Tips for a rigid parent


  • Communicate openly with everyone. This may reduce your rigidity and

make you more open to change yourself.

  • Perceive the world around you in an unbiased way. It may help you in

becoming more flexible and adopting a new life-style.

  • Exchange ideas with people around you. It will help you welcome

other’s ideas as well.

  • Check your child’s needs and desires. Do not be unreasonably adamant

on issues which he considers to be important. After all, these are the

natural demands of any normal, healthy child. Act with discretion!

  • Don’t always react with “NO”. Make yourself available to understand

your child’s suggestions/demands. Let him know your opinions and

ideas in a calm manner and explain why you disagree with him.

  • If you do not like new food, try to taste first and then express your

feeling in a gentle manner so that your family can take care of your

taste. Irritations on such a small thing may turn into a big crisis. Be softspoken

mild in your manners and flexible in your attitude as well.

  • Curiosity regarding family happenings is a sign of concern. If you shut

yourself up within yourself it either shows your low interest or your

own preoccupation with ideas regarding the happenings. Be open!

  • Electronic gadgets are good for anyone. Enjoy with your child and

the gadgets in an appropriate manner and satisfy his curiosity up to

some extent. It will make your child free to interact with you and also a

healthy way for your child to access you whenever he finds himself in a

dilemma. Be a supportive parent!

Remember: Change is the only constant in life.

Remember, constantly dwelling on your own problems is the biggest

sin you can commit against your family. Neglecting your child is as big a

crime as any on earth.

Now look at the following things which will allow you to work past

your self-inflicted problems:

Talk to your child regularly.

Check his school bag, note book, diary etc., everyday.

Keep his clothes, bed and room clean and encourage him to assist you.

Provide him with good food.

Check his home work and school work and guide him in whatever little

way you can.

How Your Personality Makes or Breaks Your Child 55

Talk to his school friends and their parents as well.

Make sure you develop familiar relations with the parents of his friends.

Allot some time to talk to him about his friends, events and experiences

in school.

Enjoy shopping with him, having ice cream and watching movies.

Your teenage child needs your guidance, love, and a friendly approach;

and also a little bit of space.

Take part in his hobbies and interests, and try to encourage them.

The best way to be friendly with your growing child is to invite his

friends occasionally and make them feel at home, irrespective of their gender.

Discussing and sharing general knowledge with your child makes your

child as well as you more educated and knowledgeable.

Read the newspaper with your child.

Solve puzzles and word jumbles with your child.

With grown-up kids, you should share feelings and take suggestions on

trivial and non-trivial issues.

Involve him in financial strategy, home expenditure, savings, banking,

paying bill etc.

Enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes.

Make sure when your child comes home during the vacations you can

spare some exclusive quality time for him.

Once you start doing all of this, think about the time you have left in

your day. Don’t you start to think that you are running short of time? With

such a shortage of time, how can you afford to fall prey to any self-inflicted

illness? Remember, if you devote your time and efforts to your children it

will pave the way for a healthy reciprocal relationship in your family.

Ironically, only parents who want to escape from all of the above

responsibilities have a tendency to fall sick very easily. It is your turn to

JUDGE yourself.



Identify your general problems and apply effective methods of coping

with them:

  • Look for some time alone to sort out your painful thoughts. Quiet

moments can give you clarity of thought and answers to some gnawing


  • Do not bury yourself in corner. Come in contact with reality.
  • Discriminate between real and imagined threatening situations.
  • Write about your persistent fear of situations which you may perceive in

a magnified way and react to irrationally and you want to avoid it.

58 How Your Personality Makes or Breaks Your Child

  • Modify conditions in your life situations which are responsible in

eliciting maladaptive behaviour.

  • Pamper yourself by adopting positive methods: yoga, beauty care, dress


  • De-stress yourself by seeking areas of your healthy interest which may

keep you mentally and physically fit:

  • Write down your problems or thoughts on paper in detail; it does not

matter how terrible they are. Then tear and throw the paper away.

  • Involve yourself in some light activities, preferably productive (e.g.,

sports, crafts, writing, music, painting, cooking etc.). Creative writing,

painting, singing, dancing etc., not only provide an outlet to your

suppressed feelings but they can also give you a sense of liberation

from your normal stressful routine. Some of the greatest authors, poets,

painters, singers, dancers around the world have successfully converted

their negative emotions into works of art. If you have a different method

of reducing your anxiety, pursue it, like exercise, yoga, gardening etc.

  • Share your problems with like-minded people.
  • The best way to fine-tune your parental skill is to spend quality time

with your own kids. Be an involved participant in their activities. Not

only will this reduce your anxiety, but it will also encourage greater

communication with your children. Frequent interaction with children

is extremely important. Quality time includes playing, discussing,

watching TV, sharing events etc., depending upon the age group of your


By adopting these methods, you will find a remarkable change in

yourself, and your anxiety level will be reduced to a great extent. So you

can handle anxiety in different ways. Adopt any of the aforesaid methods

that appeals to you.

If you can control or find a way to reduce your anxiety, you will prove

to be a competent parent; moreover, you can understand your child’s stress

better and help him cope with his own anxieties.

Enjoying kitty party, shopping and visiting spa or beauty parlour

indicate your positivity and exuberance.

However, over-indulging in such activities shows your inability to cope

with your personal situation and thus allowing problems to get accentuated.

It leaves an impression on your child’s psyche that you are escaping from

your responsibilities and giving much importance to your own entertainment

and recreation.


Never preach what you cannot practise.

  • • Do not force your child to study while you are partying or watching

television in the next room.

  • • Do not force your child to sleep or eat according to your convenience.
  • • Do not lie to your child while you’re leaving home to attend a party or

going to a movie.

  • • Do not insult or scold your child in front of other members of your

family or guests.

  • • The characteristics of your friends’ circle have a big impact on your

child. Be selective when it comes to choosing your friends.

  • • Make a routine for yourself and let your child follow it along with you.
  • • Respect your own elders before you expect your child to respect you.
  • • If you are habituated in passing indecent remarks about others, you end

up setting a poor example for your child. Stop it immediately. Mind

your language.

  • • If you are extravagant, be careful, for your child will imitate you.

In the words of J. Edgar Hoover (long-time Director of the FBI in

the US):

‘If discipline is practised in every home, juvenile delinquency would

be reduced by 95%.’


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