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!
At some point in time, we all face the dreadful question about ‘where do babies come from’.
Some of us make weird stories about how God puts the baby in mummy’s tummy and then pray to God that our child believes our story.
More often than not, they actually believe those stories- for some time! Until they reach an age where they are taught in their biology class about reproduction and that is the point when they realise that they were lied to in their childhood!
As a parent we should avoid giving such indirect life lessons to our kids. Sensitive topics such as this one, should be handled very maturely and lame stories should strictly be avoided.
I have listed 5 books here to your rescue. In these books there is a great deal of logical explanation along with illustrations to make kids understand the process- minus the shame.
What makes a baby
Geared to readers from preschool to age eight, What Makes a Baby is a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid. It is a twenty-first century children’s picture book about conception, gestation, and birth, which reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families, regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender and other identity, or family composition. Just as important, the story doesn’t gender people or body parts, so most parents and families will find that it leaves room for them to educate their child without having to erase their own experience.
Written by sexuality educator Cory Silverberg, and illustrated by award-winning Canadian artist Fiona Smyth, What Makes a Baby is as fun to look at as it is useful to read.
It’s Not the Stork! helps answer the endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school children ask about how they began. Through lively, comfortable language and sensitive, engaging artwork, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley address readers in a reassuring way, mindful of a child’s healthy desire for straightforward information. Two irresistible cartoon characters, a curious bird and a squeamish bee, provide comic relief and give voice to the full range of emotions and reactions children may experience while learning about their amazing bodies. Vetted and approved by science, health, and child development experts, the information is up-to-date, age-appropriate, and scientifically accurate, and always aimed at helping kids feel proud, knowledgeable, and comfortable about their own bodies, about how they were born, and about the family they are part of.
Children have plenty of questions about reproduction and babies—and about sex and sexuality, too. It’s So Amazing! provides the answers—with fun, accurate, comic-book-style artwork and a clear, lively text that reflects the interests of children age seven and up in how things work, while giving them a healthy understanding of their bodies. Created by the author and illustrator of It’s Perfectly Normal, this forthright and funny book has been newly updated for its fifteenth anniversary.
It isn’t unusual for new parents to be posed this delicate question by the time their child is just three or four. Some children develop this natural curiosity sooner, some later, but when questions about sexuality and reproduction inevitably arise, the wise parent will keep this delightful book on hand!
Playful in style without sacrificing educational value, Andry and Schepp’s, How Babies are Made, is an invaluable resource for parents eager to help their inquisitive children learn about sex and the reproductive process with clarity, honesty, and accuracy.
This slim volume will take you and your child through a variety of reproductive processes in the plant and animal kingdom before finally delving into human sexuality. Featuring inventive and engaging full-color, paper cutout illustrations by Blake Hampton, How Babies are Made is guaranteed to help your child establish the foundation on which they will build healthy sexual attitudes and practices as adults.
An engaging introduction for very young children to the basic facts of life in a way that is gentle, age-appropriate and accessible. Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts created the Just Enough series to help parents and caregivers approach difficult subjects with little ones. These primers offer a gentle and accessible starting point for conversations about important topics.
The only type of parenting that is best for your child is – Informed parenting. An informed parent mostly makes the right choices. One such choice to make which is often very difficult and confusing for parents is, selecting the right board.
A lot of you may oppose as saying it is the school that matters and once you find admission in the right school, our child’s future is set. I would say it is true to a great extent. But in these times when the world is shrinking and there are endless options, why not try to get some extra information and use it.
Read this article to find out how do boards make a difference in your child’s education, the different kinds of boards in India, what do they offer and how are they different from each other?
Central Board of Secondary education.
Most of us are well aware about this board. It is a Board which follows universal pattern and is the first choice for parents with transferable jobs.
CBSE affiliates all Kendriya Vidyalayas, all Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, private schools, and most of the schools approved by central government of India which in India total about 15000 plus schools.
Please note following benefits of CBSE
The board annually conducts final examinations for 10th and 12th grade called (AISSCE – All India Senior School Certificate Exam)
The board also conducts the AIEEE entrance exam for admission to engineering and architecture in numerous colleges across India.
They also conduct the AIPMT ( All India Pre Medical Test) for admissions to various medical colleges across India.
Therefore CBSE is best suited for parents who wish their children to gain excellent academic knowledge as well as prepare for various entrance examinations for the prestigious institutions in India.
CISCE – ( Commonly known as I.C.S.E.)
CISCE stands for Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations.
The board conducts 10th board called Icse and 12th board called ISC. The CISCE is a private non government board of school education in India. It was founded during the British regime by the University of Cambridge. ICSE board focuses on overall development of the students and also is famous for vast study of subjects. The syllabus of ICSE & CBSE are very different in terms of content and volume. This board is mainly prevalent in India, UAE, Singapore and Indonesia. The ICSE board has better choices of subjects to choose from.
