PARENTAL BOND­ING

Un­der­stand your childʼs ac­tual needs.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Bhanu Chan­dran

Dadi! do you think papa and mama will be back for at­tend­ing my school's an­nual day?" asked lit­tle Varun.

"I am sure they will. Don't worry," said his grand­mother as she hugged the lit­tle boy.

"I am get­ting so many prizes and I want them to watch it," added Varun.

Varun's par­ents were away at Paris to ef­fect a merger of one of their com­pa­nies with a French Com­pany. His mother was a so­cial but­ter­fly whose pres­ence en­hanced his fa­ther's im­age. His fa­ther's life­line was busi­ness, amass­ing wealth and gain­ing fame. Both of them had very lit­tle time to spend with their only child. After all they were work­ing to­wards leav­ing be­hind a great legacy for their child! They never both­ered to find out what their son wanted. Does the child care for the legacy or their wealth? He wants their pres­ence, their at­ten­tion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

This sit­u­a­tion is com­monly seen in the su­per rich fam­i­lies while the same sce­nario is seen in poor house­holds as well, though in a dif­fer­ent light. There, the par­ents leave for work early in the morn­ing, strug­gle through the day to earn a few far­things, leav­ing their chil­dren to fend for them­selves. The only dif­fer­ence is in these house­holds, the older sib­ling looks after the younger ones and this en­ables in

de­vel­op­ing a strong bond be­tween them.

Do kids at that age care for the ex­pen­sive things given to them? Can these ma­te­rial ben­e­fits ever com­pen­sate for the parental af­fec­tion and love these kids crave for? A new-born baby stops cry­ing the mo­ment she set­tles in the arms of the mother. The pain of a wounded child is al­le­vi­ated the mo­ment the par­ent com­forts her with a pat, a hug and a few words of en­dear­ment. Parental bond­ing with their chil­dren is an es­sen­tial and in­te­gral part of life.

Even the nonverbal emo­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the chil­dren and the par­ents cre­ates a bond be­tween the two.. This re­la­tion­ship be­tween par­ents and the chil­dren forms the ba­sic foun­da­tion for their men­tal, phys­i­cal, so­cial and emo­tional health in later years. Chil­dren, cher­ished and loved by the par­ents, grow up to be healthy, warm hearted adults with the right val­ues and em­pa­thy for the fel­low be­ings. Chil­dren who are shunned and abused by par­ents will even­tu­ally turn into bit­ter, grum­bling and dis­grun­tled adults.

How do we de­velop this bond with our chil­dren? Ev­ery par­ent needs to an­a­lyse and un­der­stand this.

Phys­i­cal bond­ing

Spend time with your chil­dren, how­ever de­mand­ing your job may be. Have din­ner with your chil­dren. If you need to feed your baby, do it at his pace which will make him un­der­stand that he is im­por­tant to you. Don't hurry the child so that you can have time to watch your favourite TV shows or at­tend to your chores. In their grow­ing years help the lit­tle ones with their morn­ing chores. Help­ing them brush their teeth and bathing them when they are in­fants brings in phys­i­cal close­ness with the par­ents.

Dur­ing week­ends it’s im­por­tant to get in­volved with your chil­dren in out­door ac­tiv­i­ties like cy­cling, swim­ming, ten­nis etc. These ac­tiv­i­ties not only help in cre­at­ing a feel­ing of to­geth­er­ness, but also help to build a healthy re­la­tion­ship with your chil­dren. Parit­ic­i­pat­ing in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties helps them to re­alise their im­por­tance and the im­por­tance of ex­er­cises which help in body build­ing. They be­gin to look for­ward to such ac­tiv­i­ties more so when you as a par­ent are by their side sup­port­ing and en­cour­ag­ing them. Such in­ter­ac­tions go a long way in pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and can be very con­ducive to de­vel­op­ing dis­ci­pline in your chil­dren. It is im­per­a­tive to Make them un­der­stand that you en­joy spend­ing time with them. Ap­pre­ci­ate them when they do well, cor­rect them when they make mis­takes.

It is es­sen­tial for them to un­der­stand that it is not win­ning that mat­ters but par­tic­i­pat­ing in the game and en­joy­ing it is im­por­tant. Teach them to be grace­ful losers . This helps them to face the tur­bu­lence of life as adults.

This phys­i­cal close­ness in the ini­tial stages of the chil­dren’s lives helps to build a strong bond be­tween them and their par­ents paving the way for them to grow into fine in­di­vid­u­als. Emo­tional bond­ing

It is im­por­tant to make your chil­dren un­der­stand that you are al­ways there for them and that your love for them is un­con­di­tional. You should love them with­out any ex­pec­ta­tions. Parental love is not a means to some­thing but an end by it­self. A hug, a kiss and a few lov­ing words have in­fi­nite worth and noth­ing in the world can re­place this. These small ges­tures pro­vide a sense of se­cu­rity and the chil­dren will come to re­alise that they can de­pend on you and can al­ways lean on your shoul­ders in dif­fi­cult times.

