PARENTING

BORN AGAIN

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. The breath of a child softly pouring on my shoulder as my arms harness it with immeasurable love, was a fancy imagination. I remember being 15, holding an infant for the 1st time in my life who fell asleep from his cries in my cuddles. 13 years later when Pregnancy found its way to me, I was so ‘out there’ with my imagination of how great motherhood will be.

Blessed with a caring, pleasant girl, motherhood has been anything but a smooth ride. It is fun, it is fulfilling, it is breathtaking. It is also challenging, sometimes ugly, sometimes skirmish.

By the 1st few months after birth, I had forgotten my heels, small fancy purses, lovely hair styles, bright clothes and well done nails. I had in fact even forgotten myself. And it left like, just a few more days until 5 years flew by with a blink and suddenly it dawned to me “why is the mirror no more my friend?” “Why does my body and mind feel so tired?” “Where is the ambitious, driven Rima?”

I had done great as a mom, great as a wife and daughter in law as well but I had traded all that for ‘myself’. And so slow and steady re-began a journey of self-discovery. A journey of ‘life’ where now my child was my mentor and I was taking ‘birth’. She was here to teach me to love myself, remember myself, care for myself while also loving her, remembering her and caring for her.

How many of you MOMs have walked this path of OVERWHELM, FEELING LOST, FEELING BURNT while also enjoying the loving arms, the gentle kiss and huge smile from your little angel?

“~ I think tons, I think tons.. I feel the wave of the new breeze, it is calling you if you wish to touch it once, it is time to be born once again ~ ”

– An inspirational message to all moms by Rima Chheda – Desai @ Theguidingstar.org

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PARENTING

5 THINGS A PARENT SHOULD NEVER SAY TO A CHILD

Verbal abuse in parenting is lot more common than you know. Some parents do it completely out of ignorance not knowing the effects of it on the child, some do not even agree that these simple statements have permanent emotional burns on the child, some are too wound up in abuse themselves, passing it on to their children and lastly come those who make ‘informed choices’. They know, yet they care less, until there a time when it is too late.

The stories of suicide, depression and rage in children dates back to the days when they were 3,4,5,6,7 years young when they were hit, screamed at, criticized and told all sorts of harmful words. “THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD THAT YOU CANNOT TEACH A CHILD WITH LOVE, KINDNESS AND CARE THAT YOU WISH TO TEACH WITH FEAR, ANGER AND SCARE.” If you care about the relationship with your child, care about their self-confidence and giving them a ‘great life’, care NEVER ever to say these words to your child:

  1. I WISH I NEVER HAD YOU: No matter how the child behaves, no matter how angry we feel within, this is the most harmful, abusive and emotionally hurtful statement any child of ANY AGE can hear. Please parents, STOP! These words bring tears to my eyes. Never use them!
  2. YOU ARE A NUISANCE / STUPID / DUMB / **: Really? Label a child’s behavior as inappropriate, do not label a child or a child’s character. Not only will the child start hating the parent within but also hating himself or herself for the rest of his / her life.Could we possibly be that for the child instead? A nuisance! After all a child learns from its caregivers. They learn what they see, they do what we do, they think as we. If you feel a child is a nuisance, it is a RED FLAG for the frustrations and emotional emptiness you harbor within. I am sure life is hard, but it is not the child’s fault. Get help and find healthy ways to feel better.
  3. I AM YOUR PARENT, I KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOU. YOU NEED TO STOP BECAUSE I TOLD YOU TO STOP!: Our task as parents is to be our child’s gentle guide, be supportive, patient with their mistakes and allow them to grow with grace. One moment of stubbornness is not the end of the world.It is best for the child if we spoke with affection, showed kindness and care and took the time to find out why the child is being difficult. Teach a child with logical explanation of why they must act in certain ways, what are the reasons and benefits. We cannot teach a child by control and coercion, neither with criticism or threat.
  4. YOUR SIBLING IS BETTER THAN YOU: Honestly, I have been compared all my childhood. It is the worst thing we can do not only to a child’s self-confidence but also to a child’s relationship with his or her sibling. My sister was always called our better than me, not only did it make me dislike her deeply but also led me to depression. In my growing years my friends knew a lot more of me than my father and sister did, simply because the non-stop comparisons and criticisms left me feeling ABANDONED, I detached myself from them so that I would feel less harm and less threatened. Never compare! Yes, inspire them, challenge them but not at the cost of making them feel ‘small’. Stop using these ‘little tricks’. These little tricks cause big harm.
  5. YOU WILL FAIL / WHAT WILL OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU: I have heard this a ton of times from my family members and know tons of parents to do that to their children. Will the child then not be distant, silent, have anger issues, feel insecure and actually fail in life! The messages we drill in their SUBCONSCIOUS MINDS live there forever, silently operating their entire life. If we want our children to have more drive, be better, stronger, smarter, tell them they CAN DO IT, THEY ARE ON THEIR WAY FOR IT, and that how others judge the child is trivial, doesn’t matter!We can either choose between the child feeling confident or feeling pressurized to please the society. We cannot have both. As parents our main duty at ANY and ALL given time is to make our children feel emotionally and physically secure, safe, confident. Our words, expressions, behaviors and choices for them have a deep impact on their minds. Their minds are fragile and they will make a decision early on in life if the world is good or bad based on how their parents, caregivers and adults around them talk to them and treat them.
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PARENTING

