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Establishing Rules for
Children at Home:
Parents, advises Dr. Afridi, need
to sit down while their children
are young and figure out the rules
of the house. “Parents often think
about what rules to establish or
how they want to parent only after
the kids have done something
objectionable,” she says and these
are ‘reactive parents’. She urges
that it is important for parents to
think proactively about parenting.
What are the rules you want
in your home? What values do
you want to establish? “Just as a
government needs to think of its
constitution when it is established
with rules that get amended,
parents need to do this with their
family system,” she advises. The
following are some ways to do
• Start early- establish rules that
are anchored in values such
as honesty, integrity, justice,
humanity, courage and similar
• Discuss the rules with your
children and have them written
down for reference.
• Have logical consequences
when these rules are not
followed; for example, “you
didn’t do well in school because
you are distracted therefore you
cannot go out with your friends
or engage with electronic
gadgets” and then remove the
• As children get older, you may
want to have a family meeting.
This takes place once a week
or every two weeks where
parents and children bring
their concerns to the table and
have a discussion. Positives and
negatives are both discussed
at this meeting. This creates
a democratic platform for
everyone to share their input
and have a say in the family
happenings- which creates
energy of collaboration and
(Credit: Dr. Saliha Afridi)
opinion and the research conducted,
it has been concluded that the
authoritative parenting is the best
for children. “It results in the best
outcomes for individuals, families, and
communities,” she explains, with these
children growing up feeling safe with
consistent and firm boundaries. They
fulfill their potential because parents
have high, clear, and reasonable
expectations of them, but the children
don’t crumble under these expectations
because parents provide a lot of
guidance, support, encouragement
and love. “These parents are attuned
to their children but they don’t hover
over them,” she explains. “They allow
the child to face challenges, grow, learn
from his/her mistakes and develop the
much needed muscle of resiliency.”
Final Words of Advice
Parenting, remarks Dr. Afridi, has
definitely become an arduous task.
“There are lots of forces that parents
are up against these days and they
are all communicating self-centered
messages of power, greed, and
materialism,” she says. “It is critical
that parents be involved in the raising
of their children’s and not let nannies
or electronics do the raising for them.”
She advises that parents need to invest
time in attaching to their children,
spending time with them, talking to
them, playing with them-- having a
role and influence in their lives- so that
the other forces don’t have a chance
at competing and gaining a complete
hold on them.
July/Aug 2014