Stop comparing-start appreciating

The worst kind of damage that you can do to your children is comparing them to others. Your child has been born with a unique individuality. He might possess certain qualities which others don’t. The parents these days are dead set on finding the things that other kids do and theirs don’t that they overlook the good things their kids do.

Give them a chance. Let them be for a while without passing bullheaded judgements. If the parents don’t find someone else to compare their child to, they place themselves at the pedestal. Can we not let our kids grow at their own pace? Don’t they deserve some time to realise their worth and then rise with splendid colours? Till we as parents would continue with our hypercritical behaviour, our kids would never be able to show the world what they are capable of! Let’s not become stumbling blocks in their journey of life.

When you start grading your child’s behaviour and actions as compared to other children, at that very instant, the downfall begins. He starts underestimating himself, becomes detached, loses all the confidence he has and develops an enmity for all those who he is being compared to. Don’t let your child experience such a demoralizing phase in his life.

The words like, “look at him, he works so well,” or “look at her, why can’t you be like her?” flow out of our mouths so effortlessly without bothering about their repercussions . Comparisons are only going to develop inferiority complex and self doubting in our kids. They would keep wondering whether they are capable of doing anything in life? As parents we must encourage the children to keep trying and evolve as better performers rather than telling them who all are ahead of him!

Focus on their weak areas and help them improve. Your children should try to surpass their previous attempts instead of constantly being tied up within the shackles of comparisons. Kids are not mature enough to understand the bigger picture in your mind when you keep giving examples of other kids. They will eventually start despising you for your unfair attitude. Don’t let your remarks destroy the bond between you and your child.

If you are unknowingly ignoring his achievements and concentrating more on his friends or cousins, he would gradually stop pleasing you and might even stop doing what he is good at! If you constantly ridicule him in public, he’d stop interacting with people. You surely don’t want your child to become antisocial in this competitive era.

Appreciate their efforts, encourage them to do well and guide them wherever they go wrong instead of telling them how they let you down or embarrassed you just because they scored less. Their benchmark shouldn’t be other kids rather their previous performances which they should strive to outdo.

As a parent, you can build or break your child’s confidence, the choice is yours!

Is she pampered or spoilt?

There is a very close difference between pampering your child and spoiling him. The latter of course you’d not nod at without realising that an overflow of the former would eventually result in the latter! Confused? I loved the way my line was getting framed with a rhythm so went on! 😂

Coming back to what I intend to say, don’t go overboard with your mollycoddling that you forget that the child needs to learn to fend for himself. Love them but don’t let your love become an obstacle in their journey towards growth and self sufficiency. Give them a good night peck, hug them when they need you and a pat on the back when they make you proud. Avoid unnecessary compliments or praises where they are not required.

Tell your children that beauty lies in the inside of every individual so that they strive to become good human beings rather than beauties with no brains. I personally have come across plenty of kids who live in their own world that revolves around them and their beauty which certainly isn’t skin deep. Their mothers call them around 20 times every day asking them if they’ve had food, if they’d drunk enough water, applied sunscreen before moving out! I mean really??? It is extremely easy to find such a lot in the crowd. They’d be the ones who’d be constantly setting their hair, would have an air of arrogance- one of those armchair critiques!

If you want to give them a good life, then instead of showering money on them, give them the wisdom and the wings to fly on their own. Don’t behave like a genie who has come right out of the bottle to fulfil every demand that comes out of their mouth. It’s not about the amount of money you have but about the strengthening of your child’s character and the development of his personality.

Overpampered children remain dependent, stubborn, uncooperative and insecure throughout their lives. They fail to see things beyond themselves. They can’t accept failure and lack sportsmanship. They start considering the privileges given to them as their birth right! Remember that no one is going to pamper your child the way you do. So once your child moves out of your zone, he would feel heartbroken when people won’t pay heed to his whims and fancies. Would you like your child to have an identity crisis? Such children, when they become adults and get married, are unable to keep their partners happy since they refuse to even pick up a glass of water, forget the bigger chores. It’s either their way or the highway! Relationships don’t bloom in such an atmosphere.

Don’t just dive in with help at their first signs of struggle. Let them try and weigh the pros and cons of a situation. Give them an opportunity to decide for themselves. You are required when they step towards the wrong direction. Escort them till they reach at the righteous path and then step back so they can embark on their journey confidently. Our kids should know that their parents would be there at their backs, not to walk them through but to guide them.

Let your child dream, imagine and believe in himself. Don’t let your money or fame crush his chances of growth. Parents should give their children a simple and innocent childhood, untouched by their wealth. Money corrodes the moral fabric of your child. Teach your child to value money rather than swelling up over its abundance in the family.