IS TIME RUNNING OUT OR ME?

This article is for moms who feel OVERWHELMED by the vast demands of their roles as wife, mom, daughter in law, employee where there is no room for self-care. I have been there, done that and have emerged with healthy solutions and BOUNDARIES for myself. I share those practical, super cool tips from my practice as a LIFE-COACH that work a 100% at improving the quality of your life, give you more time, more energy and much less ‘stress’ in your day to day living.

I CAN SPEAK FROM BOTH ENDS –STAY AT HOME AND WORKING FULL TIME. FOR 4 YEARS I WAS A STAY AT HOME MOM, completely dedicated to my daughter but the ‘expectations’ of the husband and family from a stay at home mom are ENORMOUS! The most common response – “Sara din karti kya ho”. Initially the tigress within me would roar with anger but eventually with time I realized it is useless, men think in one gear, one direction only. So I then I knew with time, how to humor it out like in my mind I would be saying something so inappropriately funny to him like “balcony ki deewar par zhadu leke dance kar rahi thi” but we know that we work at home is endless.

A YEAR AGO I STARTED FULL TIME WORK, she was going to be in 1st Grade then aND THE USA LIFE IS HORRENDOUS IN ITS DEMANDS because I am not the mother who cooks food for 7 days in advance and cleans home once a week. I like cleaning the home every 3 days, car every week and cook at least a fresh dinner. Having to exercise, cook dinner, clean the kitchen, prepare lunch for next day, help daughter with 1.5 hour of H.W., drive her to classes, do daily religious prayers, write articles and build a business on the side. There are no helpers to help whether we are sick, have overtime work, guests or not.

SO GIVEN THAT THERE IS SO MUCH TO MANAGE AS A MOM HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS:

Majority people don’t realize that we spend 3 – 5 HOURS in a day on Facebook NewsFeed and WhatsApp groups, brooding over other people’s lives, unnecessary videos and forwards.

  • S-T-O-P LOOKING INTO OTHER PEOPLE’S NEWS FEED, display pics and family pics. When you look at someone else’s life their life is taking away time from your life!!! (UNLESS it teaches you something valuable). You can spend time either honing your life such that everyone will want to keep looking at yours or waste your time looking at how ‘cool’ someone else’s life is.

 

I use Facebook primarily to share my articles, grow my skills or my business. I spend no more than 10 mins. a week on Fb newsfeed mainly for death, new born or important announcements.

  • CHOOSE TOP 5-7 PEOPLE WHOSE NOTIFICIATIONS YOU WANT TO FOLLOW, unfollow all others. That way your NewsFeed is filled with news of people you VALUE the most.

 

  • STOP SHARING LINKS, ARTICLES, FORWARDS. You spend up to 20 mins. a day doing that, use that energy to hug your child, assimilate photographs or finish a quick workout!

 

  • PULL OUT OF UNPRODUCTIVE WHATSAPP GROUPS that don’t add to your lifeline, health and peace of mind. Some people read and forward quotes and health messages daily. How much of it do we actually practice and implement?

