Where Do We Lose The Feeling of Fabulous !

Where do we lose our confidence? The feeling of feeling fabulous, amazing, and desirable?

As we grow older, the definitions of looking good, sexy, beautiful, hot keep changing and becoming more and more restrictive. Our grandmothers were happy as they were, our mothers were happy being curvy, our elder sisters were happy being thin, but we are not even happy being skinny. 

Every month there is a new definition of beauty and glamour, and we are happy to blindly follow it. My friend B, was on the keto diet from January to March, then on intermittent fasting for 2 months, then on a detox for a few weeks, and finally ended the year on her every favourite Mediterranean diet.

Similarly, some weeks photo facials are the most happening thing, and at other times it’s all about glycolic peels. One dermatologist will declare microdermabrasion as the holy grail to glowing skin, while your mother will insist on home remedies.

There is a never-ending plethora of information available on how to enhance your looks, complexion, happy, skin, weight. Fashion trends are more and more becoming about highlighting your fit bodies. Every garment is made in a way that a fit, lean body is a prerequisite.

As we grow older, the definitions of looking good, sexy, beautiful, hot keep changing and becoming more and more restrictive. Our grandmothers were happy as they were, our mothers were happy being curvy, our elder sisters were happy being thin, but we are not even happy being skinny. 

Every month there is a new definition of beauty and glamour, and we are happy to blindly follow it. My friend B, was on the keto diet from January to March, then on intermittent fasting for 2 months, then on a detox for a few weeks, and finally ended the year on her every favourite Mediterranean diet.

Similarly, some weeks photo facials are the most happening thing, and at other times it’s all about glycolic peels. One dermatologist will declare microdermabrasion as the holy grail to glowing skin, while your mother will insist on home remedies.

There is a never-ending plethora of information available on how to enhance your looks, complexion, happy, skin, weight. Fashion trends are more and more becoming about highlighting your fit bodies. Every garment is made in a way that a fit, lean body is a prerequisite.

The Magic Mantra I Really Want To Adopt In My Life !!

 There are many things that come to my mind love, kindness, compassion, family, spouse, compatibility but if there has to be one thing,one mantra that I truly believe can be life changing, it is GRATITUDE. Gratitude has been defined as the quality of being thankful, an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has. It has three key elements, acknowledgement, appreciation and thankfulness for what you have.

With everyone’s current obsession with social media, we are constantly bombarded with news and images of how perfect and happy and happening others’ lives are.  You go on Instagram and all you see are pictures of friends traveling , celebrating special occasions, gushing about their children and spouses. While that is great, but does it leave an after taste in our hearts that why do we not have enough. Despite having it good in our lives, we start wondering why are we not going for exotic vacations or pursuing challenging careers or doing sky diving or skiing and the list goes on. 

In today’s materialistic world, there is so much that we have and yet much more that we don’t have. If we travel twice a year, others are traveling thrice. If we celebrate Christmas with a party at home, others are flying to London for it. Countless times I have heard friends complaining about how others’ lives seem so exciting and fun, while they lead dull and routine lives.

Similarly for relationships there is always more that the heart desires. If we have a loving, supportive husband yet he is not outgoing and adventurous we have a complaint with that. If our in laws are loving and kind, they may not be modern or smart enough. Our kids and husbands should be smart, funny, loving , the entire works for us to present a glossy family portrait. No one wants to show their real lives, just an ideal and fantastic version of it. And this in turn, sows the seeds of discontent and the feeling of not having enough in most other peoples’ minds.

Kisiko mukamal jahan nahin milta” is a fact that our previous generations fully understood and accepted and they were mostly satisfied with their lives.There was contentment in their lives, and pleasure was derived from simple things.They were happy with their simple family life, occasional outings and modest purchases.

But our generation has seen a complete change in psychology. We have been lucky that we have had more than enough, which is gradually shifting to the mindset that that nothing is ever enough. We forget and undermine all that we have, taking it for granted.

While striving for perfection and ambition are great motivators, and we genuinely need them to keep us going forward and setting higher standards for ourselves. Still all of us need to cultivate acknowledgement and appreciation for all that we have in our hearts.

