication gap. But that may be the need of their time. Things were simple and easier to control. However, the trends are changing now, so are the parents and children. Not to mention the era we are going by.
In today’s world, things are more complicated than a common man’s grasp. There are all sorts of malice out there that could harm young innocent minds in ways unimaginable. The new media has brought all evils closer to your child. So close that just a click can get them through, in microsecond your child can have access to information or contacts that are not suitable. Even the older media is providing them information round the clock, all the time; that they cannot comprehend in a healthy way. This pre-exposure is confusing their young minds and can corrupt their way of thinking. That is where we need to step in. That is why we need to be closer to our children and that is why we need to drop the authoritarian style. We need to unlearn traditional parenting ways.
Because of this enormous flow of unwanted and unfiltered information the society is infected with all kinds of ills. There are bad people out there. The rising pedophilia is alarming. It is the need of the hour to open up and discuss taboos with our children and educate them. Arm them with information that can help when we are not around. It is ironic to ask to open up the communication channel and widen it and at the same time to narrow down on your child so you know their struggle. Hushing up taboos will make it worse. Communication is the key. Open communication. Welcome communication. It is a struggle indeed to communicate effectively with our children in these busy times but ask yourself isn’t it worth it?
In no way am I implying to compromise the element of respect. What our children need is a confidant in us. They need to feel secure in sharing their stories and experiences with us without the fear of bashing. Because that is where we can hold their hands and guide them through towards a clearer mindset. It needs not to be said that a parent is indeed a child’s sanctuary. So be that safety your child needs. No one can guide our children better than our own selves. So let’s be their friends first and teach them the way of life over a friendly walk or even while enjoying an ice cream.
Writer is a media literate and freelance.