Prep your Toddler for Preschool

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12th (1)

Parents of toddlers are at an interesting juncture in their life right now: on the one hand, they feel that their precious little baby is too young to be at school, but on the other they—especially when both parents are working professionals— feel a little outside help with the kid would not be unwelcome.

Either way, the moment all parents have been dreading and looking forward to at the same time is here—your baby is fast growing up, and in most cases, a little too ‘faster’ than you would ideally like. After all, we humans have come to expect to have the best of both worlds.

Your toddler is ready to take the next giant stride—she is now considered “big” enough to be on her own, but just about. You hunt for a preschool, and after a round of tut-tutting about the various aspects you were made to cough up for admission, you are now ready for the big day. Or are you?

If this is your first time and you are labouring under the impression that depositing your kid at the preschool would be a cakewalk, you have got another think coming! After all, what can go wrong with as a simple task as driving her to school, planting a kiss or two on the kid and walking away whistling a jaunty little tune. [Read more…]

The Forgotten Fun Games

10th (1)

Nowadays when you see kids with their heads stuck on a gadget, you go into a mini flashback – Your mom shouting your name asking you to come home for lunch, and you wanting to finish that last over. You had your own collection of marbles; your skipping rope had the extra jingles attached. Ahh! Memories!

Before the invention of any electronic gadgets, the so called ‘80’s & 90’s’ kids have had their share of the best gala time. They were physically, socially & mentally active.

This century kids have a favourite question, “What did you do for entertainment during summer holidays in your younger days?”

This is a moment with a faraway look in your eyes and a happy smile playing on your lips, you begin…

‘We went to the library, you know, it’s a big building that houses rows of books,’ you begin on a sarcastic note, ‘and we researched our subject using many books. ‘As far as entertainment,’ you add, clearly warming to the subject, ‘we played many wonderful games all day.’

Impressed by the wicked gleam in your eyes, your kids cry in unison: ‘Tell us all about it.’ You send out a silent prayer for being bestowed upon moments like these that make parenthood worth all that trouble, and say, ‘OK, will tell you about the more popular ones; there were many, mind you… [Read more…]

How to Manage a Fussy Eater

27th (1)

Have you felt like screaming on top of your lungs when the food (which you took hours to make) gets spit out in a second? You can’t shout – You can’t show your anger anywhere, but smilingly cajole your kid to take another morsel.

Yes, it’s tiring – Yes, it’s demotivating and No, you can’t starve them!

How to then make them eat? Firstly, you relax! Here are some simple ways which can reduce (not eliminate) your troubles with a fussy eater.

Children who are fussy eaters (also known as picky eaters) are particular about what they will eat. Sometimes the child will eat a small portion of the food and may refuse to eat at all at other times. Another exasperating trait they exhibit is ‘food neophobia’ or refusal to eat new foods.

‘Food training’ should start at an early age–the earlier the better. This is because children display their aversion to food to every stage of growing up. For instance, toddlers they may refuse to eat lumpy food, while older children are known to develop a passionate dislike for vegetables.

Kids are fussy eaters and they are, by no means, an exception but rather the norm. But fear not, and try out these useful tips we have put together for you: [Read more…]

Managing your Toddler Tantrums

20th

The word toddler is derived from the word ‘to toddle,’ meaning to walk unsteadily—which also means your little bundle of joy has just been empowered. In addition to her impressive lung power that regularly wakes up the neighbours at night and sends the resting stray dogs on the street outside scurrying for cover, she is now up on her feet and can take some unsteady steps.

The word ‘tantrum’ has a sinister ring to it because this handy tool is not just the privilege of disgruntled babies, but is known to be used effectively by grown-ups too, leaving considerable devastation in the households in its wake. But, by and large, young children tend to be associated with this ‘act of uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration.’

So, why do children throw tantrum in the first place? Children usually figure out that the best way to draw parents’ attention is to make their presence felt—the louder the better—when they are a little older than a year. It is an age where their needs and wants are growing, but they are limited by not being  able to express themselves about what they want, or what bothers them.

This limitation may result in the child being frustrated to the extent of resorting to obnoxious behaviour to gain attention. The tantrums may last for a short time, but are known to extend up to a good half hour or more, driving the harassed parents clean up the wall! Tantrums lasting longer than this need to be investigated further as it may be symptomatic of a larger problem.

Let’s look at the different flavours of temper tantrums in children and how to deal with the resultant behavioural issues associated with these outbursts: [Read more…]

Has your Child gone Internet Wild?

13th

A recent social media post we received contained a composite image: In the first picture titled ‘Then’ a mother is seen dragging her dirty and badly scratched up young son home from the playground. In the second picture titled ‘Now’ the same mother is throwing her dazed-looking son—who’s mid-air, and still holding on to the joystick of the video game he’d been playing with—out on his ear.

The illustration aptly sums up an everyday situation every parent is faced with—internet addiction in children, especially those in the age group 6-14. Is the situation as bad as it is made out to be or is it an alarmist view of a harmless activity? The opinion is clearly divided right along the centre, and truth—as always—lies somewhere in between.

