Challenges Of Parenting


As someone rightly put it, "The trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed". Whilst I am still an amateur understanding this role my respect for parents who have brought up five plus kids in the past have increased double and triple fold. The question on my mind will always be "How did they do it"

In a society where everything is available at the press of a button and it will only become easier, parenting is getting to be a complex challenge that seems both interesting, puzzling and tedious. Teaching kids the value of things, I would say does rank high up on the agenda due to the ease of acquiring things. The ipod and the blogging generation is without doubt having it easier and it takes no genius to recognize that the more easier kids have their desires fulfilled; the appreciation and the value of these items diminish much more quickly than one could realize. To be fair to them, it is not entirely their fault, as they are merely instruments in the hands of the influencer ? in this case the parents.

I personally take the blame in this regard, as I somehow give in to my 4 year old without a thought, as I just want to see him happy, quiet and satisfied. But deep within there is a general guilt (trying sincerely to discipline myself) as to ‘what I am doing is absolutely wrong’. I still remember the day when I wanted my first bicycle I had to work for it by getting my grades up. That was not all, I was told to do some household chores for a certain period of time. That the joy of getting the bicycle was a different matter, it was the care, attention and caution taken in looking after the bike ? understanding the work done in acquiring it. The value was tremendous. The case is different when I see my kid play with his toy that he yearns for with great enthusiasm but the very next day he is already bored of it and has left it scattered amongst the other toys. The point I am trying to make is ?the importance of making  kids realize the value of things they receive’. In this case as a parent, I am certainly responsible.

In this era of easy acquisition of loans and spending power making kids realize that money doesn’t grow on trees and every penny needs to be valued is indeed the need of the hour. Like a famous Hollywood celebrity put it "I made my son understand it was not an easy climb ? washing dishes and cleaning cars was a part of my learning and he had to do it the same way to understand the value of things"

Besides the value factor comes the discipline part and here I think the so called  pro- children rights group have taken it too far in certain countries. In Canada for example a few years ago there was a huge uproar by these groups towards a well intentioned spanking law passed by the Supreme Court which basically touched on a mild coercive correction.

""…I still remember the day when I wanted my first bicycle I had to work for it by getting my grades up….""

I am no advocate of threatening a child by a rod neither am I an endorser of absolutely letting the kid call the shots. There is a line to be drawn, a fine strategic balance of push and pull like in business – a kid should unquestionably be brought up with love, patience and understanding and a little spanking at times does no harm as long as it sends across the message required. I believe children are incredibly forgiving, resilient and considerate and they tend to endure and forgive parental mistakes, if it is all wrapped up in love and good intent. Today’s generation is very well advanced in understanding if the spanking is well-intentioned or just the result of anger, the need to control, or plain bankruptcy of parenting strategies

Children need to be injected with the right values all the time and the home indisputably plays a major part in this foundational make-up. There is no better teacher than parents themselves who can instill these values. Children need time, patience and attention and parents have to give them this undeniable right. I do agree with Rev Jesse Jackson that "Ultimately in the parenting equation it is our presence than the presents that matters". Research has proven that kids that go astray are a result of parents being too strict, too lenient or too busy. Parents in this case certainly realize their mistakes, but then time has elapsed – is too late.

Let’s face it there is no formula for a sound foundation of parenting, all one can do is simply eat, live and breathe the value, respect and discipline factor which hold the pillars of the making of a good human being. George Dorsey was the one who put it plainly "Good, honest, hardheaded character is a function of the home.  If the proper seed is sown there and properly nourished for a few years, it will not be easy for that plant to be uprooted". Think about it, the right or wrong decision you make today is indirectly related to your upbringing as a child. The strong values taught at your home.

This is a fact of life.

About the Author:
""Irwin Rego, a Bombay born Canadian is the grandson of yesteryears’ renowned musician and Konkani writer J.J.Rego ? Bendur, Mangalore and son of the famous Konkani and English writer J.B.Rego ? (Poinari, Times of India).  Irwin is a highly qualified communications and advertising professional, having served on the Corporate Advisory Board for Fedex-Kinkos, Canada, just recently relocated as  Director ? Client Affairs at a  reputed Strategic Communications Consultancy in  Bahrain. A man of many talents, he is also a poet, singer, actor, cook, a well known public speaker, an excellent hockey and cricket player and a regular columnist for the Gulf Daily News – Bahrain.  A die-hard Mangalorean at heart, he has one regret – his weakness in conversing in the konkani language.

Author: Irwin Rego- Bahrain