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Benefits of Setting a Child’s Daily Routine

 

A child’s life is full of spontaneous moments and free-flowing discoveries. Setting a daily routine can give it some structure and make things easy to manage for parents. Here are simple ways in which a child’s daily habits can be set into a routine.

Sense & Structure:  A child’s day can never be fully planned as they slowly explore the world around us, learn to communicate and build bonds with every person they meet. The world is a fascinating place for kids where every moment carries wonder and joy that they want to experience. Setting a routine however, helps parents manage their time & commitments at home and work and it also gives child rootedness.  Daily habits such as waking up, brushing teeth, going potty, bath, dressing up, playing with toys, putting them back, meal-times, nap-time and more are a part of a child’s usual daily routine.

Family Bonding: Following a routine gives working parents more time to spend with their kids and just bond. Working parents often enjoy daily walks or a visit to the park with kids and rejuvenate. Shared experiences apart from play-time such as baking, just being with each other, telling stories or just watching a child grow up and discover the world one step at a time are highly enriching. This also releases the need to rush through life as parents savour moments of growth & development at every stage and are better able to cope with stress.

Healthy Habits: Both parents and kids with routines have been found to have better health. For instance, sleeping and waking up at a set time is better in the long run for the entire family. It aslo imbibes a sense of security in kids as they know what to expect and do incase they are confused.  Things run more smoothly around the house and the channels for communication are more open and peaceful.  A lot of parents maintain reward charts to add an element of fun for their kids but maintaining them regularly can be a bit daunting.

Self-Reliance:  Routines help a child be more independent and assured of their own ability to do things. Parents can just supervise them now and then to make sure they’re doing ok. This greatly reduces tension and power struggles between parents and kids as they are in better harmony as tempers don’t shoot up and everything can be managed more calmly with greater amount of love, patience and trust. This helps parents and kids work towards shared goals for instance completing school projects and planning a family vacation in advance.

Do you follow a routine or have daily activities for your little one? Share your story with us and get featured on the blog.

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Freedom for Kids

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Freedom is everyone’s birth-right; and parents often are torn between how much freedom they need to give their kids owing to their safety concerns, fears and insecurities towards their children.

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Age-wise Appropriateness: The biggest conflict to decide how much freedom to give is because of the “conservative’ and “liberal” dynamic in parenting. At every stage and age the amount of freedom a child is given varies. For instance, a toddler needs constant adult supervision whether at home or outdoors; whereas, a young child between the ages of 6-12 years, can be allowed to be out with a familiar peer group. As children grow, you may have to have a dialogue with them explain how freedom comes with a responsibility. You can always keep a check on them through messages and phones to know their whereabouts and some deadlines won’t harm. Thus, your discretion at every stage and age of their physical/mental/emotional development would decide the appropriate amount of freedom they need and how much you can support and guide them.

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Establishing Boundaries:  Freedom does not imply shirking responsibilities and being a nomad. Children often feel ‘free’ to do anything they want because they are allowed to do whatever catches their fancy. As they grow up and begin to understand the world, they need to make their own choices and to make mindful decisions in any situation, you need to communicate the ‘why’s” and “why not’s”. For instance, making a child understand why they are being told to be indoors or to be home within a certain time. Inviting school/college/colony friends over and going to theirs at odd hours or wearing risqué clothing while they are out with friends are something they consider ‘being free-minded’ or cool. It’s not about what they are doing; it’s about the mentality with which they are doing certain things. Inculcate Independence and Self-Reliance and check on how responsible they can be in any given situation. Time-management, space management, completing their assignments within deadlines all reflects on how prepared they are to eventually be on their own.

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Keeping Them Rooted:  It helps to share your own experiences and how despite some rules being there, you enjoyed your freedom and youth. Today, many children, especially teens are in a hurry to experience everything as soon as they can and want instant gratification. The reasons could be peer pressure and the need to fit into a group, to look cool and be ‘in’ with the times. Kids are also highly impressionable because of the celebs they admire from a young age and dream of a life as glamorous as theirs. It’s essential to give your child a reality check. This does not mean binning their dreams or goals but to nurture those and helping them pursue those which are within their capacity and physical/mental/emotional makeup. They will eventually begin to see things the way they are rather than the way they ‘should’ be. Avoid cushioning them from hurt or telling them stories about good/bad people or it being a fair/unfair world. Freedom means allowing your child to make mistakes so they can ‘grow up’.

Which are some of the ways that allow a child to enjoy their freedom and be free-minded? Share your views with us and get featured on the blog.

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Solve Child’s Homework Woes

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A school-going child’s biggest woe is the homework. Almost every child has some difficulty or dis-interest in completing their assignments and this often leads to tensed parents. Here are some simple ways in which you could help your child complete their homework w/out being frustrated or tired.

