“What do I do about tantrums?” is a question parents often ask at my workshops
Yes – tantrums are dreadful. No parent wants to live through one.
Tantrums arise out of a multitude of reasons and how to prevent them is what I teach in my “Workshop on Discipline”
But try as you might – from time to time – you do come face to face with a tantrum.
And when life gives you lemons – I firmly believe - you should make lemonade
And so - if tantrums are inevitable – why not understand them and use them as an opportunity to teach a vital life skill called - THINKING
What is tantrum?
A tantrum is basically a socially unacceptable way of expressing frustration, anxiety and worry.
“Frustrated? Anxious? Worried? Why should children feel like that?” Parents ask incredulously
As much as we want to believe that we give our children the perfect lives where they have no reason to feel frustrated – if you look at the world from the point of view of the child – you would find that there are more than enough reasons for children to feel frustrated anxious and worried.
Just like adults – children are constantly faced with problems. As they go about their daily lives, they encounter unfulfilled needs and/or desires and get into conflicts with those around them.
When children are unable to find solutions to their problems, they feel angry, frustrated, anxious and worried. And when they are able to solve their problems - they feel relieved, happy and proud
If you put yourself in your child’s shoes you would realize that your own behaviour in your day to day life is closely linked with your ability to solve the problems that you face in day to day life.
Imagine yourself faced with the problem of a neighbour who refuses to lower the volume of the music he is playing at bedtime.
Your problem with your neighbour is actually no different from a 4 year old crying for an unobtainable toy. The emotions he experiences are in all probability are exactly the same ones that you have.
If you are unable to get your neighbour to reduce the volume to what you think is an acceptable level you are likely to feel inadequate and helpless. And if this goes on for several days or if there are several other such issues that simultaneously remain unresolved – you would end up feeling frustrated and behave in a socially unacceptable manner.
When a four year old behaves similarly it would be called a tantrum or a meltdown.
What causes the frustration that leads to a tantrum?
The automatic human reaction to a problem that cannot be solved to your satisfaction is - FRUSTRATION.
Frustration causes you to complain and when complaining does not help – it leads to your giving vent to your frustrations in unacceptable behavior. The sequence in a child is - whining – followed by a full blown tantrum.
If we train ourselves to think up a solutions to real life problems – in the heat of the moment – it can keep us from feeling helpless and inadequate and compelled to throw a tantrum.
This holds true for adults – as much as it does for children and can go a long way in reducing lifelong stress
How to use a tantrum to teach ‘THINKING’
STEP 1 – Comfort – Give your child a big hug
Are you thinking…….. “Think??????!!!! When my child is throwing a tantrum – forget the child – even I can’t think”
Well I can’t disagree with you. In the midst of a tantrum – it is difficult to think. Both parent and child need to calm down. And the easiest way to have that happen is to give your child a long, loving hug.
Believe me - it works!
STEP 2 – Enquire calmly
“What happened?” or “What did you do? Sounds threatening to child who is already guilty of doing something he/she knows is unacceptable and can shut down the child’s thinking completely.
A “Why did you do it?” or “Why are you crying?” in a tone that allows an explanation is much better.
Every child usually has a good reason for what he/ she does. And discovering that reason is the key to helping the child to think up a solution. It also gives the child a chance to think about why he/she is doing something. When children don’t have reasons that are good enough – they most often feel so sheepish that they automatically calm down.
STEP 3 - Listen
Very often – we ask questions but make no effort to listen to the answer.
When you ask a question be aware that your child’s view of the problem may differ from your view – but just because it is different it is not less important. If you don’t find out what your child thinks the problem is – you will never be able to help him think up a solution.
If your child thinks that the problem is that he has shared his toy long enough and now simply wants it back, but you think the problem is that he grabs at toys that other children are playing with for no reason – you will both be working towards a different goal and are unlikely to reach a solution.
STEP 4 – Don’t offer solutions
It is tempting to sort out the problem by offering a ready made solution or an instruction – but resist the temptation to do that.
The goal is to help the child think up a solution. And it is also important to allow a problem that a 3 year old has – to have a solution that a 3 year old can think up. These solutions are much simpler, more loving and more effective - than we, with our decades old, complicated brains can dream up
STEP 5 – Provide a model of problem solving.
When you are both clear on what the problem is that you have set out to solve.
Say – “Hmmmm….. Let’s see what we can do here.” Then allow your child to come up with solutions and mull over the consequences of each offered solutions.
