“Good” or “Bad” are Labels and much more!!

Do you remember any labels you had back in your school days given by your parents or teachers maybe in college by your lecturers or some not so good friends!

Well we all know about the negative impact of using labels like ‘dumb’, ‘idle’, ‘lazy’, ‘useless’ ‘fool’, ‘ugly’, ‘you are a failure’ etc. Children start considering themselves as the labelled person from their early childhood and it stays with them for a lifetime. Hence whenever you feel like using one of these labels, take a deep breath and change the words into short sentences to convey what you really want him to learn out of it all.

On the other hand, labels like brilliant, smart, clever, genius, star, handsome, beautiful, you can never fail, always a topper, etc. are equally dangerous. These are the ones which are taking children towards not accepting any different outcomes than the desired one. In this case also, they turn themselves into labelled person which makes them vulnerable to any kind of defeat. Such children blame themselves for the unfamiliar outcome and might go into depression subsequently. On the contrary, children, who blame the system, parents, surrounding etc. might turn as ‘non performers’ in any field they choose. They are happy doing nothing and blaming anything/anyone except themselves. They become experts in raising their hands and using ‘blame it on others’ approach.

Labels are self–destructive, hence we must try and avoid using these. Thumb rule for expressing your feelings is to use the words which convey exactly what you want to say. The word chosen
should be in proportion with the performance. It should not exaggerate or degrade the act of the child. At times the child might forget the reason or the lesson behind the label but will never forget the word itself and the anger/overjoy connected with it. Intent should be to change the behaviour not the person itself.

Some better ways to say could be: ‘You have achieved marks in proportion of your efforts. You can put in little more efforts next time to score better’. OR a loving pat on the back, while you eyes and actions in sync say, ‘You did well, your efforts were worth it’. ‘You are good in applying tricks and do faster calculations, that will definitely help you in competitive exams’ OR ‘You are topper in the class, good achievement!, but be open to accept and appreciate if your friend with half a percent less this time, becomes a topper next time. Instead of commenting on external appearance, specific comments will stay with the children forever.
Like: Your smile spreads happiness in the surrounding. Your eyes are so full of life. Your empathy is always reflected in your behavior. Your sensitivity towards the environment, is something everyone can learn. Your inquisitive nature helps you learn better. etc.

What is equally important while you give the label is looking into yourself and questioning “What
makes you give that label to the child?” and Did the child really get what you were trying to convey?
So is it that the child is compared to ‘your’ expectation as a parent? Or is it that you see yourself in your child and would not like him/her to go through what you went through? When you stamp a label, do you teach the child how to deal with it as well? So next time you give a label to the child, question yourself if the child needs to change or is it you who needs to look into somewhere deeper and change…
Happy parenting..

‘Conditions apply’ style of parenting

This article is for parents who are not able to handle increasing demands of children. Parents have to be clear about which demands are reasonable and which are unreasonable as per the age group and not as per monetary conditions. This further leads to explaining the child about ‘want’ versus ‘need’. Make a list of the things which fall under each of these categories. You can agree to the things which they need. But for the things they wish to have, use ‘conditions apply’ strategy.
For example:
Child: I want XYZ toy car because my friend has the same.
Parent: Sure, I will be happy to buy it for you but since it’s not your need but your wish, I want you to earn a part of the amount.
Child: How?
Parents can break this ‘how’ into 2 parts.
1. How can I earn at this age?
– assign small work as per age group, for a week and give the child token amount as some earning. The child will realize the importance of money and will understand owning even a small work everyday is not an easy task. The child will learn to respect those who do such mundane tasks everyday, for years. In this one week, the child might also realize that there is no need to have this car and the demand might go off.
2. How will it make a difference?
– Here child is in a listening mode. You can explain joy of earning something. You can give examples of how people around them earn things by offering various services to us. How we are living a comfortable life due to such people. How are they contributing to the family needs by doing such work. Examples of boys distributing news papers, milk etc. will help.

Putting such conditions since very early age will make them realize a clear difference between want and need and everytime when they come to you they will start offering conditions themselves. This will be their first step towards becoming a good human being in future.
Anita Kahate

FOMO to JOMO

Journey from FOMO to JOMO
Many of us are constantly active on all platforms of social media out of fear of missing out (FOMO).
Fear varies from someone not liking my stories if I don’t like theirs to missing out on continuous update about what’s happening around. Everyone is trying to get recognition and appreciation for clothes and accessories, trips and places visited, events attended and photos clicked. The list goes on and on…

After doing this for a while there comes a phase when suddenly we start feeling empty. This emptiness gets deep and strong despite being surrounded by thousands of friends across the globe.

