Worldly Ways to Give Children Happier, Steamlined Mornings

Worldly Ways to Give Children Happier, Steamlined Mornings

We have all been there. Going to sleep when wide awake, or trying to, then waking up struggling to get the day started.

Our generation did it as kids and now the next one does it as well. It is a hard circle to get out of. This cycle of restless sleep and sleepy exhaustion. It is only very recently there has been a clear emphasis on good sleeping habits.

“Everyone needs their beauty sleep”, is not just a cliche. It is a fact!

I stand by the immense role sleep plays in a healthy body and mind. Specially that of a growing child. Not just to keep one fit but also, in helping one during those many sick days.

Sleep plays a vital role in healing and growth.

My son has taken both parents’ sleep vices. Sleeping late and being a light sleeper. So I have always had a struggle getting him to and keeping him asleep. Leading to me being exhausted. Once I started doing the below steps to help him, it went a long way towards both my kids waking up with huge smiles with just a nudge!

‘Are you ready for brush?
Are you ready to put in bed your tush ?
Are you ready to put dreams in your eyes ?
Are you ready to say to mom goodnight ?’

Giggles aside, the kids went to bed happy and it really helped them look at bed time as fun rather than a chore that makes all the fun end.

How do we make sure kids wake up wide and dewy eyed every morning? How do we ensure they are ready for school with minimal coaxing ???

Hope the below help you as they have helped me.

Lots Of Activity During Evenings

Kids are bundles of energy that needs to power down before it can be recharged. And to discharge that energy every, single kid need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Thus it is highly important to get those wiggles out in inventive ways so they can head on to a direction for good sleep.

Summers are easier when you can let the kids out in the back yard or have a play date at the park. It takes a little extra effort during winters when you have to think up new ideas to get them engaged. Sure, it is hard work for every parent but so vital for the release of energy in ways that are conducive to exploration, creativity or just happy madness!

Wind Down Half Hour Before Bed Time

I would suggest this time is important to give your kids’ body and mind space to relax and signal that the fun is over. Now it is time to start slowing down. Meditate. In my home this time is usually when the kids just read or play board games or create with Lego.

Stick to Favorite Bed Time Routines

This can often be cumbersome but is very rewarding in teaching kids that there is a set path towards lights out and consequentially sleep.

They get so used to the idea of changing their clothes, getting to brush and then snuggle time for a set amount of time. (Don’t forget to include prepping for next morning.)

Prep for the Day, the Night Before

Make sure your child knows to have their clothes, bag, maybe even snack ready the night before. This is a wonderful precursor to learning goal setting and  being prepared.

I suggest you follow these guidelines to decide when your kids should go to sleep. Make sure your set time is in accordance with your wind down time. So, for example, in our home kids have to sleep at 9:30 pm. So they hit their rooms for bed time at 9 pm.

Ask Your Child How They Would Like to be Woken

My son likes to be called to gently and my daughter likes me to hug her awake, me pulling the blanket off her. They both have chosen how they want to be woken up.

I have also observed that giving them a 5 min warning, let’s them feel like they had some extra sleep as well.

Time Your Mornings

Feeling rushed every morning. Time the amount of time it takes for your child to get through their morning routine, and add 5 mins to that.

Give Your Children Affirmations / Gratitude

Who has time, right? So, I just write them on a white board in their room. They wake up , read it. My little one sees the happy image I made and wakes up positive.

While they have breakfast or are getting ready, bring up something amazing that happened the day before. Let them start the day with a grateful heart.

Begin Your Day Hydrated

Milk or water. Make sure we all start the day on a positive

Say Bye with a Hug / Good Day

Wish them a good day. Make sure they do so till the time they aren’t running out the door.

Often us parents let go of routines, we create owning to outside circumstances. The anxiety and hyper activity in our own worlds creates a pause as we wonder how to get better sleep. What is more important is to set a time or signal that helps them know that resistance is futile!

In our home, for the longest time (when the kids were younger) we had the funniest song I made up.

Wishing your kids bright mornings full of positive radiance and new hope each day!

MORE TIPS AND STRATEGIES TO RAISE YOUR KIDS TO BE HAPPY AND CONFIDENT HERE

Books for Helping Children Build a Growth Mindset

Books for Helping Children Build a Growth Mindset

Books are a huge part of a child’s growth. Many a times, stories help build a mindset of growth where conversations fail. Below you will find some of the most unique books that help your child build a mindset rooted in confidence, learning about consequences, moderation, and more. Books that help in character building from the ground up.

“What Should Danny Do”

This is a choose your own adventure book that empowers children (and adults) to see the consequences of their own actions. As a parent, this book is so powerful. Flipping back and forth between scenarios open the discussion for the kids to see how Danny’s day would change based on the decisions he makes… should he throw a tantrum for not getting the plate that he wants for breakfast or should he let it go and learn to share. Each situation is relevant to real life examples and drives the point home that our children have the ability to change their life.

Kindness Starts with You

This is a great book to incorporate kindness into school days for your child. I actually plan on making a post on my social media to recommend the author and this book as well as sharing the info about our kindness challenge I encourage and help my son do. Kindness does matter and this book is a great way to encourage others to start. Will be reading more titles from this author.

 

The Fantastic Elastic Brain

Lets talk about various aspects of the brain and how it works, but my favorite is the neurons. I now tell my students turn on their neurons. Even though learning is sometimes tough, we need to persevere and work through the discomfort and that’s how our neurons get turned on. As more neurons are turned on, the faster and more powerful the brain works. This really gets my students excited and it motivates them. Every kid needs this book!

The Magnificent Thing

Child-friendly language and charming illustrations are a perfect combination in this story of hope, perseverance, and hard work as a little girl endeavors to create the most magnificent thing. She fails more than once, even becoming so frustrated that she gives up. But determination wins the day when she takes a look at all her “failures” and discovers each has an element that is just right.

What Do You Do With a Problem

Kobi Yamada’s books are entertaining for both children and adults. This is a great follow-up to “What do you with an idea?”. In both books, the author writes about the feelings of being faced with an idea or a problem, mustering up courage and facing them. The illustrator does a great job turning abstract ideas into something concrete. The book does provide us with some talking points. “Remember when you were scared to get up the slide? That’s how this boy felt.”

Rosie River Engineer

Andrea Beaty has written a children’s novel for children and adults alike. It features an endearing character, Rosie, and her desperate hope of becoming an engineer about how young Rosie has big dreams and even though the dream seems too big, it takes just one person and the perfect words to spark her spirit once again after a failure leads her to calling it quits.

The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes

Success doesn’t really come unless you have failed first. The book was fun and there’s a bit of a twist when the kids think she’s going to fail but she doesn’t – the failure comes in the next pages. It kept them on their toes and sparked a great discussion, both on the author’s pacing and the positives of failure if you learn from it. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to incorporate growth mindset.

Beautiful Oops

For kids who are a perfectionist but feel that they can’t draw something perfect. Kids love this book and it has inspired children to use their creativity if they “accidentally” rip a piece of paper. This author has taken one’s imagination and turned it into an amazing piece of art. Beautifully done.