Just ver­bally telling them that you love them is not enough; it needs to be trans­lated with your ac­tions. It is im­por­tant to see things from your chil­dren’s per­spec­tive too. Be sen­si­tive to­wards their

EVEN THE NONVERBAL EMO­TIONAL COM­MU­NI­CA­TION BE­TWEEN THE CHIL­DREN AND THE PAR­ENTS CRE­ATES A BOND BE­TWEEN THE TWO.. THIS RE­LA­TION­SHIP BE­TWEEN PAR­ENTS AND THE CHIL­DREN FORMS THE BA­SIC FOUN­DA­TION FOR THEIR MEN­TAL, PHYS­I­CAL, SO­CIAL AND EMO­TIONAL HEALTH IN LATER YEARS.

needs and de­mands. This helps to de­velop the needed trust in the chil­dren in the par­ents. They will be­gin to un­der­stand where you are com­ing from and re­al­ize that what­ever de­ci­sions you make with re­la­tion to them will al­ways be for their good. Ex­er­cis­ing pa­tience in deal­ing with the chil­dren in their for­ma­tive years is of ut­most im­por­tance. Im­pa­tience and con­stant anger di­rected to­wards the chil­dren will make them lose their re­spect of you paving the way for dis­re­spect­ful re­torts when it comes to some ex­change of words.

To quote the au­thors of a book on child de­vel­op­ment “There is a re­ally im­por­tant pe­riod when a mother or a fa­ther should form a se­cure re­la­tion­ship with their child, and that is dur­ing the first two years of life. That pe­riod ap­pears to be crit­i­cal to the child’s so­cial and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment,” says Sanghag Kim, a post-doc­toral re­searcher in psy­chol­ogy at the UI who col­lab­o­rated with UI psy­chol­ogy pro­fes­sor Grazyna Kochan­ska on the study. “At least one par­ent should make that in­vest­ment.”

A warm, se­cure, and pos­i­tive bond with at least one par­ent is enough for most chil­dren to feel se­cure and to pro­vide a solid foun­da­tion for a whole­some de­vel­op­ment.

Re­searches prove that kids who don't re­ceive enough parental af­fec­tion as in­fants and young kids grow to be ag­gres­sive, wor­ri­some and feel in­se­cure in their school years. This af­fects their over­all per­for­mance. Make sure you are a good lis­tener as well as a speaker while in­ter­act­ing with your chil­dren. It is im­por­tant to make them un­der­stand that what they want to share with you is im­por­tant to you . A good lis­tener makes a good par­ent and will be a good guide whom the kids can trust with their prob­lems even in their ado­les­cent and adult lives. There­fore it is im­por­tant to pro­vide a solid foun­da­tion so that your chil­dren as ado­les­cents and adults share their prob­lems with you and look for so­lu­tions from you.

In­tel­lec­tual bond­ing

Right from the time your chil­dren are ba­bies, even a few months old, its nec­es­sary to read to them from pic­ture books. I was amazed when I first saw my 21/ 2- year-old grand­son read­ing a baby book flu­ently. How can a child who didn't even know the al­pha­bets, per­form such a task? Later I re­alised it was the oc­u­lar mem­ory that en­abled him to do so. His par­ents would read to him when­ever time per­mit­ted and so his vo­cab­u­lary was re­mark­able by the age of five.

Bed­time sto­ries are very im­por­tant. Some­times my hus­band and I would tell our grand­kids imag­i­nary sto­ries and of course the very next day we would for­get the names of some of the char­ac­ters. When the same story would be re­peated with dif­fer­ent names we would be cor­nered. "It is not the same name you men­tioned yes­ter­day. Nanu! you for­got the story.” All of us would roar with laugh­ter. That is one of the beau­ti­ful mo­ments we adults cher­ish.

It is im­por­tant to have con­stant ver­bal in­ter­ac­tion with the chil­dren. Never get tired or ir­ri­tated while an­swer­ing their ques­tions. The right kind of cu­rios­ity should be en­cour­aged in them. Guide them with their read­ing of good books. Do quick men­tal math­e­mat­ics with them. Chil­dren who do maths talk con­stantly, de­vel­op­ing think­ing and an­a­lyt­i­cal skills as they grow up.

Last but not least is un­der­stand­ing the chil­dren’s in­ter­ests. Don't thrust your in­ter­ests in your chil­dren in or­der to re­alise your un­ful­filled dreams. Noth­ing is lost if a child doesn't ex­cel in the field of math­e­mat­ics, maybe his in­ter­ests and in­cli­na­tions lie in other ar­eas. En­cour­age your chil­dren to pur­sue their in­ter­ests, and ex­cel­lence will au­to­mat­i­cally fol­low.

Un­con­di­tional love for your chil­dren in their grow­ing years will even­tu­ally in­still un­con­di­tional love in your chil­dren too to­wards you in later years as they grow into adults. The bond cre­ated in child­hood be­tween par­ents and chil­dren re­flects as a healthy re­la­tion­ship in their adult­hood.

Par­ent­ing is an art. Learn it, nour­ish it and cher­ish it.

TO QUOTE THE AU­THOR OF A BOOK ON CHILD DE­VEL­OP­MENT “THERE IS A RE­ALLY IM­POR­TANT PE­RIOD WHEN A MOTHER OR A FA­THER SHOULD FORM A SE­CURE RE­LA­TION­SHIP WITH THEIR CHILD, AND THAT IS DUR­ING THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF LIFE. THAT PE­RIOD AP­PEARS TO BE CRIT­I­CAL TO THE CHILD’S SO­CIAL AND EMO­TIONAL DE­VEL­OP­MENT,” SAYS SANGHAG KIM.

There is only one hap­pi­ness in this life, to love and be loved.

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