My 4-year-old daughter’s summer vacation begins today! While I am researching and making a list of all the things, trips and activities we want to do during these hot 7 weeks, I have come up with the following list to help her be a better human being.
Feel free to use this list as your reference if you like to teach the same (or a version of this) to your kids. Of course, many more things will follow.
1. Understanding the basics of what kids/friends with autism, ADHD, asthma and other mental/physical challenges go through and how to be understanding and compassionate while around with them without letting them feel any different.
2. Be kind to animals, birds and nature. Plant some seeds, place water for thirsty birds.
3. Be nice, kind and respectful to all people and kids.
4. Share and help willingly with a smile.
5. Be compassionate with those who are sick.
6. All people are different. Respect everyone’s opinions, preferences, beliefs in their Gods/Atheism. Don’t say someone is wrong if their beliefs are different from us.
7. Never hurt anyone. Apologize when you are wrong. Forgive those who hurt you.
8. Sometimes there are some bad people, be careful and look out for your friends too.
9. Believe in yourself. Stand up for yourself and your friends, you are strong.
10. Don’t use bad words or do name calling. Calling someone mad/pagal is a very bad thing to say. It is a serious mental illness.
11. Don’t make fun of anyone. Be funny to make people happy but don’t laugh at anyone.
12. You can tell everything, every single thing to your parents. Especially, when someone says not to tell the parents something (mostly for younger kids).
Well, we all have different opinions and ways of thinking. But the above is just our way of raising her. This is just a checklist so that I ensure that with examples or stories I make her realize and understand the above.
So while summer vacation will be loaded with lots of fun and activities, I also intend to help her be a good and kind human being. Baby steps towards a better future of humankind.
Being a mom of a toddler, I really enjoyed this book by Andi Webb. This is the second book by the author and is about his fatherhood journey as his babies became toddlers and preschoolers! The previous book was about the difficulties the gay couple faced in bringing the surrogate kids home.
Thirteen Moons More is the perfect book for you if you are a parent or parent-to-be. You know those moments with little kids when you wonder why are they behaving like this and that? Well, Andi shares such stories with his little ones that you can relate so much and feel like you are not alone 🙂 From dealing with kids’ behaviour in different circumstances to tooth fairies, first day of school, nannies, fractures, picnics, habits, losing favourite toys, birthday parties and a Naughty School, this book will make you smile and maybe feel relaxed at times knowing that well it’s okay for kids this age to be pretty mischievous at times, or many times 🙂
There is a surpriseelement as well. The author, who enjoys cooking and baking has shared his kitchen tips and even recipes (you gotta read about his Jammin jams). For me, this was a bonus as while reading a book for leisure, I also got my hands on some amazing recipes and shortcuts.
I truly recommend reading the book Thirteen Moons More by Andi Webb and even the author’s previous book Eighteen Moons.
This is a guest post by Aryssa, a family coach who works with parents and kids.
It may not feel like a big deal to you but it’s a big deal for me!
Child: I fell over in school today and hurt myself. Parent: Oh really, these things happen, it’s not a big deal. Now what would you like for dinner?
This may seem like a harmless everyday conversation and you know what, you’re right!
However, for your child it looks a little different.
Here your child is trying to communicate that he or she fell over and they want you to show compassion.
However, your casual response may indicate that their emotions are not valid and that you have more pressing things on your mind like – What to cook for dinner.
In your mind, you probably don’t want to make a “big deal” out of it and move forward.
However, your child may want you to ask more questions so he or she can tell you what they are thinking and feeling.
It could be that your child tripped and everyone started laughing which made them feel embarrassed OR It could be that he or she was pushed which is what caused them to fall.
Who said parenting was easy?
Our role as parents is to be conscious of all of the things our children are saying as well as all the things which they aren’t.
When we move on to talk about something else, they interpret that as “mum doesn’t understand me”, “dad isn’t listening to what I’m saying” or worse “my parents don’t care”! When of course you do!
Imagine you are talking to a friend about something that really upset you and they switch the conversation to talk about something else, how would it make you feel? The same is true of a child; only they are likely to be a lot more sensitive and take actions literally because of their level of understanding.
So, I invite you to be conscious when your child is talking to you and try not to brush them off. The more you connect with them, the closer your bond will be!
About the writer: Aryssa is a family coach who works with parents and children to support them with their daily struggles. Her work is recognised for being fun and thought provoking. She creates a shift in mindset so individuals feel connected and inspired to live with positivity in this ever changing world. You can visit her website www.ryssdom.com and connect with her n Instagram here.
NO. NO. NO. NO. Is this the current favourite word of your toddler? Especially, when it comes to meals! My toddler is 2 years and 9 months old (at the time of this post) and she uses this two-letter power word the most from her decent vocabulary.
Ah, how happy I was when I got that booster seat to encourage baby led weaning when she started sitting and eating well. She started eating by herself for a while and if you have a one-and-half-year-old kid, you know the joy. Ah, the dreams that finally she and I will enjoy the mealtime joy of eating together instead of one big person spoon feeding a little one first! Welcome to reality… It’s not happening anymore yet.
