Why Parents should spend quality time talking to toddlers and how?

Who better than Parents can understand what they mean to their children or vice versa however grown up they are!! There is just one single truth which applies to Parents and that is that they should spend quality time with their children especially Toddlers. This age group needs all the attention you can give them as Parents. They Observe and understand. They need visual understanding as they are yet to learn to speak. But they understand everything you tell them. They are like wet sponges, able to absorb everything you tell them. Remember that Parents are the sole role models of their children. Children imitate by observing. SO by spending time with your children you will help them learn a lot. A Lecturer of Psychology at St Francis College for Women, Hyderabad, Neha Taparia said “ communication, “There are several ways you can create quality time for your toddlers and also later realize that making time is always in your own hands.

Stay away from your Gadgets

In today’s world People have become very addicted to their gadgets like their Mobile, Tab, Laptop etc. Keep them aside when you are with your Toddler. Give him undivided attention. This benefits the child and you.

Dinner Time

Having Dinner together is a very good ritual. Make your Toddler sit with you at Dinner Time. He could sit on the Parents lap or on a High Chair specially assigned for him. He also feels very important. Everybody should talk to him so that he learns how to talk and his social development progresses.

Bed Time

Bed Time Stories is an all time favorite with children. It creates a strong Bond between Parents and children as here you give them absolute undivided attention. You should tell them stories that you know very well and see the expression on your toddlers face as you tell them the story. It is pure excitement and they want to hear more from you. You also enhance their Cognitive or thinking skills and help their brain develop further.

Show your Love

All Children need a lot of Tender Love & Care irrespective of their age. Give them all the alone time that they need from you. Moments that you spend alone with your child giving them all your affection is well cherished and remembered by them. It is really wonderful when both parents together spend time with their Toddler on a one-on-one basis.

Eye Contact

When you talk to your Toddler, maintain eye contact with them. Initially maybe they are distracted but soon you will realize that he has your full attention and he is responding to your talk. This also teaches the child to look into somebody’s eyes when he talks to get undivided attention from that person. This is the best way of communication according to Experts. This will also help them develop their social skills as they grow up.

Smile

A Smile from the Parent lights up the Toddlers face. He knows that the Parent is very happy talking to him and this puts him at ease. There is no better way of showing your warmth and love for your little baby. He will also grow up to be a very happy child.

Uninterrupted talk

When you are with your Toddler, and he is trying to say something, you should encourage him to do so. DO not interrupt him. Learn to be a good listener. Maybe you may not understand his babble. Never the less, listen attentively giving him the satisfaction that you are listening to him. You can see sheer joy on his face and even you as a parent will experience pure ecstasy seeing your child talk to you.

As Parents, We should spend a lot of time with kids. They grow up very fast. Before you know it they are adolescents and soon they will not have time for you. By Spending quality time with your child even if it is 15 minutes a day will help them to become good adults and your love and affection for them will be their foundation of happiness which will last them a life time.

7 ways to encourage children to be better at sports!

A sport is a lot more than just a way to pass time after school and on the weekends. According to Kids Health, regular exercise not only strengthens the children’s body but also helps them sleep better and reduce the risk of obesity and other health problems later in life. It also enhances the child’s self-esteem and improves social skills. However, it has been observed that children and teens prefer to spend more than 7 hours per day on average using Television, Tablets, phones, and other electronic gadgets for entertainment.
As parents, we can encourage our children to participate more in physical activities and ensure that their experiences are positive. If you are also concerned about the lack of physical activity your child has or you believe that your child can excel in a specific sports but does not practice much, then here are some tips you can follow to get the most possible out of sports.

Pick a sport:

Choose a sport for your child according to their age, taste, and physical abilities. Don’t force a sport on your child which can result in boredom or his or her resistance to joining. It is also important to select a sport which is affordable and easily accessible so you don’t have to give it up in the future due to lack of time or money.