The magical thought and emotion that can truly transform our lives is Gratitude. Just be appreciative and thankful for what you have. All of us have a lot without any doubt. If we are sitting here reading articles on our laptop or iPads or smart phones, on our sofas or recliners we have nothing to complain about in material terms. We all have some goodness in our family and personal lives even if not all.Everything might not be perfect, but surely all of us have some people who bring love, laughter and light in our lives. So let’s concentrate on all the positives.  I have learnt this from my husband and I’m trying to imbibe this quality gradually. He never complains about anything, he just will not complain about the things in life that will leave most of us dissatisfied or resentful. Initially a few times it even made me think that he is just not bothered, but the truth is he chooses not to get bothered by the small stuff. He views life in a macro sense, that it’s all good so why sweat the things that don’t matter in the long run. If he is bothered by something that I did or did not do, he will just think to himself that she does so many things, she might have forgotten or not known that this has to be done. Most people, on the other hand, me included would get irritated that why would you not do this one small thing, is it not important, you take my things for granted etc.

Just think if all of us can learn to take a step back, and see our lives and relationships in a macro sense, we really will not find that much to complain about. When I step back, and think of my life and relationships in totality, the small irritations start to recede.

How we can develop an attitude of gratitude is a whole new topic, for another article, but I will like to suggest one small thing that I have been practicing. Every morning and night, just think of five things you are grateful for, big or small, meaningful or silly and take a deep breath. With each passing day, you’ll see that these two minutes will bring a smile to your face which will keep you going through the day. Throughout the day, you’ll get reminded of those five things, and the day won’t seem so bad after all. Please share your thoughts and experiences.

Things You Should Never Say To Your Child !!

Parenting does not come with a manual, even though it is one of the most challenging jobs in the world. We as parents often make mistakes and that’s OK. One of the toughest jobs as a parent is to learn how to talk to the child. An unintentional remark can seriously affect their mindset, views and perceptions of themselves and the world.

Here are some things I feel we should never say to a child to inculcate a positive, healthy, warm relationship

  • ‘STOP CRYING’ : who amongst us can truthfully say that they have never said this to their child. When you are crying and someone says this to you, does it make you stop or make you feel even worse and angry. Encourage them to express their emotions and not bottle them up. Much to their parents frustration children’s way to do so is by crying and yelling, but do not discredit their feelings, rather teach them to express them in a calmer way. And kids love to be comforted and hugged, especially when they are crying.
  • ‘YOU DON’T FEEL THAT WAY’ : kids feelings are very bit as valid as those of adults, even if they might seem irrational and exaggerated to us. Do not dismiss their feelings and thoughts, even if you do not agree with them. Try to understand what they might be feeling, even if it’s expression seems dramatic.
  • ‘YOU ARE FAT OR GETTING FAT’ :this is a major no as it makes the children too aware of their bodies and losing weight. Children are extremely vulnerable, and body image is a very personal and sensitive thing and needs to be discussed in a positive light. Negative talk can lead to serious emotional issues including eating disorders.
  • ‘THAT IS ONLY FOR BOYS/GIRLS ‘:limiting boys and girls to what they can or cannot do or feel on the basis of their gender, tells them that there are certain ways boys can behave and other ways girls behave, and if they do not comply it’s wrong. This puts too many restrictions, and makes children believe in traditional. stereotypical gender roles.
  • BEHAVE LIKE A BIG GIRL/BOY’ : let children be children. Emotional maturity comes with age, and should not be forced on any child. Do not put pressure on them to  behave in a manner beyond their age and ability.
  • ‘WHY ARE YOU NOT MORE LIKE YOUR SIBLING’ : sibling rivalry exists in most houses. But parents should make efforts not to foster this unhealthy competition and jealousy among siblings. Never, never compare your kids and try to appreciate their unique skills and talents.
  • ‘I AM DISAPPOINTED OR I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU’ :sometimes we say very harsh words in the heat of the moment without realising that the child will take them at face value and will actually believe them. Take a deep breath, and try to convey your message in a less forceful and assertive manner.
  • ‘YOU ARE PERFECT / MOST BEAUTIFUL’ : praising a child can be tricky, you want them to have a positive self image, yet not be too focused on looks and beauty. Self worth should not be based on how they look. Similarly, there should be no pressure to be perfect all the time. It’s okay to make mistakes, have fun, just be a child.
  • ‘BECAUSE  I SAID SO’ OR ‘BECAUSE I AM AN ADULT AND YOU ARE A CHILD’ :all of us are guilty of using this cliche. This tone has been used by all generations of parents to show their authority and power, but it is not the right way to discipline children. It makes them feel that their thoughts and feelings are not valid and valuable. Try to explain to them your reasons even if it might be tiresome.
  • ‘WAIT UNTIL YOUR FATHER COMES HOME’ : this is used by a lot of mothers to make the child behave, by instilling fear for the father’s anger. Don’t paint him as the villain, don’t make your kids fear their father. Be united in your approach to instill discipline.
  • ‘DON’T BE A WIMP/CRY BABY’ :all of us want our kids to be strong, fearless, smart but mocking them not be a wimp will not achieve that. We need to boost their confidence and applauding their strengths
  • ‘YOU ARE TOO YOUNG TO THINK/KNOW ABOUT THIS ‘:it is not always easy to answer children’s never ending questions but by shutting them up, we are undermining their inquisitiveness and curiosity and giving them the message not to ask questions from us or ask at all. One of the biggest traits comprising intelligence is curiosity, nurture it.

