Category Archives: Parenting

Power of Communication-ultimate gift to kids by parents

As a parent we want to fill our kid’s life with happiness and success!

commuWe want them to be equipped with all skill sets required to survive successfully in present times. Positive Communication skills are the golden skills in today’s times. In every sphere of life, parameter of our success very much depends upon on how are our communication skills.

In daily life communication is taken as normal activity which is not given much mindfulness. But if we go through our whole day activities then we will find ourself  indulged in some or the other type of communication. Either we are talking one to one, or interacting on phone, even might be communicating through emails too. We also realize those things in life, which we missed because of lack of proper communication.

We can lovingly guide our children towards  happiness and true success in all aspects of life by equipping them with power of communication. When they grow up they have to deal with their family, employers, friends, relatives, neighbours, infact with pets too:)). While communicating they have to learn how to manage tone, what type of words to use, with whom to have heart to heart communication, when to have limited communication.

How communication skills can help-

  1. Great communication skills can help kids to share their thoughts with their parents easily. At times kids are not feeling good, demotivated and get lost. Above all if they are not able to share their real feelings with anybody and keep piling their thoughts within themselves, it can lead to stress. On the other side, good communication skills can help kids to just let the burden of thoughts go away by sharing in and out with their parents. This way they can get correct guidance
  2. In schools it is very important to have great communication skills with friends and  teachers. Right knowledge can only be gained when proper interaction happens with the teacher in the class. With right communication skills kids can ask right questions and can clarify their doubts. This way they can have good hold in their subjects.
  3. Kids will be growing up with time to join work force. Then they will be requiring the power of oral and written communications skills both. If they are equipped with these skills from the beginning they can excel in their field without any doubt.
  4. Kids are part of family therefore they should be mindful about their communication with every member of the family. Such skills can help in building up strong bond between  him and all members of the family.
  5. Positive communication with one self is the most important communication skill which any parent can teach his kid. It can do wonders by creating a strong self esteem thus leading to a confident and determined personality of a child.

Ishita Katyal, a 10 years old speaker on Tedx questions Parents mindsets!

 

Ishita Katyal speaks at TED2016 - Dream, February 15-19, 2016, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

Ishita Katyal speaks at TED2016 – Dream, February 15-19, 2016, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

General perception is that one has to be a very experienced person to become a TEDx speaker. Ishita Katyal, a 10 years old girl from India has changed this perception. Last year on  Children’s Day, Ishita Katyal from Pune became the youngest Indian TEDx speaker with an impressive speech in New York at Brooklyn Museum.

Ishita questioned the general mindset of adults who always ask kids “What you want to become when you grow up”?In her 4 mins speech very beautifully she shared her experience how she took initiative of organising a Ted talk in her school after getting idea by attending a talk herself with her mother. She emphasizes  that one does’t has to wait to become adult to fulfil one’s desire.

Her speech was addressed to adults telling them to stop underestimating children, simply because they are younger. Thought provoking statement by Ishita will certainly change mindset of parents-“Instead of asking children what they want to do when they grow up, you should ask them what they want to be right now,” Children are very motivated and full of enthusiasm. If we are able to provide nurturing environment and support to them I am sure we are going to have chain of speakers like Ishita in near future:).

 

Independance day expressions!

india

singapore

 

 

 

August is a great month to enjoy the spirit of Indian and Singaporean Independence!

It was awesome experience listening to speeches by  Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong of Singapore, on occasion of celebration of Independence day of respective countries. I want to share  few takeaways from both speeches with my blog readers-

1.The phenomenal concept of ‘Team India‘ in which Mr Modi has requested all Indians to consider themselves as part of a team , which is working towards development of the nation, is very impressive. We as women can make a great team and contribute in various ways for development of country.

2. Raise your daughter and son equally. Both should be taught skills to work for their choice of career and also how to take care of family equally. As mothers let’s pledge to teach equal skills to kids of both genders,  to value and respect each other, to be mindful for responsibilities for our country. Values taught to present generation can do wonders for future of our country.

3. We have to be mindful about taking care of nature and conserving natural resources. If we can inculcate certain habits in our kids from childhood like saving water, less usage of plastic, saving electricity, limit wastage of food and certain other habits in favour of nature care.I am sure future generation will be able to enjoy nature and lead a safe life .

