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Five ways to help kids overcome their inhibitions

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Every individual is unique. Each one is blessed with some talent and has his/her strengths and weakness. As parents, it is essential to recognize this and appreciate the uniqueness of our children.

Some children are naturally outgoing. They are comfortable with changing surroundings and get along with people around them. They adapt quickly and do not hesitate to speak their minds. On the other hand, some children are quiet and introvert. They take their own time to adjust to the changing environment and find comfort with people around them. As parents, it is important to understand and respect the nature of your child. You can help them by providing the right guidance that enables them to overcome their inhibitions and facilitates their growth and development.

Here are 5 ways to help kids overcome their inhibitions

1. Do not label your child as shy

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Adults tend to label an individual, based on the characteristics they perceive an individual to have. Be extremely vigilant about not exercising this with your child. Children are like clay; everything leaves a lasting impression on them. If you label your child as shy, they might start conforming to it. In a social set up, if you see your child coming across as quiet and not exchanging pleasantries, do not reprimand the child. Understand from them why they are having a calm day. Involve them in your conversations and introduce them to people around.

2. Do not overrule your child’s thoughts

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Parents want the best for their child. However, sometimes, they rule out the thoughts of their children and impose their views on the child. If you do this repeatedly, your child might start doubting his/her beliefs. Appreciate your child’s thoughts and try seeing things from his/her perspective. If you have a different view, table your opinion but do not impose it.

3. Do not pressurize your child

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Parents often get embarrassed if their child is not behaving in a way they expect them to around the people; especially when they notice other children of their age doing all appropriate things. Do not push your child to comply. Try to understand what is bothering them and why they refrain from engaging. Look for hidden signs in your child’s body language. Make them at ease and help them through.

4. Appreciate and Encourage

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Nothing works better on children than words of appreciation and encouragement. Appreciate them in front of others. Recognize their efforts. It will help them be more confident in their actions. Positive reinforcement always helps.

5. Help your child in expressing his/her thoughts

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Children sometimes struggle with expressing themselves. Talk to them and understand what bothers them. Involve your kids in exercises that will help them be more expressive. For example, have a set daily routine, where your child writes three good things that happened in the day.

Children are like saplings. They need the right environment to grow and flourish. Be empathetic with your kids and let them know, that they are appreciated. This will evolve them into a confident individual.

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5 ways to celebrate Diwali with kids

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Diwali, one of the most favourite festival of us Indians, is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm in the country. People look forward to this festival with great eagerness. Diwali derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Deepavali’. It is a combination of two words – ‘deepa’ meaning light and ‘avali’ meaning ‘series’. Diwali marks the end of darkness and the spread of light. Lamps and diyas mark the onset of this colourful festival.

 

Preparations for Diwali begin way in advance – houses are cleaned and decorated, savouries and sweets are prepared. During the festival, people visit each other to exchange greetings and warm wishes for new beginnings. Children enjoy lighting sparklers. As parents, you can encourage your kids to have an eco-friendly Diwali and stay away from bursting fireworks.

 

Festivals are a great way to enhance bonding within the family and creating an environment of joy and happiness. This Diwali, involve your kids in all the rituals and the festivities and make it a Diwali to remember for them.

 

Here are five ways to have a memorable Diwali with kids

 

1. Engage your kids in decorating the house

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‘Decorating the house’ is one of the significant elements when it comes to Diwali celebrations. Once the house is cleaned spick and span, we plan on decorating it for the occasion. This Diwali, plan the decorations with your kids. Ideate with them about the kind of lights or props they would like. Involve them in making different lanterns and rangolis. Set aside a weekend for the entire family to decorate the home together.

 

2. Make diyas with your kids

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Diyas represent Diwali. During Diwali, the houses are lit-up with numerous Diyas to reflect the festivity. You can buy the standard mud coloured diyas from the market and get your kids to decorate them. You can seek their help in choosing a wide variety of diyas. You can facilitate them with colours, beads, mirror, and more to make beautiful designs on diyas. When you will use their handmade diyas to decorate the house, not only the diya but even their faces would light up with happiness 🙂

 

3. Make Rangolis with them

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Another essential element of Diwali is the Rangoli. Rangolis are the colourful designs made at the entrance of the house to welcome guests. You can teach your kids to make some simple and beautiful designs on their own or you can let them help you while you make one. Use organic colours available in the market that are not harsh or harmful. You can alternatively also teach them to make flower rangoli. Your children are sure to get excited about this activity.

