“On seeing an ad in the newspaper, my husband encouraged me to participate in a marathon that was going to be held. I was into two minds in spite of the fact that I had promised myself a year back that I certainly will. I was wondering whether my 3-year old kiddo will be able to manage without me. But my husband said that he is all geared up and I should not worry. He made all the arrangements and there I was, waiting to break free from the daily shackles. Instead of pacifying the kiddo later, my husband and I made her understand how it was necessary for mommy to participate in such activities and that next year, even she can join mommy to cheer her up. Interestingly, she was a little emotional earlier, but on the D-day, she was all pepped up. I left when she was still asleep. But I wrote a little letter to her, mentioning that I miss her and love her and that I will be back soon. When I returned, she hugged me saying that she liked the letter and that she is proud of me.”
Parenting is not an easy job. While there are different styles of parenting, sorted parenting makes it much easier for kids. No parent follows a single style of parenting; there always are shades of grey and blue. And it is also required that parents follow a mélange of styles for a wholesome upbringing.
Who is a Sorted Parent?
If it needs to be explained in a line, I would say, ‘sorted parents are forward thinkers’. In the example earlier, parents made sure that there are no last-minute tantrums by the kid. They made her understand the things that are going to happen, the husband had planned the activities for the kid in mother’s absence, and the mother had written a letter that her kid liked to read. Sorted parents know how their kids will react and they make arrangements well in advance. This saves them a lot of hassles.
“Ritu always wanted to be a sorted mother. However, she was not so sure about her husband who always acted up last minute. So she tried making him understand how it will affect their son and his habits. Her husband agreed to the same and he gradually changed his habits.”
Why Become a Sorted Parent?
Sorted parenting is for those who do not want last-minute struggles in their daily routine. Staying a step ahead than the kids removes a lot of scuffles in both parents’ and kids’ lives. Sorted parenting requires mommy and daddy to prepare their kids much in advance for many things that they know might happen in the course of time. There are some parents who do not know what to do when everything ends up being messy at a time when it should not be. It is like their life is Murphy’s Law – Everything that can go wrong does, all at once. Sadly, the kids of such parents learn the same – how to survive last-minute troubles. They either give in or emerge a winner – but the results are not the same every time. Sorted parenting prevents the family from becoming a victim of such incidents.
“Before leaving for dinner, Neeta explains her kiddo how she should not tell people (that she meets in the driveway) where the family is going for dinner. While the kids reveal a part of the story, the listeners become inquisitive and want to know the entire thing from the parents. This embarrasses the parents. Hence, explaining the kids well in advance what they should answer on being asked where they are headed to will save both time and secrets.”
Traits of Sorted Parent
How are sorted parents different? Unlike others, they possess these simple traits that make it easy for them to handle their kids and lives at the same time.
1. Problem Solvers
Every household faces one problem or the other while upbringing kids. And interestingly, most of the problems are repetitive in nature, aren’t they? Sorted parents are well aware of this and they are prepared in advance with solutions for all the problems that are going to crop up. This saves all the stress that both parents and kids go through. Instead of postponing the problems or waiting for them to resolve on their own, sorted parents grab the problem by their neck and tackle them before it gets all the more difficult.
“Sharon’s son suddenly started getting scared of using elevators. As they stayed on the tenth floor, there was no option but to use the elevator. Many people advised her that it is just a phase and it will pass away on its own. However, it was only getting worse. So, Sharon got her son talking about his fears. She explained to him how the elevator works and all things related. Gradually, her son got used to the elevators and later, started having fun inside it as well.”
2. System Designers
Something that has to go wrong will go wrong, so believe some parents. However, sorted ones feel that most of the things that go wrong repeatedly can be prevented by putting a system in place. So, if your child asks for junk food every day and throws tantrum for it, you can just set a rule that junk food can be had only on Saturday. So, even if the kid wants the junk food for lunch, he knows that mom will not give in as the rule is already defined. This is true for so many things. This saves so much time and stress for parents. They just need to tell the rule and just say ‘no’ instead of explaining the entire thing to the kid again. The kids need to be included in the discussion while designing the system so that they feel a part of everything rather than mere followers.
