The many Hues of baby blues

The many Hues of baby blues

Liz had a perfectly healthy pregnancy and a fairly uncomplicated child birth. She planned everything in advance, had her bags packed in her eighth month, her baby shower was stellar and her baby nursery looked like a dream.

But a day after her baby was born, she felt a sharp pang of sadness and emptiness. She couldn’t figure out why that feeling was overpowering her otherwise blissful life. Every thing was just the way she wanted, her baby was healthy and her husband and family were fully supportive yet she couldn’t help but feel depressed!

Does this feel relatable to you? Did you have postpartum depression too?

WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Pregnancy and childbirth sways your body into a hurricane of hormones. Not to forget the trauma of childbirth and anxiety and fear of handling a baby sometimes overrides the joy and happiness of being a mom.

Sometimes, it gets a little more serious and leads to postpartum depression.

A majority of women experience baby blues. It starts from the second or third day post child birth and lasts for upto a few weeks!

Sometimes it does take longer than usual and in some cases it also leads to major depression later in life!

SYMPTOMS

* Anxiety

* Irritability

* Anger

* Insomnia

* Crying spells

* Constant Sadness

* Appetite changes

CAUSES

Whilst there are no stated reasons for postpartum depression, biological and hormonal changes can be a trigger.

After childbirth, a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your body may contribute to postpartum depression. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland may drop sharply — which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and depressed.

In some cases, emotional issues like over whelming feeling of being a new mother, being sleep deprived and the struggle of breastfeeding and diaper changing can lead to depression.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IN FATHERS

Yes! It can happen to new dads too. Often due to the same physiological reasons such as anxiety, tiredness and sleep deprivation.

HOW TO HANDLE IT

The best way to handle it is by recognising the symptoms and accepting that it exists. Acceptance is the first step to recovery. Do not hesitate in speaking to a friend or if it’s really severe, go to a doctor.

A professional will be able to help and support you through proper medication and guidance.

DO NOT LET IT GO

Depression at any point in life is like a termite. It eats you up from within.

Postpartum depression in particular can affect your bonding with the baby. It can also harness your ability to take care of your child. To be an available and efficient parent, you need to put yourself first and get yourself the right care and treatment.

Motherhood is a beautiful journey. But it has its bumpy rides. Do not let anxiety and depression ruin the very beginning.

Happy mothers make happy children!

Ismat Sameer Ismail

Refrigerator Mother Theory

Refrigerator Mother Theory

Living in a progressive world where LGBTQ have their rights, where women stand as equals to men and mental health is not a taboo anymore, can you even imagine an era where mothers were blamed for their child’s ‘autistic syndrome’.

Not by their husbands, relatives or the infamous mother in laws, but by doctors, scientists and the psychiatrists of late 1940’s. They literally stigmatised an entire generation of women and labelled them as ‘Refrigerator mothers

Referring to be cold, neglectful and abusive! Cold as they could not be thawed or defrosted!

Cold- because they were mechanical and attended to only the material needs of their child.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud, often called the father of modern day psychiatry developed Psychoanalysis, for interpretation and therapeutic treatment of psychological disorders.

Psychoanalysis is based on the concept of the unconscious mind, and it focuses on emotional disturbance. The result of some early childhood experience of trauma, as the cause of psychological disorders, rather than organic factors in the brain or nervous system.

After his death in 1939, medical experts came up with a theory based on Freud’s psychoanalysis stating that autism was caused by emotional distress and identified the roots of these symptoms to the most dominant person in early life- mothers!

Leo Kanner

In 1943, Leo Kanner, a Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist, identified autism as a distinct neurological condition. He named the syndrome Early Infantile Autism because it usually appeared sometime during the first three years of life. Before the 1940s, children who would now be called autistic were labeled emotionally disturbed, schizophrenic or psychotic. Kanner was an early expert on autism and his focus on the dysfunctional mother-child relationship helped successive psychiatrists embrace a psychological cause for the disorder, and the “refrigerator mother” theory became the reigning psychiatric orthodox.

Hans Asperger

The symptoms Asperger identified in 1944 were closely related, but not identical, to Kanner’s Early Infantile Autism. Asperger syndrome sufferers experienced the same difficulty with social interactions as autistic children, but had greater facility with language (often including remarkably large and highly-developed vocabularies) and an unusual grasp of highly technical knowledge. Asperger himself believed that the two were distinct disorders, but many today emphasize the similarity between Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism and consider them both to be autism spectrum disorders.

Bruno Bettelheim

Bruno Bettelheim was a renowned University of Chicago professor and child-development specialist.

He was the real villain who worked relentlessly in promoting the “refrigerator mother” theory through his work as a school director. His job and his so called degree in psychology led people to believe and led mothers of autistic children to feelings of guilt and shame.

