Caring in the age of Nuclear Families
Increased obligations outside home need not always lead to a generational divide.
Parenthood today is undergoing many changes as compared to the past. Childhood is also different and parents spend a lot more money raising their children.
Another aspect of change is that a greater number of women have entered the workforce. Many of them work because of financial necessity or to achieve freedom from traditional roles of child rearing and housework. Many mothers are seeking to expand their roles beyond that of a parent. As a result there is a shortage of time for care of the children.
In the past, young parents got help and advice from their families. This lack of familial support, plus the increased obligations of modern living, have created an information gap as far as raising children is concerned.
Your children must have years of physical care, including food, shelter and protection from harm. Love and affection are also necessary to stimulate children to mature and learn. This love should come from a person or persons with whom the children can develop a lasting attachment. But some youngsters often experience problems of forming personal relationships later in life. They may also fail to achieve other kinds of normal growth and development, even though they have received the necessary physical care. Parents play a major role in a process called socialisation by which children learn to become independent and responsible members of society.
Children are born with individual differences in intelligence, physical ability and temperament, so they vary greatly in talent, personality and other characteristics. Although parents greatly influence a child’s development, they are not completely responsible for their strengths and weaknesses. Other important influences, over which parents have little control, also affect child’s attitudes and development.
May I help you? Forty-four years of motherhood and 36 years of being a teacher have given me a special mission in life to help the younger generations of parents whenever they have any problems or questions. I would also be happy to provide help to the parents of disabled children—‘enabling’ them is my mission, my commitment.
Childhood and parenthood are two sides of the same coin. Children need to be nurtured and given years of physical and emotional care, love and attention. Parents are required to fulfill their demands, acknowledge their mistakes, give correct guidance and envelope them in a blanket of love and security. Parents also play a major role in the process of socialisation, by which children learn to become independent and responsible members of society. Since a child’s future depends on how parents fulfill their role, parenting becomes a tricky matter, which requires subtle skills and wisdom to cope with this enormous responsibility.
(Excerpts from ‘Nurture Talk’ which provides parents with an in-depth analysis of different behavioural patterns of children, right from the day their child steps into a school, to the time he or she steps out from it into the world. Problems such as tantrums, academic failure, sibling rivalry, bullying, peer group pressure, indiscipline, special needs of some children and others, are discussed and provided with solutions in the book.
‘Nurture Talk’ is an excellent reference guide for young parents.)
Dr. Shayama Chona, Padma Shri awardee, was the Principal of Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. She has 39 years of experience of dealing with children in the age group of 3 years to 18 years.
Dr. Chona was felicitated with the prestigious Padma Shri award in 1999 for her dedicated service towards education and disabled children. She is also the recipient of 50 other awards, which include two National Awards and one State Award.
Widely travelled, she is a regular columnist in Hindustan Times on children’s issues.