Being a business school graduate, one is very well versed with the scenario of mock interviews. In running a playschool I never thought I would be using my HR skills until very recently when the hoo hulla of Nursery Admissions started.
Nursery admission aspirants are these cute , innocent and at times very submissive two and a half year old who have just begun to enjoy their playschool. These little ones are required to not only carry themselves independently in a new school environment but also answer questions to strangers.
In trying to live up to the formal school admission procedure we too as a playschool sent a list of questions that would be asked to the child as well as parents. If you’d think the list of questions for little kids was a bit tricky then you just require to get a glimpse of the parent questionnaire (reminds me totally of the movie Hindi Medium).
Makes me seriously wonder how a mock campus recruitment interview is different from the nursery mock interactions. Believe you me, it is just the same!
While organizing one such session at my playschool I realized the similarities. However, we at Niño n Niña have made it a fun experience for our kids. Our kids were pretty anxious the first time but started enjoying it from the second session. They rather look forward now for a new face in the school to ask them questions, and all enjoy flaunting their cuteness.
Every cloud does have a silver lining !
At Niño & Niña we strive to make that silver lining broader n broader!
The Difficult Task of Parenting
It is believed that a child learns about the outer world even when in the mother’s womb. I was told about this my by my grandmother, according to the Hindu epic, Mahabharata, there was a warrior named Abhimanyu (Arjun’s son) who had learnt a war skill when he was in the womb of his mother. Till very lately I had found this story very hard & hilarious to believe.
Last week I went for my cousin’s daughter’s first birthday. The girl didn’t seem very people friendly and was in her mother’s arms most of the time. After a little while the girl started crying as she’s was hungry. She refused to have her milk until she was handed a mobile in her hand. I was flabbergasted to see the 12 month girl moving her fingers on the mobile. All I could remember was dear “Abhimanyu”. My grandmother indeed was right in telling me the story, otherwise how else could you justify an infant using a mobile so effortlessly.
To my surprise, not only did my cousin enjoy flaunting the birthday girl’s tech savvy skills but I could see a sense of achievement in her grandparent’s face. They all started discussing how smart the little one was. They also added with pride that the girl could not only identify the YouTube icon but also knew how to play her favourite video. I guess it was the same pride which my parents would have felt on my first identification of alphabets.
So has the ideology of parents of this generation changed?
Children learn by imitation and they learn very fast. Today’s parents are on the mobile most of the time so why do they crib if their kids want to do the same. Reading a story to your child seems to be time consuming, however giving your child the mobile to watch the same story is less time consuming and lets you do some other activity while keeping your child occupied on the mobile.
So why are we blaming our kids for mobile addiction? Rather than just sit and blame today’s lifestyle, let’s try and breed a better generation.
Being a correct role model for your child is extremely important.
Minimal use of mobile in front of kids is a small way to start this.
Never give a mobile, tab or laptop to a kid for playing or just holding.
Get up and go to the other room to use your mobile for chatting or watching some forward videos.
Reduce watching television if you have a toddler at home. Screen time in any form is not good for you kid.
Sit and eat meals together with your kid rather than putting a video in front of them while eating.
Engage your kid in productive activities and always give them toys which require manual use rather than battery operated toys.
Read a story every day to your child before sleeping. Inculcate the habit of storytelling rather than story viewing in your kid.
It is a bit difficult to follow but then who said parenting was an easy job!
Children are like sponge, they soak whatever (age appropriate or not) is around them. We need to be extremely careful as to how we behave or talk in front of them.
Sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee on the swing of my balcony I was surprised hearing my nephews make conversation with each other. The younger one had touched my mobile and the older one was trying to stop him saying, “Don’t touch Bua’s phone”. I was impressed by his responsible behavior and got a sense of pride that I had done well teaching him about not touching others things until I heard him complete his sentence by adding in an assertive tone, “don’t touch it, you understand… you better understand”.
My sense of pride evaporated completely as reality hit me real hard that he was actually imitating my exact dialog. That is when I realized the importance of speaking the proper words in front of kids.