Substantiated by his own questionable case studies, Bettelheim’s theories likened the lives of autistic children to the experience of prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, where he himself had spent ten months during WWII. He compared the parents, particularly mothers, of autistic children to Nazi guards.

Bernard Rimland- The Hero!

A research psychologist and a parent of an autistic child, played a key role in discrediting this theory and challenged everyone. In 1969, along with a small group of parents, Rimland founded the National Society for Autistic Children, now the Autism Society of America (ASA). Originally run out of the homes of volunteer parents, NSAC broke ground as a public voice for parents of autistic children who rejected the “refrigerator mother” myth.

We can only imagine the horror of those mothers who were blamed and labelled for their own child’s condition.

Today the ludicrous refrigerator theory has been discredited and disproven—an example of the ways in which society tries to blame parents for developmental disorders that are difficult to treat or accept.

And although there is no cure yet for autism, there are better treatments and diagnoses than ever before.

If you have a choice, spread love and kindness, always!

Ismat Sameer

The best gift you can give this Rakshabandhan!

The best gift you can give this Rakshabandhan!

Festivals in India make up the very fabric of our culture and traditions.
Rakshabandhan celebrates the bond of a brother and sister’s love.

2020 has been a year of distress, devastation and disease. People all over the world have suffered emotionally and financially. And this doesn’t seem to end for most of us.

But at the onset of the festivals in my country, a brazen thought came to my mind.

On that note, here is an idea for the most memorable gift, this Rakhi 🙂

Gift your sibling something special this Rakhi

Albeit you will find a plethora of DIY Rakhis, Rakhi cards, recipes and what not, and there is no reason you should ditch the traditional gifts. But alongside that, why not consider gifting a course to enhance their skills.

If your sister always wanted to learn French, isn’t this the best time when you can gift her a course that helps her learn a new language

Or if your brother wanted to learn coding, this is the prefect time because there is less pressure from school and no extra curricular activity, whatsoever!

Thankfully we are living in times where there is a lot of time to acquire new skills, so why shouldn’t you give your sister that piano course she always wanted to do!

Who knows what the future holds for us, we are living in a world of uncertainty, so setting an example by not wasting resources rather utilising every penny towards a good cause, isn’t that the right thing to do.

Never again will your sibling have this kind of time to invest in learning, when normal life resumes, we will all go back to the hustle and bustle.

So check out these links, look out for what your sibling loves, where their passion lies, what they need, and enrol them to an online course, this Rakshabandhan!

For the younger siblings

ABC Mouse.com https://www.abcmouse.com/

Ted Ed https://ed.ted.com/

Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/

Exploratorium https://www.exploratorium.edu/

Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com/

Starfall https://www.starfall.com/h/

Virtual Storytime for kids https://www.storylineonline.net/

Get Epic https://www.getepic.com/

For older Siblings

Udemy https://www.udemy.com/

British Council https://www.britishcouncil.in/

Ed X https://www.edx.org/

Future learn https://www.futurelearn.com/

Coursera https://www.coursera.org/

Harvard University https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free

Lynda.com https://www.lynda.com/

Codecademy https://www.codecademy.com/

SkillShare https://join.skillshare.com/jan2020-general/?coupon=google2free&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=paidsearch&utm_campaign=Brand_IN_2Free&utm_term=skill%20share&matchtype=e&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3s_4BRDPARIsAJsyoLP1LMNx2uEMTZ3SEgl0CwKdzE6Q4GXUj52XpXqoH97PB26ef16bMLAaAqXfEALw_wcB

Most of these sites offer a free course with a paid certificate, if you are short of budget you can opt just for the course and get a certificate sometime later!

You can also go for the free trial that many apps and sites offer!

This list has been curated after hours of research, but you can still do some research of your own.

And do share here if you come across or already know of any online learning platform that is as amazing as the ones I mentioned above.

P.S If you want to gift something tangible along with this, then go for the Phone/PC Eyeglasses for protection from over exposure to the screen

https://www.lenskart.com/cms-blu-smartphone-lenses

(This is not a promotional post. The products and websites mentioned have been found to be genuine and of value)

Wish you all a very happy rakshabandhan!

Love and learning 🙂

I Know what you did this lockdown!

I Know what you did this lockdown!

Right from late night television binge watching to having no fixed routine for bathing, meal times, physical activity, whatsoever. And getting dressed up in decent, presentable clothes has been long forgotten. Pyjamas are the new ripped jeans and hair goals have changed to “messy hair, who cares?”

Umm, well honestly your kids are not to be blamed here. Children need to be led by example and here, forget about following a routine, adults are equally or even far more out of order. Aren’t we ? Or at least some of us are.