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Time Management:  A child’s school homework becomes priority on a daily basis and this keeps them away from play-time. Parents could manage their child’s daily routine in a way that they have enough time for their fun activities and games. Stepping outdoors for running, enjoying swings in the park and cycling also rejuvenate the child. Studying till late nights can also be stressful for kids as they start the day early and so do you. Keep aside maybe 2 hours around mid-day which would easily fit into your child’s usual schedule (and yours) and also ensure he gets an hour’s nap-time to feel rejuvenated.

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Reward and Praise: A child’s morale is influenced by appreciation from parents and so reward and praise your little one if they manage everything well. Give them a sense of accomplishment and treat them to sweet surprises; for instance, “You’ve been so great. Let’s go to your favorite park to play”. Instead of punishing your kid if they haven’t been able to cope up, and support and evaluate where they need help. Coping mechanisms like taking short breaks between study-time, completing homework with their favorite toy next to them, and you sitting beside them and finishing your tasks really help in extending support.

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Help and Don’t Obsess: Parents often take it upon themselves to do everything they can so their child can achieve academic success. Help your kid with projects w/out obsessing over every minute detail of their capacity to do things. Avoid completing their assignments as it reduces their levels of competence and could encourage dependency on you because of a low self-esteem. Motivate your child instead and set short achievable goals w/out being bossy or a perfectionist. Also drop comparisons and expectations – maybe your child is gifted in another field such as creative arts or sports, so nurture that instead.

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Know Thy Child: It’s natural to be emotional and sensitive when it comes to your little one, but it’s also essential to be realistic and objective to understand what your child’s capacity truly is. Parents often set very high standards for their kid to live up to and this comes from their personal needs to be over-achieving. This sort of parenting style often results in a timid kid who just shies away from experiences or a rebellious one who breaks all the norms just to prove something to you. Allow your child to finish things at their pace and maybe you could just create an environment that helps them focus better such as keeping distractions like TV or games away while they are completing assignments. Gradually, help them see homework as a fun learning activity rather than a daunting task which if incomplete could lead to failure.

Which are some of the ways in which you encourage and support your child to complete their school home-work? Share your views with us and get featured on the blog.

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Make your Child’s summer exciting with Summer Camps

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Summer camps are quite popular for Indian families seeking a wholesome experience for their kids. These are immense fun, opportune for learning, great for overall health and enhance a child’s personality in totality.

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Nature Time:

Summer camps let your child’s explore the outdoors; learn more about flora and fauna and the diverse wildlife. Set in rustic environs, kids get a taste of nomadic life, far removed from the ‘instant digital age’. Scientific studies prove the multiple benefits of being close to nature – increased immunity, sharper senses, physical flexibility, mental awareness, emotional happiness and also time to introspect on the big picture of life.

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Nurturing Independence:

The duration of summer camps differs with the organization or group you’re associating with and can be anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks to a month or more. This means children set up their own tents, cook their own meals with local produce without fancy gadgets or equipment, make their beds and have to learn to look after themselves. Supervisors and camp leaders are usually present, however a child is taught to use his wits and build willpower to survive in all weather conditions and adapt to different environments.

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Learning & Exploring:

Expect your child to come back with loads of new skills, hobbies and a diverse range of interests. Summer camps are a storehouse of activity with a lot of happening to keep your child engaged. From creative pursuits to athletic ones, a child can participate in everything from dance to art workshops, learn martial art forms, go trekking, sailing, experiment with new cooking recipes, and even discover his acting/singing/performing potential.  There’s never a dull moment and usually a child is encouraged to be actively involved in a variety of events to give him a wholesome experience.

 

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Social Network:

Feeling homesick on a summer camp is natural but you need not worry as your child will soon be part of a group. From sharing space with someone who’s his own age, to being around kids with varied personalities – expect your kid to find his own voice. Summer camp supervisors and leaders usually pair up like-minded kids to ensure safety and enjoyment. A mix of kids with different strengths and weaknesses is a good idea so they can support each other and be more emotionally balanced. Introverts and shy kids gain from such an arrangement as being part of a smaller and intimate circle helps them open up and express their inner self without hesitation. Expect your child to come back with lots of memories peppered with laughter, fights, silliness, gossip and unlimited fun.

Is summer camp part of your child’s vacay this year? What do you think of such experiences? Share your views with us and get featured on the blog.

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Choose your Child’s name Wisely!

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Selecting a name that sounds beautiful, is memorable, and that’s in alignment with your child’s energy and persona is a tough task. Here are some things you could consider before deciding on a name for you little one.