Buy the necessary equipment:

Ensure that your child participates in the sports successfully by purchasing him or her necessary equipment required for the game. Make sure the gear is in working condition and fit the child correctly to avoid any potential injuries.

Get your child excited:

Share stories about the sports you have played or ask friends / family members to share their expertise about the subject. You can also read books about the game and famous sports personalities to pump up your child and get him or her excited.

Practice with your child as often as possible:

Go out and practice whenever you can. Consider these as appointments and mark them on your calendar so you don’t miss them.

Support your child:

Show your support by driving your child to the sports lessons and being there for them on their games. Boost their confidence by giving them a high-five and saying “good job” which will help your child to play better.

Cheer them in their failures:

Teach your child that winning and losing is part of every game and even pro athletes have bad days. Support him or her when they don’t win a game or succeed in their sport. Allow your child to express their feelings of disappointment but counter their negative feelings by pointing out their accomplishments through the game.

Keep a balance:

Balance your child’s athletics with school and non-athletic activities. If you feel that your child is stressed or avoids practices and games and only participating in the games for your happiness – then allow them to take some time off.
Remember, all children have different tastes and physical abilities. Find the sports that your child enjoys but don’t burden them with your expectations.

Natural ways to boost your child’s immunity

Its a tough time for parents to see their kids falling ill, often its a way kids develop immunity over fighting infections. Immunity can be defined as the body’s defense against infectious organisms. Children are exposed to dirt and germs and viruses every day. However neat and clean they are, the germs in the air are everywhere and their peers with runny noses and whooping cough and also recurrent Flus as well as adults who are prone to colds, coughs transfer them easily and which they contract even more easily if their immune system is weak.

Premature Babies

Children who are born prematurely tend to have a very weak immune system. This makes them fall sick easily and they are prone to infections frequently. These children need to be breast fed to strengthen their immunity system. Experts say that the Colostrum or the thin yellow premilk that flows from the breasts during the first few days of delivery is rich in disease fighting antibodies. The child should be compulsorily breastfed at least for the first 3-4 months to avoid infection of any kind.

Include Fruits & Vegetables in your Diet

Children tend to eat a lot of sugar which is very bad for their immune system. Sugar infact suppresses immunity. Instead they should be given a lot of fruits which contains natural sugar. Vegetables like carrots, beans, and fruits like Oranges and Strawberries are said to strengthen the immune system. So it is very important to include a lot of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.

Sleep

Sleep is a very important factor in a child’s life. A newborn baby needs upto 18 hours of sleep in a day while toddlers require about 12-13 hours of Sleep. Pre-schoolers require atleast 10 hours of sleep.  The Newborn baby still gets to sleep but toddlers and especially pre-schoolers do not get that kind of essential sleep. Early sleeping habits should be cultivated at an early age.

Stress

Children are normally used to the home environment. When they go to school for the first time, even though the teachers try their best to make them feel at home they are still stressed and uncomfortable for the first few weeks until they settle down. This is the time that parents should take utmost care of their little ones. Their Schedules also should be planned in such a way that they are not over stressed. The Children of today go for umpteen number of classes be it Grammar Class or Skating Class or Reading Class. They want rest. If they are out all the time it becomes very stressful for them. This weakens the immunity system and they are susceptible to infections easily. They should have plenty of time to unwind and relax.

Exercise

Exercise is a very important part of the regime for both Parents as well as children. Research tells us that a number of natural killer cells are increased in the body if we exercise regularly and thus the immune system becomes stronger. Relaxation exercises , Deep breathing , Playing running games, Football, Basket ball, Bike riding , Tennis and many other outdoor activities will help them to build a good immune system.

Supplements

Now a days Doctors recommend Probiotic supplements. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria which naturally occur in our guts. They are said to protect our digestive tracts and digest our food and also help in removing toxins from the body. Probiotic Supplements contain Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. SO if these are given to children by the doctors prescription, it will help protect immunity levels.