 

  • LIST 12-20 VALUABLE PEOPLE OF YOUR LIFE. That way you are not spending time writing HBD and HA to tons of other people on Fb and WhatsApp every month, people that won’t influence your life in any way. Remember that people who love you, will love you no matter whether your wish them or not.

 

  • FIND OUT WHAT KEEPS YOU SO HOOKED ON FACEBOOK OR CALLS? Take a moment of silence with yourself and ask yourself if you feel LONELY, EMPTY or feel you have a MEANGINGLESS LIFE. Do you feel jealous when you look at other people’s progress or wonder how everyone’s happy and you are not? These are indicators of ‘emotional wounds’. A Life-Coach can show you with fun games and exercises many ways to heal your hurt and create a life that makes you feel fulfilled.

 

  • START YOUR DAY WITH PRANAYAM, YOGA, AUM MEDIATION, not with text messages to people back in India, friends and family. A few minutes of silence goes a long way for great physical and emotional health.

 

  • KEEP ONE DAY OF A WEEK OR 2 HOURS IN A WEEK TO CALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABROAD – the people who dearly miss and wish to connect with. That way you know how much time you are utilizing and where. Remember that the amount of time you spend talking over the phone or texting daily, that time you could spend to hone your skills to build a million-dollar life, million-dollar health or invaluable family time.
  • The amount of time you spend writing super emotional and heroic posts to wish your husband and kids on Facebook, IS WORTH ACTUALLY SPENDING WITH THEM IN PERSON.

 

  • ORGANIZING YOUR DAY IS SUPER IMPORTANT ESPECIALLY FOR STAY-AT-HOME PARENTS. It is easy to get swept away by laziness, “I’ll do it later” thinking. Set your day with cooking, exercising, other routines with specified time lines like ‘finish all cooking by 10am. Exercise 11am – 12pm, etc.’ Check Facebook once a day at bed time or a fixed time so that your day and thoughts are not CONTROLLED BY FACEBOOK!

 

  • SET PRIORITIES OF YOUR LIFE. On a paper make 3 columns: Most Urgent Needs, Immediate Needs, Needs that can wait and list them down. Check how your day to day actions are helping you fulfill these needs. You will be surprised at how much time is taken away by Needs that can wait while your urgent needs are being ignored.

 

  • MARK APPROPRIATE BOUNDARIES. What does that mean? IT MEANS STOP BEING A PEOPLE PLEASER. Most of the ‘gyan’ I blurted about Facebook and WhatsApp in the above pointers is all about creating BOUNDARIES around your life and you such that other people do not take over your time and energy so that you feel more in CONTROL of your choices and life. -Say NO to a friend when you know that you need that time to exercise.-Attend 2 instead of 3 events on a weekend so that you can finish groceries and house chores. -Split with your husband in attending events for your kids so that you can turn takes doing work and having fun. -Balance out the amount of fun and work that is taking over your time. -Sometimes people are unable to say “I need to hang up” or feel guilty for NOT calling a friend.-Know that your life needs your attention before anyone else’s life does. Guilt has no place there. -REMEMBER THAT PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU, WILL LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT, even if you don’t call them as much, don’t go out with them or can’t help them to the extent they need.BE NICE, HELPFUL AND KIND FOR SURE BUT THERE IS NO NEED TO SACRIFICE YOURSELF, YOUR WORK AND PEACE OF MIND FOR IT. Do what’s within your reach, not beyond it.

    PRIORITIZING, ORGANIZING AND MARKING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES IS THE KEY TO MASTERING TIME MANAGEMENT AND MULTI-TASKING, USEFUL IN BOTH BUSINESS / WORK AND HOME LIFE. IF YOU CAN DO THAT, YOU HAVE GOTTEN THE RECIPE OF SOME OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD.

 

 

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Fun with Kids

FAMILY GAME TIME

 

This is an EXCELLENT GAME to get to know if anything WRONG is going on in your child’s life outside your knowledge. This game also brings a lot of closeness and bonding amongst family members and helps you discover things about each other you probably did not know. #mustplay #GAMES#family #parenting

                                                                                            BACKDROP

Dhreya was very excited and eager for her turn to open the chit. Every chit had a special surprise question to which each of us have to answer. At first I thought this game may hold her attention for long but then I realized she loved it! Kids can surprise us with how well they can respond to ‘new learnings’, after all they are naturally curious and playful.