How Our Skin Sparkles

“Why do I look different that other kids in class?”, Aarav asks his mom. What happens next? Read on to see how Aarav’s mom using science, culture and concept to talk to him about skin color and acceptance, of self and others. With easy to read rhymes, sibling love and thoughts to explore, this story talks about how one can truly see everyone as they are inside. This book is a must have for any child who wants to learn a little more about themselves, the world around them and how we truly sparkle!

Anjali Forever

We can all relate to wanting to change something about ourselves, and in Always Anjali that concept is explored through Anjali wanting to change her name due to being teased. This story was captivating for my students. Our school has read it and from grades K-5

The Magic Is Inside You

The author Cathy Domoney has shared such a great, powerful and much needed message for kids who deal with lack of self confidence. The characters are brought to life. Cathy has done a phenomenal job dulling and drowning the negative voices children often dialogue with internally and bringing up the positive voices that requires encouragement and praise. Cathy has offered activities for adults to help children improve their self esteem is invaluable.

What Do You DO With an Idea

Insightful for children & a reminder to adults to not ignore ideas. Possibly a clever addition to a corporate brainstorming meeting. Very clever, one of the better children’s books I’ve savored. I have this & one of it’s companions as coffee table books & adults can’t be pulled away once they start reading. A wonderful book for budding entrepreneurs. The world certainly needs to nurture more kids who are.

What Were You Thinking

It outlines a simple four step strategy which kids can practice to help them smooth out their responses and ensure that the result they get is the one which they want.Can also open conversation about intentions & how humor doesn’t lessen the pain of hurtful remarks/behavior. This book offers another tool for helping kids fine-tune their emotional literacy and expand their menu of choices. By exploring the gap between intended goal and actual results, families can teach kids to recognize and choose strategies that serves them better.

Cami Kangaroo Has Too Many Sweets

Will the treats catch up to Cami? Where is she getting them? What happens at the dentist? The story is fun and relevant. An important book about self moderation. Do check out also, Cami Kangaroo has too much stuff.

Strong Roots Have No Fear

Finally a book for parents to lead by example. Read Aditi’s story and how her values helped her be rooted in spite of feeling like the Girl From No Where. Find many talking points that the author provides to help your child grow confident early and develop a global mindset accepting of all, specially themselves.

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Raising Girls Who Know Perfection is Self Defined

Raising Girls Who Know Perfection is Self Defined

Today, as we sat having lunch together, my little one said to me.

“ Mom, you know what ? You are perfect. “

My heart welled with love and gratitude for those three words. “ You are perfect. “

My little girl made me, an often underappreciated, overworked, challenged at every step, mom of two feel like in that moment I was indeed perfect.

I know I have my flaws. I make mistakes. I don’t exercise enough. I am a tad too idealistic for today’s day and age and I overshare. I am me.

But I have never felt less than.

I was an only child for 10 years and my parents never ever made me feel that there was something missing. Even when my brother was born, I was secure in my place in my family.

With time though, it becomes obvious, it’s a man’s world specially in Indian culture. There are “rules” you are expected to live by. Serve, be submissive, understand your “place” in society. It’s not something that is said outright but in the little things by people around you.

Be Who You Are

But my little girl, should always know that you are loved! You are second to no one. You have the right to stand up for what you believe in. The right to eat when you what. The right to say what you want. The right to BE how you want. Laugh how you want. The right to go anywhere, do anything without the fear of being harassed, molested or put down.

Today, when you are little, you are the center of attention no matter where you go. Your teachers love you. We get you all that you need. You dance yourself silly and act like the diva you think you are. You say, “ Watch this mommy! “ after everything you do. You are stubborn and won’t eat something you don’t like. You enjoy everything that you love totally, un-apologetically.

I wish for you a lifetime of what you have now. A lifetime of smiles when you enter the room. Pampering wherever you go. A lifetime of confidence that whatever you are doing is worth being appreciated and applauded. A lifetime of knowing that you are special in every way !

Be a Feminist in The Real Sense

A  girl is not the same as a boy. She has unique strengths, many of which are different. That’s not to say, she cannot learn or grow to imbibe traits she desires. Feminism doesn’t mean girl and boys are exactly the same, it gives everyone the freedom to make the choices they deem right for themselves.


Don’t Judge Other Girls, Least of all Yourself

Let the fear of judgement of others around yourself go. One doesn’t ‘have to’ do or be anything she doesn’t want to. But that doesn’t mean she has the right belittle men or anyone else for that matter. Remember your way is right for you, but it may not be right for another.

Similarly, understand that you are going to be hardest on yourself. Often people aren’t even thinking about the thing you are obsessing over. Understand that you have to learn to forgive yourself.

Trust Your Gut

If you don’t know what to do in life, always be very very sure of what you don’t want. Trust your gut ! It won’t ever let you down. And if all else fails, remember what your mom and dad have taught you and fall back on the values you have grown up with.

Get Your Priorities Straight, without Remorse

Be passionate about life and the people you love. Care about them like the tiger you are. Know your priorities and go after them without remorse. Know that people will never understand what your life and choices is about and that is okay.

Always Choose To Be Drama-free

Time and again, you will for sure be sucked into the web of insecurities, jealousy, envy and gossip . Make sure to walk the path of truth and try your best to keep your mind above all the spectacle. A real crisis is the only time you should be anxious.

Don’t let relationships be the cause of turmoil.

Respect yourself enough to walk away when needed and cut ties when pushed.

 Be Mindful in Your Actions

With great power though, comes great responsibility as they say. You need to remember that with the freedom of choices you have, you need to make decisions that are healthy, compassionate, brave and right. To speak out when you see wrong doing. To stand up for those who cannot, specially yourself.

Know your strengths, understand your weaknesses, introspect often and be self aware. Above all, remember that the same applies to everyone. Every person goes through their share of pain and suffering before they find their bliss. So, never, ever try to compare your journey to another’s.

Remember, you are perfect as you are. Never feel less than, at any moment ever !

Raise Children Who are Confident with a Global Mindset

Secure in The Values That Last Them a Lifetime

There's No Formula for Talent

There’s No Formula for Talent

There is NO right or wrong way to create art. Be it paintings, sketches, poetry, prose, dance …

Of course there is a base foundation that you will develop when you keep working on what you believe in consistently. Years of practice will help you develop form, theme, a unique voice.

Experience teaches you how to be able to translate your work so others can learn from it. Constant practice also can help create talent where there was none to begin with.

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BUT let no one tell you that You aren’t good enough. For being “good” is defined by the eyes that see it. A 11 year old doesn’t understand the magnificence of a 3 year old’s doodles. A 21 year old does not understand the heart an 8 year old puts into the “dream project” they do all by themselves. A 30 year old cannot compare the form of a 9 year old to a 16 year old. A 40 year old cannot imagine the passion it takes for a 70 year old to practice and perform.

It takes a lot of introspection for someone ahead to look back and remember the pains they have taken. To have an appreciation for passion. To understand what comes quite naturally to you, takes years of work for another.

Parents, do not squash your child’s vision by the desire to make it perfect. Give it time, it will be. And it will be appreciated.

All it takes is eyes and a heart that SEE and FEEL.

HELP YOUR CHILD FIND & NURTURE THEIR TALENT WITH OUR BOOK

STRONG ROOTS HAVE NO FEAR

 

Raising Kids Who Let Everyone Sit at Their Table

Raising Kids Who Let Everyone Sit at Their Table

Raising includers is not as easy as you would think. When my kids start school, I hope they make friends and are kind to everyone. But is that possible?

