I was happy to read your latest cover story on slow parenting. It sums ups beautifully why parents should slow down and not stress themselves and their children by crowding their lives with a million tasks and activities.
When our twins were born about ten years ago, my husband and I decided we were going to allow them to lead us and not the other way around. During their childhood years, though we encouraged them to read and participate in sports activities, we also made sure they had time to relax, reflect and just get bored. Now they are both on the cusp of adolescence and we believe well-equipped to face life’s challenges.
Slow parenting does not mean going slow, it means mindful parenting. It is about balance, not bustle. It allows the family time to reflect and bond.
Your Adolescence story on helping children overcome fear of failure was timely and useful (PW January). In today’s super-competitive age where success in academics, peer relationships and even on social media defines a person’s worth, parents have to take the lead in counselling vulnerable teenagers. Your story is also a cautionary message for parents not to overburden their children with unrealistic academic expectations. This puts undue stress and pressure on children, and can scar them from life.
I say this from personal experience. When my daughter was in primary school, I expected her to always top her class exams. Perhaps I was pushed by other parents or my own inner self, but whatever the reason, I expected nothing short of perfection from her. I would yell at her if she did badly in school tests and exams. When she entered middle school, I noticed she would literally cower in fear when she had to show me her marks card. This pressure was making her a loner and also affecting her health and social relationships. I have spent the last year trying to change, but it’s going to take a while for her to rebuild her confidence and overcome her fear of failure.
Introduce life skills section
Thank you for publishing an informative and content-rich parenting magazine. Your Health & Nutrition and Recipes sections are particularly useful. The recipes celebrating Makar Sankranti in the January issue were simple and easy-to-make. I am teaching my teenage son some simple recipes so he can fend for himself when he moves out of the home for higher education. Learning to cook is an essential life skill for men and women in today’s world.
I request you to introduce a section on manners and life skills in the magazine. Unfortunately the millennial generation lacks basic good manners such as respect for elders and empathy for the less privileged. Their social etiquette is also poor with most of them obsessed with their smart phones and unable to carry on meaningful conversations. I hope your parenting magazine addresses such issues that impact the value systems of the next generation.
Excellent parenting issues coverage
I enjoy reading ParentsWorld. Your coverage of the umpteen parenting issues and challenges that new-age parents face is excellent. The cover story on saving children from gaming addiction and tech gadgets obsession was instructive and revealing. Since my teenage son is also an avid reader of ParentsWorld, I’m hoping that such stories will have a positive impact on his behaviour and attitudes.
I also love reading Dr. Gita Mathai’s health and nutrition columns. The January issue essay on hazardous baby products was edifying. We tend to believe what product manufacturers claim and advertise at face value, without proper investigation and even reading the label of ingredients carefully. I fully agree with her that when using baby products parents need to be extra cautious as infants are particularly vulnerable to harmful chemicals and substances. Many of the products may be convenient and save us time and effort but are they safe for infants?