These are some of the things I thought of that should not be said to children, please share your experiences and thoughts.

Did She Really Need To Fake Something So Terrible ?!?

A few days back, on the weekend I started watching the Netflix series MYTHOMANIAC.It is a French drama series, about a modern day family. Elvira is a typical modern day woman, she has a full time job under a horrible boss, and then her other full time job, which is getting her three kids to school, driving them back, taking them to classes, making dinners and snacks and at the end of the day, wondering if anyone notices all the work she puts in.

She is a burnt out suburban mother, who feels unnoticed and unappreciated by her husband and kids. An appointment at the radiologist brings her much needed attention. Even though she is assured that they are just fat lumps, in a desperate and frankly disturbing move for attention she tells her partner Patrick that the lumps are tumors. Shock makes him realise that he might lose Elvira, and her value,and decides that this is the indication that they need a fresh start and really notice her again.There is a great change in his behavior and he becomes really attentive and demonstrative. She starts enjoying this new, changed behavior from her family, the concern and love and tells them she needs a small surgery and decides to take a break for herself.

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Mythomania is defined as the abnormal propensity for lying or exaggerating, and we all know people who did it, but in a medical context it has strange implications. The eventuality of little white lies escalating into unstoppable snowballs has often been seen, but the idea of faking a terrible illness still seems pretty unreal. All of us have indulged in small, white lies like having a terrible headache or PMSing to get out of entertaining guests or missing events.

Indeed Elvira has inconsiderate, ungrateful kids and a self absorbed husband, but did she really feel the need to fake something as terrible as cancer, to seek her family’s attention and sympathy. Did she really have to go to such great lengths to get kindness and consideration from those she loved. She has been taking care of her family and their needs, but why is their no reciprocation?

There is no doubt that lying and exaggerating are wrong, and when done to fake an illness are terrible and unforgivable, but do women really feel so unacknowledged and alone that they are willing to go to such drastic lengths to get from their family what they anyway deserve.

Does this show once again highlight what all of us women, have felt at some time or the other, undervalued and overworked. Most of us have complained that motherhood is a thankless job, and all we need is some acknowledgement, I know I have.

No, I am quite sure, we would not resort to such measures but why should any wife or mother feel so desperate or alone that she has to?

The Era Of Missed Calls And Secret Glances !!!

It’s my birthday, the party is over, the kids have slept but I stay up extending this day as much as I can. Birthdays are often days for reminiscing, smiling about things in the past and wondering if the years gone by have really been worthwhile. This time wondering about all these things and many more, my mind takes me back to my high school birthdays and those years.

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The era of landlines, of missed calls, of furtive glances and secret notes. Oh, what fun we had! Writing notes passing them onto friends who had the immense responsibility of carrying it over to the object of our attention at that time. The thrill of watching that person, anticipating their reaction and waiting for the response. With mobile phones and social media at their hands, the teenagers of today will never understand the fervent anticipation a single missed call on the landline could cause, how we would desperately try to sneak the cordless phone to our rooms to make that all important call back. How blank calls would make our parents shrug critically, but set our hearts aflutter.

I can still remember the feeling of butterflies in my stomach when I received my first “love note.” It was a so-called declaration of liking by my classmate and caused much excitement in my group of friends. We all sat down, dissected it in great detail and decided how to word the response. Similarly each call, each letter was discussed and responded to accordingly.