Although there are a lot of things to enjoy in these crazy times, many unhealthy patterns have also emerged. We as parents need to take charge and apply some regulations to unproductive habits. A little bit of alterations will definitely help us manage to set the right example and help our children get some order in life.

COLOUR CODING THE DAY

So here is the brilliant idea. And I can assure that it’s going to work.

I have tried and tested this easy recipe. And trust me the result is delicious!

Self – Regulation Chart

This is basically a pie chart. The circle represents the day. And the 24 slices represent 24 hours of a day.

Colour code chart

This is a colour code chart. It can be edited according to your family needs. Some may want to add exercise or sports instead of creativity time. Anything that suits you, as long as it’s productive.

The idea is to fill the colours in the Self Regulation chart according to the way you have spent your day. The target should be to have more of Green-Blue-Orange-purple slices and less of Red-Yellow-Indigo slices.

I have extracted this Self Regulation theory from one of my CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) class, where we studied that a lot of behavioural issues can be corrected with the help of self management. CBT is a proven science and it has proven to be helpful in depression, anxiety and many other social-emotional problems.

Albert Ellis is known as the father of cognitive-behavioral therapy and founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). To quote him in this respect, “Rational beliefs bring us closer to getting good results in the real world”

So with the belief that with the help of this Pie-Chart/Self-Regulation exercise, which is both rational and positive, let’s get closer to getting the result that we want. A disciplined and productive family!

Now, once your pie chart print out and colour code is ready, you can move on to the part where you have to decide how to motivate children and family members to participate effectively.

You must set some kind of a reward system, which can be given on a weekly basis. The reward can differ according to the likes and desires of your family. I kept monetary rewards, Food items that I was limiting during lockdown for health reasons, they fit in just perfectly in my reward list because it eliminated the anger and frustration the children had towards me, now they could earn it and it proved to be a great motivating factor.

So basically whatever fits best in your family system as a reward can be kept, it’s totally up to you.

You can put up these charts in a common area so that everyone plays fair and there is no room for any kind of manipulation.

You will realise that with each week passing, the colours will start trending towards the good habit zone. And the healthy competition among family members will increase bonding and love.

You can thank me later for this.

You are welcome 😉

Eyesight care in the digital world

Eyesight care in the digital world

Remember the days when screen time was a concern bigger than covid-19!

Excessive screen time was not just a problem parents had to battle, it also put them in a guilt trap most of the times. And like every other parenting issue, there was screen time shaming as well.

And here we are. With the pandemic taking over the world in its grip, everything changed.

And what changed the most was digitization of education!

Every where students are compelled to attend online classes. And this nasty turn is not limited to education itself. All forms of communication be it with family or friends or for extra curricular learning, everything happens in front of the screen.

That said, there is nothing that parents can do about it.

So what is it that you can do for optimal optical care.

Practice the 20-20-20 rule.

Originally discovered by Dr. Jeff Anshel in 1991, this rule tells us to:

  • Take breaks from screen every 20 minutes
  • Focus on something 20 feet (6 metres) away
  • Look at it for 20 seconds

Check with your optometrist

Keep up to date with your child’s prescription and go for regular eye checkups. You can discuss with your doctor if eye drops or artificial tears (known to replenish the moisture your eye needs) are a good choice for you and for your child.

Consider getting an anti glare screen

An anti glare screen uses a layer of coating to reflect light. It will help you to banish glare to a great extent. Alternatively, you can also position your screen away from a window to prevent glare. Lighting also plays an important role here, so you can substitute overhead lights with a desk lamp to reduce that effect.

Magnify

Make sure to magnify the text size to large to reduce the strain.

Adjust screen display

Save the brightness of your child’s eye by reducing the brightness on the device. Don’t make it too bright or too dim. Your child’s eyes will experience more strain if the contrast between the text and the background is clashing.

Check the position of the device

Harvard health publishing’s article suggests that we keep our computer screens:

  • 2 feet away from the eyes
  • 4 to 8 inches below eye level

Some dietary suggestions

  • Keep your child hydrated.
  • Add fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds to her diet.
  • Curry leaves are a great source of vitamin A. You can make an infusion of curry leaves in water and drink it daily.
  • Triphala is a powerful combination of herbs known for many benefits, improving eyesight for one.

Rose water has soothing and cooling properties and according to ayurveda you can use it as an eyewash or just place cotton dipped with rose water on your eyes for a calming effect.

Exercises

Sunbathing

According to Ayurvedic astrology, the sun rules the eyes. Looking at the sun or sunbathing can improve vision. Start by doing it for 10 seconds. It will also prove to be a fun activity for your child.

But remember, sunbathing is recommended only at sunrise or sunset when harmful UV rays cannot injure the eyes. This exercise also clears your mind of depression and anxious thoughts, according to ayurveda.