Humans are quick to build judgement as a species and get set in their own ways, to the point of excluding without conscious thought. We see it all the time. People tend to prefer to be with people who speak their language, have lived in the same city and/or follow their own customs. In most communities, you will see families subdivided into sub groups. The children in turn prefer playing with kids they feel are their own. Consequently, you will see children excluding someone who doesn’t look or sound like them.

No child does it on purpose. They just subconsciously mimic their parents’ behaviour. Parents too, do not do the same on purpose but the sad truth is that it takes a lot of conscious and mindful effort on our part to make sure our children understand our acceptance of different ways of life.

Oh yes! We all say, we want our children to have a global mindset. How many of us however make the effort to ensure our children are exposed to a diverse environment.

If you are a parent who wants to make sure their child does not fall into the groupism trap, here are ways you can ensure to do that.

Raising Includers with These Steps

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

It is not easy for us to explore the world. It takes a lot of self awareness and desire to step out of our comfort zone to do so. We have our friends. We hold our ways close. It is so easy for us to keep going on our way. The way we have been brought up is comfortable. Besides that, inviting unknowns into our homes can lead to subconscious fears of being judged. We need to be above that. We are all just people, living our lives in our ways. Doing our best to raise our families, the way we know best. The judgement on both sides is unnecessary and non existent.

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Play Dates

Invite your child’s friends over to your home. Gone are the days when mothers used to be home and neighbors could just play at each others’ houses. Working parents means we have to make the extra bit of effort for our children. Yes, our homes are messy at times. Yes, it could also be inconvenient. But children bloom knowing their friends are welcome in their home.

My house is a hub for both my kids’ friends. It is always wonderful seeing the children interact and learn about each other’s cultures. I too, find it fascinating how differently a child sees our home when compared to their own. But it is all going towards their growth.

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I notice often it is hard for most parents to reciprocate and invite my child over. I show them the grace of accepting they have their reasons for my child enjoying with their friends is more important than waiting for reciprocation. The point at the end is for the children to grow together.

Conversations

Talk to your child about being kind and generous and loving to their friends. Talk to them about how important it is to be accepting of the different experiences and ways they witness. My son recently had friends judge him on what he likes and being a non vegetarian. These opportunities make your child stronger in their beliefs, yes. It is also a learning moment for them to be tolerant of others views and to never judge and they are being judged.

Celebrations

It is important enough to make the most of every moment in life. For every single year is nothing but a culmination of all the moments you make special. What is more essential is that we share those moments with people who may not know what the significance of our celebration is. I have had the privilege to often being included in many a Christmases, Onams and Eid celebrations and that is why I have a wonderful sense and desire to include any and all in my life’s special days!

No Generalization

We all tend to do it. We label a whole group of people based on our personal experience or the stories of our parents. You may deny it to yourself, but your child sees the world through your eyes. And if your comments, stories are off handed and biased, that’s how they will see the world. Make sure you are aware of what you say when you meet someone new, or come across someone in an instance. Smiling and just having an open conversation goes a LONG way in teaching your child to be open to including all others in their day and lives.

Yes, talk to them to be aware of predators, BUT make sure your child is kind NOT wary. Be open to having agreeable dialogue with strangers and old friends.

Encourage Kindness

Be kind to those around you, help out with your child when you can. Help a friend move. Be nice to someone in front of them. Go out of your way to be an includer yourself in order for your child to learn from you.

If your find someone being ignorant about your own culture or group, educate them. Do not talk badly behind them for their response which was clearly from being ignorant.

Read, Read, Read

Reading about the world, societies, sub cultures, etc is the biggest way to show your child the world is their oyster.

Make sure you make the effort to read this easy to read book to being mindful of raising a global citizen.

Follow my profile on Instagram for frequent updates on books that we come across and the world of books we open up to you.

What are ways YOU would suggest to do the same?

Raising Includers - remove groupism mentality in kids early

 

Teaching Kids the Art of Time Management

Teaching Kids the Art of Time Management

I don’t need to tell anyone the importance of time management. The world is full of appointments and deadlines to make it clear about why every child needs to learn the art of time management. Yet, many of us find themselves constantly running in the IST time zone. It’s a well known running joke within the Indian community where IST is Indian Standard Time where they are consistently 30 mins more more late for everything and unrepentant for the circumstances are never in their hands.

Now of course everyone understands being late once in a while. But being consistently lagging causes a number of issues for those waiting and is just disrespectful of the time of others.

I grew up in a house where my father pushed us to be on time for everything. Being on time is a trait he drilled into us. In my all my years of life, I have rarely been late. And all the credit goes to parents who ensured that we respected the time of others and ourselves. They could never bear to be late. In spite of many times suffering for holding this respected trait. There have been times when a party was supposed to start at a given time and my family has been there only to realize that the even hosts have yet to arrive.

Would I say now being on time is overrated? No!

For being on time is a huge sign of respect. It shows respect for the person who is waiting for you and respect for your own self, for we all are running a hamster wheel that needs us to stick to schedule.

When you are an entrepreneur, managing home, multitasking constantly, wishing the day had 48 hours instead of 24,  you begin valuing your own time like the precious commodity it is. In my case, more so. You manage your time with finesse.

Since I started working for myself, it simply offends me that people today have no respect for the time of another. And believe saying Sorry is all it takes to pacify the troubles and sacrifices I made to manage the same.

The truth is All it takes is valuing your time as well as another.

Teach your children early the art of time management. It is an imperative quality one needs to be on time as well as manage projects and goals that you set for yourself.

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Set An Example

Here I am, in all my years as a parent never found my children to be a hindrance in me being on time and yet I hear many parents saying, “Oh! You need to add a 30 mins of being behind to every child you give birth to. ” I am sure the children too consequently begin to feel that it is not a huge concern to be on time either. In a world which is full of people that are never on time, what hope do we have for children who follow such footsteps ?

10 Practical Ways to Teach Kids the Aet of Time Management

Counter Distractions

I see it all the time. You tell children to wear their shoes. They go off doing something else. It happens with us too. We are doing one thing, and yet we find ourselves distracted by a phone call, television or these days, social media. Children need to understand how important it is to work while you work and do the job at hand with a single mind.

Talk to them often that when you tell them to do something, you expect them to first do that. Explain to them that there are distractions all around them.

Do the Math

It is interesting to me, when people feel the circumstances around them are constantly working against them. It is in fact, just a matter of doing the math. If you are going to take x amount of time prepping for an occasion, y amount of time wearing your clothes etc, z amount of time to travel to the location, you need to give yourself x+y+z + a standard buffer amount of time to ACTUALLY get ready so you can BE ON TIME. The buffer can be any thing from 10-20 mins depending on your observation of how often you derail from your planned time.

Explain to your child as the get begin to learn time, why you ask them to get ready at a certain time.

Create a Work List

Every morning wake up to a list of things you need to have done this day. This increases your productivity 25-50%. Organizing your tasks with a list can make everything much more manageable and create a clear path for your day. Seeing a clear outline of your completed and uncompleted tasks will help you feel organized and stay mentally focused.

Kids having a journal is a great way to do this.


