“Always kiss your child goodnight even if they are already asleep!”– Jackson Brown Jr.

Giving Birth to a child is a natural process but becoming a parent needs guidance of the elders and the experts. To add to the complexity are the various doctrines which at times are even contradictory. Not to further complicate the situation I would like to first and foremost acknowledge that every child is different and so are their needs. To help our child who is special and unique, we as parents are responsible to provide this child a safe haven. This safe haven assures the baby of:•The basic amenities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, warmth and hygiene.•Safety and Security needs including protectiveness and stability•Need for belongingness and love, also expressed in the form of kisses, hugs, love, care etc.•Esteem needs including awards and appreciations that include the needs to be called a good boy or a good girl.This safe haven helps building the creative capacity of a child to become a self reliant, healthy, mature adult.

The attention and environment you provide shapes your child’s brain development for life.-Erik Erikson

Tips for Parents to have healthy relationship with their child: •Smile and look at children in the eyes as you greet them •Spend time with the child. Quantity matters. During this time, get on the floor, listen and establish eye contact. •Use touch to comfort- It is appropriate to hug, gently touch a shoulder, or hold hands. •Help children learn appropriate social-emotional language (how close to stand, how to use eye contact, when to touch, how to touch). •Remember that there are many styles of forming and maintaining relationships- A shy child is not an unattached child. If you sense a child is having a hard time engaging others, help facilitate this by actively including her or pairing her with another child who has a matching temperament.

“Play is the most natural method of self-healing that childhood affords”-Erik Erikson

Like every child’s needs can be different than others similarly s/he also has different needs at different stages of development.An infant till the age of 1yr is completely dependent on the caregiver. By timely feeding, cleaning, comforting and care s/he learns to trust the parents and relies on them with hope that the need would be met. But if the needs aren’t met the baby will distrust all and see people as unpredictable, undependable and dangerous. Thus at this parenting includes being available for the baby as a consistent, trustworthy & reliable caretaker who will meet all his needs.A toddler from the age of 1 -3 years starts exploring his /her body and spaces around. Parents also start toilet training of this child who looks for autonomy and self control. Autonomous child becomes confident that s/he can handle problem by their own otherwise would always be doubting one’s own potential and may be ashamed of themselves. At this stage the child should feel some sense of control over their life and should have his / her say in the activities of his/her daily living.Pre-Primary school child between the ages of 3-5 yrs initiates plays, explores and discovers. By following the child and allowing space for exploration child develops the courage and sense of independence. Fault finding by parents make children guilty and confused. Parents at this stage should be very encouraging of the child and of all their constructive initiates. By the age of 5 a school going child starts learning. Sense of achievement and accomplishments ensure feeling of competence or the child would feel inferior. Parents’ and teachers’ encouragement is very important ingredient at this stage.The toughest phase for the parents and the child is the teen years. Adolescence is an age of experiment looking for identity among his peers. Here the child’s body is maturing but the adolescent is not completely matured intellectually. Peers become more important which further complicates the situation when parents feel dethroned and experience a challenge to their authority.

Sense of identity provides the ability to experience one's selfas something that has continuity and sameness, and to act accordingly.- Erik H. Erikson

Tips for Parents of Adolescents:•As a parent, once again it is important to be a reliable guiding resource. •Be appreciative of all the constructive initiates of the adolescent. •Don’t ridicule the adolescent. •Beware that a decision may be wrong but not the adolescent as an individual. •The house should have clearly defined rules role modelled by adults. •There should always be space for communication and negotiations. •It is important to find win-win solutions for the differences cropping in the relationship.

As kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them.Adolescence is not about letting go. It is about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.-Ron Taffel

Successful sailing of the adolescent stage gives rise to a healthy, matured, loving and secured adult.In today’s time, parenting is further challenging with both parents working and thus lack of time for both. Actually it is the quality of time that matters and not just quantity of time.

Some Research on Working Parents:

•No scientific evidence says children are harmed when their mothers work.•A child who is emotionally well adjusted, well loved, and well cared for will thrive regardless of whether or not the mother works outside the home. •Fathers are more proactive in dual career couples.•A mother who successfully manages both an outside job and parenthood provides a role model for her child.•Daughters of working mothers aspire to be gainfully employed.•Children become independent faster and develop higher self esteem.•Day cares need to be chosen carefully to avoid negative impact.

Children have a different spelling for the word love,We spell it l-o-v-e, they spell it t-i-m-e.

Tips for working couples:

Within yourself:Create boundaries between work and home- Avoid “spillover”.Make time for self.Deal with GUILT (remember the research)Avoid falling into the “superwoman Syndrome”Ask for supportAllow people to helpLet your family do things “their way”Learn to let goPrioritize

Communicate with spouse:Clarify Roles and Expectations.Divide tasks. Plan for Emergencies.Be Flexible.Be forgiving.Appreciate and Thank often.Do fun things together .

If Parenting is love:•Love doesn’t stem from punishments, but from forgiveness, acceptance and hugs. •Love is positive, encouraging, open, sincere and communicative. •Love involves discipline.•Love makes us admit our mistakes willingly and make improvements without hurting relationships.

Children love and want to be loved and they very much preferthe joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure.Do not mistake a child for his symptoms. -Erik Erikson

To sum up as parents our role is to give our child a loving and secured relationship. A healthy secured attachment which will help the child to develop into a healthy loving caring mature adult.