Have You Heard About Slow Parenting
Slow parenting is a style which allows your child to explore, play and enhance creativity through experience. Often I see children carrying bags on their shoulders from a tender age, getting stuck to the routine of school and curriculum which is bookish. I also observe parents how they run to various coaching classes- swimming, karate, dance, music and the list is never ending, without even stopping once to find out what their kid really enjoys doing. In our times, when the first thing we did after coming back from school is talk to our parents and play for good two hours, make new friends, play new games and basically enjoy.
Technology had not seen so much advancement then as it has today. And even if it did, our parents had strict rules for television. Mobile phones were a dream and who even thought of apps? Now I see even a seven year old capable of finding out movie ratings and skillfully operating a mobile phone or a tab. Perhaps that is where we, as parents, are restricting our children to experience nature, find a world outside the digital or hone the creativity! So while the kid in the next seat in a metro was busy checking movie ratings for an upcoming animation, I clumsily browsed through the internet to find out tips to grow a child more close to the nature since I wanted my child to thoroughly enjoy the childhood. And it was then I was introduced to the idea of slow parenting.
What is Slow Parenting?
While I read through it, I found it very much similar to the parenting style my parents adopted while bringing me up. And quite honestly, almost every friend we had back then was exposed to a similar style of parenting. Yes, it definitely had few changes in the dos and don’ts to suit todays circumstances, but the entire essence of it still remains the same. It’s the way you let your child explore activities to curb their boredom, develop creativity, and solve their own problems.
Understanding the Approach
Schedule: Make a schedule and stick to it with your kid. It is very crucial to develop one in the early years of childhood. Make sure you just not spend ‘quality’ time with your kid but also as much time in ‘quantity’. A schedule for the child and you will go a long way in parenting and helping your child grow up into a beautiful and confident person. Studies state that a child needs about 12 hours of sleep a day. While your child might enjoy that afternoon nap, keep in mind to indulge your kid in physical activities that would not just keep them active and alert but also help them get a good night sleep.
Food Habits: Nutrition is of prime importance, not just to kids but also to grown-ups. And during the formative years of your kid, you definitely need to monitor the food habits and measure the amount of nutrition you give. Again, schedule plays a very important role here. It’s not just the nutrition you include but also the eating schedule.
Tackle Boredom with Empathy: Just like we adults, kids get bored too. Even your hyper active child gets bored staying indoors on a rainy day. As a parent you will surely be tempted to keep your child involved in some activity to kill the boredom. Fair! But refrain yourself from doing it too often. Allow the child to figure out ways to check the boredom. It not only increases their creativity when they start using the items at home to keep themselves involved, but also makes them capable of solving their own problems right from the small age.
Do not always plan activities: Yes, you read it right! It’s a very natural tendency of parents to carefully plan all the activities for your kid. Slow parenting encourages you to plan less and let the child explore more. So next time you are out on a beach or a museum or a park, do not direct your kid. Let the little one feel the sand and water on his feet, and then if he sees other kids building sand castles on the beach, he will follow suit. If not, do not be disheartened that the ‘normal’ activity did not happen. Rather observe your kid enjoying himself with the activity he finds his interest lying. If you happen to visit a museum, do not straight away direct your child to see a certain piece of art. Escort them, but let them wander and find them checking out items that intrigues them.
Alone time: Much like adults, kids also wish for some alone time. Do not criticize or demoralize them by comparing them with the other kids and staying idle ‘doing nothing’. Let them lie down on the hammock and count the stars or watching the birds build their nest or the cars plying on the road or just simply step back and let them have the privacy to learn and explore things at their own pace.
Avoid too much technology: When you are around your kids, avoid the use of gadgets or any other technology. It not only hinders their creativity and makes them lazy, but also delays their thoughts, speech and alignment to physical activities.
While many parents prefer hyper parenting style to raise their kids, the others prefer slow parenting. Give yourself some time to think which style you would need. Though slow parenting has a heavy share of benefits, it does not really take a proper shape unless you are convinced on the style you wish to adopt.
This article was written by Arushi, a mother and a blogger!