With encouragement - children usually come up with just the right solution to their problems in the first or second tries
STEP 6 - Be a good role model
In your day to day life as your child watches you encounter problems – be a model for problem solving by calmly thinking out solutions aloud.
“This traffic jam is taking so long to clear up – let’s see how many songs we can sing before it clears up” – is the way to set a good example of how to deal with a problem where you can’t have what you want.
Not every desire can be fulfilled. Conflicts cannot always be resolved the way you wish. And yet –if you can think and get past the frustration that this causes – you can still be happy.
That is the most important lesson we need to teach and in many cases – also learn.
“It is really strange Doctor – but my child is just not interested in eating. He / she can go for a whole day without asking for food”
In my Practice as a Parenting and Wellness Consultant - I have heard this often from Parents.
Have you – by some chance - been one of the parents who said this?
If you are – I would like to ask you to listen to yourself again.
Read the complaint again and pick out the Key words.
Would you say that the key word there is “INTERESTED”?
I would definitely say that.
So my response to that would be – “If your child is not interested in Food – try and make food and his/her meals INTERESTING,”
If you think of a meal from the point of view of your child you would realise why it is BORING.
From the child’s point of view – eating involves chewing and swallowing – for at least half an hour to forty five minutes (maybe longer if the child is not interested) four to six times a day!
Not an activity to look forward to in any way!
If you want to interest your child in eating – turn – BORING into INTERESTING.
Make food interesting by adding an element of FUN.
Concoct FUN - it is really not that difficult.
For example - have an assortment of interesting shaped plates and glasses at hand.
Make meals exciting by allowing your child to imagine which veggie would like to be eaten from which plate. Then - sometimes be good and let the veggie be eaten from the plate it likes. At other times be naughty and put it on a plate the veggie doesn’t like - and eat it up quickly before it knows what you have done.
Or - decide which plate is to be used on which day of the week and then say – “OK let us be naughty today – and pretend its Saturday by using the Saturday plate on Wednesday. And let’s eat up all the veggies really quickly before they realise what we have been up to”
There are a million games like this that you can think up with a little bit of imagination.
These teeny tiny actions – that could be meaningless to you as an adult – would usually mean the world to your child.
Being silly and naughty could add that much needed element of excitement to an otherwise boring activity and get your child INTERESTED in Food.
Make mealtimes memorable by garnishing every meal with FUN.
Also, basic things can be kept in mind like letting a child eat when he is hungry, serving the food at the same time daily and making the food appealing for kids.
December was such an exciting month!
I went totally overboard with the celebrations as we saw the old year out because my heart was filled with gratitude and hope.
I was on a real high as January began, and I thought up a whole lot of lofty New Year resolutions that were centered around doing everything that was ‘RIGHT’ and ‘GOOD’.
I spent January diligently implementing my ambitious resolutions. And with all the effort that took – now, even before January has ended - I am already saying
‘I need to re-energize myself’ – I am thinking. When, suddenly on my screen – pops up the word - KARNIVAL.
It’s a word that brings an instant smile to my face and leaves me with twinkling eyes.
Ever since I was a child – whether they began with the letter C or K - Carnivals have been such joyful experiences – that when I see the word now – I can’t but smile.
And the Karnival that joyfully beckons to me from my screen now – is called KRACKERJACK.
The KRACKERJACK KARNIVAL !!
Just the name is beginning to lift my spirits and drive away my -
‘Too many resolutions that spell too much work and too little play’ January blues.
Very aptly it is poised to happen on the 6th and 7th of February 2016 – right in the heart of Bangalore at the Jayamahal Palace.
I hear, it’s going to be one of the biggest carnivals Bangalore has ever had and it will be the mega dose of festivity we all need to combat our January blues.
I am definitely going to be there and I am listing out reasons why you should definitely make it too.
1. The Krackerjack Karnival is going to be a treasure trove of happiness
Every once in a while all of us need a happiness recharge. As happy as we may be naturally - I firmly believe that as families and individuals we need to actively go out there every once in a while and grab happiness – give it a big hug and drag it home with us. It keeps us from feeling blue. And from the visuals that I see all over of previous Krackerjack Karnivals. It looks like it’s going to be a mega shot of happiness. Imagine a cool sunny morning, a festively decorated venue and a cartoon character walking up to greet you. It is a visual that has me smiling already. Imagine being surrounded by thousands of other smiling, laughing and excited families like you. It’s bound to make you happy because – as has been researched and proven – happiness is infectious – it is contagious. At a place where so many people have been bitten by the happiness bug – you can’t not catch it too.