Tratak

Another beneficial ayurvedic exercise for eye care is Tratak or meditating on a candle flame without blinking. And i bet your child will enjoy this activity. You can do a fun challenge by a 2-3 minute timer and see who blinks first.

And may i add a last one to the list that happens to be every child’s (especially teenagers) favourite anyway!

Rolling the eyes!

Who knew it can prove to be a good eye exercise and parents would encourage it.

So it can finally be said that anything is possible after 2020!!

But jokes apart, we need to take our children’s eye care very seriously and do everything that we can.

Stay healthy and stay safe!

Ramadan for children

Ramadan for children

Hey guys!

So i just came across something amazing and had to share it right away. An amazing set of activities for children.

Fun ! Engaging ! Lots of Learning ! A great way to spend time with your kids while fasting.

Ramadan is the most awaited month of the year for muslims all over the world. During this month, families cherish the time spent on praying and fasting and refraining from all kinds of distractions.

Special feasts are being prepared and everything is so festive.

Children too, take part in the prayers and the festivities.

Considering the fact that since parents are mostly busy with the preparations and extra prayers, there is a possibility that the child is often left directionless, definitely not on purpose.

So i am sharing this wonderful 30 day project for children, that someone shared with me today. It’s origin is unknown but it is too good to not share.

You can take a printout and handover the daily tasks to your kids. It will not just keep your child busy but also provide a lot of learning. Ofcourse, depending on the age of your child, the amount of assistance required will vary.

And it’s definitely worth sharing!

Hope you find this useful.

Disclaimer: This file is not an original creation of MyHippocampus. The source has been unidentified. We are sharing it for others to benefit. In case, the owner of this file finds it objectionable, we will be glad to take it down.

Are you an ENFJ mom ?

Are you an ENFJ mom ?

The ENFJ Personality Type

ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They often act as catalysts for human growth because of their ability to see potential in other people and their charisma in persuading others to their ideas. They are focused on values and vision, and are passionate about the possibilities for people.

What does ENFJ stand for?

ENFJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging. ENFJ indicates a person who is energized by time spent with others (Extraverted), who focuses on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), who makes decisions based on feelings and values (Feeling) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). ENFJs are sometimes referred to as Teacher personalities because of their interest in helping others develop and grow.

While ENFJ mothers are often seen as some of the most competent and loving parents, they also ace their own struggles at times. Here is everything you need to know about the ENFJ mother.

Nurturing Mother

The ENFJ mother is a natural nurturer, and will work hard to support their children. They find it easy to be affectionate with the ones they love, especially when it comes to their kids. They want their children to feel truly loved and don’t want a moment to pass where they don’t realize their mother cares for them. The ENFJ works hard to create a happy environment for her children, no matter what it takes. She will continue to push herself beyond measure to ensure that her family is provided for. The ENFJ mother supports her children, even when they makes mistakes in life. She does not want them to feel judged, and hates to see them hurting. She can often come to their rescue a bit too quick at times, not wanting to see her children in pain.

The ENFJ mother wants to help her children become strong and well-adjusted people, but at the same time she wants to help them through life. The ENFJ mother doesn’t want their children to struggle unnecessarily, and will find ways to protect and provide for them. ENFJs strive to bring joy to the ones around them, and this part of their personality strengthens with motherhood. Even before having children they can be seen as the mother of their friend group, so this is something that comes naturally for them.

The ENFJ mother is deeply connected to her children, and can often sense what they are feeling before they are even aware of this. They want to step in and help them figure out what they want from life, and help to guide them down the right path. ENFJs mothers have strong intuitive abilities which often helps them understand the best course of action for her children, and are often aware of what they want most from life. This can be challenging when her children don’t fully recognize it themselves, and might feel like she is being hovering. In the truth the ENFJ mother wants to help her child achieve their own desires so that she can see them happy. It often does not matter to her what her children become in life, as long as it makes them happy with themselves. ENFJ mothers enjoy seeing the unique sides of their children, and want to help nurture those special qualities, certainly not stifle them.

The toxic ENFJ mother

While the healthy ENFJ mother is caring and giving, there is a flipside when the ENFJ is toxic. The unhealthy ENFJ mother is manipulative and extremely hovering. She takes her nurturing to the next love and instead begins to smother her children with too much advice and “help”. She is often manipulative since she knows too well what her children want and how to get into their heads. This ENFJ mother often doesn’t want to lose her children from her life, so she works to keep them as close as possible. She often uses guilt trips to ensure that her child does what she wants, and this is harmful for the children. The ENFJ mother who is toxic can become draining and emotionally damaging for her children, but it can be difficult for them to escape this. The natural ability to understand the emotions of others makes the toxic ENFJ mother a bit dangerous.