This is the time to catch the bus for the journey towards joy of missing out (JOMO). This journey is about discovering that you do not miss out even when you are away from social platforms. We must accept this ‘Big Surprise’ happily. The moment we start enjoying JOMO, the feeling of emptiness starts shading off. We start doing things for internal joy and not for showing it off. We discover that we don’t miss on any update or these updates are not relevent at all. We start enjoying the beauty around through the naked eyes than through camera. Suddenly ‘who says what’ does not matter. Spending time on gadgets reduces to a extent that even if the battery goes off we don’t get panic attacks. This is time to use our energy for the things that offer the ‘real happiness and peace of mind’. This bus for the JOMO is waiting for each one of us. Let’s ride it and experience the difference. 🙂
Anita Kahate

Parenting – age 5 to 13 – part IV

In previous three artilces we discussed about first 3 fingers. In this article let’s discuss about the 4th finger, named ring finger. There is a myth that this finger is directly connected to our heart hence ring is worn on this finger. Keeping the myth aside this finger indicates that parents should not ignore each other while upbringing their children.

Our complete energy, focus, time is dedicated to our children. But in all this mess, parents must plan time for each other. Also they must plan some alone time getting away from all the chores. Children are important but relationship with each other should also be given equal importance. This is required for a healthy marriage and a healthy family. Often parents forget this aspect and are deeply engrossed in upbringing their children. This might lead to dissatisfaction, frustration in one of the partners. Study shows that the highest divorce rate is of parents having children between 5 to 13. Ignoring each other unknowingly or unintentionally can cost the marriage. Just try a small thing. Close your all fingers tightly then slowly open one by one all the fingers. We can open all fingers easily but we need to put efforts to open ring finger. So, if we have to believe in the myth of it’s connection with heart we can feel how important it is to maintain healthy relationship in marriages 🙂

Keeping in mind, Impossible itself says ‘I am possible’, parents should make it possible to have their ‘space’. If kids are involved even in this decision making, they will happily provide innovative ideas because they also get their ‘space’ in this process. It turns out to be a win win situation for everyone.

That’s how the myth of wearing ring on the ring finger can turn out to be the fact of maintaining happy and healthy relationship with the partener..

More to follow..

Anita Kahate

Parenting – age over 5-part III

I shared my views about first finger in the previous article. Let’s explore about middle finger in this article.

Middle finger means that the center of focus to be explored at this age. Expose the kids to swimming, sports, art, marshal art, music, singing, instruments, drama, modelling, films, speech, anchoring and last but not the least methodical education. Yes, the last one is an important aspect since some kids like and adapt to methodical education system. For them study oriented career options should be an obvious choice. It should be supported by only one fitness related activity. Parents should not force these kids to explore everything else apart from studies since their clear inclination is towards studies. By choice they might opt to learn few other things as well. It’s ok if these kids are little shy, introvert type. Every child carries a certain personality and they do changes by choice once they enter college. Till then accept them as they are, support them in what they do, allow them to explore different things is the mantra to be followed by the parents.

Usually parents start identifying their kids with some lables like  smart, dumb, bright, lazy, slow, star, fat, thin, emotional, exceptional, fearfull, stubborn etc. All such lables are used unknowingly. These lables have deep and long lasting impact on their self esteem. These are deep rooted wounds to their minds. Hence parents must develop a strong control over the words and body language they use while dealing with kids of this age group. Middle finger should always remind parents about balance. This balance can be achieved by practicing and turning negative sentences to positive. For example, instead of saying ‘you should not do this or don’t do this’, explain what is to be done and why it is to be done. Explain the consequences of doing things in a certain manner. Be polite but firm about certain things you want them to do or not to do. Shouting doesn’t help at all in resolving matters at this age.

Parents with balanced approach often find parenting as a easy and stressfree task when their kids enter teenage.

More to follow…

Parenting for age 5 and above kids – part II

In part I, we understood the thumb rule. In this part let’s discuss about first finger.

First finger should help the parents remember that their kid’s first priority is now to love themselves. They start expressing their likes and dislikes strongly. They want to be ‘heard’, the moment they want to talk. It can be crap talk for you but for them it’s the most important thing to share at that moment. Parents must use this opportunity to leave everything aside and listen to the child patiently, showing lot of interest. No opinions, suggestions to be given. Just listen to them. At younger age if you listen to their ‘crap’ with keen interest, they will share all their ‘secrets’ with you later.

Children want to try everything first time in life. Parents must listen to their demands, consider safety and security aspects and allow them to explore the things at right age and time. This right age and time might differ from child to child but allowing them to do cooking, cleaning, being at home alone for a short time when they are very keen at younger age will help you to get it done easily at later age when it’s actually needed.

Remember everything has a first time and it turns out as a last time if you make them lose interest by depriving of doing some things they want. Now a days what I see around is reverse. Parents praise their kids for being good at handling electronic gadgets but even a child in 6th or 8th standard does not how how to operate the gas lighter. They don’t know basic stitching, cooking, and many other survival skills. This all must have first priority in bringing up children of this age group.

Training them to keep their safety first in all scenarios while learning new things is where parents can play a crucial role.

Happy parenting…to be continued..

Parenting – kids over the age of 5

Let’s try to apply five fingers principle for parents haivng kids over the age of five.

