No I Will Not Hit My Child !!!

When my daughter was born, we had visions of a sweet angel mild-mannered and gentle, since both I and my husband are calm, even-tempered people. Lovely and angelic she truly was, but with a streak of stubbornness and temper that we were at a complete loss on how to manage.

Our daughter (now 5 and a half years ) is an intelligent, extremely sensitive and affectionate child but also very quick to become impatient, feels bad about things and then sulks or throws a major tantrum. Since the time she has turned two, the so-called terrible twos have kept us on our toes with constant temper tantrums and meltdowns, and then apologies and tears on both sides

At these times I have explained, cajoled, negotiated and even pleaded with her, but mostly not been able to sway her. At such times, others especially the elders will look at you with disapproval and judgement that you can’t even manage your child. And believe me, you will begin to question your parenting skills. You will hear advice like sometimes it’s good to be firm, we used to slap our children and they turned out fine, you are too soft. Children will only listen to you if they are scared of you. Trust me I have heard it all to the extent that I am responsible for spoiling my kids.

I will not lie there have been times when I have wanted to bang my head in frustration or just run away from it all. There have been visits to the malls and toy stores where after doing all that I can, one more and then one more unreasonable demand comes up and I have burst into tears of frustration. But even at these times, it has never occurred to me to raise my hand on her. Never once has it occurred to me that I can scare her into listening or discipline her by using force.

I know that it is not easy, but for me hitting is just not okay. Hitting someone smaller or who you perceive as weaker is never okay. How is it that we create such a noise if a husband hits his wife, but it’s okay to hit your children just because you can. This show of force and superiority has very short-lived results if any, and a lot of harmful consequences on the child’s mind.

Children certainly need to be disciplined but by firmness and explanation however impossible it may seem. And I can vouch for it from my personal experience that nothing works better than the magic of unconditional love, patience, and guidance. My daughter is now more amenable to listening and much more flexible. There is a gradual but distinctive change in her as she is more open and flexible.

I want my children to feel that with their parents by their side there is nothing to be scared of. That they grow up to be strong and fearless and scared of nothing, least of all of us.

This is my take on this aspect of child raising, would love to hear more opinions from all of you.

MOVIE NIGHT WITH THE KIDS

With the long summer vacations looming ahead , watching movies with the kids can be a great way to connect and communicate with them. Movies can be a great way of getting the message across, depicting the values we want to teach but in a fun and more effective way.

Of course we need to choose the movies strategically and with care , and at the end of movie one can discuss the favorable traits of the characters and what they mean in real life.

Below is a list of movies I am planning to watch with my kids this summer [ some which we have ] :

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie is a very honest and good boy but poor. He wins one of the five tickets for a tour to the most amazing chocolate factory in the world . The other kids are rude, obnoxious and spoilt. Each of the four spoilt children faces unfortunate consequences while Charlie is given the ultimate prize the keys to the factory.

My children thoroughly enjoyed the movie and understood the message beautifully.

Frozen

This might seem like an odd choice but I think its a great movie which highlights the beautiful relationship between sisters and shows that its not always important for a prince to come and save the day.

I am Sam

Sam is a father of a young girl, and has a developmental disability. As the girl grows up, beyond his emotional capacity he starts questioning his own parenting ability. It is an emotional tear jerker.

Taare Zameen Par

a must watch for all parents . It is the story of a young boy with dyslexia. No one is able to understand his frustration, his helplessness ans loneliness. Finally comes a savior , his new teacher who helps him manage his shortcomings in a creative and productive manner.

English Vinglish

I love this movie and want my children to see and understand it. The movie is a realistic portrayal of how the women are not valued and respected in our families.

Do Dooni Chaar

Another movie I really like for its realistic modern take on family values. Its a great watch especially how Rishi Kpoor deals with his son when he gets to know he has been betting.

Why you should sleep with your baby

CO-SLEEPING with your baby refers to sleeping in sensory proximity to your baby, may or may not be in the same bed. Having the baby crib in your room, or attaching the crib next to your crib is also considered co-sleeping.

Co-sleeping has been a controversial topic in Western cultures though its always been popular in India. As a mother of 2 children I highly recommend co-sleeping as it instills a sense of security and comfort in the baby. Moreover scientific studies have proven many of the benefits. Here are some of them :

    • Easier Breastfeeding :  co-sleeping makes regular nighttime feedings easier simply because moms don’t need to leave their beds. Getting up 5-6 times at night , getting out of bed, walking to the next room can be mentally and physically exhausting. Gradually the mother’s sleep cycle and that of the baby get in sync. So it promotes an easier and more regular breastfeeding relationship.
    • More sleep for you and the baby:  most babies need to be fed, soothed and changed at night. If baby is close by, the mother can do all these things while in bed while remaining in a restful state. The baby’s first cries and murmurs will wake you up before they descend into a full-blown cry,and you can handle the baby quickly and easily.
    • Lower Risk of SIDS:   the lowest SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome ) rates in the world coincide with high rates of co-sleeping. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room sharing, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months, stating that this decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
    • Promotes bonding between mother & baby:  co-sleeping babies are emotionally more connected with their parents. It gives the babies more of the parents’ time,  touch and warmth and makes them feel more connected to each other. You understand each cry and cue given by the baby and baby responds well and develops close bonds with the mother or father.
    • Promotes mental and physical well-being for the baby:  research shows that the babies who co-sleep have more stable physiology. They have more stable temperatures, few long pauses in breathing and regular heart rhythms compared to the babies who sleep alone. Babies rarely startle when sleeping next to the mother and cry less during night. Long crying spells can lead to long term sleep anxiety as it releases adrenaline, increases blood pressure and heart rate and disturbs the restful sleep. Co-sleeping babies become independent sooner and have higher self-esteem.

And my favorite reason lots and lots of cuddles and kisses and waking upto that beautiful smile.

success

Not Just a Mom

Being a mother of two young energetic kids ( ages 5 and 3 ) has made me very very happy and very very tired. Its been a roller coaster journey filled with countless wonderful memories and endless tears.

The last five years have passed in a whir of sleepless nights, endless feedings, doctor visits, seeing them begin to crawl, walk, talk and grow from babies to kids.

During these years everyone I have met has always asked me so you aren’t working ? Why don’t you find a job ? Are you just taking care of the kids ? I am not sure what this means exactly, is being a mother not worthy enough , is getting a pay cheque the only validation that you are a smart , thinking human being .

It’s important for all mothers to pursue their interests, passions or just take an occasional day off without feeling any guilt . I truly believe that a Happy Mom is a Good Mom. I need to feel happy, positive and peaceful from inside to give my children my best . So be happy, radiate a positive aura and bring on that big smile.