“Kisses And Kind Thoughts”: The Parenting Styles Unknown to The Capitalist World

“Mumma scolds me” complained a 5-year-old girl in my mom’s online class and my mom being the empathetic teacher told her not to worry and she will talk to her mom to not scold her. The child was happy and smiled geekily while reciting the rhyme. Punishments act as the aid to control a child’s behavior. But do we understand the opposite of punishment-is a question we often negotiate with some cuddles and some good words? The parents today are blessed with options from toys to amusement parks, expressing love and making children learn how to love through such gestures, which creates a never-ending vicious cycle of demands the child imposes for behaving well every time, implying a lack of morale and conscientiousness in children’s character.

Character development is not a linear process, the child’s engagement with the environment and everyday transactions of their needs and ability to accept the societal norms and values determines the character of a child. A good character helps the individual determines the right and the wrong motivating them to give back to the community. The parent’s implied understanding of love and affection and small family actions together play a huge role in building character strengths at an early age. To start with one can begin with the small actions listed below.

Giving Meaningful Praise

“Great job”, good work, amazing, kudos, etc we all are accustomed to such generalized praise. As the child grows and develops further these praise words become more meaningless as they don’t offer them anything much to think and reflect and that adds to their dictionary. As children learn from constructive feedbacks in academics, children also learn from meaningful praise. Here the parents have the opportunity to familiarize the children with their character strengths by praising their enthusiasm, honesty, kindness, teamwork, fairness, humility, etc

Recognize Positive Character Attributes in Others

As children develop character strengths in themselves, they are also vigilant about others’ behavior in their surroundings. They enjoy picking up the same characters they identify with and the best way to collaborate with them is through watching movies and shows together with children telling them more about what it is to be kind or to be happy or joyful. Movies like ‘The terminal’, ‘The pursuit of happiness, ‘Moana’ etc helps them know more about courage, humanity, justice, and transcendence.

Collaborating in act of Kindness

Telling them not to watch T.V. or laptop is a partial suggestion instead prefer giving them concrete ideas such as “let’s do gardening today”, excites them to be part of something new and that too together. Teaching them community actions of taking of their environment and plants can help them learn how important are they to us.
Thus, parenting is not an easy job, but it becomes fruitful when parents’ engagement grounded in humility the act of kindness and love blossoms together.

Author: Sharanya Nair

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