Meetings or dates had to be carefully planned in a way that we always had an alibi, and would not get caught by the parents. The excitement that these outings caused, in part cause of the thrill of doing something unexpected and hidden could not match the dates in later years when they were out in the open. The hidden messages, signals, outings had an immense charm, romance, and thrill that was unmatched by adult dating life.

The kids of today with mobile phones in their hands and cars at their disposal will never get the chance to experience these things. With social media showing exactly where you are, with whom and your every move getting monitored, the mystery and enigma are gone. Everything is out there, and that certainly makes things easier and more convenient but the romance and magic have gone out of communication. There is no more wonder, intrigue in getting to know someone.

Oh, how I remember those days!

After 10 Years, What To Remember !!!

As I enter the tenth year of marriage I would like to believe I have become a little more mature, a little more patient, a little more forgiving. I am beginning to understand that not everything needs to be said and neither does every argument need to be won. I am beginning to let go of insignificant things and yet learn to stand firm about things that really matter.

As I sit and reflect here are my two bits on what all a wife should remember  :

Remember that love remains but it’s expression often changes. Gone are the days of special dinners, candlelight romance and catering to each other’s every whim. Yes you will still do all these things but they will not be your or your husband’s top priority. Kids, careers, finances, families will loom over your romance till it takes a backseat. Learn to notice and appreciate the small but endless gestures of love and concern your husband makes. Every time he makes coffee for you, takes over the kids on a Sunday morning so that you can sleep in or lets you choose which movie to watch.

Remember that it is the two of you against the world and not against each other.I am not saying wage a war against the world, against your families or friends but try not to fight over them. Don’t make every issue you have with others into a fight between yourselves. Try to minimize fighting amongst yourselves over in-laws, relatives and friends. This is often difficult, but try to see the two of you as being on the same side and not fighting or defending opposite sides. Show a united front to the world, never pull each other down in front of others.

Remember that if your husband has changed, so have you. We often complain that our husbands have changed so much, they are not as attentive, outgoing, demonstrative as before. But look in the mirror, are you still the same girl your husband met ten years ago. Have you not changed, grown, evolved (for better or worse) so why expect any different from him. Acknowledge what has changed for the better, he maybe more responsible, caring, considerate than before. PDA will turn into more subtle but meaningful gestures, appreciate them.

Remember that every promise may not be fulfilled. Many times, even with the best of intentions and efforts promises will be broken. We may promise each other the world and beyond in the beginning, but as we mature, we need to realize that promises are broken and expectations unfulfilled from both sides. We need to let go and not hold on to anger and resentment. When we decided to have children, we had a very idealistic vision of how we would raise our children, but as our babies were born, we realized that things don’t always go according to plan but that’s okay. Similarly, some expectations we had made from each other before marriage could not be fulfilled in the grand scheme of life, but it’s not really anyone’s fault.

Remember that it’s okay to not finish every argument. I do not believe in the belief that never sleep on an argument. This has happened after many nights of endless, meaningless arguing when both of us were too tired to make any sense or to give in. It’s okay to pause an argument and talk about it the next day because everything does seem better in the morning after the night’s sleep. But it’s also okay to decide not to argue. Many times me and my husband argue about the same things over and over again, but now I have learned to say let’s end it, we both know the result, so let’s give up and agree to disagree. 

Remember to talk, talk and always talk.My favorite person to talk to in this whole world is my husband. I talk to him a couple of times in the day and I still want to my alone time with him at night. Communication is the most important thing for me in a marriage, and it’s really important to be able to talk about everything under the sun. Long after sex and kids are gone, being able to talk to each other is what will keep you going. 

Remember never to compare your marriage with any other. No marriage is perfect, and anyone who says so is a liar. All couples fight, argue, have their own issues and then makeup. Don’t let comparisons or preconceived notions of right and wrong create problems in your marriage. All couples are different and so is their relationship. It’s okay to be together twenty-four-seven, but it’s also okay to go on separate vacations or have my time if that’s what you want. Live your marriage the way you want to, the way it makes you feel happy and content.