I am dying to catch the happiness bug – you must come and catch it too!
2. The Krackerjack Karnival is going to build lots of new neural connections in my brain
As a conscientious parent I am committed to growing my daughter’s brain – but I do want to grow mine too. Yes – I may be forty years old – but my brain needs to grow too. What grows brains? Any brain at any age – forms a new connection every time you give it a new experience and that is how it grows. When I take my brain - that is used to living in front of the laptop, travelling the same route to the same workplace every day and cooking in the same kitchen every night – to the Karnival – I can actually picture it sitting up and taking notice. New sights! New sounds! New smells! New textures! I can almost hear it shout Wooooohooooooo!! I am going to grow today!!
And then I see there are going to be a lot of workshops that will grow our brains too. Maybe we will decorate a cupcake together – me and my little one. And of course we are going to make our lopsided pots with the potter to carry home.
Our brains are sure to thank us for the great experiences at the workshops. Be there if you want gratitude from your brain too!
3. The Krackerjack Karnival will be our ticket to a lot of shows
Workday traffic is my nightmare. Is it yours too? Why traffic – fitting in anything besides work into my workday – is so stressful! Weekends aren’t much better – almost every weekend is busy too. And that is why I find it difficult to make it to all the dance shows and magic shows that I would love to go to. And that is why I am going to the Karnival – because they are having so many shows!
A magic show – a puppet show – a dance show – story telling and so much more! All at the same venue!
I am going to enjoy them all with my family. I think you should come too!
4. The Krackerjack Karnival is going to have Food….Food and more Food
The Karnival is going to be my weekend break from cooking. It will be our chance to indulge our taste buds in our own ways – without the usual arguments about the impossibility of going to three different eating joints at the same meal – because there is going to be such an array of food to cater to all our tastes.
And – most importantly with the happiness quotient running high – there will be absolutely no guilt as we dig into – not so great for the body – but superb for the soul food.
I am hungry already. “Why isn’t the Karnival this weekend?” I am asking. See you there – if you are asking that question too.
5. See – Touch – Experience a demo and then Buy – That’s what the Krackerjack Karnival will allow me to do.
As a parent – you need ‘Things’ – lots and lots of ‘Things’. Things that make your child happy – things that make your life easier – things that do all kinds of other magical things to make you look and feel like the best parent in the world (at least sometimes). I don’t know about you – but in the rush of day to day life – I usually have no time to discover and buy all these things. At the Karnival – there will be stalls selling all these ‘things’. I will be able to discover them, experience them first hand and come back with my bags full. All this while the rest of my family are occupied enough with fun things to not clutch and tug at me.
Do you need things? Even if you don’t - it will be fun to experience new products and come back with samples. I am sure you will like that – so be there too.
Reasons? Why am I giving you reasons? The Krackerjack Karnival is something nobody is going to miss for all these and so many other reasons.
Block your calendar - see you soon!
When you are a concerned parent – it is extremely worrying and terribly annoying when your child says “I am not hungry” at mealtimes.
Parents who are faced with children who say they are not hungry rush to doctors requesting a prescription of appetite stimulants – but that is NOT the solution. Definitely not the permanent solution.
To ensure that your child is hungry – it is important for you to understand the gut.
The gut or the gastrointestinal system is one of the most important organs in the body and it is really important to understand how it functions.
In my workshops on nutrition when I introduce parents to their children’s guts and tell them that in a child - the gut is an inexperienced new organ that needs patience and understanding to function well – I get incredulous looks at first.
Then as I go about explaining how the gut functions – its needs - what makes it happy and what makes it sad – I have the satisfaction of witnessing the very rewarding
“Aha!”moment when parents realize how they have ignored and neglected the needs of their children’s guts.
The gut needs a lot more than just FOOD and that is what parents need to understand.
One of the most important things that the gut needs besides food – is ROUTINE.
The gut thrives on routine and when it is happy – the other organs in the body that depend on it for food – thrive as well. As a result you have a healthier and happier child.
To keep the gut happy - it is important to serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day.
This is because the gut is like the kitchen of the body. And it is a kitchen that caters to the needs of millions of cells. The food that your child eats has to be cooked further in the gut to become cell food. Each cell needs to be fed on time and so the gut has a mammoth task to perform at all times.
When the gut is relatively sure of food coming down at specific times it keeps the ingredients and sufficient manpower at hand to tackle the food. This then makes its life much easier.