One school of thought thinks that parents need to seize the raging ‘internet bull’ by its horns before it enters the proverbial china shop. The other opines the benefits of making your kids net-savvy(if they are already not, that is) clearly far outweigh the former view, and it is safe to look the other way—for the time-being at least—and ignore the elephant in the room.

The trouble, however, is that the enforcers are not beyond the obvious charms of the net and routinely commit the ‘crime’ which they are supposed to curb. In other words, parents are as guilty as the children when it comes to unreasonable dependence on gadgets and internet. [Read more…]

How to Help your Kid Develop Social Skills

6th (1)

Most of have gone through those awkward moments in our younger days when a seemingly long-lost uncle came a-visiting and your mum summoned you–from wherever you were taking refuge, having gone through the same routine several times before–to say hello to him.

You muttered under your breath, and proceeded to rack your brain with considerable urgency to search for any helpful information tucked away in the deep confines of your brain that might help you come out with flying colours in the family identification parade.

Your mother beamed at you with obvious pride in the initial stages of the said parade, while the uncle looked reasonably optimistic of you pulling this off. But alas, with each passing non-productive minute, your mother began to turn a delicate shade of purple, while the yet-to-be-identified uncle started mentally rehearsing nice things to say to diffuse the explosive situation.

You might be forgiven for failing to identify a fellow clan member whom you had neither met before in your young life, nor had any intention of meeting in future, if you could help it. Basically, you had no idea about suitable things you should say (or not say) to you uncle.

In your case, you exhibited a behavioural trait that could potentially have turned you into a recluse but for the timely intervention from your parents which helped you shed your dislike for meeting people. However, social awkwardness is a growing source of anxiety in many families.

Let’s see at what age do kids begin to mingle socially. The first indicator is how well the child gets along with other children in the school nursery because children generally get along with each other well and are only too willing to share things with others. [Read more…]

Sort out Sibling Rivalry and Build a Healthy Relationship

27th

 

Have been at your wits just sorting out differences between your lil ones? It becomes tiring emotionally (& physically, sometimes) to spectre rivalry amongst siblings.

Just remember, we are beings evolved from apes, so survival instincts are always at peak. The challenge from other competing members of the family is fierce and the need to prove your superiority over your siblings is vital to chances of your own survival.

However, don’t exhaust yourself about a seemingly common occurrence which is considered an integral part of growing up. It is always better to address any problem at a root stage but with a softer touch. Try not to get overemphasized and make it a deep-rooted dislike for one’s brothers and sisters.

So parents with one or more children who are looking to expand your families, either biologically or via adoption, be ready to assume the role of a referee and sort out endless instances of rivalry, also known as sibling rivalry.

Being a parent has both good & sometimes bad stress. The long-term effects of sibling rivalry depend solely on how early parents recognise the signs and how well they handle it. Here are some quick tips: [Read more…]

Ways to Prepare your Kids for Exams

20th (1)

Examination time is that time of the year when kids are busy cramming in all the lessons covered over a period of several months in a few hours before the exams.

It is also that time of the year when kids regret not sticking to their resolution of devoting a certain amount of time for studies every day.

Parents often complain about how exams are as much of a testing time for them as it is for their children. But can we do something to make life easier for both–children as well as their parents?

Children regard exams as a burden that should be done away with. They may have a point there, but it is also true that exams are a very important part of their academic life.

Now that the final examinations are just a few months away, this is a good time to explore the ways to get parents and students to start preparing for the exams. There isn’t a magic formula to do this right, but following points may be able to give you to formulate your own strategy. [Read more…]

Teach our Kids to Love & Respect

13th

Didn’t some of us have in us a rebellious streak when we were younger? We questioned our parents about the laws and rules the community imposed on us(rather unjustly, we felt). At some point, we even raised doubts about the relevance of society itself in the modern context. In this discussion, we will talk about why the concept of society is important and why we should care.

Human civilization owes its existence to the concepts of family and community which act as our support systems and without which chaos would ensue. Like the animal world, human society is made up of individuals with disparate temperaments. Society operates using a broad set of guidelines that act as an appraisal system that rewards good deeds and punishes bad ones.

Having established the importance of society, let us see what values form the bedrock on which civilized societies stand and thrive: helping the needy, caring for all life forms, looking after the environment and placing others’ welfare before one’s own. In short, we need to teach our children who are the future caretakers of society to inculcate the following values: [Read more…]

Building Baby’s First Library

6th

Given babies’ exceptional powers of comprehension, what is a good age to introduce them to books, or are they too young for books at this stage? On the contrary, scientists recommend that parents read out aloud to the baby until she is old enough to share the books with them.

The benefits of reading aloud to babies are immense: it teaches the babies to recognise speech patterns, it improves their memory, and it enhances their cognitive thinking skills. Research shows that children exposed to books may outperform those that were not in school.

Reading a book together allows parents to spend quality time with their child, especially in cases where both parents are working professionals. It helps the children to build strong bonds with the parents, and regard family as a support system they can rely on at all times.

What type of books fit the bill? Simple and illustrative books do. But make sure that when you leave the baby alone for a moment or two the kid does not make a meal of the book by chewing it up. You would surely want your baby to digest important topics, wouldn’t you, but not literally! [Read more…]