Parenting

A Parent’s New Year Vow

Dear fellow parents, teachers and friends, New Year is the time for reflection and resolve for most of us. Reflection on what we did right, what we did wrong in the year gone by and what we want to change in the year to come and ‘resolve’ to make that change happen. This year, we enter the New Year on a sombre note disturbed with widespread news of agitation, brutality and violence. While there is an active push for stricter laws and deserved punishment for the accused which is absolutely needed at a larger scale, I continuously wonder what it is that I can do as an individual and a member of the society we live in. After a lot of introspection, I still have not found a good answer but one thought that continuously comes to mind is I can play my role by doing my bit in shaping children into responsible adults. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by children at work and home who enrich my life by just being there, fully in the moment. It does not take much to connect with children; they are there willing to engage with anyone who makes himself or herself available to them. This New Year I resolve to encourage my children at school and at home to engage more with me as a parent and a teacher and...

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8 Things You Wish Someone Had Told You About Motherhood

[Reposting from ow.ly/gnkTt] No matter what stage of motherhood you are in, you have probably wished at some point that someone had been around to tell you all the things you had to learn the hard way. You’ve probably read quite a few parenting books, which can be helpful, but no book covers all the bases. What advice do you wish someone had shared with you once you became a mother? Most of the lessons I have learned have been through trial and error and I certainly wish that someone had told me the best places to nurse in my local mall, for example, or what the real story is with vaccinations — almost like cliff notes for parenting. None of us have a crystal ball to see what is ahead, yet we all see the value of perspective. It seemed that if I asked a direct question to a group of local mothers, I could get an answer, but mostly it took my making a mistake for someone to share their wisdom with me. Generally, people don’t want to impose or have others think they’re sticking their nose in their business –and that is certainly a risk when giving unsolicited advice. So from one mom to another, I’m offering this short list of things I had to figure out for myself. Adhering to this list won’t change your...

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The secret of 5000 years old civilization must be in food – My tryst with these words

Life in Foreign country always comes with mixed baggage. On one hand you are apprehensive leaving your comfort zone and on the other you are excited about the unknowns and look forward to enrich your life. First year is always tough as you are new to system and meet with frustrations. When I first went to Japan in 1999 newly married it was indeed a cold-water bath. We were staying in small town of Saitama north of Tokyo. While language and culture were totally different the lifestyle of Japanese Company Guesthouses (SHATAKU) were too foreign (and strict) for me. The place was based on absolute community living principles. The residents were in charge of keeping the premises clean; keep track on collecting funds and keeping tabs on accounting besides so many things and everything had their rules. Fortunately or unfortunately we were also considered just as locals and had to participate in all these. The warmth of people around me was making me feel welcome but enormity of missing desh was taking its own toll as there were no Indian or international families around. We had to shift back next year and it coincided with my pregnancy. While honestly I felt quite liberated but somewhere I started missing those orderly lifestyle and all the while wondering what different could have helped. Also this experience of not living among Indian or expats proved a blessing in...

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I know what’s best for my child…

  Is this an assertive statement you use when it comes to anything about your child? Or is it a question you keep asking yourself time & again? We all want to do the best we can for our children, however we struggle at several instances to deal with day-to-day problems/ issues of our children and to help them be ready to face the world in a more  confident and assertive manner.    Let’s observe some common situations that most parents would have faced, or are highly likely to face while raising their children: As a mother of 4 have you ever faced the problem of your child not eating well, because he/ she is in a hurry to play or do some mischief, which you laugh at/ or enjoy initially but sooner than you realize it becomes a nightmarish thought for you to feed your child by chasing him across all corners of the house to feed him/ her.  What do you do in such a situation, do you stop feeding your child, and let him ask for food when he’s hungry….and it may happen to your dismay he/ she may not ask for it at all; or do you look for someone else to do the job for you….like his father, grandparents or any other relatives, or a nanny; seek your pediatricians’ advice as to what minimum...

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Understanding Teenagers: Why they do what they do!

In this article you will find some answers as to why teenagers behave the way they do and some ideas that might help in your journey with them. Teenagers go though cognitive, biological, social and emotional changes through the teenage years. All these changes lead them to develop their self identity and a new way of relating with parents, family members, friends, and the world at large. This is when the stage is set for their launch into the big, wide world full of possibilities and complexities they need to learn to deal with. When you think of your little baby who has become a teenager now, what do you notice? Has he/she become more independent, opinionated, sometimes disrespectful, moody, preoccupied with physical appearance, and so on? Most importantly, you would have noticed that your relationship has undergone a change –  this child is no longer as malleable, perhaps doesn’t idolize you the way he/she did as a child, or may appear too independent to need hugs, kisses, and reassurances.  Where does that leave you? What is your role now? Is it just you, your child, your relationship, that feels like a rollercoaster ride (without the adrenaline high)? Well, almost all parents go through this rollercoaster ride, with different levels of intensity. It sometimes helps to remind oneself as a parent that this is a time for changes and...

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The Power of Positive Communication

Our words weave the magic with our children. We, as parents have the ability to encourage and inspire our children. We also have the ability to discourage and degrade our children, all with the magic of our words.  Words we use to communicate with one another are like knife. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, a knife can bring about beauty and restore life. However, in the hands of a careless or ignorant person, a knife can destroy everything. Are we playing the role of a skilled surgeon to our kids; who uses words to cut out the negativity? Or are we playing the ignorant parent who wounds and hurts with words? Take a moment to reflect on this.    Do you remember the last time your kid asked you for something? Could have been your time, your attention, help with a problem? And you snapped asking your kid to deal with it, as you were stressed! Or you, still in the work mode, wagged the finger at your kid saying something along the lines of "Can't you see I'm talking, don't interrupt". Sounds familiar? Did you see the dejection in your kid’s eyes while she turned away and resigned to a corner of the room? You would agree it happens to the best of us.   Why is the right communication important?  Language is one of the most powerful tools available to us parents because it has the power...

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