I have been fortunate to have a Masters in Psychology. Even though I have not specialized in Child Psychology, it has helped me a great deal to extend that knowledge to my upbringing and guidance of her and other kids. I am proud of the way she is growing up and the games we play as a family are pure ‘treasure’. This is a game that I have invented just a week ago. My mind bursts with creative ideas in my pursuit to give her the best upbringing that I can. Bonding with others and staying connected to our inner-self, our emotions is the most important element of existence. Today I am sharing this game with you, it is going to give you a huge amount of information about your family members and about yourself which you probably never knew!

AIM OF THE GAME: Finish all the chits or as many chits as you wish and have each one answer every question. Have fun!

HOW TO: All players sit in a circle. Players must know each other well like family members or very close friends because chits involve some personal questions too. Players must be 5 years + and must include at least one mature adult.

One person draws a chit from a bowl of chits. The chit is opened and question is read out aloud. The person holding the chit answers the question first and then the other players take turns giving their answers. Everyone must give an answer to each question, each chit.

WHAT YOU NEED: Chits made for each of the question I write below, water and some fun snacks if you wish

DURATION: You can decide how long you wish to play. To get through all the chits it may take a good 40 minutes but you can divide the game in 2 parts to play over 2 times.

WHERE: You can play this game anywhere where you have privacy. It is a great game to play when you are on a vacation or travelling but if you play in public, make sure you leave out some of the personal questions.

OTHER IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS: Let the participants know that there is no right or wrong answer. All answers are accepted gracefully and that there is no judgment and also that none of their answers will be shared with anyone else if they don’t want to. Ensure confidentiality for any sensitive information shared. Also let each individual know that – If some questions feel uncomfortable, pay close attention to those feelings. Why are they uncomfortable, what are the triggers there?

                                                                              DISCLAIMERS and REMINDERS

It is important to not avoid difficult questions esp. with children because that discomfort will give you very important clues about what is happening in your child’s life that you may not be aware of but remember to play it only when EVERYONE FEELS COMFORTABLE WITH EVERYONE ELSE IN THE GROUP and to stop when anyone asks to stop or if anyone is way too disturbed to answer or continue. Ask everyone, even small and older children if they are okay sharing their personal likes and stories with everyone in the group. Stop if anyone requests to stop at any point.

 

QUESTIONS: Note that you can add on your own. When I made up the game, I had 15 minutes before it was our family game time and I quickly thought of the questions I could.

  1. The sport I always wanted to learn is ____ and that sport that seems least fun is _____
  2. The one thing I love at school or work is _____ and the one thing I dislike at school/work is ___
  3. MY favorite person at school/work is _____ and my least favorite person at school/work is ____
  4. If I could change one thing about myself it would be _______ and if I could gift one thing about myself ____
  5. If I had a million dollars _______ and If I had very little money _______
  6. If I could change one thing about my life _______ and the one thing I love about my life _______
  7. I feel happy when ________ and I feel sad when _________
  8. I feel confident when ________ and I feel inferior when _________
  9. I feel comfortable with ________- and I feel uncomfortable with or when ____
  10. My favorite body part is _______ and the least favorite body part is ________
  11. I love the touch of _______ and I don’t like when _____ touches me
  12. My most memorable trip so far is _____and the least memorable trip is _______
  13. The best moment of my life _______ and the worst moment of my life________
  14. I felt proud of myself when ______ and I felt ashamed or embarrassed when _________
  15. I feel loved when ________ and I feel rejected when ____________

As you notice the questions can go on and you can add your own questions as long as they feel ‘safe’ to answer to a child and adult. If there are deep emotions that emerge or discomfort, please be supportive of the person without any judgments or advice. Just hear the person out and say that you understand or that you will like to understand more. PLEASE DO NOT FORCE ANYONE TO ANSWER IF THERE IS CONSIDERABLE DISCOMFORT. Esp. with teenagers or around negative event memories, the aim of the game is to help not hurt more.

