There is no child who has been spared by a bully. Right from the time a toddler starts being social, starts going to the park, playschool, neighbors, he/she definitely faces another child who loves to bully; loves to hit, push, throw toys, snatch toys, can’t take NO for an answer, loves it when the other kids cry. Why is it that some children love to bully others? What is it that makes them a bully right from their childhood? Is it just their fault or somewhere the parents are at folly too? What gives him the “authority” to tease, hit, push, irritate others? There is a difference in being naughty and being a bully. As the child starts growing and if he is not controlled the bullying tendency spirals. The parents have a big role to play here.
Imagine a scenario where a cute little kid goes to the park with his parent and is waiting for his turn in the slide. Suddenly the child standing behind him pushes him and with a glee slides breaking the queue and also hurting the other child!! Sounds familiar? Just think, is that bully your child? You might be in denial. You might say that my child is naughty like any other child of his age, but just sit down and think isn’t there a difference in being naughty and being a bully?
Who is a bully? A bully is someone who uses power to intimidate others, hurt others, tries to thrust superiority upon others. Such kids are used to having their way at home, who cannot take NO for an answer, who are used to throwing tantrums. Are you the kind of a parent who gives in to the child’s tantrums always? Do you laugh or go gaga when your child hits you or others, throws things, shouts or yells at other kids? Do you believe that this is a sign of smartness?
Parents are the first teachers of a kid, they lay the foundation of the child’s behavior. We all love our children and love to watch their new antics every day. But hey, do learn to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Correcting a faulty behavior, learning to discipline or saying No might sound difficult but it is really not. Often as parents you might think that the child is too young to understand what we explain but the age-appropriate channel of communication should be started pretty early. Children also emulate the parents a lot. So, just keep an eye on your own behavior. As parents, as citizens keep a track of your own behavior.
If your child is a bully, you will tend to get complaints from other children and their parents. Don’t become defiant (just as your child). Listen to the others patiently; just do not dismiss their complaints. Also, don’t start scolding your child then and there itself. Talk to your child when he and you both are calm.
Parenting is a big challenge in every step. Don’t ignore or panic if your child is a bully. Take charge, after all you are the parent. Help your child to shape up into a better individual. He will learn to be considerate, compassionate, make more friends. If he continues to bully, he will be left alone. Other children will fear him, ignore him, hate him, and he might remain friendless. Socially the parents will boycott your child. He will become more resentful.
As a parent, learn to say NO, give him rewards and time-outs as and when necessary. Keep on talking to him. Tell him being bully is “not cool”.
Help your child to attain a healthy and happy childhood where he should be social, not anti-social (bully)!
Interpretation of a 20th Century 1980s song by a 21st Century girl.
Yesterday while surfing channels I stopped at a music channel which was playing 80s songs. It was playing the song “Ye tera ghar ye mera ghar” from the film Saath-saath where a couple happily sings about their new abode. My daughter was watching that song with me and after a while she remarked, “Why is it that the woman is doing all the household chores like washing utensils or cooking while the man is smiling and standing? Then why is he singing Ye tera ghar ye mera ghar when he isn’t sharing the chores?” While growing up I could never imagine that someday this song will be interpreted like this!
The parents were frantically searching for their little boy as he was missing. They had by chance gone to pick him from his tuition class where he his heart stopped for a minute when the teacher said that he hadn’t come to the class that day. It was raining and hence he went to pick him up. They would keep his cycle on the backseat. He had waved them goodbye and left for the tuition class on his cycle. Where could he be? He was only 9 years old. He didn’t have a mobile. The father cursed himself that he didn’t know the names or whereabouts of his friends. He couldn’t go back home empty handed. His wife was already in a state of despair. The mother went back home and started searching in the neighborhood.
What might have happened to him? Did he meet with an accident? But in that small patch from their home to the class there was no evidence of any fresh accident. In a small town like theirs people could easily tell about any such incident. Did he get kidnapped? He couldn’t remember of any enemies that he had other than the occasional tiff with the contractors with whom he worked. But they wouldn’t stoop so low. Where, where was his little boy?
Drenched in the rain with the rain washing away his tears the little boy sat all alone crying bitterly. He was lonely, frightened. He had decided that he would go back home once the rain had stopped and the tuition time was over. His parents wouldn’t know that he was not in the class. He didn’t want them to know that he had skipped the classes few times before too. He didn’t have the guts to tell them why? He was shivering, felt hungry, yet he felt better sitting in that rain where no one could watch his tears.
