What Makes This Bonding A Match Made In Heaven?

There is this famous joke- What makes Grandparents and Grandchildren bond so well? Coz- they have the same enemies! Jokes apart- this is a match that is surely made in heaven. The Mom might me the Everything-in-the-World for a kid; she might be Daddy’s little Princess- but the child can never say enough to the pampering of Grandparents. They are more special than parents- hence “Grand” Parents!

I have been very lucky in that aspect. My Grandma- whom we call Patti- in our language, means the world to me 🙂 She lives with us- and I fondly refer to her as my second mom. I have learnt so much from her-how to remain bold, confident and courageous -How to be a cheerful person- how to remain the pillar of support in the family; she has taught and continues to teach me these things. My brother jokingly refers me as Junior Patti- saying I have imbibed most of her qualities; but the scale is very very high to reach. Involvement in a family is what we learnt from her. She has set examples of what good upbringing is and my father and his siblings are testimony to that. A NO is a strict NO- no matter how hard we plead. Discipline is her top most priority and she wouldn’t let it go- even if it is for her grandchildren. And the affection she now showers on the next generation only goes to show- how blessed our kids are to spend time with her.

My Grandfather-Thatha- is another person who has played a pivotal role in my life. He is the one who introduced music to all of us- being the connoisseur that he is. He has taught us what selfless love is. My mom- says she loves seeing her Dad transform from the Strict Disciplinarian Father to the Loving and Cheerful Grandpa. Again, involvement and concern for all is what we learn form him. At this age- he never fails to wish the spouses of his grandchildren on their Birthdays!Talk about memory power 🙂

Both my Dadi and my Nana have led tough lives, in their own respect- but each of them have taught us so much in life- not by teachings but with themselves as stellar examples.

And now-when I see my little one bonding so magically with her Grandparents- it just brings back all the good memories and a smile to my face. Not only do the Grandparents cuddle and pamper the children- their little teachings and funny games have a great impact on the little ones. Kids learn with example, as I mentioned earlier. Till this day- if I love and respect (and in the future, too) my Grandparents the way I do- I owe it to my parents who paved the way for that and led by example.

My little one- hardly 3 years old- keeps her Grandparents on their toes! She has beautifully assigned and related tasks for each – Nana, Nani, Dada and Dadi. Dada has to teach her about animals- Dadi has to play and sing those songs and stories on YouTube- Nana has to talk to her about everything under the sun and Nani has to push her around in her cycle and pat her to sleep. With every little step of hers being appreciated and applauded- it just brings a magical smile on her face- and to mine as well.

No science can explain how a relationship other than parents can impact and impress upon a kid so much. But who wants reasons and logic! At the end of the day- Pure Love wins the Game 🙂

Helping Your Toddler To Talk

With this generation’s Milestone-Checking Mommies- every little step of our kids is documented- referred and discussed about. One such important milestone in any kid’s development is Talking. It is just not an indicator of how much the kid talks or what language it talks. It gives us a deeper understanding of how much the kid interprets our words- takes our teachings seriously and tries to reproduce them.

They would start with the parrot stage initially- copying every word and action of yours- and looking for your approval. With it gradually comes the Interpretation and Talking Stage. They are now in a position to add few words on their own, even recollect the day’s events and surprise you with cute lovely sentences.

 

So- when should a Kid start Talking? There is NO Definite Answer to this question. Milestones indicator would suggest anytime after 12 months, a kid starts communicating. But it is essential to remember NO TWO KIDS ARE ALIKE. Some start talking even before they turn One, Some find it difficult to talk even after 2/2.5.

The most important thing for parents to realise is NOT TO PANIC. Kids read every little emotion on our face and it goes deep into their little young minds. If, as parents, you feel the kid doesn’t respond to words or doesn’t show interest in communicating- you could always consult your doctor and find a solution.

