Tag Archives: parents

Your Child’s First Step to Confidence & Resilience

IMG_20170504_183821I came across the concept of SoulKids® and felt so exhilarated!

The first time I heard about this unique program was from Shivani, Co-founder of SoulKids® Academy East Coast at an event where we met for the very first time. In those brief moments, Shivani shared with me about the work she does with children and how significant are life-skills in their upbringing.

Her passion and niche had always been to work with children and help them to broaden their mindsets, and this is exactly what she has achieved through her work as a life-skills coach since 2014 at her own academy where she offers coaching and group workshops using the SoulKids® platform, originally founded by Vikas Malkani.

We as adults are aware that most of the issues that we face in life are stemmed from our childhood beliefs. With this in mind, SoulKids® was created, especially for kids, to bring essential life skills to them from a very young age and to inspire them to change the beliefs they carry about themselves and to learn what is possible and what they can potentially achieve.

In today’s busy world, parents are not able to take the time to teach such life skills to their kids. Good news is that these can be taught and children definitely benefit from that additional guidance and respond very well.

Women Lines managed to have a catch up with Shivani and know a bit more about her everyday passion. Shivani is a mom of 2 lovely children 12 & 6, who she jokingly says, still manage to have their little fights and arguments despite a 6-year gap! But what makes her say this in a very calm tone is because this is what she helps others in – parents and children in their attitude and beliefs.

It is pleasure for Women Lines to share what, Shivani has to say about parenting, something she often shares with the parents during her interactions with them-

“Children are our most prized and precious assets!

We as parents, are constantly evolving and learning about our children as well as ourselves from the moment we embark on our parenting journey!

However, as much as being a parent is a paramount feeling of completion, parenting our children through the different phases of their lives can be a challenging and daunting ride, be it an infant, a toddler, a tween, a teen or a young adult!

Along with this continual ride of parenting, we experience countless accomplishments and failures, engage in agreements and conflicts, embrace ups and downs and at times simply give in to circumstances which are a result of external factors out of our control!

Needless to say that not one way of parenting is more superior or perfect than the other. Every parent and his or her family define their own rules and values.

What is important is, to create a strong foundation for your child, which is where the role of life-skills plays a part! The best part is that children can be given that extra support and guidance on such life-skills from as young as 6 years old!”

Shivani offers individual coaching and group life-skills workshops for children aged 6 to 15 years old using the SoulKids® programs of Self-Confidence™, Creative Mind-set™, and SoulKids One-on-One coaching™.

Why SoulKids® One-on-One coaching? How can it support your child?

A highly effective and beneficial tool for children to help them in the emotional, social & intellectual skills is the SoulKids individual coaching for children.

SoulKids® Coaching is a unique process by which, your child receives practical tools that enable them to develop greater self-confidence, enhance their sense of responsibility, become happier, expand their creative thinking, release stress, and expand their mindset and belief systems.

It is a great option to help children deal with:

  • Exam stress and fear
  • Lack of motivation in their academics
  • Not able to identify their unique talents or skills
  • Bullying and rejection at school as well as other situations
  • Peer pressure and dealing with their expectations
  • Image and body issues especially with teens
  • Communication problems with peers, teachers, and family.
  • Separation of parents or other family problems
  • Dealing with sickness or loss of a loved one

Children who have taken up one-on-one coaching, have benefited immensely by overcoming their limitations, anxieties, and fears & blooming into happy and successful individuals. Very convenient as you can mutually work out the day & time of the sessions with your coach. Packages are also available to give your child a continued support channel he/she needs.

Group Life-skills workshops:

Life-skills can be taught in a very fun and engaging manner. Children are trained on life skills not taught in schools such as leadership skills, teamwork, self-confidence, creativity, focus and other positive qualities.

The entire SoulKids® training is geared to raise a child’s level of self-esteem, to see his natural strengths, talents, and abilities and to strengthen his sense of self-belief.

  • Children are taught the importance of:
  • Having a vision, creating goals and then taking action to achieve them.
  • Working together with teams to achieve a goal is encouraged
  • Staying positive during negative events
  • Embracing change with an open mind
  • Never giving up and finish what they started

The result is that children experience an increased sense of self-awareness and self-esteem.

The program is loved by children, who want to keep coming back for more! It is taught by way of stories, games, role-plays and activities and the fun element is at its peak. It helps children step into the world as happy, confident and successful individuals as they are able to relate to the wisdom and life lessons very well.