The Struggles of Being and ENFJ Mother

The ENFJ mother faces plenty of struggles, the greatest one is her desire for perfection. She cares so deeply for her children and wants to be the perfect mother for them. Of course perfection is unattainable, but this does not stop the ENFJ from trying. They will often wear themselves down as they work to provide for their families. The ENFJ mother often judges herself too harshly, constantly trying to live up to her giant expectations. They try to juggle so much and often never feel like they are truly doing enough for their children. The ENFJ mother simply wants to make their family happy and this puts so much pressure on them to succeed.

The ENFJ mother often neglects her own needs, which can be challenging after a while. They will do whatever they can to provide for their children, and this often means putting aside their own desires and needs. The ENFJ mother can become overwhelmed after a while, especially when they have buried their feelings for a long time. It is important for the ENFJ mom to remember that in order to tend to others she needs to take care of herself. The only way to be the best mother they can be, is by ensuring that the provider of their children remains taken care of as well. If the ENFJ does not remember to take time for herself, she won’t be able to give her full attention to her children. She might want to push herself and forget her own needs, but this isn’t the best solution for her family either. The ENFJ mother needs to remember you cannot drink from an empty well, and instead needs to nourish herself in order to truly care for others. She also needs to remember that she deserves to take time for herself, since the ENFJ mother provides so much for her children and her family.

Buckle up, it’s exam time!

Buckle up, it’s exam time!

“When preparing for a marathon, a person is not supposed to train for eighteen hours. Similarly, when preparing for exams, don’t measure the number of hours on the desk as a marker for good grades”

It is that time of the year where stress is at its peak, tantrums grow manifold and relationships between parents and children get sour. No matter the amount of preparation, it always seems less and we end up stressing our children out.

Here are some strategies that you can use which will keep everyone’s sanity intact and result in better preparation and confidence.

Start preparing early.

By all means avoid last minute cramming. And for that you need to start preparing in advance.

Make a study schedule and DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING FOR THE LAST MINUTE.

Check your exam schedule, make a note of your syllabus and mark the number of days left. Organize your study schedule well.

Organize your study space.

Make sure you have enough space to spread out all your books, notes and computer. Ensure that there is enough light and the chair is comfortable.

Get rid of all distractions and keep things that help you focus. Some people like listening to soft music while some like an aesthetic appeal with added fairy lights and candles. Whatever makes your space friendly and comfortable, just go for it!

Use flow charts and diagrams.

Visual aids are helpful while revising so write down everything you already know about the subjects. Closer to the exam, transform your revision notes into a diagram.

Getting your ideas down in this brief format will help you recall everything!

Practice on previous year’s exam papers.

This is one of the most effective way to prepare for exams. It helps you get used to the format of the questions and practicing also ensures you will finish your exam on time.

Explain your answers to others.

With the help of your family members, you can excel in your exams. It helps in knowing how well you have prepared and also to highlight any areas where you need more wotk.

Plan study sessions with friends.

As long as you make sure that the focus is on studying and helping each other in areas where help is needed, study sessions are a great way to uplift the mood and is an effective way to challenge yourself!

Take regular breaks.

Studies have shown that for long-term retention of knowledge, taking regular breaks really help.

Do not feel guilty about spending some time in the sun. Vitamin D is essential for a healthy brain.

Snack on healthy food.

Try not to eat unhealthy food while you are studying. You may feel like you deserve a treat but what you eat can really have an impact on your energy levels and focus so keep away from junk food!

Especially on the day of exam- eat a good breakfast for a slow release of energy throughout.

Avoid sugary food and drinks as they will crash your energy levels within an hour!

Plan you exam day.

Make sure you get everything you are going to need for the exam. Check your wifi connectivity for online exams and arrange everything on your desk a day in advance.

Take exercise breaks and drink lots of water.

Remember that being hydrated is essential for your brain to work at its best. Also make sure you move around after every hour. Stretch, do jumping jacks or take a short walk. But remember to keep moving!

And lastly, remember that coming first in class is not the goal, but giving your best shot is!

All the best.

3 day detox diet to wash all your sins away!

3 day detox diet to wash all your sins away!

It is that time of the year when suddenly all the festivities end and we are left with a bloated body and lot of guilt.

Also the fresh start psychology urges us to make resolutions and the number one resolution worldwide is eating healthy and losing more weight.

But sitting with all the excess calories we consumed for the last one month or more most of us are confused about where to start.

So here is a simple 3 day detox for you all!

I won’t say it’s easy but it does wonders to your body in just 3 days.

Apple & Oats smoothie

Breakfast

Ingredients

1 Apple

1 Tbsp Oats

1 cup milk

A pinch of cinnamon

Recipe

Just blend in all the ingredients and you are good to go!