Set Priorities

Once your list is made, make sure to KNOW what is essential to do and what is okay to let go of. Follow the ABCDE rule after making your list.

A – Must Do
B – Not Urgent (Great to do but not urgently, can be moved to another day.)
C – Add Ons (Bonus if you get done)
D – Can be Delegated (You can assign to someone else)
E – Eliminate (Often we add things to our list that can actually be cancelled all together)

Of course for a child, A and B are enough. But as we grow and expand our lists we need to remember to assign the above to every item on our list consistently so we can learn how to be effective in working on our list.

Overcome Procrastination

Don’t wait for the last moment to start doing something. Whenever my son gets a project from school, we start prepping for it earlier than later. He always responds with, “But it’s not due TILL … ” and I come back with, ” If you are done with this early, you are free to do other things at the last minute. ” After the first two projects, when he witnessed his friends in class submitting projects early too, he realized how wonderful it is to be done with submissions. So, now he starts planning earlier himself.

Well Begun is Half Done

Speaking of planning, this is so important to do early. Whenever we start a project, we plan the materials we will need, time needed, and ideas early. This helps us a lot in prepping for everything. Be it cooking to party planning to school projects to work related organization.

Let Go of Perfection

This is something I see many adults struggle with. The desire for perfection leads to procrastination and delay in completion of any project. One needs to understand that we need to be okay with something as is. To just start with the project without a desire of perfection or guaranteed rewards. Time management needs us to give grace to ourselves to fail.

Review Your Day

Before sleep every night, we have to make sure we take a few moments to go over all that you did through your day. What held you back, what went wrong in your planning, what worked best towards helping your achieve your goals. This simple habit reinforces your strengths.

Talk to your kids about their day and all they achieved in it. These days many schools help kids set goals and achieve them. Do the same with your child.

Discipline

Time management is a culmination of all the above. It is so important to be relentless in practicing all the above through out your day, with your child. What works best with any child is consistency and conversations. Talk to them about how discipline is not just one trait that we have. It is a combination of a number of things.

Yes, showing grace to those who are struggling is important. But it is also important to show grace to yourself by being mindful of the one thing that you have NO control over. Time!

What would you add to this list?

To read more such ways to create confidence with a global mindset in your child, read my book. Strong Roots Have No Fear

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Teaching Kids About Finance is Not Just About Money

Teaching Kids About Finance is Not Just About Money

I didn’t know how to manage money. We didn’t have allowances when I was a kid and any money we got as gift ended up with mom for “safe keeping”. While that makes total sense, with no concept of what healthy money management looks like, I had to struggle for a while before finding my personal methodology as far as handling this very important aspect of life meant. Which is why teaching kids about finance early is so very important.

My kids don’t get allowances either (I prefer they care for their home because it is their home) but recently now that my son is 8, he is allowed to earn by doing jobs we don’t feel like doing or need an extra hand with. Say, weeding or sorting and folding loads of laundry or helping re organize the kitchen.

And we don’t give him the money. He’s got a book where he notes down how much money he earned. He adds his earnings and subtracts (consequences or expenditures as need be). Yes, it had gotten him a little too involved into what he will buy next but we are working on the balance between saving and buying. That too will take time.

Teaching Kids about Finance is Not Just About Money

Teaching Kids About Finance is Not just about Money

You can go here if you have a teenager, and want to learn ways to teach them about money.

1. Talk about Money

I have never shied away from talking about the cost of an item or class with the kids. Talking to them about something being too expensive, and why has been very important to be for those are the conversations that led me to at least not over spending at every turn. It helped me understand early that some things are just not worth spending the money on, while others even though extravagant expenditures are totally worth the financial commitment.

These conversations go towards showing that as a family you can talk about almost anything.

2. Get Excited about Deals/Savings

I love a deal / discount. I even have friends who are never shy of talking to me about how to where they get things cheaper and worth the amount. Getting something priced just right is wonderful. In India, where often people say they bought something for $500 when they actually paid $50, it is refreshing to be able to just enjoy deal shopping and doing it with my children. Money saving can be fun too.  They see how important it is to not just buy something and ensure that you have gotten the good price on an item. To check around and do the work that is needed.

Seeing your parents be mindful about their expenditures is a wonderful way for children to learn to do the same. It extends into being mindful about most actions also.

3. Money Saved is Money Earned

We do our own yard work. We clean the house ourselves. We drive instead of flying when we can. My husband and I are a team when it comes to saving by doing something ourselves instead of paying something to do it for us. And we explain to our kids the importance of doing that. And how the money we have not spent is money we can put towards something else.

 

And not just for saving, there is love we put into our gardens, home, work and our trips. The value of self work extends into self worth and valuing the work you put into doing something vs just paying someone to do it for you. (When we do avail of help, we ensure our children understand how that money is better spent on outsourcing so we can do other things like maybe getting help to clean the house for a party so I can cook etc) .

4. Brainstorm Ideas to Save Money

Kids love this one. Out of the box thinking is encouraged where we ask the little ones to give us ideas on how to save on something. Like when my son was supposed to have his birthday party. He wanted to have a Nerf party at a location but of course that was a lot of money for just 8 kids and he wanted to invite around 20 friends. So, we thought about ways we could have a Nerf party at home. The conversations we had were intense as he thought about different party ideas. We ended up having a super fun Lego party instead with all his friends.

It takes a lot for one to find ways to do the same thing others can afford to spend money on, in cheaper but creative ways. Neither is right or wrong, just different but can be just as fulfilling and that is wonderful to ingrain into children early.

5. Be Positive About Work at Hand

The above can be hard. Making home made creations for occasions or working at home or finding that perfectly priced thing you really want can all take time and patience. Both of which are extremely essential to building a positive attitude within kids. To be optimistic plays a big part in this. Teaching kids about finance takes perseverance at both ends.

6. Donations/Tips are Essential to Soceity

So important to share with children early the importance of donating and tips for service rendered well. This surely instills the importance of giving for charity or when someone has worked hard for you.

7. Perseverance Pays Off

This is such a wonderful lesson that gets imbibed when you work towards saving. And this trait goes into a life long journey of being patient and slowly but surely going towards a goal.

8. Money Needs to Be Earned with a Purpose

Investment is such an important part of money management. And this is why when we started giving my son jobs, we asked him what he was going to save towards. His end goal is a Lego set that is quite expensive and he’s so joyful in adding to his final total every time he gets the opportunity. Travel, high end gadgets etc, all should be saved up for. This is a such a simple way to o the same.

9. Not Every Job Has Equal Pay

The first day I told my son I would pay him $2 for a small section of the yard, he pulled ONE weed and said, “I’m done.” . We continued our conversations about how you have to finish a job your started before expecting a return. Children get paid way too much without thought. I mean, when I hear kids getting $20 from the tooth fairy for losing a tooth, it seems way too extravagant.

Even when our son helps us, we do pay his anywhere from $1 – $5. As they get older, I imagine we would increase it to $10-$15 again depending on the job.

This is so important to teach children that not every opportunity pays equally but it all adds up and is of value.

10. Helping is Different than Earning

All the above being said, it is very easy for kids to fall into the trap of doing everything with the expectation of getting money in return. It’s like candy to them. For they learn quite quickly that it will add up. This is why it is important to have simple things they do around the house like emptying the dishwasher or help clean up before a party so they know the difference between helping someone and working for money.