So if all those beautiful Instagram posts by moms whose kids are eating by themselves are making you feel the pressure, relax. People tend to post more about achievements than otherwise. If your kid is being a picky or fussy eater, what is the probability that you will post that all over social media? See what I mean? Some kids, especially in the 2-3 years age group, are exploring the power of the word NO and using it effectively… Lol. So yes, all little toddlers who start self-feeding, might take a little/big break at this stage. Don’t stress it out too much. If you notice, they will mostly eat fries, chips, chocolates and cakes using their hands without any effort from us. So they are capable of eating without help. They are just not keen on having the daily routine healthy food 😜
I am not going to bore you with how you should keep trying different types of foods, different plating and presentation, creativity, new place to eat, gaps between meals, etc. If you have read until this point of this post, it means you might have already tried it all, right? So all I want to say is relax. It’s stressful, I know, I have anxiety issues and I have been really bothered by the recent fussiness. But I realised today that this will not be the case forever. She will eventually eat without me hovering around her head, reminding her constantly to eat / chew or feeding her those unending morsels. It is, in all probability, a phase… a boring, irritating but this-too-shall-pass kind of phase.
So, well, join me in relaxing a bit. It’s okay of we are still feeding our toddlers with our hands while other kids of same age are all eating independently. Let’s not compare for our own peace of mind. Few years from now, we will simply remember how our toddlers took a little while to reach this milestone. There’s no point losing sleep over this by worrying too much. This is the stage when kids explore power struggle (and maybe we too!). So keep trying at intervals and this too shall pass. Enjoy feeding your kids when necessary for now, as we all know that they grow up so fast! Savour the moment instead of giving into peer pressure and stress.
And if you managed to pass this stage, let us know after how long and how exactly did it happen! Let’s be honest, we all need some useful, tried and tested tips!
Are you a tired and overworked mom? Welcome to the club! The desperation to feel relaxed, even temporarily, makes us spend whatever little time we get to research advice everywhere possible. You can Google all the possible solutions shared by many mothers and parenting experts online. Some of those ideas really work. But, let’s be real. Not all of us have that liberty to follow all those tips (I will share a few later in this post) to relax as a mom. Some of us are single moms, some are without family support, some are juggling jobs and home, some have more than one kid, some have elders to take care of, some have chronic illnesses and relatively lower energy levels and some are really really very tired regardless of whatever our Instagram pictures show the world.
It’s been 31 months since I became a mother. As some of you following my blog know, I suffer from fibromyalgia and all the symptoms that come with the syndrome. And a few more medical conditions that make even some of the simple motherly tasks extremely difficult for me. I did not give in to my medical condition and have been pushing myself every single day of excruciating endless pain and now severe sleep deprivation. Needless to say I have researched all the tips to relax over the last two and a half years. But frankly speaking, I haven’t been able to implement anything. I could not even manage to do those kegel exercises after a normal delivery (with forcep assistance at the last minute) and well, my bladder has started to really bother me now. That’s a story for a different day.
Last night, I finally hit the bed at 2 am thinking I would be able to sleep then. I co-sleep with my toddler. She was fast asleep and I switched on the night light to have some water. That’s when I gazed at her lovely face. She was sleeping like, well, a baby! It was a magical moment that took me to the time when she was born and what followed was almost meditative. I reminisced those initial weeks of the super hectic new mom life. Remember that time? When you are just learning everything from how to help a baby sleep, feed her non-stop, burp her, change nappies endlessly… you know that phase! But at the end of that super long and tiring day, however drained out we all new moms were, remember that one thing that made us smile late in the nights? Yes, looking at our baby for so long, watching that tiny (often smiling) face, those tiny fingers and toes, and feeling the miracle of motherhood. I remember just watching her for long while she was asleep and somehow that made me feel so happy and relaxed even when I knew she might wake up in two hours for another feed!
So, last night I realised that over the months, I did less of that… watch her sleep at the end of the day and reliving the memory of the day I held her in my arms for the first time. The daily chores and running around make us forget the most beautiful day of our life. That moment has so much power to make us feel happy and relaxed. Trust me, last night felt so special and different as I just watched my toddler sleep, the way I did when she was a newborn. So the next time you are feeling tired and helpless, just look at your sleeping baby and know that you are doing a wonderful job as a mom.
Also, try these tips to relax when you can, if you can (I am keeping Covid lockdown in mind):
Get some me-time, even if it is for 15 minutes in the privacy of your bathroom :). Read a book, browse the internet for non-parenting stuff, watch some show, chat with a friend… something you don’t get to do very often now.
Exercise, meditate or do some yoga. Else play it on the TV and do it with your toddler.
Play some music which is not nursery rhymes 🙂 Dance, even if you have two left feet! Sing, even if you think you are bad at it.
Indulge in some self care if you have been avoiding it since you became a mom
When you spend time with your kid, sometimes do a fun activity that you both can enjoy. Play a game from your childhood, like hopscotch.
Go for a walk.
Talk to a friend or a cousin or a nice relative or neighbour you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Play a game on your phone / gaming console / whatever, but nothing stressful.
Indulge in good food to be in a good mood.
If you can’t step out, just look out of the window and observe whatever you see, sky or streets or people or birds. Try not to think about what all work you need to finish today!
Start writing a diary.
If someone offers help, just take it. Don’t feel guilty about lying down for sometime when someone watches your child.
Schedule your day. It works for some parents but if this stresses you out, don’t do it.
Post covid, well get out and meet people, eat out, watch movies and visit malls and parks and everywhere outdoors!
At the end of the day, don’t forget to watch your sleeping kid for a few minutes and think about all the good memories with your baby!
Most importantly, do not compare yourself with other moms who you think are able to multitask more. And, never get affected if someone judges you. They are not in your shoes and only you know that you are doing your best for your kid.
Hope some of this helps you. Do share what helps you relax as a mom. And remember, you are awesome!