Different shades of parenting
Parenting is one of the most rewarding experiences of human life but at same time it is one of the hardest . There is unconditional love—limitless affection; a deep desire to protect and nurture their progeny. Parents go from a world of independence, adult company, a state of relative competence at what they do, to one of sleep deprivation, bodily mess, responsibility, and a newfound state of ignorance. As the child grows and learn new skills gradually, the parent too learns to explore new facets of life. During the initial year of the child’s life, a parent learns to nurture and develop a sense of attachment towards the infant. As the child reaches his preschool years, the parent makes decisions about how much authority to exert over the child’s behavior. The next stage is when a child enters school and continues upto adolescence. Here as the child meets new people and explore new situations, he becomes quite curious. At this stage a parent answers the child’s questions, provide explanations, and determine what behaviors and values to teach. The parent decides what experiences to provide the child in terms of schooling, neighborhood, and extracurricular activities. Having parented the child during the initial turbulent years, during this phase the parent gets some idea of his strengths and weaknesses and adopt a more realistic approach. It helps the parent to take a call about when to step in and when to allow the child to be independent. As the child reaches his or her teens, he or she is full of youth ful vigour with an undertone of rebellion borne out of the natural tendency to break out of parental control. Here the parent learns to redefine his/ her authority but with a negotiating approach, discussing the rules and the limit with adolescent (child).The last phase or the phase of departure starts when the child(adult) leave his or her parents to lead a independent life of an adult. Here the parent is faced with the irony of letting go the nurturuing and protective nature of a parent role which had developed so meticulously over the years and refocus on his own (parent’s) identity as an individual. This parent child dyad not only teaches the child the different values of life but as the child passes through different stages of development , the parent sees and learn different qualities from the child too. E.g children can teach the parent to be persistent in getting what he wants, accept others without judging, honesty, teenagers teach to explore the outside world with vigour and optimism and at the end when the grown up child leaves the parent, it teaches that no human bond is permanent.