So when meals arrive in expected amounts at specified times - the gut is able to digest meal 1 and get ready for snack 1 and then digest snack 1 and get ready for meal 2 at just the right times. As a result - it never feels overburdened.
Forcing the issue – never works with the gut. It begins to protest by aching and paining and packing up.
Serve meals on time so that you never have a misunderstanding with your child’s gut.
Wishing you happy meal times!
“Doctor – my child just refuses to try any new food”
This is something I am used to hearing very often.
Getting children to try new foods - like them and begin to eat them without a fuss are dreaded uphill tasks for most parents.
Battling children is an exercise in futility for parents and should be avoided at all costs.
If parents want children to eat different foods - it is important that they understand what food REALLY means to children. And, it is my endeavour to explain to this to parents - in my nutrition workshops.
For children – food is a sensory experience. They focus on experiencing food with their five senses.
Food needs to look good to them. It needs to smell good. They need to squish it with their fingers and smear it on their faces before they allow their tongues to taste it.
But when they offer new foods – how many parents actually allow this?
Ugly mushy spoonfuls that can be rapidly pushed down the throat and disseminate nutrients are what parents focus on providing in the early years.
And since what is familiar - appeals to the senses – by the time parents offer new foods - the sense organs of the child are comfortable only with mush. And so they refuse to eat anything else.
In situations like this it is important for parents to be patient with new foods.
Children are likely to require repeated exposures to a new food before they take the first bite.
To encourage children to eat new foods – it is important to talk about the colour of the food, the shape, the aroma and the texture.
Just touting the food as tasty is unlikely to make a child try it.
It is also important that children watch their parents enjoy the experience of eating something that he /she is being offered.
Appeal to all your child’s senses – they will persuade your child’s taste buds for you.
Focus on enjoying and savouring every meal.
Turn into an epicurean family!
“Doctor – how do I get my child to eat?”
That is the question I am asked most frequently at my Parenting Consultations and Workshops.
Almost every parent I encounter has a child who “just won’t eat”. And mealtime battles are the stuff childhoods now seem to be made up of.
What I have realized parents are really asking when they ask –
“How do I get my child to eat?”-
– “How do I get my child to eat more than he wants to eat”
And my answer to them is – “Don’t even try!”
Always respect your child’s appetite – or lack of one. Your child is the only one who knows how hungry he is.
A person feels hungry when the body sends a message to the mind saying that is short on nutrients and needs replenishment. The message is usually read loud and clear by the mind and is tough for it to ignore. And so the person eats.
This mechanism is well and truly in place when a child is born and so the child is perfectly capable of deciding how much he should eat.
If your child isn't hungry, don't force a meal or snack. Never bribe or force your child to eat certain foods or to clean his or her plate.
There are 4 things that are likely to happen when you do this and none of them are good –
Allow meal times to be pleasant occasions. Encourage independence by serving small portions and giving your child the opportunity to independently ask for more.
“Is it wrong to have certain expectations from my child?” a parent asked me - at a recent Parenting workshop that I was conducting.
It was a sad question – from a sad parent.
A parent who wanted the best for her child but was confused because she didn’t know how to want – without expecting.
In my practice as a Parenting and Wellness Consultant – I find a lot of parents facing this dilemma. Are you one of them?
If you are as confused and sad as this lady – I wouldn’t be surprised at all.
Parenting is learnt by trial and error. And as they gingerly tread unknown terrain - conscientious parents are constantly on the lookout for parenting mistakes that parents before them have made – so that they don’t repeat them.
Any story about any parenting experience that may have gone wrong for anyone is terrifying and stories about parental EXPECTATION – and how it has destroyed the lives of children – are available in abundance.
No one wants to be ‘that parent’ who destroyed their child’s life because of their expectations
But should you throw expectations - lock stock and barrel – out of the window?
No you should not!
A complete lack of expectation is read by your youngster as
“Why expect anything of you? You probably couldn’t do it anyway”
And such lack of faith wipes out the child’s feeling of value.
It is important for parents to expect the best from their children – because what you expect is what you get. But it is crucial not to be rigid and unforgiving in deciding what that best is.
As a parent - you are the most important person in your child’s life. And because you are so important - your approval is your child’s oxygen line. Children are on a mission to seek your approval. Everything children do – they do for your approval. And as they seek your approval – they come face to face with the force of your expectations whether or not you put them into words.