Remember that marriage is meant to be fun. The day you got married, you couldn’t wait to begin your life together. Now try to enjoy this life together. Have adventures, or simple coffee dates, romantic dinners or pizza dinners with kids but enjoy the ride. Send the kids to grandmother’s house and make a to-do romantic list for the day. Have lots of wine, watch movies, go for drives, trekking or meet friends. Remember the vision, the plans, the dreams you had together and try to live them in any way you can. We have made a bucket list of fifty odd things ranging from overnight trips to learning cooking together and are slowly making our way through it !! Would love to hear others’ experiences, what to remember, what to forget and their stories 

Shop No More?!

Which is the most socially acceptable addiction? Oniomania or compulsive shopping. We are living in an era of consumerism where we (including me) are sold on the idea that buying things will make us happy, make our life better, and improve our social worth.

But a new twist in this, is the rising and increasingly common addiction to online shopping, as it brings instant gratification. There’s a fine line between loving online shopping and being addicted to it. In the digital age, endless goods are available at the click of a button which combined with the convenience of not needing to go to a store, fuel this addiction. Psychologists believe that online shopping addiction should now be classified as a mental health condition as it involves great risks like financial losses, loss of self-control and losing the sense of priorities.

All of us have fallen prey to this temptation, it is fun, it is convenient and things are always on great discounts. Who doesn’t love buying adorable outfits for the kids or beauty products at attractive discounts sitting at home in their pajamas? Countless nights when I can’t fall asleep, I’ll spend hours browsing clothes, cosmetics and even homeware on Amazon, eBay and the likes, and if not buying then wish listing it.

According to statistics, 92% of Americans now shop online, and amongst these, 86% use their phones. Online shopping addiction is a behavioral addiction that involves compulsive buying as a result of an intense craving to purchase and deriving emotional satisfaction from it. A major characteristic is “preoccupation with shopping for unneeded items, and difficulty resisting the purchase of unneeded items.”

Most often it is just a bad habit that drains your finances, but sometimes it might take a more serious and damaging turn. Here are some warning signs to look out for :

  • You frequently exceed your monthly budget because of online shopping
  • You have rising credit card debts because of online purchases
  • You often feel guilty after your online buying
  • You often hide your purchases from your family
  • You argue with your spouse or family over your purchases
  • You feel anxiety over missing out on deals
  • You often buy things you don’t need just because they are on discount

The rise of e-commerce sites, flash sales, and readily available credit have made online shopping far too tempting. Also in most cases, you are not handing over the money, so you delude yourself into thinking that you are really not spending money.

But if you are struggling with online shopping compulsion, these are a few tips that may help :

Delete all shopping apps from your mobile phone

Shopping apps make it way too convenient to spend money online. It just takes a click to buy things, and it doesn’t even feel like you are giving away any money. Delete all shopping apps, you don’t need them.

Unsubscribe from all promotional emails

Take a minute to unsubscribe from all the retailer newsletters you receive, especially ones that promote flash sales, discount coupons. Don’t be afraid to lose out on discounts as you will end up saving a lot of money in the end.

discount coupons. Don’t be afraid to lose out on discounts as you will end up saving a lot of money in the end.

Remove your credit cards

Most people enter and save the details of their credit cards, to make checking out faster. This gives you no time to really think if you need to make this purchase or not. Getting up from your chair, retrieving the card and entering the details will give you a few minutes and you might decide not to buy it at all.

Don’t shop because you are bored

Many people browse online shopping websites when they are bored or waiting for something. Carry a book with you, listen to a song or a podcast, call someone but resist the urge to open shopping apps.

Retrain your brain

Retail therapy really works and does make you better, even if it’s momentary. If you are feeling sad or low or just disinterested, look for other means like reading, writing, exercising to make yourself feel better. Train your mind to understand the consequences of excessive spending.

Talk to someone

Just like everything else, talk to someone about your spending habits, be it your spouse, parent or counselor. They will help you understand and control your behavior.

Online shopping definitely has its advantages but also in most cases, leads to excessive spending. So be wise about it and try the above techniques to channel your money towards more productive purposes.

Now You Can Enjoy Your Coffee In Peace !!

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world along with tea, yet it has a somewhat dubious reputation. People will warn you that it raises blood pressure, impairs sleep, causes acidity and so on.

But research over the last few decades declares that coffee is mostly good for you . Moderate coffee consumption (3-4 cups a day ) is certainly not harmful and might even be beneficial for you. Good news for coffee lovers like me who can now drink their coffee without worrying in peace.

