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The Powerful Role of the Grandparents

+2 votes


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The other day, I took my kids to their grandparent’s house.  They were happy to see their grandchildren. My kids insisted their grandfather to take them to the park to which he agreed instantly. My mother went in the kitchen to make their favourite onion fritters.



After some time, she brought hot and crispy onion fritters along with ginger tea. We started chatting and enjoying our snacks. I noticed that the fritters had a different taste. They were lighter, less oily and crispier. I asked her the reason behind it. She told me that she had started using Sunny Lite Oil. It has the power of 5. It has vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, antioxidants and Omega 6. She praised it a lot, saying that food cooked in it is very light and easy to digest.


My children came back and couldn’t resist themselves from eating the fritters. I asked them to wash their hands before eating. They protested and turned to their grandparents for support. My mother scolded me pretentiously and very gently took the kids to wash their hands. They were very happy to see me getting scolded by my mother. They felt comforted and secured with the powerful presence of their grandparents. They were soothed by getting their support and being listened patiently by them.



Role of Grandparents in Parenting - Mother v/s Grandparents
posted Jul 21, 2017 by Nalini Vishwanath

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+1 vote

Sachin Tendulkar is a UNICEF Ambassador. (AP Photo)​

United Nations: Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar joins a roster of global celebrities, including David Beckham and Novak Djokovic, for a special UNICEF campaign that highlights the critical role played by fathers in children's early development.

The UNICEF initiative 'Super Dads', coming just days ahead of Father's Day, celebrates fatherhood and highlights the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children's brains.
The campaign, which highlights fathers' critical role in children's early development, features stars from the world of entertainment and sport including Tendulkar, Beckham, Djokovic, Academy Award winning American actor Mahershala Ali, British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton and Australian actor Hugh Jackman.

"When I was a young child, my father gave me the right amount of love, freedom and support to shape who I am today," Tendulkar, a UNICEF Ambassador, said in a statement.
"Every kid needs protection, love, good food and play to support growth and development, and it's up to both parents to provide these," he said.

Djokovic said as a father, he has seen for himself the impact that love and positive action has had on his child during the early years of life.
"Being a new parent isn't easy. There are many challenges that fathers across the world face. This campaign is about supporting and encouraging fathers so they can be the Super Dads their kids desperately need," said the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

The heart-warming videos and photos of celebrity dads in the campaign will be coupled with stories of super dads from across the world, including those who are doing their best to raise their children in extremely difficult circumstances.
One such super dad is South Sudanese refugee Idro, who is raising three daughters aged 2 months, 3 and 13 years old in Uganda's Bidi refugee settlement, the largest in the world. Idro fled his war-torn country in July 2016, and is doing everything he can to keep his young daughters' healthy, happy and safe, UNICEF said.

"The earliest years of life present a critical, once-in- a-lifetime opportunity to shape children's brain development - and it's their parents who hold the largest stake in this process," UNICEF Chief of Early Childhood Development Pia Britto said.
Britto added that the more fathers, mothers and other family members shower their babies and young children with love, play, good nutrition and protection.
"The better these children's chances are of reaching optimal health, happiness and learning ability. Good parenting for young children living in highly stressful conditions like conflict or extreme poverty can even provide a buffer, helping them to fully develop despite adversity," Britto said.

UNICEF added that good parenting in early childhood, especially during the first 1,000 days, sparks neural connections in children's brains, laying the foundation for their future successes. Research suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have better psychological health, self-esteem and life-satisfaction in the long-term.
"We need to break down the employment and societal obstacles that deprive fathers - and mothers - of precious time with their young children," said Britto.
"It is critical that the private sector and governments work within their communities to give parents and caregivers of babies the time, resources and information they need to give children the best start in life," he said.

The 'Super Dads' initiative forms part of UNICEF's #EarlyMomentsMatter campaign, which aims to drive increased understanding of how children's environments and experiences in early childhood can shape their future health, well-being, ability to learn, and even how much they will earn as adults.



+1 vote


Photo Source:  The Gottman Institute

By: Angela Pruess

At any given time, you’ll find four or more parenting books on my Amazon wish list, a few by my nightstand, and an email inbox chock full of insightful parenting theories and approaches.

Granted, child development is my career, but I speak with plenty of parents in my practice who find themselves in similar circumstances. With information around every corner and our culture projecting constant messages (many times contradictory) regarding how we should raise our kids, feeling like a confident and intentional parent can seem out of reach many days.

In my 12 years as a family therapist, I’ve seen many well-intentioned parents mistakenly employing strategies that aren’t meeting the emotional or developmental needs of their children or families. I’ve also observed an increasing number of parents who are successfully mapping out new and healthier ways of raising children.

These insights, collected over time and gleaned from experience, parallel what we know from current brain and behavioral research about what kind of parenting is most likely to contribute to the healthy development of children.