When we played this game, I was able to validate some answers like my daughter confirmed with me that she has hated the hugs and touch of her uncle which she remembers from 4 years of age. He used to force hug her tight and after several messages to them, he would not stop. Dhreya would come back home and talk about the hug in a fleeting way but I knew as a mom and a psychologist that it was bothersome to her. I finally wrote a stern message involving all concerned family members and ensured that he stopped touching her. Today after 3 years she still remembers that negative feeling! ON the other hand, I never knew that her least favorite body part was her nose!

This game is excellent to also teach your child that negative and positive emotions are normal part of life and that it is very important to be aware of what disturbs us and that it is okay to share it with people we trust! I played part of this game at a temple workshop that I did recently and received many positive reviews for the game.

Please feel free to share your views and how your experience was. Also, I would like you to honor this exercise as a reference to this article and my efforts if you happen to use it professionally or for any group or individual work. Any similarity found with any other similar creation is merely a coincidence.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE TO BENEFIT OTHERS AND FOLLOW MY BLOG FOR MORE RESOURCES FOR PARENTING AND PERSONAL GROWTH. You may like this important family game as well 

Adios!

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PARENTING

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR PARENTING LIFE EASY

It is no surprise that parenting comes with huge lessons of ‘overwhelm’ – the common feeling shared by almost all parents if not all. Life feels like an overflowing fountain of ‘demands’ – not demands from children all the time but demands from life. Come to think of it, parenting is a wonderful SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. Many people do not completely understand the word spiritual. ‘Spiritual’ is anything that forces your ‘spirit’ to grow by having to go outside its comfort zone. Spiritual is anything that teaches us better values or to be a better version of ourselves. Having walked a wonderful parenting journey for 7 years and mentoring many parents through articles and direct conversation, I will like to share 5 simple ways to lessen that ‘overwhelming’ feeling and reduce your frustrations.

  1. Organize your home and learn management skills
  2. Prioritize social life
  3. Plan your career life
  4. Realistic expectations from your child
  5. Realistic expectations from yourself
  1. Organize your home and learn management skills – Organization is the master of leadership skills. A great leader is the one who has the skills to multi-task, prioritize, put things in order, stay focused and organized. Remember that being a parent is a lot about being a LEADER.

    What happens if your supervisor at work reaches work late, leaves work even later, doesn’t eat on time, has no proper places to file his work and has no idea what the day and week ahead will look like? Same is with you as a parent.

    One part of organization is your physical space: how well are your things and your kid/s things kept? Can you tell me in your sleep, where ANYTHING is kept without having to get up – whether it is anything in your kitchen, bedroom, dining, etc. Use organizing bins, trays, holders to make sorting easier. E.g. I place puzzles in zip lock bags, her stationery in a heavy-duty organizer on her table, soft toys in a laundry basket, all bed sheets in one drawer, a drawer for art work, one for miscellaneous items, one for puzzles, etc. My bedroom and kitchen is super organized too.

    Another part of organization is time management. How well are you with your routines? If you sleep and wake up more or less the same time daily, your life will be 80% better with your kids than you ever estimated. Your sleep-rest and body cycle has a huge impact on your mood, on your health and amount of energy you feel. Same is with your kids. Do not let them rule your routines, take charge, set time boundaries for them with T.V., eating, sleep, etc.

    What you feel, you transfer to your kids. Mentally plan your meals for the next day rather than having to wake up with a huge frustration question mark of – “Now what to cook today?” Standing in front of the kitchen cabinets, scratching your head over breakfast and lunch deals for the day is poor management. Think of every minute of your life as a great investment towards your kids. How many minutes do you want to waste and how many do you want to multiply?

  2. Prioritize your social life – Yes, we love to party and meet, greet and laugh. But Parenting is a lot about learning to make adjustments, compromises and changes in one’s life. Before my child, I would be out every Saturday and Sunday with husband and his group of friends. Once my child was born, not only did I have to change my routines for the 1st few months, but I made permanent changes to my social life.