“Every morning Rian throws tantrums while brushing his teeth. For his mother, it is a struggle to explain to him and make him brush amid all the tears and stress that both of them go through. What she did was to explain to him the perils of not brushing his teeth later in the day with all the examples. It took her almost an hour to make brushing convincing to him. Interestingly, Rian then started brushing twice a day, without any frenzy.”
Most of the kids are fond of stories. Further, they are good at imagining things. Hence, sorted parents build up the scene and tell the kids all the things that are going to happen at the event. This way, the kids know in advance about the affair well in detail. Sorted parents imbibe the instructions in the story and mildly tell them how they are expected to behave. This saves the parents melt-downs and embarrassment at the event. In spite of all this, there might be cases where kids do not have control over their behavior due to many reasons. In such situations, parents need to talk to their kids and delve deeper instead of giving just instructions. There are many ways to make kids understand the importance of the event and how they can behave. Instead of shouting and screaming, sorted parents solve troubles quietly. In the case of toddlers, most of the time, they are hungry for attention. Giving them some attention once in a while takes care of the problem on its own.
“Navya had to attend a tea-party with her friends. As her daughter was home, she had no option but to tag her along. However, she prepared her how it is an adult tea-party and that she should let her mom mingle with her friends. She also told the kid how she can join in later and enjoy the tea party.”
4. Rule Followers
When the rule is set, it needs to be followed. And this is true both the ways. So, if the playtime is decided as an hour, it will be followed by the kids without reasoning. Reversely, if the television time is set as 30 minutes, parents will not ask to switch off the television before the stipulated time. When the rules are respected and followed both by parents and kids, there are no power struggles at home. As the parents are disciplined, kids will follow suit. This is one of the much-required traits in the present times. While the parents stare at the mobile screens, they want their kids to play in the park. However, kids learn mobile behavior from their parents and imbibe it. Hence, it is required that parents be the best example for their kids.
“Meera never allows her son to watch YouTube twice in one day. Her son knows this rule and never throws tantrums for watching the videos in the evening if he already saw them in the morning. This saves Meera the effort of explaining him the demerits of screen time, time and again.”
Sorted parents are ready with all kinds of solutions and plans. So, if plan A goes awry, they always have a plan B in place. This makes it so much easier for them. Just before leaving for holidays, they do not have to open the suitcase thrice to keep the stuff their kids are not ready to leave without. Sorted parenting means things are organized, plans are under control, and routine is arranged well in advance. So, if a health-conscious parent knows that the kid is choosy about evening snacks, he or she makes sure that the pantry is stocked with healthy snack options beforehand. This way, the kid eats only healthy food.
“Vinni knows that her daughter likes to dress up and choose the dress she will wear. Instead of quibbling with her what she should wear and what not at the last minute, she sits with her daughter a day before and decides the dress that she will wear for the outing the next day. She then irons the chosen dress and matches the accessories. This makes the daughter dress up herself as well.”
Mornings are a mess most of the time with the kids. It is really hard to predict how a kid will behave when he or she wakes up. While some parents bribe the kid the moment he opens his eyes to herald a good start, others are completely against it. There are so many other ways to make sure that kids wake up smiling. And one of them is to prepare them in advance a night before. That is what sorted parents do. Sorted parents are ever-ready for the mornings. They pep up the kids about the school and things that they are waiting for them the next day. This saves most of the struggles that mornings come up within parents’ routines.
“Shaina asks her daughter what she will have for breakfast the next morning, right after dinner prior day. This allows her to prepare her mind and schedule for the food her kiddo had asked for. Plus, the kid generally does not throw tantrum as she had herself decided the menu.”
Sorted parenting is new-age parenting. It is all about making things work for both parents and the kids in an amicable manner. However, this is not the only way to head ahead. Combine it with other styles like commando parenting, laid-back parenting, and the like to bring out the best in your parenting and the kids as well. Happy sorting!!!