Positive Parenting

Excerpts from the book ‘Your Child is Your Parent’ by Manoj J Lekhi.


Once I happened to be in Hyderabad and was standing on the steps of a hall to attend a seminar. Just then, a lady, a mother, happened to bring her 3-year-old child to the seminar. I saw the child in the mother’s arms and it was a funny sight: the mother was walking up the steps and the child was being dragged by the mother, who was saying, “Come on, quickly, come on, quickly”.


This is a common sight in public places, marriages etc. You will find children being literally dragged like trolleys by parents who pull them, and the children running behind them as if they are machines.


What I saw at Toronto airport was even more hilarious: a child was being pulled by his mother using a dog leash! Trust me, I am not kidding. Most parents treat their children like objects. It would be better if, instead of having children, they would have a little doll which can be wound so that when they press the button the child would automatically walk, clap and smile. We want the children to behave just the way we would like them to behave, and we conveniently forget that we were once children, too, and our parents also must have wanted us to do the same. The frustrations we must have felt as children are forgotten. Now the little child is feeling the same frustration when he is forced and compelled to do what the parents want him to do.


To change this behaviour of ours, what we require is a little empathy and introspection; only then will we understand what the child must be going through due to our behaviour.

When we see and understand the need for the child to have a healthy interaction and to be treated like an adult, tremendous change will happen in the child.


This is what our principle of ‘say & do’ hopes to achieve. Preparation of the child for any given situation beforehand gives the child a tremendous sense of participation, involvement and respect, which he knows is given to him by his parents. You will notice that suddenly the child becomes very disciplined, without you ever having to “discipline” him.


“The reason we have become fans of ISP and the reason we recommend this programme is because we have experienced the success of the wonderful concepts of ISP. The ‘say & do’ technique worked best for us and stunned us completely with the way Veer handled his naming ceremony — in a composed manner — amongst a crowd of 300 affectionate guests, loud noise and light. Before the event, Ketki had shown her sense of respect for Veer by updating veer on the details of all the activities involved, along with their importance in his life. Frankly, I was expecting our little angel who was just 45 days then to be like a normal baby who would cry, get irritated and give us a feeling of guilt, but Veer on his naming ceremony truly made it ‘his day’ as if he knew about this event well in advance and truly wanted to make this an eventful day by receiving all the praises!”

Aditya Deshpande, Bankeradityasiib@rediffmail.com


Children always appreciate the respect and feel the reverence of the parents towards them. The highest form of relationship between a parent and a child is not just ‘being friends’; there is something higher than that, and that is reverentially ‘seeing the child as God’ (see Sec.III, Chap.2, ‘Different Styles of Parenting’).


Learn from your child continuously and see the small things which we have missed in our life during our childhood. See the wonder in your child, the excitement, the perseverance, the spontaneity, the innocence, the expressiveness through crying, laughing and throwing tantrums — all so instinctive!


That is what we have lost in our life and what we can get back if we are aware! All that is required is to appreciate the fact that the child has got far more to give us than what we have to give him or her!


A query often put across to me is “What do I do? My child does not study!” I would tell the parents: if nothing works, then just respect the child’s decision not to study, and if he fails, allow him to. This obviously leads to a reaction of disbelief from the parents. We need to understand and believe that the child will only learn from failure; probably, in his case failure is the only sure path to success. The message here is that if you are at ease with his passing or failing, then suddenly the ball is in his court, and he will learn to deal with the consequences of his decisions and come out as a more responsible and successful human being.


People may look at it as ‘he has lost one year’, but I feel ‘he has gained one more year of perseverance, one more year of study’. It depends on the way you look at it. Allow children to learn from their mistakes and always be available as a guiding force, giving them the proper options and allowing them to learn.


Here, I remember my childhood. I was in the 2nd grade and failed that year! I came back home a little fearful of my mother, who surprised me with a beautiful hug! This made me feel so comfortable that I became very secure. Thereafter, I worked hard on my studies and always stood amongst the first five in the class. This is positive parenting, respectful parenting and true parenting.