1. Know that kids will act like kids.

Often parents forget that children learn by screwing up. Making mistakes. Behaving immaturely. The “magic” happens when a supportive caregiver steps in to steer them in the right direction. Parents get frustrated and impatient, becoming annoyed with whininess and “back talk” when really this is how kids are wired.

The part of the brain responsible for reason, logic, and impulse control is not fully developed until a person reaches their early 20’s.

Immature behavior is normal for immature human beings with immature brains.

This is a scientific reality that helps us to be patient and supportive in order to guide our children when they struggle.

2. Set limits with respect, not criticism.

Due to the fact that our kids need to learn literally everything about the world from us, they will require many limits throughout their day. Without proper limits in their environment, kids will feel anxious and out of control.

Limits can be delivered in the form of criticism and shaming, or they can be communicated in a firm but respectful way. Think about how you appreciate being spoken to at work and go from there.

3. Be aware of developmental stages.

Have you ever questioned where your easy-going toddler disappeared to as they were suddenly screaming bloody murder while getting dropped off at daycare? Hello separation anxiety!

There are literally hundreds of very normal, very healthy transitions kids go through to become adults. Being aware of these puts their puzzling behaviors into context, and increases the odds of reacting to them accurately and supportively.

4. Know your child’s temperament and personality.

It seems pretty obvious, but if we are in tune with the characteristics that make our child unique, we will have a better understanding of when they may need additional support, and when and where they will thrive.

Once you know the basics of what makes your child tick, many important areas become much easier to navigate, such as pinpointing the best environment for homework, or understanding why your daughter needs to come home from overnight summer camp.

5. Give your child plenty of unstructured play time.

Unless you studied play therapy in school, most adults will never fully understand and appreciate the power of play.

Play is how kids learn all the things and develop all the stuff. This means leaving time each day for straight-up unstructured, kid-controlled, exploration of the world kind of play.

6. Know when to talk and when to listen.

Kids learn to be pretty good problem solvers if we let them. Because we love the life out of them and want them to succeed, it’s hard not to jump in and solve problems for them by virtue of lecture or criticism.

If parents more often held their tongues and waited it out, they’d be shocked at how often their children can successfully reach their own conclusions. Being heard is powerfully therapeutic, and it allows us to think things through and reach a solution.

Kids want and need to be heard, and feel understood. Just like the rest of us.

7. Have an identity outside of your child.

Many of us often claim that our children are our world, and this is certainly true in our hearts. In terms of daily life however, parents need to have more. We need to nurture the friendships, passions and hobbies that make us who we are as individuals.

Doing this can feel like a battle, as our protective anxieties try to convince us our children can’t be without us, and also that we can’t be without them. But we can be, and need to be, in order to stay sane, and avoid saddling our kids with the task of meeting all of our emotional needs.

8. Understand that actions speak louder than words.

The way you interact with your child and live your life will be your child’s greatest teacher. Kids are incredibly observant and way more intuitive than we give them credit for. They are always watching.

This can be slightly inconvenient for parents, but if we’re able to keep it in mind, knowing our children are watching our actions will not only teach them how to behave, but it will make us better people.

9. Recognize that connection, fun, and creativity are the best ways to promote positive behaviors and a cooperative attitude.

Fear and control aren’t effective long-term teachers for our kids. While those dynamics may appear effective in the short-term, they won’t equip our kids with a strong moral compass, or effective problem-solving skills.
If our child feels valued as a person based on our interactions with them, they will naturallylearn to value others and have the confidence to make good choices.

10. Set the overall goal to shape a child’s heart and not just their behavior.

We often get the impression from the world around us that the goal of parenting is to produce a compliant, well-behaved child. While these are certainly desirable qualities for most parents, they are not core qualities that contribute to a happy and healthy human.

Helping our children understand the importance of their thoughts and emotions gives them coping and relationship skills. Skills that will protect and guide them throughout their lives.

Changing our parenting habits and styles is never easy, but if it’s truly in the best interest of our children, it’ll always be worth it.

+2 votes



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The other day, a reader wrote this: “My child is lying to get out of trouble.  My daughter is in the habit of lying in order to get out of trouble. How do I encourage her to tell the truth, even when it may mean consequences?

by Becky Mansfield


So, we asked other parents to chime in and give us their best advice.  It was great, of course.  Here is what you said you do to encourage your kids to stop lying, even if it means that they might get into trouble.

