Parenting in this day and age has changed drastically. It has also brought along its fair share of challenges that are as a result of, mostly, the high level of content that is easily accessible and the cultural exchange that follows. The 21st-century child is self-aware and more expressive.  These children are also eager to challenge societal norms that they consider inhibiting.  

As a result, old parenting approaches may not work anymore and it is only right that parents open their minds to the newness of things and learn as much as they can. There are specific issues that require a level of open-mindedness on the part of the parent as discussed in this article.

Sexuality

As sensitive as this topic may be, it is a matter worth addressing since children express their sexuality differently. In earlier days, parents shied away from discussing sexuality and postponed the 'sex-talk' as much as possible. However, this is no longer an option, otherwise your child will be educated on matters sexuality by the internet and they may be misinfomred.

Approach the matter of sexuality with open-mindedness, care and awareness. This is important in raising a healthy child who will be happy to come to you with any concerns.

This in a way prevents you from leaving your child at the mercy of a cruel world without your protection and reassurance.

Ability

Children display different abilities throughout their childhood. These range from their ability to master things, communicate effectively and handle complex situations.

Being aware of their capabilities allows you to accord them the necessary exposure, it also gives you a chance to reinvent yourself to meet your child's needs. What makes this even interesting is when you have several children who have different abilities.

So true: »Don't waste your talent!« Sprayed on the streets of Berlin.
Photo by Etienne Girardet / Unsplash

Socializing

Children socialize differently nowadays. Dating may come up at a stage in your child's life that you do not expect. How you react to this information will determine a lot of things about your child's life. It will determine their view on intimate relationships, sex, healthy boundaries among other things.

Open-mindedness will come in handy at this point so you do not make mistakes that may even drive a rift between you and your child.

ALSO READ: Parenting lessons you can learn from 4 Kenyan celebrity parents

Gifts

Gifts are a little different from abilities. Gifts describe the natural talents that make your child exceptional. Therefore these may require further nurturing. These may include leadership, talent in sports, art, academics etc.

Ensure your child pursues something that comes easily to them.

Spare the rod, spoil the child? Kenyan Parents’ responses on discipline
Disciplining a child is never easy but it is necessary. Whichever method you chose, ensure you don’t go to the extremes and end up hurting your children but also ensure you are not too lenient.

With the changes in society today, it is necessary for parents to be willing to accommodate changes in their parenting style. However, open-mindedness does not mean walking on eggshells around your child. If certain situations require you to exert your authority as a parent, do it without fail. At the end of the day, you are a parent first.

Celebrate the month of love with the February issue of Parents Magazine!
Gracing the cover are music producer Jacky B and his wife, actor Brenda Michelle.