Let them do their chores since early stages. Educate them to spread love and happiness.

So this Diwali (a highly celebrated and revered Indian festival), light up the hearts of your children with good values. Burst your urge to coddle them even when it is uncalled for. Let your kids illuminate the lives of everyone around them by saying a sorry to someone they hurt or bringing a smile on the face of someone who is in pain! Love your babies but don’t overplay!

Inculcating English speaking skills

Start early! That’s the first rule to be followed if you want your children to have excellent communication skills. Times have changed. There is a lot more that’s expected out of kids than their academic grades. It is extremely essential to develop them holistically which includes their academics, health, extracurricular activities and their overall personality.

If we want our kids to excel in their lives, we have to make them communicate well so that they can smoothly express their thoughts where ever they go. It is more about your articulatory skills that leave an indelible mark on the listeners and help you carve a niche for yourself. Teaching your kids to speak English doesn’t mean that you are expunging them from their mother tongue. That is something which will come naturally to them since everyone around them speaks that language but a foreign language has to be taught.

During their early years, it should be considered mandatory to teach them one language-English, since it is the language used in schools. Try to speak to your kids in English at home. Start with one language at a time. Two languages will only baffle them. Once their base is formed, then start with the next one. Don’t be in a rush to make them multilingual. You should, but gradually.

Importance of English language has grown exponentially over the years. It is considered as one of the most powerful languages in the world. Parents and teachers should encourage English speaking so that there is no gap between the language spoken at home and the school. It is required at almost every step in our day to day life.

The first and the foremost suggestion I’d give you is to learn English yourself. If you are not good at it, take help from an expert or the internet. Learn the language so that you don’t sound like a bumbling amateur in front of your kids.

Speak to your child in English even if he doesn’t understand. He will gradually learn to grasp the words because of constant repetition. Make sure you use short sentences and lots of English words in your day to day activities even when you are not directly talking to them. Give orders and instructions using the language like ‘pick up your shoes,’ ‘put your books in the bag,’ ‘Bring me a glass of water,’. It would help them more if you keep translating your English sentences into your mother tongue. Speak a sentence in English》mother tongue》English, so that they learn to relate the words.

Use good vocabulary related to the chores you are doing. If you are helping them tidy their room, use words related to their toys, clothes or linen. If they are around you in the kitchen, use words related to cooking like ‘spatula,’ ‘sieve,’ ‘cinnamon,’. The use of everyday situations and real objects to teach kids the language is a classic way to enroot it within them.

Use different types of grammatical structures when you speak for example ‘I am going to the market,’ ‘he has gone to the market,’ ‘I will go to the market,’. This will make your child speak grammatically correct sentences and it would come naturally to him without cramming the tenses. So start early to see positive results.

Play their cartoon channels in English mode without letting them know. If you do it in front of them then they’d insist you play their show in the mother tongue so change the settings before their arrive. Tell them that the channel only plays English shows. Kids learn best from their friends or their favourite characters. Use this opportunity.

Read English stories to them at bedtime. Make it a ritual. Visual memory remains intact for years so if you read to them in English while pointing at the pictures, they’d relate images to the spoken words and pick up on the language at the drop of a hat!

Play English songs on your music player or television and leave them on in the background. When a child is exposed to the language from all the corners he would catch on fast. Listening plays a very important role in learning a language. During early stages, what is essential is exposure not instructions. Once their mind gets conditioned to hearing the language, they would eventually learn it faster when formal instructions would be given at school.

Watch English news on television. Read aloud from english newspapers or books when they are around.

Try to speak to your spouse in English. I understand you can’t make everyone in the house do it so why not take the lead as parents!

Set a time at home which is meant for complete English speaking with the kids if it isn’t possible throughout the day. Talk about their favourite things, not academics during that hour. It can be a plan that you are making for the weekend or their loved cartoon series. This way kids would know what is expected out of them and would look forward to that time.

As far as teachers are concerned, English teachers should only be using English whether in the class or outside if kids are around. Model the correct behaviour. Use playful methods to teach. Dictating answers, writing things on the board and asking the students to copy won’t do good to anyone. All you are leading to is rote learning which can prove detrimental for the students. Make English fun. Use flash cards, quizzes, debates, spell bees or oral tests in between your regular teaching. This keeps the students aware and alert throughout the class. If you are planning to teach a simple present tense, use that tense in almost all the sentences you speak that day during the class and encourage them to do so. Don’t just make them cram the rules. Think of a new playway strategy everyday! Be an innovator.