4. If we curb certain habits like stop giving and taking bribes, respect every individual same whatever level they are, follow general rules regarding traffic, standing in que, waiting for your turn and many more, in few years time our country will definitely come in category of top countries in world. It was such a great feeling of getting the driving license made in India , without giving a single currency not:).Things are definitely possible if we take initiatives.

5.”Make the most of what you have, chase that rainbow!”-This statement by PM Lee in the video shown during the National day celebrations in Singapore, is very impactful statement. Kids can do wonders if they are taught to be mindful to focus on their goals and work hard to achieve it, in whatever circumstances they are.Same goes with us as adults. We should put our efforts in making the most of what opportunities we get, instead of cribbing about what we don’t have!

 

 

5 changes second parenthood journey brings in parents!

Congratulations for your second parenthood journey friends!

It must have been really overwhelming journey from framing mind to take this journey again in life to getting in your hands after a long wait and care. Initially it must have been challenging to gear up for the challenges, getting back to basics of life, diapers, bottles, doctor visits and the list goes on….But couples take this decision as they very well know importance of siblings and what it matters to have a brother or sister in life. That’s why they plan second baby as they don’t want  their first baby to lead life alone. Believe me friends, though it takes umpteen amount of courage to jump in the well of parenthood once again, but once you have crossed the stage and started enjoying your second parenthood journey you will be grateful to God for this blessing. You are a different person now and you will love to have these changes in life-                                                                                                                    download

1. Your inner child is jumping with joy:

It is so much fun to enjoy childlike fantasies. As with babies we ourselves start behaving like babies to play with them. So let your inner child explore the fun again. Behave silly with kids, take silly snaps together. Dance with your kid.Fill every moment with smiles and laughter.

2.Messy home, dresses, broken crockery doesn’t matter to you any more now:

You are surprised yourself that how much particular you were for a clean house with all things properly arranged. With a kid in house properly arranged house looks odd. There has to be a corner in a house which gives kids freedom to explore and arrange things on her own. This will certainly help her improving her motor skills and also will boost her to play more creative pretend and play games

3. You learn to enjoy the present moment

As an adult you are so busy always that your mind is either reflecting about past or pondering about future. After having kids you learn the importance of mindfulness. You start enjoying the present moment with kids and enjoy it fully.Kids always live in present moment and enjoy it  fully. They are never thinking about past

4. You start believing in power of love

Kids are full of love.They are bundle of joy who make life beautiful as they spread joy around. As adults, you often forget the beauty of life and don’t enjoy it.Our kids only make us realize about power of love. You suddenly realize that it is such a blessed feeling to be loved by your kids. And once you start believing in power of love you will see how relaxed you are and how often you smile!

5. You learn the power of persistence in achieving your goals

Have you ever observed your kid’s persistence regarding achieving some toy or candy?No matter what happens your child makes sure he gets what he wants through either repetition, or tantrums, or any other way he takes up. It is a big lesson to be learnt. Be persistent for your goals. Don’t settle for low results. Always persist for  achieving your goals and you will surely achieve it!

Is your child lacking the skills needed to survive and thrive?

Singer kid boy 5 6 7 8 years old singing on a stage performance performing communicating microphone mike concert rehearsal feeliWomen Lines proudly welcomes Sindu Sreebhavan , the founder of Zettabyte Minds Pte. Ltd. and the editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, as guest writer for Womenlines.in this article  Sindu is  reflecting upon the importance of empowering kids with strong communication skills  to succeed in life-

The world has changed and it continues to change. We have moved from Industrial economy to information economy to knowledge economy to now the data economy.

A recent study of over 1500 CEOs by IBM reveals that companies look for candidates who are communicative, creative, collaborative and flexible. Is the current education system preparing today’s children for these needs? Not enough.

In our classrooms, kids do learn a lot, but they do not master what employers are looking for. It is disappointing to see that effective communication, creativity and collaboration are not integral parts of the curriculum.

For instance, consider the case of communication.
Is our education system focused on building this essential skill in our children?
If communication skills are essential for landing a career, why is it not given the systematic approach that it deserves?
How can you ensure that your child is not left behind?