Starting with the thumb:

For age group 5 onwards thumb indicates a thumb rule to always remember and remind yourself that the child is an independent person.  Parents are supporters, facilitators, guide but not the owners. Once this is clear, we don’t drive or control their life. Parents should do everything to take them towards being independent in all aspects. Let them take ownership of their deeds, actions, words, decisions etc. These FIVE principle might help:

– only 5 instructions per day, if you have more, then park them for the next day.

– minimum 5 hugs per day.

– minimum 5 appreciations in a day.

– minimum 5 thank you from you to the child for whatever small help offered. If you feel you are not getting a chance to say thank you then that means you are not giving the child any opportunity to help.  This will backfire. If children don’t get to do anything at home at an early age, they won’t do it later.

– maximun 5 sorry from you in a day. This means you are not allowed to do some act, regret later and try to patch up by saying sorry. Don’t make it a habit to commit mistakes in front of the kids and expect them to forgive you by simply saying a sorry. It may come back to you in the same manner later.

Minimum 5 decisions taken by them in a day independently. These can be as simple as, ‘am I hungry? should I eat now?’. ‘which T-shirt should I wear?’ ‘should I call a friend to my home or should I go to his?’ ‘which homework should I finish first?’ ‘which colour do I like?’ The list can go on, but the important thing to remember is you can disucss pros and cons for each decision but you are not allowed to take decisions on their behalf. Small decisions taken at the early age help them in understanding consequences of each decision taken.  Every small step taken towards making them independent refletcs in building their personality.

To be continued…

Parenting – 0 to 2 thumb rule

In my first writeup, I have covered five fingers. Let’s elaborate about thumb, in this part.

The thumb rule of keeping kids away from gadgets is required for their mental, physical and emotional well being along with the growth. All the motor skills start developing at this stage hence they need more physical movements. If they are watching anything on the screen they remain steady in one position, blink eyes less frequently, want you to talk less, do not respond much. Their brain development slows down. Though this gives some breathing space to the parents, the child development is hampered. Kids start getting used to moving lesser and lesser. This is the starting point of liking lesser ground activities later. Hence parents need to find out their own ways of getting rest time, work time or breathing space by building support system around them. The cost of seeking support is nothing compared to having a lazy child at later stage of growing age.

Board games, jigsaw puzzles,  blocks, story books can be introduced as soon as the child starts sitting properly. Eating on their own might spoil the dining table but their motor skills are developed. The child feels independent at an early age. Feel more happy and confident.

Everyone around must cautiously work on phrasing sentences positively. Use do’s  instead of don’t. Example: instead of saying don’t bang on something say banging on a pillow will not hurt you. Your sentences should convey the concern and care. Kids will understand this and start listening to you more and more. Try turning all negative sentences into positive, which deliver the same message. Once we practice this, we start enjoying this. This starts resulting into a positive response from the child. Automatically positive atmosphere is built around the child.

Taking the kids out for a walk and interacting with people on the way develops their social well being.

Along with all this, decipline has to be introduced at this age. Rules to be set for each family member and followed by all.

Brining up a balanced child becomes easier later, if we do all this for kids between 0 to 2. Readers can share more such ideas..

Parenting tips – child between 0 to 2 year old

Congratulations on becoming a parent. Welcome to the world filled with full of joy, learning and challenges. I am going to share some tips to enjoy this joyful ride.

Use your five fingers to remember these tips☺️

Thumb indicates a thumb rule- keep your child away from any type of screen in these 2 years. 100% away from television and mobile screens and all types of gadgets. Minimal usage of camera.  Give maximum toys, suitable books and playthings.

1st finger indicates now your first priority is your child. Keep yourself away from social media and other distractions. Children should see their parents completely with them physically and mentally too ☺️

Middle finger indicates the child is a center point. Kids need and deserve as many as possible people around them. Talk to the child as frequently and warmly as possible. The more people talk to the child, the child will feel more loved and cared.

The fourth finger means the child should feel secured from all four sides. To give this feeling, there has to be harmony and peaceful environment at home. How to achieve this? All the pople at home must be always cautious now while interacting with each other. Your child must get only positive vibes around to feel secure. Your interpersonal communication can bring this required change at home. Challenge youeself to get everyone on one page for this.

The little finger means keep aside atleast little time everyday for yourself and for each other. Even 30 minutes to one hour, away from the child helps you to rejuvenate yourself and your relationship with your partner. This helps in strengthening your bond.

All five fingers together means the child is the responsibility of the whole family together. Don’t feel alone or don’t try to do everything alone. Don’t feel lonely. Demand help sweetly if it’s not happening naturally. In fact child birth gets us all closer than before, we just need to take efforts to continue  this closeness.

Try these and also share more..

Anita Kahate

 

All about confusion

I was confused about how to bind various topics I have in mind in the form of continuous writeup. My friend Sandhya solved my problem today morning and gave me this tittle 😊

I am going to share, discuss all sorts of confusions that each one of us goes through:

1. In various roles that we play like a friend, guide, son/daughter, parents, grand parents and various roles in professional life.

2. Confusions in decision making, be it a personal or a professional

3. Confusions in each and every aspect of life starting from what to wear today, what to cook today and so on…