Don’t panic if your kids don’t speak English as fluently as their friends. Every child takes his own time since their brains function differently. Let them take their time but you keep up with your duty of exposing them to the language time and again.

Start working on building up their communication skills from today to watch them shine tomorrow!

A pat on the back for all the full time mothers!

So what if you’ve decided to give up your job for your baby. You give birth so that you can raise a child by nurturing him with care and your time. It’s your baby so you get to decide what is the best for him. It should be entirely your prerogative since you’ll have to carry the ball for bringing him up.

Don’t get shell shocked if people point at your being jobless. They will be the ones who’d denounce you for not raising your child well some years later if they don’t find him groomed upto their parameters. Do what you consider good for his over all development and turn a deaf ear towards those judgemental fools.

I personally feel that no woman wants to feel less empowered. We all wish to be self sufficient and economically independent. If a woman decides to take a break from work so that she can experience every moment of her baby growing up, she doesn’t deserve to be subjected to cynical remarks for the rest of her life. Support such females and commend them for not being selfish and setting their priorities in life straight.

No job is bigger than raising a child into an individual who is productive to the society. Everyone can bring up kids, sounds like an easy job right? There is no point in giving up your job and stop earning for such an effortless thing that is being done since the beginning of time! This is exactly what the society tells you when you decide to stay at home and take care of your child during his initial years. It is not possible to rear your child in a walk. It requires time, discipline as a parent and unparalleled conviction to inculcate in him the right values and wisdom. So if a woman decides to become a stay-at-home mother, that doesn’t mean she is burning daylight or isn’t well educated. It’s not that their urge to work has disappeared, it just becomes secondary the moment they hold their baby in their arms.

Staying at home doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman is not working professionally. The new age moms are working as efficiently from home than the ones outside. There are a million things that one can do from home without compromising on your child. You can become a blogger, content writer, run a home based business like social media handling, web development, be an online tutor for countless companies that hire freelancers or a radio jockey for radio stations that are open to work from home option. The list of such opportunities is endless from being a home tutor to running cookery classes. This helps women to be present for their child’s firsts along with possessing an identity other than being a mom! It also helps mothers in becoming good role models for their children when they see them juggling successfully between work and the house.

The truth is that stay-at-home mothers are way more stonger than the rest. They cook, look after the house and the baby while working from home which makes the routine extremely strenuous. The best part is that they enjoy such a rush because at the end of the day they know their baby was well taken care off. It’s one of the hardest decisions to make when you leave your job for your child. There are times when women fear the fact that they’d not be able to respect who they had become more than others treating them differently. This whole process can get undoubtedly frustrating for a person whose only crime is that she decided to put her child first than the rest. The more time you spend raising your kids, better it would be for them, the society and humanity in longer run.

The kids are growing every second and once they are all grown up, you won’t be able to put them in a time machine to revisit their childhood. Such moments are best experienced by mothers at home! Respect them rather than condemning them for not using their qualifications adequately or not earning at all! You won’t know how arduous it is to stay at home and wear multiple hats yet carry a smile all day long, till you walk in the shoes of such a mom. Appreciate them now and forever!

Daddies, Things you shouldn’t be doing in front of kids!

It is highly important to filter your behaviour when around kids. We want to teach so much to our children yet we fail to follow what we want to inculcate in them. As parents, we must behave in the most congenial manner so that the little ones grow up to have a well balanced personality.

As fathers, you can do a lot which can help in bringing up your sons to respect women and daughters to trust the men in their life. Though mothers spend more time with their children but fathers can cast a deeper impression on the young minds. Whatever you do or say is being scrutinized by the kids all day long and without conscious efforts, it gets ingrained in their brains. The way they act, especially the sons, is influenced by how their fathers perform at home. Your children are not only your reflection in appearance but actions as well. Raise your sons with the qualities you want in your daughter’s partner and raise your daughters to stand up for their rights and against injustice!

Have a look at these little changes you should bring in your demeanor for attaining bigger and positive changes in the lives of your children. Remember, kids have a loose tongue so dont cringe the next time they bite you in your butt.