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is an academically rigorous, internationally used, specialized, English language curriculum which is offered to students to prepare them for International Baccalaureate and CIE A-level. It is an international Board recognized by most of the Universities of the world.
It is suitable for students who apply to Foreign Universities wherein CBSE and ICSE board is not recognized. It has a more advanced curriculum and variety of subjects to choose from. Course study lays more emphasis on English and Technical Subjects. It is the most application based study pattern.
It is the Best option if parents are NRI, or are planning to move abroad. It is also the best option for students who are certain to go abroad for their higher education.
IB is an international education foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. IB board provides an opportunity to engage in an in depth study of a topic of interest within a chosen subject. It is also an International Board recognized by most of the Universities of the world. IB is recognized by UNESCO, and Council of Europe The curriculum is based on application and experimentation.
Students in IB have slight advantage for international entrance exams like GRE, GMAT, SAT, etc. It is thus again the best option for parents who are NRI or whose children are certain to go abroad for college.
Hope this article was insightful and wish you make the right decision based on these facts.
As a parent we have a lot of responsibilities to take and a lot of decisions to make. Our role in making decisions for our children define and decide their future in uncountable ways.
One such crucial decision to make is choosing the right school for your child. Whilst there are a dozen general guidelines for selecting the right school, it is a very personal decision as every family has different requirements and limitations.
What to consider
As parents, you need to think minutely about what will work best for your child. You must take into account your child’s personality, strengths, weaknesses and interests.
Here are some things you should take into account:
• Do you want your child to attend the same school that you went to or do you want a different experience?
• Do you want your child to have a religious education?
• Do you want your child to go to a boarding school?
• Are you interested in a particular teaching philosophy?
• Does the school offer extra curricular activities for your child?
• Has the school improved its academic results over the past few years? What about its performance in other areas like the arts, sport or community engagement?
• Which board is the school affiliated to? Whether it is CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE, IB or State board? And which board should you opt for?
• Practical considerations like location of the school, it’s distance from your house and travelling cost.
• The fee structure of the school and your affordability of the fee and other costs.
• What are the school’s admission procedures and entrance requirements?
• What languages and elective subjects does the school offer? How many subjects are available in the senior years?
• What extracurricular activities – sport, art, music, drama and so on – are available to suit your child’s interests? What are the time and costs associated with these?
Important factors based on personal beliefs
• Class size
Small class size has a positive effect on a child’s learning. Whereas a large class size implicates more pressure on the child and parent. So you must check on the teacher student ratio maintained by the school before admitting your child.
• Co-Educational or not
It’s up to you to choose whether single-sex education or co-education is best for your child, because there’s no conclusive evidence to say that one is better than the other.
Generally, whether a school is co-educational or single sex isn’t as important as the school’s quality of leadership, teaching quality and approach to teaching. Most families will have a personal view about this issue, which is linked to the personality of their child, the parents’ own schooling experience and their family values.
• Teacher Quality
Teachers make enormous difference in a child’s life, a fact known by all. Check the school’s policy on the teacher quality, the education and specialisation of the teachers and how much does the school invest on teacher training.
• School culture or philosophy
Schools have individual and distinct cultures and philosophies. For example, some have a strong sports ethic, some follow a religious affiliation, and others promote individuality, artistic pursuits, creative thinking or problem-solving.
It all depends on what’s important to you and your child. Are you looking for a school with a balanced sporting and academic approach, or one with strengths in artistic and musical areas, or in science and maths? An environment with a strong academic focus might be important to you, or perhaps one that teaches your child more about your religious views.
Most schools talk about their philosophies and approach in a document like a prospectus, handbook or charter. You might also find this information on the school website.
A good school is not limited to academics but lays emphasis on the holistic overall growth of a child.
Keep in mind the above mentioned questions and pointers before selecting the right school for your child.
Handwriting is an important literacy skill for life.
Handwriting begins as early as toddlerhood with an introduction through chalk and crayon to formal writing skills at school.
Writing skills are co related to reading skills.
Importance of handwriting
In today’s world where everything is digital, keyboards and tablets have overtaken largely the writing part of adults and to some extent in schools as well.
But Handwriting still remains an important skill that every child must learn.
Children who able to write clearly and smoothly are high on confidence and they are able to express clearly as their flow of thoughts is better.
Children need to improve their writing skills as they have to complete their assignments and homework in a handwritten format.
A legible and smooth handwriting helps build confidence.
How to teach handwriting to children
How to deal with left handed children
Many children choose to write with their left hand, which is okay and experts claim that it is okay.
There are many reasons right from genetic disposition to sex, fetal environment, modelling parents to brain damage and adjustment from a hand injury.
Whatever the reason, it is absolutely okay to be left handed.
