Being a Parent isn’t easy. Forgetting that you’re one is even more difficult. Once a parent, you will always think, feel, assess, react, celebrate and even cook like one. But despite this 24 X 7 roller-coaster ride, you never get off the seat at the end of the day and say with triumph – ‘Now I know it all’. Because, you cannot. Basically, if every parenting issue we have to face was a bulb, we’d be lighting our way to the moon!
Someone wise once told my husband, and he makes sure he reminds me every day, ‘the smaller the child, the smaller the problems. The bigger the child, the bigger the problems.’ Strangely, he thinks it’ll help me cope with my young kid’s issues much better. Even more strangely, it helps because I know ‘the bigger-the better’ war is lurking in the future. What also helps this social media addict is turning to the online community for everything - from the tried-and-tested tips to the latest trending issues. That’s when I came across this video:
The video shows the very common problem of children interpreting their parents’ basic instructions about their health and well-being in their own way. The misinterpreted instructions lead to social and psychological effects, which were neither intended by nor known to the parents. For instance, a mother’s advice to not eat outside food is taken by the child to mean that she is not to share her friend’s dabba in school. The girl sits alone to eat- this was never the point. The video includes examples which are commonplace, making it rooted in our urban parenting realities. It also shows both - the parents’ as well as the children’s side of the story, clearly juxtaposing the cause, the effect and the real meaning, which went missing somewhere in between when they communicated.
The video’s crux about providing your child with the right food and resources to develop immunity is enough to make you a #YesMom - letting them eat at ease or play without worry with a sick friend. A better understanding of their physiological needs, which are completely connected with their psychological well-being, is something parents are arriving at as times move forward. What is also getting the right limelight through videos such as these is the question - How do I keep the right balance between a Yes and a No?
Nothing is worse than giving your children mixed signals. For instance, you generally do not allow your child to binge on junk food. But when on a holiday you don’t care if he downs two colas over one meal. What is the child to believe? That it’s usually not okay but completely okay some other times? So, is it really harmful or is it okay? Worse - are my parents just fickle or is it that they don’t mind that I drink something harmful sometimes?
When parents give mixed signals, the children develop mixed feelings and become confused about what is valuable. Firstly, I try my best to be consistent with my views. Which means I’m not flexible with allowing and disallowing the child the same activities. A conditional approach to the basics of health and well-being is unhealthy! Secondly, my approach towards such sticky situations, where ‘yes’ and ‘no’ battle it out, has been to explain in the simplest terms my reason for the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’, depending on the issue at hand. I invite my child’s opinion as to why he wants to do something, or not do it. I do my best to understand his mind’s wishes, which often to him seem logical. And then, I work hard to explain to his tender mind my reasons for my beliefs; priority one being that I care.
Children trust their parents, implicitly. And as a parent it falls on me to not let that trust down. To know what I am talking about. To say that ‘yes’ or ‘no’ with conviction backed by information. To make him feel convinced, and eventually happy and healthy. That is why I am always on the look-out for products and processes which cater to our children’s care and help me avoid the constant debates of Yes and No.
And for now, thanks to this video, I have found one way to become a #YesMom. Join me, be a part of the Yes Mom Movement !