by Vinayak Lokur
“How to deal with the kids of today’s generation?” is a question in every parent’s mind. Dr. Anand Nadkarni, who is an expert In Psychiatry, shared his ideas on the subject today, at Mahavir Bhavan, with the parents & teachers of Belagavi. The programme was organised by Polyhydron Foundation, Indradhanushya & Belagavi Association of Paediatrics.
Dr. Nadkarni said there are 4 kinds of needs Biological Needs, Developmental Needs, Emotional Needs and Psychosocial Needs & it’s important for every parent to understand each of these.
He further said,
The information processing capacity of nerve cells increases proportionately with its stimulations. With changing times, technological advancements & social conditions the avenues of stimulation have also increased. Hence today’s child has 4 to 5 time’s higher information processing capacity than the parents (5 X). Every parent must understand this and then deal with the children, and then only it is possible to acquire Quality with Speed. The way to deal is to increase our own capacity as parents and try to cope up with the Knowledge and information the children have (Increase our own X!).
It is very important to work on Emotion & not just Information.
Today’s child has the capability to focus on multiple issues at the same time, while the parents expect them to remain focused on a single issue. It is essential to strike a balance between both like a doctor does while operating on a patient. The comprehensive definition of Concentration should be a mixture of appropriate focus, Level of Interest & Depth of involvement.
To enhance the depth of involvement, we need to develop the child’s ability to look at the same thing from different perspectives. Today’s children have sensory perceptual judgment, unlike the experiential judgment trait of their parents. The children do not accept precedence on face value and parents should not question the questioning ability of the child.
The Goals in olden days were limited, Options were limited, Aspirations were limited & we use to believe Slow & Steady wins the race! It is important to understand today’s child has Expanded Goals, Multiple Options, Burning aspirations & they long to be Fast!.
From Collectivism we have moved to Individualism, Focus has changed from Image of the family to Image of Self. The challenge before the parent today is Acceptance of the “Developmental Gradient” of the child. Parents must have Unconditional, emphatic acceptance of the child.
They should give proper direction and not the solution to the children so that the child’s cognitive abilities get better and also the communication between a parent and child improves from “Ordering Style >> to Consensus Building Style”. Inclusive decision making is the way to help the child have sound decision making skill.
When we say Build Consensus on important issues – focus on what’s important to the child and not to you!
Every communication (negotiation) should be behavior/performance centered and not person-centered. Negotiation is not a compulsion, it’s not a power show & not a delay tactic – it is a sincere effort to find solutions and alternatives.
Be a Karmayogi, like a Gardner: Expect desired results but refrain from demanding. The Gardner allows each tree to blossom according to its uniqueness & does not expect a rose tree to deliver a lotus. Nature’s law is, the tree dissociates itself when the fruit/flower is ripened and does not expect it to stay attached. Do your work like a Gardner and learn the skill of detachment then only you can help the child to reach its potential.
Through parenting each one achieves their own self-development as a human being, so Be grateful to your children for teaching you parenting.
He finally said remember,
My child is “my” child, yet not an extension (appendage) of me!
I do not make my child’s future; I help him develop his own future!
Parenting is an integral, important part of my life; but parenting is not “equal to” my life!
Ideal parenting is a myth – effective parenting is a reality!