7 Steps To Teach Kids Goal Setting & Perseverance

7 Steps To Teach Kids Goal Setting & Perseverance

My 7 year old son wants to be an inventor when he grows up. For now, his aim to is create lavish Lego creations based on dinosaurs, Minecraft, Avengers and more. He gets ideas and doesn’t stop till he has completed his creation. And he often gets overwhelmed!

goal setting for kids

He gets it from me. I too am like a steam roller when I get an idea into my head and I just cannot stop till I am done with the many, many items on my list. Only in the past year have I discovered the power of goal setting and the many challenges that they encounter and believe that it is an essential trait for kids to learn at a young age.

Not only does it prevent overwhelm, it is of great importance to learn what goals to focus on and how to keep them instead of having to give up.

Why would kids need goals ? To apply effectively to

  • Grades
  • Hobbies or interests
  • Exercise
  • TV viewing
  • Free time
  • Savings
  • Sports
  • Education
  • Behavior
  • Chores
  • and much much more.

7 Easy Steps To Teach Kids Goal Setting & Perseverance | Family | Kids | Planning Tools | Free Templates | Teach Kids How To Set Goals | Free Template

 

Setting Goals 

It is often that overwhelm comes in the form of overzealous goal setting. The most important step to learning how to be a person of perseverance is to attain the fine balance to awareness, priority, work and time.

1. HAVE SPECIFIC GOALS

“Little goals are the best way to get kids moving toward big goals,” says Jim Wiltens, a leadership-training instructor in the San Francisco-area schools. “Meeting a goal gives kids an incredible surge of energy.” It is important to teach kids that not every goal is worth attaining even. Listen to what the kids want and steer them gently towards what is something that they can actually work towards. Make sure to take baby steps. 

Reading a page a day, picking up toys in a room or in our case creating one creation in a set amount of time is a good enough goal to begin with.

You know your child best. Crafting a vision board or making a list of their dream goals and picking the ones that are specific to them are essential.

2. KEEP THE RIGHT TOOLS

You will need to make a goal kit for your kids. This could be a calendar, timer, a marker and a log of some sort to maintain the goal/s they set for themselves. Download the ones below and ensure they go through it at a time every day.

Journal writing is a great way to stay on top as well .

3. PLAN THE WORK IT TAKES

Every goal takes a different amount of time and energy. It is important to ensure the kids think through the steps it takes to achiever the goal.

Teach them to break the goal down into smaller actions and work on how much time each action takes.

4. FOCUS ON THE TIME 

Something that many kids lack is an awareness of time. Make sure you mark the calendar or teach them how to set a timer for everything they need to achieve. This is a great way to educate them about time awareness, taking breaks and moderation.

Keeping To Goals 

This is the trickiest part and something all of us struggle with.

5. HOW TO PRIORITIZE

This is something that is totally essential to creating goal oriented, self driven kids. It is important for kids to learn how to put their goals above other things. The number one lesson they need to learn is that the only way to tick that goal off their day is to put it first and put in the work.

Set a time for your goal and then tick it off!

A neat trick is to  tie it into something that the kids love depending on the goal. So, if the goal is something they love doing, they could forgo their favorite treat or activity for that day. And if the goal is something they don’t like doing so much, they could get an extra treat or something they rarely get to do within the time period they are trying to achieve their goal.

6. DEAL WITH SELF DOUBT

A big part of goal setting that many kids do not know how to deal with is the self doubt that comes with when they fail to succeed on the way. It is important to encourage them to push a little harder some days and equally important to let them know when it is okay to forgive yourself or let go. 

7. CELEBRATE SUCCESS 

And most important of all is to ensure to celebrate any and all successes big and small. A special treat that you have thought of before hand itself is specially great. Preferably an experience vs something materialistic.

Let Them Fail

This will possibly be the most important thing to teaching kids to reach their goals. As parents we hate to see them fail but nothing teaching a child the important aspect of staying on top of Their goals than failing to meet a deadline and suffering the consequences. Better early than late. Taking ownership is a big part of teaching kids to be responsible .

Download the complete free Goal Tracking Template.

  Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ”

 

Why Our Hindu Family Celebrates Christmas

Why Our Hindu Family Celebrates Christmas

My Christmas story is not a magical one. But it often seems like it to me. There is no Father Christmas but there is certainly Uncle B. A bear of a man with a hunky mustache and a smile that lit up a room ! From the vantage point of a 2-3 year old girl this man was a mountain of warmth.

I am a Hindu, Indian citizen by birth! Born and raised in Kuwait, an Arab country. Surrounded by a community of friends and family made up of mostly Gujraatis and South Indians (all Hindu) or Muslims.

But my biggest influence of food, celebration and love came from the the apartment next door ! A Christian home filled with love and faith.

Why Our Hindu Family Celebrates Christmas | Do Hindus Celebrate Christmas ? | Parenting | Family | Life | Today | Hinduism | Christmas

In Kuwait, you live in apartments. Life is pretty much boxed up. That means you are right next to your neighbors and are inevitably aware of the families living around you.

But finding the perfect neighbors as we all know is a boon! In the 80s, our immediate neighbors in Kuwait were Christians originating from Goa, India. A wonderful family : Uncle B, Aunty M and their two kids Big J and Little J. Everyone who knows me for more than a year, hears about them and definitely around Christmas.

It also often comes up when they wonder how I am a hard core non vegetarian while my family on both my parents’ sides are pure vegetarian.

Being Loved As Part of Another Family

Only someone as lucky as me could have been loved as much as I was in that home. Uncle B gave the best hugs. Aunty M always welcomed me with a smile. He worked at night and stayed home all day. He cooked amazing meals for his family before going off to work in the evening. I was constantly in and out of their house. Meals, play time, any time I could get away with it, I would be over there playing with my little friends.

Whenever I was over and Uncle B was cooking, he sat me up on the kitchen counter and fed me with his own hands talking up a storm. He teased me, quizzed me, laughed at my silliness, his eyes twinkling with abandon. I don’t remember what we discussed but I still can feel those moments full of heart. The yummy chicken, sausages, cutlets he made were relished by me wholeheartedly. My parents not too happy about it initially, encouraged me to choose my foods as they could see I enjoyed it so much.

Aunty M had the most unique way of calling out my name Atiti. Their kids Big J and Little J were my best and maybe only real friends for the first 10 years of my life. My mom baby-sat Little J when Aunty M worked and tutored Big J in the subject of Hindi . I bossed both of them all the time, considering them siblings. Even at that little age I knew they would always follow my naughty demands. Around them I felt like an invincible princess whose every word was gold!

Christmas All My Childhood

Christmas time was celebrated in a big way in their home. Everyone who came knew they would find me there. I was a permanent fixture.

Their whole circle, distant family and work friends included became people who I considered part of my circle. Each person who came there shared the same jokes each time they met me at any event.

The tree would be decked up. Everyone dressed in their best. Every single year everything would be placed and decorated exactly like the last year and it was perfect! Festive music, the nativity scene under the stereo system and scrumptious food.

Glitter galore! For many years, for lack of vegetarian options in their menu Uncle and Aunty fed my mom and dad sausage rice with the sausages removed. Eventually my dad caught on but sweetly laughed it off!

A Unique Family Of 8

The eight of us were a unique family. When mom fell down the stairs 7 months pregnant fracturing her foot, it was Aunty M who carried her to the hospital. When Aunty M needed help with anything she would come calling my mom, “Achana!” (she still pronounces our names the same way) with an authoritative voice knowing my mom would always be home. We celebrated Rakhi and Diwali with them, lighting sparklers together. I don’t think either of our doors were often locked.

The Gulf war happened and my family had to leave the country. We moved back to Kuwait two years later. Our homes were far away from our “neighbors” now but our hearts were still close. We met less often, spoke less often. But whenever we met, Aunty M and Uncle B still pampered me and my little brother just as much.

And Christmases always warranted a visit to their welcoming home.

When I Lost Uncle B

I was in college in India when I got the news that Uncle B was sick. Next time we met him, he was the thinnest I think a grown man could possibly be! A year later, I was riding the bus somewhere in India when my mom called to tell me he had passed away succumbing to his illness.

I remember that moment like it was yesterday. The deep regret I felt haunts me to this day of not being able to say good bye. I do not know what I would have said to him but when I did finally calm down that day on the bus, I said a prayer and told him I will always miss him.

