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Happy Parenting

Kids’ Hobbies – Let your little ones explore!

“A child’s mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled” – Dorothea Brande (American writer and editor).

A hobby is an activity that is fun, creative, and thoughtful. Ever thought from where the word came?

 Actually, in the early 13th century the word referred to a small horse/pony. Gradually the word was used to describe a toy horse called a hobbyhorse. It is from this word hobbyhorse the modern concept of hobby meaning “favorite pastime” evolved. It is something you do just for fun or love (and not for money) and pursue it regularly.

Usually, children develop it on their own as they start noticing everything around them. From coding to crafting, anything can be a hobby. 

Hobbies can be extremely simple and typical like reading books, building/ making things or some very unique like flying drones, digital illustration, sand art, cosplay (creating a fun costume and then roleplaying a favorite fictional character), stone sculpting, ghost hunting, wild camping just to name a few.

In fact, the activity itself has less importance than the life-changing benefits children achieve from them. 

Why should you encourage your child to have a hobby?

A hobby can indirectly teach your child a lot of life skills that will stay with them forever- a great way to empower your child’s interest and creativity!  Observe what your child loves to do. Even if it is collecting random papers or fixing small gadgets-everything is an act of unforced interest. 

Here are some actionable steps you can take to let your child’s talent bloom! 

Make the child try everything under the sky! 

Cooking, stitching, singing, dancing or anything – let your children learn to give everything a shot. Enroll them into music classes or do a mandatory karaoke night, let them have the joy of learning music.  

Let the child choose a hobby, don’t force it. 

Your child is not interested in learning cricket?  Try some other sport. 

Happy with Art and craft?  let it be that way! 

Your child will have the liberty and fun both to explore and understand the innate abilities from an early age. Creativity can come in many forms and have a magnanimous effect on the child’s development. Art for example, is a form of hobby that can change into a profession in many ways. From architecture to creative painter, learning art as a hobby can be the first step to a successful career. Though it need not be always that way and neither should we try to enforce. 

Reward them for their efforts! 

A smart way to make your child learn or build interest in something is by rewarding them for their efforts. Register yourself and your child on a kids allowance app like Birdfin and give them rewards for pursuing and completing a hobby. The tasks could be anything from learning a new song, helping with chores to creating a paper mask. 

This way you will be able to control their spending habits and encourage them to earn as well. For example, if they want art supplies then they can help you in the household chores. You reward them with the money to buy.  

They will understand the value of money, how not to waste it, and also feel proud of the things brought from their own earned money.   

Some upfront takeaways a hobby can bring to your child 

Having a hobby can help your child in many ways but some of them are:

  • Build the confidence to do something on their own. 
  • Enhance skills related to organization and management. 
  • Problem Solving skills. 
  • Setting goals and achieving becomes a natural part of the personality. 
  • Hobbies like art, and collecting rare things help the child to give attention to details. 
  • Certain hobbies can also help in shaping future career choices spontaneously.

Help your child explore and develop a hobby or two. Encourage them, reward them to self-sponsor their hobby-programs!

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Bonding with Kids: Quality or Quantity, What will you Prefer?

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.”

Barbara Johnson (American Literary Critic)

Parents are often made to feel guilty that they do not get involved enough with their kids. But what makes the difference when it comes to time – quality or quantity?

Studies show that it is not quantity but the quality of time that makes children thrive. For example, a survey on BMJ Open showed the impact of fathers’ involvement in early child-rearing and behavioral outcomes in their pre-adolescent children. 

The research reflected the quantity of time fathers spend with children is less significant than how the new fathers valued parenthood and adjusted themselves seriously through their direct involvement in childcare. It had positive behavioral consequences in their children.

The research also indicated that it is actually the emotional connection the parents have with their children that counts. 

How much Time to Spend with your Child? 

Well, when we stop stressing & move out of the anxiety zone, only then can we objectively look at how things are really going in our homes & can start doing what makes sense. 

