Adapt Yourself To Adopt Children!

7th-blog

Adoption, once upon a time carried a lot of stigma, thereby depriving couples from fulfilling their lifetime wish of becoming parents. But that is slowly changing. Education & awareness are slowly lifting the stigma of adoption and couples have been given many opportunities to adopt. In fact, adopting internationally too is becoming common.

[Read more…]

How To Make Holidays Productive For Your Children

26th-blog (1)

Holidays -the most awaited time of the year! Children run out their schools on the last day of exam with inexplicable excitement. The parents, meanwhile, wonder how they will contain that excitement for the following two months!

While some take to travelling other parents enlist their children to summer workshops where various skills are picked up. To continue your daily chores & office work, without interruptions, your children need to  be occupied. They need to learn how to spend time by themselves when their parents are busy. Once you make them independent they enjoy their holidays better and you enjoy a peaceful time!

[Read more…]

How To Get Your Children To Follow Screen Time

20th-blog (1)
Parenting has been a constantly evolving process. Every subsequent generation has different ideas about parenting which, generally almost always, is frowned upon by the previous generation.  Especially in India, where parents play an important role as advisors to their children about parenting, it is hard not to be influenced. But things are changing and young parents are finding their own methods and techniques.

[Read more…]

Planning A Holiday With Your Kids

BRIL Blogs

As the holiday season begins, families will be hovering around travel websites and deciding everything from the destination to the choice of commute to the food. But holiday planning with kids is a whole different ballgame.

Kids being kids don’t just travel from A to B but take time to get accustomed to B. The weather, food, people- anything & everything can make them happy or tick them off. Parents need to be extra careful while planning a trip with their little ones,  else they can jeopardize the possibilities of a good holiday season.

[Read more…]

Parenting Autistic Children

Blog - 21st Nov

A lot of research has been done to understand Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and minimise the stigma attached to it. Having a child with autism may seem frightening at first but one must remember that though autism may pose severe challenges of speech, social skills & non-verbal communication, it also attributes your child with unique strengths & distinct skills.

In order to honour those skills & characteristics, parents must use effective & innovative parenting skills.

[Read more…]

Don’t Let The Blue Whale Bite Your Children!

Blue Whale Blog - 11 Sept

Dangerous gaming apps like the Blue Whale Challenge have taken the world by shock. The game designed by a Russian has resulted in 130 children suicides in Russia and 3 casualties in  India. The game gives children (generally teens are the victims) tasks to do, tasks as risky as, cutting a body part. The 50th and last challenge is the winning challenge, which is death by suicide. Experts warn parents of this contagious and addictive  game and share steps for prevention

  1. With both parents working, children are often alone for most parts of the day. Make sure you spend time with them once you get home. Ask them what they have been watching or reading on the internet. Sometimes, loneliness is not the reason, it is curiosity or the desire to do something ‘thrilling’ which gets children to play the game.The media has been sharing the consequences of games like Blue Whale Challenge, so your children probably know about it; but even so, do take time out to tell them about the game.
  2. Don’t gift them latest gadgets; it sends them the wrong signal. Children are young and have studies and other activities to focus on. They don’t need smartphones. A basic phone, primarily for communication purposes, is more than enough. In such cases, there is a lower risk of them succumbing to games like these.
  3. Monitor your child’s behaviour closely. Keep a lookout for mood swings, dull behaviour or even when they spend too much time locked in their rooms with phones or laptops. Keep a check on their usage of these gadgets and be stern about when they can use it. For eg, discourage the use of phones during dinner or an outing. However, parents must find a fine balance between monitoring and curtailing the child.
  4. Apart from monitoring your child in the real world, monitor his/her virtual world too. Use parental controls on all devices used by your children. Monitor their digital footprints and give them limited access to social media. For e.g., if the quantity of data is being consumed during odd hours, like between 1 am and 2 am, it is a sign of abnormal virtual activity.
  5. Attend workshops which are conducted by psychiatrists or cyber experts. These workshops will guide parents on how they can prevent their children from falling prey to such apps and even understanding signs of psychological changes or behavioural changes.
  6. Parents and schools must look out for these signs and treat them as they would any other illness; instead of attaching the stigma associated with mental illness.

