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

THE SIBLING RIVALRY REVOLVER

5 primary reasons for sibling rivalry:

  1. Gain your attention:Do your kids miss getting ‘real’ emotional care and time from you? If they do, boom, sibling rivalry is a SYMPTOM to that, not a problem!
  2. Stress at home:Getting along is an emotional problem. If there is emotional instability at home, this is one way it will show up. Are you or your kids overwhelmed (we call it stress) or depressed?
  3. Model Adults:Kids often solve problems in the way they view adults solve problems. Do you resort to yelling, back talking, arguing with the other adults in your life. If either of the adult does this at home, why blame the kids?
  4. Sense your energy: Do you feel life is being ‘UNFAIR’ to you? If it is, your kids are only REFLECTING or MIRRORING your feelings!
  5. The Bully:Is one kid ‘honestly’ a bully to the other? Is one smarter, more controlling or stronger in some way and overpowers the other? OR do you often ask the ‘older’ child to ‘give in’? If you do, it is 100% unfair to the older child!Solutions:

     

    1. 1st recognise the true reason and root cause. Don’t jump to solutions until you have done proper diagnosis.

  1. Ask the kids what do they miss from you – the parents and what do they think is the reason for the rivalry?
  1. Allow them to solve their problems. Intervene only in situations of physical or emotional harm or any emergencies.
  1. Explain to them with real life people on how pappa and mumma show love differently and how the kids themselves are different with pappa and mumma. Use story books to explain how no two people in the world are alike, not even twins.
  1. Do a reality check, in your heart do you favor or admire one of your child over the other? It is ok if you do, that is called being HUMAN. However, be true about that in your heart and see if you recognise any objective reason for your discretion? Is one of the child more like you or more co-operative?
  2. Remedy your ‘unfair’ behaviors. If you have overloaded the older child with responsibilities and always or often asking the older child to make compromises and give in while you feel ‘bad’ for the younger child, you are responsible for the older child’s hatred and bully behavior towards the younger child. How fair are you being truly? It is never too late to make changes
  1. Talk to other parents, you may get some wonderful sugggestions.
  1. Ask kids for the solutions. They are the best problem solvers, ask each of them separately and then together, what would they do if they were the parents? Share your own childhood stories and be real. Did you find solutions to sibling rivalry with your siblings or you didn’t. Why did you not find solutions? Reflect on your own life and see what you can find.
  1. Does one child gain more approval and appreciation from the family over another? Is it because one is fat, the other is not, one is fair or smarter or more chirpy personality? Also, how severe is the rivalry. Do they hate each other outright or it is a love-hate or love-fight-love relationship? Seek professional help from a child counselor or psychologist when you just can’t find a way out.

Hope this helps. <3

 

 

 

Sagar Yerunkar – May 2015

This article is brought to you by Rima Desai ~ Copyrights reserved. It aims to appreciate young dads for their contribution in caring for their kid/s. You may also read it here: https://www.facebook.com/parentingbooth

SAGAR YERUNKAR – MAY 2015

 ss

 

At 13 years (sometimes I read numbers backwards), my dad is super supportive! There isn’t much of an age gap between  dad and me. I turned 1 few days ago and daddy turned 31 on May 16th.  See, we are only 3 apart ;)

One thing is definite – my dad has mastery over story-telling.


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When he narrates me a story, he captures our attention. I may be distracted but yet, I get engulfed in his stories; mom too! You can see mom’s palm on her chin, eyes and ears in deep attention. And even if I hear less than half the story, dad continues it with a lot of enthusiasm. Love it dad! Now I can tell how dad charmed mommy. How many stories did you make up dad to impress mom?!

My dad is fun! Papa ensures he gets home on time to enjoy with me before I zzzz.

Samay

 Mom says Dad’s face is a lantern of happiness when he makes me laugh. He does it every day and it is priceless to watch! Dad doesn’t know I just laugh because I don’t want to disappoint him. ;) (Just kiddin’!)

 

s laughing

Mom is pretty smart too. She knows how to put dad to work. She uses her leadership skills with him too. Guess, that (shhh… mom shouldn’t hear), mom has stringed dad into feeding me breakfast, dinner, and cleaning my dirty diapers on the weekends. Pee yu! :p

diaper

Plus he does many more things to give her time. But I see why dad does it – he loves mom (nobody should know he is a little scared of mom too, like half a chocolate piece scared). Dad don’t worry, I didn’t tell mom how you sneak into the chocolate box.