When you accept that you are already spending some great time with your kids, you look forward to more quality time opportunities – both scheduled and spontaneous. Your children too remain excited to be with you.

But, will your children want to hang out with you when they see you stressed rather than thrilled? We need to remember that high-pressure parenting can undermine our relationship with our kids. 

So when we are less stressed, more excited and conscious about when and how to spend time with the kids, we create a meaningful connection with our kids.

For toddlers, reading, playing, can be high-quality activities. With older children, parents often recognize the quality time when it happens – for example, a simple chat in the car. You can slowly drive them around your locality so that you can discuss with your child almost anything under the sun.

Spending quality time shapes a child’s personality. If this isn’t the case, then he/she is likely to acquire attention-craving behavior, especially when in public.

No one says less time is better. But what matters the most is making the time you have count. We need to give ourselves a break from all the worry and focus on rather enjoying the little time that we get to spend with our little ones.

Spending that less yet quality time with your toddlers is totally worth it—because you can’t miss that twinkle in his/her eyes, can you?

Birdfin Nurtures some Deep Bonding between Parents & Kids

Birdfin aims to bring the whole family together through a series of fun-filled activities. As a chore app for kids, we enable teaching your children the value & true worth of money.

With the help of fun-filled tasks/activities, Birdfin renders an opportunity to both parents and kids to bond and simultaneously learn.

So what is your call on this? Why not let us know how you would like to spend quality time with your child?

 Waiting for your words!

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Everyday Opportunities for Parenting during Covid Times

“Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do!”-Matt Walsh.

I am sure most of you who are parents would agree with Matt. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that we can’t live with them and can’t live without them! What a Catch 22 situation! Well, the pandemic made it a little tougher for all of us! However, as they say, “You should never let a good crisis go waste!”, how can we miss this opportunity then? Maybe a lifetime opportunity! Let’s talk about parenting during covid times.

Parenting during covid times

Covid Times has given us everyday opportunities for extraordinary parenting. All we need to do is look for those! So let’s get started with some that I have discovered. But before we dive into it let’s look at what are some crucial factors for a child’s development. Though we can look at a long list of things but everything may eventually boil down to the 2 most significant ones, that is Experiential Learning (Hands-on) and Parental Support. The extent of these two may taper with the child’s age or needs.

Undivided attention

First things first, we should give undivided attention to our children for moments throughout the day. WFH (Work From Home) has given us this golden opportunity to spend more time with our children. Therefore, giving undivided attention to your child (no multitasking) and being mentally present with your child and not just physically is of great significance. This is not about spending hours but just 2 to 5 minutes at intervals through the day. Like reading a book, playing a game, doing a puzzle together, cooking together, cleaning together, making the grocery list together…there are endless possibilities which may be so much fun to try.

Encourage kids to help around the house –

This is also perhaps a great time to encourage kids to do cleaning, cooking, dusting and so many household chores wherein they learn basic survival skills. Research has shown that children who do household chores emerge as more responsible and organized adults. These tasks will add so much to the confidence and independence of your child. In fact, there is an app called Birdfin: https://bit.ly/Birdfin that encourages such tasks in a fun and rewarding way. You can try the app and see it for yourself!

It is also a great time to show the new generation how nature took a breather because of the lockdown through pictures from the world. How the rivers looked clearer, dolphins spotted in Mumbai, and other such marvellous examples. This clearly proves how as earthlings we should be contributing to our planet.

Create family time rituals

Why not create some “Family Time Rituals” which did not exist pre-covid but can surely continue post-covid. These could be as simple as having one meal together as a family with no gadgets. You can also create your own fun and unique rituals.

Sensitize your children to others’ needs. This is an excellent time to demonstrate to your kids that you don’t just care about yourself and the family but the community at large. Helping your neighborhood with food, clothes or Covid Positive people with their supply of basic necessities will send out strong signals to your child of Community Service.

