The newest trend on the kindergarten block is ‘Lazy Parenting.’ now, slow down, there’s no need for a racket or judgemental comments, concerned parents. I can hear the whispers already: How can a parent be lazy? Whatever happened to the good old ‘disciplining your child’ technique?
Before you jump to any conclusions, let’s understand:
What is lazy parenting, really?
It does not suggest that a parent should allow their child to mindlessly sit in front of the television for hours while eating as much as Nutella as they’d like, straight from the jar.
The concept of lazy parenting stems from knowing the difference between overdoing your role as a parent and fulfilling it. So often, parents are worried about raising the kids right, but it’s important to give them space to develop themselves.
According to the PewResearch Center, it’s about avoiding being an indulgent parent and paying careful attention to aspects of your own life that can have long-term effects on the habits, attitude and behaviour of your little one down the road.
How to be a successful lazy parent:
Here is a check-list to stick up on your fridge, reminding yourself to ‘Avoid over-parenting’ and start ‘Lazy Parenting’.
Spend some time coddling the adult [your spouse]
If you’re married, you know that when children come into the picture, the attention of partners gets divided, focusing solely on the needs of the new member of the family.
After a long and tiring day of attending to your child, give them an activity to keep occupied while you and your spouse have a conversation about each other’s day, over dinner or coffee.
Here’s the mantra: It is not necessary to be a part of every minute of your child’s day. As your child grows older and develops the cognitive understanding of their parents’ positive relationship, they will grow –up to be ‘happier children’ to when they see ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ happy with each other.
It is okay to ignore your child!
Have you ever seen a child trip, fall and immediately curl their lip whimpering, looking around, and waiting for mommy or daddy to run to them, which would be the child’s cue to start wailing? I’m sure you’re thinking, “Which parent wouldn’t run to their child when they are hurt?”
Here’s a new tip: follow the 5-second rule. When you see your child has tripped of the sidewalk while racing with the other kids, or toppled over their bicycle do not immediately react in panic and wait for exactly 5 seconds.
If after 5 seconds your child gets back up, brushes off their clothes and continues with what they were doing, it means their small ‘boo-boo’ was not as big a deal as you could have made it with an over-parenting reaction.
This does not make you as a parent who neglects their child; it defines you as a lazy parent who allows their child to ‘hold their own.’
Monkey see, Monkey do!
The imitation game of ‘monkey see, monkey do’ is a learning activity where children are told to imitate the leading figure. The results of this game prove to show that children follow more of what they see rather than what they are told.
A lazy parent will never spend hours lecturing, nagging and scolding their child to follow certain rules. Instead, a lazy parent simply behaves in front of their child exactly how they want their child to behave. As this article in Psychology Today suggests, monitor your own emotional reactions and your kids will grow up to behave in a similar manner. As yourself the following questions: –
“When someone, particularly your kid, does something that hurts your feelings, do you lash out in anger?
When things don’t go your way, do you become sad and dejected?
When events are out of your control, do you become stressed and anxious?
When your kid doesn’t do what you want, do you get irritable?”
Not only does it save your time from the kicking and screaming process, but it establishes a strong ideology in your child’s mind of what is right and what is wrong [and keeps your behaviour in check].
Let your child stay hungry!
That’s the solution to your daily question, “How can I make my child eat healthy?”
I remember as a child, when my parents took me and my siblings, to the park on the weekends, we’d have a big breakfast before leaving the house. While at the park, we’d munch on baby carrots and have popsicles at most.
My mother would never pack snacks because she knew that when the kids come back home for lunch, they’d eat just about anything kept in front of them! By not catering to your child’s every whim at odd times, you are developing healthy eating habits. By not fulfilling their unending cravings, you are giving them proper nutrition.
Hand them a TV remote
I hear gasps. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying let them watch ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ for entertainment. A lazy parent will know exactly how to positively direct their child’s attention by providing them with content that would help the child’s mental development.
Download a few edutainment programs and let your child choose which one they’d like to watch. They’ll feel a sense of independence at being offered a choice and you will have the blissful time to finally catch up on your chores.
Cook dinner, do the dishes, finish off the laundry, all without a 2ft toddler pulling at your dress demanding that ‘mommy play with me!’. It’s a win-win situation! Make sure you do assign a lot of play time though.