As a child if there was one P that dominated my life – It was “Play”. Be it sports or the fool, I’d ace J. As I grew, life was about the 3 P’s “Parents, Pals and Prayers”( Prayers especially for those “grades and marks” to take me through the “critical study years”! I meant the school exams, board exams and all the competitive exams that were a pre-requisite for any professional course). After I enrolled for my Engineering education, the 2 P’s of “Peer-pressures and Programming” kept me busy. During my Management education, the 4P’s of Marketing – “Price, Product, Place, and Promotion” took the fore-front. The next phase of my life was P for profession which included the 3P’s of “Paisa, Pressures and Processes” (Thanks to the industry I work in). Of course all along, People, Politics and Poise played their part. As I entered matrimony, the 3P’s which dominated were Promises, Passion and Peace (or lack of at times! ;).
Then I became a mother. And I observed so many P’s which now began to dominate my life. First there were the Trio of Pee, Poop and Puke (Don’t smirk, These P’s dominate your life, thoughts and conversations!). But as I grew as a parent, I wondered what the most important P’s of Parenting
If there is one P that is absolutely critical in the journey of parenting, it is patience. You need to be patient with the questions, answers, teaching, learning, growing, mistakes, yourself and the children! And that is a whole lot of patience. If you are patient, the parenting journey is a lot smoother, enjoyable and pleasant. If not, parenting can be a very unpleasant experience! I did not start off the journey as a patient parent, but I soon realize that there was no other way. So I learnt. Did you?
The thing about parenting (and children) is that as parents, you can never ever give up on your children. And that needs a whole lot of perseverance. To repeat till they understand. To teach them right and wrong and all shades of gray in-between. To understand when silence speaks louder than words and when actions speak louder than words. To comprehend your own buttons, gears and brakes to keep your engine going! To figure out that the downtime and pause are as critical in the long run as the uptime and progress. It all takes time. And if you are a parent, the deal is till eternity. Up until then, you have to persevere
The other most important P of parenting is getting the Priorities right. In your mind in terms of what is important in the role you play as a parent, and also in terms of establishing ground rules for what is top priority in terms of your child’s growth and development. If you get the top priorities right on your list, and get them done in your actions – I guess both the parents and the children end up just fine!
If there was only one P that I would advocate, it is this. Be positive.(OK! If you’re blood group is B+, then is it easier, maybe ;). Parenting is a mixed journey. There are highs and lows, cyclones and anti-cyclones, storm and sun. And what I’ve learned (rather the hard way) is at the end of the day, you need to accept it all and move ahead. After all as a parent, you have no choice but to move on. And what better way than with a smile and positive thought, than a frown and negative thought. Easier said than done, but worth the try. The beauty of positive thinking is if you think positive, you speak and say positive things and you do positive things and that brings back a whole lot of positivity in your life – especially to and with your kids. One of the best pieces of parenting advice I got from a veteran in this area was “Even if you don’t feel / think positive, just fake it. Positivity will come right back at you”. Having personal experience now in this department, I completely agree.
So what do you think are the most important P’s of Parenting? Leave a comment to let me know.
As I sign off, I leave you with a few thought provoking quotes on parenting
The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults. - Peter De Vries
Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories. - John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680)
We spend the first 12 months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next 12 months teaching them to sit down and shut up. - Phyllis Diller