Here are some key reasons why coffee might actually be good for you :

Lowered risk of Type 2 Diabetes

People who consume 4 or more cups of coffee in a day have a 22% lesser risk of diabetes. So drink your coffee but control the sugar and cream in it.

Reduces risk of liver cirrhosis

Many common diseases like hepatitis, fatty liver disease or even excessive drinking can cause liver cirrhosis. Medical research shows that drinking 4 or more cups in a day can significantly  reduce liver damage as coffee lowers the liver enzyme levels.

Coffee can help you burn more calories and body fat

Caffeine boosts metabolic rate by 5-10% .Caffeine breaks down body fat, making it available for fuel. As a result you burn more calories and lose weight faster, What can be better , but go easy on the sugar and added flavors .

Improves energy levels

After you drink coffee, caffeine gets absorbed in your bloodstream, and also travels to the brain. In the brain, caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine, and increases neuron activity. It is thus, linked to improved levels of brain function like memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels.

Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia have become increasingly common in the past few decades among people over 65. Recent studies show that the compounds found in roasted coffee maybe responsible for preventing the buildup of the brain plaque believed to cause this neurodegenerative disease.

Coffee can help reduce Depression

Psychiatric studies have found that drinking coffee actually acts as a mild antidepressant by boosting feel good neurotransmitters in the brain. Studies show that people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee in a day are 20% less likely to be depressed and 50% less likely to commit suicide.

Coffee reduces colorectal cancer risk

Coffee is believed to reduce risk of two types of cancer : liver and colorectal by 15% and 40% respectively. which are the third and fourth most common kinds of cancer.

Coffee could protect your eyes

Strange as it might sound, coffee can significantly prevent retinal degeneration, which generally leads to night blindness and impaired vision.

Black coffee can prevent cavities

Drinking coffee can help prevent cavities and tooth decay as it kills the bacteria on the teeth, but this is true only for black coffee.

Contains various nutrients and antioxidants.

Coffee has a huge amount of antioxidants which have several benefits for human bodies. Apart from that, coffee also contains riboflavin, potassium, niacin and magnesium. So your daily cup or cups of coffee have several health benefits and can be enjoyed on a regular basis.

Is Your Child Depressed ??

Although depression is seen mostly as an adult illness, children and adolescents can develop depression as well. In fact, 3% of the children and 8% of the adolescents in USA have been diagnosed with depression. Unfortunately, many children with depression are not treated, since the parents and other adults around them don’t recognize the symptoms. Mostly as adults we feel children cannot be depressed as they have nothing to worry about, they do not have adult problems but kids experience stress too, in their own way. It has been seen that even kids from happy, secure families maybe suffering from depression.

It is important for parents, teachers and other caregivers to understand depression and it’s manifestations in childhood. While adults tend to be sad or low when depressed, in children and adolescents, it may come out in irritability and anger. Often depression gets ignored, as anger outbursts maybe seen as bad attitude or disrespect, and lack of energy and not trying maybe seen as lethargy or laziness.

It is therefore essential to understand the signs and symptoms :

  • Irritability or anger
  • Continuous feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal, not engaging in activities they previously enjoyed
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Changes in appetite – increase or decrease
  • Changes in sleep – sleeplessness or excessive sleep
  • Crying outbursts or defiant attitude
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Frequent stomach aches, head aches that don’t get better with medication

If a few or more of these symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, the parents should definitely seek medical advice.

Treatment

Treatment for depression in children is similar to that in adults. It may or may not involve medication depending on severity and if therapy alone is not working. Your pediatrician maybe a good starting point to begin treatment.