Find out more ways  teaching kids about finance here can be done here on Dave Ramsey’s site.

Worldly Ways to Give Children Happier, Steamlined Mornings

Heart to Heart : Get Your Kids to Stop Interrupting Your Conversations

How do you get kids to stop interrupting and give you that semblance of space when you are on the phone with the Internet company, wondering why you WIFI won’t work?!

It is the bane of every parent’s existence. Kids talking over, behind, under you while you are striving to have conversations, work or be on the phone. The sound of Mom, mommy, mama, are enough to drive you crazy when you are trying to focus on anything else.

Those sweet voices from which you yearned to hear “Mom” & “Dad” now won’t stop saying those words when they need something. Which is ALL. THE. TIME! And specially when you are distracted, because that is when these sneaky critters know you will say Yes to anything to get them to shush.

How do you get them to stay still and be quiet? Here are the tricks that have worked for me. Tried and tested. Hope they give you some idea on how to get kids to stop interrupting.

1. Monkey See, Monkey Do

Have you noticed how many times we interrupt our kids? They come to us when we are sitting and instead of listening, we give them a job to do, or change their clothes or some such task that could have waited two minutes after they spoke. Listen to your child. Give them the respect of your listening ears. Point this out when they interrupt your flow in THAT conversation with, “I’m not done”.

2. A Taste of Their Own Medicine

Silly. Yes! Kiddish. Yes! But it’s fun. After they have done it to you, give it a few minutes and when they start talking do it right back to them. I don’t encourage this more than a couple of times and explain to them how utterly distressing it is to have your words cut off.

3. Signal for Listening

One that works both ways. So if you are with friends/spouse and they come over, if it’s not urgent, they need can your hand and wait for you or everyone to finish. That way they know they are connected to you but waiting for their chance. Also, another signal like a raised hand when something urgent comes up that is MOST important.

Also, a signal from you that you cannot be stopped during THIS conversation, specially ones on the phone. Maybe a raised finger. Practice it during your conversations like a Red Light, Green Light Game.

4. Talk to Them About the Importance of Your Calls

Dad goes to office, so his meetings do not have to be disturbed. Kids learn this very early and easily. But with moms calls, they tend to take us for granted. A HUGE shift in our listening skills came when my I told my kids that me being on the phone with a company, the doctor’s office and even friends is the same as me being in a meeting. It is important for me, and thus they need to respect it. They grasped the relative importance and it made quiet a difference.

5. Don’t Hold Your Breathe

With the BEST kids, these tips work with perseverance. It all takes time, and after all they are kids. For them, their desire for TV/snack arises the moment they know you are busy for they feel they have to keep themselves occupied. Make sure they know that you are NOT going to be available to cater to them and that works best!

Find out more ways here, and share your experiences below.

Get Your Kid to Stop INterrupting Your Conversations

 

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Read more about how to help your child be a strong, confident child here.

Books for Travel - Summer Series Multicultural Kids Blogs

Elementary Aged Kids Can Travel the World with These Books

I recently read, traveling the world is a huge part of multicultural families. These books allow elementary aged kids to travel the world. We travel to meet our families and learn about the world. We hope that our children explore cities, new cultures and understand their own better.

Food, festivals, customs and little things that make us all different and yet similar at the same time. Below and a list of books, my children and I have read and enjoyed. They act as little passports to the world around us.

Since, it is impossible for everyone to see everything, it is so much more important now than ever for us learn from each other and share stories of how our worlds truly are.

(Aff Links)

Elementary Aged Kids Travel the World with Books

Maya and Neel Series

Originating from Indian authors, this series is an authentic look at Mumbai and Delhi. The authors plan to add more books to these series and talk about lot of Indian festivals. Great for younger kids, learning about India and Hindi too.

Goodnight Series

A fun read for little kids who would love to see India. An easy read.

Travel Guide Series

These are kids who love a lot of non fiction. Gives a great look at different countries around the world with facts and  celebrations.

Goodnight Series

Nick and Aya Series

A great book for parent bonding. Father and daughter take trips to different cities/countries around the world.

National Geographic Series

Who doesn’t know Nat Geo and their bid to empower the world with a real life look within countries. They have a lot of books about countries around the world.

Seymour and Hau Series

Books about Italy, Morocco and more, Seyomour and Hau is a great book for advanced elementary readers. Chapter books with images to boot! These make a wonderful gift too.

50 States Guide & Activity Book

You can learn all about America by buying this guide and their activity book combined. It is a great resource for social studies.

Flat Stanley Series

Another chapter book with images, these make a great read. Kids who like Judy Mody or Stink, would love Flat Stanley and all his adventures around the world.

Real Kids, Real Stories Series

Sometimes, learning about the world is not just about the cities, countries. It is about the people who are making courageous choices and  bringing real change around the world.

 

Hello World Series

Perfect for little kids, these books give them a view of what different cities around the world look like.

You can find more book lists here about raising children with a confident mindset or to help deal with bullying.

 

Elementary Aged Kids Can Travel the World with These Books

Learn more about how to travel the world with kids easily here.

Being Different - Empower Your Child to Overcome Self Doubt

Being Different – Empower Your Child to Overcome Self Doubt

Have you thought about how your child sees themselves? We see our children as perfect angels for their beauty lies in our eyes since moment they are born but these little humans will eventually grow to look at the world and start comparing themselves. Wonder how they overcome self doubt? Seeing themselves as inferior versions of themselves that can possibly cripple a child and how to overcome self doubt. It has happened to the best of us and will happen till time immortal.

My daughter is quite small for her age. It has been weighing heavy on us seeing other kids much younger to her, stand taller. Specially when we all hear comments like, “Oh, is she really 5?” or “I can put her in my pocket.” Off hand comments made with no thought, but a reminder of her being small.

As much as I worry about it and think about ways that we can help her grow, I have always worried more about the day that she starts seeing herself as different than others. And it happened on her fifth birthday!

She woke up early morning and questioned why she didn’t “look like she was 5”? Putting it down to a child’s question we went on with our day where she kept repeating and getting more disappointed to the point of crying hysterically after her birthday dinner.

When I went down to her level and talked about it, she was hurt that she hadn’t grown taller overnight. “Why am I not like 5 like other kids? They look so different.” It broke my heart. To witness my daughter seeing herself unlike other kids. I let the moment passed and comforted her. And later told her a story about a princess who was small but with a BIG heart and intelligent and helped others with her actions. She loved, loved, loved the new tilt to her perspective and slept with a smile on her face.

And as luck would have it, the next morning we got a book from the author of the book “Being Small Isn’t Bad At All”. Seeing her disadvantage as an advantage worked wonders for her self esteem. Just goes to show what the right books can do for a person’s perspective on life and themselves. If you happen to have a child facing our particular challenge, I can guarantee, this book will change your child’s perspective towards betterment.


This of course is not just restricted to being small. It applies to all those little or big things that make our children ever so slightly different than others. I have always tried my best to empower my kids in the many ways developing a confident mindset to overcome the daily overwhelm that comes with self doubt.

Overcome Self Doubt - Being Different

Get Down to Their Level

Not just literally (though that helps), but don’t just brush off what they are feeling. Help them address their concerns with empathy towards their view point. A hug often helps.