Connect with relatives and friends

It is also an amazing time for the children to connect with their distant cousins or grandparents via videoconferencing which would have only happened at weddings or special occasions in the past.

Last but not the least, it is a great time to indulge in Dance, Yoga, Zumba, Cycling, or any other form of physical fitness with your child. This is not just a great way to bond but will also encourage your child to form healthy habits and of course a great way for you as an adult to unwind too!

So, what are you waiting for? Make the most of this before it ends! Who knows you and your child may have formed some life-changing habits!

About the author-  

This article is written by Stuti Mehrotra. She is a passionate educationist who has a rich experience of working with kids. She has been a teacher, trainer, and educator before being an entrepreneur and running her own preschool called Linden Montessori in Bengaluru.

Stuti highly believes in the Montessori Philosophy of believing greatly in children and allowing them to make their own choices and take certain risks within limits to help them in achieving their real potential as being over-protective with children makes them lose out on a number of learning opportunities. She is the founder and director of Linden Montessori.

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Cooking with Kids: A Potful of Thrills & Skills [Recipe Included]

“Cooking with kids is not about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s also about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.”

– Guy Fieri (American Restaurateur, Author & Emmy Award Winner)

The kitchen can be an exciting place for your young kids. They see you working actively in there – watching the steam rise from pots, and smelling what’s on the dinner menu. Well, don’t you think so considering inviting them to help you in the kitchen can be really fun?

Kids can help you out with small tasks, like stirring porridge on the stove or setting the dinner table. They can be taught how to measure ingredients or crack eggs. In fact, kids can be lured into the kitchen if you make them choose their favorite dish and help them in preparing it.

Keeping the fun part aside, do you know what you get out of it all?

TOGETHERNESS!

There is a quality time that you’ll share. Then there’s this joy of sitting down at the table to enjoy what you’ve prepared, together.

What else? Well, let’s take you through!

  1. Cultivates Life Skills

Cooking is a must-have skill required to be an independent adult. Kids can start learning basics from an early age – pour milk, make tea or prepare their own sandwich. As they grow, kids can keep learning to cook meals. This will make them more responsible and independent individuals. 

Besides, cooking also teaches kids safety lessons such as not to touch a hot stove or how to use a knife correctly.

  1. Develops Focus & Attention

Cooking demands the need to stay focused and pay attention. Else, the recipe might go haywire, and they’ll not get a perfect cuisine. Kids learn fast that they have to pay attention to every step and process if they want to eat that delicious brownie or cookie at the end!

  1. Promotes Physical, Mental Prudence 

Involving children in the process of making delicious home-cooked meals will cultivate habits with lifelong benefits.

For example, stirring, rolling, spreading, measuring are a few kitchen tasks that will allow young children to enhance their fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills along with mental alertness.

  1. Builds Confidence

Your kitchen can be a place to nourish your child’s confidence, self-esteem, and sense of self-worth. 

Yes, you read it right!

Teaching children how to cook renders numerous possibilities to encourage and celebrate their work. Your kids will feel a great sense of pride when they’ll think they’ve successfully prepared a dish for themselves or their family.

  1. Nurtures Relationships

Cooking is one of those tasks where the entire family can have fun and spend enjoyable time! Try making a routine to cook Sunday lunch together or make it a grand movie plus pizza night. Cooking together brings the family together and creates an emotional bond.

It will be a dose of double happiness – Your kids will get the joy of making a dish and eating it, while you will have lasting memories to treasure forever.

  1. Creativity in a Nut-shell

Kids can exhibit their creativity through recipe innovation and food presentation. This could be anything from deciding what ingredients to add into a salad to creating altogether a new menu for the family.

For example, you can try getting the whole family in the kitchen with as simple as yet delectable – Cold Sandwiches. This deliciously easy, family-pleasing cold sandwich recipe will have the innovative magic of veggies and the warmth oozing out between you & your kids.

