By: Engy Mohamed Parenting is a crucial factor in play when it comes to child development. After all, we are the living artefacts of our parents’ life’s work. That is why Unicef has made it their mission to acknowledge this fact and pinpoint the common mistakes parents often make while raising their kids.   Children are not perfect, but neither are parents, and sometimes we forget that the latter can be true. Being responsible for another human being is nerve-wracking enough, so to add the anxiety of how important it is to always do it right can make the experience absolutely frightening. Fortunately, Unicef has launched Awladna, a national joint campaign under the auspices of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, in cooperation with UNICEF and with support from the European Union. The campaign, of which the slogan is #بالهداوة_مش_بالقساوة, aims to present healthy parenting substitutes to some of the flawed traditional strategies numerous generations have mindlessly followed in the past, and raise awareness of the dire consequences poor parenting can have in the long run. Unicef Egypt has also dedicated hotlines (16000 or 16021) as part of the campaign for parents who need tips on how to deal with their children using non-violent and effective methods, or to report any encountered violent incidents against children. A recent video shared by the UNICEF Egypt Facebook page features Egyptian actress Laila Ezz El Arab who has taken part in the campaign by sharing a number of tips on how to break what she calls “the circle of violence.”
  The actress tackles various common issues such as “tough love,” “overindulgence,” “comparing and judging,” and “bribery.” She explains how love must be the core of any parent’s relationship with their child, and that to love a child is to teach them mercy, because a parent should be their child’s role model. Numerous parents also follow what is known as the punishment and reward system, which can be effective to a certain extent. Nonetheless, there comes a certain point where the reward system takes a turn to largely resemble bribery, which leads children to believe that in order to get what they want, they must merely pay the price. The actress also touches on the importance of inspiring self-confidence in children, and refraining from passively comparing them to their relatives or friends. The campaign has received a large amount of positive feedback from parents who have boldly reached out to the UNICEF Facebook page for parenting advice. This shows how much the campaign can inspire parents to pause before acting on impulse and wonder what the ideal solution in a given situation should be. To learn more about the campaign, visit the UNICEF Egypt Facebook page here!