But in the case of children, family and his or her immediate environment has utmost importance in improving their mental health. While it may not be possible to prevent depression, parents and caregivers can be proactive and positive in their approach towards the issue. Some important things are :

  • Make sure the child eats nutritious food, gets adequate sleep and engages in physical activity daily, preferably unstructured, free play.
  • Spend time with your child. Engage in activities that you both enjoy like reading, watching movies, sports to encourage positive emotions and create a gentle, relaxing atmosphere at home.
  • Talk to your child. Encourage your child to open up and verbalize their feelings while maintaining a positive and non judgmental stance.This will help you bond with your child, and also help him or her discuss their feelings openly in therapy.
  • Be patient and kind. Depression often manifests in the form of irritability and anger, and it’s easy for parents to get angry or upset by the child’s behavior. Remember that this is a part of depression and does not imply disrespect or defiance, do not use harsh words. Instead show compassion and patience.
  • Ask for cooperation from teachers and the school. It’s very difficult to do well in school when thinking and concentration are impaired, so talk to the teachers and counselor in school and enlist their support. They may help the child by giving a little bit more time or more flexible deadlines. Encouraging words from teachers can really boost a child’s confidence.

As hard as it can be for a parent to accept that their child is depressed, it is essential that they remain calm and focused on helping the child feel better. There maybe be frequent temper tantrums or outbursts from the child, but they need to be handled with love and kindness, and not taken personally. Always be there to listen to your child and provide unconditional love and support. With proper treatment and support, the child will thrive and enjoy childhood.

Please share your thoughts and experiences about this.

There Is A Sita, Kaikeyi and Urmila In All Of Us

I recently read the book The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and I was truly enchanted and loved it. 

It is another version of the Ramayana, Sita’s version… also known as Sitayana. As soon as I read about the book I was fascinated, as till now I had really never thought that a different version of the Ramayana could exist. It gives us an insight into the life of Sita, right from her birth to when she gives up on her life as a final act of rebellion against patriarchy. I loved reading the book, found it truly enchanting and I couldn’t tear myself away from it.

The part of the story where it is postulated that Sita is the daughter of Ravan had me most intrigued and glued. It suggests that Sita was actually the firstborn of Ravan and Mandodari, but his astrologers had predicted that his firstborn would cause the destruction of his entire lineage. Hence, Ravan ordered that the child be killed immediately. However, Mandodari could not see that happen and bribed the Asura to leave her in some distant land. Thousands of kilometers away in Mithila, Raja Janak found baby Sita and accepted her as a boon from the gods. Mandodari recognized Sita as her long lost daughter when she saw her in Lanka after Ravan had kidnapped her. But she was too scared to share her secret, though she tried to make Sita’s life comfortable and save her from Ravan to the best of her abilities. Mandodari’s character is complex, wise, maternal and never shown before.

We have all heard the Ramayana many, many times but here, the Voice of Sita, clear and strong, reaches deep in your heart and stays there. Sita is every woman in one woman. She has all the human emotions and failings, she falls prey to jealousy, despair, anger, lust, and compassion. She is not just revered as an incarnation of Devi, as the perfect wife, daughter in law and mother but rather as a strong character who has her opinions, thoughts, and wishes.

Sita is not just a dutiful, submissive wife as mythology makes us believe, she is a thinker and questions society and its rules. She argues with her mother why Mithila cannot be ruled by a woman and only a man. She objects to the horrific mutilation of Suparnarakha, and considers it as unnecessary and a show of superiority by the brothers Ram and Lakshman.

Sita’s agnipariksha has been held in history as the highest ideal in the virtue of her being pativrata. But in Sita’s version, it is more of a fiery protest against a very public humiliation. The second time when she is asked to publicly prove her chastity, her refusal and asking the earth to subsume her is the biggest act of rebellion against patriarchy. She questions Ram publicly in court, that why does she not deserve the justice that other men and women in Ayodhya get, and then gives up her life and her role as wife and mother.

The novel is not just about Sita but also explains the other female characters who are otherwise ignored. Urmila, whose great sacrifices go unnoticed, Mandodari, written off like a demon, Suparnarakha, wronged by two men, and the ambiguity unseen earlier in Kaikeyi’s evil ministrations. The women characters say ” Write our story too, for always we’ve been pushed into corners, trivialized, misunderstood, blamed, forgotten or maligned and used as cautionary tales .”I just loved this statement. I read it several times and couldn’t get over how beautifully it conveyed what all women have felt at some point or the other, be it the in the Ramayana in the Treta Yug or in the twenty-first century. Sita comes across as a dutiful but bold daughter, protective sister, skilled healer, loving yet strong-willed wife, sensual lover, strong mother, nurturing, helpful, a thinker. She is a feminist and yet knows when to concede, mindful and empathetic. There is a little bit of Sita and for that matter of Urmila, Mandodari and Kaikeyi in all of us.