Being a parent is perhaps the toughest job. Even without the difficulty added by gadgets, social media, etc. parenting is a hard job. Good parenting is walking a fine line between being your child’s best friend and inculcating values and principles in your child. While building a rapport with your child is important (especially as they start to grow older), it is equally important to “teach” your child.
Frugality and resisting temptation is a lesson in making appropriate financial decisions learnt as a child. As a parent you want your child to have the best the world has to offer but at the same time, fulfilling all their wishes might lead to poor understanding of finances and what it means to wait.
Extra-curricular classes are great and help your child hone a skill, learn a hobby, explore an activity or meet different people. But filling every hour of every day with such activities should be strictly avoided. “Down time” or time spent doing “nothing” is a great way for your child’s brain to process the day’s events and self-introspection.
Gadgets may give you an easy way to stay in touch with your child, even keep track of their digital footprint, but are poor substitutes for hugs, kisses, praises, pats on the back, “live” conversations and general human contact. Don’t underestimate the power a hug can have over all the emoticons that you can send on your smart phones.
Many times we don’t realise this but the negativity we read and see on social media has a direct impact on our moods, even our dreams. Staying away from them may be impossible but filtering and consciously trying to not let it affect your interactions is the least you can do.
The best that any parent can do is being involved and “showing up” when your child needs you. As the saying goes, “In bringing up children, spend on them half as much money and twice as much time.”