My younger one is a very curious child. She keeps on asking us lots of questions every day. Some related and some not so related to anything at all. I try to give some answer to her questions but sometimes, I become clueless.
The good thing is that she has an answer to the questions too. If I say, “I don’t know”. Immediately, she gives me an answer as if she was ready with it. The questions go on all day long, countless and endless.
There are so many questions in one day, that I don’t even remember half of them but here is a one which I remember:
Anvi- Mom, Why animals don’t wear specs?
Me- I don’t know Anvi. Can you tell me why?
Anvi- Because they don’t watch TV!
Me- Hmm, I would never have guessed it!
We are surprised that how kids imagine and how they become curious about things. We should encourage them to ask more questions as this shows that they are learning new things and are eager to learn more. As parents, it becomes difficult to answer all the questions all the time but try not to discourage them from asking. Sometimes, I ask her back, “Interesting question Anvi! Why do you think it happened?”
Curiosity is the best teacher which can help her learn more and gain more knowledge……
I can’t do this. I do not have the talent. Many a times, we come across situations where we face challenges. And we decide to give up. Psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck from Stanford University carried out decades of research on “Achievement and success”. She discovered a groundbreaking idea—“The power of our mindset“. Dweck found that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
With a fixed mindset, one believes that he cannot change. This creates problems when he is challenged. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.
Dweck’s theory has emphasized that growth mindset is very important for academic success. So how can parents help develop a growth mindset in their children? There are few ways:
1. Praise effort, strategy and action, not results: Praise children for their effort (“You tried really hard”) rather than for their ability (“You’re really smart”) in order to get them to persevere.
2. Look for opportunities to stretch capabilities: Encourage children to stretch capabilities. This can be done by suggesting them to add depth and breadth to their list of activities. Teach them that If “Plan A’ doesn’t work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet!
3. Give honest feedback: Provide an honest feedback about his performance.
Orientation of children towards growth mindset will help them recognize that people aren’t ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’. They will understand that discipline and hard work will take their abilities to the next level.
Knowing a happy place can help someone to overcome sad moments….
All of us have some special memories from our childhood. For me, a “Spanish cherry” tree at the entrance of our family home has a very special place. When I was a kid, I used to spend some beautiful moments under that tree. Every evening my eldest aunt would spread a mat under that. And one by one, all family members would gather. Us kids used to pick beautiful flowers, and thread garlands for our daily prayers for the following morning. Sometimes, I used to thread garlands for my class teachers too. On lucky days, elders used to arrange for story-telling sessions, or other creative stuff. These flowers have an amazing fragrance. As I write this, I feel happy to remember that place, those flowers, and my extended family members.
Remember spending good times at the “terrace” of my paternal house. We had lots of flower pots, and many trees around. Summer evenings would bring a gentle soothing breeze. We had the opportunity of gazing at the sky, and counting the stars. Even today, I felt happy to remember that place, those trees around our house, and the evening sky.
Today, the happy place in our apartment for us is the “kitchen”. Whenever we have our blues as a family, we head towards the kitchen and prepare some food together. We have figured that it is a real mood booster! We also feel good to spend time at the balcony, and sometimes in the living room.
Location carries an emotional memory. In this changing society, one goes through a lot of stress in daily life. We need to identify our corners that bring back some special memories. Spending a few moments there would almost always do the trick, and help elevate our mood.
“I ALLOW JUNK FOOD IN MY HOUSE AND MY KIDS EAT WHATEVER THEY WANT!”
I was talking to one of my old friend few days back and she told me this. I was surprised to hear this. As far as I remember her from our childhood days, she was always very conscious of what she ate and I never saw her bringing any junk to school. Now the question was, “why and how?”
According to her, she grew up in a family where food was very controlled. They were not allowed to eat any junk food. They had to finish all the food on the plate even if they were not hungry. They were never allowed food between meals. So, when she went to college, she had full access to junk food and she could not control herself.
She allows her children to eat everything and they have full access to eating anything in the house. They can choose their own snacks between meals. But, they have regular meal times too. She never forces them to eat anything but makes sure they don’t waste any food.
Now the question is – Should we allow our kids full freedom with food or not? Should we guide them or not?
