Can children be straight jacketed, classified as species of the animal kingdom with specific characteristics. If it is possible then, all counselling books on parenting would be successes. The rate at which these books appear in the market is amazing. And these are written entirely from a western perspective. There is such a difference in the way children are brought up in this part of the hemisphere than in the northern part. Here parents assume responsibility for the child right up to their adulthood and at times beyond. Right or wrong this is the reality.
Whereas in the west, children are encouraged to be ?independent? right since they are toddlers and by the time they are into their teens they are totally out of the parental ?administration.?
The book ?Parenting with Purpose, Five Keys to Raising Children with Values and Vision? lists the do'sand don?ts for parents grandparents and caregivers. The five key terms are sense of security, sense of identity, sense of belonging, sense of purpose and sense of personal competence. For each of these a diagnostic check list is given so you can weigh up the child.
The book identifies that grandparents are increasingly playing the role of parents because with most couple working the children are left with the elders in the house. The strong points of grandparents bringing up the children are that they give unconditional love, they are great listeners, they have ?typically strong values? which they can pass on to children and they act as mediating force between the children and the parents.
Listening to children, spending quality time with them, understanding their anxiety and assuaging it and sharing their concern at their level, instead of dismissing them are all some of the clues to bringing up children.
(Macmillan India Ltd., 2/10 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002.)