Daddies, keep an eagle eye on these pointers:

  • DON’T SHOUT- Even if you feel the urge, do not shout at your wife. Get hold of yourself no matter how angry you are. Both of you can sort it out when in your bedroom but under no circumstances should you lose your temper in front of the kids. Nothing is more terrifying for a kid than to watch his parents blow up at each other. This may give birth to countless insecurities in your children.
  • DO NOT DEMEAN- Do not demean your wife in public. You shouldn’t be doing that behind the curtains as well! You need to respect her and value her choices or decisions. The children should feel that their mother is looked upon by their fathers and everyone else.
  • NO HITTING- Dare you hit her, not even in your dreams. There should be no room for physical violence in your house. If your son finds you doing so, he would stand in your path once or may be thrice but eventually he’d succumb to it. He might physically abuse his wife in the future. He should learn to express his feelings in front of a female without violence and threats. On the other hand your daughter might just start mistrusting every man who comes in her life including you. What if she turns into a misandrist?
  • A HELPING HAND- Be a good help to your wife in every way you can. Lend a hand to everyone in your family. Show your kids how essential it is to assist in the daily chores. They should share equal responsibilities with their mothers or siblings. They should learn to enjoy work than dragging their feet every time they are asked to pick up their glass of water.
  • NO CUSS WORDS- Stop using curse words. Stop it right at this moment. You don’t want your kids lashing out *beep* words in front of your guests or their grandparents. Children who have a foul mouth can never be respected in a society neither can they earn love and good friends. Zip up the moment you are about to come out with a cuss word.
  • BE A GENTLEMAN- Be courteous to your wife and every female you know. Watch your words and conduct in front of them. Hold doors for them, give up your seat or wait for them to be seated before eating your food. Put their comfort above yours. You need to be polite and chivalrous for your sons to honour and value females.
  • STAND UP FOR THE WOMEN- Stand up against injustice or unfair treatment. Protect your family and speak up against the wrongs. Don’t just be a spectator who fears the consequences. Whenever you find a woman in trouble, offer her help. Don’t wait for others to initiate. Be a superhero for your children and teach them to be a rock for every person in need. Your sons should realise the significance of speaking up for the right and against unjust behaviour.
  • COMPLIMENT- Compliment your wife and daughter about how they perform or behave for your sons to understand that there is a lot more to a woman than her body. Don’t keep grumbling about how fat or skinny they are. Make them feel beautiful whatever their shape be. Your children should learn to accept their bodies and love themselves.
  • DISCUSSIONS- Talk to your children about the important decisions you want to take. Make them a part of your ups and downs. Share everything with them. Don’t keep things to yourself. Most importantly when you share your highs and lows with your wife, it reflects the fact that you value your spouse. Kids need to master the art of listening as well as speaking their hearts out. Be a friend to them and encourage them to speak about their life and issues. They should come to you than knock at a friend’s door fearing your reaction.
  • CRYING IS NO CRIME- If you find your child or even spouse crying, don’t belittle them for doing so. Let them know that things would be fine and they can share their problem with you. Remember, your kids should learn to vent out their feelings. If you avoid crying in front of them or warn them from doing so, they’d choke back their emotions which is only going to make them disassociated. Encourage your sons to cry when they feel like instead of telling them that its not a boy thing.

Fathers play a pivotal role in shaping the character of their children, particularly their sons who directly or indirectly model themselves on their dads. Be their lodestar and present before them a life based on integrity, clear conscience and character strength.

Love yourself-don’t just be a mother!

When was the last time you sat with your cup of tea and spent time with yourself? Can’t recall? Let me rephrase it a bit, when was the last time you watched a movie you like without get interrupted by the kids or those even BIGGER kids of your house? Alright! don’t rack your brains, admit it that you haven’t done it in ages.

Women forget that they are individuals too in this mad race of bringing up their kids better than the rest. Don’t ride too fast. Spare some time for yourself. I hate it when I hear females saying that once their kid grows up, they’ll have all the time to themselves. Life is too short to make such strategic plans about living your life. You too would have crossed those youthful years by the time you feel your kid is independent enough to live his life which trust me, you will never feel. Passing years would add on to your responsibilities towards your health which you never bothered about while bringing up your kids.

Mothers will always be mothers. Once he starts doing well at school, we worry about his company, social life and then his career. Once he lands up in a good job we start planning about finding him the right soul mate. Sometimes those plans are welcome while the rest of the times they are falling on deaf ears. We never stop. We go on and on with our unsolicited suggestions about what they should be doing.

Why can’t we just halt somewhere and take a deep breath? Is it too much to expect from ourselves? Why can’t we ever ask everyone in the house to just shut up for a while and serve us instead? Did I say something blasphemous? Can we not have cheat days for us on which all we get to do is relax, stretch and rejuvenate? Am I being too demanding?

Why is it that only mothers are supposed to cook, change clothes of the kids, make them study, make sure that the house is spotless and so on? We don’t walk with sticky note on our forehead that says ‘meant to slog’, do we? Why can’t we ask the misters to serve us the morning tea or make the bed? They are not destined to order, be it an order like order or a polite one.