Celebrating Christmas On My Own 

Once I had kids, I wanted them to be able to feel the magic of Christmas! For me to had over the treasure trove of memories to them. 

The joy of the Christmas tree, the gaiety in the carols, the beauty in the story of the day Jesus Christ was born. The cozy warmth of the lights that twinkle in the dark cold nights giving hope and happiness!

It was big day when we finally brought home our very own Christmas tree and decorated it amidst great excitement starting a tradition that I know will last a life time!

Another wish that grows with me is a desire to be that kind of person in every child and friend’s life. Hoping to be such an epitome of warmth that they can feel it. Someone who they would cherish when time flew by.  To be Adi Aunty to children around me.

Christmas in my home is surely rooted in the love for friends who left within me a part of them.

Every year when the lights are lit and everything starts getting that punch of red my first smile is always at the memory of Uncle B, may he rest in peace. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays celebrating everything and everyone you hold dear!

What is the root of your Christmas story? 

 

  Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ” .

23 Lessons About Life Learnt From Kids

How wondrous are kids !!! It’s mind blowing to observe their dynamics within and the conclusions they draw on a daily basis. Children’s Day – November 14th in India, November 20th around the world, I want to take the time to appreciate the many, many lesson kids teach us about living fuller lives ! 

The holiday was first celebrated worldwide in October 1953, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954. In India, Children’s Day is observed on November 14 as a public holiday, and is dedicated to the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, for the extreme love for children and worked passionately for the welfare of children.

Thanks to Facebook and parents around the world sharing snippets of their lives, I am inspired daily by kids’ resilience, their creativity, their humor, their compassion and their capacity to think break the proverbial box, not just think outside it.

Of course we don’t need a day to celebrate our children. They are special. In more ways than one. But it’s great to take a minute to acknowledge what THEY bring into our lives. Not just happy moments, and anecdotes but how they make our lives so much more fuller and better by making us want to be better people !
Here are lessons from around the world talking about how the little wonders they come across or live with have inspired –

Lesson 1 

My children taught me to love technology. It’s because of them I embraced the internet and smart phones and Facebook. (I draw the line at SnapChat. Yuck!) They seem to learn so quickly, and embrace new ideas so effortlessly. They’re grown up now, and I admire them very much.

Kay Bolden 

Lesson 2 

I taught children so I learned from them, from my own and now from my grandchildren. They taught me to listen, to be creative, to challenge myself just as I challenged them, to have fun. To make snow angels, to paint, to roll on the floor, to see how care and loving can create wonderful human beings.

Jan Cox

Lesson 3 

My children are emerging adults now (22, 20 & 17). They have taught me how to surrender myself to the moment, to be more present, honest and loving. They’ve also taught me so much about God’s unconditional love; mine is imperfect, but I can’t image NOT loving any one of my children regardless of the path they follow. I believe God’s heart is like that (and so much more).

Caroline DePalatis

Lesson 4 

I’ve learned to slow down and appreciate the small things. There’s nothing so important it’s worth rushing through those magical small moments with them.

Leanna Guillen Mora

Lesson 5 

Taking the time to do things. We’re always in a rush. Let’s slow down!

At night when I often struggled with self doubt and overwhelm from school, my mom would firmly say: Deanne, gives Me a shower and then go to bed. No more thinking tonight.

I still hear her voice when my mind gets spinning and tired.

Deanne Welsh

Lesson 6 

My children have definitely proved to me that “our children do as we do and not as we tell them to do”. Whether it be us, as parents, their teachers or their peers, actions speak louder than words.

Lisa Sadleir

Lesson 7 

For me, being a mom is equal parts challenge and fulfillment. Our kids teach us so many lessons! Parenthood has been the greatest experience of my life. Thanks for the thread!

Katie O Connel 

Lesson 8 

Kids are so creative by nature. They love experiment and play. By listening to them I learnt what works best in teaching.

Galina Nikitina

Lesson 9 

Kids are taught to have good manners and discipline from not only what we teach but also from our deeds. We always try to make it right teaching them to ask sorry and say thanks but unfortunately sometimes we totally forget to apologize or thank them when its needed.

Recently I was reminded by my kid to apologize when I accidentally dropped her toy. That moment I realized its crucial to stay in a way we advice them how to be.

Suja Dinesh

Lesson 10 

More than anything,i hv learned forgiveness n giving a second chance to others!!
Kids never hold grudges, no ego issues !!

Shalini Tyagi

Lesson 11 

I have learned that curiosity keeps us inspired and present! It’s a pathway into just BEing and enjoying, basking in, this BEingness.

I also learned, many years ago, that children are extremely perceptive. They can sense and intuit so much, and it’s very worthwhile to listen to them. To sit with them and learn from their perspectives. The wisdom they hold, without effort, is beautiful!

Courtney Lynn Harris

Lesson 12 

The greatest lesson I’ve learned from my children is how to be a Mom. When I was eight and half months pregnant with my first child in 1992, I remember calling my mom crying. In between sobs, I managed to get out the words, “Mom, what business do I have being pregnant? I don’t know the first thing about kids!” I was 30 years old and, believe it not, I’d never even babysat before. There are no wiser words than those my mom spoke back then. “Jane, you’ll just know.” And that’s exactly what I’ve experienced through the years. Even though children aren’t born with an “instruction manual,” being a Mom, somehow, just came natural. Somehow, I just knew what to do. My children are now 21 and 25, and although I still wish sometimes they’d come with an instructional manual, they’re still teaching me so many wonderful lessons about being a Mom.

Janie Saylor

Lesson 13 

My kids have taught me to dial back my brain. I find I’m thinking slower and feeling deeper than I ever did. Having kids wasn’t just a new chapter in life for me, it was an entirely new book. Where I focused on the goal and the destination now I have realized the value of the journey and the experience. I feel bad for my husband – it’s like he is now married to a totally different person!

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma

Lesson 14

It’s okay to forgive. I make so many mistakes but every time I apologise, my children greet me with open arms and no grudges while I’m likely to mull over how they are “always” behaving terribly even if they do it only sometimes.

Aparajita Kumar

Lesson 15

I have learned from kids how to be resilient. Kids have difficulties in their lives, just like adults do. They somehow seem to bounce back more easily. Children have taught me to enjoy life in the moment, no matter what your circumstances are.

Cara Whitney Bangerter 

Lesson 16 

I’ve learned that they are their own and never a carbon copy of ourselves. Watching them grow into their personalities has been amazing. I’m so proud of my three daughters and the women they are becoming. 

David Mike

Lesson 17

Believe in your heart and follow your dreams from the 5 yo. Be a succulent and suck up the memories from the 11 yo. From both: sometimes a fire in your heart can get you into a wee bit of trouble. No one can get you down but you, figuratively, and down the mountain.

Nicole Fassnacht Akers

Lesson 18

My 14 month old grand daughter who passed away, taught us how to live in the present, she taught us that little things matter, and how to cherish what we have.

Anne Gollias Peterson

Lesson 19 

I’ve learned children thrive on love and want more of us and more of our attention, than they do material things. Children say it like it is and the humor is so natural. For example, one morning I was driving my 4 year old grandson to school. We saw his neighbor, an elderly woman, walking rather slowly down her driveway. I said, “Hunter, I wonder if your neighbor isn’t feeling well today. She’s moving a little slow this morning.” Hunter replied in a matter-of-fact kind of way and with no disrespect intended, “That’s what old peoples do. They move slow…. Like a sloth.” I cracked up so hard and he didn’t laugh.

Dorris Swift 

Lesson 20 

I am learning that children are sponges that absorb all the information available and then link them in their minds. We can enhance this learning by not just teaching them what’s in their schoolbooks but also getting them interested in other hobbies and interests to develop an overall learning.

I have learned we should never underestimate theri ability and capabilities by our measures. We need to challenge them to think out of the box and be amazed at their creativity.

Rebecca Vijay

Lesson 21 

I learned the graceful power of compassion in response to fear, and the quiet strength of dedication in the face of difficulty from my 8-yr-old grandson.

You can read more about the lessons her grandson’s taught her on her website below.

