It had been a long time since I contributed to this tag – cheatsheets. I had been creating my own version of life hacks that once the fundamentals were built, we just rolled along.
These days, we were far beyond the weaning, sleeping, eating type of problems. Being the disciplined and consistent parent I was, it made parenting easy. My children knew what to expect from me and what was deemed reasonable or unreasonable in my books.
Some aspects of parenting which we dealt with of late, a far cry from the days of weaning, sleeping and other infant-related issues.
1. Concentration & Learning
Z had been honed to the concept of working hard and playing hard. We did not skimp on play time. If anything, any free time was dedicated to play. The kids had access to sports, entertainment, touristy attractions, holidays and our attention. We explained hard work was required to support play time. On our end, we had to work when it was time to work. On their end, they had to study when it was time to study. Z had full respect and understanding of this trade off. Hence, he never uttered any forms of complaints if he had to spend 2-3 hours to complete assignments given by me. He concurred with our philosophy of clearing the week’s work in 1-2 days and played for the rest of the week. All I looked at was the integrity of the process and the final output, not the number of days used to complete the assignment.
On X’s end, he was trained on using Luk Bambino, in our bid to build his concentration and to nurture his speech.
2. Sibling management
I made a conscious effort to remind the boys how much they loved each other from day 1. Everyday, I told X that Z loved him and told Z that X loved him. It reinforced the positive thinking and vibes between the brothers.
When they did something nice for each other ie giving in or sharing, I always attributed to the love for each other. If they fought, I usually explained that X was too young and unreasonable as a toddler to reason with. Z was usually agreeable to discount X’s bad behaviors such as biting. With X’s increased proficiency in speech, we had less of such issues.
I was also adamant about showing respect for each other and no one was supposed to snatch each other’s belonging. We must be mindful of each other’s feelings despite the haste. On good days, the boys would remember and approach each other with care, we had a lot lesser fights to break up.
3. Fatigue, tantrums and lack of cooperation
This was an easy one. If we deprived the kids of sufficient rest, we were most definitely responsible and at fault. I would usually let the child win at all costs.
4. Leveraging on sports on sportsmanship and discipline
It was difficult to help young children visualize the need to focus or instill discipline. Picking a good team sport would teach them valuable lessons such as training to improve performance, to be gracious losers (aka sportsmanship), to build up stamina and to always enjoy a spot of outdoors.
Greenery and runs aided in broadening of the children’s mindsets and maintaining a balanced mental state, instead of throwing full blown tantrums to express their frustrations
5. Delayed gratification
Children must learn to wait. They had to get used to the lack of instant magic and that they could not always have everything at their fingertips. Loving them did not mean that we would enslave ourselves like a genie and grant all their wishes. Magic and credit cards did not sound aligned.
6. Being considerate
Children must learn to think for others, for something as simple as standing at the side of the lift when we entered in case someone had to push a stroller, wheelchair or shopping cart in. It was not rocket science. We needed to teach them to think for others and care for the environment. They had to think about the repercussions to others if they chose to be selfish. Was that what we wanted them to be? If they were kind to their friends and society, that would be the best contribution we could give.
These were some of the values we hoped the boys would bring with them when they grew up. I thought to start these basics when they were young, so that they became better persons as they matured and grew up.