Enjoy your life. Enjoy your womanhood than just assigning yourself the role of a mother. You need to love and take care of yourself if you want others to be considerate about you. Don’t feel guilty if you talk to a friend on phone for a little while instead of talking to your child. Stop judging your motherhood each time you spend some time at a spa every month instead of giving company to you child. That is important too but not at the cost of YOUR time which comes once in days.

Every day we get up in the morning, ready to enact various roles of a mother, sister, daughter-in-law, wife, sister-in-law and the list is deathless. Even worst is when we aim for perfection in everything we do or people expect it from us. The world will not come to an end if the bedsheet that you laid is unnoticeably crumpled or that toast is not buttered at the edges adequately. Give us a break people!!

It’s not only the home makers but the working mothers as well who go through such cut and dried routine no matter what. You come from work, cook, serve, teach, slog and then fall dead on the bed. We are literally burning the candle at both ends day after day.

It’s time you look like a woman and not a mom all day long. Just pick a space in your house and make it your own. It may be a little corner or an attic. The space that entirely belongs to you gives you a sense of independence and helps you be you. Read here, have a writing table on which you do things you like (crafts, writing journals, sketching). Decorate your space, fill it up with things you love and don’t allow anyone there. Feel empowered.

Break the rules once in a while. Don’t bottle up yourself. Don’t don’t do things because everyone else is doing so. I know we have been told so by our parents and we might tell the same to our kids but it’s alright. No one is going to kill you for getting up late by 15 minutes. Change is always good. Start doing things that make you happy and not others. They’ll forever be dissatisfied. Mark my words with a permanent marker in red!

Stop comparing yourself with other mothers thinking that they’ve got everything figured out about raising their kids perfectly. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, remember? They love to pretend like veterans of motherhood. Beware, Don’t fall prey.

Continue with your passion, be it sketching, singing or writing. You don’t have to lose yourself in being a full time mother. Keep your interests alive. Practice them everyday. It will help you in renewing your personality which you had been taking for granted since the time you gave birth. You had invested time, money and energy in building up your individuality to let it cease to exist after becoming a mother? Don’t be so unfair!

Dress up or stay in pyjamas all day long, whichever you prefer but enjoy yourself. Love being you. You are a good mother. Mothers can never bring up their kids wrong even when they are busy at work most of the time. So raise a toast for being an awesome mother! Yes you are!!

You need to be kind to yourself and everything else will fall in place. I promise!

The intruder- Internet

It all starts with giving independence to your kids a bit too early. There is a clear difference between pampering and spoiling! What we are doing to our kids these days is the latter. Most of us do it to veil our inability to attend them. We are so busy working that we have forgotten that besides bringing them into this world we are supposed to bring them up too!

Kids have lost touch with countless experiences of life. There is so much beauty around, not just the landscapes but the people, those never ending conversations, the parks where once kids used to play in the evenings, the meals at the dining table with that leg pulling among siblings or the sheer pleasure of holding a new book and reading it. All this has been replaced by one intruder called the internet! All we see is our children playing virtual games, their conversations online, meals in front of their desktops or with a phone in their hands. The true essence of life is just not there.

Nobody is to be blamed but us- the parents. We can’t go on justifying it by saying that it is a competitive world and kids need to know about everything or they can’t remain technologically handicapped in today’s era. Don’t we have libraries where they are supposed to go and gain new information? Aren’t the schools making them technically equipped through computer classes? Can we not have discussion with our kids and offer them our storehouse of experiences and wisdom?

The benefits of internet can certainly not be denied but everything comes with its share of shortcomings. We need to provide all the resources that we possibly can to our children but within limits. If they use the internet, let them do it for a pre decided time span everyday and make sure you keep a watch. Give them their space but don’t forget the hawkshaw in you. Oversee their activities discreetly.

There have been plenty of brutal happenings in the recent past that terrify us as parents. Whether it’s the #blue-whale-scandal or various other cyber crimes which children unknowingly fall prey to. We need to be alert. We can’t take the back seat saying that kids should learn to fend for themselves. We are not living in a crime free country, are we? If we let them loose, there are countless sociopaths around us to engulf them within their evil wings. Be around them and be there for them.

Don’t substitute internet for your presence. Your children need you more than that machine. They need your guidance to walk towards the path of righteousness and not those Google searches which come out with 40 odd answers to a simple question. These search engines will definitely provide them with an answer to an academic question but would have nothing to offer if your child is lonely inside and wants his parents by his side. It’s this very state of our children that is misused by stalkers.

