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Motherhood is an amazing journey. While most of us here are first time moms, we certainly have tips to give to others when it comes to parenting. And why not, motherhood teaches you so much. While you might have read umpteen number of books before you delivered, it’s ultimately your own journey that makes it so much more worthwhile. Each pregnancy is different, each child is different and so is the process of bringing your child up. There is no set formula and we all learn and explore in the process.
Today I noticed my 5-year-old clearing up her room after her friends had littered it up during their play time. It was heartening to see that she is taking up small responsibilities. But surely enough, parents do have to inculcate those learnings and values in the child. Before we realize it, those little learning form the foundation of your child’s growth.
There were few things that did work for me and my child. When my daughter was hardly six months old, a friend of mine suggested that I read books to her before her bedtime. At first, I was like she must be kidding but then she explained that kids as young as six months will hear you though they may not understand. Allow the kid to touch and feel the book and pause when they are staring at the pictures. You know what, it did work for me. Reading books to my daughter became a routine and a time to bond. When she was a little older, I emphasized that books should never be damaged and other little learnings like using the dustbin always whenever she has to dispose anything. She has done her own share of mistakes like throwing the chips wrapper on the road while travelling etc. but that’s the time you explain why their action is not correct. Use easy explanations, visual context if any or simply things they know of.
These little learning from their foundation of growth and will ultimately be their personality trait. May be because I am a working mom, I allowed my daughter to be on her own quite early. I have left the meal right in front of her to finish without fussing too much. She also took to school very easily. While most kids of her age were still crying at the entrance gate, she would walk in happily. She would also bid me goodbye every morning when I would leave for work. I had just explained her that going to school is must and I have to go to office just like Papa. It’s amazing how kids understand things at that age and keep the conversation going. They just need hand holding.
Stimulate their minds with puzzles, building blocks or simply take them down in the garden and play with them. My daughter loved participating in household chores so I would let her do it. Don’t panic if she is messing up the chapatti dough, give her a small ball of dough to make her own roti and then cook that unshaped roti for her and with her. The pride and happiness on their face would be totally worth your time. If she wants to sweep the floor or wash the Barbie’s clothes, let her do it. It will only build her immunity and her muscle growth.
Though we don’t realize these small tasks will build your child’s growth foundation. Environmental happenings, inner circle of friends and family, exposure to new circumstances will allow them to be more independent and confident. After all, as Junior Horlicks rightly says, ’90 % of the child’s Brain development happen before the age of 6’. So put in that little effort in the initial 5 years for your child’s robust foundation.