Lunch

Ingredients

Coconut water

Spinach

Beet root

Pineapple

Lemon

Cayenne pepper

Recipe

Blend in all the ingredients together and enjoy the delicious smoothie.

Dinner

Detox soup

Ingredients

Olive oil

Red onion

Garlic

Ginger

Carrots

Broccoli florets

Cauliflower

Turmeric

Tomatoes

Pink Himalayan salt

Italian seasoning

Water

Black pepper

Lemon

Parsley

Recipe:

Sauté all the vegetables.

In a large pot, add oil and turn on the heat to medium-high. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until slightly softened. Stir in the turmeric and diced tomatoes.

Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Stir in the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice near the last 2-3 minutes of simmering.

Serve hot with chopped parsley!

The science behind this detox

Coconut water: It’s a natural energy drink that’s rich in electrolytes that keep you hydrated.

Spinach: Loaded with iron and other minerals, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, protein, antioxidants, fiber, and anti-inflammatory power, this leafy legend is an immunity boosting cleansing champion.

Beet root: Rich in iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and dietary nitrates, beets build mineral-rich blood to dial up detox.

Apples: Pectin is a soluble fiber in apples that help sweep the colon for digestive health. Apple pectin lowers the body’s demand for insulin, keeping apples’ glycemic index low. Many of the nutrients and fiber in apples are concentrated in the skin, so include the peels!

Pineapple: Bromelain, the protein-digesting enzyme in pineapple, bolsters the power of its vitamin C content to help clear respiratory congestion, suppress coughs, loosen mucus, flush out toxins, reduce swelling and bloating, and stimulate circulation for a deep-dive detox

Lemon: Low in sugar and full of nutrients, lemons are detox divas. Lemons are amped up with antioxidant vitamin C, antibiotic phytonutrients, and B vitamins. The citric acid in lemons aids digestion while ascorbic acid fights free radicals.

Cayenne pepper: As one of the most powerful detox foods, cayenne heats the body to sweat out toxins. Naturally antibiotic and anti-fungal, cayenne is also a powerful immune booster.

Broccoli: Broccoli is one of the richest sources of glucosinolates – some of the most powerful toxin tackling compounds found in foods. Armed with an arsenal of antioxidants, minerals, flavonoids, carotenoids, omega-3s, and fiber, these fierce florets combat inflammation, oxygenate the blood, and banish bad bacteria for better digestion.

New Year’s eve countdown bags for a fun family celebration

New Year’s eve countdown bags for a fun family celebration

We are all waiting to get rid of 2020, aren’t we?

And we must admit that this year’s celebration is going to be very different, given the circumstances.

With limited options what can we really do to make it an exciting evening and bring in the new year with new energy, is the answer we all are looking for.

Ring in the new year with a joyful celebration full of surprises!

Special occasions strengthen family bonding. The festive cheer and positivity helps proliferate the goodness of relationships.

So this new year, let’s take advantage of the situation and do something that is fun and increases bonding between family members.

Countdown bags is a great idea to keep kids and adults engaged and the fun is non stop!

So what you need to do?

First of all you need to decide how early you want to start the countdown. Every bag will have an activity or task that is going to last for around 40 minutes. So starting at 6:00 in the evening is good.

In that case, you need to prepare 6 countdown bags. If you think that’s a lot, you can decide on the number as per your family setting. If you start at 9:00 pm, you just have to make three bags.

How it works?

Set up a loud alarm for every hour. Children can take turns or take out chits and decide who is going to open the bag. The person who opens the bag also gets to explain the activity/ task to everyone. As soon as the bag is open, everyone gets to the task. You can also keep prizes and gifts for each hour!

What’s in the bag?

You need big paper bags to fill up all the material required for each hour. Label each bag with the corresponding time. The last one being 11:55.

Scavenger hunt

You can kick of the countdown with a scavenger hunt. Planning in indoors is a good idea as it’s going to be cold outside. Place things in advance and write up all the instructions and keep it in the bag. If you have young kids who can’t do it on their own, you and your partner can make teams and play along with the little ones. It will be so much fun!

Decoration supplies

You want the kids to be busy on their own for a while. Just pack in lot of streamers, balloons and other supplies and let them decorate the living area on their own!

Sounds like fun!

Festive dinner

Give them their favorite surprise! Put handmade menu from their favorite restaurant if you want to order in, or just keep your phone in this bag, and let them use order in app on their own.

If you are planning to prepare food at home, you can make a handmade menu of the options available for dinner at home.

Make it exciting for them, this is the last meal of this year.

New year resolution/ Goals

Place new year planners/ diaries in this bag for each family member. Let everyone sit together and discuss their new year resolutions and goals and urge them to use the planner for keeping a record.

Minute to win games

In this bag, you can pack in ‘minute to win games’ which go best in family settings.