Toddlers handwriting 101
Toddlers love to scribble and are mostly excited to use writing instruments. All you need to do is give them the right guidance and equipment to improve their hand control and fine motor skills.
Provide them with crayons, chalk and blackboard so they can start their stroked early.
Teach them how to draw their favourite things like a fruit, sun, moon etc. This way they will learn to control their hand movement.
Do lot of fine motor skills activities with them to improve their grip.
Preschoolers handwriting 101
This is the time when they begin with writing straight lines, slanting lines, sleeping lines followed by curves. By starting the process stepwise, you can ensure that your child with easily form letters when he or she has to.
Formal handwriting 101
During the first two years at school, your child will learn to:
Recognise and spell frequently used words.
Put spaces between words.
Write letters and words in a similar size and line.
You can find many apps that can help you with teaching handwriting in a fun way.
You thought travelling with toddlers is difficult, ever travelled with a teeny whiny child ?
Those confused little grown ups who are angry all the time, get bored too easily and think that nothing about you is cool enough to please them.
Parenting a teenager includes getting offended and lowkey insulted every day. They are at their best form of rebel and they dislike things very easily.
So travelling with one grumpy, angry and disinterested teenager definitely requires a guide of it’s own and purely from personal experience, here it is!
Step 1: Involve in planning
By making them in charge of planning there is a good chance that you will have their interest throughout the trip.
Teenagers love to feel important and a sense of responsibility makes them feel grown up and validated.
So start off with involving them in planning the trip.
Whether it’s a road trip, train journey or air travel, family trips require a lot of planning and organising.
By following step 1, you have taught your child the following major life skills:
Checking availability of tickets
Reading a map ( In case of a road trip )
How to look for deals on accommodation
Step 2: Packing
Packing is a tedious process and requires detailed planning. Forgetting to keep one small thing can affect the entire trip.
Let your teenager pack her stuff on her own.
Here is how you can guide her:
Start by taking a pen and paper.
Write down the dates, starting from the date of travel.
In front of each date, write down what exactly are you going to wear.
Once the clothes mapping is ready, write down all the essential items like toiletries, medicines, sanitary pads, shoes and accessories.
Provide them with plastic bags and ask them to iron and fold up the clothes neatly and put them up in plastic bags and mark it day wise.
By doing it this way, you can save up on the time while travelling, all your kid needs to do is take out the packet for the day and bam, they are ready to go!
Step 3: Entertainment
Entertaining your kid and keeping them engaged during travel is not so difficult when it comes to teenagers. They love being busy with themselves, chatting away with friends, reading, listening to music or social media shenanigans, they know their thing.
But guiding them to pack their stuff in the backpack, keeping all the chargers and power bank handy, keeping all devices safely and checking if they need any subscriptions is what you can help them with.
MHC recommends planning some interactive games that you can engage them in, that will keep them away from gadgets and help you bond better.
But remember, never to force. You are on a family holiday. Every one should get to enjoy it in whichever way they want.
Step 4: Meal planning.
Long journeys have a psychological hunger effect on people. We tend to eat more and more often. In these times, it is best if you pack your own food for the way, be it any mode of travel.
Include your teenager by discussing the meal plan with them. Take note of their preferences and choices.
A vacation is a time for everyone to enjoy and be happy, so consider the option of including junk food of their choice, let your kids have a say and value their input.
So hope these tips help you enjoy your family vacation and most of all, the main purpose of this post, that is to keep the teenager happy is solved to some extent!
Human behavior is very complicated but at the same time it is a whole body of science in itself. Having said that, human behavior has a systematic pattern and structure that can be understood through observation and experiment.
It can also be altered and improved through right knowledge and application.
Childhood in the same context is a very impressionable age. That is why, it is also very easy to change unwanted habits and behaviors into more positive and desirable forms in childhood.
According to Piaget and his theory of child development, there are four stages of child development.
But we have roughly divided the behavior patterns according to five stages of development.
Now that the problem has been discussed, it is time to talk about the solution.
Whatever the age, a parent’s response to the behavior is where the solution lies.
As parents you need to understand foremost that the behavior is not the problem. And consistency in your reaction to a behavior is important because behaving differently to the same behavior confuses the child!
Here are the three choices you have as a parent,
If the behavior is appropriate to the child’s age, then it is not a problem.
Attempt to stop the behavior by attending to it. If it doesn’t improve, then ignore it. And if it gets worse, stop it by using a mild form of punishment.
Introduce a new behavior alternative and reinforce it by rewarding your child every time the desired behavior is shown.
The saying “ignorance is bliss” must have been a parent’s discovery.
One of the biggest challenge parents face is the defiant behavior. It starts at an early age and can be a horror story for many years to come.
For parents at their wit’s end, behavioral therapy techniques can provide a roadmap to calmer and more consistent ways to manage problem behaviors and also offers a chance to children to regulate their own behavior.