 

4. Make sweets and savouries with them

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Diwali is incomplete without the delicious Indian sweets and savouries. Traditionally, there is a custom to exchange homemade sweets and snacks with relatives and friends. If your child is fond of cooking or even eating, the days before Diwali would be a great time to indulge his/her secret MasterChef. You can involve them by seeking their help in preparing and distributing the festive food.

PS: Making their favourite delicacy will surely elate them.

 

5. Switch to Pollution Free Celebrations

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Educate your children about the harmful effects of firecrackers on the environment and animals. Most of the older children shall understand and agree, however, to keep the tradition and fun going, you can let them have a sparkler or two; especially if your child is too young to understand the after effects of bursting crackers.

 

Involving your kids in the festivities will make them feel entrusted and boost their zeal. While they are engaged in all the fun with you tell them the story behind the festival and its significance. This will make the entire experience meaningful. Let this Diwali strengthen your family bond.

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5 educational apps for your toddler!

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As quoted by Jim Comey, “Technology has forever changed the world we live in. We’re online, in one way or another, all day long. Our phones and computers have become reflections of our personalities, our interests, and our identities. They hold much that is important to us”.

Much like adults, kids these days are growing up with technology. Though there is no denying the fact that the screen time for kids should be limited; we cannot eliminate the screen usage in their lives altogether. In this case, why not put technology and screen space to the best possible usage – to aid the development of your child.

Here are 5 educational apps for your toddler:

1. My very hungry caterpillar

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a famous picture book by Eric Carle. The famous character in the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar™, has won millions of hearts the world over. My very hungry caterpillar is a 3D representation of the same. It encourages children to bring out the artist in them, and draw, paint and create colourful artwork.

2. Endless Reader

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As your child will grow, being fluent in reading will become increasingly important. Laying the foundation early on is essential.

Endless Reader helps in improving the reading fluency of your child. It introduces your child to the vast world of sight words. Sight words are the most commonly used words in schools, children’s books, etc. Sight words glue the sentences together, and kids are to memorize these words. Endless Reader makes it fun for kids through animations and creatives to memorize these sight words.

3. Tiny Hands

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Teaching your kid to sort and classify can be fun too. Get your child to play this game – Tiny Hands. The game comprises of multiple environments, each focussed on teaching your child to sort and classify objects using dimensions such as shapes, colours, size, vehicles, and animals. Tiny Hands is very engaging and enriching at the same time. It not only teaches your child to sort and classify but also improves his/her concentration and hand-eye coordination.

You can also use tips from this game and replicate a few environments from the game to teach your kids sorting and classifying in natural settings.

4. Tiny Robot Maker

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Want to cultivate the passion to create in your kids? Introduce them to the Tiny Robot Maker App. The App lets your kids create colourful robots from pieces of scrap metal, cogs and pipes. Let your kids unleash their creativity and build some cool robots. You can also print your child’s favourite creations – and maybe turn them into greeting cards, wall hangings and so on.

5. Animals Puzzle

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Puzzles are one of the best ways to exercise the mind. Having gone through their physical puzzles repeatedly, introducing your child to this wide variety of colourful animal puzzles occasionally, can be refreshing for them.

Though you cannot eliminate screen time from your child’s life, you can ensure that the screen time is adding to your child’s learning and development.

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5 benefits of imaginative play

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“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”. Playing is one of the most important aspects of a child’s growing years.  It not only allows the child to break free from everything that is holding him/her back and experience joy but also adds to his/her holistic development.

As rightly said by O. Fred Donaldson, “Children learn as they play. More importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.”

What is imaginative play?

Imaginative play is essentially a role-play. When your child participates in imaginative play, the whole world indeed becomes his/her playground. They assume various roles and act out various experiences. One day they are the superheroes of the world trying to save the planet and the other day they are the teachers. Their world suddenly becomes limitless. They are everything that they want to be.

As rightly said by Fred Rogers, “When children pretend, they are using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero”.

Here are 5 benefits of Imaginative play:

1. Social Development

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Imaginative Play plays a very important role in shaping the social skills of your child. Your child learns to interact and co-operate with his/her friends involved in the imaginative play. Participating in imaginative play helps your child overcome the hesitation/shyness and helps him/her express clearly.

2. Language Development

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Imaginative Play advances the command over the language of your child as it involves dialogue, expression, teamwork, conceptualizing characters and the role play scripts. Thus your child will be encouraged to experiment with words and stories.