The father was literally in tears when he couldn’t find his son anywhere. It was getting dark and the rain was unstoppable. He had decided that he would search in the area they lived in for one last time and then go to the police for help. While searching the whole area and nearby places suddenly his father had a gut feeling to search the local school nearby which would be closed now. Though he was sure that it was not the best of the places to search still he decided to take a chance.
As soon as he opened the old creaky gate he could see a small boy sitting on the stairs. He was crying, frightened, shivering; he was his little boy. The father ran towards his son, embraced him hard, and burst into tears. Those were the tears of respite, relief, fear, happiness..
When they entered the home, the mother literally crushed her son in her arms and cried bitterly. She said, “Do you know what we have been through? Why did you do this?” She bathed him, changed him into fresh clothes, fed him, and when he was in a better shape, the parents again asked him, “Why did you do so?” He kept quiet, his eyes brimming with tears. The parents didn’t want to force him. So, they let him sleep. They kissed him good night once they felt he had slept.
The boy simply pretended to sleep. How could he tell his parents that his tuition teacher, a young man in his 20s, asked him to take off his trousers and…..
Becoming a mother is one of the most joyous and memorable event in any woman’s life. The would-be-mom goes through mixed emotions of happiness, excitement, fear, anxiousness, etc., especially when she is expecting her first child.
Unless there are any medical conditions associated with pregnancy or before pregnancy or the doctor has advised bed-rest and other precautions, pregnancy needs to be enjoyed, taken normally and not treated as any disease. I remember during both my pregnancies I was working till the last day, doing all the household chores, and enjoyed my pregnancies thoroughly.
Few tips for a smooth pregnancy and taking this phase as normally as one can:
- First and foremost, pregnancy should not be taken as an illness. Yes, the woman’s body goes through a lot of physical and hormonal changes but unless there are severe medical conditions where the gynecologist advises total bed-rest, take certain precautions and medicines, pregnancy should be taken normally.
- Some women have severe nausea and vomiting during the first trimester, hyperemesis gravidarum. She should consult the doctor and follow him/her.
- During pregnancy, the expecting mother should diligently follow the gynecologist. There is no harm in following advice from the elderly or experienced mothers but only the doctor is the best person to understand about her condition.
- Eat nutritious food which includes all food groups but do not eat excessively. Some people suggest that a mother should eat for two people, but the fact is whatever healthy diet the mother takes for herself is sufficient for the baby. Also during this phase the mother shouldn’t diet or bar any food group like fats. Like all other nutrients, fats are also required for the development of the baby.
- As per the doctor’s advise, folic acid and calcium should be taken regularly. Never stop any supplement on your own. Also in certain conditions like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia doctor’s prescribe few medicines which should be continued. They won’t harm the baby.
- Continue working in the office, in the house as before. Just take care not to haste too much, not to bend as the tummy grows bigger. Take rest in between. Seek the help and support of colleagues, family and friends whenever required. This is the best time to get pampered by everyone.
- Go for the scans and Doppler as and when indicated by the doctor. This monitors the baby’s growth and development.
- Indulge in prenatal yoga, walk and light exercise after the gynecologist gives a go-ahead. This helps the would-be-mom to keep fit and energetic.
- Never ignore the slightest of discomfort. It might simply be gas or heartburn or later false alarms yet visit the doctor immediately if the mom feels any issue.
- Often women worry about the mode of delivery; whether it would be normal or cesarean. I always say that one cannot predict anything till the last date. Of course, every mom would want a normal delivery but when it comes to certain emergent conditions its best to get a C-section done. After all, nothing is more important than the mother and baby’s life. I myself had both my kids via C-section and I am perfectly fine and so are my kids who are grown up now!
Pregnancy is a phase that needs to be enjoyed and cherished. Feel the kicks, hear the heartbeats via Doppler, see the little one moving in the scan..
Kids falling ill is the one of the biggest concerns for any mother. This happens more with kids till the age of 5 and with season changes. Cold and cough and fever not just makes the kid irritable, it also diminishes his appetite. Mothers are at wits end managing the kids and are also worried about their immunity and overall health.
Sharing a few tips to take care of the little ones and build their immunity. Of course, in some health conditions doctors are the best people to advice. Also, these worked for my children; each mother knows the best for her child and so its totally each parent’s discretion.