Lesson 22 

I’ve learned from my kids the importance of being fully and authentically myself. As I watch them grow, I admire their unique personality traits, and I see how they really shine when being true to themselves. I feel like I have learned this lesson many times in my life, but it still helps to remember that I’m happiest being myself.

Lesson 23 

To feel my feelings fully and let them go and move on.

Stephanie Berryman 

My Lesson  

The Biggest life lesson my kids teach me daily is that there has to be a sense of wonder about every thing we do. The fascinating joy and enthusiasm  they have to everything that’s new is truly heart warming. In this cynical world, it is often easy to get lost in the darkness. My kids ensure that my mornings begin with a light heart and smile.

These still just a drop of what kids teach us on a daily basis. And that’s just one of the reasons why it is our responsibility to ensure they are given every possible opportunity to grow in a healthy and happy environment. Not just with our view point, but with the help of the village that is the world !

Pay attention !!! Kids not only inspire to live a better life, they show you a whole new way to look at the world around you.

Raising World Children Brings You 23 Life Lessons Learnt From Kids Around You

 

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ” .
7 Empowering Ways To Protect Your Kids From Tragedy

7 Empowering Ways To Protect Your Kids From Tragedy

I read the headline. Mass shooting in Texas. My throat constricts. My heart beat stops. I look at the number of people who died, and my eyes well up imagining what their families will be going through in the next few hours.

This has been a vicious repeated cycle of despair recently. What a horror filled end of year it’s been! Hurricanes, acts of terrorism, mass shootings have left families reeling under the possibility of tragedy slamming into their lives at a moment’s notice.

Lost links. Hearts broken. Lives forever changed!

Highly sensitive people like me, specially those who have experienced loss earlier and are now parents, imagine what it would be like be in that situation again. We constantly look over our shoulder, anticipating danger. Prepare for what we would do, should we feel threatened. We scour information for how to try to stay safe and avoid public places that might be an easy target.

For acts of God, we make endless lists and prep our homes for eventualities.

Through all this, I worry about what future our children holds. Are we preparing them enough for what is to come. Even worse, what might come.

Harsh Reality For Kids Today

A few weeks ago, my son told me about a drill they do at school. He explained to me what they would do if a “mean man” came to the school wanting to do bad things. We don’t watch the news in our home. So, I don’t think he yet knows the actual implications of what will happen to him.  My heart fills with fear (is an understatement)  at the thought of him and his adorable little friends who come home often ever having to go through that drill in reality.

What a sad world we live in where we need to prepare our kids for such circumstances! But taking the school’s lead, in spite of how nauseous as the thought of it makes me I have to prepare my kids to the best of my ability to be ready in such cases. 

[bctt tweet=”6 Empowering Ways To Protect Your Kids From Tragedy” username=”contactrwc”]

7 Empowering Ways To Protect Your Kids From Tragedy | Prepare Kids For Tragedy | Disaster Preparation for kids

Have a Code Word

If your kids are anything like mine, they do not listen to anything you have to say easily. Talk to your kids about a word they think denotes urgency and that puts them on the alert for instructions to come.

Prep Them With Set of Instructions 

I’m a big believer in preparation. So make sure your kids know to Run, Hide, or do whatever it is that you ask them to do. I will not lay out a hard line for  you, because every child is different and needs a different set of instructions to follow. At school, kids mimic other kids. At home though, it is up to parents to gauge what detail of information your kids can process.

For example, in my home I say the below to my kids.

  • Listen to what mom dad or an authority figure says.
  • Stay with mom and dad no matter what.
  • It will be a very difficult situation so stay very quiet and listen hard.
  • There could be situation where we say Run then RUN!
  • Find a person in uniform and tell them your address and phone number.
  • If mom and dad are not there, call so and so and ask for help.

Teach Them About Emergency Needs

The school is wonderful at teaching kids the difference between needs and wants, but in tragic times, needs take on a different meaning. Teach them what a need is in case of a natural disaster, health emergency etc. If you can, prep a bag with bare necessities, and emergency care that they know where to look for.

Reiterate The Above Over And Over

Like everything else in life, this too needs practice. So, ensure to make your kids understand that the above is important and needs to be remembered.

Talk To Your Kids About Predators and Acts of God

My kids are super friendly. It has been a hard journey teaching them about how to figure out what a bad man does and how they should protect themselves.

It is even more difficult to explain to my fear filled son that a tornado is not something that comes randomly with every rainfall. Explaining to him the nature of weather and how hurricanes and other natural disasters has been helpful.

How To Protect Your Kids From Tragedy | Raising World Children | Empower

Be With Your Kids 

This seems like a no brainier but in the hustle of every day life, we often don’t get time to get in that extra snuggle time.

These are difficult times. More than anything, kids need to know they are safe and loved. My kids are sensitive so even when we talk about monster men or bad situations they get disturbed. Also, with information coming in from all quarters even if you protect your child from the media, they may have friends who talk to them about real events. Make sure to be present with your kids to stay connected to what’s going on in their little hearts.

Have open lines of communication always!

Take Actions For A Brighter Future 

Kids are always listening, observing and pick up on body language cues. While it is impossible to be positive all the time, we can teach kids to be empowered by being great examples our selves. In spite of such events, we need to hold onto hope and light the candle for our future generation.

Volunteer as much as you can. Vote for the right candidates. Have open dialogue about mental illness, drug use, relationships, peer pressure and current trends. Surround yourself with positive energies. 

Above all, ensure to do everything in your power to be a kind human being yourself! And do make sure to give your kids an extra tight on these disturbing days.

 What would you suggest we add to this list ? 

Featured on NBC12 News Website | Raising World Children |

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ”
Using Halloween To Impart Values To Kids

Using Halloween To Impart Values To Kids

A chill has set in the air. Leaves are turning brown, dancing away to the tune of the swirling wind. This usually means Halloween is here! 
While partaking in the fun, this is an opportunity to give the children an all round experience. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to help children make this holiday about more than chocolate and character costumes? To give them life lessons crucial to their very being. 
Safety First
Being safe is always paramount. And by re enforcing the below guidelines before trick or treating, you give children a gentle reminder to always be safe.
 
  1. No candy from strangers. This is for kids who go trick or treating themselves. No matter how friendly, they should be wary of taking candy from strangers or going near cars with unknown people in them.
  2. Candy has to be brought home before being eaten. Parents should always be given a chance to go through all the candy before it is eaten to check for any allergy issues or in case it has been tampered with. Yes, this is a scary thought but a necessary precaution.
  3. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors so that the children can be seen as darkness falls. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen.
  4. Always walk on sidewalks. When there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. 
  5. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Children should never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  6. Make sure costumes are not too big to avoid kids tripping on them.

Create Costumes

Do you really want to spend $50+ on a costume to be wore for an evening or a couple of parties ? I know we think about what the fun outfits and you go, “ Yay !” You immediately imagine the cute pictures your kids will be posing for. But this too can be turned into a learning experience by using your imagination to get the final output. You don’t necessarily have to get Martha Stewart crafty!
Two years ago, our son wanted to be Iron man. We stuck a dollar store light on his Iron man t shirt (after a lot of trying), put on a beard and he was Tony Stark! The year before that, he wore a long, tattered black sweater and one dollar glasses with a lightning rod on his forehead with a marker and he was Harry Potter!
But discussing with your child months, maybe weeks in advance how you can get the desired output without taking the easy road and picking something. Now I must admit this may take a bit of convincing on your part.
The force of peer pressure and easy of shiny store bought costumes is strong but it is truly worth it when they get really into it. You can actually see the kids’ brain gears moving and the spark in their eyes when they feel they have the right combination of things to throw together.

Last ear, a neighbor came to my house with a black cloth wrapped around his head. Just a cloth but he was so proud that he was a Ninja that I gave him extra brownie points and candy for putting in the effort. On the extremely inventive side, another kid rigged up a blood squirting apparatus to turn into the character from the movie Scream.
Most importantly, this helps kids subtly understand the essence of being unique and not falling under peer pressure.

Plan Pranks

Play a joke. Scare them silly. Take some time to plan some old school or new off the internet, kid friendly pranks. Get some gags at the store or make your own. I love playing the “I’m pulling my thumb out” joke on my kids. It freaks them out but they secretly love it (which is why they ask for repeat performances!) .
Pranks are not a necessity but teach children to be able to laugh at themselves. That being scared is okay. They learn to not take themselves too seriously, which they tend to grow to as they get older.
Planning kid friendly pranks with them assists in thinking ahead and anticipating reactions. Of course this should include the discussion of not playing pranks that might hurt others’ feelings which will invariably educate them about empathy.