Dcotors will examine the child to check for various aspects- such as tongue-tied or other such things that hamper your kids’s speech. Some might also refer you to a professional speech therapist. Just make sure you take the requisite steps for your child’s future- but at the same time be patient and show the kid that you appreciate them for the minute little efforts they take and also that you have great confidence in them. Especially- the mother needs to do this.
Once you observe the readiness in a toddler to start Talking-on a daily basis- at home- here are some small things we could do as a parent to help a kid “Like” Talking and not do them just because they are forced to.
  • Might sound Cliched or Obvious. But this is the best option. TALK TO THE CHILD. The more we talk, the more they would understand the need to respond. Also engage in conversations with others so that they understand that Reply is a part of talking!
  • GET THEM TO TALK TO YOU- If your child is hungry an cries, don’t run to the kid with a glass of milk or food. Prompt them to ask you. To begin you can ask them whether they want milk or food. Gradually- you can ask the child why they are crying and what they would need. (But surely, a crying kid would never like to be interrogated 😉 But you could try your best to get some words from their mouth at such instances!)
  • APPRECIATE THE LITTLE WORDS- Remember how Emma says “Gleeba” in F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Rachael makes a big deal out of it? Thats exactly what you should do when your kid starts saying their first words. If you will correct them immediately or brush it aside as gibberish, they might not be motivated to talk more.
  • Get the Kid to talk to others or spend time with others. In today’s nuclear family set up- it is indeed difficult for the moms to raise their kids with none for back up (except the dad). if you stay far from your family- make it a point to visit them often. So kids would also get a Break from us! (contrary to our version of that story!) They would want to share different things when seeing others they love. Nothing like family. Helps immensely.
  • Talk to your kids about other kids. NOT COMPARING. But talk to them. If they got cousins/friends of the same age- keep telling the kids about them. They would like it when they are mentioned. You could also fabricate small stories using the other kid- how he/she eats, how he/she plays, etc. Else- create a fictional character. That helps too 🙂
  • Docs and seniors would have warned you this. Limit their TV/Computer viewing time. As experts say- the biggest peril about these things is they show only one-way-mode-of-communication. The kid understands that they don’t need to answer for the person on TV to continue talking and happily watch. Obviously it is impractical to completely ban the TV with kids. If you must- make it a point to sit with the kid and explauin what you are watching. So that later- you can quiz the child and get him/her to talk about the programme. Some kids also learn from TV and talk faster. But- make sure there is no over exposure.
  • Sing Songs to your baby. Be it rhymes/ slokas/songs- sing them about to your kid loud. It is scientifically proven that we learn things faster when said rhythmically and in a musical manner. Obviously- the reason why rhymes are so integral for pre-schoolers and school going kids.
  • The old and best method- READ TO THE CHILD. nothing comforts kids like books. Surround your houses with different types of books and read the books aloud to your child and involve them in the process. When you go about reading it in an animated manner- they would be pleased and would want to imitate you.
  • Keep talking to the child about him/her. Quiz them their name. Their parents’ name. What they are doing. If you keep telling them their name and talk about them- chances are kids pay more attention and try to speak faster.
  • The last and most important tip- BE PATIENT. It is not an easy task to get a kid to talk. Try your best and try not to show your stress or pressure to the kid, Make sure the kid feels it is enjoyable to talk, and not something you imposed on him/her.

Also remember- once these golden years go- you can’t get them back. Also (on a lighter note!)- once kids start talking, there’s no stopping them. So brace youselves! Good luck! If you have any other tips that worked, do share them with us .

PC – http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/500047649

Travelling With A Toddler? Here Is Your Checklist

Mention the word Travel to a new mom and chances are high that she ll be more skeptical than rejoicing. A thousand questions run through our mind. Is it worth all the trouble? Will my kid be happy or will he/she fall sick? The “What-Ifs” running through our minds never seem to end.

Agreed- it is not an easy task.Be it a road journey or an air/train travel- one needs to be well prepared to entertain/handle toddlers throughout the journey.Here are some handy tips to tackle your little toddler and have a memorable travel:-

  • Pack a little extra of toddler feed than what is necessary. Kids might not be able to explain clearly what troubles them during travel and might get unnecessarily cranky. Nothing soothes kids more than their regular feed- either milk/juice or even plain water. Don’t try new feeds during travel. At the same time- make sure not to over feed your children- they might tend to throw up during car journeys or during flight takeoff/landings.
  • Consult your paed before you plan a long travel with the kid. Keep a set of medicines- ready to use- both in your check-in and hand luggage.
  • Always make sure that your toddler is dressed comfortably. Flashy or grand dresses might not be the ideal choice for travel. Settle for soft, cotton wear and preferably a dress that your kid has already worn before. Have a spare dress with your hand luggage in case of any throwing up event!
  • Pack in some of your kids’ favourite toys (the small ones). Some kids like to hold their favourite dolls close to chest, as it gives them a sense of security while coping with the new place/surroundings. Also be prepared, in case the kid dislikes the travel and vents out the anger on the toy! They just tend to throw it. So reserve your costly, precious toys for when you are at home.
  • If your little one loves to listen to stories, nothing like it! Pack their favourite story books and probably one or two new books with animated pictures. Cuddle them and enjoy the reading sessions so that they will not feel bored.
  • For bigger toddlers, who like to colour- pack a colouring book and some crayons. They will have a nice time with them and you can breathe a sigh of relief!
  • Kids these days are glued to gadgets and have a knack for them from the time they are born. They see us using these flashy gadgets and immediately they know that something interesting is in store for them. Instead of allowing your kid to use your phone for making embarrassing wrong calls or erroneous messages, download some very useful apps and hand it to them and play along with them. They will enjoy it. For a list on the best apps for toddlers, check out thisarticle of mine..
  • For car journey- carry a USB/CD of your kids’ favourite songs- be it rhymes or lullabies or even cinema songs that they are familiar with. By playing them, they feel secured and it soothes them. When they are enjoying- don’t be surprised if you hear them repeating a few words of the songs!
  • Lastly- but most important- TALK to your kid. They might not necessarily understand everything that you say- but it will soothe and prepare them. Entice them about the travel and tell them nice things about where you are heading to. If you are off to meet family, get them to talk to the kid a few days before- so the kid understands and eagerly awaits seeing them. Little minds love it more when you talk to them. Go ahead- go Yippity Yap!