- Don’t make the baby wear a lot of layers. Don’t make him wear a woolen cap, mittens, socks, etc. all the time if the temperature is normal and not too cold. You will see kids often sweating or getting irritated when made to wear to many layers.
- Let the child crawl, walk, run, fall and grow up. No, I am not heartless! This helps in building up the kids’ immunity a lot. The more the kid is in a natural environment the better his immunity will be. So, every time he crawls or walks and falls don’t go and pick him up. Of course, the floors need to be kept clean and free of germs and sharp objects.
- Once the child starts having solids, introduce all the food groups at the earliest. Give the child pulses, cereals, fruits, vegetables, chicken, paneer, etc. first in a mashed form and later as is. I started giving my children everything we had, albeit not spicy, since the time they were 7-8 months old. Giving salt and sugar is totally up to the parents. This way the kids get all the nutrients, are eating all food groups, and become non-fussy eaters.
- Never start giving medicines without the doctor’s advice. Only a medicine for fever like Calpol can be given, that too age-specific dosage and not multiple times. Not all fevers or cold and cough warrant antibiotics. So, never introduce any antibiotic or other medicine without the doctor’s advice. Not all conditions are the same.
- Don’t panic if the child isn’t eating after recovering from fever or cold and cough. Don’t try to force feed him. Even as adults we lose appetite after an illness. Similarly, the kids also lose appetite which eventually comes back once the child recuperates. Forcing the child will result in vomiting and abhorrence towards food.
- Immunity of a child develops in the first 5 years, so don’t worry if he is falling ill once a month or once in 2 months. Of course, if the child is suffering from asthma or other issues the scenario is different. Trying out home remedies, Ayurvedic or homeopathic treatment is totally each parents’ choice but for infants home remedies should be avoided as they are too young to be put at any risk.
- Never stop the course of any medicine in between. Often mothers stop the medicines once they feel the child is better but that should never be done. The course of any treatment should always be completed. This is for the child’s well being.
- Don’t restrict the child from playing in the mud, getting wet in the rain, playing rough for the fear of falling and hurting. All these make the child strong. This is my personal experience. Don’t worry about getting tanned or the elbows and knees getting dark! This is applicable for both boys and girls.
The more we mollycoddle the children the lesser the strong they will be. Let them grow naturally and normally. Remember our own childhood?
One of the most important milestones in a child’s life is the beginning of school life. A child who has been with the parents since birth, protected, guarded is to be prepared to get exposed to a different life altogether. A life which has teachers, friends, and a lot of other new stuff.
I see many new moms getting nervous about how their kids will adjust or whether they are taking the right decision by sending the child to a school early and so on. Whether to send the child to a playgroup is totally a parent’s choice but at any stage of school life certain things need to be kept in mind.
Sharing a few pointers from my own experience of sending my two children to school at various stages.
- Playgroup. This is the beginning of a setup where the child is on his own without the parents for 2-3 hours. A lot of times there is a discussion whether the child who is so young needs to be sent to a playgroup or not. I would simply say a playgroup is only for 2-3 hours where the children interact with their little peers, play, learn a little, and have lots of fun.
- Setting a routine. When the kids are babies sometimes there is no routine. They stay awake till late and wake up late. But once the parents decide to enroll the kid in the school they should start following a routine for the child few months in advance so that the child can cope up well later.
- Sleep time. A toddler needs 10-12 hours of sleep for rest and better growth. Ensure that the child sleeps on time in the night so that he can wake up fresh in the morning. Often moms complain that the child is cranky in the morning. This is because his sleep is not insufficient.
- Meals. One of the biggest struggle of parenting for many moms is food! Mothers are worried about the quantity of food, the nutrients, and the time taken by the child to finish the meals. Always ensure that the child has breakfast before going to school. My children have this habit of having breakfast right from the time they were in playgroup. Wake up the child a little earlier so that you don’t have to rush the child to eat or may be send the child empty stomach. A good breakfast is essential for the kids to stay fresh, active and healthy.
- Try to select a school which is closer home or either parent’s workplace when the child is younger. Either parent could reach quickly in case of any emergency.
- Talk to the child daily in a casual way to know how his day was, whether he has some issues.
- If there are any issues, approach the teacher in a polite manner. Don’t accuse or argue unreasonably. After all, the teacher is handling many more children.
- Don’t be overprotective. In the school, kids learn to share, have tiffs, cry, laugh; its all a part of growing up and learning.
School life is a new phase of every parent’s and kid’s life. With all its ups and downs, its one of the most memorable phase of the children’s life..