Snacking

Children are always n their feet and feel hungry after a rigorous regime. Take advantage of this and give them healthy foods. There are many options available. Some of them are:

  • Yoghurt – Yoghurt is said to lower risk of throat infections, ear infections & cold by nearly 19 %.
  • Walnuts – They contain Omega -3 which helps cut a number of respiratory infections.
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Citrus fruits and strawberries, Sweet Potato, Brocolli and Bell peppers helps avoid colds and flu. Go more for whole food rather than juices. An Orange is much better than an orange juice. An Orange juice contains Vitamin C . But a whole Orange contains more than that.
  • Lean Meat – Lean Meat contains Zinc which help white blood cells to fight off infections. They also contain protein which is very important to maintain your strength.

SO be sure that you adhere to rules and regulations which you will definitely set after reading this.

How to teach your kids the habit of saving money

Saving Money is a habit which children should inculcate right from their childhood. This is one habit which will benefit them as adults. Todays children think money grows on trees. They have the backing of their parents and so do not take the initiative to save. They should be taught how to Save , Spend as well as give back to society. Kobliner says “children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending.” Children should not be given everything they ask for. They should be told that they should save the money they get as an allowance or a reward for helping out at home . A child should be shown how to save money.

  • Parents can keep three Piggy Banks on their table. Whatever allowance or reward they get should be divided into three parts. The Piggy Banks should be labeled as Saving, Spending & Donating. Here they will learn that they have to even give back to society. They need not give a very huge amount . But there should be some contribution from them.
  • Children should be given a monthly allowance depending on the chores they help out in at home. They can be allowed to keep the change which remains after buying something their mother wanted urgently. This gives them a boost . They can also help in home chores like buying vegetables, cleaning the car and other such small things.
  • Give your children small goals to save money. Give them targets. If your daughter wants a doll. Tell her that she can buy it after saving for it. But see that it is not very costly . Else she will lose that enthusiasm to save for it.
  • Children should be taught that money is only a tool that they have to use to exchange for material things. It is not meant to be treated as a thing of Evil.
  • Saving should be a part of your discussion with kids maybe not everyday but atleast once in a few days.
  • They should be encouraged to save for a rainy day. That will also teach them the value of money.
  • Take children to the Banks or stores and teach them concepts of money. This can be a good way to introduce money to younger children.
  • Play imaginary games with them like pretending that they are he shop keepers and you go and buy groceries from them in exchange of money. This is how they can be exposed to the buying and selling transactions.
  • Opening a Bank account for the child and allowing him to deposit the money in his account himself is a very good way to set a goal for the child. This will make him want to see the figure in his bank account grow.
  • Some Basic rules should be created to help the child mange his money. He should be allowed to do things independently so that if he makes mistakes he will understand them and may never commit those same mistakes again.
  • Teenage is a very important phase in a childs life. They are old enough to understand the importance of saving. Your teen should be encouraged to do summer jobs and deposit the money in a savings account especially opened for him.
  • Your teenager has more reasons to save as all his wants will come with more expensive tags than when he was little. He should be told that he could probably use the money in an emergency or for a large purchase.
  • As Parents you have to set a good example for financial habits. Remember … Teenagers are watching you closely and learning from you.
  • Teenagers should be encouraged to read about finanes and how it works,
  • DO not easily help your teenager if he falls short of money . Remind him about the rainy day talk you had with him earlier. It is very important for them to realize where they went wrong with their budgeting, They may be angry with you momentarily. But will Ultimately thank you for teaching them the importance of saving.

When a Child has a healthy relationship with money from his formative years he will be a very wise and it will help him make sound Financial decisions in his Adulthood. It will spare him the pain of damaging situations in his future.

Top 10 Summer activities that will keep your kids super busy

SUMMER VACATIONS!! These words sound like MAGIC to children. They get a long break from Academics after a very hardworking year. Vacations are magic words that bring joy to all children. Summer vacation and the excitement starts with the last bell of the last day of school before closing for the much awaited vacation. The actual purpose of vacation in summer is to tide over the unbearable heat. Children want to forget anything to do with school for that period. Vacations are the best time to relax and enjoy and do activities which they had been wanting to do for a long time during the year. But this is a harrowing time for Parents . They have to think of umpteen activities  to keep their kids very busy.