3. Emotional Development

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The best way to understand someone else’s story is to put yourself in his/her shoes; and imaginative play lets your child do just that. Ongoing participation in Imaginative Play will make your child more empathetic. Imaginative Play helps your child in developing the self-expression trait and will add to his/her emotional development.

4. Physical Development

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Imaginative Play is a mix of both verbal and non-verbal forms of expression. It is as good as setting up a play performance. This may involve a lot of other activities for your child – creating charts, posters, props, etc. Through imaginative play, your child may assume the role of a dancer, a boxer, a gymnast, and so on. All these activities will help in strengthening the hand-motor skills and hand-eye coordination of your child.

5. Thinking Skills

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As rightly said by Abraham Maslow, “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play”

Imaginative Play encourages your child to go out of the box and let his/her imagination know no bounds. Your child is encouraged to assume different roles and different characters. These characters can have traits as defined by your child. The objects involved in the role play can have attributes that reality has not seen till date. Let your child’s creativity be nurtured and nourished through these imaginative plays. An entire Quidditch game in the famous Harry Potter series was the result of powerful imagination.

Children are not yet introduced to the realities of the world. They believe that everything is possible. They believe sky to be their only limits. Help them preserve this thought. Introduce them to the power of Imaginative play. And empower them with the skills of creativity, imagination, and creation.

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Seven ways to teach your child to be independent

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Parents want the best for their kids. They devote all their attention towards raising their kids well and are always focused on their development, growth, and happiness.

Parents assist their kids with almost all their firsts – their first word, their first steps, their first day at school, their first attempt at riding a bicycle and so on. Hand holding the kids come so naturally to them. It is but natural that kids look up to parents for almost everything – support, love, protection and so on; and amidst this, they become dependent on them. But, one of the most critical and significant achievements of parents would be to raise independent and self-reliant kids.

Parents must realize that the goal is to raise kids in such a way, that they can go about their own lives efficiently without them being around all the time. The kids need to learn to believe in their selves; they need to understand that they should be prepared to have their backs and that they can face the world on their own. Independence and self-reliance go a long way in determining the success of the child.

Here are 7 ways to teach your child to be independent:

1. Assign your kids age-appropriate responsibilities

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It is imperative for your kids to believe that they can assume responsibilities. For them to believe in themselves, you need to believe in them and assign them responsibilities. Let them decide on their own on how they want to execute a given task. You can choose to guide them, but make sure you do not dictate terms.

2. Appreciate your kids’ efforts

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Your kids are trying to execute the tasks and responsibilities assigned to them. It might be their first time. They might not be perfect with what they are doing but do notice that they are putting in efforts. Sincerely recognize and appreciate the efforts put in.

3. Let your kids make choices

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Life will present a plethora of choices to your kids each day. Be around them to guide, but do not make the decisions for them. Let them think through what choice they want to make. It will bring them closer to understanding their selves, and their likes and dislikes. It will make them more self-aware and confident to make more significant choices in the future.

4. Encourage your kids to come up with ideas and solutions

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Your kids might be a bundle of thoughts and ideas but they might be hesitant to share their opinions with the world for fear of their views being judged or mocked. Encourage them to overcome this fear and share their ideas, suggestions, and thoughts. Make them understand that not all ideas are supposed to be the best but brainstorming on the ideas with others will result in coming up with the best solution.

5. Teach your child the art of embracing failures

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Your child might think of failing as a negative thing. The fear of failing might deter your child from even attempting the task. Talk to your child about success and failures. Make him/her understand that success and failures are two sides of the same coin and failure eventually becomes the stepping stone for success.

6. Encourage your kids to forge healthy relationships

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The supporters that we have on our sidelines make a lot of difference on how far we go. Teach your child the importance of relationships and how to value those relationships.

7. Don’t always be there

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Reflect on how you are working towards raising an independent kid. Are you always there for your child to solve every problem for him/her. Are you always his/her magic wand? Do not always be there. Use your judgment to decide which situations your child can handle on his/her own.

Teaching your kids to be independent is crucial for them to be successful and happy throughout their lives. Raise your child to be self-dependent and confident to take on this world.

 

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Five ways to help children express their emotions

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One of the most beautiful things about us human beings is the ability to feel and to communicate. Every day, every moment, we feel a lot of different emotions, and our ability to express these emotions is the key to our well-being.