Some Time Off

A big hug, a walk, some time away from what they are feeling later with ice cream, helps them get out of their funk. At least it helps them get out of the hole for a while. Be a friend, by BEING with them, without forcing the issue.

Share Your Own Stories

I never try to hide my own insecurities from my children. I have often told them about times when I have been disappointed or failed or seen myself differently. AND I have talked to them about what I have done over time to overcome the same.

Make Up Stories

You will not believe the smile she had and the encouragement she felt when I told her about the princess who was small (with qualities of things that she liked) and then how it was not her shortcomings (no  pun intended) but her OTHER qualities that helped the kingdom out of the situation. A story tailor made for your child told in a different setting helps them be the 3rd person and see the situation different,

Empower Them with Empathy

Read to them. Talk to them. Not just about their particular self doubts but also, about the MANY different children there are. Teach them about children with different abilities and situations. When they learn how to be kind hearted and SEE other’s situations in a positive light, they grow to shine with their own light as well.

Wait for It

As parents, we all worry but with all the above, a day comes when all those moments come together towards a view point that makes you proud. Like your child standing up for themselves, or ever better, others!

Early, on recent morning, as we got ready for school I told my son to clean his glasses before wearing them and the conversation about glasses led to him mentioning that none of his friends at school wear glasses. He went on to tell me to my surprise that there was a time when he was embarrassed by them, but he got over it by thinking, “Being different doesn’t mean that I have to feel bad about it. I just have to be okay with it. It’s a part of me. “

And then, I knew my kids were okay. For they will grow to know, “Being different is not bad at all.”

 


If you enjoyed this and want more practical tips for imbibing your children with strong values for a confident mindset in the world that constantly evolves.

 

I Want to Raise Happy Kids : Not Just Miserable Overachievers

I Want to Raise Happy Kids : Not Just Miserable Overachievers

I see it everywhere. Parents cheering their kids on as they get trophies for participating and winning competitions that the parents have clearly done the work in. Kids exhausted and cranky from being over scheduled for classes in the name of all rounded development, exposure OR figuring out their talent.

We all agree we shouldn’t push kids for academics, but pushing them towards constant excellence in EVERY other field bears some thought too. 

Kids do not know what to do with themselves during free time. They can’t process failure, full of their own self importance. We unwittingly cheer for mediocrity while pushing our children to discover their hidden talents.

When I see dance/cooking competitions on Television with kids as young as 5/6 and parents of 6-10 year olds celebrating their kids’ accomplishment of being authors of stories they made up at bedtime. Kids gaining false confidence of talent when winning competitions that are rigged. Let’s face it, the pressure of the first is certainly not good for that young a mind and the second is a child’s ramblings put into a book with the parent having done ALL the work. Who truly benefits from this?

Constantly Reaching for the Next High of Success

I have been guilty of it too. We see our kids excelling at something and rush to show it off, challenge them more,  hoping they are the master in that field.

I see others like me taking something their kids enjoy doing, like building with Legos, or drawing or be good at engineering and start entering them into competitions or leagues. Thus taking away the doing just for “joy” and adding stress to it since of course now it has to be perfect before submission added to that the fact that one needs to work with team of different people, where they lose their own creativity and have to submit to the idea that’s best for the submission.

Why can’t we let kids be creative JUST for the sake of exploring? Free play has so much more to provide.

(I don’t know. If you do let me know in the comments below. I’m always open to seeing the other side of the coin.)

There is a fine line between providing your children opportunities and overwhelming them by teaching them that you need to get a medal in order derive joy from DOING. 

On the other hand, we have preschool teachers and parents who encourage others to hold their child back a year before starting kindergarten so that they get a leg up on the other kids who will certainly be younger since they would be MORE mature.

Where does that common sense of KNOWING that children are not mature enough to handle stress of a certain kind go away when you are pushing your child to get into gifted programs or competitions which add so much more pressure on the child?

As as Indian, I faced it quite early and consistently. My mom pushing me to get that one extra mark for a 100 score. Studying for hours at end. But then that’s all I had to do. I wonder how miserable I would be if I was in today’s world where I see kids doing 7+ extracurricular classes each week (more than there are number of days in the week), after a full day at school.

Both my children are quite perceptive and intelligent for their ages. I would imagine they both represent the average child and I see both being overwhelmed with the extra curricular classes or over activity. My daughter is too young to articulate the overwhelm. But my son says it time an again, ” I don’t get any time to just BE and PLAY!”


It disturbs me when all around me I see parents pushing children to go through TONNES of classes so they can explore their inner self OR stay away from gadgets. While I’m the first person to celebrate a child’s drawing or out of box thinking or grade or admission into gifted program (when achieved without hacking the system), I truly wonder how healthy it is for children that we as a generation are pushing our children to grow beyond their years.

And then we wonder why the younger generations are getting more and more miserable?!

People have forgotten how to JUST BE. How to be content with what they have in their hands. How to look at another and NOT wonder how I too can get that. How to be happy for anther’s naturally achieved success. It is a wonder why children today don’t know how to just play by themselves.

I won’t lie. I would LOVE for my children to be the next Einstein but only if they get to it on their own. I truly believe the talent within grows with time on it’s own, but happiness and how to enjoy life is something we need to teach by example. I imagine I would love my children to be amazing at everything they do. BUT I know as strongly as I know that I am breathing now, that a child that is PUSHED towards success can only learn to be on the GO, constantly wanting the next HIGH of getting that next medal or achievement. They will never learn how to be happy in the moment.

Empower Kids with the Contentment of Just Being

Life is stressful enough as we grow.

That first F. That first failure. That first heartbreak and many more. That job rejection. Those times when one feels looked down upon by the Success Gods. There’s enough of that without us setting them up for failure in the long run by handing them embellished achievements when they are young.

What we need to do, is teach them how to handle all those times when you feel the world is falling in within you and your heart is shattering into a million pieces.

I cry as I write this while coz I hope every single day that my child does not face any of the heart aches that I did KNOWING full well that they WILL, some day. And I pray that I give them the strength to handle them all. To know to be strong for themselves and those around them. Standing up when they don’t have the strength to.

Recently, a mother celebrated her child’s 60s while others were rejoicing their child’s 90s at school. Many questioned about my she needed to put it out there at all. I on the other hand wonder why so many of us don’t celebrate our child’s mediocrity enough? For every child has struggles they personally go through and achieve. I’m not talking about making it out of preschool. But that child who is struggling with anxiety issues or is shy. The child who got that C after getting tonnes of Ds or Fs. Not a celebration with a party or trophy but maybe just a sweet treat and a recognition of their hard work with a hug and a trip to their favorite place.

That’s how we show our children to process failures. That’s how we raise children to KNOW that they are enough within and they don’t need to constantly keep proving to those around them that they are worthy and talented.

My heart glows with warmth when I see a my son know how to respond to weird questions, bullying or teasing by friends. How deal with personal embarrassments and frequent embarrassments. It makes me smile inside when I am working and they play/read by my side, without any prompts or nudging. I feel pride when parents wonder how polite they are and thoughtful. Yes, we are still working on a number of issues but I know we are on the right path a lifetime of success, measured by laughter and strength.

