New Age Parenting
It is said that ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, how true is this in today’s world? Let’s talk about new age parenting and the role of parents in the cognitive development of their child. We are in an era where more and more families are turning nuclear and both parents have specific career goals. Due to multiple responsibilities, parents are always running short of time, still, they want to practice the best parenting method for their kids. However, I have seen parents struggling through this phase with little or absolutely no help around. Also, it’s commonly believed that the responsibility of a child is tilted more towards the mother. But times are changing and we can see many fathers proudly sharing parenting responsibilities and taking the load off the mothers’ shoulders.
So, if you come under this category of nuclear family setup or joint family with zero support, this post is for you.
We are a nuclear family with no help around. Initially, after the birth of our son, I thought of dedicating my full attention and giving all my time to raising our kid. However, motherhood is not that easy, it comes with its own pros and cons. Postpartum depression hit me quite early and too hard that it took a toll on my mental as well as physical health. This, in turn, put a bad impact on bonding with my newborn. Luckily, my husband observed the mood changes and took the step to talk it out. That was the time when I poured my heart out and explained how difficult it was for me to manage a newborn all alone. Then onwards, we decided to follow a shared parenting approach.
You may read – How to conquer the Postpartum Depression?
I have already talked about how an impressive amount of a baby’s brain development occurs during pregnancy in my previous posts. And also how choosing the right nutrition plays an important role in boosting a child’s growth and development. We very well know how understanding the benefits of breastfeeding, choosing the right environment, and offering the age-specific stimulation exercises can all assist in the cognitive development of a child. These are some of the ways in which a mother can FeedIQ to her child.
It is the responsibility of both parents to ensure that the child gets the right stimulatory environment by being mindful of their parenting approach. We make sure we are available for each other and for our son as and when required. This way we also try to inculcate the important values of equality in our son.
How do we ensure our child’s proper physical, social as well as cognitive development?
Let’s be true to ourselves, a mother can’t do it all by herself. She can fit well in all the roles but the fact can’t be ignored that she too needs rest and care. Here are some of the things we do in laying a great development foundation for our child.
An equally shared parenting truly is half the work and all the fun.
=> Outdoor Play – To ensure Nemit gets ample time outside, Sumit takes him to the nearby park twice a day. It’s an advantage to us since Nemit wakes up early, he gets his first dose of physical activity in the early morning hours, which in turn, helps in keeping his energy levels in check. Now, here it is important for parents to be a part of their child’s outdoor activity. Outdoor play or play dates also help in improving the child’s social development.
Toddlers still need their parents around; they feel secure and loved when parents show interest in what their kids are doing. This can also be the best bonding time for a father with his child. Just by playing with your child, you can help in reducing their feelings of anxiety and stress.
You may also read – How to make outdoor play more fun for toddlers?
=> Interaction – Talking to the child and making conversation is very important starting from an early age to develop their communication skills. And here I am not just speaking about making general talks, positive interactions with your child are helpful in a child’s social development too. Yes, your child’s social development starts with you. We do this by encouraging Nemit to share his day and activities with us, we help him in building a two-way communication. Listening to your toddler is as important as talking which also helps in their cognitive development.
When you speak with your child look into their eyes, respond with a smile and stay focused. Never shy away from hugging and kissing your child, always make them feel loved. All this helps in teaching a child to be affectionate and compassionate to others. These positive interactions also help in maintaining a good parent-child relationship.
You may also read – Ways to develop good communication skills in kids!
=> Structured Play – I have always encouraged play-based learning for Nemit. In simple terms, structured play means ‘play with a purpose‘, and this may include pre-planned skill-based activities. These activities provide the right stimulation which in turn boosts the child’s cognitive development.
The power of play should never be underestimated when it comes to a child’s cognition. In fact, these stimulation activities play the most fundamental role in their physical as well as intellectual development.
I resort to these pre-planned activities mostly during the daytime when I am alone with Nemit. During Nemit’s summer break, this structured play helped in keeping me sane through the long summer days.
I usually plan 3-4 activities which help in keeping him busy for good 2-3 hours. These are not just fun but helps in strengthening our bond too. Also, following the Montessori approach has helped in planning activities based on day to day life skills. I will be sharing more about these toddler activities in my next post.
You may also read – Activities to boost a child’s brain development (0-2 years old)!
When the parents provide attention and the right environment, it helps in shaping their child’s physical, social as well as cognitive development. This is how I manage being a work at home mom without feeling the undue pressure even in our nuclear setup. I understand this approach is not applicable for everyone, and I have no intention to portray that only equal parenting is better for every family than another parenting model. But this has surely helped us in many ways.
How do you moms manage your work-life balance? Does your family also follow the equal parenting approach? Share with me in the comments below. And if you liked this post, please do share it with your friends and family.