The words, the tone and actions we use in front of them are their learning aids. Hence, it’s extremely important to use the age appropriate vocabulary in front of them. Children learn a great deal by imitation and it’s extremely difficult to make them unlearn something that they have learnt imitating their loved ones.
Children constantly learn and increase their vocabulary from people around them, things they hear on television or any other audio medium. It’s very important that kids watch television or use tabs (that is, if it is extremely important to watch the idiot box) only and only under parent supervision.
We forget and fight in front of our kids. We tend to ignore or at times even find it very cute when our children imitate some of our dialogues. At times we even take pride and ask our little ones to repeat these dialogues in front of people without realizing that we are confusing a blooming brain. I was only surprised the other day when my friend asked her two and a half daughter, “tell Aunty how Mummy scolds Daddy.” To my horror the girl gave a verbatim of the whole husband bashing episode. I was further petrified when everyone applauded at her performance.
After a couple of years this same cute behavior turns to our so called ill-mannered behavior. The same performance which we applauded to becomes humiliating when the four-year-old does this in a party without being asked to.
Who is to blame here? A question that we need to seriously think about.
So let’s be very very careful and make a conscious effort in using proper vocabulary with them. We need to behave in the way we way want them to behave with all.
Parenting hence is a full-time job where we are unfortunately or fortunately constantly reviewed by our child’s behavior in public.
Today morning, as I was playing with my daughter while getting her ready for play-school, I realised that I hadn’t switched on the geyser for her bath. While doing so, I suddenly heard a loud noise from the living room and then another one with a little scream. Thinking that my daughter was hurt, I immediately rushed towards her and noticed that she was actually kicking the small plastic table meant for her. On being questioned, she said that while she was trying to sit on the table, she slipped and fell and that’s why she was punishing the table …”because she got hurt”.
As a parent, I would have ignored and gone ahead with my work but keeping today’s scenario of road rage in perspective, something ticked in my head. Don’t we as parents, indulge our child in various aspects of rage (which we find cute when they are toddlers) and shouldn’t we correct them early on.
Now you as a reader would ask me the “why” and “how” of the same. Imagine when your child falls down, what do you do. To make your child stop from crying, you say to that particular thing” Did you hit my kid?” (in a funny tone) which may divert your crying child’s attention and then maybe you stomp the floor. At least I have done this a lot of times and today I realised she did the same to the table. What have I taught her? That when you are hurt, irrespective of the situation and the fault, hit the thing. Tomorrow she will do it to a person. This thought hits you in the head…Right. It did to me. So then with great patience I sat down with her and tried to explain to her, “Baby it was a mistake that you used the table to sit. You shouldn’t be hitting it coz like you got hurt, it also did get hurt.” While she pretended to understand, I know it will take many more sessions to unlearn what I, as a parent, have been teaching her over and over again.
But then that’s what parenting is about …patience and loads of patience 🙂
-Kriti Joshi Pradhan
I am sure that most of us do not agree with the title but very few actually follow it. Ignorance can still be acceptable but knowing & still not following is unpardonable.
Mobile Phone being given to kids is the latest dangerous trend in the modern world. Kids from one year onward are many a times given a mobile phone to keep them busy. This can be to divert their attention, means to pacify the crying, to make them eat food or to make them sit at peace for a while.
Parents are full of pride nowadays in boosting about how fast their child learnt to move the fingers on the smart phone. The BIG Question is- Are our children really becoming smart?
The effects of this trend are not seen immediately but after few years. This causes risk of a delay in expressive speech, emotional aloofness in the child and tremendously decreases the attention span. We are not even considering the impact on the eye sight and the effects of the Electromagnetic fields from mobiles that have been linked to cancer and developmental disorders as of now.
As adults we are all aware of the harmful effects of mobile phone. The fact that these effects aren’t seen immediately doesn’t mean we can turn a blind eye towards it. In later stage of life our children are bound to use these technologies but then lets try and give them an electromagnetic free childhood!
There are many better ways to achieve the results without exposing your kid to a mobile phone at such a tender age. There are games that work on the motor skills which keep the child hooked for long.
Let’s ensure that our awareness & education is put into effective implementation. Please follow it from TODAY.
- Nishchal Arora