Everyone around us is making a sincere effort to make this world a better place for the upcoming generations to live. Organizing peace campaign, green campaign, equality campaign, health campaign and any other campaign that you can think of to create awareness for a better society and an environment.
Statistics, on the other hand, does not justify the massive scale of awareness campaigns that are being run. All the effort that we are taking for the newer generations is going down the drain.
Children today are stressed more than ever before, screen time has increased (T.V, computer, mobile or iPad), peer pressure to match the societal status, opportunity to play outdoors has reduced, early exposure to sex and most importantly most of the parents have participated in a selfish and most destructive competition of – My Child Is The Best.
As Dalile shares her brutally honest opinion that, “During our insane worship to win the race, during our mad love to become number one, we forget that our society today are raising children that are racing to nowhere.”
So how can we raise children today in a manner where we support and nurture them to grow mentally, physically, emotionally and socially strong?
I found the answer in the Eagle, whose parenting techniques are full of bravery and selfless love. So what is the Eagle doing so differently?
I. She disturbs– the eagle takes good care of her eggs. Once they are hatched, after few weeks she makes the nest a little uncomfortable for the hatching by removing the padding of the nest so the thorns disturb them.
If we need to make our children shift from dependence to independence, we need to be disturbing parents to prepare them to face the real world. We need to refrain ourselves from making their journey easier and empower and educate them to face obstacles.
II. She draws near– When the eagle disturbs the nest, she realizes that she also needs to assure her eaglets that she is there with them. She does this by fluttering her wings and getting close to them.
Similarly, parents need to understand that when our children are caught in the hustle of life and trapped in a whirlpool of stress, they might act or react in aggression or be disrespectful or be irritated.
Parents need to get closer to their children during such situations. Remember – Ignore the behavior but not the child. This helps children with lots of emotional support and trust and they eventually learn to manage their emotions from us.
III. She demonstrates – As the eagle makes her children feel secured when she disturbs them, she also spreads the wings to show them how it’s done. She demonstrates what she wants them to learn.
Every parenting book, philosophy, and speech lays strong emphasis on the first rule of parenting – BE AN EXAMPLE.
It’s rightly said that children learn from what they see and not from what they hear. There is no point in asking a child to stop doing something that you are doing.
IV. She develops them – She then raises high in the sky and tells her children that it’s now their turn to jump and fly and she shakes them off. That’s the way they will learn and develop their skills.
If parents are going to be making every decision, protecting their child every time, they are never going to learn. We need to shake them off and allow them to do things on their own. As parents, we have shown them how things need to be done and now they need to do it for themselves.
V. She’s there to deliver them – As she shakes them off, and the eaglets are falling and falling, the eagle scoops in and picks them up just before they hit the ground. Also, the eagle is there to feel proud when her eaglets have learned to fly.
She is always there for her children to support them only when they are going to crash until then she leaves the children to manage things on her own.
Parents likewise need to be there to deliver for their children by supporting them when they are about to crash and encouraging them when are flying high.
The Eagle’s approach of parenting in essential in today’s world where presents are more important than presence, where playing outdoor has become more expensive than playing indoors and where children are quickly being judged for their performance rather than being appreciated for their efforts.
This perspective of parenting that I have learned from a bird instills hope that if we give our children a childhood full of opportunities to nurture their curiosity, self-esteem, independence, and confidence, there will barely be any need to run those multi-million dollars worth of campaigns.
Kailash Satyarthi hits the bullseye by quoting, “Every single minute matters, every single child matters, every single childhood matters”.