  1. Promotes Healthy Eating

Every health research shows that people who eat home-cooked meals, regularly, tend to be healthier and happier.

Allowing kids to cook will help them learn which food is healthy and which is not. It will enable them to try new recipes and will also encourage them to eat at home instead of munching out junk food. (wasting money and health!)

A Tip to Remember

Attention, please! Even if everything doesn’t go perfectly in the kitchen (be prepared for that), keep the mood light. For instance, if the egg gets more smashed than cracked, give some guidance and let your kid try again. Taking these baby steps, kids will gain skills for once and slowly master them all. 

Most importantly, be sure to compliment your little master chefs on a job well done. Award them with a first taste of whatever you’ve cooked together — and invite them in discussing what you should make together next time. 

Looking for More Such Bonding Experiences with your Kids?

Birdfin aims to bring the whole family together through a series of fun-filled activities. 
As a chore app for kids, we enable teaching your children the value & true worth of money.

It is a fact that most often children do not appreciate the hardships their parents go through in getting everything they want. The idea through this kids’ money app is to teach them about financial security and the pleasure of having achieved something on their own. This is done by teaching them how to budget, spend and save effectively for their goals. 

One more opportunity to learn something fruitful and spend more time together. Woah!

Here are some tips & recipes that you will love to explore!

 

Lot of people prefer wood over other options, because of both traditional and practical reasons:

  • Wooden Utensils won’t Scratch Your Cookware – they are soft and very gentle in use with the most delicate cooking surfaces. 
  • Wooden Spoons don’t Conduct Heat – wooden utensils are superior to metal utensils is that they don’t conduct heat. Wood is an Inert Material – wood is non-reactive and won’t leach harmful chemicals into your food. 
  • Easy to Grip Handles – The wooden spoon handles are gently rounded and feel nice in your hand. And you feel comfortable while using it.
  • Design – Another benefit of wooden kitchen tools is that they look fabulously beautiful and elegant. 
  • Durability – These utensils are very durable, and as long as you take proper care of them, you can expect them to give you long service. 
  • Germs and Bacteria don’t Like Wood – Research indicates that the wood appears to have natural germ-killing properties. Environmentally Responsible Choice Wood is a natural and renewable resource and more environmentally responsible choice.

 

Cooking is a wonderful activity for children to do. It is a lot of fun; the children can learn about healthy and nutritious food. Since cooking is an important part of our lives, involving children will make it fulfilling for both parents and children.

For recipes the whole family will love, and your little one will love to make. Click the link to find more about this in the book by Nataly Lawson and Nataly Andrews.

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Families That Work Together, Stay Together: Fostering Teamwork Spirit at Home

“If you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.” – Audrey Hepburn (British Actress & Humanitarian)

Our families are suddenly spending the whole day at home. There’s no travelling to work. No school. Times have immensely changed, and we’re all trying to find a way to manage our lives through this crisis.

These are the times when the family as a whole gets better equipped to deal with eventualities. Caring to share the chores at home, will inculcate a greater sense of appreciation for values, fostering mutual respect amongst the family members. Most importantly, it will charge up the home with a different kind of delight.

Today, sharing household work has become a significant way to keep the family bonded and happy. Even the kids can be involved in it such as – laying the table, helping with the bedsheets, taking out the trash, packing their bags, etc.

When your child starts doing these little things at home, he/she learns to value the efforts and time put in by the other family members. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and helps the child feel like they are a part of the family team.

Studies have also reported benefits of better bonding with family in the form of positive mental health in adulthood, raised self-esteem, and professional success.

Let us give a sneak-peek at how we can begin creating a culture of sharing household chores.

 

List Down your Tasks

Try to list out every little job that needs to be done in the house, from the time you wake up, till the end of the day. Ensure that all tasks mentioned in the list get done.

For instance: the basin must get scrubbed, the stationery gets sorted out, the furniture is adequately dusted, plants are watered, and so on. The kitchen-work will obviously comprise the greatest number of chores: chopping, grinding, cooking, washing the dishes etc.