When it comes to communication, there is verbal communication, non-verbal communication and written communication. This article aims to highlight the top 3 myths, some insights and actionable suggestions on verbal communication.

Top 3 Myths of verbal communication

There are several myths about verbal communication most parents are not aware of.

1. “That child is a good communicator” just because he/she talks a lot.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. Talking a lot doesn’t mean effective communication.

2. “My child is a horrible communicator” since he/she doesn’t talk much.

The first rule of communication is that ‘lot’ does not mean ‘effective’. In this knowledge economy, people do not have the time and patience to listen and understand. Our busy lives have significantly reduced our attention spans. As a whole, we listen less than we used to. So, if your child is able to speak effectively and concisely within a short time, he/she is a winner. The important words here are ‘effective’, ‘effective’ and ‘effective’.

3. “Let them focus on academics now, communication can come later.”
It is true that your child can pick up communication skills at any stage in his/her life. However, the longer you procrastinate it, your child is losing out on opportunities. Many people lose out on opportunities at school, at internships, at university admission interviews, job interviews and many other important junctions in their lives just because they lack the power to persuade and convince others. Communication is a life skill that requires regular practice. When you procrastinate it, your child is losing the window of opportunity to make it a second nature. Lack of ability to communicate effectively invariably affects the confidence of the child. Imagine the boost in confidence and the increase in opportunities your child would get when he/she could convey their ideas better and persuade others.

How do you know whether your child needs help in effective communication?

As a parent, you are the best person to decide whether your child is in need of help in communication skills. You can figure out the need by observing the following areas.

1. Does your child find it difficult to convey ideas and persuade others?
2. Do people often ask your child to repeat what he/she says?
3. Do you notice your child losing out on opportunities since he/she is not expressing their viewpoints persuasively?
4. Does your child feel nervous when he/she speaks to others?

What can you do to help your child communicate effectively?

The first lessons of life skills often start at home. These are some tips you can use to cultivate your child’s communication skills at home.

1. Let your child know the importance of effective communication. Create awareness in your child that effective communication is an essential stimulator for his/her overall success in the future.
2. Let your child know when it comes to communication it is not the quantity but it is the quality that matters. It is not about how long they communicate, but how effectively they communicate.
3. How we communicate is as important as what topic we are communicating. Show real life examples and encourage your child to observe other people’s conversation styles to help him/her understand this.
4. Effective communication is a package of verbal and non-verbal communication. The listeners accept your child’s points based on how he/she connects with them using this package. Body language, gestures, movements, eye contact, tone, pace, voice projection etc. play a major part in this.
5. Encourage and provide opportunities for your child to communicate both inside and outside your home environment.

If you can equip your child with the ability to communicate effectively, that is probably the best gift you can give him/her.

About the author

Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of Zettabyte Minds Pte. Ltd. and the editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine.  She is passionate about providing opportunities for children to bring out their creative, innovative and academic confidence.The Kidz Parade organizes its highly successful workshops on public speaking, leadership, Design Thinking, creativity and innovation for children on a regular basis. The Kidz Parade also has a leadership-mentoring program called The Confidence Hub for children. You can find out more information on this at www.thekidzparade.com.

Lunch Box ideas for a busy Mom!

Lunch box , kids and mummies have a sweet and sour relationship since beginning  of the school journey:)!   tiffin

As a mother I have always tried my best to be innovative with my kids lunch box and provide him variety of food options which he can enjoy in school. Being a work from home mother many times it becomes challenging to generate new idea and I have to repeat the options which I have already given him previously. And then starts the fight, he does’nt likes to eat,or may be he is not excited to see his tiffin box,or he wants something else.So many thoughts come into my mind to reason out his dislike to finish his tiffin box(though I wonder how I used to finish in my school days when I used to get limited options:) which I always enjoyed eating). May be kids are easily bored now as we as parents only give them so many options. Or we have pampered them and spoiled too.

Whatever the reason they have already been pampered and spoiled. So for mothers there is no option besides only giving variety of choices to their kids. Luckily over new year I came across this link which I will love to share with my readers-

http://www.livinglocurto.com/2014/08/free-printable-school-lunch-box-planner/?utm_source=kidsactivitiesblog.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange_facebook

Ms Amy Locurto i is a graphic designer and DIY lifestyle blogger from Dallas, Texas who specializes in craftsparty ideasprintable designs and recipes. Her goal is to inspire others to be more creative. In this link she has shared numerous ideas how to be creative with kid’s lunches and how to make it more interesting. 