When you have expectations that are rigid and unforgiving – you are sure to be disappointed by your child. And when your child discovers that he is the source of your unhappiness and disappointment he is shattered – and grows up with low self-esteem.
When a child repeatedly encounters failure – he begins to believe
“I am worthless”
And when there is constant parental pressure to do more or do better – it tells the child –
“You are not good enough”
Children never question their parent’s expectations.
Instead when children fail to meet their parent’s expectations – they begin to feel less valuable.
It is a fine line that parents need to walk therefore and it is vital to subject Parental expectations to this audit to have high expectations but ensure that these expectations are not damaging
Subject every expectation you have from your child – to this 4 point PARENTAL EXPECTATION AUDIT
1. Why do I have this expectation? Where did it come from?
Many of the expectations that we have are borrowed from the expectations that our parents had from us or are blueprints adopted from our culture. Many of these expectations are outdated or highly questionable. But we usually do not question them
Girls should play with dolls but boys never should
All boys should be good athletes
Boys shouldn’t cry
– are examples of such expectations
Remember to question the origin of each expectation
2. Does my expectation realistically fit my child at his age and with his temperament and background?
A close examination of our expectations is likely to reveal that many of the expectations that we have do not match the stages of development that our children are in.
A lot of times we expect children to behave like miniature adults which is extremely unfair to the child.
Also - behaviour – it is important to remember - is caused by external factors and it is important to look at those external factors and make allowances in what to expect. Stressors like fatigue, hunger and fear - that affect a child severely are often disregarded completely by well-meaning parents.
Base your expectations on keen observation and a sympathetic consideration of your child’s past and present pressures and you will be unlikely to go wrong.
3. What’s in it for me? Does my expectation fulfil my needs or my child’s?
Expectations must always be looked at and examined with a microscope. Many of our expectations for our children are designed to meet our own unmet wishes.
It is easy to camouflage a need in yourself as a need in your child and build an expectation around fulfilling that need. This is how the expectations that are most damaging to children are generated.
When we push children to get all A’s, win the lead in the play or get elected to office we do so because we want to bask in the reflected glory. We compel our children to harvest distinctions to feed our needs.
We may do so because we crave a certain status but realize that we cannot earn it through our own efforts – so we unconsciously push our child to fill the gap. Or we see our children as extensions of ourselves instead of separate individuals and fear that the lustre of our own star could be dulled if they are any less than outstanding.
Steer clear of unconscious camouflage. Live your own life. Let your child live his or hers.
4. What purpose does my expectation serve?
As soon as we hold our newborn babies in our arms – we put together a mental blueprint of what that baby will be like as an adult. In the majority of cases – this blueprint is made randomly – and does not fit the uniqueness of the child.
When we fail to examine and edit this blueprint frequently – we force expectations that are contrary to the nature of our child upon him/her. Our expectations in such cases have the sole purpose of getting the child to fit our mental blueprint of the image we have for him/her in our minds (however unreasonable that may be).
It is important to frequently question the image we create in our mind’s eye.
“Fit my blueprint or go unloved” is the terrifying message we convey when we are unable to let go of images that do not fit the uniqueness of our child. And nothing can be scarier than that for a child.
Expecting a studious quiet child to be boisterous and the life of every party is the example of such an expectation.
Children need to succeed to feel competent and worthwhile. And it is important for parents - to frequently tailor their expectations to ensure that their children succeed so that they build on their self-esteem. Failure is inevitable in life. But in the warm glow of positive self-esteem – failure is seen – not as proof of personal inadequacy – but as an area for growth
Tailor your expectations to build your child’s self- esteem.
A child with positive self-esteem will exceed all your expectations.
There is no way you can allow a nose to run and drip.
And so - when a cold has you in its grip - mopping up is the primary task at hand.
And it is important tomop up right.
Containing the discharges from sneezes and coughs is really important because every droplet of snot and phlegm is laden with the infectious virus and most of us know that.
So as soon as we feel the aaaaaachooo aproach………….. we reach for our handkerchiefs or tissues……….we manage to avert the disastrous spread of snot and phlegm by placing our handkerchiefs and tissues in the path of our coughs and sneezes just in time……...and then with a grateful sigh of relief …………..deposit the handkerchiefs and tissues that have just successfully averted disaster……….. back in our pockets or on the nearest available surface.
And as we do that - we help the virus find its next victim.
The common cold can be caused by many different viruses - and the one thing that these viruses have in common - is their resilience to destruction.