Rehearse Manners

I sadly often see kids knocking on the door, grabbing a handful of candy and walking away. This leads us to necessity of the below re iteration of etiquette with children days before the event.
 
  1. Say “Trick or Treat” or “Happy Halloween”. Wishing on an occasion is very essential. You need to greet anyone celebrating and specially anyone who opens the door.
  2. Limit yourself to one. This is a great time to drive home the dying art of moderation in the face of instant gratification.
  3. Say “Thank You”. Children need to be told not everyone chooses to partake in the festivities. This makes it incredibly important to display gratitude towards those who choose to be generous this holiday.
  4. Do not scare kids who are already nervous or make fun of kids who might have a costume mishap or get petrified of a trick gone wrong.

Use The Candy For More Than Consumption

One quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.
Eating a bucket full of candy is not healthy in any way. Not for your teeth, not for your body and certainly not on your mind. There are many other options to choose to multiply the joy of the receiving the candy. Firstly, make sure you have a set number of candy you and the children can partake. Then,
 
  1. Give to the less fortunate. Keeping your selections, the rest of the candy can be delivered to in person or be mailed to a charity of the kids’ choice. Searching for a charity piques their interest to learn more about the world around them. This is a wonderful way to teach children awareness, responsibility and of course the joy of donation.
  2. Get crafty and make gifts out of them for an upcoming occasion. For eg : with Thanksgiving right after, it is a great way to turn the left over candy into special treats for their friends to express gratitude to.
  3. In the immediate days after, the kids can wear their costumes and take extra candy to a local senior center for an evening of reverse trick-or-treating.
  4. Another wonderful sharing opportunity would be to share their left over candy with those children who for whatever reason could not celebrate on Halloween day. Have a party, extending the festivities and ask everyone who has candy to share and divide them among all attending.
  5. Introduce the Candy Fairy. Ask children if they would like to swap out their candy with a toy. They can place all the candy into a bucket and the next morning the Candy fairy magically transforms them into a toy.
  6. Freeze the candy or save it for later. This is the simplest thing you can do while teaching children how to save for later and indulging only as treats.

Talk About the History & Evolution of Halloween

For children interested, the historical transformation of this holiday will carry significance. Halloween is actually a celebration of Celtic origin to ward of evil ghosts and spirits. It marks the advent of the winter season as the days get shorter and winter gets longer. Historically/Culturally, this is supposed to be a day when the lines between the dead and alive blurs so bonfires were lit and costumes were donned to ward them off.
From being a day of the dead to a day when all dead, specially saints are celebrated with child like activities like the bobbing of apples and having festive parades to now being enjoyed all over the world with candy and costumes: Halloween has certainly morphed multiple times into it’s most fun form. You can read more here Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween and fun easy to read ghost stories for the kids here – Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories

 

Any opportunity is exponentially meaningful when used to impart moral values to kids.  Let kids be open to the idea of starting new traditions. Partying and gratification aside, it is wonderful to use every chance we can to raise caring children who know how to celebrate responsibly. Wishing you you all wholesome and happy Halloween!
Read more on our book, Strong Roots Have No Fear, how to use every day moments to raise confident, global thought leaders.
Use Halloween To Impart Values To Kids | Raising World Children | Wholesome Halloween
Celebrating Different Colors of Rangoli This Diwali

Celebrating Different Colors of Rangoli This Diwali

No Diwali is complete without the beautiful Rangoli adorning your home. Be it in with powder, side walk chalk or playdough. Rangoli brings many colors together to form a very unique design. Similarly, people from around the world rejoice together every Diwali lighting up their homes, creating intricate designs, celebrating with delicious fare and paying homage to age old traditions passed on from generation to generation.

Rangoli - Diwali Reasons - Raising World Children Ankur Avashti Patel

©Ankur Avasthi Patel

Diwali is essentially a series of five days –

1. Dhanteras.
2. Choti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdasi.
3. Badi Diwali or Laxmi Puja.
4. Naya Saal or New Year.
5. Bhai Dooj.

Home made Diyas

Home made Diyas

 

People traditionally buy silver/gold/new utensils for the kitchen. Hang up the toran (door decor) and create the rangoli.  Light Diyas outside your house. Choti Diwali and Badi Diwali are the actual Diwali days on which you pray  for well being and prosperity of your family.

Badi Diwali is the last day of the Hindu calendar and thus specially auspicious. Naya Saal is when you wish all your near and dear ones a very Happy New Year as the new Hindu year begins. Bhai Dooj is a day for siblings to grow close as we cherish their love and pray for their well being.

The Varied Shades Of Diwali : Different Origins One Celebration

 

India is a land of many languages and sub cultures. Diwali, originally known as Deepavali is celebrated by Indians all over the world and for different reasons.

North India

Every mythological story Diwali is derived from teaches that good will always triumph over evil.

In the Ramayan, when Lord Ram returned home, the city was lit up with diyas and the people rejoiced as the prodigal son returned home.

Lord Ram, the most beloved prince and son is sent to exile by his father because of a promise he made to one of his wives (granting any two wishes when she wants). Laxman, his devoted brother chooses to go on exile with his brother and sister in law Sita. After years of hardships, Sita one day sees a deer she desires and on her behest Sri Ram and Laxman go after it. She consequently gets kidnapped by Raavan when she crosses the Laxman rekha (a spellbound line made outside their home to keep her safe by her brother in law). Ram and Laxman slay Raavan, saving her with the help of Hanuman an ardent devotee of Sri Ram. They all come back home to Ayodhya (on Diwali) among great pomp and show only to send her into exile all on her own when a citizen of the city raises a question of her purity after living with Raavan for so many years. She goes into the forest where she brings up her two sons. After years, when his sons cross his path in battle, Lord Ram goes back to bring his wife home. She in turn chooses to go back to Mother Earth instead.

Kavitha Dhawan

South India

In South India, Lord Krishna slaying Narakasura. Narakasura was a demon drunk with power stole the earrings of Aditi (mother of all Devas) and kidnapped 16000 women. The Devas were unable to stop him and so they went to Lord Vishnu to reincarnate as Krishna, so as to destroy the evil demon and save the women.

Marwaris and Gujratis

Diwali is the new year time for Marwaris and Gujaratis.  This is when the merchants close the accounts of the old year and pray to the goddess of wealth that the new year should open with even bigger increase of trade.  Kali Chaudas is devoted to the worship of Maha-Kali or Shakti as this is the day Kali killed the wicked Raktavija. Also referred to as Narak-Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas is the day to abolish laziness and evil. Thus, many regions pray to Goddess Laxmi (giver of weath) on this day.

Jainism 

To the Jains it marks the day after Lord Mahavira attained nirvana. He was released from his worldly body on the night of the full moon. So the people of Pavapuri, where he attained nirvana, lit lamps in their doorways as a symbol of their guru’s enlightenment.

Sikhism

This day for Sikhs celebrates the release of Guru Hargobindji along with 52 Indian kings who were imprisoned along with him at the Gwalior fort by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1619. This day is thus also known as Bandi Chorr Diwas (meaning the day of freedom).

Nepal

Diwali is also celebrated in Nepal and the Indian states of Assam, Sikkim and Darjeeling in West Bengal. The five-day festival in these places is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the Gods, but also to the animals like crows, cows and dogs who maintain an intense relationship with humans.

Celebrating DIfferent Colors oF Rangoli This Diwali - Different Reasons For Significance of Diwali Origin

So what is it that all these origin stories teach kids ? 

  • Love your family.
  • Respect those you care about.
  • Listen to your parents.
  • Support your loved ones always.
  • Stand by what is right.
  • Freedom is a birth right.
  • Choices have consequences.
  • Women should be nurtured.
  • Every woman has a right to make her own choices.
  • Above all, be loyal.

Do Not –

  • Think ill of others.
  • Let ego get in the way of your relationships.
  • Disrespect those you care about.
  • Make decisions in haste.
  • Be selfish or greedy.
  • Pay heed to the negative voices.