With all that’s been happening lately, it is so much more important now than ever that we focus on raising a generation that knows how to just be happy and kind to each other. 

 

 

For step by step practical tips on raising your child to have balanced outlook on life, grab my book at 30% discount now !!

Books About Bullying for Elementary Age Kids

Books About Bullying for Elementary Age Kids

Bullying can be tricky. There is just a fine line between one off meanness and consistent bullying. In my book, Strong Roots Have No Fear, I have spoken in length about step by step actionable steps you can provide your child. One of the most important ones is to give them scenarios and how to handle them. What better way than books to show them stories of every day children facing the same in a real or magical world.

The Shrimp and the Bully

I picked up this book on a whim and what a wonderful resource this is for kids who are small in height or feel they are different.

Bucket Dippers and Lids

This is a wonderful book for 6-8 year olds, to teach them the difference between someone who fills another’s bucket with kindness or reduces another’s happiness.

Berenstain Brothers – Stand Up to Bullying

If your kids like Berestain Brothers like mine do, you will love this look through their eyes. My boy used to love the read.

Why Bully Me

This is to show all friends come in different sizes and we need to empathize with everyone.


Juice Box Bully

One of the best things kids can do to combat bullying is to stand up for one another, which is exactly what The Juice Box Bully is about. Students will learn how to have each other’s backs instead of doing nothing when they witness bully confrontation.

Hundred Dresses

Style is a BIG issue for multicultural kids. It addresses a classmate who is ridiculed by bullies for wearing the same dress to school every day, while other students stand by and do nothing to help.

Bully

It is a perfect read for our increasingly digitally-savvy students. You want your kids to know how to handle cliques and digital pushing around.

Wonder

I cannot recommend this book enough for little kids aged 6-8. It is so important to see the strength of every kid. August was born with a facial deformity so he’ll have to convince his classmates that he is normal, just like them, despite his appearances.

I Am Enough

Before anything, we need our kids to know that they are enough. How they are, in every way they are.

Llamma Llamma – The Goat Bully

Such a great book for tiny little ones, to show they what to do when bullies trouble them.

Stand in My Shoes

This book by the author of The Juice Box Bully helps children learn the meaning of empathy. Emily’s big sister explains that empathy is the ability to notice what other people feel. Emily wonders if having empathy really makes a difference, and puts it to the test! She suddenly has a whole new perspective on people.

Just Kidding

This is a problem even adults face. D.J.’s friend Vince has a habit of teasing heavily and then trying to brush it off with a “Just kidding!” D.J. worries that protesting will make it appear like he can’t take a joke. This book helps with a positive solution.

Bully Busters and Beyond

This book is a wonderful resource for 9 things you can empower your child with towards self-confidence, self-esteem, and strength of character.

Seeds and Trees

This is a sweet little book to talk to kid about the importance of words and the effect they have.

Toot Toot !

I read this book to my both my kids and we were so lucky to find it. It is a great way to show kids that EVERY single child has the power within to make a difference. My daughter still loves it.

Tales from the Bully Box

Real life stories that can make an impact as well. The book is really a collection of short stories about bullying from students of all walks of life. The subject matter is diverse and the book also includes discussion questions.

Strictly No Elephants

When a boy’s pet elephant is explicitly excluded from joining the local Pet Club, the boy sets out to show the other animals the error in their ways. A beautiful way to show kids the importance of inclusion.

A Glass Full of Rumors

We have all faced it. Which is why it is so important to share with kids early the importance of defining and stopping a rumor in it’s tracks.

My Princess Boy

It is a story of compassion, acceptance, unconditional parental love and friendship. We like it because rather than avoid a tricky subject.

There’s Roti in my Lunch Box

An important book for children living in a multicultural world, where other’s have different customs. Talk to your children about this .

For scenarios that you may come across in daily life and real world practical tips for dealing with bullying, what to do in case that happens and ensuring your child does NOT become a bully themselves, you can buy use the below book for your family.

If you found this resource useful, make sure to check out our post for books that help in empowering children early with a confident mindset.

Another great resource is https://www.drugrehab.com/guides/bullying/

Books to Raise Awareness About Bullying in Elementary Age Kids

Would You Celebrate with a Fiver Birthday Party Theme?

Would You Celebrate with a Fiver Birthday Party Theme?

My daughter turns 5 this year. As birthday milestones go, this is certainly a big one. For her and us. Any parent can attest to the bittersweet moment when a child starts Kindergarten. Those first steps towards the bus, the new back pack and that last wave goodbye. Heart wrenching but so monumental in their meaning. I went online to find the best ways I can make her birthday memorable and among the many themes, came across the Fiver birthday party. For a 5-year-old, the name seemed like the perfect fit till I went on to read what it was.

Now, at the face it is a brilliant idea.

Every child coming to the party is requested to bring a $5 bill in a card and then the birthday kid gets to combine the total towards a larger present that they desire. The invitations would read something like, So-and-so is having a “fiver” party! He wants to save up for a [insert gift here], so if you wish to send a gift, please include $5 in a card instead!” or something along those lines; worded respectfully with no pressure to include any gift at all.


I certainly get why this would be a great option for the many celebrations we host for our kids.

A Rewarding Option 

With say, 8-20 kids in a class if you get invited to even 10 parties it reduces the overall cost. Even if you spend $10 per child, not counting the many other expenses of parties throughout the year this becomes cost effective. Not to mention the fact that the money goes towards something the kid really wants. 

Convenient

We all know how hard it is to go to the store and buy a gift for someone. We never know what the kid would like, and then end up spending a good amount of time pondering over the various options. Even if we know what the child likes, sometimes we do not know what they already have. Other times, we fear disappointment.

Reduces Clutter

Yes! A lot of presents translate into a lot of “stuff” around the house which eventually becomes a headache for us as we have to clean up daily after play or have to figure out where in the closets to place them.

Makes the Birthday Kid More Thoughtful

In the material world we live in, this may be a great idea where the child is not focused on the presents but on having a good time. Also, they would need to put in a lot of thought into what toy they most want. Or worry about who brought want.

Reduces Disappointment

Let’s face it. Sometimes those thoughtless, last minute or re gifted gifts can be downright hurtful, not just to the kid but to the parents as well. The disappointment is hard to witness.

 

I do have the other side of the coin to present on this subject though. My take on how traditional gifts help our children grow –

Exploring New Paths

When my son was little, I was dreading Legos. Having heard the horror stories of how much of a mess they make, they were the last thing on my mind when I hosted his 4th birthday party. One of our very good friends gifted him a Lego building box. My son took to it immediately and became passionate about creating. He went onto building vehicles, towers, cities, fidget spinners and now is into Lego animation. Last month he created a video for the school’s Reflections competition and won third place in it. All because someone gave an unexpected gift on his birthday. Over the years, he has received dinosaur building kits, robots, books etc that I as a parent would never have thought of and they all contributed to his mental development.


There is an Excitement in Opening Presents  

Even I as an adult love the excitement of removing the crinkled paper and seeing a thoughtful gift inside, however less in material value. I have pictures of both kids surrounded by their presents every year. That smile before and as they open them is precious.

Thoughtful Gifts Build Relationships 

Every cherished gift has made stronger the foundation of the relationships for every child remembers that one gift that meant the world to them. My kids have even kept most of the hand made cards they have received.