You all can figure out amongst yourselves on who is good at what and divide tasks accordingly. For example, the picky one does the online fresh-food shopping, the chatty one answers the phone calls and the hygiene freak is to be responsible for cleaning.

 

Rewards for Chores

A very useful, fun platform which will help parents assign household activities to children is a kids money app – Birdfin. Here, Parents get to reward children through Birdfin for completing the tasks so kids can earn, manage, save and spend their money. It is a great way to fight monotony plus it will teach your kids diversities of chores.

Birdfin is not only a money management app for kids but also a value-learning platform. Based on a fresh, exciting concept, it offers experiential financial learning that keeps kids & parents engaged, on-track and motivated.

 

Beyond Household Responsibilities

Sharing involves more than mere housework. During an emergency at home, like a sudden online work call or an illness, there is nothing like a well-trained family in place as your comfort zone.

Everybody in the home knows where that extra money is kept. They know how to make instant noodles or a cup of soup. No one will be left stranded. There will be no panic, and life won’t stall.

Now, this is actually the beauty of a family that shares chores at home.

Sharing chores is a matter of discipline and habit. The practice will eventually fall into place if the discipline is maintained. Giving up in a fit of distress might be unfavorable to the complete sharing business.

 

Together We’ll Win: Turning Challenge into Opportunity

These challenging times are no less than an opportunity to go back to the days when family time was the most important time of the day. You’re just one step away from rekindling your relationships. After all, teamwork is one of the main things which can help us get through tough times which all of us are facing amidst the global pandemic.

Before signing off, just sharing a reminder. YOU are the role model for your kids. Your own attitude about work at home would shape a child’s approach on the topic. As parents, you send the message that any work is tedious, dull and avoidable or that it is imperative to run the household and can be quickly done with commitment and fun.

The choice is yours!

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Diwali Gift?

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Happy Parenting For all ages

Diwali Gift?

Festivals revive and reinforce cultural traits, help us in bonding with friends & relatives. Also, they instill a sense of camaraderie and strength.

Here we are in 2020 — a year so dismal and gloomy as no other that any of us has ever experienced or even imagined. The pandemic and the resultant lockdown have deprived us of these simple opportunities of joys. Festivities are around the corner but sadly, it may not be with same fervor!

However, this is the time when one starts grasping with the gifting options for family members. To be honest, sometimes, we start running short of ideas during this season! In the spirit of being unique, how about ‘gifting a savings account’ this year?

Consider gifting your Children a Saving Bank Account!

 

Seer objective of opening a Kid’s bank account is with the intention of providing experiential education about the importance of saving, investing, and spending responsibly.

If one is looking for a product that would teach tween, teens  i.e. children up to age of 18 years the importance of savings and giving them a head-start in building a strong financial foundation, a kid’s saving bank account is available off the shelf.

(Saving) Children should be encouraged to save the cash gift received on festivals like Diwali and on other special occasions i.e. birthday, etc. Bank account can also be used to save a part of the monthly pocket money with the intent of saving for a big ticket wish list item.

Different banks offer different facilities for kid’s account (commonly known as minor bank account) including a personalize debit card along and online banking facility. On the child turning 18 (moving out of minor age bracket) the same saving account can be converted to a regular savings account to continue the relationship with the Bank.

 

Benefit of a bank account in building foundation for a kid to become Money Smart

  • Helps Inculcate the habit & power of Saving from early age
  • Become accountable while spending by planning / Goal setting before actual spend
  • Give Operational Independence in addition to providing sense of responsibility.
  • Understand banking Concept’s, Payment Instruments & Products

 

(Security) We need our children to learn how to operate the bank account diligently, so what is the best way? Involve them in your bank visit & while doing bank transactions online so as to introduce them to the modern age banking on one hand and also teaching online safety measure one need to adhere to while transacting using the internet banking facility. Through the process talk them on the importance of a secure password, usage of PIN / OTP while performing internet/mobile banking transaction and Not to share the same with anyone.