To know more or sign-up your child connect with Shivani at +6581808094. Check out parent reviews and their schedule for May 2017 at   www.facebook.com/soulkids.ec1

 

 

 

Spreading creativity in youngsters-Sindu Sreebhavan

As a parent, there is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling to see our kids expressing themselves openly and able to create something from personal feelings and experiences.Kids with such ability are called creative and as a parent, we always search for mediums to enhance this creative element in them. Women lines is proud to share about Sindu Sreebhavan who is the founder of kid’s edutainment magazine ‘ The Kidz Parade’ which is focussed on enhancing creativity in kids in Singapore and around the world. Read about her journey from corporate world to a popular kid’s magazine world in her own words-                                                                                                                 IMG_9477 copy2

  1. Please share with our reader’s little bit about yourself?

I am the founder of The Kidz Parade Edutainment. I am extremely passionate about spotting, encouraging and promoting creativity in others. Though everybody identifies The Kidz Parade with our Edutainment magazine, The Kidz Parade also has a suite of other products, services, and workshops that help to showcase, boost and cultivate confidence, creativity and communication skills in children. I have a wonderful family with my husband Manoj and our 10-year-old son Advaith and 9-year-old daughter Aditi. I love to put my kids to bed in the night and enjoy the little shows they put together for our birthdays and other important dates.

  1. So when did you venture into this venture and what inspired or motivated you to take a plunge into this venture?

During my 15 years career in management consulting, I was fortunate to have worked in 6 different countries for different industries with some of the brilliant people you can come across. If I condense my learning from these associations in a simple sentence – The three critical skills for a successful career are Creativity, Communication, and Confidence. These are the skills that should be cultivated from the young as sometimes it becomes difficult for you to pick up some of these skills in the later years. But unfortunately, these skills are overlooked in our education system. I was looking for a platform that could help my children to boost my kids’ creative confidence when they were younger. However, to my dismay what I could find was more enrichment classes than platforms where they could proudly parade their creativity. The enrichment classes are good, but that only serves you to push information to the kids but not for encouraging their unlimited creativity. During my discussions with other parents and teachers, I figured out that I was not the only person who felt this. But, none knew how to deal with the situation. But, being able to showcase one’s own creativity at a young age is important for the overall confidence building and critical thinking process. And I wanted to give that opportunity to children around the world. That is when the idea of a magazine that could promote their creativity, ignite their curiosity and provide inspirations to them came about. I spent a couple of years doing surveys of parents and teachers and discussing trends in education with researchers in those areas. Sometime during 2012, I realized that the motivation to execute this cause had overpowered every other career aspirations I had and that even without my knowledge I had the idea of the overall content of the magazine. Once that realization hit me, I started working it with Jagdeep Kaur and The Kidz Parade was born within the next few months in print and online formats.    Poster components copy

  1. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days?

The first and the main challenge was being a newbie in the industry. I had the passion, a good concept for a unique product and a great market to start with. However, that was not enough to start. I needed a lot of support. There I did what the corporates do. I started looking for collaborations. The first collaboration came in the form of an amazing lady named Jagdeep. She is a great partner as a writer, immensely creative person, and a great human being. Without Jagdeep, it would have been impossible for me to launch the magazine in such a short time with such great quality. The second challenge was the misconceptions people had about creativity. It was sad to observe that people still saw creativity and education as two separate entities. Many think that creativity is a hazard to educational excellence. People had the notion that creativity is all about arts. Doing arts is creativity, but that is just part of creativity. I started giving talks to parents, teachers, kids, and organizations about the importance of creativity in education. It is great to see the inclination towards incorporating creativity in education by educational agencies.

  1. So how do you balance your personal and professional life?

I work on a flexible schedule. So, I make time for everything my kids need. I make it a point to spend enough time with my family without compromising the quality, effort and time I need to spend for the company.

  1. What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out on their own?

If you have a great idea for an offering that could solve a problem faced by your potential customers, go for it. It takes a lot of effort in the beginning. Many women stop there thinking they do not have the time. But, remember, we women are amazing in multitasking. So, make use of that, you will find the time for everything. Secondly, you reach out and collaborate. Many people look at everybody else as competitors. But you are a winner when you look at your potential competitors as collaborators. Thirdly, you connect with others who have gone through the process of setting up their own enterprises. My doors are always open for people who would like to talk to me.