 

© Aditi W. Singh

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. In her spare time she volunteers for Circle of Peace International and impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in an upcoming Anthology 100+MomsOneJourney as well.

Overcome These Very Real Diwali Struggles

Overcome These Very Real Diwali Struggles

This post contain Affiliate Links. The opinions, thoughts and frustrations are of the author alone.

It’s that time of year again. No, not the time for turkey or Christmas trees as much as I love that time of the year as well. It is the time for Diwali! Time for joy abound. Delicacies sweet and sour. Colorful dresses. Family Traditions and Time With Friends.

But with all it’s joys, it is in truth also that time of the year when –

My Family Gets Nervous As I Start Spring Cleaning

Diwali means getting the house in pristine condition. Before Holi and before Diwali are two times when I ruthlessly de-clutter and spare no object the broom. Of course during this course many much needed but never used objects get tossed or donated.  When I start the battle against clutter, the banshee within me rears her head in exhaustion and my family dreads this phase.

Thanks to my husband, I know better than to do it all in one day or week even. So now I prep for this slowly and steadily and remember to breathe, take breaks and know it’s not the end all!

The Festive Decoration Plays Hide and Seek.

We love our Deepavali decor and can’t wait to put it around the house for that warm festive feeling. Except they decide to play hide and seek with me. Every year I can swear I know where I had put them last year but yet again, I have to go on a treasure hunt to find them.

Last year,  I wrote the location in my phone. Easy peasy.

The Tangled Lights Create Havoc

The tangled Diwali/Christmas lights have to untangled. Sigh! My husband dreads finding those little bulbs that come what may will not light up.

We wrap them around a cardboard cut out and keep a lot of little extra bulbs handy. But this year for Diwali, I’m going to surprise my husband with a light organizer ( yes, it’s a thing ! ) that’s pretty cool.

Rangolis Continue To Be My Nemesis

Who doesn’t love beautiful Rangoli designs to adorn their doorway.  But if you are anything like me, and totally uncoordinated when it comes to making intricate designs, you can feel my frustration.

Thank God for Stencils and Sidewalk chalk. Because, why not ?!

I Fret About What to Wear 

What do I wear? I don’t get to go to India very often. With my family in Kuwait and air fare being sky high for God knows what reason,  it is not easy for me to stay totally updated with fashion trends. Come festive season, I get nerves thinking of what I will wear. Specially when I hear of all the beautiful new fashion that’s come in traditional wear from friends.

Luckily, I don’t worry about being “trendy” for more than a few minutes. I wrap myself into the gorgeous saris I have and have blast enjoying the festivities. I even make up my own trend by going Indo-western, that is mixing western wear with Indian accessories.

The Smoke Detectors Cry 

My smoke detectors wail in agony at the Diyas that I make on Dhanteras smoke up the home. It takes me a hour and half to make those beautiful diyas from flour and the detector rejects them in 10 mins.

To that end, this year I bought prelit candles that are just awesome. These are what I will use along with my precious home made diyas. Take that you, smoke detectors you!

We Miss Celebrating With Crackers

It’s sad every year when the HOA sends a circular to not light up any sparklers or firecrackers of any kind because it’s forbidden by our county. I never had the pleasure of bursting crackers when I was in Kuwait so I don’t miss it much but from having lived in India for a couple of years I know how much fun they are to rejoice with. I so wish my kids could have that joy.

So what we do instead?

  • We collect dry leaves, twigs etc and use these to create a bonfire in your back yard.
  • Fill up balloons with glitter or pieces of colored paper. Burst these in the evening for a vibrant ambiance.
  • Kids could even blow up paper bags and burst giving you the cheerful sound of crackers.
  • Did I mention I make Diyas out of wheat flour? The kids have a blast making them.

The Kids Wonder Yet Again Why We Celebrate Diwali 

When I was young I did not understand and even negated the beauty of the mythology of Ramayan. I could not find respect in my heart for a avataar of God who would exile his wife for no fault of her own. But now, over the years I have understood that it is not just a story to glorify God in the incarnation of Ram. It is a way to teach kids real world values.

So, I encourage my kids to ask questions about the story  and try to explain in the simplest form. It is a story where

  • We should not be so hard on ourselves when we make mistakes.
  • That when you do not pay heed to the warnings of those you love, you suffer.
  • That not respecting women, can lead to the downfall of even Kings.
  • That the happiness one feels when a child comes home is priceless!

But that is of course some of my interpretation. Anyone who reads scriptures or mythology derives their own meanings and using them to grow in their own life!


We Miss Our Family Back Home Terribly

This is the biggest frustration of today’s times and living so far from family. A home is not a home without family and as I mentioned the ridiculous air fares make it extremely hard to celebrate this special time together.

How do we deal with it ? Thank God for the age of Video calling and Instant Messaging . Also, we spend a lot of time making cards, decor, food and cleaning to avoid the insane sadness in the pit of our stomachs. Denial has it’s advantages for we get a LOT done and create tonnes of memories in the process.

Diwali

With all it’s trials and tribulations, Diwali still ends up being one of the most blessed and fun times with friends sharing their time with us. The music, the ambiance of the diyas/candles, the yummy food and the companionship of those we care for more than make up for any woes we need to endure.

Raising World Children Overcome These Very Real Diwali Struggles This Festive Season | Problems | Easy Diwali

  Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. In her spare time she volunteers for Circle of Peace International and impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmondmomsblog, Desh Videsh Magazine and is author in the anthology “When You Are Done Expecting “

 

Making Diwali Special With CultureDabba - Giveaway

Making Diwali Special With CultureDabba – Giveaway

This post is a collaboration of Raising World Children and CultureDabba but the opinions are of the author.

The Festival of Lights is coming! It brightens up our lives with love and hope. Diwali is the time to celebrate the essence of family. Festivals, though, are not only a time to splurge, eat and enjoy. They a special time to nurture values.

Values like

  • Curiosity – having healthy dialogues about mythological stories of origin of festivals.
  • Empathy – understanding the root of the many flawed characters in the tales mentioned.
  • Being inclusive – taking the time to connect with all our friends and family.
  • Experiencing life with all our senses – food, fireworks, new clothes, gifts.
  • Spending wisely – choosing to create gifts, decor by hand.
  • Being yourself – creatively and in expression.
  • Appreciating talents and art.

and much more.

We can make this Deepavali and any festival a great time for significant connection. And for that one of the outstanding sources I found was the Diwali edition of CultureDabba, a great initiative to make Indian Mythology, Diwali and even India relatable to kids from around the world. How does it do that? 

Raising World Children Giveaway With CultureDabba

Stories – 

The stories behind festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami, Dussehra, and of course Deepavali  or any festival around the world are wondrous examples of teaching kids how there is always good within all that seems bad. Mythology though, is hard to comprehend  by young minds. It is paramount we connect these stories to real world examples to make them easier to understand and digest.

They even have stories long forgotten. Stories that talk about moral values that help kids nurture their own qualities. Akbar Birbal, Panchatantra all were wonderful to share again with my children. Tales which I myself had forgotten long ago.

Encouraging Curiosity –

Stories are just a tip of this colorful iceberg! They go onto talk about the festival and how it is celebrated in vibrant detail. Some customs were new to even me and the kids and I had fun discussing the same with each other. I can foresee some new traditions beginning soon.

Crafts – 

The magazine has DIY crafts for kids to do on their own. In the issue we got, there is a card that you can make and replicate for your family and friends. They even have coloring pages to encourage kids to do their own thing. Creating something helps kids use their imagination and helps them relate better to any occasion/topic.

Laughter and Riddles –

Aunty Bindi tickles the kids’ brains with fun, unique riddles. My kids had a great time guessing what the answers were. They now ask all their friends the same and share the jokes that are there in the joke section.

Stimulating the Mind With Light Exercises –

Crosswords, mazes, find the differences and more were a pleasant surprise to be included. We truly enjoyed together finding the answers and played along.

Explore A City –

CultureDabba truly brings India to the finger tips by sharing special things to do in a city. The one we have is Delhi and even I was surprised to learn unique features about a city in India I have never visited.

The magazine even has codes that you can go online and use to access more fun for your kids.

CultureDabba Giveaway

It was for these reasons and the colorful presentation that Raising World Children is happy bring to you a special Giveway this Diwali, with not one but three winners !