Practical banking exposure at early age, will provide them the required time to get expose to all type of situations to be confident and conversant with various aspects of banking.

 

Product’s like ICICI Bank’s I-wish, normal Recurring account, Auto-sweep out help in building a corpus form the saving’s alongside earning higher interest too. This also helps children learn the importance of identifying goals and investing surplus amount to achieve the same.

Important to have restrictions on withdrawal / limits on Debit cards so while children are practicing independent decisioning around spending and might make mistakes, they are restricted (damages if any are controlled).  Such restriction and monitoring of transaction will help parents in providing timely intervention as required. Alongside opportunities with live examples to coach children re Do’s and Don’ts.

The savings account for children is only a tool that provides practical exposure to financial education. One needs to impart the right education that goes with it and above all be a role model for them to observe and learn. The overall advantage being, kids learns the procedural aspects of banking, basic concepts like interest and ROI in a practical manner. While becoming part of the larger financial system, they will start to save for small value goals and then progress into various investing options.

We all make mistakes with money management and learn from it. A kid’s savings account could set the tone for your child’s healthy saving habits in later years, if guided well & walked them on their journey of being Money smart to financially savvy.

Rajeev Chadha

Birdfin

 

MONEY SENSE: A perfect game which encourages children to use their imagination, helps them learn practical skills and attain a sense of achievement. Money Sense includes 4 educational activities – (i) Piggy Bank to inculcate habit of saving at an early age. (ii) Innovative DIY, ATM kit to provide hands-on experience to kids. (iii) Crossword game to build and enhance vocabulary of kids. (iv) Money marathon cards game to help children learn to transact with money. This is ideal for kids of 8 to 10 years age.

WONDRBOX Money Sense STEM STEAM Educational DIY Activity Toy Game Kit and Gift, Learn Making ATM, Mental Math, Saving Bank for 8+ Boys and Girls

 

One of the easiest ways we learn how to save money at a young age is with a piggy bank or some other container to collect our coins and money. (i) A Piggy bank helps children and parents to manage and organise loose change. (ii) Since the money adds it serves as a great example of saving for kids, very early in their age.

 

Option 1: Traditional one with a manual lock and set of keys

SYLVAN ARTISTRY Handmade Wooden Hut Shape Piggy Bank Money Coin Box for Kids & Adults (4-Inch)

 

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Gamify Life: Your Children Will LOVE!

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.” – Benjamin Franklin.

If you have ever tried to set your own record time when doing a daily task or rewarded yourself after completing it, then you are already using gamification! While it may look simple, the life-changing results gamification brings about goes a long way.

Gamification is the process of turning a task into a game for self-motivation to finish it. Specifically, it is the application of fun and addictive elements to any activity which may otherwise be a bit boring to complete.

A productivity gamification expert, Yu-Kai Chou, states in his book titled Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards, that gamified tasks are comparatively easier and more interesting to carry out.

Gamification helps in achieving goals faster and in an interesting way. The rewards and the sense of achievement one gains after completing the tasks excite the person and dopamine is released in the brain. It results in creating a higher motivation to chase after a reward. Gamification now has been made a lot easier with the easy accessibility of apps to track chores and allowances.

For instance, when you will tick an item off your checklist, your brain automatically gets a dose of dopamine. You can turn this trick to your advantage by custom rewards after completing tasks to get more of this mechanism. It may be anything, from an extra break to a walk outside or a cup of bullet coffee after performing the gamified task!

Thanks to technology, there are a lot of apps and tools that help to gamify plenty of tasks to make them achievable. With that being said, we all know, one of the most mundane tasks are those related to money and finance. However, as we said before, gamification has made these mundane tasks of finances more engaging.

