By Meenal Arora
Panda parenting is all about allowing kids to make their decisions so they can learn on their own. It’s also about respecting their preferences and guiding them only when it’s necessary. This helps in building a stronger foundation for all children as they become self-sufficient. With its distinct benefits, this type of parenting is becoming more and more popular. Here’s how you can also adopt this new gentle approach for bringing up children.
Trust and respect children
In an age when many parents have high expectations from their children, it is important that they trust the little ones. As a matter of fact, it is the key to maintaining an ideal parent-child relationship. You should exercise more sensitivity and discretion when it comes to their lives. In simple words, you should only intervene when there is a need to step in.
Panda Parenting is different from other approaches. You will make sure that children are safe, but not to the point of interfering with their development. It will help your children pursue interests and passions, which is something that will make them well-rounded individuals.
Allow children to try things on their own
As responsible parents, you must allow them to ask questions, experiment, take risks, break rules, make mistakes and have fun. Most importantly, you should never push for perfection. Remember that mistakes enhance children’s ability as they learn to overcome failures on their own. This will help them become independent and develop a sense of responsibility.
When children get vocal about making choices, it’s a sign that they are growing up. Within reason, let children pick their clothes, toys, games, meals, etc.
Maintain the right balance
Parents should not mistake ‘Panda Parenting’ as giving kids absolute freedom. There is still a need to set some ground rules and work out boundaries. These can be changed as your child gets older. The rules generally revolve around homework, playtime and screen time.
In simple terms, it’s about getting the balance right between encouraging independence and protecting them. You still need to safeguard children and teach them the skills to be safe.
Implement discipline but remain calm
Life with children is full of surprises as they will act their age and make mistakes. These little angels depend on us for guidance. If anything requires disciplinary action, do it without the use of fear or threats. It is vital that parents are always in control of their emotions and never yell at their kids. However, it takes a great deal of mindfulness, practice and reflection to master such behaviour.
Show constant support
Children need to feel accepted and loved by their parents. So, you should be genuinely interested in their interests, needs and ideas. Also develop a partnership with your child’s teachers and school staff members.
As with any other relationship, talking and listening play major roles in establishing a strong bond. You must be in the moment with your child and actively listen to them. The most important ingredient is love, which makes parenting a sweeter experience.
With the Panda Parenting approach, we could encourage children to live balanced lives, follow their heart and create their own paths. In short, we collaborate with them and not act as authoritative figures. Start now by taking the right steps to ensure a brighter future for your children.
(The writer is Founder Director of Shemford & Shemrock Group of Schools.)
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