Bringing out the best in our children

When my daughter was one year old, she started recognizing the alphabets. At night, my husband used to read bedtime stories for our kids. He has always been fond of the Indian Mythological stories and used to tell those stories to them. This ignited this flame in my daughter to start reading on her own.

At that time, I had a habit of taking an afternoon nap. My daughter took that opportunity to read stories from ‘Champak’ to me so that I didn’t have to make any extra effort into helping her read. But the real fire in her was ignited when my husband who was away on a work trip came back with the first installment of the Harry Potter series. She used to spend all her time reading that book. When children are that young, they follow what they like and it is very important for parents to spot these ‘obsessions‘ that their children develop and help them nurture their talents from a very young age.

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Those days, there used to be another kids magazine, ‘Nandan’. My daughter used to devour it, it was the most advanced text she had ever been given the chance to read. One day, she said that she had solved a crossword puzzle and wanted to send in her solution to the magazine. Not thinking much of it, we obliged. I still remember the day she got a reply from the magazine saying that she had solved the puzzle correctly and had earned a reward of 100 Rs for doing so. It was such a wonderful day for all of us, the first of so many to come.

The next challenge we faced was transitioning her reading habits from Hindi to English. My daughter was a book reading machine by then, always hungry for more. We had a much more difficult challenge ahead of us, arranging the novels and magazines was hard at that time, considering that we lived in a remote area. Whenever we used to go out, we were always on the lookout for bookstores to feed the book hungry monster back home. To this day, she is the happiest when she is reading. Reading, not studying ;).

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As for my son, he used to try to copy everything that his sister did. If she is reading a novel, he wanted to read it too. If she is playing in the garden, he wanted to play with her too. But of course, when she was studying, he ignored this habit and kept playing. He too became an avid reader, but he picked up this habit much later, something that I will talk about in a future post.

I have always looked on the brighter side of any situation. When other’s were busy gossiping, I was planning for the future of my children. It is always easy to make excuses and shrug responsibilities, but I took it as a challenge. I could also have shifted to Delhi for my kids’ education, but I didn’t want to separate my children from their father. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Hope you like this post. Please share you views, feedback, comments and queries.

Holistic Development of a Child

Don’t worry if your children never listen to you, worry that they always watch you. In this post, I would like to focus on how I struggled to raise my children.

Raising children is one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of our lives. Parents play the same role in shaping their children that a potter plays in shaping a beautiful pot from clay. Childhood lessons are of utmost importance as those values are ingrained in the child and are the backbone of their personality. I would like to mention a few of them:

Developing Social Skills:

Before starting school every child’s first interaction starts with the immediate family and relatives which is the first step towards socialization. We should encourage them to look into their eyes and communicate to build confidence. We should also help them learn appropriate greetings and general social behaviour. When they start going to school their social frame gets extended. They started learning to be friendly, accommodative and adaptable to their social surroundings. Such kids grow up with the ability to adjust to any environment, which is very important to their personal and professional life.

Flexibility :

Children make friends when they start going to school. This is where they start learning how to deal with uncomfortable situations like teasing, bullying and general awkwardness. Parents today unnecessarily interfere for the smallest of inconveniences. Please be sure of the seriousness of the situation before interfering. I always encouraged my children to resolve disputes between friends by themselves and never tried to indulge.

Curiosity :

Curiosity helps the intellectual development of a child. Parents should always take interest in answering their child’s questions, no matter how monotonous or repetitive they get. My children never let me rest with the constant bombardment of questions that I used to answer the best I could. My son used to disassemble and then reassemble his toys. It is important to nurture this inquisitiveness. Growing up isn’t only about academic excellence, but also about understanding what the kids are interested in.

Empathy :

Care, love, kindness and compassion should be taught to children. A child learns this by noticing and watching their parents and other people that surround them. Children are very perceptive, they observe the little things and learn from them. Parents are the role models for children. Please maintain an ethical code of conduct at home. Children are very quick to pick up the attitude that the parents have towards friends, colleagues, domestic helps etc. They also learn a lot from the empathy and kindness with which we help someone in need, be it someone who needs financial aid or someone who is sick and needs to be looked after. We should try to teach moral values and important life skills in conjunction with academic knowledge.