Moreover, gamification also benefits in cognitive development which results in an increase in the activity of the regions of the brain for allowing adequate development. In fact, gamification increases the level of engagement of the participant. It is because the game-like atmosphere enhances productivity amongst children.

It can be a great aid in learning too as it does not limit itself to a particular area. For instance, when your child is doing his/her homework, you can break it up into sections. Divide it according to the difficulty level so that he/she will keep levelling up after completing each section. You can also provide them with hints, it will be like solving a riddle which will further pique their interest.

BirdFin is one such app which gamifies financial literacy for children. It is quite a task to help your little ones get an understanding of financial literacy. BirdFin understands the challenges parents face regarding the same, and thus offers a kids money app which will encourage children in understanding money through experiential learning approach.

After all, the key to making kids learn about financial responsibility is to inculcate good money habits in them. This is where BirdFin enters the picture and assists you in helping your children identify their expenditures and spend their savings wisely by using a practical approach. By integrating gamification, BirdFin brings the whole family together through a series of fun-filled activities and an insightful experience.

We all need a little fun to make life easier, isn’t it?

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Habits Vs Kids: Why Should You Care?

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”- John Dryden

Growing up, kids observe their surroundings and get heavily influenced by it. It is one of the main reasons why habit formation is recommended from an early age. It goes a long way in establishing the personality of the child.

Consequently, the earlier you introduce good habits in your children, the more likely they are going to stick for the years to come. So, habit formation is an effective practice as it helps in creating a routine, increasing efficiency and organization amongst children.

A study by Brown University in 2014 showed that kids develop lifelong habits incredibly early. The age varies as per the habit, but generally, dietary habits are the first ones to form. Similarly, financial habits and household routines follow. From the moment they are born, infants start making sense of their environment and begin to detect patterns. Gradually, they start imitating novel actions after observation.

For instance, in order to implant financial habits in kids, many parents give their children pocket money or a piggy bank in which they are asked to collect money. It is helpful as children develop a financial understanding from their personal economic experiences only. Likewise, pocket money shapes their understanding of income. Most importantly, when kids collect money in their piggy bank, it provides them with the ability to plan ahead, say for buying something they want, because through saving they get a sense of their future self.

Habits shape up our lives more than we realize. Our brain clings to them at the exclusion of everything else. You’ll be surprised to know that more than 40% of the actions we perform on a daily basis are not actual decisions but habits. Habit formation is important as habits keep deepening over time until they become reflexes.

Parents have a major influence on child development, including habit formation. In order to develop habits in your child, you must always lead by example. It starts with you!
You want them to clear their dishes or make their beds?

Do it with them, so they learn from you. Remember to start young so as your kids get older, they can take on bigger responsibilities easily. Consistency is the key, be consistent with your kids, they will follow you.

Although parents influence their kids’ habits, friends also play a major role when it comes to the development of habits. Kids compare themselves against peers and friends at quite a young age as they spend a lot of time with them. The more they age, the more friends and peers are likely to become a bigger influence.

Furthermore, school is an equally important source of habit formation in kids. For instance, the timetabled nature of schools makes them realize the importance of time and routine. Besides, schools help in building strong work ethics and habits that enhance self-discipline. Likewise, teachers’ involvement is also important as sometimes, kids follow their teacher’s advice more than their parents.

All in all, habit formation in kids is most likely to shape and change their behaviour. Since children depend on parents, the basic approach and skills of parents can help in instilling habits and practices which will benefit them in the long run. Whatever the habit you wish to instill in them, just ensure it is easy to adopt and continue.

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Let them play!

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Let them play!

We lived our childhood in a paradox that playing was not the most important activity for us vis-à-vis education and learning. It was considered more as a way to have fun, relax, and entertain oneself. Hence, it never appeared very high in the list of critical necessities for children. Today all of us are so well informed, evolved, and understand the importance of play, but has this been able to bring about cogent change in the way we look at play.

