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Instilling good parenting skills

Striking a balance between a highly stressful worklife and the deep desire to be there and guide your child or ward on the right path can be quite a task. A few institutes are now helping parents out through hands- on parenting workshops

10th June 2018, 06:15 Hrs

Pradnya Gaonkar Rane

We often come across blame games that parents play among themselves when it comes to the misconduct of the child in school or in public places. If not the parents, then people including relatives, spontaneously point fingers at them. In a bid to avoid all these stressful situations in life, parents try hard to get the best possible all round development for the child. But the struggle to balance between the evolving behavioural patterns in kids and the frequent scaling in the academic level, has added to the already increasing stress patterns in the parents.   

In a bid to help them out, a few institutes have taken to organising parenting workshops which has been garnering good response. Among these is Sethu Centre for Child and Development and Family Guidance which recently held one such workshop on building cooperation in pre-schoolers. Highlighting the fact that stubbornness and determination in a child are two sides of the coin. Sethu teaches parents to toss the coin wisely so that both, parents as well as the child get the win win situation.  

And with parenting having changed greatly over the years, are workshops a solution? “With the pressures of life these days, the multiplicity of issues that parents have to deal with and the lack of proper support from family and society, parenting can be a lonely and confusing journey,” says Dr Nandita D’Souza, Developmental Pediatrician and Director of Sethu. However when this journey is shared, there is so much that one can learn from each other, she states. “Parenting workshops are a way to create a safe space where parents can talk about the joys and challenges of bringing up children and discuss ways that can fit with their own home situation,” she says. Sethu works with families and a group program enables them to reach many more families than would not be possible through one on one sessions. “Parents are often blamed and not trained - Sethu wants to do everything possible to change this unfortunate reality,” says Dr D’Souza. At a workshop when many parents come together, Dr D’Souza says, the group dynamic is unique in the way in which it creates enthusiasm, provides relief from isolation, brings hope and allows parents to talk openly about what bothers them, as well as share their success stories and ideas. It creates a sense of community - something that is very much needed in our society today.  

“People learn from experiences which are shared during group discussions and this is more effective than a one on one counseling session,” says Deepak Bharwani, a certified trainer of 7 habits of highly effective people MBTI who will be conducting a parenting workshop titled ‘Raising Self Reliant Children in a Self Indulgent World’ on June 16. The workshop which will be held at Institute Menezes Braganza Hall, Panaji is being organised by The International Society for Krishna Consciousness - ISKCON  

 The workshop, says Bharwani will include few activities for the parents like a role play so that it is an experiential training for the parents. Gaurav Madhav Das of ISKCON informed that they have been receiving a lot of parenting queries which instigated to conduct a workshop. The workshop intends to help parents understand the behaviour of a child and also provide insight into bringing up positive, moral values and good citizens of the country.  

Parenting has definitely changed and so are the ways in which children try to get their way out. The old methods of instilling discipline through fear and authority no longer work. Dr D’Souza points out the fact that children need to accept limits, learn how to become more assertive and understand themselves better - parents are critical facilitators of this process. At the same time, parents need to connect with their children and discover what drives them. It is all about building healthy relationships between parents and children. “Rules are also important. However rules without relationship will only result in rebellion. Children today are great at pointing out to their parents what they are doing wrong! This will create even more unhappiness for the parents, ending up with them feeling unappreciated, confused and more exhausted!” she quips.  

Workshops also try to revamp the exhausted the parents who are worried about doing everything right and end up not enjoying parenting. With the exposure to a lot more than what is imbibed within by the family, children are getting more vocal and demanding. The inquisitiveness and competitiveness is most welcome to develop them into independent human beings. “However, parents have to keep up as well, which is hard, when you have a job outside the home, lack of family support, confusing information about how to raise children and so on. So the demands on parents’ time, energies, thinking and problem solving abilities are much more,” adds Dr Nandita.

While at Sethu, the ground rules of conducting workshops include confidentiality, everyone participates, people have a right to pass and all opinions are respected. However, it was found that stories and ideas start tumbling out and often there is not enough time. “It is almost as if an avalanche is triggered! Therefore we try and fit in a lot of time for discussion and sharing, rather than just a talk by the resource person,” states Dr Nandita.  

(For those who would be interested in attending one, the The International Society for Krishna Consciousness - ISKCON will be conducting a parenting workshop titled ‘Raising Self Reliant Children in a Self Indulgent World’ on June 16 at Institute Menezes Braganza Hall, Panaji from 6.30pm-8.30pm.)

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