The role of a parent is something that can be summed up in one word – superhuman (I’m being politically correct and acknowledging the rise in single fathers!). Yes, superhumans. They’re everything at the same time, changing gears from one role to another with just a change in expression or location.
Diverse roles of a parent
Parents are the natural multitasking magicians, juggling tasks, emotions and a bunch of wild little humans. Name it and they’ve donned that cap at some time. Doctor, cook, chauffeur, teacher, shopping assistant, coach, motivator, guide, arbitrator, judge, and it goes on and on. Parents are the primary influencers with hardly any following (and I’m not talking about social media) but lifelong impact.
As primary caregivers of the child, parents leave an indelible mark on the personality of the child. They mould young minds and turn them into amazing people. Their versatility remains unmatched. They provide emotional support nurturing their child’s mental and psychological well-being. They even guide their children to navigate digital landscapes, teaching them responsible online behaviour and critical thinking.
Another role of parents is that of becoming their educators beyond the classroom, making sure to foster a love for learning and curiosity in their children. They are the first ones to teach the children about the values like empathy, tolerance, honesty, and inclusivity. They don’t do it with some lofty future aspirations but with the sole purpose of preparing their children to thrive in diverse and multicultural societies. Some parents also nurture financial literacy, teaching their children the importance of responsible money management.
Raising global citizens
In the current society that we inhabit, it’s not enough to teach them to look after themselves; they need to learn about how to look after the community and environment also. Children must be taught to understand how each one of us can contribute to making it a better society. Parents need to encourage children to participate in social initiatives to create awareness. Educating them about environmental sustainability and teaching them to be responsible global citizens is equally important.
The cup seems to flow over with the things we’ve to teach them. But it’s needed; if not us, then who? Times are changing and so is the mindset. More and more parents are now open to the idea of their children exploring new interests, allowing them to pursue their passions and talents, and finding ways to express themselves. This positive growth mindset of the parents fosters a safe space for communication, allowing children to share their thoughts, concerns and dreams without feeling stifled at home.
In their effort to protect the children, parents often impose restrictions and curbs, which are certainly not approved by the children. Children on the other hand want to try out things which are not approved by the parents. And this tug-of-war has been going on with every generation. And the reason for this is communication. The earlier generations were not so much into expressing themselves. Whatever was decided by the elders was the final verdict. Communication was one-way.
The key is open communication
Open communications are like the two-way radio – you must learn to use it well to keep the channels of communication open. Open communication between the parents and children has allowed both sides to understand each other better.
Until a few years back, parents decided, and children followed. But that process has undergone some transformation and for the better. This is one skill which both the parents and children need to work on the most. And believe me, most of the problems (or misunderstandings) will disappear.
All it needs to build this strong communication bridge is for each to keep an open mind and listen to the other. That’s all there’s to it, yet we create such hopeless chasms between us! A reckless word or thoughtless comment can create more damage than one can imagine. So, build this bridge with love, patience and empathy; believe me, you’ll love crossing it together.
Let’s do it!
It’s true when they say it all begins at home. The environment at home creates the person the child becomes in later years. Good seeds sown in fertile minds during the early years will create good results in the future. By supporting the children in pursuing their aspirations while balancing the challenges of modern life, parents provide a confident support system. Reinforce it with a foundation of love, sound education and solid values, parents contribute significantly to the shaping of a brighter future, one child at a time.
Remember, it’s a constant ‘work-in-progress’ job and the roles keep changing with every requirement. Let’s enjoy our parenting journey together. Don’t forget to share your views; would love to hear them. After all, I’m still learning on the job despite my years of experience as a parent!