It can seem that only parents have problems. But children do too. In fact, they face a range of problems and issues as they grow up and teenage years can be some of the most difficult times. Sidra Jafri and I discussed various issues children and young people go through so that parents can grasp parenting consciously.

I remember when my mother dropped me to nursery for the first time. I did not want to leave her, and was screaming, kicking and crying! Sidra explained that getting to nursery is the final stage, but first preparation is key.

Address the child’s fear and engage in their excitement. Tell them that their teacher loves them too as they will give you education.

Generally, a child’s fear of nursery and new experiences stems from their parents. It is the parents who tune that fear, or pass it on, from their own past experiences. So, if I was to tell my child about my nursery experience, it would be productive to end that story with ‘but after my first day, I love nursery and my new teacher’. Communicating experiences enables children to acknowledge you understand them and help them because they’ll understand you have been there too.

Sidra believes that programming begins from the womb. How the mother feels and behaves from the moment a foetus is conceived has an effect on the foetus.

Thus, responsibility of children lies with parents and how children behave is linked to parents’.

From this belief, Sidra also stated ‘you can’t give what you don’t have’. A mother who is shy cannot give her child confidence because she doesn’t have it herself. Thus, it is important for parents to be conscious of their behaviour when with their children and what they may be subconsciously passing on to them.

One another issue that some children face in school is bullying. Sidra stated that usually the person who is bullying is feeling hurt so they are trying to hurt a victim. Victims should use no words but rather use body language to signify confidence. To explain further, everything is energy. Giving a bully a response is responding to their level of energy which will create more energy at that same level. However, if a victim ignores a bully they are not giving them a reaction.

I questioned whether not reacting will look like weakness as opposed to standing up for yourself to bullies. Sidra explained that using body language, by standing tall and ensuring your stance and posture looks confident, it will signify the bullying is not getting to you.

One thing some parents find difficult when it comes to communicating with their children is about relationship and sex. Talking about these topics are taboo within the South Asian community and against many cultural and religious beliefs within the community. However, as Sidra explained, feelings are natural to life.

Sidra stated that parents should keep an open mind and try to bridge the gap between the generations and cultural values. It is the parents’ responsibility to understand the child’s world otherwise the child will suffer.

Cultural values are extremely important and sometimes parents do not want to comprise them for values seen as Western. You do not have to compromise your values though in order to understand your children.

Sidra described us all as salespeople. Take drugs for example. If a drug dealer is to sell drugs to your child, you must also sell the notion that drugs are bad for them. You need to sell a better life to your children.

But if you have open communication channels, build a relationship with your children that is two-way where you both openly discuss issues and you do not fear looking weak by discussing your past mistakes to shine the light on your child’s path, the relationship will blossom!

As a final note of advice, let your child know you want their happiness and safety. Parent consciously.