By being an informed parent, you can bring in so much peace at home!
The word ‘Navratri’ is made up of two words. ‘Nav’ meaning nine and ‘ratri’ meaning night. Hence it literally means nine nights.
Nine forms of ‘shakti’ are worshiped in these nine days.
According to a Hindu tradition, it is believed that there are three major forms in which Goddess Durga manifested herself, namely, Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshami and Mahakaali who are the active energies (Shakti) of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra respectively. Without these Goddesses, the Gods would loose their power!
These three forms manifested further in three more forms each and thus emerged the nine forms of Durga, which are collectively called Navdurga or nine durgas.
What learning does it have for children
Apart from the Ramleela plays that our children get to enjoy in schools and in neighborhood, and the ‘Kanya bhoj’ that they look forward to, there is a lot of learning for our kids through this important festival.
As the old saying goes “Lead by example”, this Navratri lead by example and teach your children the various virtues of life!
This year in particular, with government guidelines and curtailed celebrations, there won’t be many Pandals, Garba, Kanya bhoj or Ramleela, teach them to look inwards. For years our festivals have been about community, relatives, friends, big celebrations and fervor.
This year is a chance for you to teach your child to look inwards. Because that too is big part of learning through these festivals, often forgotten in the grandeur and glimmer of life.
So here are the daily affirmations for nine days. Practice them with your children and teach them the way to look inwards and find peace and happiness within their own selves!
These affirmations have been based on the colors associated with each day. Each color has a meaning, hence it will give more meaning and purpose to our affirmations!
So hope these affirmations will help and empower you and your child.
MHC also recommends creating a Zen corner which can be your temple or somewhere in the garden.
Just make sure while starting your day with affirmations to sit in a quiet, calm place and focus all your energy on your meditation.
Make it serious activity, so that your child takes it seriously too!
If only parents could get a visual of their child’s brain making connections every second, they would know the importance of early years’ brain development.
Your innocent little child’s subconscious brain is a nasty little fellow. The neurons are crazy little athletes and even though it may appear that this little dependent creature wouldn’t know if you yelled or were distracted while playing with him, or were on your phone while laying out every fancy toy you could buy, you are sadly mistaken. They know and understand everything.
Apologies for digressing, this post is actually about me telling you the 3 best games that you can play with your child that actually help in the brain development (yours included)
But I also want to emphasize on why you should play these games, hence I digressed.
But I’ll share a fun fact before we begin.
Scientists claim that the major ingredient in the developmental process of a child’s brain is the “serve and return” relationship between children and their parents/significant caregivers.
The absence of healthy affection and positive attention can lead to disparities in learning and behavior.
Now that you know how important it is to spend quality time with your little one, lets talk about the five best brain activating games to play with your child.
WAR CARDS GAME
Players : 2
Goal: To be the first player to win all 52 cards.
The deck is divided evenly with each player receiving 26 cards dealt one at a time, face down. Anyone may deal first. Each player places their stack of cards face down, in front of them.
HOW TO PLAY
Each player turns up a card at the same time and the player with the higher card takes both cards and puts them, face down on the bottom of his stack.
If the cards are the same rank, it is war. Each player turns up one card face down and card face up. The player with the higher cards takes both piles (six cards). If the turned up cards are the same rank again, each player places another card face down and one face up. The player with the higher card takes all 10 cards, and so on.
This game of war is a good mental stimuli and helps promote brain health.
Goal: To move all four of the pieces completely around the board, counterclockwise, before your opponent does.
Strategy, Tactics, Counting, Probability.
HOW TO PLAY
The playing order is decided by each player throwing the cowries. The player with the highest score starts. It is played counterclockwise around the board.
This game is proven to improve memory, counting skills and hone one’s strategy
Players: Multiple. Can also be played in teams.
Goal: Learn names of new places.
Memory building, General awareness, Thinking skills.
HOW TO PLAY
It is ideal for the whole family to play this game together. Works best on long drives or road trips.
The game begins by spelling out the word ‘A-T-L-A-S’, one letter per player. Whoever gets to say ‘s’ of Atlas begins the game.
The beginner picks a letter of the Alphabet say ‘A’ and names a place that begins with ‘A’. The next person also names another place beginning with ‘A’. Like this the rest of the group does the same, until the group feels it has exhausted all the places beginning with ‘A’.
Then the group starts the next round with another letter say ‘D’. In this manner the game goes on with the other letters of the Alphabet.
The parent keeps track of the number of places that each group has been able to recall from each alphabet. The group which is able to recall the most number of places is the winner.
Some more important benefits of playing with your child, (even if it is for half an hour every day or 15 minutes every alternate day) are increased bonding, Improved attention span, learning how to lose, building patience levels and reduces stress.
So don’t wait, fix up a routine and find out which game your child loves playing the most!