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There are 3 things that dad barely does half as good as mom (sorry dad, mom told me to write this ;))

  1.  Tear free bathing
  2. Getting me to close my eyes for sweet dreams
  3. Keeping me still while changing my diaper

 But then Dad has his strengths too! Here is my SD – SUPER DAD

Print

Dad is Super good at

  1. Dressing me
  2.  Taking me to car rides

3. And playing Peek-a-Boo with me!

 Mom says: “Sagar is a super protective dad. Seeing them play together makes me wonder if boys will always be boys”.

HB DADDY!
Happy B’day DADDY!

yes

Also read: Young dad for April – https://mystyrimz.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/aprildad2-com/

 

Fun with Phonics: Teach Phonics in a Fun Way (Re-post from ParentEdge)

This is a RE-POST of my article from The Indian Magazine: ParentEdge: http://parentedge.in/fun-with-phonics-teach-phonics-in-a-fun-way/

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Ideal Age: 3.5 years – 6.5 years

It is fascinating to see our children grow through their different phases and one such thrilling phase is when they begin to put words together into sentences. Next, they begin picking up sounds of letters to make more sense out of them.

In simple words, learning Phonics is about learning the sounds of each letter so that they can be put together to make a word. This means that instead of rote learning CAT with the letter C, A, T, the child would learn to ‘develop’ the word CAT by saying the sound of each letter as in C-A-T. Today we will learn simple exercises to boost your child’s phonic awareness in powerful ways.

I want you all to know that the activities I list here are the activities I do with my daughter sincerely and many of the activities in my articles are MY OWN ORIGINAL ACTIVITIES which came about with the need for ‘creative play’ with my daughter to teach her more by spending less!

Magnetic lettersACTIVITY ONE: The first step is to get your child interested in the alphabet per se. We need a magnetic surface and magnetic letters. Place toy letters on the fridge top or a magnetic surface to attract your child’s attention. Playing A-B-C nursery rhymes and showing them letters in their environment makes them more aware that letters give meaning to our world. When we are waiting for our train ride, or parking at the airport, my daughter and I have fun playing I Spy and spotting letters.

ACTIVITY TWO: We need lots of blank white paper, a dark color marker, and some cello tape. We are going to write names of simple objects around the home and then stick the paper on that object. E.g. Write DOOR in big bold letters and tape the paper on any door. Same with Fridge, Wall, Chair, Table, and so on; this helps your child associate words and letters to objects in their environment and learn spellings at a later stage.

spelling objectsspelling objects 2

ACTIVITY THREE: We need some wooden plain blocks, (preferably rectangular) and a marker. Along with your child, write the name of each of your family members on a block. Encourage your child to place that name block on the dining table assigning each family member a place to sit. This way the child learns to spell names and gets more involved in mealtime preparation.

Another alternative: take more blocks and write one letter on one block to spell out names of all family members. This is an advanced version in name spelling and can create a lot of fun for your child especially if s/he likes challenges.

Below you can see I have used the same block to write both words on opposite sides. This way my daughter learns the spelling of and associates both the words. Similarly, you can take 3 cubes and write M on one, O on the other and M on the 3rd one to help them spell it out literally by themselves.

spelling block

spelling block 2

ACTIVITY FOUR: This is my daughter’s favorite activity. We began it when she was 4.5 years and now 7 months later she enjoys it just as much.

We need – pencil, paper, eraser, you and your child in a place comfortable enough to write.

Pre-requisite: Child must know sounds of each or at least some letters and must know how to write them.

Aim: To help your child spell a word, write it, and then draw a picture of it.

How to: You will begin by thinking of a word, let’s say STAR. You will now tell your child that you are going to spell out the word for him / her by saying the sounds of each letter in your word. Begin with ‘S’ (just make the sound of S, don’t say S). Your child has to guess which letter it is and write that letter on the paper. Next letter is ‘T’ (Just the Tah sound) and so the child guesses and writes T. In this way, you finish S-T-A-R and then allow your child to guess what the word if. If s/he cannot get the word, you say it for them by putting the sounds together like ‘St’ ‘ar’  = Star. Now s/he must draw a star in any way s/he can.

