I saw children walking behind with the maid at malls/
restaurants/parks/cinema halls etc. I have seen maids running behind the child to brush the teeth/for bathing/to dress him/ to feed him while the mom is busy doing something in the kitchen/getting ready for office/waiting for a friend or guests/talking on phone etc. I have seen maids accompanying the families even during their vacations....where is the family time???
Back to the point, 'care-taker' for whom? The answer is for MOMS. Moms need help to handle home & children effectively.
It's an art to make best use of the 'care-taker'. As we are always in a shortage of time, we ask our maids to take care of the child & child's routine. Unknowingly we get dependent on our maid. Out sourcing is a sign of an efficient individual & our efficiency helps our children to boost their self confidence. Unfortunately we transfer our dependency & inefficiency to our children. We need to understand it clearly that the maids are to help us and not the child. We have hired a helper so that we can spare more time for the child & for the family. Everything related to the child & the family needs to be your decision. The maid should follow your instructions in your absence. The maid need to be respected well as an individual so that the child does not ill-treat her. I have seen children hitting & ill-treating the care-takers. The child need to get a clear message that you are capable enough to manage things on your own. The most important thing is.....whatever extra time you get (of course because of the care-taker doing things for you), spend it with your child & make it enjoyable. The child should get a clear message that mom has hired a maid so that me & mom can have more fun together. When you are there, the care-taker need not be involved in the daily chores related to the child directly. For example, when it's time to brush, you be with the child & ask the helper to prepare the breakfast. Then on dining table, you be with the child & have the breakfast together. I have seen the reverse happening most of the time. Maid is helping the child in routine & mom is preparing the breakfast....!!! Similarly when out for a shopping or cinema or park, if you need, take the maid along with you but you walk with the child, talk with the child, show him/her sign boards/different shops/different departments of the mega-store etc.
(by hiring a helper for you)
(by spending quality time together)
6) Facing the real world:
At times it becomes difficult to face the reality but that does not change the reality. We are so much attached to the word 'special' that we keep on reading people's responses/reactions towards our children. If we find someone ignoring the child, we instruct the child not to go & meet that person/not to talk if the child happens to meet that person. We instruct the child to stay away from such people.....etc.
Why?? Why we are so much on to the demand that
'MY CHILD SHOULD BE LISTENED BY EVERYONE....MY CHILD SHOULD BE TREATED WELL WHEREVER HE/SHE GOES..... NO ONE SHOULD IGNORE MY CHILD.... EVERYONE SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT HE/SHE IS A 'SPECIAL' CHILD.... Why?????
The people around us are like us....if we would not be having a special child, may be we would be doing the same....!!!
Let the child face the reality. Let your child learn to handle himself/herself when ignored. Let him/her find out something that can attract the crowd. Let him/her learn better social skills to become acceptable socially. Don't fix your child according to your mind-frames...instead help your child to explore the hidden jewels lying within thereby helping the child to mingle well with the outer world.
We went to Ganpatipule when Palak was 7. There came a big group with 7 children between age 5-12. All were English speaking. Palak was very much attracted to play with them. We were sitting just 15-20 feet away where the children were playing sitting in a circle. Palak suddenly got up, stood in the middle of the circle & said, "my name is Palak". (The only sentence she knew to speak in English at that time) All the children laughed & included her in their play. Here she got immediate acceptance but there were times when people were not ready to accept but she kept on trying. Every single time she succeeded. We never withdrew her from approaching people even when we felt that people disliked her approach & her talks. Yes, we kept on guiding her about how to talk/when to talk/what to talk. We still guide her about maintaining the privacy of others/respecting the willingness of others...but facing the real world is her job & she needs to understand & accept things as they are!!!!
Because we let her face the world, she could identify her limitations and could adjust herself accordingly. Once she participated in a solo dance competition, all her friends were to perform a group dance. Palak denied participating with them. When asked the reason, she said, " I can dance but I'm a bit slower than them so it won't look good. It's better to do a solo performance."
Acceptance gives energy to move ahead...let the world accept the way our children are......but...but before that let's accept the world as it is....!!!!!
7) Exposure to Screen:
Very important & difficult topic to handle. When I say 'NO' to screen, parents don't like. Some argue that 'screens are one of the best sources to make the child learn things faster.' When I agree with them, they get confused...!!! I fully agree that screens are the best learning gadgets. Our children are visual learners, copy cats & their receptive vocabulary is very good so nothing can be better than screen. Even I have screen in all 12 classes of my school.
Then for what I say 'NO' to screen.
Let's talk about the screen time most of the children have.
- Usually it is used to keep the child quiet for some time so that mom can finish up her work.
- Usually mom doesn't accompany the child when child is having screen time.
- There is no schedule set up for screen time. It is allowed as long as the child is sitting quietly.
- It is used very frequently to make the child sit & complete the meal while watching the screen.
Let's talk about the type of program our children watch on screen.
- Cartoons, serials, dance shows, music shows etc.
- Animated rhymes, stories, songs etc.
- Educational programs.
- If the child is watching ready-made programs, it happens that the child does not use thinking & intellectual skills & pursue the things, actions, etc unconditionally that are displayed on screen.
- Every 6-7 minutes there is a commercial breaks during TV programs. This decreases the attention span of the child.
- The addiction of ready-made programs makes the child disinterested in surroundings resulting in non-innovation.
- The constant screen environment hampers the child's all-round development leading to lack of curiosity, lack of self-motivation & lack of social abilities.
- Unthoughtful use of screen add monotony to the child's daily schedule & the child keeps on watching it mechanically.
- I have seen many grown up children sitting idly in front of a screen, completely detached & disinterested.
- Animated stories, rhymes, songs etc help in learning provided the child is accompanied by the parents. This need to be an interactive session with actions/words/recitation/meaning etc. Once learnt & understood,this can be used as a quiet time where child can be left alone in front of a mirror. (Mirror technique is already mentioned in previous blog)
- The choice of educational programs & games should be such that allow child to be interactive & self-thinker. e.g A game where child need to match a picture & get a 'right' on answering it correctly.
- A step-wise educational program or game help the child to improve the reaction time.
TO CONCLUDE THE MIX BAG.....
We need to balance between two realities of our lives:
WE ARE JUST A MEDIA CHOSEN BY THE GOD FOR OUR CHILDREN'S EXISTENCE
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF OUR CHILDREN ON THIS MOTHER EARTH
WISHING YOU ALL
A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR