Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Category: Parenting (Page 1 of 7)

Building inclusion from the home

As the debate on same sex marriages rages in the Indian courts, it’s not just the nation but the world that watches with baited breath, on what the outcome and the aftereffects are going to be. But more than this, what is really evident is that the world is a truly diverse place, and every individual has a right to live a life of dignity and safety, experience love, and joy. What role then can we as parents play in ensuring that our children who will come in to this world a decade or two down the line, don’t have to fight for basic rights but will thrive where there is mutual respect and love?! This thought plays in my mind every time I watch or read the news these days. Moving into a role at work that focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion has only made this a more pressing need for our family – how can we raise our child to be more inclusive?

Here are some ways you can help children be more inclusive:

1. Teach them about different cultures: Children should be taught about different cultures and traditions from a young age. This will help them understand and appreciate the differences between people. Truth be spoken India is a very diverse nation, isn’t it every 50 kilometers that we get to experience a different dialect, food habits and traditions? But experience shows that we are not as tolerant as that. Judgments based on caste, coloyr, backgrounds, religion, and so much more divide us. Is it because we are made to only see ourselves as superior and reject every other reality out there? It baffles me sometimes. But judgemental we are for sure. How about we be more open and revel in our variety instead? Let our children see that diversity is to be celebrated, not resisted.

2. Encourage them to make friends with people who are different from them: Encourage your child to make friends with people who are different from them. This will help them learn about different cultures and perspectives. Thanks to the cosmopolitan society most of us live in, we do get to experience social relationships with people from different categories. But look deeper – how many Muslim people do you work with? Or live in the same apartment complex as you? Have you heard of landlords rejecting renters who are single, Trans individuals, or Muslims? I’ve heard of it much too often and moreover because of the role I play in my organization. Let’s look at the behaviors we model and allow our children to observe and be better people themselves.

3. Teach them to be kind and respectful: Children should be taught to be kind and respectful to everyone, regardless of their differences. This includes being respectful of people’s beliefs, cultures, and backgrounds. There is no debate on this. The world definitely needs more people to be kind. This behavior certainly begins at home.

4. Model inclusive behavior: Children learn by example, so it is important to model inclusive behavior. This means treating everyone with kindness and respect and being open to learning about different cultures and perspectives. We can’t play dual lives where on the one hand we treat people with judgments and unfairness and expect future world citizens I.e. our children to be better individuals than us.

5. Break the biases: Do gender biased notions come from behavior that our kids are seeing around them in the home environment. Are women still seen as caregivers/cooks? Will Alexa and Siri continue to subtly ply the message that a woman (voice) will hear your command and act on it? Hard hitting if you think about it, isn’t it?

6. Talk to them about discrimination: It is important to talk to children about discrimination and how it can hurt people. This will help them understand the importance of being inclusive and standing up against discrimination. Equip them with mechanisms to deal with bullying and unkind behavior and, most importantly, not shy away from taking a stand and backing their friends when attacked. The “My what goes?” (Mera kya Jaata hai) attitude has killed far more spirits than war, I am sure!

In conclusion, helping children be more inclusive is important for creating a more accepting and diverse society. By teaching children about different cultures, encouraging them to make friends with people who are different from them, teaching them to be kind and respectful, modeling inclusive behavior, and talking to them about discrimination, we can help create a more inclusive world for everyone.

I quite enjoyed writing this post today. And it comes from the heart. As a follow up, I’ll write about some more practical ways to build inclusivity. Do come back for more. ????

Normal and preservative-free vaccines: what’s the difference

It is said that motherhood transforms women. That isn’t merely a statement; there is a modicum of truth there as the moment we hold the little bundle of joy in our arms, its like the entire wiring in our brains changes. For example, when I was a new mother I was very interested in everything that was related to child care. After all I was in charge of lots of decisions. One such decision was vaccination and the kinds of vaccines deemed the safest and most effective. The kind of research I did, would put an earnest PhD student to shame. Which brings me to the topic I want to talk about today: vaccines that don’t have preservatives.

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Is vaccination the way ahead in flu prevention?

I’ve learned to read the signs by now. I can see how my toddler slowly falls prey to the #Influenza virus almost every alternate month. It starts with his day care lunch & snack boxes returning home unfinished. He loses his appetite. His zest. One morning he wakes up fine, and by the same evening he has a full-blown high-grade fever and we know it’s the dreaded F word – FLU.

What kills me is, when I sit down to think about it, I realize the signs were all there. Mom guilt has enveloped my brain by now. When I start to see reason, I know that by the time I could see the symptoms creeping in, it was already too late to prevent the flu. I needed to do something about it earlier. But what and how?

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The right sport at any age: helping your little ones get active

As parents there’s nothing more we want for our children than to grow up healthy and happy. Everything we do is orientated towards this goal. But of course this can be interpreted in many different ways and it’s sometimes confusing to know what’s right for our children.

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Happily, there are a few things about which there is no doubt: eating right, getting enough sleep, not spending too much time on screens. One of the most important of these is sport. Children who regularly spend time doing physical activities not only grow up with better physical health, but also tend to be happier with improved mental well being. So, what should we as parents be doing to encourage our children to get some exercise? What are the right sports to be trying at each age? From easy cricket games for kids to helping out with chores, here’s a go-to guide:

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Crash, Bang, Snip – when toddlers destroy

Do you remember the time my toddler destroyed my laptop, right at the onset of a month long blogging challenge earlier this year? Well, when I look back now I can smile, because I persisted and finished the challenge. But back then, that kind of destructive behavior in kids, signaled the end of my world, my dreams and aspirations. I thought I had learnt an important lesson that night, but NO! Yesterday, he did something which broke my stupid heart once again and sent all my emotions helter-skelter. 

Snip Snip… Snap

My son’s latest obsession are scissors. No matter how hard I try to hide the adult scissors from the kitchen or craft set away from him, he manages to find a pair. He runs around with them, menacingly, snipping papers, loose threads, flowers, leaves and my memories. The pleasure he derives from cutting things off.. that creak of the screw holding the two blades together and the ensuing slight clink of the steel is very evidently satisfying to him. I see it!

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Traveling with milk allergy – food tips & ideas

Here are 3 photos of my son Tasmai (babyT) on our annual ritual of a family holiday in Goa, India. He’s aged 9.5 months, 19 months and 34 months here. We (as do many people) have to do at least one trip to Goa each year and we are glad that babyT has joined in our fun too. When I look at this collage of pics from the 3 holidays however, I realize  how it is becoming increasingly complex to manage his food allergies (milk) and take care of his meals. Traveling with milk allergy is not easy but we did it and very well too.

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Traveling with milk allergies can be a daunting task. This year our holiday showed us that it will be difficult for our child to travel and eat comfortably like normal people do, but it is still not impossible to find the right alternatives and have a good time. This prompted me to write this blog post so as to help others find support and help.

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