One lucky winner will get a gift set of three different festivals filled with the above and more and two bonus winners will get copies of the Diwali edition to cherish to empower kids understand the essence and celebration of Diwali l

You do not want to miss out on three chances to win this amazingly fun filled magazine bringing kids closer to Indian culture in ways they are so used to these days. Click here !

Making Diwali Special With Culture Dabba and Raising World Children | GIveaway | Free Books | Diwali Books | INdian Mythology

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. In her spare time she volunteers for Circle of Peace International and impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmondmomsblog, Desh Videsh Magazine and is author in an upcoming Anthology 100+MomsOneJourney as well.
How a Modern Me Celebrates Karvachauth

How a Modern Me Celebrates Karvachauth

“Are you going to stay hungry all day long? Why would you in this day and age? “

I get this a lot of times, when I inform people that, ” On this festival women choose to fast without food or water for their husband’s long life and consequently their marriage. ” There is skepticism even from Indians who choose not to celebrate.

What is it ?  

How this festival is celebrated is the women wake up before the sun rises and has a decent breakfast of five different elements before her fasting day starts. These are traditionally provided by the mother in law. The fast ends with the sighting of the bright moon with the ladies praying to their husbands and the moon wishing for a long life for their husband so they can share their loving bond for a very long time. Women apply henna on their hands the night before or the day of and dress up like brides.

Fasting hard is not mandatory. Many women these days sip on their preferred flavored water or have tea and fruit after the “puja” (prayer) is over. The prayer involves all the women fasting sitting in a circle, listening to the telling of the story of Karva which is how this festival began. The celebration is described in detail here on Wikihow with pictures and the traditions more elaborately explained here.

© Aditi W. Singh

Mehendi The Night Before

Many women today love an excuse to apply henna to their hands.  I for one spent many years (when the kids were young) applying Henna to my hands late in the night, waiting for the design to dry, excitedly looking at my hands in the morning. There is something inherently beautiful about that dark color on your hands. The process of getting the design done possibly gives the ladies a convenient reason to get together and have some laughs, dance and be creative together. Many women even prefer to have it done by a professional. The comradery is fun.

Modern Me Celebrating Karvachauth 

I have no real scientific explanation for the celebration of this process. My own husband often times  teases me and offers me ways out of fasting. These days many scoff at this custom but the truth is when you do a simple sacrifice like this for the sake of your relationship, dress up traditionally and in a way celebrate your relationship you feel aglow by the love you share with your husband. These days with many women living far from their immediate families, it is a wonderful way to make the extra effort to make your bond stronger, make yourself and your husband feel special.

 Many celebrations are more a matter of heart than hard logic or tradition. 

© Aditi W. Singh

For many years, I have celebrated this festival with friends who do not fast themselves but respect the fact that I do so and enjoy the simple feeling of love along with me. We have laughed, enjoyed chasing the moon in our cars (most years it has risen earlier far from home) and relished the joy of sharing a meal together after. Celebrating together even when we do not ideally believe in the same concept brings us all together in a special way. Many a times those same people have delayed their dinners to share the joy of breaking my fast with me. That in itself is greatly appreciated.

What Kids See

On this festival, I hope my kids feel the love when they see Dad feeding mom as she has mehendi on her hands, or mom cooking for the family and being happy all day even though she hasn’t eaten or drank a sip of water all day.

I specially love it, when I get all decked up in the traditional (almost bridal) attire, when my either and often both my kids come up and say, ” Mom you look so pretty. “

When I celebrate this festival, I hope my kids are inspired to learn to make sacrifices for their loved ones. To be happy for others, no matter what they are going through themselves. That they feel joy when they see mom and dad all dressed up and doing something that celebrates their love for each other.

How We Spend The Evening Waiting For the Moon

Now what do you couples do, during the many hours after all your chores are done on Karvachauth and you are dressed up and waiting for the pretty white moon to show up and shine upon you? And won’t you know it, it is Always late during Karvachauth.

Here are a set of games I have come up with to pass the time. Let’s face it. Distracted minds think less about rumbling tummies!

Blindfold Bangles

Bangles are a staple on this special day and go wonderfully with the theme. In this game you blind fold both partners and the husband tries to put on as many bangles on the wife’s hand as possible.

Wedding Ring Mix Up

Everyone takes off their wedding rings and adds them to a bowl. Blindfolded partners try to find their or their partners wedding ring. If they do, they win.

Name The Essentials

This is for the husbands. They have to name all the items that are essential on this festival. Whoever gets all or most of the items right, wins.

Laugh Out Loud

This would be a great game for fasting women as they try to keep a straight face, while their respective husbands try to make them laugh.

For more couples games to make any couples’ evening amazing, download the free book of couples games here.

Raising World Children Game Night

© Aditi W. Singh

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. In her spare time she volunteers for Circle of Peace International and impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmondmomsblog, Desh Videsh Magazine and is author in an upcoming Anthology 100+MomsOneJourney as well.

Indian Books for Children - Bharat Babies Giveaway

Indian Books for Children – Bharat Babies Giveaway

The Give Away Has Ended. This post is a collaboration of Raising World Children and  Bharat Babies but the opinions are of the author.

Raising World Children BooksMythology is hard to explain. There are often so many complicated story lines that can be hard to comprehend, specially by minds yet to grow. Enter Bharat Babies. Since, I came across them I wanted to get a hold of the amazing line up they seemed to have. Using Indian culture to explain simple concepts to kids. Not religiously, but using mythology as the base for story telling. Stories for every level of reader and from every walk of life!

Surely enough, once I got my hands on the books my expectations were surpassed. They are not only easy to read and explain but also have concepts that are profound in their thought.

Padmini is Powerful 

When I read Padmini is Powerful to my kids they understood what each God in Indian mythology stands for. Not just that, what quality of them they hold within themselves. And this  is true for every single child. They Are Powerful. My daughter loves sitting and looking at the pictures of the different Gods and Goddesses. And Padmini is so cute that she can totally see herself in the story!

© Aditi W.Singh

Sarla in The Sky

My son is in the phase where he doesn’t know what to make of girls. As a mother and woman, I want to encourage him to accept that girls, when they put their mind to it can do anything. In comes Sarla in the Sky. A book of girl empowerment, setting a wonderful example for boys and girls alike.

Ganesh and the Little Mouse

Another amazing book that I picked up was Ganesh and the Little Mouse. The base for this book is one o my favorite stories of mythology  portraying out of the box thinking where you understand that there are often many ways to do the same thing with one of the ways being easier and more meaningful. Not only have Bharat Babies’ author Anjali Joshi explained this but has always used the same story to talk about a different side which I hadn’t discovered till date. My children were enthralled and my son has re read this book a number of times now.

Aditi Wardhan singh

© Aditi W.Singh

Harini and Padmini Say Namaste 

Which brings us to both my kids’ favorite of the books we have collected, ” Harini and Padmini Say Namaste “. My son had done a week long yoga camp in preschool once and since then has been fascinated with the concept. This book is a beautifully depicted, sweet story of a Padmini as she discovers the art of yoga. I can never forget the first time we read the book. My daughter immediately started doing yoga poses as she had seen in the book. My son, “expert” that he is after his camp, went along to correct her and soon began a beautiful bonding session between siblings.

Choti + Me

Photo Credit: Jess Benjamin for Scout Somerville

After so loving so many of their books, I was happy to learn that they are coming out with a new venture. A children’s magazine called Choti+Me (Little One and Me). I have already signed up to be the first to know when the new magazine comes out but for RWC readers there is a wonderful opportunity to participate in a give away hosted by Raising World Children and Bharat Babies where we will give away not one, not three but a WHOLE YEAR’s subscription for FREE !!!

You do not want to miss out on this chance of getting 12 months of wonderful stories and activities for your child to grow into a person accepting of new cultures, growing with a global perspective.

DID YOU WIN ?

 

DON’T FORGET TO SHARE THIS AWESOME GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY WITH FRIENDS! SHARING IS AFTER ALL CARING.

Aditi Wardhan Singh Raising world childrenAditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. In her spare time she volunteers for Circle of Peace International and impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmondmomsblog, Desh Videsh Magazine and is author in an upcoming Anthology When You Are Done Expecting as well.

