Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Every parent has their own unique set of challenges, but there are some common challenges that every parent will face at some point.
Here are some tips for how to handle the 10 most common parenting challenges:
- Poor diet - It is common for children to prefer unhealthy snacks over eating well and on time. As they grow, this may become a big challenge. Forcing food never works thus the solution to improper eating is two-fold:
a. Making healthy meals which are also tasty so they develop a palette for nutritious food.
b. Involving them in shopping, meal preparations while keeping them informed of all the benefits the food has on them. This can be a major turning point in the way children look at food.
- Sibling rivalry - As a parent, a huge responsibility is to ensure harmonious relationships. Frequent fights between your children can be a big challenge. The most important way to reduce this is by never comparing children. When children learn that each of them have their own unique strengths, they understand they don’t need to compete with anyone. When fights do happen, it’s important that as a parent you remain calm, have set rules and treat everyone involved equally.
- Aggressive behaviour- No child is born aggressive thus it’s important to deal with this behavioural issue with extreme calmness and patience. Try and understand the reason and emotion behind your child’s anger. 99% of the times there will be a valid reason.
- Lying - Almost all children lie at one point or another. If left unchecked, this may lead them to hide important things in life as well. It’s important to first create a space where the children know and feel, they can tell you anything. When caught in a lie, remain calm and explain to them how it can be harmful.
- Disobedience - As kids grow, they will begin to rebel against rules. If they are being rude or disobedient, they are most likely trying to establish an identity of their own. At such a time, its good to re examine the rules and also acknowledge the child’s opinion. If they still continue to be rude, take measures with the aim to teach not punish.
- Lack of self esteem - As children start to have more interactions with their peers and the world around them, it’s important to understand your child’s personality. If they are shy and do not make friends easily, it’s ok but their behaviour should not be due to a lack of self esteem. Self-esteem develops as a child feels safe, loved, and accepted so ensure you give them the confidence to face the world. You can read more about it here.
- Study time - It’s important to build routines right from when children are young. If they have a set time aside for reading books, they won’t have so much trouble moving towards doing their homework as they grow up. If they procrastinate too much, instead of forcing studies, it’s good to understand their interests and work from there.
- Tantrums - If a child throws a tantrum for 20 minutes and then gets what they want, they will know what to do the next time too. Unlike other behaviours which have an underlying reason, throwing tantrums is mostly unreasonable. Instead of fulfilling their wishes immediately, one should remain calm and let them know that they will be heard once they calm down too.
- Screen time - A big challenge in recent times is technology and its addictive nature. Introducing children to outdoor activities and board games can show them how not being stuck to gadgets can be a lot of fun. As parents, being involved in hikes and games with our children can lead to stronger relationships as well.
- Complaining nature - If your child is always whining and complaining, a lot of times it has more to do with them wanting attention. Children may whine out of an impulse. Understand how much importance one should give to the problem at hand. Parents can build trust by simply hearing them out. Encouraging children to find solutions to smaller problems themselves also helps to reduce this habit.
There is a popular saying “You are what you do, not what you say you will do” and it holds so true for parenthood. Parenting requires discipline and consistency. It’s important to remember children learn the most from observing their surroundings.
With patience and a little bit of attention, we can overcome the common challenges while doing this herculean task of being parents.