Leadership is often equated with politics, but parents need to have good leadership skills.
By Dr. Shayama Chona, President, Tamana
It takes courage, self-control, patience and above all self-denial to raise children. It also takes character and strength. Perhaps that is why many adults, especially in the western countries, choose not to have children these days.
Kids need to be surrounded by adults who are good leaders and good people, rather than effective managers. Most parents react with surprise when I remind them that they are leaders. As one mother put it at the end of a PTA `No one ever told me that I was leadership material.” Leadership is usually linked to politics, the sports field or business world, rather than family life or teaching.
Make no mistakes, parents and teachers are leaders for children. As significant adults in children’s lives, you play an important part in shaping who they are and the type of people they become. Many families are managed on the basis of reaction to a crisis or according to a whim or mood, rather than on the basis of a philosophy or a set of principles. The search for consistency that many parents battle with reflects a lack of understanding about what they want to achieve as parents and the qualities and characteristics they would like their children to develop.
Parents mostly construct their ideas about parenting from their own experiences of being parented. It is interesting how at times we can hear our own parents speak through us. I not only hear many parents battle with reflects a lack of understanding about what they want to achieve as parents and the qualities and characteristics they would like their children to develop.
Parents mostly construct their ideas about parenting from their own experiences of being parented. It is interesting how at times we can hear our own parents speak through us. I not only hear my mother’s words but also recognize her tone of voice and body language. In spite of swearing that I would never lecture my children in the same manner as my mother. I often end up with-“When I was your age”– type of lecture in the same manner as my mother.
Our beliefs and values are often coloured by our experience of being parented. One young father was extremely concerned about his children’s behaviour at meal times and overreacted when they misbehaved. After some reflection he admitted that his behavior was influenced by his unhappy experiences of childhood. So intent was he for meal time to be enjoyable and harmonious that he overreacted when anything occurred to spoil his perfect vision.
Our friends and relatives have a strong influence also on the way we raise children. We often use other children as a yardstick for measuring our children’s development, academic performance, and even their behavior. We also get influenced by the norms of those in society we admire.
86% of millennial dads turn to YouTube for guidance on key parenting topics like preparing meals, using a product or assembling gear.
82% of millennial dads who watch videos on YouTube related to general or pop culture news do so to connect with their children.
We often use our friends as reference points when we deal with our own children. I had the opportunity to witness some first-rate parenting at close quarters when we spent a two-week holiday with a friend in Mauritius, who had a fifteen-year-old. The young teenager tried to argue with her mother over every little issue. My friend remained calm and ignored most of her daughter’s surly behavior even when it was directed at her. I was impressed by her self-control although I was a little dismayed at how she could sit back and let her daughter’s criticisms of her wash over. Sometime later I adopted a similar attitude when my daughter tried testing the waters. I was able to smell my friend’s controlled actions when dealing with her daughter and act in a similar way. It was good to have a reference point when new and challenging behaviours came along. We must lead the way for them as children are the messages we send to a future that we shall never see.