These days, there are changing food habits in kids. There are a lot of food items available in the market loaded with preservatives. Is it a good idea to allow our kids anything and everything?
Due to unhealthy habits, now a days, kids are prone to lot of lifestyle diseases at a very young age. They are at risk for juvenile diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and bone problems.
I feel, we need to create a balance. Balance of what to give, how much to give and when to give.
“When you can’t change direction of winds, change your sails.”
“He is the most slowest in the swimming course.” No! I am not. “Then take this, Dum!!!” Dodo, what shall I do? All my swimming friends are teasing me that I am the slowest in the swimming course. “Okay Mittu, come here. Look, each child has different manner and habit. So you do not need to start a fight between them, Okay?”
Okay! Mummy today, me and my friends teased Mittu. They teased me saying “he is the most slowest in swimming, ha-ha-ha!” No son, that is a bad habbit. “But mummy, why is it a bad habit? “Son, if you tease others, you may also be in great trouble in coming days. So do not tease others. Okay son?” Okay mummy. I understand that we should not overreact!
“Monkeys eat me, kids do too.
Gorillas love me, how ’bout you?
It’s fun to tug my yellow peel,
my creamy insides to reveal.
At camp you roast banana boats,
chocolate and gooey, sliding down your throats.
By myself I make a healthy snack,
potassium power in your lunch sack.”
Mealtimes can be a constant battle with some kids. Also, moms of picky eaters often worry their child is not getting a nutritious diet. I remember memorizing the banana rhyme for my daughter. She was a picky eater. She was a no-banana kid. I was very stubborn to fed her banana given the nutritious value, and the availability of the fruit throughout the seasons. I used to tell her the rhyme, and ask her to tug the yellow peel. I often used to paint a smiley face on the peel, or draw her favorite “Dora”…..
I also tried all of the following suggested by a “Banana” to her
Blend me into a smoothie. Slice me and put me in a fruit salad or on top of cereal, waffles, or pancakes. Eat me with one or two spoons of peanut butter, or put us together for a sandwich. Mash me and put me in batter for muffins or bread to make them taste more delicious and be more nutritious!
In six weeks, I witnessed an inspiring change in my daughter. She started loving bananas.
Are picky eaters made, not born?
The other day we had been to the ice-cream parlor. My 11 year old daughter wanted a chocolate flavor, my husband ordered a strawberry one, and I opted for a vanilla. The choice of each one of us was different. We observe such differences in our daily habits, our hobbies, networking skills, love for nature, career choices, and creativity. But again, the basic ingredient that drives these decisions is “Intelligence“.
Every individual is born with multiple intelligences. It is better to understand these in the form of ones’ strengths and weaknesses. Howard Gardner’s theory on multiple intelligence refers to eight different types of intelligence that guide how individuals learn and process information. This theory can be applied to kids to facilitate their learning process.
The Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Theory – Learning Styles
Visual-Spatial: These learners think in terms of physical space — very aware of their environments. They like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles, read maps, daydream. Can be taught through drawings, verbal and physical imagery.
Bodily-kinesthetic: These learners use the body effectively — keen sense of body awareness. They like movement, making things, touching. Can be be taught through physical activity, hands-on learning, acting out, role playing.
Musical: These learners have a sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music, but are very sensitive to sounds in their environments. Likely to study better with music in the background. Can be taught by turning lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, tapping out time.
Interpersonal: These learners achieve understanding through interacting with others. They have many friends, empathy for others, and street smarts. Can be taught through group activities, seminars, dialogues.
Intrapersonal: These learners have a keen understanding of their own interests and goals. Tend to shy away from others, more in tune with their inner feelings. They possess wisdom, intuition and motivation. Can be taught through independent study and introspection.
Linguistic: These learners have highly developed auditory skills and often think in words. They like reading, playing word games, making up poetry or stories. Can be taught by encouraging them to say and see words, read books together.
Logical: These learners think conceptually, abstractly and are able to see and explore patterns and relationships. They like to experiment, solve puzzles, ask cosmic questions. Can be taught through logic games, investigations, mysteries.
Naturalistic: These learners relate most to one’s natural environment. They can be nature lovers who like being in the wild, pet lovers who relate well to animals, or even chefs who can create unique combinations of flavors.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”…Albert Einstein