[Read more…]

Introducing Your Child to Karma Yoga and the Concept of Nishkama Karma

Introducing Your Child to Karma Yoga and the Concept of Nishkama Karma:

By Jayaram Rajaram

This post is for the parent only and must be used to guide children so they lead contented, healthy and happy lives.

The Bhagavad Gita has inspired millions of people for thousands of years and its teachings are timeless and relevant even today. A primary teaching by Lord Krishna to Arjuna on the battle field is the importance of Karma Yoga and Nishkama Karma.  The meaning of Nishkama Karma is to do ones duty without worrying about the results. Arjuna (Representing the Pandavas) had to fight the Kauravas who were his own cousins. While he felt emotional, Krishna who was Arjuna’s charioteer cleared his doubts by saying, fighting bad people had to be done to protect good people.  So, Arjuna felt relieved that fighting was his duty at that point and he had to do it to protect Dharma or righteousness.

krishna-arjuna

Now several children are committing suicide because they do not get good marks. This is very sad and parents and teachers are sometimes largely to blame for this sad state of affairs. As parents it is our duty to tell our children that it is their duty to study to learn. We have to reassure them that no matter what the outcome or results are, we will love our children. Whenever children study, emphasize the importance of learning rather than focussing on the outcome. If the child is merely by hearting things, step in and help him/ her understand concepts logically wherever possible.

Similarly ask your children what problem in the world they wish to solve when they grow up? Two or three generations have been spoilt and have become unhappy because they have been asked what they want to become and the narrative has been ambition based rather than duty based. Ambition and desire are the root causes of unhappiness as per Sanatana Dharma. Many people believe lack of ambition is laziness. Nishkama Karma and Karma Yoga is all about action for the benefit and well-being of the world (All benefit that comes to an individual is merely a by-product of action that is done without hankering after rewards and recognition). Today even many doctors and hospitals focus more on how much they can earn rather than patient care. At least the next generation should start focusing on how they can help others by acting in the right way and spirit.

Tell children that duty for the sake of duty, no matter what job they take up, will keep them happy. Giving everything in life their best shot and not worrying about the outcome is the best way to nurture a stable, happy, peaceful and contented future generation.

This is a tough task, but this is must be the highest priority among parents if we are not to repeat the mistakes made by the west.  Modern examples of Karma Yogis are Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam and E Sreedharan (Delhi Metro).

You could ask your children the following questions:

What problem will you solve when you grow up?

If your child is younger, just ask them what they will do when they grow up and accept all answers while guiding them without putting too much emphasis on duty as their level of understanding may be limited till the age of 8. But use the word duty when they mess a room and make them put back their toys after they play etc.

Who will the work you do when you grow up help?

What is your duty as a kid?

Answer to this should be: Learn to the best of your ability (and don’t worry about marks), Be Good, Do Good, Be Happy

Do you know who the greatest and best people are?

Allow your child to answer and then emphasize that the best and greatest people in the world are those who help others by doing their duties wholeheartedly. So explain that even their grandmother / great grandmother are great for their selfless service to their families even if they never worked outside the home (This will remove money from the equation and recognize service and duty as something that is recognized and important). This way as parents we have to get it into the child’s subconscious that duty-bound action is better than ambition-based action and people with big bank balances, famous people and actors aren’t the real role models, unless of course they are good people who help others (Then they are worth emulating, provided they have all-round values worth emulating). Basically this will help your child treat everyone equally and understand that duties and rights are two sides of the same coin while slowly realizing that making money and becoming famous as a by-product is better than gunning only for riches and fame at any cost. They will also start understanding that an entitlement mindset* and fighting for rights without doing their duty is a sure-shot way to self-destruction and unhappiness.

*Children who grow up thinking the whole world owes it to them have very difficult lives.

