Degree in Parenting

In life, often as it so turns out, you tend to get what you always wanted but at a time not most convenient to you, rather at a time pre-ordained. Moreover, it turns out to be a little different to what you wanted or expected it to be. And it may leave you feeling overwhelmed, struggling for control, always living for the moment or the day, if you did last that long :D.

Degree in Parenting - Vibha

Parenting has been one such experience for me. I wonder if it would’ve been any different if there was a degree to be earned before becoming a parent. Like one of those finishing schools or an MBA school, a Parenting School. Allow me a small flight of fancy. A school where one would be appraised about how it would totally alter all aspects of one’s life – physical, emotional, psychological…..

Case studies on how-to’s and what-if’s, debating the if-then situations. Elementary and practical education on nutrition, hygiene, basics of amusing your child, value-systems one want’s to teach, co-parenting for fathers, being up-to-date with modern trends in education, practical sessions on smiling in spite of sleep deprivation, how to take 30-second showers, handling parenting advice, dealing with judgement on parenting ways, so on and so forth. Alpha individuals could perhaps opt for the Tiger Parenting Program, or How to raise a future PM/a Michelin Star Chef/Musical Diva…….. And voila, after all these assignments you have earned the degree to become a Parent. Later, you can follow a separate program for the teen-years, another for Young Adults.

Would one be better prepared then? Life throws a googly. Classroom situations and parenting books are immediately forgotten as soon as one becomes a parent. Do remember that chemistry, genetics and good old timing have already worked for you when you see the two pink lines. And you are walking on unfamiliar grounds as you walk in to the birth-room. Mine did.

I began my parenting lessons with my baby’s first wail. Little babies don’t come with patience and you have to go strictly by the ear and heart and common sense to decode all their needs. A well-fed snugly sleeping baby is a joy to behold and whew, worth the effort. The first smile, the toothless grin of recognition, when your baby flaps her arms to be picked up; have been some memorable moments of my life.

You learn to go with the flow, remember you are only as old as your baby is. Each milestone is to be enjoyed, anticipated, celebrated, and shared. A word of caution: do this with interested parties only and in small doses. Remember to breathe deeply and it would do well to teach your child too.

Ok, your child has started solids and can toddle/walk, don’t forget to read, sing to your child, introduce potty training. Your child does not get it, don’t despair; join a forum for more ideas. When he/she is napping, brush up on phonics. Don’t despair colour on the walls. Well done, your child can read, write too? Pat-on-the-back. Ok, school time then. Prepare, settle down into a routine, maybe life is a bit more predictable now. But no, not always.

Congratulations, you have successfully embarked on the Sibling Project!  Life is sure going to be a lot more fun. Let your older child into the picture soon, prepare him/her well regarding the arrival of the second child. And be prepared for another topsy-turvy spin to everything you have managed to establish so far. Maybe you want to enroll for the Sibling study programme and why nothing is going to be the same the second time around. There are courses on Prioritizing needs, equal does not mean the same, Potty training – 2nd time, and how to teach your 2nd child the same in less time, time-management basics, getting to know the husband, being a fair negotiator, maybe. Whew, whoever said it was going to be any easier. You are on a roller-coaster. Enjoy the ride.

Disclaimer: The course does not cover a lot of other variables in a functional adult’s life – work-life balance, career progression, job change, moving cities/countries, grandparents and views, pets, etc. You will have to discount these on your own.

Vibha, aka Chatty Wren,  is a full-time mother to two delightful little girls. She blogs at http://wrenwarbles.blogspot.com about her life with her little ones, ups and downs of living in a foreign country and anything else that catches her fancy.

 

  • Nice post… but if you think about it most of us have professors available for same… but we don’t value them. These professors are called our Parents…:)

    • chattywren

      Thanks, you already said it. If only, we learnt from our parents! Though in this program, you have to follow your own course:)

  • Nidhi

    Haha..totally need that degree you know – though fat lot of good that’ll do 😉

    • chattywren

      Agree, it is always practice vs. theory and simulation!

  • When I was finding it difficult to breastfeed my child the first 3-4 days, my MIL said, ” Whats the use of studying MBA ? You should have got a course in Parenting instead “. I was so frustrated hearing this, then. I had just undergone a C-section and was upset that I couldn’t feed my baby properly and here she is blaming my education. But now I can laugh over the Joke she made then 🙂
    But seriously I don’t think a course would have really helped me, I mean, how my baby would latch on my breasts, how could anyone train that ?
    I am fine with parenting tips I get from whomever and whenever, some were really very helpful and those Judgemental types I can ignore and I can choose what works best with my baby.
    And Of course, “Elementary and practical education on nutrition, hygiene, basics of amusing your child, value-systems one want’s to teach, co-parenting for fathers, being up-to-date with modern trends in education” and counseling sessions to deal with parental stress and trainings to deal with emergency situations as mentioned here ( http://www.godyears.net/2012/11/how-to-save-someone-who-is-choking-on.html ) is a great idea .

    • chattywren

      I totally understand, Seena, have received a lot of advice too & two times around o:O. That’s the whole point, like a lot of ‘education’and degrees currently are, a degree in parenting would still leave us so unsure………..

  • Hey Chatty Wren!! So nice to see you here!! When are you supervising this course?!! 😛

    • chattywren

      Thanks Roshni! No, I see we are all collectively vetoing the need of such a degree, so can’t look at being productively employed for this one:(

  • ah well, i wish there was a degree to be obtained too.. :).

    • chattywren

      Really, I am thinking it would deter many a parent then:)

  • Degree would hv been fun n also entrance test would hv been a diff experience altogether.. 🙂

    • chattywren

      Ah ah, now we seem to be brainstorming! And maybe only those with first division can have a baby 😉 If anyone takes this seriously, then we will have even longer gestation periods to have children.

  • techie2mom

    If practicals are part of the pre baby parenting degree course then probably lot of people will not only leave the course but also the idea of having a baby 😉
    Jokes apart, this indeed is a great idea, someone should take it seriously and start the course…

    • chattywren

      Lol, I agree, no practicals, only theory! Which will make real life parenting a first-time experience for sure!

  • rachnap

    I actually wonder about that many times. I really wish there was a school where different case studies were given along with practical advice especially on the emotional aspects of parenting. I think it would be a great idea!

    • chattywren

      Seriously, Rachna! Nothing, no amount of theory can prepare one for the real on-the-road experience of being parents. There are just too many variables!