Every time I saw a child throw a tantrum, I would immediately blame the parents. How can they allow such nasty behaviour? Every time I saw a child in front of the TV, again I blamed the parents for not engaging the child in some meaningful activity.
I told myself that I would NEVER allow such things to happen when I have my own. And so in preparation for my first (only) child, I read many parenting books promising ways in which to raise a perfect child. Little did I realize that the harder I tried to live by the rules of the book, the harder I failed.
My attempts at trying to prove those parents wrong backfired at me time and again. Rules that I thought I would imbibe and live by as a parent were being broken day in and out. And honestly, what a relief that was.
So save yourself the hassle and stress and put back the joy in parenting. Break these damn rules and yet raise a wonderful child. Are you ready?
1. I will never feed my child junk food:
Honestly I have secretly thanked the makers of Maggi noodles so many times. Even though it takes a tad bit more than 2 minutes to make, it is a life saviour. So go for it. Being tired and in the kitchen is not a good combination. Feed them junk once in a while. It is okay.
2. I will not bribe my child:
If you want to save your sanity, then just do it. Bribe them. And for such moments just keep those goodies, (chocolates, pokemon cards, chips, a toy, stickers) the ones that get your child into “mommy I will do whatever you want” mood, handy. Got it?
3. TV for no more than 30 minutes a day:
Who are you kidding? What happens when you have that ultra long phone conversation with your bestie? We all do it and honestly an occasional over indulgence only makes childhood fun fun fun! So if TV time has to stretch to an hour sometimes, so be it! It is not going to turn our child’s brain into a frozen kulfi.
4. No spanking:
Shhhh, don’t call the police yet! We all give them a whack or two at times, because even if your screaming reaches decibels of the highest degree, kids just don’t listen do they? The aftermath can be then dealt with #2, bribe them.
5. No co-sleeping:
Oh c’mon, what is the fun in parenting if you don’t get kicked in bed by your child? Go ahead, sleep together, share a few laughs before bedtime, snuggle, and cuddle. It will not last long.
6. Homework before Playtime:
Ever heard of “I am not in the mood?” Well, kids feel that way too. So cut them some slack and let them play if they are not up to doing their homework right after school. School burns them out anyways. Let’s give them a break, shall we?
7. Empty mind is devil’s workshop:
Really? However, research has proven otherwise. Don’t pack a kid’s schedule with an overload of after school activities. Let them have free play. Let their minds be empty and bored. Boredom has its own charm. It will teach them patience and perseverance. I learnt this the hard way when my little one’s friend once told me, “Aunty, Hari goes to some or the other class every day, we never get to play with her.” Ouch, it hurts.
8. I will never give in to the tantrums:
Oh just Shut up! After having tried #2 and #4 heck we all give in. Leave the “my way or the highway” attitude for the husband. For the child, just give them what they want, let peace be. (read: occasionally)