Let me know if you have any other interesting pointers that came out successful when you traveled with your kid

Stop! There’s no Hurry

The basic thumb rule of parenting- would be to remain calm and not get worked up. That’s the golden advice every mom and mother-in-law would have shared with the new parent. Another lesson- that experience would teach us- is to enjoy each and every day and not to see things far ahead.

When we grow up- there is only one word that describes us- Adults. But with kids, the story is different. They are newborn, then infants, then toddlers, then preschoolers and then kids and then teenage and so on. There innumerable classifications give us an inherent silent message. They tell us- that each day with your kid is precious and before we realize, they are all big and grown up.

 

Managing the tantrums of toddlers is no task and makes us- parents go crazy at times. We wait for them to grow up soon- we wait them to ditch their feeding bottles and start using tumblers on their own- we want them to grow up quickly and have their own bath- but we hardly realize that once the days fly- we will only miss these cute little tantrums. We wish a day ends soon and the little one snuggles away to sleep- only to realize that we miss them as soon as they fall into deep sleep. We wish they are awake for slightly longer to play with us, to sing those cute little rhymes and trouble us a little more.

 

Every parent whose child has grown up- would have this to tell us that to enjoy each day and not hurry up things. As parents- we wait for milestones to happen one at a time and the concern and worries start if they are slightly delayed. A happily crawling kid is supposed to start standing in a few weeks time and if not- there are worry lines written all over the Mamma’s head. When your neighbour’s little kid comes and says those first cute words- we feel happy for the kid and the proud parents- but within minutes the mind starts wandering and thinks why your kid- who is “almost the same age” as the other kid doesn’t talk. In this comparison cruise that we undertake, we forget the small things in life:

  • Each kid is unique. Each kid is different. There is absolutely no point in comparing or taking notes when seeing other kids. It only causes unnecessary worry and stress and an inferiority complex in the kid when they grow up.
  • Milestones are just for record-keeping purposes. Leave the worrying part to your paediatricians. It is necessary to be vigil and take good care- but don’t fret over the very small things and lose these precious moments. A days/weeks delay in achieving the milestones is no testimony of the capabilities of your little one.
  • For adults- a difference of few months or even years between two people might not pose a big difference. But with kids, that’s not the case. A kid who is even few weeks elder to your kid- might have more exposure and understanding and there is a world of difference in their thinking.
  • Stop showing concern or stress on your face when the kid is around. Keep them to yourself and discuss things with your partner and family when the kid is away. Studies says that even infants can easily read emotions on the mother’s face and they realize something is amiss when you frown or when you aren’t cheerful as before. Toddlers who are fast growing learn to speak by imitating your words and if there is something you don’t wish to hear from them- don’t say it in front of them!

Parenting is tough- no doubt. But let’s enjoy the challenge and be thankful for the trials and tribulations each day poses to us- and treasure the miraculous minutes with the little brats

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Copyright: trompinex / 123RF Stock Photo

How Would you Explain Terrorism to a Toddler?

In one of my earlier blog posts- I had ranted about the prevailing negativity in the society and why any parent would be skeptical about letting their child grab a copy of the newspaper nowadays. The news items making headlines over the last one week have been shocking to say the least. The Bomb Blasts in Brussels, Pakistan and the mid-air hijack drama in Egypt- have grabbed many eyeballs. An Indian software engineer- out on an onsite assignment to Brussels- was a victim of the ghastly bomb blasts that rocked Brussels recently. It took many days for the shocked family to locate and confirm with the authorities that he was indeed dead. He has left behind his wonderful family and a one month old son. His wife has asked the media houses a haunting question. “Do I describe him as a victim or a hero (to our son)”, she asks. As a society- what reply do we have?

On an unassuming Sunday afternoon- young moms took their little children to a nearby park. The kids were happily playing in the park- where members of a particular faith had gathered to offer their prayers for the festive season. This is something that is very common and paints a picture of calm and poise. But that was not to be in the recent bomb blast that happened at a park in Peshawar- last Sunday. Women and children became the main victims of the gory attack- that has again left the world speechless.

There is news of a middle-aged man, hijacking a plane in Egypt for personal reasons – that has sent shock waves all over the world. The exact intentions of his insane act are yet to be revealed- but that is not the point. The fear of people has been misused by a common man- and that is our biggest failure as a society.

As a citizen and now, as a mother- this cripples my mind and emotions. If dominating humanity was so easy and so frequent- we have only ourselves to blame. It just reiterates the fact that the message of Love and Peace is stagnated and not reached the corners of the world. As a family- when I sit and watch television with my  daughter and niece- both 3 years old-when people raise their voices- or even grab each other by the collar- my two little girls coming running and tell us “Fighting Bad- Change the channel”.

How would I, then, watch the television news footage of bomb blasts ripping apart cities and people?

How will I explain to them- the concept of terrorism and that- none of the victims are really at fault?

How will I tell them that terrorists are just ordinary people like you and me- and not strange-looking as conveniently portrayed in their fairy tale stories?

How will I convince them that the world is still a safe place to live- and belief in peace and God will help us sail through tough times?

I don’t know. I am waiting for answers. Till then- let us just pray to God for sanity to prevail on such organizations and peace and cheer to spread through the world.