Play a copilot to your child on her journey towards the internet to make sure she enjoys a smooth ride.

Make sure you guide your children not to reveal their name, phone number, postal address, school address or picture to anyone without your permission. They may be too young to understand the concept but keep putting it into their head. Teach them that they are not supposed to meet their internet friends nor reveal their personal details to them.

Instruct your kids to talk to you the moment they see something uncomfortable or disturbing online. Become their go-to-friend and assure them that you would never overreact or blame them.

As a parent, get a know how of your ISP (internet service provider) which comes equipped with free parental controls that limit your child’s access to websites and chats by age, time etc. Use such features. If you want to be aware of your child, be doubly aware about his world. Read and gain information about it so you can play the role of an efficient watchdog.

My son is a little young to be taught about something my mother told me casually when I was young and it is ingrained in my mind and heart till date. ‘Whatever you do in your life, do it with one thought in your mind- would you be able to share it with your parents? If yes, go ahead and even if you have an inkling of doubt, step back right away’. Pass on this piece of wisdom to your kids and see them tread cautiously throughout their life. I will certainly do that once my son becomes wise enough to understand the reasoning and logics.

Most importantly stay away from your phone if you want them to follow what you keep preaching the whole day. When you are around your children, be theirs. Don’t remain glued to whatsapp, facebook or Instagram when they are talking to you or the whole family is sitting together. Till you won’t master controlling your own addictions, you’d never be able to control others.

Make your babies feel loved so they don’t wander towards strangers for the gratification of their emotional needs. Don’t let them astray in your haste to realise your dreams.

The writing war

We have a war at our home every day. It starts with my son refusing to write and finally ends ‘with my son refusing to write’. I feel so accomplished on days I manage to make him write at least one out of 3 homework sheets. I have to plead, emotionally blackmail, threat and bribe this rebellious little being just to make him hold his pencil correctly, forget writing!

He is really good at oral skills and recognition. His memory is strong too but how he dodges me when it comes to writing!

I don’t understand what’s it with boys and writing. Most of the girls love to write while boys run away at its mere mention. I have been struggling to make my boy write while it comes so smoothly to others. It is so frustrating to hold on to the reigns of my patience each time he throws away his pencil to delay the process, starts rubbing his eyes for minutes without any reason or starts singing a random song out of nowhere with no stop button. In my mind I am slapping him, pulling his ears or shaking him to bring him back to writing whereas actually all I am doing is smiling and encouraging him to proceed by directing his hand towards his notebook. How I keep reminding myself that I have to be positive and not snub him.

I have to admit that he has improved a tiny bit. I used to be too occupied while I was in a full time teaching job so all I could manage was making him finish his homework. Soon I realised that he was far behind than his classmates. He wasn’t writing at all. I spoke to his teacher and she told me how kids pick up in days so even if he is slow, he would eventually improve. Her encouragement motivated me to work on him even more. I took a break from work so I could be mentally free to devote quality time.

Every day I made him sit for an hour, locking the door so no one could come in. I wanted that time for just me and him. It was high time I introduced him to something called ‘study time’. He had to get into the habit of extra studies. We finished homework first and then I made him revise. Revision could be in any form. We wrote on his mini blackboard or in his colour book with crayons. So basically if I told him to write in school notebooks, he felt burdened while writing in a playway method sounded interesting. During this routine of one hour, We did homework which used to be a formality that had to be taken care of come what may. Then we focussed on extra studying in form of games like ‘teacher-student’. He always volunteered to become the teacher so I had to answer or write which was his way of eluding the dreaded (writing). I was no less, I wrote most of the answers wrong so that He could correct them. He enjoyed this section a lot without realising that he was writing or learning. It worked for me. He didn’t get bored and I didn’t loose out on my anger.

I made him play with clay as a therapy to strengthen his grip.

We crushed old papers and threw those big balls at each other without giving him an inkling of doubt that this was an exercise to make his hands stronger.

I gave him broad crayons to colour or scribble at home so that the muscles of his hands could become stronger.

Another one of the activities that he really loved was when I spread the flour on the kitchen slab or any flat surface and he was supposed to write letters using his fingers. Children love mess! Make sure you teach him to move from top to bottom and left to right. If he ever tried to escape at the drop of the word alphabet, i would ask him to draw his favourite object instead. The purpose was to work on his grip and then the formation.