My new year resolution now includes to follow Amy’s suggestions and make my kid’s lunch impressive and healthy. Friends wish me luck that I am able to keep my resolution and follow it;))

Readers are requested to share their suggestions and ideas if they know about other ways to make kid’s lunches interesting.Thanks in advance!:))

 

Kids to do list with a twist!

Vacations are the most awaited period of the year by kids, whatever age they are into!      chore-chart2

It is time for kids  to relax, to meet friends and to spend day without any time boundations. Ask any kid which part of the year is his favourite and most of them will come up with vacation or festival holiday as an answer.I feel happy seeing that relaxed smile on my kid’s face during vacation time but as a working women, and that too from home, my other part is overwhelmed with the challenges I am going to face during this period with my work. The most irritating aspect of any holiday is the frequent bombing of “What shall I do now, mummy?” periodically.How I can plan every second of my kid’s day when I am not able to do for myself,I just scorn at times. “Why can’t he think of his own ways?” or ‘I wonder how I managed my vacations without any instructions by my parents?”Such questions just hit me almost every other day of vacation.

Last year while making to do list for myself idea struck to me why can’t kids have their own todo list which they can depend upon whenever they are having free time.YES, WHY NOT! Literally I really jumped with joy with the realization that my kid can plan his to dolist on his own by using his brain:). I discussed the idea with my kid and we drafted a rough chart and pasted it on wall. And every time when me or my son came across any activity idea we took a note of it.Infact this will help them to think independently and  he will understand himself better. What are their likes,what are their dislikes, what they love to do and when!

It is more than a year and I can tell you friends list is still on. As my son is growing he comes across some new activity and he wants to add it in his list. What are you waiting for?Start listing down your kids activities….best wishes from womenlines:)!

 

Website for Kid’s activities!

As a mother I have always felt a need to get new ideas which can help me engaging my kids creatively!   

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/ is an awsome website which will open you a world of beautiful ideas to enhance your kid’s creativity. To visitors advantage  website has categories on the basis of various ages and thus it helps visitors to choose activity as their kid’s requirement. Website is very suitable to l0ok out for various crafts, arts,DIY, colouring activities for different age groups of kids. Very Interesting section is section in which various days of the year  are described  with ideas how can you celebrate that day like, Earth day, Christmas, Father’s day  etc.

Interesting part is that there is section for Mom group also.Amazing recipes for food, tips for organizing home and to do activities with families. Womenlines strongly recommend this website for those parents who always search for new ideas for parenting. There isa facebook page too for the website- https://www.facebook.com/QuirkyMomma

Visitors are requested to share other links if they are aware about any kid’s activities related website!

 

Toys – A luxury or a necessity?

Womenlines proudly shares guest write up on importance of Toys by Charu Swaroop  who  contributes to Toy Tasting, a video review channel on toys by mothers

“The Importance of Play lies in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds”. American Academy of Pediatrics.

Gone are the days when toys were considered a luxury and not indulged in by parents because of the price factor. The ‘learning’ angle has managed to change that entire single handedly and the association of a toy with learning and creativity has reached new levels.

Entertainment has taken a back seat rather reluctantly while ‘learning’ is at the wheel. Motor skills are boosted, role-play and imaginative play enhanced and cognitive skills developed. The possibilities are endless and so are the toys.

Also today when you see Indian parents buying toys for kids in a toys shop, their focus is mainly on toys that foster imagination and creativity. Parents today prefer more open ended and educational toys for their kids. But do you think toys are a luxury or a necessity?

Toys are a must for a child when it comes to creative play and so very instrumental to help parents and children bond better. Toys like Lego toys, pretend play toys and much more are helpful in enhancing the creativity of the child. Looking especially in the Indian market, education is expensive so no wonder that most toys are educative and come with a nice price tag.

Toys have become a necessity simply because they enhance the development of infants. In fact, play is the most important factor when it comes to personal development. The question: When do you buy developmental toys for babies? The answer: Before they’re born!