Confetti & noise makers

It’s the last bag and we’ll be opening it 5 minutes before midnight. So create a blast with confetti, noisemakers laughter and fun!

Some more options:

  1. Cameras to capture the special moments
  2. Karaoke session
  3. Year end interviews
  4. Decorate a party hat
  5. Decorate cupcakes
  6. Board games

Hope you all enjoy the countdown and ring in the new year with a blast.

Happy new year!

A special box for your daughters first period

A special box for your daughters first period

There are emotions that a mother can’t even name when her little girl turns into a woman.

You feel scared, anxious, overwhelmed, worried, elated and joyful all at once. There is a riot of emotions!

Thankfully the Gen-Z is well informed and well aware of what is going to happen to them and they have a lot of avenues to get their questions answered.

But still a mother is always their ‘go-to’ person in times of crisis. So you should better prepare yourself and your daughter for her first period in advance.

A special period box

How about gifting her a special, well thought out box that includes everything she is going to need and more, on the day she gets her period. Not only will this make it a celebratory event, but also you won’t have to do any last minute preparations.

What you need

Here is a list of things you can put in the box

* Sanitary pads ( of course )

* Panty liners

* Dark comfortable panties

* Heating pad/ patches

* Spasm relieving medicine

* Her favourite chocolates

* A small pouch for carrying pads when going out

* Additional gifts like lip balm, bath bombs, face mask and a body lotion to make her feel good.

* A good book or a kindle subscription

* Any other gift that you want to fit in the box to make it more personalised. I added some gums, keychains, dream catcher etc.

* Last, but not the least, a nice box to fit it all in.

You can get the box personalised if you wish

Curating this box should be very thoughtful and you must know that the whole purpose of this box is to make her feel extra special. And it’s a very important event of her life, so put in the best effort!

Prepare this in advance and keep it at a place where she can find it even if in any unfortunate circumstances that if you are not around, she has your touch in the form of this box.

If you want the shopping list link, click here

Wish you all the very best for your special day.

Winter Saga : How to keep kids safe during unpredictable weather in unprecedented times.

Winter Saga : How to keep kids safe during unpredictable weather in unprecedented times.

Winter is here!

And with it comes the unending saga of mothers trying to keep their children covered and protected and children trying to throw their layers off.

And to top it up we are sitting in a pandemic situation and as if that was not enough, there is winter rain too!

Too much trouble for poor moms everywhere.

So i have a winter ‘to-do list’ along with some expert advice and a ‘not-to-do list’ along with some home remedies to combat this one of a kind ‘winter situation.’

Bundle up your bundle of joy

Proper winter wear is an essential and it is pretty obvious you all know that. But you should know that layering is very tricky.

You layer them too much and they might over heat, too less and they will be cold.

Keep babies and little children protected from exposure to outside cold.

Stick up on winter accessories like socks, hats, gloves and mittens more than what is required.

Avoid an infection

It’s a common myth that cold weather causes colds, but it does not. Colds are caused mainly by viruses that we are more commonly exposed to in the winter.

Prevent colds and flus by

Ensure skin protection

Cold weather and low humidity can zap skin of moisture.

To ensure that the chubby cheek and soft skin remains the same, you must

Use gentle cleansers instead of bubble baths and soaps with fragrance. If your child’s skin is prone to get dry or itchy, try adding a little coconut oil or olive oil in their bathing water.

Moisturize immediately as soon as your child steps out.

Dryness causes licking, but the chemicals and bacteria in saliva are irritating to skin and lips. Dab petroleum jelly or a fragrance-free product all around your kid’s mouth.

Try a humidifier. “Using a humidifier, especially in your child’s room, can minimize the drying effects of the season,” says Anthony J. Mancini, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics and dermatology at Northwestern University, in Chicago. For safety reasons, don’t place the humidifier near or directly over your child.

Last but most important – Don’t forget to hydrate

If they don’t like water, try hot chocolate, soups and juices but make sure they are hydrated enough because especially in winters, children tend to avoid drinking much water.

Hope you enjoy this weather and stay safe!

5 Ted talks to share with your children

5 Ted talks to share with your children

We all need motivation from time to time, children even more so. But the thing with children especially teenagers is that they don’t want to be preached.

If you are a parent who wants to inspire and ignite the growth mindset of your child then you must share these Ted talks with your child.

Don’t force them to watch it. Just simply share the link or put it up on TV when everyone is sitting together.

Ted talks is an excellent free learning resource and encouraging your children to watch other people’s struggles and achievements is a great way to inspire them to reach their goals or overcome their obstacles.