Every second day I used to lay out all his toy characters in front of his blackboard, informing him that his students were waiting and that he must teach them. He felt big and important. He scribbled on the board with the chalks of almost all colours. I kept intervening in between, asking his students whether they knew how to write cursive ‘a’ (basically whatever was going on in his actual class). I used to wink at him making fun of the students and requested him if he could show them how to write.

I am still continuing all the tactics in pursuit of making him write well. He has shown some improvement so far so I won’t give up on trying.

In a crux, all I do is sneak writing into his playtime. I never make writing sound like another cumbersome chore.

One piece of advice that I can give you all is not to expect perfection. Just have fun with your kids and in the process, incorporate learning!

Being an introvert isn’t a crime. Spare her!!

It is extremely natural if your kids feel shy in front of others. What is the big deal if they don’t sing a song or recite a nursery rhyme that you want in the presence of your guests! They are individuals and not puppets who’d start acting the moment you pull their strings. Please spare them from this torture. Treat them like you want to be treated in public.

We have to accept the fact that all the children are unique in their own ways. You can’t always be bent on comparing them to others. Give them space. Acknowledge their positive points while ignoring the negative traits. The more you highlight the bad behaviour, there are 90% chances of them repeating it. Kids are like that. The urge of doing the forbidden has unfailingly lured us since ages and children are no strangers to it!

Don’t make them do things forcibly. If he doesn’t talk much in front of others or hides himself when a guest arrives, Don’t jump on to the conclusion that he is antisocial or a lone wolf. This can also mean that he is selective in who he wants to see or what he wants to do. That’s a sign of an independent child who knows his priorities. Why do you have to make him hug and greet every second person who comes to see you? Let him be.

Confidence comes with love and support that a family showers on its children. So spend time with them, share your stories with them and be a good listener when it’s their turn to speak. Try to see things from their point of view. They might introduce you to things unknown. This is how you can gradually move a child out from his comfort zone.

My son is not an extrovert either. It’s just him, my husband and I in the house so he is not exposed to many people. It’s only when he visits his cousins or goes to school that he gets a chance of mingling. I deliberately made him join an evening class ‘Karate’ so that he talks and meets others of his age. Each time there is a birthday party I start getting anxious thinking about how he’d cling on to me while other kids would play around and hobnob with each other. In no time I realized that there was no point in embarrassing him publicly by pressurizing him to accompany others. I schooled myself to accept that during early years (till 7), instruction has to be indirect without commands and psychological pressure. Rather, the child becomes familiar with good manners and is instructed by the people surrounding him. In fact, the moral foundation of his character is laid and good memories and proper treatment become etched in his mind. (Prophet Muhammad)

We as parents have to understand that friendships and popularity aren’t the prerequisites to a successful life for our kids. We shouldn’t be pushing them to become extroverts. Focus on bringing forth their strengths and using those for their holistic development. If you keep intimidating your kids to get into something they don’t want to, it is only going to backfire at you. All this would make him something he is not and he’d forever doubt his capabilities. Why can’t you let him shine and rise in the things he wants to. Get rid of that silly counting game. He doesn’t need to have 20 odd friends, 2 but true friends are enough to lay the foundation of strong relationships in your child’s life.

If he doesn’t want to go out, call a friend or two to your house. After a couple of times, when you realise that your child is comfortable in that company, change the location (park, a mother friend’s house).

Every time he is with you on outings, ask him to help you by paying the cashier at a store or buying the savouries. Don’t force him, just act as if you are occupied in something else and you need help. This is an indirect way of exposing your child to the world outside.

Unless you see signs of depression or anxiety in your little one or you find that he doesn’t talk to anyone and prefers being alone all day long, consult a child psychologist. If nothing like this shows up in his behaviour, he is perfectly fine. Let him grow at his own pace. Let him carve a niche for himself instead of making him wear someone else’s shoes.

If you are outgoing, Don’t expect your kids to become the same. They have their own existence. Don’t thrust them with an additional responsibility of becoming like you.

Half of us don’t even realise that we are belittling our children by being a loud mouth at the parks/parties and requesting other kids to play with them. This is causing your kids more harm than you can ever imagine and even worse is apologising for their behaviour when they hide behind you each time you ask them to say hello to random aunts. They don’t apologise for your cringe worthy behaviour ever. Yes, accept that we too behave in bizarre ways plenty of times!

He is a unique individual. He has his own mind that thinks in ways better than many of us! Don’t seek to make them like you. Give them your love not thoughts!

Teach your sons-Don’t house arrest your girls!

In the recent past, I’ve come across such gross happenings that it sends shivers down my spine. Disgust for the men who have lost all sense of contrition and the boys who are following such footsteps. They have no respect for the females of their house so one can imagine what they think of the ones outside.