“It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” – Leo F Buscaglia

Jean Piaget, a Swiss developmental psychologist, developed a theory of cognitive development of children. He viewed play integral for the development of intelligence in children, his theory argues that as children mature, their environment and play should encourage further cognitive and language development.

Children follow their own ideas and interests, their own will and way for their own reasons when they are playing. Hence, it is essential for the development of children as it contributes to their physical, cognitive and social wellbeing. They use their imagination and ‘play pretend’, learning about their emotions, interests, and ways to adapt to situations and social environment.

Whilst children grow, they learn to play through various stages of their growth. All through the stages of play, they engage in five different types of play as they evolve physically, in maturity and in their social skills.

A child opens doors to their land of fantasy when learning to imagine characters and worlds in ‘fantasy or dramatic play’, in turn fueling their creativity and imagination. Playing an intense game of soccer or basketball with others on the team, a child learns what are rules, what it takes to function as a team and most importantly the concept of winning, losing and not giving up known as ‘competitive play’. Additionally, playing outdoors a child applies gross and fine motor skills, and learning to be fit and active while engaging in ‘physical play’.

Building sandcastles on the beach or building houses using blocks or cardboard boxes, and engaging in ‘constructive play’, they learn to manipulate and put things together. While reciting their most favourite poem, singing a song, cracking jokes or engaging in arts and crafts, in ‘symbolic play’, children tend to nurture their creative side and express themselves exploring and experiencing their emotions.

United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has recognized play as a right of every child for their optimal development.

Source

Playing has numerous benefits in the development of children – it develops creativity, imagination, dexterity, physical, cognitive and emotional strength.

As per my point of view, fun and joy are two most indisputable attributes of play. They create positive emotions, which further contributes to the well-being and good health of children improving the quality of their life. Inspire children to grow in a happy and healthy way by reinventing themselves.

 

So, let them play!

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Happy Parenting

Don’t rob your kids !

“Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy’”-Robert A. Heinlein

We always believe raising a child may be the most natural thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean it always comes easy! Well, we all know parenting is the biggest challenge in the life cycle of human beings. When we were kids, we sometimes hated that we didn’t have enough playtime or time with friends was limited, but now we’re parents. As we sit on the other side of the fence, we would like to have maximum control on our kids right from playtime, study time, social gathering and even during social distancing, we want to monitor all, sounds familiar?

We go to those great lengths when it comes to protecting our children from harm are only natural and show our deep love and concern. To make it easier, broadly, there are two styles of parenting-Helicopter parenting and Lawnmower parenting.

‘HELICOPTER’ parents hover on their kids and extend help when they need, you are generally not out of their sight, or perhaps a better way to put it would be that the kids are not out of your sight! This type of parents ends up paying a lot of attention to their kids’ lives and problems. They are like a ninja and are always there to jump in even before kids ask for help! When parents indulge in helicopter parenting, they go to the extent of doing their child’s homework and projects. One can always justify this parenting style as a way to prepare their child for the ‘real world’.

On the other hand, ‘LAWN MOW’ parents are those who pave the way for their kids proactively and tend to ‘mow over’ any problem the children face. They cut down all obstacles that stand in their child’s way! Notably, this is a parent who may no longer have the ability or access to remove their child from a problematic situation; therefore, they do their ‘mowing’ from a distance. They mow down before even they are faced by the problems. These parents are extremely protective about their children and always are proactive in offering a carpet full of solutions!

The more balanced approach is generally followed by ‘LIGHTHOUSE’ parents. They have the towering strength of the Lighthouse and are there to help their children waiting on the shoreline. This type of parent would generally prepare the children to ride the waves and become the role model for others.

In my opinion, the alternative to overindulgence is to teach children that they don’t get what they want all the time. Engage them in their day-to-day work, It just opens up new channels and encourages the child to solve the problem and also, strengthens the bond between the child and parents. Not to forget, it helps in building the problem-solving skills of the child in the long run. And helps them to become more secure before they step out of their parents’ shadow!

Sandeep Suri

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