Note: This has to be done carefully, as we should not paint a picture that money and rich people are bad, because this is not true at all. Nishkama Karma is about doing your duty well and not hankering after rewards. If you are an IT professional, by virtue of being in a job one must give it his / her 100% during office hours, go back home and play the role of a father/mother, husband/wife 100%. If a person is an entrepreneur he/she must work towards solving their customers’ problems and helping their employees and shareholders improve their lives (As a byproduct of this dedication to his / her duty the entrepreneur’s life improves, but that should not be the primary goal if one wants contentment and peace of mind). So Nishkama Karma and Karma Yoga is a shift in attitude and thought process which will definitely help anyone no matter what their background, ethnicity, nationality is, live a more balanced, happy, healthy, peaceful and fulfilled life.

Bring in the importance of dignity of labour by asking them to thank the bus driver / auto driver / maid for the service and help they render.

Build on this and as a parent keep course correcting based on the situation so your child knows what is expected of him / her.

Most importantly start practicing Karma Yoga and live the Nishkama Karma philosophy yourself (It is a liberating experience and definitely worth the effort). Also, our kids learn by watching us, so we have no choice but to live the life we want our children to learn and emulate!

Image Credits: www.blog.onlineprasad.com

Simple Self Awareness and Self-Discipline Techniques for Kids Using Indian Mythology and Itihasas

Simple Self Awareness and Self-Discipline Techniques for Kids Using Indian Mythology and Itihasas:

By Jayaram Rajaram

Narrate the following to your child:

Ravana was a very powerful man who prayed hard to Lord Shiva for many powers. Lord Shiva made him very powerful. When Ravana saw Sita in the forest, he liked her a lot, so he used his powers to convince his uncle Maricha to become a deer, made her chase him and then kidnapped her.

Ask your child: Is this the right thing to do?

Ravana kidnapped her and took her away to Lanka and told her to marry him. Sita refused as she loved Lord Ram very much. Lord Ram (Rama) was very sad to find Sita missing when he got back to his hut in the forest.

Rama-Laxmana-and-Ravana

Rama vowed to get Sita back safe and started his search for Sita with the help of his brother Lakshmana, Hanuman (Monkey God) and his monkey God friends. With their help Rama travelled to Lanka and killed Ravana even though Ravana had several powers.

Tell your child:

Ravana = Rakshasa, Bad, Anger, Lies, Stealing, Hurting People, Hurting Woman

Rama = God, Good, Truth, Dharma (Righteousness), Friendly, Caring, Peaceful, Healthy, Happy

Do you know God is hiding inside every human being and every creature?

If you breathe deep while closing your eyes how do you feel? (Chant Om if you wish while your child does this). Introduction to mindfulness and meditation helps children relieve anxiety, stress and brings about clarity of thought, focus and expanded awareness / Creativity )

Do you know what happens when you get angry?

Tell your child that Ravana and his ten heads start growing inside. Ask the child how he / she feels when angry and screaming / throwing a tantrum.

Tell your child that every time they do something bad Ravana grows in them and this can make them feel very bad and cause bad things to happen to their body.

Explain the concept of Karma simply : If you do good , you get good. If you do bad, you get bad.

Then when they do something wrong like get angry/ tell a lie, tell them that they need to bring out Rama who is hiding in them to kill Ravana, by saying sorry and closing their eyes and praying / meditating.

Make this a ritual and these simple techniques can help you teach your child good manners using Indian mythology / Itihasas. It also helps you teach them basic concepts of Sanatana Dharma and that God resides in all beings and everyone must be treated kindly.

Only a very small portion of Ramayana is used in this post. You are advised to narrate or read the Ramayana in its entirety to your child.

You may use any God and Demon combination and story to help your child become self-aware and self-discipline himself / herself. Eg. Vishnu in Narasimha Avatar God and Hiranyakashipu Demon

Note: Dharma (Appropriate and correct way of conduct) and Karma are Indian concepts that have ensured harmonious coexistence of diverse religions peacefully for thousands of years.

Image Credits: ritsin.com