There are rapes happening all around as if the government has kept a reward for doing so. Aged ladies are being sexually assaulted, young females being raped and school going girls (not to forget the nursery going) are being molested. What is wrong with these people? Haven’t they been brought up by their mothers?? Haven’t they spent their childhood with their sisters?? Didn’t they ever worship the goddesses??

Who would want to bring up their girls in a society that’s brimming up with obscene men. Is there anyone left to trust when your own uncle tries to paw you? Who do you discuss it with when your own brother attempts to sexually force you? I feel such hatred for the gender M that this negativity travels towards the ones who still possess goodness. 

Yes we need to train our daughters to be safe but more than that the boys need to be taught the mannerisms to live in a civilized society. 

This responsibility lies in the hands of parents and schools to imbibe in their children a sense of equality and respect towards all. Ask your daughters to lift up that suitcase and place it in the store room. Tell your sons to wipe the kitchen slab. Who has divided these job responsibilities anyways? Girls don’t have a birth right to work in the kitchen and neither are the boys god sent to lie down and order. 

Guide your sons towards a life of respect towards all the women.

 

  • They need to know that they are not the BOYS of the house but the children of their family. 
  • They should be made to digest the fact that they too have to help in the household chores just like the females.
  • They should know that they are supposed to stand up against the injustice being done to the females around them and not only their own mother or sisters. 
  • Become their best friends so they know whom to turn to when they need advice. Guide them not to rely on the suggestions given by their friends instead using their own mind and the family values instilled in them. 
  • Fathers can play a better role in shaping the character of their sons. Boys always look upto their dads since the time they are born. They should express their respect for all the females through their actions and behaviour towards their wives. The sons should know that their fathers value women and consider them as equal counterparts. Confront the boys for their improper behaviour towards females.
  • Go on trips with just your sons and talk to then about relationships, commitment and loyalty towards the females. Teach them about the basic courtesies that have to be observed around the girls. Express your intolerance towards all the boys and men who are impolite in front of the women and how you find such a lot declasse. 

We certainly should train our girls to keep themselves protected at all times. Make them learn some basic tactics to be applied whenever they sense the wrong.

  • They should be surrounded by their close group if they are out late at night. (It should be in parent’s knowlege)
  • They should not take cabs alone at night. (In case they are left with no other option, call the parents or someone in the family before sitting and tell them the cab’s number. Make sure the drives notices you doing that)
  • Teach them to dress appropriately. I do not mean to forbid them from wearing what they want to but their dressing should be according to the occasion. There is a difference between having a snappy dressing sense and forever roaming in an atire that is better suited to a locker room. 
  • Ask them to carry a pepper spray which would help them ward off the perverts who try to irk them. These sprays are easily available online and also in medical stores. 
  • Tell them to stay away from drinks that are offered to them at parties. They should go and get one for themselves. You never know when someone mixes substances in the drink. 
  • Drill them regarding all the people who live and work in your home, society, colony or your neighbours. Maniacs usually target people who are unaware about the staff they are surrounded with.
  • Make them join self defence classes. These days such classes are organised in almost all the cities. Schools should endeavor to have self defence sessions for all the students. In case you can’t find one, atleast make the girls strong. They should exercise and should possess the strength to handle themselves if they are being physically attacked. Request your daughters to help you in most of the physical tasks at home and not just chopping vegetables.
  • Be friends with them right from their beginning years so they feel free in sharing everything about their life with you. Don’t be like those flinty parents who keep mentioning how they want their children to be disciplined or how much they hate the ways of the world these days.
  • Guide them not to stop their car if they sense that they are being followed. They should call their parents/traffic police helpline immediately and turn the car towards any busy street nearby.
  • Teach them to raise their voices whenever threatened instead of feeling ashamed. They should yell, throw things and do everything that would help catch the attention of the people around.
  • Instruct them not to go out with any of the family member (uncles, cousins) or even neighbours no matter how much they insist, without informing the parents. They should understand that something is wrong if those people try to dodge their suggestion/demand. 
  • They should know they are not supposed to open the door to strangers when they are home alone, not even when it’s someone known till the immeditate family members ring the door bell.
  • They should know the difference between a boy who flatters them and the one who truly loves them. 

    We must instill in our girls the strength to live their lives with confidence, integrity and awareness. At the same time the boys should be educated to work well with women as their counterparts personally and professionally. It’s time men realise that women now have toughened themselves to not let any man touch them without their permission. Castration should be one of the sentences and not only a 7 years imprisonment that should be favoured by the courts for men who sexually assault women!