Join Summer Camps

Summer Camps are the in thing today. There are many places where there are summer camps organized for children in certain age groups. There are many activities like Art & Craft, Fireless cooking, Gymnastics, Dramatics , Dancing etc. There are also camps organized for games like Cricket, Football & Hockey. There are also outdoor adventure camps held by organisations like the YMCA, YWCA, and many other private companies. Children get to learn to be independent and responsible.

Excursions

Excursions are fun outings for children. Especially if they are going out to that particular place for the first time. Parents can gather a group of other parents whose children are of the same age group as theirs. They can plan short excursions to the Museum or the Planetorium or the Cold drink Factory  or even the Biscuit factory. The excitement of the children is worth seeing. They not only gain knowledge but also have a lot of fun seeing how biscuits or cold drinks are made. In Planetariums they can see and learn about  the galaxy of stars, Planets and the Constellation. A visit to a Museum exposes you to in-depth information on any particular subject . Children learn about ancient civilizations and a lot more and they can take home an experience they will never forget.

Go to the Zoo

A Zoo is a place where there are different animals and birds. It is a great attraction for children. It is a world in itself. The children feel really fascinated seeing live animals which probably they had seen only on Animal Planet or even National Geographic before. The Zoo also offers joyrides on Elephants which the children will enjoy. It is a great delight to see colourful birds. There are some birds which are very rare. Parents can make this trip a fun as well as an educational trip. Outside every cage there is a small writeup on the birds or animals in that cage. This can be read out to the children. They can make a note of it. After going home Parents can ask the children to write a small essay on their visit if they are at an age where they can write.

Outdoor Games

Wake up the children early morning and take them cycling. This is also a good experience for them. Normally the roads are full of cars which do not let them even walk on their own on roads. Or Parents can take them to the beach if there is one close by and play games like hand ball or other running games. They get a lot of space to do this. There are also other outdoor games like Badminton, Seven Stones, Throw Ball, etc.

Indoor Games

Taking the kids outeveryday is really not feasible for Parents. Teach them some old game which probably you have not played since you were a kid yourself. You will be equally excited and will enjoy playing with the children. There are indoor games like Carom, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Monopoly, Chess, Scrabble etc which teaches them to sit in one place for a long time.

Plan a Treasure Hunt

On a weekend again Parents can get together with kids and Plan a Treasure Hunt. It could be planned as a family treasure Hunt where the children will be very thrilled to join their parents in the treasure hunt. Or a treasure hunt can be organized only for the children and the parents can have their share of fun.The Thrill of finding things right under a kids nose take on a new luster when found. The excitement of reading the clues and then decoding them and finding the next clue will keep them busy the whole day. Then there will be delicious snacks or lunch to satiate their hunger & thirst pangs. Children who cannot read can be given clues by using pictures to illustrate what they are supposed to find. This not only keeps them busy but also teaches kids the resourcefulness they need to play independently.

Make Reading Fun

Reading is actually fun. But Most children do not want to as it reminds them of school. The main aim of the parent should be to develop an interest in the child to read. It is not important for the child to get every word right. But it is important for the child to love reading itself. Once they finish the book and ask for another you are sure that you have succeeded in your effort. Once the child finishes reading a book the Parent can ask him or her to narrate the story in his own words. This is fun because otherwise they are on the other side of the fence with the Parent telling them a story. This will develop their language skills unknowingly. Reading clearly introduces them to new vocabulary.

Solve Riddles

There are books available in a wide range of Jokes, Visual puzzles and also brain teasers. For our young ones Books with hidden pictures can be given or even find the difference between two same pictures. They are brain teasers for kids who cannot read.

