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Parental guidance: Be involved with your child

Through this fortnightly column, Sunaina Vohra helps you keep parenting sane and simple, and guides you to trust your intuition — because, no one knows your child like you do

Positive parenting
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Parenting is as easy and effortless as you make it or as complicated and complex as you imagine it to be. At the crux of it, your child needs you.
Tabloid

My child does not study at home, where can I send him for tutoring? My child is weak at math, do you know a good tutor who can come home? My child is very hyper, where can I send him to play a sport? My child loves to paint, which art class can I send her to? My child needs to lose weight, do you know a good trainer?

Parents seem to be struggling with raising their children. There is so much they want their child to achieve — from academics to sports to health to personal development. Every parent wants a well-rounded child so that he can put his best foot forward in this competitive world and be successful.

As a parent, I understand their expectations. But these demand parents’ time, their stretched patience and the thought that wouldn’t a qualified teacher be better at tutoring their child.

“Outsourcing” is the new parental buzzword. We all are striving to be more evolved and “hands-on parents” by delegating our parenting tasks to more qualified experts and justifying it. Not like the days of our childhood where our parents took an active interest in our wellbeing. And if they were busy, the task was assigned to an elder sibling or extended family. Everything was sorted “inhouse”.

A recent conversation with a school teacher confirmed my thoughts. In the mock exams leading to the finals, around eight children from this particular school fared very poorly.

The teachers called the respective parents to school and updated them that if measures were not taken, their child might fail the board exams. Out of these eight students, four were sent to strenuous tutoring and the remaining children were taught at home. Out of the latter four, three were prepared for the exams by their fathers who took two weeks off from work.

The results as you guessed were obvious. The three children whose fathers taught them were the ones who scored the most in this group. That is the impact parents’ attention and involvement can have on children.

It is understandable that when children study subjects or curriculum you have not been exposed to, you might need help from others. But before you outsource your child’s tutoring or other activity, do spend a moment questioning whether your child needs it or he needs your involvement.

Sometimes children “act up” hoping they will attract their parents’ attention — even negative attention will do for them as long as you are paying heed to their activities.

You may outsource math tutoring because it is not your strongest subject, but remember your attention and involvement is his sunshine. Make yourself available to your child and see him excel.

Parenting is as easy and effortless as you make it or as complicated and complex as you imagine it to be. At the crux of it, your child needs you. He seeks your attention, your boundary-setting, your understanding, your role modelling, your encouragement, and, above all, your love. Your child’s success is directly proportionate to your involvement in his life.

 

— This is an interactive column on parenting skills and child behaviour. If you have a query, write to tabloid@gulfnews.com

Sunaina Vohra is a certified Youth and Family Life Coach at Athena Life Coaching in Dubai. For more information log on to www.athenalifecoaching.com or call (+971) 56-1399033.

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