Dear readers, I hope you like this post. Please feel free to post your comments, questions, suggestions or feedback. In my next post I will talk about inculcating good reading habits in young children.

Early Parenting Tips

Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow

APJ Abdul Kalam

This post is dedicated to all new mothers.

In this post, I would like to focus on a few difficulties I faced during the upbringing of my children, up to about the age of about 3 years. I have always tried to learn from the mistakes of others and hence was extra cautious during my children’s formative years. Some of the problems I faced during that time were common to everyone, and I will be talking about how I dealt with them.

Preventing Thumb Sucking

It is known that a child starts sucking their thumb whenever they feel lonely. My daughter, being the first born never had that problem as I was at her side all the time. My son however started sucking his thumb as I had to divide my time between my two children. Thumb sucking can lead to dental as well as speech related problems. When I noticed my son sucking his thumb, I first put socks on his hands to prevent him from sucking his thumb, but lo and behold, he started sucking his toe. Then I tried putting socks on both hands and feet and he started sucking on the socks. I finally decided to start monitoring him whenever he was awake and within three days of monitoring, I managed to get him to stop sucking his thumb. This is something that can be easily dealt with if caught early and be a terrible headache if the habit is well formed.

How I Improved Immunity

I never bottle fed my children or gave them baby food available in the market. When they were 3.5 months old, I started giving them banana shake regularly and at the age of 6 months, I started feeding them khichdi (mixture of rice, pulses, mixed vegetables, egg all cooked in a cooker and then coarsely ground in a mixer). Due to the balanced and nutritious diet, they rarely got sick which also helped them with teething. My children did not exhibit any teething symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, rashes, fever, fussiness or extensive crying. Rather, it was a cakewalk for me and on one fine day, I just noticed an erupted tooth in the lower jaw of both my children.

Teaching Sense of heat

Whenever I used to iron clothes, my children, especially my son used to think of the iron as a toy and tried to touch the hot surface. This scared me as I had seen other children suffering from burns due to this. I decided to make them touch the hot surface of the iron before it got too hot and that ensured they did not try to touch it again and hence did not get burnt by this. Prevention is better than cure.

So readers please feel free to give me any feedback, opinion or suggestion about my post. Your views mean a lot to me.

Every cloud has a silver lining

After getting married in 1993, I shifted from Delhi to a colony next to a cement factory where my husband worked which was located in a remote area. Back then, there were no proper roads, no telephones, no proper hospitals, no restaurants or movie theatres. For daily needs, we had a small cooperative store. To talk to my parents and relatives, I had to travel 4kms to the nearest telephone.

Despite these circumstances, I enjoyed living there because there was no pollution. My husband’s office was only 2kms away and the travelling time was low, unlike metros. I found myself loving the calm environs of the colony and didn’t miss the hustle and bustle of the city. People in the colony were very amiable. They helped me a lot in setting up my house and also during my pregnancy. Some of them are life long friends now. I’m a glass half full kind of a person so I enjoyed every situation. A positive attitude goes a long way.

We should try to make the best out of our situation rather than cribbing about what we don’t have. Happiness is that kind of choice that we make and create for ourselves.

I will highly appreciate your opinion and feedback regarding my blog. In my next post, I will write about my experience with the holistic development of my young kids.

An Introduction

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

I’m Vibha Pandey. I graduated from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University and an Honours Diploma in System Management from NIIT Delhi. After that I joined Dabur India as Systems Analyst. I tied the knot in 1993 and was the mother of two children by 1996. I quit my job to take care of my family.

I’m happily married for the last 26 years. Being the mom of my two wonderful children is my career. My daughter did her MBBS from AIIMS Bhopal and my son did his B.Tech from IIT Delhi. My husband is the Director of Operations in a Renowned Company based out of Hyderabad.

I ensured that all my family members maintained a healthy lifestyle, even though we have had to live away from each other at various stages of our lives. For our children’s education, I had to move to Delhi, away from my husband. After they were admitted into their respective colleges, both my children stayed in hostels. Even though people let go of their health when there is no one around, I ensured that everyone maintained a healthy lifestyle. All of our medical parameters are normal, which might be normal for people in my children’s age group, but is quite a rarity for people in me and my husband’s age group.

In this blog, I will be talking about my strategy in the making of a doctor and an engineer from elite institutes along with maintaining good health.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.