As kids grow up, they begin to become aware of the various emotions that they are feeling, and it can get overwhelming if they are not able to separate one emotion from the other. In addition to identifying the different emotions, children also need to learn to how to handle the various emotions and how to express them. Expressing the emotions in a right way is not only crucial for the personal well-being of your children but also for nurturing relationships.

As parents, you can play a very significant role in helping your children befriend the various emotions that they are beginning to feel and learn to express them.

Here are five ways to help children express their emotions:

1. Name the feelings

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Your kids are new to feeling emotions. You need to help them identify these emotions, especially in the initial years of childhood. Begin with naming their feelings. Ask questions that make them dig deep into what they are feeling at that very moment – Are you feeling happy because you met your friend? Are you feeling sad because you will miss your school? Are you feeling excited to go on the picnic? It will help your kids to identify and understand their feelings.

2. Let your kids know that feeling emotions is okay

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Your kids might feel a lot of emotions but might not know how to express them. It could be the case that your kids think that they should keep their feelings to themselves. You need to make your kids believe that it is not so and they can share those emotions with you. Let them know that it’s okay to feel the way they feel.

3. Talk about how to express emotions

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Have discussions with your kids about expressing the emotions. The best way to do this is by talking about the various emotions you felt in multiple instances, why you felt those, and how did you choose to express them. You can also have a weekly session with your kids where you give them different situations and let them talk about how they will feel in those situations and how will they express themselves then. You can then discuss with if that were the best way to express those feelings.

4. Express your emotions in front of them

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Children learn from what they see. Express your emotions in front of them. Tell them why you are feeling in certain way. Tell them what are you doing to handle that emotion and why.

5. Develop a deep connection with your kids

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Developing a deep bond with your kids will go a long way in making them emotionally stable. Express your love for them, be there for them when they need someone to listen to them and try to understand their perspective. It will help you in understanding the reasons behind their emotions and thereby respond better.

Learning to identify and express emotions from an early age will go a long way for the development and success of your child.

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5 ways to celebrate Independence Day with Kids

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Independence Day is one of the most significant days in the Indian history. It was the day when Self-rule or Swaraj became reinstated in this country after being ruled over by the British for over 200 years. Citizens celebrate this day with much joy and enthusiasm by hoisting the tricolour flag and singing patriotic songs. It is the day when we remember the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to make the nation free. We are proud to be Indians. For our kids to have this pride deeply ingrained in them, it is essential for them to understand the importance of this day.

Plan various participative fun activities for your kids to make them understand the significance of Independence Day, and ensure that they look forward to celebrating the Independence Day each year.

Five ways to celebrate Independence Day with kids

1. Flag hoisting ceremony

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Flag-hoisting is one of the most important rituals of Independence Day. We pay respect to our national flag by hoisting it and singing the national anthem. The tricolour flag is hoisted almost everywhere in the country on Independence Day, especially in schools, colleges, and government institutions. The schools celebrate Independence Day and educate the children about the importance of this day through flag-hoisting, speeches, song, and dance, etc.  Housing societies also host flag hoisting ceremonies. Ensure that you and your child participate in the flag hoisting ceremony.

2. Conducting a skit/role play

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Children learn a great deal through skits, and role plays. Organize a get-together for your kids and his/her friends and make them perform a role play on their favourite freedom story.

3. Watching a patriotic movie

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Children enjoy movies. Cinema plays a significant role in shaping the outlook of children. Schedule a patriotic movie screening at your place on the Independence Day. Ask your kid to invite his/her friends. Pep the movie screening by arranging popcorn for the kids. Post the movie screening session, let the kids share their favourite Independence Day stories.

4. Organizing an Independence Day-themed get-together

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Children enjoy get-togethers. Organize an Independence Day get-together at your place for your kids and their friends. Get your kids to decorate the house with tricolour balloons, ribbons, flags and many more DIY tricolour things. You can ask the kids to be dressed up in tri-colours or resembling their favourite freedom fighters. Get the kids to sing patriotic songs and dance to patriotic numbers. You can also conduct a patriotically themed quiz. End the evening by sharing a few stories of the Independence struggle.

5. Taking a historical walk

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Find out the various historical places in your city and visit them. While you are visiting them, discuss the significance of these places with your kid. Also, include those places which have a link to the Independence Day.

 

Independence Day is a day of prominence for us Indians. It is essential for every Indian to understand its significance and celebrate it with joy and enthusiasm. Help your kids to recognize this day’s importance and celebrate it for years to come.