    I don’t mean to say stop having fun but the AMOUNT and DURATION of your outings can be reconsidered. How much do you want to cook for your guests? Is it important to ‘impress’ them or to spend time with your children? Each day as a trade. When I plan a day in my mind, I ask myself- how many hours do I want to spend today with my child, based on that I make my other decisions. I may not be able to deny guests from coming home or having to attend parties but I surely DEFINE how much energy I want to put into preparations or having to stay at a party. My time with my child is not the time that is LEFT OVER after everything is taken care of, my time with my child is the 1ST thing I set aside or plan for the day and then everything else revolves around it.

  3. Plan your career life – Once again it is about need vs. demand. What do I demand from my life vs. what I need. For 6 years I dedicated my life, time, energy to my child because I CAREFULLY CALCULATED it this way – once she starts full time school at age 5, she will NEVER EVER AGAIN IN HER LIFE have a FULL WEEK with me at home. She will be spending more time at school than home and never again will I get to PLAN or SPEND 40 hours in a week with her. Hence, I rather set my career aside for those 5 years, even if there were financial challenges, I rather save money and my time with my child than give away that time to a stranger in a day care for whom she will be ‘one of the 20 kids’. That was my choice, you must make yours to what suits you bets. Do understand that time with your kids will never return and make a wise choice based on that along with all the other needs of yourself and your family.
  4. Realistic Expectations from your child – Would you rather have a ‘smart’ child who attends 5 or 7 different classes and tops in math, academics, dance, etc. or would you rather have a child who tops in ‘the language of love’. While classes can teach your child ‘skills’, sharing valuable time with the parent teaches the child invaluable lessons of love and self-growth. Exploratory play at home can be nurtured by the parent which teaches many skills to the child along with learning to build a bond, show and receive care, feel secure and important.  Also, not all kids are made for the ‘A+’ game. Grades is not everything and success is not correlated to grades alone.

    Don’t overburden them with expectations that their body or mind is not made for. Focus on their strengths, explore their talents and be realistic about their limitations. A rational and loving approach will make your parenting life easier, simpler and more successful.

  5. Realistic expectations from yourself – Now tell me that you do this – take over way too much than you can handle. You invite guests today and then accept the birthday invitation for tomorrow, then realize you had bought tickets to a party, then have groceries left to do, wish to be a super mom but also need to be super sexy, want a super skin, miss watching the latest movies and can’t stop browsing the entire world’s Facebook! P-R-I-O-T-I-Z-E !!!

Your kids do not need a super mom. Just be a M-O-M, that itself is great. Chose the top 5 important things in your life. E.g. here is my list:

  1. Spend at least an hour with my daughter on weekday and 5 total hours with her on weekend.
  2. Health – exercise 4 days a week, eat healthy 5 days a week, care for skin / hair twice a month (not the priority right now).
  3. Career – Advance in one’s career at a steady pace and build business slowly on the side.
  4. Socialize – Have an enjoyable outing 2ce a month if not more and call any close friends and family members every 2 weeks. (No receiving calls on weekdays or times when I spend with her).
  5. Learn – learn something new every month either from book, training, observation, etc. (No reading news or news channel, Facebook only to learn new skills).

I hope this article helps you settle down some of your frustrations and overwhelming feelings of parent-hood.

It is nice to be hopeful that life will continue well and it is wise to be realistic that life can change anytime! Make the most of today. Investment in your kids is the greatest investment you can ever make and that is not about how much money you invest in them or their future, it is about how much QUALITY INTERACTION you live with them in this very moment, HERE and NOW.

Also READ:

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PARENTING

TOP 10 WAYS TO TEACH YOUR KIDS TO LOVE THEMSELVES

The most important worry or question any parent has is – “How can I make my child so confident that s/he can face anything in this world and be successful?” This is a million dollar question and here is your million dollar answer. You do not need to do anything fancy and carry a worry worm within you. Worry has no power by itself. If backed with action it becomes motivation, if left at worry it becomes disease and if left with inaction, it becomes a mountain of problems. Hence, here is the list of THINGS TO DO TO KEEP YOUR CHILD BUFFERED.