Remember, it is ok if the word letters and pictures are not aligned or in order. The presentation is not important here, the learning is!

Below is my daughter’s paper at age 4.7 years. She spelled and guessed all of the words below and drew pictures. Mostly we do this when I am cooking in the kitchen, she sits nearby, and we enjoy the game together. spell testMy other articles from ParentEdge magazine:

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Holiday Art – A magic art for kids from Scrap!

This article has been written by me and re-posted with permission from Parentedge: http://parentedge.in/holiday-art-create-from-scrap/

Christmas or any another festival, we humans pretty much imitate the busy activity of a beehive during festive seasons. However, before the crowd attacks the shopping centers, newspapers speak out the Christmas Cheer loud and clear as a flurry of toys, lights, and gifts decorate flyers and pamphlets. Since I like to use everything to its best capacity, I could not think of throwing away the big heap of paper that came through my mail. And this is how a new art project was born.

Activity: A Simple Art Project, 45-60mins

Age group: 4- 6 years with parental help; 6 – 10 years independently

What you need

  1. A large piece of cardboard or plain white paper
  2. Markers
  3. Glue sticks or glue
  4. Newspapers / flyers with any images related to Christmas or toys
  5. Scissors
  6. Trash can
  7. Curious kids

Learning Focus

Creativity, imagination, organization skills, fine motor skills, competitiveness, spatial reasoning, decision making.

The Plot

You can chose either ‘The Christmas Theme’ or ‘The Toy Theme’ or mix the two!

It is best to have two kids do this activity side by side to add a competitive spirit. Kids will have 60mins to complete the project. Their aim will be to create for themselves, a special room on the canvas or paper you provide. They will do this by choosing, cutting, and pasting the pictures from their own pile of newspapers. They could use markers to decorate their room and create any theme. It doesn’t matter if the snaps overlap, as long as each one is seen clearly and a minimum of 20 pictures have been used. They should use their imaginations to generate this special room as if it was real, a part of their real home. In fact, you can title your kids ‘Interior Designers’ for this fun project.

How to

Collect all the newspapers and sit down in an area with enough room to spread the papers. Before you call the kids, filter the papers by yourself. Make sure there are 15 – 30 pages of newspapers  / flyers that have photographs related to Christmas or toys. For example, a page showing decorative lights, a Christmas tree or an ornament, is worth saving. One that has a few toy cars, kids playing in a dollhouse or pretending to be supermen are excellent too.

Creating art projects from old newspapers

If you are calling on friends or siblings for a project competition, make two different piles, relevant to each one’s age. I had a 9-year young with my 4-year young, which means the older one got a lot more newspapers to work with simply because she would be faster and more independent. I wanted to keep the curiosity as well the challenge alive for each one.

Once you have the newspapers sorted, spread out a large cloth / sheet / plastic to work on the floor. On that spread out the large white paper or cardboard and all other necessities in equal quantity for each child. Then, call the kids.

The rules

It is time to announce the rules. Let each child know that the competition is only in two aspects – to use everything that is given and to complete the project on time. Make it clear that there is no competing for better or worse. You won’t be judging the final project and putting a label of good or bad; rather you will see how well they use the resources given to them within the set time limit. Assure them that you are around for any back up or support. The ultimate aim is to LEARN & HAVE FUN. Read ‘The Plot’ section above to announce the rules.

Christmas Art from old newspapers

Art projects from scrap paper

Art for young children from scrap paper

Recycled art projects from old newspapers

Art projects for kids

This picture above was created by Kapila Khare, 9 years young. She made the toy room of her dreams!

Now that you know this activity has so much to teach your child (check above in the section titled ‘Learning Focus’), you can use this project with different things.

Here are a few ideas

  1. Save boxes of cereal, cookies, croutons, ready-to-eat packs, lentils, etc. Cut out food pictures from there and challenge kids to make a food chart. Use the classification of healthy vs. unhealthy or fats/ proteins/ carbs. Activate your creativity, parents!Example
  2. Save pictures of produces (fruits and vegetables) from several articles. They could make charts to classify fruits and veggies or ones they like vs. don’t like or even organize by the color or texture.
  3. Use your vacation photographs, vehicles, environment, or pictures of different roles that people play in the community.

All you need is a pile of newspapers and a watchful eye!