The dictionary defines a parent as the one who begets, gives birth to, ornurtures and raises a child. But does this meaning even begin cover thedifferent roles that you play while donning the parental hat? Probably not!Being a parent, especially in today’s fast paced world, is nothing short ofhaving Superman-like abilities! And that’s not exaggerating! Through out ourlife, we are always moving from one role in our life to the next, that frombeing a daughter/son to being a wife/husband and a daughter-in-law/son-in-law.In fact we constantly play one role or another in all aspects of our life,whether it’s personal or professional.
However, the most challenging and life-altering role no doubt, is that of aparent. Why you ask? Well, for starters, it makes you responsible for anotherlife! But more importantly, as a parent your constant endeavor becomes to raiseyour child into a productive, emotionally and mentally healthy, self-confidentadult. It is a role which demands you to give your utmost devotion, love,attention and time. It is a role where one has to constantly make choices,keeping in mind, that these choices will impact the life of someone you lovedearly! Now, doesn’t being Superman sound easy in contrast!
As a parent one constantly morphs from being a figure of authority to afriend and a confidante! And often all in the same day! Right from the time achild is born, a parent starts playing different roles in his/her life, toensure the child’s well-being. When a baby is growing into a curious toddler, aparent acts as a protector and nurturer who eggs him/her on, on the path of self– discovery, being there to hold him/her when he/she stumbles, but also givinga free hand to explore the world on his/her own. In the later years, a parentplays an important role of a teacher and a mentor, helping the childdistinguish between what’s good for him/her and what’s not. Also a parent actsas a role model and guide in these early years of a child’s life, helpinghim/her imbibe important values that will stand in good stead throughout thechild’s life. In this phase of a child’s life, a parent also has to take on thedifficult role of playing the disciplinarian from time to time; helping thechild understand what is acceptable behavior and what’s not.
As a child reaches adolescence, a parent has to maintain the difficultbalance of being a disciplinarian and a friend, while giving the child theindependence to make decisions based on his/her judgment. Also in this phase oflife, a parent acts as a counsel to the child, guiding him through careerchoices and personal ones.
At the end of the day, a parent might be a caregiver, playmate, teacher,nurse, disciplinarian, role model, confidante, companion, and more. Butabove all, irrespective of the role that a parent plays, he/she is constantlyproviding generous dollops of love and acceptance to their children, helpingthe child grow into a wholesome young individual. We would love to know aboutthe kind of role you play in your child’s life and what you hope to provide toyour child by playing this role.