Here is a guest post by Anirban Bhattacharya, a software expert by profession and a full-time doting dad. He busts some common myths which have been around for aeons.
1. Don’t soil and get dirty
Human and nature co-exist. The soil in the garden or in the field is not filled with nuclear warheads. Let your child get dirty and enjoy the mud. It teaches your child to bond with nature. The child should be comfortable with raw nature and environment.
You should understand that hand sanitizer are not available everywhere.. Once your child is done playing, make sure they are washed well. But do allow them to indulge . Research shows playing with dirt helps adults as well.. http://www.livescience.com/7270-depressed-play-dirt.html
2. Gain weight to be healthy
On most occasions, parents are worried why their children are not gaining weight even if they are healthy. One should understand that each individual body structure is different. Comparing your child with another child based on body weight is the biggest mistake one can make. Overfeeding your child can cause serious problems like obesity in future. Parents should keep a check on how active the child is. Also, if there is a sudden weight loss or sudden weight gain, it should be reported to the doctor. The child would gain weight in due course and there is no crash course in this.
3. Compete with others
As the child grows older, school academics start encroaching. Parents push their child to become competitive with other students. The biggest problem is the child gets focused to be better than others and forget about excellence. There is a huge difference between being competitive and pursuing excellence. While the former brings you local cheers the latter makes you more profound and a valuable asset to the soceity. Help your child to excel and be valuable to the world, not just being best in class.
4. Be Clever
“Your child is so clever” is the sweetest phrase a parent likes to hear. But, is being clever enough for being a complete person. With cleverness you may get some better grades and land up in some top school. However cleverness without compassion creates an anti nature being. A being who may weigh pros and cons before jumping to save somebody or to take a stand. Clever people think a lot . Endure compassion with cleverness in your child and that’s the way to be a smart child. The world needs more kindness and compassion than just being clever.
5. Your Identity is…
I see many parents start explaining an identity to the child and create boundaries. These identities are normally of religion, nation, caste. Its being told that you belong to this identity. These identities are all man-made. Nature did not create these identities. The mankind is much more connected and globalized now. Creating such identities may create huge problems when your child goes out and interact with a global crowd. He/she will always try to find that corner where similar identity exist. He/she will be deprived of human interaction from other identities with those false boundaries.
6. Keep away from strangers
Everybody is skeptical about strangers.. However if you completely shut down stranger interaction with your child you are dropping the basic education. Its the education of understanding and identifying human behavior. Understanding nice person and not so nice person. Its not advised to leave child with strangers. But you should allow your child to interact with strangers with your supervision. Let the child explore and conclude how the stranger is .. Is he good or is he bad? As we grow old we forget the basic skills to break ice and start a discussion with a a stranger. If you watch your child you can see how easily he/she can do that. Don’t block that skill. Enhance it with your supervision.
7.TV time has to be limited
For parents its annoying when your child spends hours before the TV. But if you dig deep this is because you have not created any other activity for your child in free time. Instead of talking about TV take your child out for a hobby sit out. How about making a motorized boat all by you two? Or make a doll house together. Create good alternatives to TV not just shut it down. The scarce resource between you and your child is time . Invest in time.. The TV will automatically come down.
8.Toys and Gifts bring happiness
Parents buy toys which they like and they think the child will also like. Its not that the child does not like it . But for how long does the child value the toy? That’s an important question . At the end of the day, you result in a cupboard of toys which gets categorized as junk soon. As a parent you can create many toys from many waste materials in your house.. This will make your child more happy and the toy will also endure more. That’s because your child is smart. He/she knows there is an involvement of your labor in making that toy. You can get many such toy ideas here.. http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html
9.This is not your job
Whenever anything breaks down, you intend to call the specialist. Be it carpenter,plumber etc. In your child’s life, many things also do break down. It can be the cycle chain or the doll house hinge. Instead of telling “Will get it corrected from somewhere” try to introduce DIY skills. Your child should be aware of these skills and how to be self sufficient in correcting things when they go wrong. It generates intuitiveness and curiosity among the child and he/she can understand how things work around them.
10.Sports is Co-curricular
I see many parents behave differently when a child brings a sports trophy and when the child brings academic accolades.
As a parent you should understand things have changed now and sports can be taken seriously. Your child can plan his career around sports and you can do best by supporting that dream.