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It’s For Life:

We carry our names for life. Families, especially parents-to-be spend hours trying to select the perfect name as that’s how their little one will always be addressed by everyone at home, friends, relatives, schoolmates, colony members and possibly everyone they meet.  A lot of people follow astro advice, moon/sun signs to select their baby’s name after analysing the birth chart and nakshatras, this however, is a personal choice. If you’re lost or confused, a popular trend is to find a name that combines alphabets from names of both parents. So your little one has the best of you both 🙂

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Psychological Impact:

A name is more than just an introduction; it has deeper psychological, emotional and overall spiritual impact. A child consciously or unconsciously aspires to be like the quality his name means and evokes through life. It shapes the kid’s identity, behaviour and self esteem with time. Here are some things you can do while selecting an apt name:

  1. When it comes to naming the little one, everyone in the family has suggestions to make. List down all these suggestions.
  2. Find a name that the child can carry off even as an adult. Make sure you don’t go for names which may later become a topic of jokes/slangs.
  3. Select the name that sounds “right” along with the family surname.
  4. Try saying the name a few times and see if it resonates with you and is easy to spell and pronounce.
  5. See that the name is gender appropriate to avoid confusion in social settings.

Once you’ve finalised your child’s name, also ensure the nickname is cool or sweet enough as funny sounding nicknames often get stuck for life and become the topic of jokes.

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Diverse Inspirations:

Ancient names taken from texts or chants are spiritual in nature and carry a strong energy with deep meanings and are a reminder of ancestral roots. Names inspired by nature are also a great choice as these are very sweet sounding, whimsical and carry fresh and raw energy. Flowers, birds and celestial bodies – the options are endless and are trendy enough to carry off and a child can easily relate to their energy. Names picked from different cultures sound exotic and can be inspired from your travel memories. Cities which have changed your life and have touched you in some way – there’s so much you can choose from. Names that are from captivating folk-tales and poems are dreamy. These capture the imagination and can be very inspirational for children who aspire to be like them.

Whom did you name your child after? Which were some of your choices? Share your story with us and get featured on the blog.

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Playtime Techniques to Boost Child’s Creativity

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‘Creativity is Intelligence having fun’ said Albert Einstein.  Children who regularly express themselves in a creative form are better adjusted, emotionally happy and also have better harmony with others. Here are simple playtime techniques to boost your child’s creativity.

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Through Role-play:

 Children are very malleable and can easily empathize with anyone. They follow their hearts and natural basic instincts and this is why they are great at role-plays of all kinds. Role-play is more than just an enactment – it allows kids emote deeper feelings, express views and empathize with other beings. This helps the child gradually gain fresh perspectives, understand other’s viewpoints, relate to them better and live in harmony with people from all walks of life.

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Art & Crafts:  

 Art and crafts also help a child express their creativity in many ways. For instance, doodling helps them with shapes, clay helps them mold different objects, painting mosaics helps them view the world in many hues, and jewelry designing and sewing helps them weave together newer things. Creating things that they can use from their own hands and imagination is a very fulfilling experience at many levels. Gradually, this process boosts the child’s color perception, shape, visual and tactile senses.

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Unusual Playthings: 

 Playthings which have different functions are very entertaining and educational. Their unusual functions such as visuals images, sounds or music, captivating expressions, action movements stimulate a child to think out-of-the-box. The same toy keeps them occupied for a long time as it can be played with in many ways and they can enjoy their play-time.

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Song & Dance:  

Children are always inspired and spontaneous – dancing and humming tunes to their own whim. Both these art forms are useful in helping the child gain confidence and stage presence. Child learns to wow the audience by singing or through dancing or both; this is entertaining for others and a very joyful medium for little ones to express their emotions and energy. Gradually, singing helps kids strengthen their speech and vocal cords and dancing improves agility, flexibility and hand-eye co-ordination.

Which are some of the ways in which you encourage and stimulate your child’s creativity? Share your views with us and get featured on the blog.

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The Big Kid Within

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Parents gain immense healing& joy by playing with their kids and here are some of the positive changes they experience by playing with toys and games on a regular basis.
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Need for parents to de-stress

Working parents are often juggling between so many tasks the whole day. They need a break after fulfilling so many responsibilities at the workplace and then getting back at home to take care of their family. Playing with toys and games along with their kids is an instant mood-lifter. This sort of light-heartedness boosts their energy and sense of humor.

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Family Bonding

 Playing with kids, along with their toys, helps in emotional bonding and connecting with them in a very easy-going manner. Often play-time becomes a great time for teaching your kid more about family values in a more fun manner rather than making it a very serious subject. It helps kids feel closer to their parents and see them as friendly confidantes whom they can talk about anything in the world and not someone they have to obey out of fear.

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Health Benefits

 Playing with toys, arts, crafts, simple board games and more have many health benefits for adults. It helps them heal their ‘inner child’ and once again relive simpler times of childhood. Engaging in such fun activities releases endorphins which uplift a person’s mood, makes them feel better and stress-free in just a few minutes. This result in better work performance, ability to think laterally, more creatively and also enhances problem-solving skills in the long run.

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Promotes Happiness & Well-being

 Playing with toys helps parents reflect and smile back at fond memories of growing up and being with their friends. Such positive memories enhance personal joy and bring back spontaneity & innocence associated with childhood. This boosts their zing for life and also promotes their overall sense of well-being.

Which are some of the positive changes you experience after playing with your kid? Share your story with us and get featured on the blog.