Picnics

Picnics is an event that can be organized for children in their backyard. This is one event which is lots of fun for kids as they are given a lot of fun food and sweets and they can also play many games. They provide that WOW factor for kids. Give the children ingredients for sandwiches so that they can make them themselves. So the thrill of making it is also enjoyed by them.

Movies

Take the children for movies which they have been longing to catch up with. There are many movies which are fun as well as educational. Else if you cannot take them out you can bring movies home .make some Popcorn for them and let them enjoy.

Thinking of activities for your kids is one big task. But surely not too difficult.Plan activities before hand so that you do not have last minute jitters of kids being home for such a long time. Enjoy their holidays.

Happy Holidays !

Tips to nurture and grow your childs creativity

Creativity is a word which is highly misunderstood. Creativity is normally thought of in respect to Art or Music or even poetry. But that is not the actual meaning of creativity. It is the ability to make something new. Creativity is Thinking of new things you have never ventured into.  Every person is creative. It is just that there are different fields like science, Art, Space, Painting, Cooking or playing a musical instrument.

What is Childhood? Childhood is a journey from infancy to Toddlerhood to Preschool to Middle       Childhood to Adolecence. Childhood is a time of supposed rapid change. Parents play a vital role in nurturing the creativity of their children. Creativity in a child helps them to fulfill their day to day tasks in the most unstressed way. Parents should be able to identify that special twinkle in the eye of the child when he is doing something interesting and also discover the elements of creativity in the child and nurture them in the right way. Every Child is different . So it is the inherent responsibility of the parents and then the teacher to identify and bring out the special talent of the child so that as adults they become imaginative and creative . A creative thought is the result of the mindset acquired at the very childhood. There are many things that you, as a parent, can do to nurture your child’s creativity.

Instill Confidence

Confidence in children should be instilled in them from their infancy stage.  Unconditional love should be given to them. They should not be scolded at for undeliberate mistakes done. If scolded they will lose confidence in themselves and may not try to do anything new. Try to strenghthen their curiosity and willingness to explore and take creative risks.

Encourage Curiosity

Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” It is the door to many possibilities. Cognitive and Social development fosters Imagination. needfor their future. Social development in a child supports the ability to express Cognitive Development which refers to the thinking abilities of the child. Thinking Out of the Box is the beginning of creativity in the child. Children express themselves verbally and non-verbally. Imagination and creativity are  skills which children should develop to regulate feelings and develop relations with others which boosts their confidence .

Encourage curiosity and exploration in a child. Try to make him find out answers to his own questions. Brainstorming should also be encouraged with kids who are very inquisitive & curious. Stimulate imaginative, independent thought by posing questions. Encourage Humour. Humor helps kids take joy in their creative intelligence. Laugh together often. Play imaginative word games.

Channelize Energy

Children are always very energetic. They should always be engaged in some or the other activity. The best way to deal with this is to channelize their energy in the right path.. Introduction to creative toys or puzzles will give them a way to use up their energy  . They can be taken out to parks to play where their social skills as well as cognitive skills are enhanced.

Spend Quality time

One of the most important aspects of nurturing is when you spare time to be with your child and spend quality time with them. Telling your child bedtime stories will enhance their thinking skills as well as their language skills. This is also a way to make them think creatively.

The children should be taught to be positive. To share their toys & books with their friends and  to care for their loved ones should be taught to the children from the very beginning. A conducive environment should be created for the child to be well nurtured.

Gift Creative Stuffs

Creative toys should be given to children as gifts so that they start thinking . Building Blocks is one such game.  They improve the fine motor skills of the child. They also enhance hand and eye co-ordination. This also helps them to build their cognitive skills. They learn to differenciate between shapes, colours, sizes, etc

Try Preschooling

They say that children learn and are able to absorb till the age of 5. So it is very important that the child is sent to a prechool where the teacher takes over from the parent and teaches the child and develops his Cognitive, language, Physical , Motor, Social  and Emotional skills.

These are some of the ways a child’s creativity  can be nurtured . There is no one “right way” to nurture your child. Comment your thoughts