I am thrilled to join the Genius of Play(@geniusofplay) program as an expert today
I firmly believe in the magic of play
And it will be my privilege to help parents discover this magic through this wonderful initiative.
Today I write on -
The role of PLAY in increasing LEARNING CAPACITY in children during SOCIAL DISTANCING.
This is a topic I have wanted to write on for a long time
Almost every day I have parents reach out to me because they are worried about how their children are missing out on learning because of the pandemic.
Ofcourse they are worried about their children not learning reading, writing and math -
But they are also very worried about how their children are missing out on learning emotional and social skills.
The worry is real and justified
And the only solution is PLAY.
In this article I describe the 6 kinds of play that you must weave into everyday life to ensure effective learning in the time of social distancing.
Do read and share with other worried parents.
"If you think breastfeeding is tough - wait till she starts eating solids."
I was told this by the mom of a toddler when I was the mom of a newborn.
Over the years I discovered that most moms were terrified of meal times.
Because they needed to feed babies who just would NOT eat.
And it struck me as terribly sad - that food - the element that brings people together - was creating a rift in the mother baby relationship.
Especially because food ensures survival - and since babies are completely focused on survival - they should actually love eating.
In this article for Morisons Baby Dreams I write how to make babies love eating and how to manage fussy eating.
It is world sleep day today
How much is your teenager sleeping?
Most parents are annoyed with their teens for
Sleeping too much
Sleeping too late
Not waking up early.
But that is normal
Teens need at least 10 hours of sleep
They feel sleepy later in the evening than younger children
And so can't wake up early.
In addition many of them can't sleep because they are stressed
And don't want to wake up because they are anxious.
Teens need understanding
If you are constantly in conflict with your teen - reach out for help
PC: Photo by Ashley Byrd on Unsplash
I am on top of the world with this message from a new mom with a three week old baby.
She says that the prenatal classes that she did with me were very helpful because they helped her to be MINDFUL through birthing... breastfeeding... and caring for her newborn.
THAT is the reason I do prenatal classes.
So that new parents can begin their parenting journey as mindful parents.
Mindful parenting sounds easy - but is very difficult.
Because - Parenting is so closely linked with reproduction.
Reproduction is designed to ensure the survival of species.
So it puts us in survival mode.
And makes us focus on the outcome more than the journey.
But parenting is about enjoying the journey.
It is about expecting the unexpected and relishing the adventure.
And that is possible only when we LEARN -
1. What we need not panic about
2. What to do when things spin out of control (as they surely will)
The MIND is the key to MINDFUL PARENTING.
And it is best to begin shaping the mind before your baby arrives through prenatal classes.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to help so many parents begin their mindful parenting journey.
PC: Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash
When I tell the parents of preschoolers
"Don't ask questions."
I always get surprised looks.
"Oh! Then how will we know how much our child knows?"
Do we need to know how much they know?
Although it is really satisfying to ask a question and get the right answer, it often results in complains like -
"She doesn't want to learn."
"He doesn't answer even when he knows the answer."
"She is not able to connect things that she knows."
And so on.
The early years are the time for CHILDREN to ask questions.
And for ADULTS to answer them. When we do the opposite it satisfies us
But stunts their - Curiosity Motivation to learn Self-esteem Acquisition of knowledge
Don't ask questions.
Motherhood guilt can be disabling.
And one of prime focus areas in my work as a parenting consultant has always been - to help mothers overcome motherhood guilt and go back to work and follow their dreams to become who they dream of becoming.
Of course it is difficult to back to a regular job after a baby.
But I can tell you from my experience of working with hundreds of moms over many years - that working from home, freelancing and starting an entrepreneurial venture are equally - if not more difficult.
It is tough when your baby is a few months old.
It gets even more difficult as your child grows.
Bottomline - It is never easy.
If you have a dream - follow it now.
It will never be easier than it is now.
The three things that I feel help the most -
1. Working with an expert to understand why what you are feeling guilty about should not make you guilty at all.
2. Employing physiological methods to overcome separation anxiety
2. Implementing techniques to keep the connection with your child even when both of you are not together most of the day.
3. Getting your child to support you in achieving your dream.
4. Working on building your village of other moms to support you as you support them.
5. Planning to get all your chores done.
DREAM - DECIDE - DO
Don't have regrets.
Happy Women's Day!!
On different days and at different times of different days...
We are different versions of ourselves
When I am healthy and happy - I am a much better version of myself - from what I am when I am sick and sad.
So what makes me healthy and happy?
To a large extent...The MICROORGANISMS in my GUT!!
Our gut microorganisms determine -
(A) Our immune status
(B) The level of our happiness hormone Serotonin
And that is why a probiotic rich diet is important.
Because it makes us better people.
But can you gulp down probiotics in one swig?
Eating probiotics is a 6 step process.
Read about it in this article that I have written for Morisons Baby Dreams (@morisonsbabydreams)
A few days ago the mom of a 15-year-old called to say this -
"He follows you on Instagram and says he would like to speak to you."
I have always struggled with Instagram.
I have always felt too old for the platform and not 'cool' enough when I am there.
I am confused about the code of conduct there. And I keep asking my daughter questions like -
"They have tagged me - now what do I do?"
"What is a repost? How does this work?"
And I then give in to her patient hand holding.
So when I hear that teenagers and young adults (who are not parents) are reading my posts on Instagram - I am over the moon with joy.
This is the third such call that I have received in the past month.
And I have had some amazing conversations with the kids who have reached out to me.
I can't call these conversations counselling sessions.
I think they are more like intense chats on topics that they can't talk to anyone else about.
I should probably call them mentoring sessions.
I enjoy them.
And I am looking forward to doing more.
My Instagram handle is @whatparentsask
Join me if you want to watch me bumble around there
What does it mean when we say we want to EMPOWER our children to cope with mental health issues?
Anjali who was moderating the panel asked me during "Can you Hear me?" - an event organised by Beyond the Box(@btb_diaries) and Anupama Dalmia(@anupama_dalmia) to increase awareness about mental health issues in children yesterday.
In my opinion it means
Building the RESILIENCE children require to feel their emotions - sadness, anger, fear and so on
And helping them to RESPOND instead of REACTING to them
Where do we go wrong?
1. We trivialise their emotions with -
"There is no need to feel so sad about this."
2. We try to change the world for our children -
"I will tell those children to play with you."
Both actions are disempowering and can lead to children thinking
1. That they are 'weird' for feeling what they feel.
2. And 'victims' if the world does not change to make them feel better.
This was such a great panel and it was my privilege to join Riddhi Doshi @RiddhiDoshiP and Anupriya Gupta @Anupriya_Guptaa - esteemed panelists - who made the discussion enlightening and exciting with their knowledge and experience.
Do watch the LIVE on the Beyond the Box page.