 

My Experience During The Gulf War in Kuwait

My Experience During The Gulf War in Kuwait

We lived an idyllic life. My small family thriving. Dad doing two jobs. My brother just born and me, a ten-year-old busy in excelling in school, dance classes and playing with friends.

A country’s leader put his country first and my family and thousands more like us lost everything they had built in the years leading up to that date. He not only destroyed his own country and people, but ruined thousands of innocent lives. When Saddam Hussain decided to invade Kuwait. 

The morning of August 2nd 1990.

When people hear I was  in Kuwait when the Gulf war happened, they want to know what it was like. It has taken me years to be able to put it down on paper. Those are hard but innocent memories. Somehow the time seems right now.

August 2nd 1990 – Iraq Invades Kuwait

10 year old me wakes up groggy. Into an alternate universe. I see my mom filling up bottle after bottle with water. The kitchen is lined up with bottles. Soda bottles, milk bottles. Every container empty or available. I look right, in the bathroom the tub is full of water. The windows have been blacked out with black garbage bags taped to them. There is a weird haze around the house.

“What happened mama?”

“Iraq attacked Kuwait. The county is full of Iraqis,” my mother replies in the midst of filling up bottle after bottle.

I know at the age of 10 life is never going to be the same.

My father comes home from the bank with all the money he can withdraw and his passport. He doesn’t seem worried but is saying,”The streets are of full of dancing Iraqis. They waved to me calling me Hindi. Kuwaiti soldiers are nowhere to be seen. Poor boys. 18,19 years-old. What do they know about war?”

Mom packs up everything one thing at a time. Within a week most things we own are in bags around the house, to make for easy escape. (In retrospect that was just an easy way to make sure all our things got stolen, which they did!)

We are holed up in our home with a bachelor friend of dad’s. Dad and that man go out once or twice to stock up on food.  Day after day is spent indoors, bored with a sense of urgency sprinkled over every moment.

Bombs keep going off in the city. The scariest was on the mosque right behind our apartment building. It was so close. We hide under our dining table wondering where the next one will fall.

We live near the Kuwait airport so my dad is worried that soon soldiers will come scavenging. Mom and dad decided to move into a house into the city where four other families were living. Before we leave, my dad writes on the wall, “Please don’t take family photographs. ”  (They took them all)

For a ten-year-old being in a house with 13 adults and a baby, it is like being at a long, boring party. I keep myself busy exploring the house, missing my own. 

One day, the news comes that there is a flight in which I.K.Gujral will take as many Indians as possible. This is probably one of the first rescue missions there is. We go tagging along with the families we were living with.

We reach the airport only to find to our immense disappointment that the plane was already full. As with all things in life, the people with the most ‘influential friend’ were on board.

When my father finds out, he loses it completely. He grabs the man in charge by the collar, raises him off his feet and threatens to make pulp out of his face.

“What are men doing on the flight? They can take care of themselves. Put in more women and children,” he bellows. More men desperate to their wives and children on the plane join in and soon my mom and I are sitting on the floor of a fighter plane with a 7 month baby and a only one bag full of diapers.

The plane is  now full of women and children.

My mom gives me a paper to go take autograph of the foreign minister, I.K.Gujral. He does so kindly, patting me on the head. I remember everything about that flight. The pensive faces, the restless kids and the constant hum of the engine, louder than usual planes.

We enter India with cameras flashing. Reaching my father’s paternal home, we were given a room on the roof. We live that way for a day with nothing but the clothes on our back.

A day later my mother’s relatives come with clothes and basic necessities. My uncle takes me out to have a non-vegetarian meal as a treat! I understand that is a big deal for a vegetarian to do. He buys me some toys, too. The sun hasn’t shone so bright in weeks! I take in the streets in Gwalior, a city in the center of India, for the first time.

I hate the tin roof and the freezing floor of the bathroom. That and lagging behind in studies. My mom understands I’m worried when my Dad would join us in India but gets me back on track saying, “You have to excel.”

I stop eating. My cousins are fun but I miss my home and all my friends terribly. My dad finally joins us. He and many other fathers had to drive for weeks through Iraq and Jordan and then taking a flight from there to India. Within a few months we move to a different city, into a new home! 

My Altered Perception After 

All through the next decade I lamented to people first in sincerity and then in jest that, “Saddam Hussain took away everything. Even my toys. My dollhouse, seven Barbies and one Ken. ” But I didn’t just lose my home and toys, but my childhood. Childhood is not toys and luxury, but the security of believing you are safe and loved by everyone around you.

We went back to Kuwait in 1993 but our home was gone. Every thing and person had changed.

We had it MUCH easier than others who had to go to India on a ship with no food for weeks or others who had to live in camps waiting in distress for transport to India. We were probably one of the luckiest of those affected, all thanks to my Dad who took a stand where others wouldn’t. I still remember him towering over me, manhandling the man fighting or every woman and child at that airport. 

To this day he says, ” With you and your mom and brother gone and safe, that night is the first night I slept peacefully.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” is not just a line for superhero movies. Each of us has the power to affect the life of another. Bad things happen when good people stand by and do nothing. 

Today, I am a parent. I have built a home with my husband and two children, and often shudder to the core to think what my parents went through each and every minute of those months. To have nothing to show for the home they built in the period of 12 years.

Please always choose to take a stand for what’s right! How do you think you would react to this situation.

My Experience of the Gulf War - Raising World Children | Kuwait | Life | History | Life lessons | Milestone

First Published on Mompreneur Life and Silver Linings 

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. In her spare time she volunteers for Circle of Peace International and impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmondmomsblog, Desh Videsh Magazine and is author in an upcoming Anthology 100+MomsOneJourney as well.
7 Tips To Make a Road Trip Tantrum Free with Kids

7 Tips To Make a Road Trip Tantrum Free with Kids

” You are so brave! “

” Will the kids sit for so long? “

” It is going to be so hard with little kids. “

These are just some of the comments of disbelief we heard when we announced our cross country trip by car with our 6 and 3 year old kids. But we were adamant. With flight + baggage prices super inflated and every destination needing at least one stop over, it just made practical sense. Also, we had always wanted to see USA by road. Real people along real roads.

The experience was an outstanding one. We saw almost half of America’s beautiful vistas. Traveling from Virginia to Colorado to Chicago and Back. A little sight seeing, mountains and lots of indoor kids activities like Lego land, Ball Factory etc. We tried many different foods. We met a lot of old friends too.

The impromptu trip taught us to connect as a family and just Be!  On a personal level I learned how hard I was driving myself to achieve too much without focus. A new experience enriches our soul like no other.

As far as the kids were concerned, the 2 week trip, 12-15 hour long drives were tantrum free and thankfully, uneventful. They enjoyed every moment and I can see their growth. The first step of course is being completely prepared. Download our checklist of everything you will need for your road trip.

Road Trip With Kids Ultimate Pack Along List

No Preparation for Distractions 

The magic of something new fades pretty quickly these days. This trip was the first time I did not buy any little toys before leaving to shine in front of the eyes.

Instead, every second or third stop we got the kids candy/toys which served as both souvenirs and distractions. The car ride was spent exploring new vistas with their new play things. We even bought the kids tiny bags that they cherished carrying around with them.

Make The Itinerary An Activity 

We kept the kids pretty much in suspense the whole trip. So when leaving we told them of all the sights we would see in  St. Louis. At St. Louis, we told them all the fun things planned for them in Colorado.  In essence, the discussion of the destination becomes an activity in itself. This had a two pronged effect.

  1. They got super excited and asked questions along the way.
  2. They got involved in the planning on the way.

Food/Potty Breaks at Scenic Routes

You may be surprised how happy kids get seeing beautiful spots and exploring a lovely place even in the middle of no where. And they if they are kids like mine who love posing, they get a kick out of memorable clicks !

Breaks Every 2-4 Hours

Even if the kids are sitting and not asking to go to potty, take a break. It gives them a chance to stretch their legs, have some fun running around while breaks the monotony of the ride. It is a preemptive strike against boredom!

Stay Screen Free For Longer Periods

The temptation to keep the kids pacified aside, ensure to stay screen free for long periods of time. Gadgets can be used when you need to catch a nap or the kids truly get antsy.

  • Classic games are I Spy, License Plate, I’m Going on a Picnic, What Am I Thinking of.
  • Try to work learning into road-trip games. I love making games up on the fly!
  • Another favorite is making robots, letters from things at the table at the restaurants.