There’s a thin line between necessities and luxuries in today’s fast paced world especially when it comes to children. What might appear to be a luxury for an adult might be a necessity for a child. That’s what makes parenting especially challenging. But toys are more of a necessity rather than a luxury and it’s essential to create a separate family budget for toys so that things get easier in terms of money management.

Consider this- If tiger cubs don’t wrestle and fight with each other in the wild, they’re never going to survive. Similarly, if children don’t play with toys during the early developmental years, they are never going to fit into the learning process where the ‘survival of the fittest’ theory is equally applicable. Unless playtime is free and unstructured, a child will not reach that critical milestone in terms of socializing with others.

Neither will emotional and cognitive development take place in the desired manner without toys. Toys and other construction toys can also help children deal with stress and enable them to become resilient to battle the emotional challenges which life will throw at them constantly.

Squeezing a teddy bear might appear silly to some. But it is vital to boost hand-eye coordination as well as to teach how a child should interact with one’s environment. Even chewing on a toy (non-toxic of course) is not inconsequential and must not be discouraged simply because it has a big impact on a baby’s mental and physical growth.

The best part about the best toys is that they don’t come with an instruction manual. Just hand it over to a baby or child and they’ll know exactly what to do with it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a comfortable blanket or a toy car or a stuffed animal, the kids will figure it out all right.

About the author:Charu Swaroop contributes to Toy Tasting, video review channel on toys by mothers. When time permits, Charu loves dreaming up and trying new dishes. She has been promising herself to get over her sweet tooth (since 2003), and to trek in Nepal (since 2009).

 

Protect your child from bullying!

Bullying is such a big problem I never realized until I attended a seminar organized by The Kidz Parade magazine in Singapore. Seminar was addressed by Andrew Matthews (Australian motivational speaker and self-help author) and Julie Matthews (famous author and speaker), who drew the concern of parents towards the gravity of bullying repercussions.

I always considered bullying as a part of growing up. But the amount of trauma it causes to victims particularly to the generation today who is so sensitive by nature cannot be expressed in words. Bullying is when a person is picked on over and over again by an individual or group with more power in terms of physical strength. Some bullies attack their targets physically, which can mean anything from shoving or hitting. Others use psychological control or verbal insults to put themselves in charge. Cyberbullying is latest addition to category which can lead to severe consequences. It is done by sending cruel texts, messages, or posting insults about a person on Facebook or other social sites. To open your eyes towards Bullying please go through some facts which I came across in seminar-

1. Bullying can lead to death of victims. Students who are bullied may also experience depression, thoughts of suicide and, in extreme cases, may react with violence or self-harm

2. Bullying also affects students’ sense of safety, which can impact their grades, their ability to study and, as a result, their future prospects

3. Studies show that people who are abused by their peers are at risk for mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, stress, depression, or anxiety. They may also think about suicide more.

4. Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.

Julie Mathews shared various ways how parents can deal with this problem-

  • Always listen to children. Children must be encouraged to talk about school, social events, about other kids in school. Certain time of the day should be fixed when parents can have open chat with kids, like walk or ride to school.
  • If child has complained against some bullying issue at school, always take it seriously. Children are often afraid or ashamed to tell everybody that they have been bullied so always listen to their complains.
  • Tell the school or organization immediately if you think that your children are being bullied. Alerted caregivers can carefully monitor your children’s actions and take steps to ensure your children’s safety
  • Cyber workshops can be organized by schools to monitor and guide students for healthy cyber habits.

Children should be taught good social skills they need to make friends. A confident child who has friends is less likely to be bullied. Praise children’s kindness toward others. Let children know that kindness is
valued. It’s all about being mindful parent and spends quality time with kids.

It was such a learning experience attending seminar on ‘Bullying’. The Kidz Parade is an edutainment magazine and I love their motto that they stand for Igniting Curiosity, Promoting Creativity and Providing Inspiration to children. I also like their belief that 21st century education is collaboration between educators, parents, students and the community. Magazine often organizes workshops, talks and presentations for parents, teachers, students and the community, which are really good source of getting information regarding parenting. For parents it also gives various ideas to engage children creatively and intellectually. Best wishes to The Kidz Parade for its future initiatives!