  1. A fun way to work on this is to play a game together. Talk about the rules before you play.  Ask your kids what they would think if someone cheated, just to win.
  2. We always say that we would rather our kids be honest up front.  We talk to them about it (not while it is happening, but all of the time).  We want them to know that lying now is not a good idea, and the truth will always come out… even if it is much later.
  3. I check my emotions. It is easy to overreact in the moment which then can cause kids to lie because they fear your overreaction.  Take a minute and count to 20 before reacting to any situation.
  4. Share about your mistakes openly with your kids. Kids can struggle with honesty because they fear disappointing their parents. Make it a habit to talk about what you failed at so they know you are not perfect.
  5. Hold a family meeting and go over consequences. Sometimes just having open plans about things can help clear the air.  What do they do if they have done something wrong.  What should they do if they have lied?
  6. Remind your child that as they show they are honest, you will be more apt to give more freedom. My mom always said she would trust us, but when the trust gets broken, it has to be rebuilt.
  7. Be an example of what you want to see. Are you telling little white lies and your child is watching?  Try to stop yourself from doing this and just be honest with your kids (as much as you can with little children, of course.)
  8. The next time they lie, talk calmly about what happened. Why did they lie? What happened as a result? Building a strong communication line with your kids is key to building honesty.
  9. When you are working on this issue, make sure and forgive and forget. Give your child the hope that you believe they can be honest- do not label them a liar. Instead, label the action and encourage them to turn from it.  Children live up to what we expect of them.   Our words become their inner voices.
  10. Don’t give up on your child! It can take a lot of repetition, but it is always worth it. Keep on teaching, training, and modeling what you want your child to do.
+2 votes

Reema is one of the many mothers who is facing trouble in making her son sit down and engaging him in one activity or study. He just keeps hopping on from one thing to another and as a result, his room is a box of unfinished activities, games, books, drawings etc. Reema often wonders what it would take to make her son complete at least one task. This is not just Reema’s story. Many parents like her often struggle to build on their child’s attention span to finish a task, read a short story from beginning to end or even focus on an activity at school.

Children get used to a routine if set from the beginning. Routines result in habit formation, which ultimately makes the task less daunting. It also removes the fear of the unknown, enabling a child to feel a sense of security. For example, if a child knows that s/he has to study from 6 to 7 pm everyday, s/he will be mentally prepared for it. In addition to this, a developmentally appropriate time period must be allotted for the task so that the child gets used to being able to complete this work within the stipulated time. This will also help in streamlining his or her thought process and staying focussed.

Build reading habits

However busy you may be, take time out to narrate age-appropriate stories to your child. Establish a reading routine, a specified reading time. It may be just before sleeping or after returning from school, as per the parent’s and child’s convenience. Read aloud regularly, even to older kids. Reading exposes the child to good literature, improves their vocabulary and understanding of structuring sentences.

Stay on a task

Children need to be kept motivated and the way to do this is to encourage, gently coax and urge them to complete the task in hand. If one technique isn’t working, help them with new techniques of doing the assigned task. Cheer them to take pride in their work and help them fortify their strengths and work on their weaknesses. Sometimes the reward system works to motivate children to concentrate and finish the entrusted task.

Delayed gratification

It is good to build skills of delayed gratification among children at an early age. It allows them to understand that sometimes wait is good and it is okay to go through a little difficulty or restraint in order to feel really happy or get a sense of accomplishment later or perhaps for longer.

The power of yet

Parents should help their children believe in the power of ‘yet,’ i.e. the never-ending belief in the fact that things will work out, and that giving up is not an option as a brighter future is yet to come. Often, this seems difficult to explain to children as they are restless and not determined enough.

Make learning fun

It is important to make reading and learning time fun for the child, and not just the mundane task of the teacher. So, if you are trying to teach your little one to identify numbers, then, instead of just restricting it to the textbooks, you can try reciting rhymes and songs about numbers. Floor games like hopscotch can be a fun and effective way too. While at the grocery store, you can ask your child to read out prices and quantities to you. This way while the learning outcomes are achieved, the fun factor is also maintained.

Learning beyond home

Don’t let learning be restricted to the study room in your house. Let it be a continuous process for the child, extending beyond just school and home. So, the next time you are in the park with your child, challenge him or her to identify all red-coloured objects or all objects which begin with the letter ‘O’ in a stipulated time frame. This way, while the concepts of letter and colour recognition become clearer to the child, education is also made much more fun and practical.

Therefore, it is crucial to be positive role models for children. They should take an active interest in understanding their strengths and challenges. This way, they can empower their children with the required knowledge, strategies, and skills to take charge of their own educational journey.

(The author is content expert, Sesame Workshop India)

+1 vote

Vital growth signs of children's early years of infancy and growth are so important to watch, monitor, track and correct if required. But not surprisingly a big challenge today for super busy parents, where juggling double incomes, careers and home front with little or no support system in place is a monstrous situation. And as you will find in this article, if you miss a vaccination milestone or do not notice an emerging pain point in the child, you and the little one may end up paying a heavy price. So what is the solution to this? Several start-ups in Bengaluru and elsewhere are building a suite of cool apps that help monitor your baby and also track important events to remind parents of what needs to be done. Full story here: