Maria Goretti: New-age parenting

9 months is a parenting show and the latest season, season 4, caters to the age group between two to 12 years that we have covered over six episodes. We start from preschoolers till pre-teens. This tenure in their lives is where these children develop by leaps and bounds in terms of physiological, mental, etc. Providing fresh perspective and insight, it is all these aspects that we shall cover this season.

What prompted me to say yes to it was the fact that I am a mother of a tween and a teenager; hence I knew this was something that I could connect with. I am no expert when it comes to parenting, but since the season revolves around children between the age of two to 12, I knew I could empathise with the parents who are going through this phase. With this being a genre that I have never done before, I took it as an opportunity to explore this genre.

Spreading awareness about parenting, so what do parents need to be aware about? I believe that our children have different personalities when they are with their parents and when they are with their peers. As they grow, they try and push different boundaries, their spirit of inquiry makes them want to explore more. As parents, we can’t stop them from trying but what we can do is see if they are moving in the right direction and guide them accordingly.

Unlike the old times, we want our kids today to be independent right from the very beginning. At the same time, I also feel we are extremely protective about our kids than how it was back in our time. It’s like we want them to fly, at the same time be protective and watch over them.

Disciplining kids without using any kind of physical punishment is in vogue the olden days getting a whacking from parents was not a big deal, but today it is. And I would be lying if I said I just did vocal disciplining. My kids would occasionally get a nice little thump. I am not saying that it is the best form of disciplining a kid, but occasionally as a parent you at times have to show you can be strict. But, moreover, I believe it’s about talking and trying to find reason. But, I would say motherhood made me far more independent, brave, courageous, and lastly, a much better person. I really like the person I am today more than the person I was before.

There’s a debate going on all over the world about moms being ostracised for breastfeeding in public. And, I don’t know why the world thinks children should not be breastfed in public. I wish the world understood that babies need to be fed by their mothers. The world needs to make it conducive for the mother to be able to feed the kid. This is just another human function that needs to be acknowledged. It’s so funny that in airports you have smoking lounges but no room to feed a baby.

What tips I would give modern parents? I am not the epitome of motherhood. As a parent, all I want to do is bring my kids up with the right amount of stability and security. I want them to be kind and a good human.

Modelling, acting, hosting shows, I have done it all. And, I don’t miss anything till the point where I am actually doing it. Even while shooting for 9 months, I had so much fun that I often wondered as to why did I not do a show like this before.

— Co-ordinated by Manasi Y Mastakar

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