Grit: the power of passion and perseverance – Angela Lee Duckworth

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

https://youtu.be/H14bBuluwB8

Tap on the youtube link to watch this beautifully inspiring video by @angelaleeduckworth

What adults can learn from kids by Adora Svitak

A voracious reader from age three, Adora Svitak’s first serious foray into writing — at age five — was limited only by her handwriting and spelling. (Her astonishing verbal abilities already matched that of young adults over twice her age.) As her official bio says, her breakthrough would soon come “in the form of a used Dell laptop her mother bought her.” At age seven, she typed out over 250,000 words — poetry, short stories, observations about the world — in a single year.

Svitak has since fashioned her beyond-her-years wordsmithing into an inspiring campaign for literacy — speaking across the country to both adults and kids. She is author of Flying Fingers, a book on learning.

https://youtu.be/V-bjOJzB7LY

Click on the Youtube link to watch the video.

Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor by Taylor Wilson

Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents’ garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.

https://youtu.be/9B0PaSznWJE

Click on the Youtube link to watch the video.

An 11-year-old’s magical violin by Sirena Huang

Violinist Sirena Huang gives a technically brilliant and emotionally nuanced performance. In a charming interlude, the 11-year-old praises the timeless design of her instrument.

Only 11 years old when she performed at TED, Sirena Huang is still technically a child. But as anyone who sees her perform can attest, she has a musician’s soul that transcends her years. “Her musical imagination is boundless,” said Juilliard dean Stephen Clapp, who described her as “a musical artist with qualities of maturity far beyond her age.” 

What’s most striking in her performance style is the way she combines technical ability with emotional force and nuance. Her fiercely virtuoso performances are profoundly moving, even via podcast. “Amazed,” “delighted” and “spellbound” are the words bloggers often use after watching her play. She has won numerous awards for her brilliant performances worldwide, and has played for the likes of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and the Dalai Lama.

https://youtu.be/-yOXsK5-SFY

Click on the link to watch the video

Science is for everyone, kids included by Beau Lotto and Amy O’Toole

What do science and play have in common? Neuroscientist Beau Lotto thinks all people (kids included) should participate in science and, through the process of discovery, change perceptions. He’s seconded by 12-year-old Amy O’Toole, who, along with 25 of her classmates, published the first peer-reviewed article by schoolchildren, about the Blackawton bees project. It starts: “Once upon a time … “

Beau Lotto seeks to pull aside the curtain of why we see what we do in order to create the possibility and agency in deciding what to perceive next.

Amy O’Toole is a 12-year-old student with a peer-reviewed scientific publication under her belt. She took part in a participative science program led by Beau Lotto , called “i, scientist,” which inspired a science experiment by a group of 26 primary school students in Blackawton, Devon, UK. O’Toole was never interested in science before this project, but now intends to study the human mind and body.

https://youtu.be/0g2WE1qXiKM

Click on the link to watch the video.

Learning is limitless and ways of learning are endless.

Hope your children learn from these child prodigies and get inspired in some way!

Source : ted.com

Conversation starter pack for parents of teens.

Conversation starter pack for parents of teens.

If you are a parent to a teenager, you know what this means. Lack of communication is the top complaint that parents of teenagers have and it is also the top reason for unpleasantness between parents and children.

Most teenagers find their parents not ‘cool enough’ or too nagging which drifts them apart.

As a parent of two teenagers, I figured that trying to be cool for them or nagging them to spend more time makes things progressively worse. The more we tell them to stay out of the room or to stop listening to music and talk to us, the more out of topics we are!

So, I devised a plan.

And it did work!

And i am willing to share it with all the suffering parents who miss spending time with their kids.

But there are some rules to follow for this plan to work.

RULE NUMBER 1

Act very casual. Don’t let them know your plan. Even when they don’t fall in your trap, let them go. But try again, at some other time.

RULE NUMBER 2

Attempt at times when they are not engaged in something important. (Like listening to music, chatting with friends or ‘just chilling’)

Try it just after you finish doing lessons with them or just after meal times.

RULE NUMBER 3

Never force them to answer. Respect their ‘lack of interest’. Basically don’t be clingy.


So here is the starter pack, it is a compilation of questions.

Intriguing questions, designed to catch their interest and start a conversation.

The trick is to be an interesting parent. No amount of coolness or knowledge is ever as good as being interesting. You need to keep trying and gauge what tickles their interest. What makes them stick with you. And then you have to work around on that topic and engage in wholesome and enriching conversations.

One more important thing to mention is that, just like no parent likes a fussy toddler, no fussy toddler (when turns into a teenager) wants a whiny parent.

So my advise to all the whiny parents is to try and be happy parents. Yelling usually doesn’t get things done.

Logic, respect and sternness is what gets things done.

Be a happy parent, make them believe that you are not angry and Whoosh- See the magic happen!


Any suggestions and additions are most welcome!

Wish you luck!