Giving with Meaning

I used to run to the store and grab a gift while the kids were in school. I thought it would avoid the drama of them crying for it. Recently though, I have started taking them to the store to pick out gifts for their friends. The reasoning they put into what they get for their friends is heartwarming.

Inner Growth

Yes, there is disappointment when you see someone put next to no thought in what they gift you. It is still a wonderful learning opportunity for our children to accept what they get with grace and humility. Also, it is our job to shift the focus away from the presents and onto the present. Taking ownership of their “stuff” and clearing things up is a big part of kids’ personal development.

The cons of a fiver party can certainly not beat the convenience and cost effectiveness the theme provides. But it is certainly something to ponder over. Maybe that is where balance comes into play. Like how some years we have birthdays that are over the top in their extravagance and other days it’s just us, pizza or a memorable trip somewhere.

Don’t forget to get your copy of our Best selling book Strong Roots Have No Fear! Empower your child to be empowered in their values with a global outlook.

20 Unique Children's Picture Books For a Confident Mindset

20 Unique Children’s Picture Books For a Confident Mindset

I love reading. It’s a HUGE part of my life. And in the desire for my children to be readers I buy books constantly and we read every single chance we get. Not just before bed time. In fact rarely then. But having built two readers, I know for a fact it takes enticing books to get them interested in reading.

Most importantly, it is important that we read books that help them build on the many values that we need them to have in order to grow to be thought leaders.

Below are some of the books I have found to be incredible in shifting my child’s perspective. Trust me. You won’t regret any of them!

Where Am I From?

Every child needs to know this in order to be aware of their surroundings. The question “Where are you from?” is a complex one in this multicultural environment.

The Jelly Donut Experience

Let’s talk about kindness. This book provides a wonderful way to be kind to those around us in the simplest of ways.

Guess How Much I Love You

It all begins with love. Let your child know how much you love them with this amazing book that talks about how much a parent loves their child.

Charlotte and the Quiet Place

We breathe along with Charlotte, bring calm in your child’s life with these words. My little ones can’t help but calm down as a result.

I am Enough

To be content with oneself is an important trait to develop. To be happy with our flaws and strengths equally. An important life lesson here.

Horrible Bear

This picture book teaches kids how to looks at the positive in others while also making you giggle.

Princess in Training

For little girls and boys to see how amazing it can be to learn about being a princess in a unique way.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Being a friend means being there for someone else when they need it. A beautiful book.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Prepare your child to be bully free.

Little Giraffe’s Big Idea

Every person has different qualities and different ideas and not everyone can fit in. And yet it is okay to be inclusive of everything. A beautiful book of this big idea.

I Believe In You

Let your child know that YOU know that they are amazing and can do everything they put their heart to. I got this book for my son when we were learning cycling and it was a lovely re-iteration.

I’m So Thankful

Being happy means being grateful. This book is a fun little way to help children see the beauty in every day.

The Most Magnificent Thing

Not everything you do is going to be perfect, but everything you do leads you up  to that magnificent thing.

Not for Me, Please!

Encourage your child to be world wise by being environment friendly.

Thankful For God’s Blessings

Always Anjali

What If Everybody Did that?

This is a great series to teach kids why it is important to do OUR part, even when others are not.

You Can Face Your Fears

Yes, we all get scared. And yes, we can try our best to overcome book. A book to build persistence.

Listening to My Body

So important to pay attention to your feelings and what your body is telling you. A wonderful book to develop coping skills.

BONUS BOOK FOR PARENTS

Want your child to have strong values? Want to learn what to do other than reading to your child? Here is the book that gives you real world ways to helping your child be self confident, rooted while helping them develop a global mindset.

Strong Roots Have No Fear : Empower Your Child to Thrive in Our Multicultural World!

20 Unique Children's Picture Books for a Confident Mindset

Educational Candy-less No Prep Easter Fun for Your Child

Educational Candy-less No Prep Easter Fun for Your Child

Easter is not a part of our heritage but of course living in USA means, my children and I would never miss out on enjoying this celebration of spring and life.

I personally have organized two Easter celebrations within our community of 20+ families. One was a full on huge celebration with carnival games, scavenger hunt for adults even and even food. The second one is which one I am most proud of, which was on minimal preparation and Candy Less. Of course, we had that one mom revolt, saying kids would be super disappointed if there was no candy. But guess what?! They weren’t.

Our No Prep Celebration

Lesson learned, that the joy of the Easter celebration, other than the spiritual/religious aspect is also in the finding of those plastic eggs with their friends. The importance of any occasion is in it’s origin and it’s any way in which we commemorate the festival with fun.

The second celebration is the one I share here with you. I contacted all the families the evening before Easter weekend and asked them to give me 20 eggs per child in their family, filled with one non candy treat and ONE task that a child can do out of a list I had made. For eg. :

Do 5 jumping jacks.
Hug the person to the left of you.
Say something nice to a friend.
Take a circle around the group.
Do the floss.
Do the dab.
Give a high five to a friend.
Touch your nose.

The morning of, half hour before the party adults got together and distributed the eggs in a decided area. We marked a short area limited for the younger 5 and below kids. For the older kids when spread them out in a larger area, hidden in places etc.

As egg hunts go, it was all over in ten mins. What was MORE fun was we made all the kids get together and open their eggs and each kid did what was written in their eggs. The kids had a blast going around, checking out what was in their eggs. We got tonnes of videos of each kid and memories that lasted for ever.

Great practice reading for early readers.


Other ideas of Fun Easter Egg Hunts

Scavenger Hunt

Number the eggs and write clues within each egg about where to find the next egg. I did this one year for fun and it was a HIT! The kids have a blast going number by number because where most kids are concerned, they LOVE the mystery behind the hunt. My son even made a small scavenger hunt for me, after around his toys and had ME looking for eggs by giving me clues. “It’s next to the camel.” or “It’s in the princess caste.”

This helps kids think out of the box!

Games With Eggs

To be honest, we are more of an impromptu game creating family.  We will cut papers up, count them and add them to gets. Draw on eggs. Match colors to colors. Those plastic Easter eggs are a HUGE source of a lot of creative thinking. Kids themselves invented so many. It all starts from the simplest – counting the eggs we have.

MORE IDEAS FOR TEACHINGhttps://everydayabovedirt.com/easter-activities-for-toddlers/

 

Night Fun

Use small leds or glow sticks and hide the eggs around your back yard or inside your house in the dark. The kids go crazy enjoying running around to music and acting like fireflies. It also helps fight any fear of the dark kids might have.

Read Stories

Fill the eggs with names of books and ask the kids to make a pile of books. Meanwhile, make sure to read to your child about the origin stories and talk about the many values Easter and spring brings forth.

Here is a list of non candy treats that you can find to fill the eggs if you want something more.


Do Crafts

It goes without saying that a beautiful way to celebrate is to do the many crafts you can enjoy with kids. Here is an easy craft that kids can do themselves.

Bunny Mask
Colorful Basket

For many more ideas you can goto our Pinterest page where we have curated a TONNE of ideas for theme crafts.

Let’s shift our focus from candy to the meaning of celebrations and imparting life skills through the merriment.  Wishing you a Happy Easter!

Educational Candy-Less No Prep Easter Fun