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Parenting

From one parent to another: A guide to parenthood

Laalayet panchvarshani; Dash varshani tadyet;

Praptetu shodshe varshe; Putram mitra vadacharet;

This sloka shares, what can only be called as the ancient wisdom of parenting. It says: nurture a child with love until the age of five. For the next five years, be firm with the child and teach them the importance of moral values. By the age of 16, when the child is ready to step into adulthood, treat them like a friend.

The sloka summarises the entire parenting guide in just two lines. Likewise, there are hundreds of books, thousands of videos, and millions of opinions people share on parenting. Yet, no one seems to know what is the correct path when it comes to parenting.

Parenting is an experience, where you learn as the journey progresses. You make mistakes and learn from them. Slowly and gradually you turn into a responsible parent, who has figured out what works and what doesn’t for you and your child. There may be days where things seem tough. The lockdown that transpired after the coronavirus outbreak, is one such obstacle for millions of parents around the world who don’t know how to explain to their children why they can’t go out to meet their friends. If there is anyone who can help these parents are other parents who have mastered the art of parenting.

Every parent’s journey is different. But parents can learn about the pitfalls, detours, and sharp turns from each other’s experiences. Especially, those who are new to parenthood. For them, it’s a new world where every setback feels like doomsday. In such a case, when you receive a do’s and don’ts guide from someone who has already walked the path you are on, you realise parenting is not that difficult after all.

If there is anyone who can help these parents are other parents who have mastered the art of parenting.


If you are a new parent or expecting to become one, the listed perspectives and stories will certainly help you in your journey.

Encourage children to do something new

“My daughter is always excited to try new things. She likes to do experimental activities and is keen to learn new things. She is only four and has already learned to prepare a few recipes (That don’t require cooking, like fruit salad and chaats). There are days when she wants to learn a different activity. Whatever she wants to do I encourage her, and we do it together, as a team,” says Sahana Vivek, mother of a four-year-old daughter.

There are days when she wants to learn a different activity. Whatever she wants to do I encourage her, and we do it together, as a team.

Help them at every turn

“We believe in the abilities of our children and remain positive at all times. This makes them believe in themselves. We set goals and keep rewards for accomplishments. We review the activities of our children and watch what they naturally gravitate towards. We validate their interests and encourage them to express themselves. Once we are sure, we take equal interest and help them pursue it further,” says Priyanka Chatterjee, mother of a seven-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son.

Don’t reprimand a child for failing

“I ensure I reward my son after he has attempted something he has never done before. I ensure that I appreciate the fact that he is just five years old, and the things that are mechanical for us, are milestones for him. When we clap for him he attempts the same thing again and gets better at it. From my parents, I learnt to never give up, and I try to teach it to my son,” says Swathi K, mother of a five-year-old son.

Listen to gain your child’s trust

“It is easy to dismiss a child and tell them to not bother you with their stories. But, this is the time when you can gain their trust. I listen to everything she has to say. I trust her words, and give her a chance to tell her side of the story,” says Smita Singh, mother of a six-year-old daughter.

Teach gratitude

“Teaching a kid about something as big as gratitude is tricky, but important. I have taught my girl to say the two magical words ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’, every time she needs something or gets something in return. We, as parents, have to understand the importance of explaining to our children why we should be thankful to God, Nature, and other valuable things in life,” says Sahana Vivek, mother of a four-year-old daughter.

I have taught my girl to say the two magical words ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’, every time she needs something or gets something in return.

Set a quarantine routine for the children

“My child is extremely sad these days because she doesn’t get to meet her friends at her playschool. But I am making the best of this time. I dress her up like a doll every day, and she loves being called pretty. She always runs up to the mirror, comes back and asks, Amk khub pretty lagche (I look very pretty, don’t I?),” says Shilpi Atarthy, mother of a four-year-old daughter.

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