Matthew Coutinho sdb
NASHIK, JULY 27, 2008: To celebrate Parent’s Day, the Don Bosco Parish Nashik decided to do more than read poems and give flowers. From some parents came the idea of enriching parenting skills. Hence, on July 26, at 5:30 pm a session was held on “Parenting the Right Way” and it was animated by Fr. Diego Nunes, Principal of Don Bosco School Nashik. Speaking from his experience in dealing with parents and children as an educator, counsellor and psychologist, Fr. Diego began by outlining the social factors that underpin the problems in parent-child relationships. He named the conflicting value systems of adults and children; the impact of the media; marital fragility; sexual and verbal abuse and violence; the move from the joint to the nuclear family; and, changing gender roles, among the factors responsible for the problems. The session then took a more practical turn as some of the psychological data on parenting was presented. Among the key factors are a loving and caring heart backed by good communication skills, listening, encouragement and praise. Different parenting styles were described with their relative merits and demerits. The perfect parent may never exist but a nurturing involved presence can help one reach pretty close. After the input there was time for interaction which brought out some very interesting queries from the parents present. The 90 minutes spent in the session passed in the twinkling of an eye and it was time to break up. A poem entitled “If I had my child to raise again…” remained etched in the minds of the parents. Some of the key lines read:
If I had my child to raise over again…
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger paint more and point fingers less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I would care to know less and know to care more
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I would be firm less often and affirm much more.
I'd model less about the love of power, And more about the power of love.