  1. ACCEPT: Accept that your child has his or her own bag of karmas and nothing you do will completely change those karmas. They have their rocks and mountains to climb to learn from and some are really born with a silver spoon. It is just what their soul chose. Hence, you are NOT the person in control, you are only the guide!
  1. CHANGE WHAT: It is important to focus our efforts in the right direction. Do not attempt to change your kids. Attempt to change their behaviour and help them make productive choices. An introvert will remain an introvert no matter how much your try. If the introvert changes into an extrovert that is because either the situations made him so or because the child was always an extrovert but required the right opportunity. We cannot turn wood into iron and vice versa. The more you show your kids that you love them for who they are and that there are STRENGTHS for all kinds of personality, the more they will be confident and love themselves.
  1. DON’T PRAISE EVERYTHING: Honestly, this is a hard one for me too. It is so easy to WOW everything for our kids. But the truth is that it harms them at some point because it creates EXTERNAL MOTIVATION and a tendency to PEOPLE PLEASE. They must know to self-analyse and be self-motivated independent of what others think. This is a great way to boost their self-confidence.
  1. CREATE SELF-RELIANCE: I love the Montessori philosophy that – “Don’t do for the child what the child can do himself”. The more independent kids are, the more they are confident to face the challenges of the world. In the Indian culture we tend to over-protect our kids and do a lot more for them than they actually need. Living in USA, I have been awed to see that a 1 year young child eats NOODLES and all meals by himself or herself and that they change themselves by age 2 and more. It is amazing how much they can learn if we allow them to.
  1. SOCIALIZE: The more you socialize as a parent, the more your child will too. Social skills are critical to confidence and success in today’s globalization. Few businesses or works are in isolation of other people hence teach them to socialize by modelling the correct manners. I don’t mean PARTY while you leave them at a baby-sitter. I host, invite, attend other moms’ homes with the kind of values you want your child to learn.
  1. LABELS ARE LOUSY: Never label your child as – “Lazy” “Motu” “Fatso” “Darpok” and so on. Those labels may be fun for you but they carve and itch themselves in your child’s brain and then the brain learns to be STUCK on it forever. Growing up, you may see them do exactly what the label says and mark their way to failure. Imagine failing at something only because you were called names a 1000 times in a decade. You may label their behaviour instead – “This sounds like a lazy idea or you are being lazy” which is very different from “you are lazy”.
  1. PERFORM but not OVER-PERFORM: The world is a stage and we are the performers. As parents we are so anxious to MAKE THEM SMART. I don’t understand that concept of enrolling a child in 5 classes to make them smart! School, heavy bag, heavy H.W., lots of classes, late sleep and over burden creates BURN OUT not smartness. Choose 2 classes at a time and use them to the fullest. Allow them to stage perform if they want to or don’t mind it. But forcing a child to be on stage I Have them practice at home to hone those 2 skills. The rest of the time that you used for 3 other classes, instead use for spending one on one time with your child. You can save your Rs. 6000 by playing UNO, SCRABBLE, CHESS and MEMORY with them instead. It will make them smarter than you think, save your money and also save the STRAIN in your relationship with your kid.
  1. NEVER CRITICIZE, JUDGE, STRIP YOUR CHILD WITH YOUR ANGER: “What a shame that ….” “You don’t even know that much…” “I have told you so many times but you are so stupid…” “You fool…” “You could do better than that…” “I told you to do this but you did not listen…” are the best ways to strip your child off their self-confidence forever. Why don’t you turn around and use all those statements on yourself? Feel great uh? Makes you very confident uh? Worse still, use these statements, angry voice and REJECT your child in front of others. Doesn’t matter sister, mother, close friends, whoever they are to you, to the child they are ENEMIES OF SELF-CONFIDENCE and SELF-WORTH.
  1. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: Love your child no matter what. Your child was not born to INCREASE YOUR STATUS and NAME in society. S/he was born to allow you to love and to give you love in return. Keep it simple, don’t pollute it with expectations of the world. A 10th rank doesn’t make your child less lovable, neither does failing. It only means GOD IS TESTING YOUR ABILITY TO LOVE NO MATTER WHAT!Express your love, hug them but not so tight that they feel uncomfortable ;) Use the “I love you” statement not to get their approval or make up for your mistakes but because you truly value their existence in your world.

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  1. APPLY WHAT YOU READ: You have read many articles, now apply all the good stuff you read. Stop, Think and Start applying at least 2 of the above points.
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