Years ago my husband and I were lazing on a fairly secluded beach in South Goa. There we witnessed a sight, which we quickly made up our minds for, was to be our parenting mantra for the future. We saw a little boy who belonged to parents from Europe. It was actually a group of some 3 families who were travelling with babies. He was dressed in nothing but plain white underwear and was frolicking freely on the beach, playing, falling, running on the sand. His parents sipped their drinks under the shade of the beach resort’s cafe. The child was living his life. He must not have been more than a year and half. He could barely walk. But he was out there, living the touristy life. And we wanted it too. We wanted to give our future child that carefree life.
Most parenting is about receiving conflicting opinions from people around you. Your own parents and grandparents give you information from a time where most things were natural, homegrown and uncompromised. While you want to believe and follow much of their wisdom we find that most of it is not practical or available today. Speaking of friends, colleagues and peers, you may not have babies around the same time or maybe geographically scattered. Parenting philosophies also may not match. How then do you gain information, that has been tested by application and proven to give results? How do you find support in situations which you know your friends and family may not understand or have experience in? Continue reading
If the world of books was a wonderful place where one could get lost in time and travel to an enchanted place, children’s books are the way to get there. Parents today are increasingly introducing their babies and children to books from an early age. You would guess this would be when the children start reading. But, No. Children are being read to from the time they are as little as a newborn or even before – from the time they have been in mummy’s tummy. Continue reading
At a time, not so long ago, parenting was about being the leader, absolute authority and disciplinarian. Today we see a very different version of this. Look around you, parents are asking their children for their choices and preferences. They are handling difficult situations much like they would mediate adult conflicts. They are setting goals and providing opportunities to their children much like how it happens in the corporate world. Have parents today gone nuts and living in some crazy bubble? Or are these techniques showing positive results on the development of the child? Positive parenting is seeming to raise happy, healthy kids and showing similar results on the parents too. Continue reading
Toys! The one word that fills joy in the hearts of children and parents alike.. toys and more toys. Reflections of our own childhood take us back to the simple, wooden toys we played with – toy horses on wheels pulled by strings, a doll that opened and closed her eyes when she was laid down, steel kitchen utensil sets where we cooked elaborate meals in our mind. In our children we get to relive those days of being lost in the beautiful world of toys. And kids today have so much choice when it comes to toys. A somewhat new term that is heard often today is Open Ended Toys. And most parents are scrambling to get them… Just what are these and why should you buy more of these toys?
This weekend was a very hectic one. It also seemed to be the hottest day in Mumbai. We spent a day out with our son, despite the hot sun, because well it had been a long time since we had done something outdoors as a family. So anyway when we got back home in the evening, we were dead tired and just wanted to crash. But before that – dinner time. BabyT was in a happy, over joyous mood and the last thing he wanted to do was eat his dinner. My husband attempted to tempt him, “I’ll give you a deal, finish your dinner and we will have the ripe, sweet mangoes after that.” My son paused, scampered up to me and proudly proclaimed, “I’ll make you a deal… I won’t go to school tomorrow.” I laughed a rather nervous laughter. I couldn’t handle a toddler off school when I had tons of work to finish. But somewhere I was amazed that a 2 year old had the skills to attempt to negotiate with his parents. Continue reading