Starting Right
|   Jul 14, 2016
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Starting Right

We all have apprehensions but those increase manifold the moment you become a First Time Mom. I went through the same.I had been taking care of my neighbors’ children when I was young and it somehow came naturally. But the moment I gave birth and the hospital staff bought him to me, my mind felt like a blank slate. I somehow couldn’t comprehend how this would work from now. I had so many questions. Will I be able to understand him? Will I be able to be a good and caring mother? How will I know what he needs? My mind was running a hundred miles an hour! The aunties pouring in their “helpful” suggestions only made matters worse.The first few days were difficult. It took me time but then reality hit home when I first spoke to him like as if he was big enough to understand and that’s when he blinked. It might sound weird, but I took it as a reassurance. That’s when I realized that I would do all I could to build him a solid foundation. One that he can look back on and say that it was helpful in making him the man that he is now.A few things that I think are the most important building blocks which I do for my son and I think will be helpful for first time mothers like me are:

LISTEN – Listen to what your child has to say. I know WhatsApp and Facebook can be very distracting but when your child talks to you, put everything aside and LISTEN to him/her. This makes them feel important. They feel that their opinion is valuable.

PLAY – I love doing this with my little fellow. We build blocks, we break them down, build again. We play Construction­Construction (boy version of House­House). This I realized not only makes them more proactive but when you’ve had a rough day, smashing those blocks down gives you a different high :-)

EXPLORE – I would feed our son, hold his glass while he drank water and wouldn’t let him touch the spoon for fear of creating a mess (it's actually the wiping part I hated). But one day, he suddenly held the glass with both hands and drank. WITHOUT SPILLING !!! I slowly started giving him things to do on his own. Allowing your kids to explore on their own helps them be more independent and gives them a sense of responsibility.

LOVE – Love. Love. Love. The MOST important of all. I never knew I could be this patient. But ever since my son was born, it's like some kind of Zen entered me. Create an environment where your child feels loved, accepted and free to make mistakes while learning from them. Tell them how much you appreciate and love them. Trust me it's never too much :-)

I feel that these should be the 4 main pillars in laying a strong foundation for a child’s development.

And tying these 4 pillars together is the cement, NUTRITION. I cannot stress enough how important the right nutrition is for healthy child development. And this I speak from experience.

Studies say that a proper balance of nutrients in the first 5 formative years of a child is critical for normal brain development. Shortages of nutrients such as iron and iodine can impair cognitive and motor development, and these effects are often irreversible. Similarly, there is growing evidence that DHA, an essential fatty acid, is a key component of the intensive production of synapses that makes the first years of life a critical period of learning and development. Many other nutrients—choline, folic acid, and zinc, to name just a few—have been linked specifically to early brain functioning.

My son was a picky eater and I guess most mothers will sympathize with me when I say that it was a task to get him to eat without him having to spit food out. Over and over again.

I increasingly grew fed up of what I would feed him because there was a point when he spat every new food item I tried. Then one of my friends told me how she maintains a food chart for the week and I gave it a try. That was a blessing.

I now knew what I could make for my son. Sure I didn’t have to follow it as is, I would always mix food items from different days but at least I knew what I wanted to give him. Before you know it, he started eating without spitting.Now that he has started Playschool, he has to be more attentive and have enough energy to get him through those few hours. So in addition to his regular food, I have started giving him Junior Horlicks to supplement his nutrition.

Giving a child a solid nutritional start has an impact for life on his or her physical, mental and social development.As a parent, we are our child’s first educator. From the moment they are born, we (family members included) are teaching them to grow, develop and learn. I hope this article helps moms like me give their child the BEST START...

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