  1. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired you? IMG_1390-Sindu & Jagdeep

As I had said before, Jagdeep was a great support, partner and creative adviser in bringing our magazine out. Organizations like National Library Board, Science Centre, Eurasian Association and many local and international schools were very supportive of this initiative. We are used to hearing from teachers that this is something they wanted to start. We take that as the testimonial for the immense academic potential the publication offers. We are quite touched by the stories of kids picking up reading and writing habits, families using The Kidz Parade contents and critical thinking activities as conversation topics on their dinner table, kids getting inspiration from other kids and experts featured in The Kidz Parade and kids acquiring the confidence to showcase their creativity. It is this support from the parents, schools, teachers and above all our young readers that motivate us to get the magazine to greater heights. I did my MBA from UCLA Anderson and the support, recommendations, and ideas I received from the alumni were very encouraging. People like Adeline Foo, the author of the famous Amos Lee series, Michelle Tessensohn, Sylvia Mackaige, Nandita Vaidya, Jennifer Loh, Hima Madhusoodan had supported me immensely with their fabulous advice while boosting my morale and keeping me motivated. Many friends supported me with their voluntary work. Above all, my husband and kids have given their wholehearted support right from Day1. That kept me going during the challenging phases.

  1. What do you have in the pipeline for your venture’s future development?

We have recently launched our I Speak… I Lead Public Speaking kit for children. It is a very useful product with valuable tips and framework for how to approach public speaking for both kids and adults. We are in the process of increasing the reach of our highly sought after Public Speaking and Leadership Mentoring Program for children. We are working on our audiobooks and we will be launching that in the next couple of months. We are also planning to make The Kidz Parade Worksheets that were available only for school subscriptions, to others as well, due to popular demand from the parents. Women lines wish all the best to Sindu for her future initiatives for Kidz Parade! To know more about The Kidz Parade Edutainment Magazine visit- www.thekidzparade.com  www.facebook.com/TheKidzParade

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!

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 to 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, a 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 takes 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).

Charu Swaroop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting- a Job Made Easier by parents.com

Parenting is in fashion!

Yes, its so true that parents nowadays enjoy doing their job as a parent and are in look out for various ways how they can contribute in their babies wholesome development. Due to the limited knowledge they have, parenting books or parenting websites come real handy in absence of any elderly guidance in their families.

Parents’ job is considered to be a big job in today’s world. It’s not only looking after diet, good habits, good health but parenting requires wholesome knowledge about various topics which really helps in proper upbringing of the baby.

The world is no more a secure place for babies. They need proper care for their healthy development, emotional development, and physical development. Parents.com provides wholesome knowledge even on such topics which you as a parent will never think of. Skills required to do parenting is not possessed by all parents. Some skills like patience really have to be developed. Tips from parents.com really comes handy and is very useful

The Internet world is full of knowledge and tips that at times its so confusing which tip to follow and not.www.parents.com is one such site which I can trust for any guidance. I would love to share with my readers that this website not only shares and guide about topics related to various age groups of the baby , but also it guides about all round development of your child. Practical tips like how and what to play,  practical activities in which kids should be involved, how to improve motor skills and much more like that. I never came across any website which goes such a deep way in parenting.

As a parent, I don’t want to have a regret in the latter part of my life that I wished I knew about it and could have helped my baby. I am grateful to parents.com for coming out with a solution for my queries.Creative articles like the Super idea of playdates, Activities to do with your child while you are traveling by car, basic manners for kids and so much more open up parent’s mind and helps in proper nurturing of kids.

Parents.com is really a treasure of knowledge regarding parenting.

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!

 

Teachers are Special!

It is said that “Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions”. Teachers are considered to be builders of future pillars of our country. They should be given respect and motivation for the work they are doing.

