Parenting with C-A-R-E by Dr. Jyoti Hegde
My speech when I was invited as the chief guest for the annual gathering of the pre-primary section of Fatima school, Margao, Goa
Instead of giving a long list of dos and don’ts about parenting, let me share four simple parenting tips in form of an easy to remember acronym C-A-R-E, CARE.
The 1st letter of CARE is C. C stands for Carefully listen
Let me share with you an incident. We run a yearlong personality development class for kids named CHAMPS. After one class, all the students left except one girl, Siya. I got a call from Siya's mom saying that she has been caught up in some urgent work and it will take an hour to reach. So she requested me to keep Siya with us till then. Siya started chatting with me about her likes, dislikes and her hobbies. As I was chatting with her I removed my cell phone to check work related WhatsApp messages and there were plenty of them to read and reply. I thought I was listening to her at the same time I was working. But Siya's sudden question surprised me. With an innocent smile on her face she asked, "Can you please put off the phone, look at me and listen?" That day I realised that just like adults, kids too need our undivided attention. Giving children our undivided attention shows them they are valuable.
Action for parents - Have a daily time slot of 15 minutes where you carefully listen to what they have to say without any distractions like WhatsApp/Facebook/work etc.
The 2nd letter of CARE is A. A stands for Appreciate genuinely
When my elder daughter Aditi was in LKG, I used to work a lot on her improvement areas. I used to keep correcting her all the time. After sometime, she started looking sad. One day she asked me, "Mamma, am I a big gaddo (zero)? Am I good for nothing?" I was shocked. I had never realised what my continuous correction was doing to her. I decided to start appreciating her. I started appreciating her for the small-small good things she did. I noticed that she did those same things better than before. She looked happy now. It also helped me stay in a cool state of mind.
Action for parents - Appreciate your child genuinely for all the small-small good things that they do.
The 3rd letter of CARE is R. R stands for Recognise Strengths
Few years back, I noticed that Aditi was good at drawing. I started sending her drawings to different magazines. She started receiving prizes and appreciation from all which increased her confidence.
At our Champs classes too, we have noticed that each and every child is good at something. One boy Denzil is not good at writing and drawing but was very good at playing chess and solving puzzles. Another girl Pooja is shy of speaking in English but is very good at drawing and colouring. Some are good at writing, some at speaking, drama, singing and so on.
Action for parents - Observe your kids carefully and recognise their strengths. Involve them in activities where they can use their strengths and become better.
The 4th letter of CARE is E. E stands for Encourage independence.
When my younger daughter Reya was 3yrs old, she would keep calling out to me every now and then. "Mamma, open the tap." "Mamma give me my toothbrush" as she was too short to reach these things by herself. The next time we visited our local supermarket I asked them if they had a small stool and took it home and gave it to Reya. She was very excited and started using it to do small-small tasks. It made my job easy and at the same time it empowered Reya to do small-small daily tasks on her own.
Action for parents - Encourage your child to do small-small daily tasks independently.
Let’s recall what the acronym CARE stands for
C - Carefully listen,
A - Appreciate genuinely
R - Recognise strengths,
E - Encourage independence
I wish all of you happy parenting using the CARE method!
Dr. Jyoti Hegde is a Corporate soft skills trainer and a life skills trainer for kids based in Goa, India. Her passion is to conduct sessions for kids on the values, habits, and life skills needed for health, happiness and success.