Smart love is supposed to be a sure-fire recipe for successful parenting. Whether you are a parent of a new born or an adolescent, the parent of one child or five, you may worry about making the correct response to your child when she cries, makes demands, is frightened, wants constant cuddling & attention or won’t do what is good for her. As parents & as health professionals, we are living & struggling with these same fundamental issues. The discoveries made in the course of decades by researching the subject of the true nature of the child as well as the question ofnecessary ingredients for a child’s healthy emotional development, give us a new understanding of children, childhood & adolescence, which in turn give us to create guidelines that all parents can follow while parenting lovingly but with knowledge & effectiveness, hence the term SMART LOVE. The A B C of the Smart Love for parenting is:
A - Attention breeds Independence
Lots of loving attention (not the doting) will make your child independent. Let go of those worries that you will spoil your child, or make your child needy and dependent, by providing attention.
B - Be first to capture the Middle Ground
No parent should feel stuck between being a pushover and a disciplinarian, between letting everything go and relying on the "quick fix" of discipline. You can find another happy medium.
C - Cultivate Inner Happiness
The greatest gift you can give to your child is a sturdy fortress of inner happiness. Outward happiness always will be fleeting and uncertain without this inward foundation.
D - Discipline is necessary, but while using your Head trust your Heart
Your parenting instincts are always good ones. If your head tells you that tough discipline is necessary, but your heart is not in it, take heed. The foremost expert on parenting is the one you see in the mirror.
E - Eyes see the world their way
Learn to see the world through your child's eyes. Give up the illusion that your child is a miniature adult. You promote a child's growth better by embracing immaturity than by fighting it.
F - Foster Optimism
A child brings loads of hope and good cheer into this world. Teach your child to look life's obstacles squarely in the eye, but never ever scare your child. Thus you can foster an optimist child.
G - Give Quantity Time
On one side are all the reasons you do not have any to give. On the other are the great rewards you and your child will reap when you manage to do so. Make the effort. Only Quality Time does not make up for a lack of Quantity Time.
H - Happy Children Behave
Parenting is not only ‘behavior modification’. Cultivating your child's inner happiness is what really leads to good behavior. Chances are more that your child will behave better if you spend less time trying to control him or her.
I - Introspection…a quality to be enhanced.
Introspection is a good option rather a quality to be enhanced so that children can think by themselves and learn from their mistakes to grow into successful individuals.
J - Just like you……your kid behaves!
If you come across as perpetually unhappy with your child, always acting tough and talking negatively, then your child will expect and want that unhappiness, and will do whatever it takes to get more of it. You are your child’s role model. So do not teach your child to seek unhappiness.
In short, parents who concentrate on trying to control their child’s behaviour rather than trying to control their child are going to have much more success & a lot less grief. Parents who give teenagers their love, time, boundaries & encouragement to think for themselves may find that they actually enjoy their children growing up. As they watch their children growing in independence, making decisions & developing into young adult, they may take pride in it even more than they could have imagined at the breathtaking moment of their newborn they held for the first time.
Dr. Mrs Prajakta Kaduskar
Consultant in Adolescent Paediatrics
Dr. Ajay Kaduskar
Dr. Mrs. Prajakta A. Kaduskar