I wonder why this job is taken for granted around the whole world and is not given required respect as it should be. Teachers are the builders of the future generation and they only sow seeds of education in our kids which when nurtured with love, care, and attention by parents, helps in their all-round development. It is necessary that to perform this job every teacher should be well qualified for it and properly trained how to handle kids. If they themselves are not competent in their subjects then how we can believe that they will teach students properly. Lily Tomlin said that -“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. ” This statement is so true. Teachers have to have a vision for their students. In our society normally people prefer teacher’s job only when they are not getting any other job. Or Homemakers, when their kids are growing up then they think they can carry this job easily while managing their families. It’s good that we have teachers who know how to handle kids as they have handled their own kids. But are they qualified for it? Though most of the time it is the compulsory rule in school that teachers should have a degree in education. I really get bugged up when I come to know about incidences where the teacher just takes their work for granted and then just fulfill their duty by finishing off the course prescribed for the session and that too is sometimes missing in some schools. They are least bothered to check if she is successful in clearing her student’s doubts or they have understood the lesson fully.  I think that it is the content of assessment that largely drives the education. I really want to request teachers that they should emphasize on the ability of students to think creatively.They should be allowed to understand different factors related to the topic and not simply mug up the answers to get the marks.
Teachers have their own reasons for not taking their work seriously and the most common are that they are underpaid. I want to request the concerned authorities that they should include the teaching profession in the highly paid job list so that we can have talented teachers around.

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!

Are you a Smothering Parent?

Are you taking your parenting job very seriously?

Then you might be coming in smothering parent category with!

Take a break. Parenting is not a project to be finished with perfection. Its a lifelong journey and it has to be dealt with its requirement as and when needed.  Give space to your kids and to yourself too.

Parenting has become a big subject in today’s society and there are abundant books, classes, coaches, to guide you how to be a successful parent. But mind you, if your kid is observing you tensed and always worried. about some issue relating to him, whether it’s his studies, or diet or even hobby class he will never like it. He will more be pleased if he is observing you happy and contented with your life and taking it easy. Don’t create complications and unnecessary pressure for yourself by trying to be a cop parent.

Kids find their parents as their role model and they will exactly behave as you behave in your life. This should be a warning signal for you as whatever emotions also you are going through will affect him and will replicate you the same way when he will grow up.

Start checking yourself if you are interfering in your kid’s life too much. Don’t always be bothered if he is not keeping up perfectly with everything you want from him. Let him be a normal individual who can also make mistakes and learn from them.

Life will be full of happiness and love around if every individual is having space for themselves and enjoying it individually under their own capacity.So stop being a smothering parent and let some oxygen come in between your life.

 

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!

 

 

Kids suicide!

Suicide by 11 yr old girl-not a joke, a harsh reality!

11-year-old reality show participant Neha Sawant , committed suicide in India.  Police have cited pressure to perform well in studies as a possible reason for her suicide .

“Class VI student Neha was found hanging by a dupatta to a ceiling rod inside her Sai Darshan Apartment house, Dombivli, on 2 Jan morning, police said. She had participated in three TV dance reality shows, including the popular Boogie Woogie, and was a student at a dance academy. Police suspect she might have taken the step after her family took her out of the academy as they wanted her to concentrate on her studies.”

I am at loss of words to express my grief, shock, sympathy….or any other emotion I want to express for this little girl. It’s a check for every parent. Mind you, your kids are no more kids in today’s e-world. They are mature enough to understand the meaning of death and how to carry suicide act successfully. Now, who is to be blamed? Parents, for pressurizing her for studies, or the reality shows who make stars out of our small kids and snatch their childhood from them. Should we blame Neha herself for taking such an extreme step?

No parent can ever imagine that their kid can take such an extreme step and that too at such a small age of 11 years. My wholehearted sympathy with them. At times I ponder that when we want our kid to excel in everything we forget to think that in process of achieving excellence are we ignoring our kid’s happiness. Why is it necessary that every kid should be a star. Why parents feel ashamed that their kid stood second in class and missed the first position by half marks. In order to satisfy our parental ego, we just crush our kid’s happiness and never realize that what in reality gives him happiness. I never say that if your kid wants to dance then let him ignore his studies. Just trust your instinct and communicate with the confidence with your kid eye to eye, explaining the importance of studies and how it will help him to excel in other fields. The most important thing you can give to your child is your time with such constructive communication (which should never sound as boring lecture).

Let’s stop acting as a cop parent and create a world of fun and happiness around our child. His life should be filled with fun activities, shades of various colors, dance, music, and of course studies but in a fun way.

Internet Site for Online Stories for kids!

Myyoungchild.org is an Internet site for online stories about different good qualities.