So viruses like the Rhinovirus - that cause the common cold - can survive for up to 24 hours after they leave your body in a cough or a sneeze.
When a used tissue or handkerchief is placed on a table or chair - the virus from the tissue gets transferred to the table or chair. From there - it moves to the hands of the next person who touches the table or chair - and infects her / him.
And that is just TERRIBLE !!!
You cannot and should not allow this to happen - and you can prevent it - if you go DISPOSABLE !!!
Use disposable tissues to mop up!
And as soon as you mop up - make sure the tissues make their way into a dustbin.
When you carry virus laden handkerchiefs or tissues around or leave them lying around on tables or other surfaces - you allow the virus to get onto these surfaces - and infect other people who touch these surfaces and then their noses and eyes.
And that is how you help the virus find new victims.
Getting up to find a dustbin to drop your tissue into - when you are in the clutches of a viral malaise - however is certainly not easy.
Make life easier for the sick. Place enough boxes of tissues at handy spots around the house - and place dustbins next to them. And then - to be doubly sure that you are one step ahead of the virus - place a hand sanitizer there as well to ensure clean hands.
When the common cold virus encounters all this it will soon beat a hasty retreat.
All of us were raised to know that covering our noses and mouths when we cough or sneeze – was the right thing to do. It was a regular part of our lessons in politeness and courteousness.
So – as the Aaaaaaachooooooooo approaches ……all of us……….with the years of reminders and admonishing playing in our minds - .automatically galvanise our hands …the fingers and the palms into action.
Our hands have an important mission ……they are rushing to contain the snot and phlegm and keep it from raining onto everyone and everything around ……. and with good reason
Colds spread from person to person by droplet infection.
The “Droplets” that spread the infection – are droplets of snot and phlegm loaded with the cold virus.
These droplets come out at a tremendous velocity when an infected person coughs or sneezes because of the force of the sneeze or cough.
Because of their great velocity – these virus laden droplets travel great distances and allow the virus to attack every susceptible person around. And so - covering up - is definitely the wise thing to do.
However - when hands are used to cover up – and contain the mess – they do get some amount of snot and phlegm on them and become virus laden themselves.
When these hands touch door knobs or taps and other objects - they deposit the virus there. The next unsuspecting pair of hands touching that door knob or tap thus gets infected and infects the hand owner.
It is possible to prevent the cold virus from spreading by ensuring frequent hand washing – as I said in my previous article – but how often can you get children to wash their hands?
It is therefore better to teach children another technique to cover up.
It is now recommended that the CROOK OF THE ELBOW be used to contain coughs and sneezes instead of hands – by children and adults alike.
Infected droplets that get onto the crook of the elbow are unlikely to travel further because the crook of the elbow is unlikely to touch objects that other people touch. The virus in the crook of the arm can therefore go no further.
Of course it is really important to ensure that the shirt or the jacket that the person has worn be put in to be washed at the end of the day.
Sneezing into the crook of the elbow - is called the “Sleeve Sneeze” and can go a long way in keeping colds from spreading – so let’s do it.
“Have you washed your hands with soap?”
As a parent I am sure it is question you are used to asking every time your child begins to eat.
That is because you know that germs that cause stomach problems usually make their way into your gut through dirt transferred to food that is being eaten - through dirty unwashed hands. And these germs then cause stomach aches, loose motions and vomiting.
But it is important to know - that when there is a sniffling nose or a cough in the family
“Wash your hands”
is something you need to holler much more often.
The viruses that cause the common cold are present in the discharge from the nose of the sick person. And when a nose has a cold - it runs and runs - it just runs everywhere.
And when a nose is running - hands with handkerchiefs and tissues (and sometimes without) are desperate as they try to prevent snot overflow disasters.
And as they go about this disaster management - hands end up getting virus laden.
When these virus laden hands touch eyes and noses of the hand owner they infect that person.
And when they touch other things like tables, plates, pencils etc. they leave the virus there - so it gets onto the hands of the next person touching that surface - making him / her an easy target for the virus.
Hands therefore need to be cleaned frequently and adequately so that they do not spread the virus.
Getting motivated to wash hands however - is really not that easy. Especially- when a cold has you down.
A hand sanitizer that can be readily accessed by everyone in the house - can be a life saver at such times. Encourage everyone in the house to use it frequently
Of course employ the soap water routine as often as you can.
There is no way you can keep viruses out of your house - but when everybody has clean hands - you can drive out this unwelcome visitor much faster.
Happy hand washing!