Parenting styles vary across the board and with this, HEALTH met three women to discuss parenting styles and how they parent their children.
THE CHUMMY MOTHER
Harshika Daryanani, blogger and freelance writer, is a mother to 11-year-old Jahaan Daryanani and describes her parenting style as “very hands off and figure it out yourself ”.
While I do not believe in ‘labels’ I also do not believe that I am always right just because I am a parent. We have all made mistakes, to err is human, so how can I, in good faith, think that my son will not be making any of those mistakes? In that scenario, I would rather he tell me than I find out after the damage is irreversible! I am not saying I am his friend, I am his parent, but one he is not afraid to share his mistakes and fears with, including and not limited to the moments he dislikes me too! It is fine if he hates me momentarily, it is not fine if he festers the resentment.
Does it work?
It works for me. My son has high anxiety levels, often gets stressed, and closes himself up when under pressure! The last thing I would want is to add on to his stress by pushing my expectations on him. He is his own person, he will have to figure himself out first, set his own expectations for himself without feeling ‘responsible’ for what is expected of him instead! Drawing the line
He has to deal with the fallout of his actions. If he has gone a step too far, I point it out. If he is wrong, I tell him. He gets his ‘time out’ as well, he is too old for the naughty chair, but no screen time, reduced play hours and the more fun perks during the weekends are taken off for the more minor ‘offences’. I have zero tolerance policy to abusive and rude behavior; there is no excuse for bullying. None. Though I am proud to say that my son is quite the opposite, he stands up for the underdog!
THE TIGER MOTHER
Dimple Ramchandani is the Regional Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Oakwood Asia Pacific and has two kids; 14-year-old Kevin and 9-year-old Alisha and describes herself as a loving, but strict mother whose world revolves around the kids.
I would rather say I was much more of a tiger mom than I am now. I am trying to change myself as I have come to realize that I need to enjoy being a mother as well as my kids to enjoy being my kids. I was more into school work and practice papers preparing for the exams or tests. But now I spend my evenings after work playing games and watching TV with the kids. We also sit and do some painting or any form of artwork that my kids enjoy.
Does it work?
It used to work. But now it doesn’t. My son is growing to be a teenager and rebellious. I have realized my old model no longer works. I have to change myself and my style so can get him to see the logic and reasons behind every decision. I have to put myself in his shoes before telling him anything. When my kids see me letting go, they, in fact, listen and obey.
Drawing the Line
I don’t really have a set method to draw the line. It all depends on how bad the situation is. It does get tiring to be angry all the time. When I do, it comes with a barrage of guilt that can last for few days.
THE YUMMY MOTHER
Ahlaam Ali is a lifestyle and nutrition consultant. She has an 18-year-old son. With a very fun camaraderie driven style of parenting, she believes that parenting has to be a satisfying experience that helps to build a soul connection for life.
Being a lifestyle and nutrition coach, I make sure I eat extremely healthy every day and I also get to bed very early. I am generally in bed by 10 pm and get a complete 8 hours of sleep most nights. I
am in a routine of exercising and meditating daily as well which goes a long way. As a parent, I feel it’s more important for parents to adopt a more chilled approach to parenting as that empowers young ones to confide in you and grow as individuals with your guidance and coaching.
Does it work?
I believe my style works really well because he is now a wise young man full of smart ideas and great ambition. We agree on what works and what doesn’t and then hardly ever break the rules. But kids do not come with a manual. We are constantly learning parenting on the job; so it’s best to keep the style of parenting very flexible. What works when they were 5, does not work when they turn 13 or 17 or 20.
Drawing the line
I pull him up on what he has done and explain to him why what he did does not work. I also explain to him the fact that my only objective is his wellbeing throughout all of this. And also… the most important thing; we happily say sorry to each other as and when the need arises. I think that has gone a long way in keeping our relationship cool and loving.
- Anchor yourself in a value system, be informed about theories and practices –and let intuition guide the rest.
- The best case scenario is to be a little of everything. Be the tiger mom; alongside be the yummy mother and the chummy mother. It basically will result in your being a high expectation and high support type of parent.
- Remember, kids need boundaries even if they don’t like them, and they need to be held up to a reasonable standard even if it feels uncomfortable for them.
(Credit: Dr. Saliha Afridi, Clinical Psychologist in Dubai)