Stories have always been a part of life for every kid around. In old times when there were joint families there, grandparents were always having bundles of stories to share with little ones of the family. These stories touching various topics like the importance of honesty in life, helping others, were quite helpful in teaching kids the basic values of life. In today’s times when most families are nuclear then site myyoungchild.org will definitely help parents to occupy their kids in some quality time spending on the Internet. Information below is a sort of official information regarding site-

As a parent, do you get a sinking feeling when you turn on the television news and hear tales of children shooting children, of parents hiding their son in an attic to attract attention to their weather balloon invention, of famed performers and sports players spewing disrespectful comments—to say nothing of swindlers like Bernie Maddox?

Myyoungchild.org provides just the resources parents and educators need to help teach children values and ethics in a world that sometimes seems adrift.

Sixteen beautifully illustrated online stories present situations that 3-7-year-old children can relate to: learning right from wrong, sharing at school, respecting friends and grandparents, telling the truth, being fair and responsible, developing patience, dealing with bullies, showing good manners and more. The stories on the easily accessible site use entertaining characters in situations that children can connect to their daily lives. Each story is followed by parenting tips targeted to specific social and ethical skills—tips that explain to parents at what age children can understand different moral concepts, how to talk to their children about these issues, and examples of how parents can help their children develop these values and ethics. A 3-minute online video illustrates through pictures and quotations the rewards of parenting and is ideal to be used in a school setting with parents. Other educational sections on the website include suggestions for parents on how to teach literacy, suggestions for educators on how to teach values and social skills in the curriculum, and how to use the stories to develop literacy. All the materials on Myyoungchild.org can be downloaded and used freely with children, parents, and educators.

Myyoungchild.org is a non-profit site developed by the Early Parenting Foundation. It was begun by Wilbur S. Edwards, a recent retiree from a long career in the educational video production market, who felt strongly that certain values were lacking in our society. He enlisted Nancy Morgan, an educational consultant he had worked with before, and Holly Bell, a preschool teacher, and illustrator, to create the online stories. “Our stories give parents and teachers the tools so they can discuss important values with children such as honesty, integrity, respect, and civility—values that are so needed in our society today. Our goal is to help children make good choices and lead more satisfying lives,” says Edwards.

For more information, visit Myyoungchild.org or contact Wilbur Edwards of the Early Parenting Foundation at 847.381.0768.

A must visit site for every parent!

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!

Yelling and kids!

How often you have shouted or screamed at your kids!

Think about it. Majority of parents have done it many times, and they cannot recall the exact numbers it is a part of life. When your kid is not listening to you, you scream at him. Your kid is watching television and you ask him to close it as his time is over, but he ignores, the result is, a big scream from your side. I just realized how often I do throughout a week. I was forced to think about this habit after coming across this article in New York Times.

As a parent, I have learned a lot, how to control my pitch of sound while interacting with my kid, how to suppress my anger when he goes to extremes, but there are limits and at times I lose my patience and simply scream at him. And the whole day I feel guilty. Again the cycle starts and I control my pitch.This article is really a checkpoint for parents as how they are reacting to their kids.

Doctors suggest that yelling is ineffective and it damages child’s self-esteem.Yelling should be avoided, just think how you will feel when your boss yells at you, then think about your poor kid. It will be a very humiliating experience for him.  Think about the reasons for your yelling. At times as a parent, we are in anxiety for multitasking, and we are not able to deliver favorable results. That frustration is released while we yell, as most of the parents think.

To yell or not to yell is in our hand. The thing is that we have to realize the fact that it is in our control and every parent loves his child so let’s pledge that no more yelling at our kids!

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!

Kids need special time!

How important is the special time spent with kids!

I came across this article by Dr. Karen Saze, which opened my mind regarding the way we spend our time with our kids-

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=16&art_id=88734&sid=25604146&con_type=1&d_str=&fc=3

As homemakers, most of the mothers will definitely raise questions regarding this topic. They spend the whole day with their kids then what is special time reference? Indeed mothers spend time with their kids but they never realize that the quality of time they spend with their kids has lots of impact on your kid’s personality. As this article guides you about the importance of the way you spend time with your kid, you will also learn that kids need your love and praise, not your commands and orders.

As parents, we at times become cops just getting anxious to secure our kids future and preparing them for the journey of life. We always forget the importance of precious moments of life which will never come back once gone. We should try to spend those moments of life filling with love and affection for our kids. They are a bundle of innocence. Let’s provide them an atmosphere of love, praises, and serenity around so that they can grow up to be individuals full of love and emotions.

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!