We get so caught up in the rigmarole of our lives that we forget the reason of our very existence. Every day we get ready, rush to office, juggle between various chores- Each home has same story, may be with minor tweaks in it. What is the reason for this drudgery, what keeps us going?
What keeps me going? My answer is- my kids. I want to raise them into happy independent adults and that is the reason for my being. Most of you would agree, Children are a motivational factor in our lives. We do our best to give them good education, best amenities and a secure future. But are we doing enough?
Let’s see whether we can do something more for our children. I believe these factors play an important part in mental and social development of children but get a miss by some of us-
- Reading to our children– Introduce them to the world of books as early in life as possible. Experts say a child as young as 4 months old can enjoy looking at colourful picture books. A book takes a child to a whole new world of imagination where his thoughts can reach soaring heights like a falcon or dive deep in the ocean like an eel. Books not only add new words to their vocabulary but can give them an experience of travelling to different continents and geographies of the world while snuggling in their cozy bed. We should be careful before selecting books for our child as the child might develop an aversion towards reading if books are not according to child’s interests. It is a good idea to select hard cover books and musical books for toddlers and big picture books for preschoolers. Initially books should not be laden with too much text. Buying a series of books with same character helps a child in relating to the character well, that’s the reason children love Bubbles, Pepper, Peppa pig, Spark, Newton or Maisy Mouse series. Books work like magic wand for mothers who want to explain the importance of sharing, organizing toys or brushing teeth. Books that have repetition are favourites among preschool children. Example- Three little pigs, Goldilocks. Read these simple tips to make your child a fluent reader.
- Travelling to new places in groups– travelling is an effective way for hands on learning. Going to new places, meeting new people, observing cultural and ethnic diversities helps children grow. They learn to accept differences, become tolerant and start enjoying the myriad hues of life. Travelling in large groups teaches them soft skills naturally. Everyone would agree that people skills are an integral factor for success in professional as well as personal life. It is not necessary that you plan grand lavish holidays to give children an enjoyable experience. Even small excursions can be made pleasurable. We went to a relative’s house recently and the one hour road trip from Gurgaon to Palwal was a rather boring one. To pep up the spirits my husband took a halt in a village on the way. We showed children the difference between pakka (concrete) and kuchha (mud) My son was quite delighted to learn about a new form of energy-dry animal dung fuel. Best thing about such trips is that parents can teach so many things to children without the child knowing that he is being taught.
my family vacations to unexplored locations still form a cherished part of my childhood memories.
- Unhindered and unstructured play– As parents we are responsible for safety and well being of our children. If you do not let your child run fast because he will fall, if you do not allow him to play in sand as it will dirty his clothes or you stop him from jumping as he will break his leg then you are being cruel. I might sound harsh but that’s the apt word, stopping a child from playing freely in natural surroundings is like clipping the wings of a butterfly. Let them unleash energies and ignite their young minds through free play as it blooms their personality. If you have a fear then it is your problem not theirs, so let them not suffer because of your inhibitions.
- Give them your precious time – Mommies are the busiest souls on this planet. They are always in a mad rush- just slow down a bit. A morning hug and a goodnight kiss gives them an immense sense of security and doesn’t take away much of your time. Read a nice story and talk about good and bad part of the day while putting them to sleep. This develops an early habit of sharing their feelings with their parents and develops a lasting bond with them.
Accept them the way they are, do not judge your child for being slow or an introvert. Children don’t need your judgments, they just need unconditional love.
- Set a precedent yourself– Parents are the first role models for their child. Be the way you want your child to be. Gratitude, humility and compassion can be instilled in children naturally- so walk the talk. Words and instructions are meaningless if we do not follow it in our life.