Download New Shows/Apps On  The Go 

Every spot that had free Wifi got utilized to give the kids hope for exciting new fun to come! Make sure to keep their Most Loved app/show a secret  for when you hit a traffic jam !

CDs Of The Kids’ Favorite Shows/Movies

This tip is for those who have a movie player installed in the car. Target has a great selection of $5 movies. Also, since we were only going to be gone 2 weeks, we borrowed a lot of CDs of the kids’ favorite shows/movies from the local library. With the two week return policy it was a God sent. Also, Redbox is a great option with it’s many locations.

Rare Snacks 

This trip, I made sure to keep snacks they love but haven’t had in a long time and have been banned at home. They relished the fact that they could enjoy rare treats on the mini vacation. A Happy Meal which is a rare treat in our home was a great way to appease them.

Include Strangers Into the Trip 

My kids and I love people watching and talking to strangers. Strangers are after all friends we haven’t met yet! Simple conversations lead to enriched experiences. Also, the kids I believe learn to accept different people and their view points. Remember to stay safe though.

  1. Ensure the little ones know not to talk about your home, routine life or destination.
  2. Write the kids’ name, address and phone number and keep them in their pockets.

Bonus Mindset Trip –

As I worried about how they would do on the trip after our first 4 hours of drive, my husband responded. ” Kids are resilient. Remember that all year round, your life revolves around them. If they do get antsy or cranky, it’s okay. It’s a phase and it shall pass. They will learn a lot from the experience. ” And they did !!!

Have you taken a road trip? What would you add to our complete list of items to take on your trip ?  What are your tips for keep the trip comfortable and tantrum free?

Tips to have a memorable trip with kids tantrumfree www.raisingworldchildren.com | Travel | Travel with Kids | Road Trip | Memorable Travel | Tantrumfree

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmondmomsblog, Desh Videsh Magazine and is author in an upcoming Anthology 100+MomsOneJourney as well.

 

3 Parenting Mistakes When Teaching A New Language

3 Parenting Mistakes When Teaching A New Language

This is a sponsored post. All opinions that of the author.

I am Indian. Ideally, Hindi would be my native language. The realization that English was my first language came to light one bright and sunny evening a few years after my kids were born. 

At the park, an elderly Indian lady approached us and started making small talk. She asked the standard questions about where in India did I belong, where I worked etc. After a few minutes of watching my son and me, she questioned, “Your son doesn’t speak Hindi?”

When I replied in the negative, she retorted, ” But you stay at home, right ? How is it he hasn’t learned? “

Needless to say, I was livid! It was hurtful and insensitive on so many levels my mind hurt from thinking about it. 

Raising World Children Hindi

A few days later though, it made me introspect. I wondered about the kids I knew who did speak their native language. Comparing  all the things parents with native language speaking kids did differently than us. I asked questions. The most important answer that came across was, ” Make them speak Only in that language. ” Easier said than done!

My son would just say No to  even the theory of learning. In his head he is American and since none of his friends in preschool or teachers spoke Hindi, he just didn’t feel the need. It has been a couple of years of trial and errors and I am still working on the same. While, the resistance to learning Hindi has finally reduced thanks to friends in school who are bilingual or working on it, we still have a long way to go.

For the longest time, I never understood the base reason of why my son, whose parents are both Indian didn’t just naturally pick up the language ?!

Their main focus however is providing high quality language one on one coaching to eager students who want to learn new languages.

As I went through their blog, it reiterated the need to introduce and make that extra effort to raising multilingual kids. That is when my mistakes and the ways to correct the same came to light!

Not Speaking The Language Consistently At Home

Most of the kids I know who speak their native language have grandparents living with them for long periods of time. Or parents who speak the language at home. At our home, we speak English foremost. My husband and I speak English more often than Hindi. When I started thinking about why, that is when I realized in actuality English is my first language and it is hard for me to remind myself constantly to talk in Hindi.

I needed to first work on myself. 

On this suggestion,  I stuck post it notes around the upper level to teach the kids easy to learn words with pictures. Also, another friend suggested to stick post it notes around Everywhere to remind you to speak in Hindi or whatever language you want to teach kids. 

Not Letting The Kids Struggle

My son doesn’t speak but he understands Hindi completely. We know because he retaliates when we happen to talk in Hindi about doing something he doesn’t like. (Ha! ) But when it comes to conversing, it is hard looking at the kids flounder for the right word to use. Also, time consuming. In the hurry to get on with our day, we would give in and tell them in English what we were saying in Hindi. We wouldn’t stick with it.

I now take the time we in which we do homework to talk to my kids exclusively in Hindi. The instructions I need to give them are familiar and they find it easier to relate and respond. 

Not Reading To Them In New Language

Funnily Hindi books are hard to find and harder to read when you do. They are so content heavy that it is hard to get  kids to sit still for the reading. Little Linguine drove home the fact that I need to do the same.

I have now made simple, easy to understand short stories with a few English words thrown in to keep them interested.

Learning a new language can be daunting at any age. Together we can work towards creating an interest for new languages, specially respect for our native ones in our children. 

3 Mistakes Parents Make In Teaching Kids a New Language www.raisingworldchildren.com #languages #hindi #parenting #teachingkids #multicultural

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. In her spare time she volunteers for Circle of Peace International and impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in an upcoming Anthology 100+MomsOneJourney as well.

Fidget Spinners - Using Fads to Teach Kids 7 Core Values

Fidget Spinners – Using Fads to Teach Kids 7 Core Values

 

For me it happened overnight. The night before I saw the video of a father posting about his daughter’s joy on getting the “latest gadget”, the Fidget Spinners. The next morning, there were 4 kids at the bus stop spinning them. When I asked why were they taking toys to school, the response was, “They are allowed!”

Not knowing what to make of them, I took to Facebook and asked, ” Yay or Nay” and most parents said, Yay! No one had an answer for why though. Except a parent of a child on the autism spectrum who truly witnessed their child benefitting from the use.

A week later though, reports of the same being banned and teachers’ requests to please keep the toys limited to recess or better yet home started pouring in. Psychologists started coming out saying, there is no substantial proof to the claims that the fidget spinners improve focus at all!

Raisign World Children With Fads

This phenomenon is not new. We saw the same with Pokemon, Hatchimals, Tickle Elmo etc. A new toy comes into the market, with a cool gimmick attached to it. In this case, “helping kids focus” and  before you know it herd mentality of trying the “new thing” and over use causes the same to become a nuisance.

There’s always a thin line dividing the appropriate and the inappropriate. There seems to be an inherent loss of awareness of where that line is among the current generation. Humans are attracted to constant instant gratification, which can easily make things go out of control.

Nurturing a basic instinct of responsibility is paramount for success in life and that doesn’t just apply to games!

The crux is to recognize that simple rules or actions like the ones below instill the importance of moderation and self control.

Avoiding Peer Pressure

Sure, all the kids are getting them. But is your child asking for them? Mine didn’t. He said, ” It just spins. ” When we as parents get onto the band wagon of the latest trend just because others are doing it, we subconsciously teach the kids that it’s okay to follow. When in fact, we need to create thought leaders. Lead by example that it is okay to be different and have different choices than those around you, even your friends. 

Understanding The Trend

What was interesting to note though was that even parents were actively discussing with 5-10 year olds on whose fidget spinner was the best and why. While I am totally in for parents being in the know about what is “cool” to the kids these days,  I draw the line at getting pulled into the wave of blind fascination and needless competition that goes along with it.

If you as parent feel any latest fad would be useful for your child, discuss the same with them. Explain why they personally are getting the toy/gadget. What need of theirs is it fulfilling? This helps them understand what trend to follow and what to leave behind.

Establish Rules of Use

Teaching kids a key skill of doing things in moderation is important. By this I refer to the fact that when I asked kids why they were taking toys to school, most answered. ” They are allowed. ” Even if something is allowed in school, we as parents need to ensure that the children have limited use of the said item. The rules of use can be as simple as –

  • Do not use the gadget while in school.
  • Do not play with the video game more than x minutes at a time.

Defiance Need Not Be Rewarded

You don’t want to say yes but they throw a tantrum and say, ” Everyone has it! ” Saying no and hearing them cry, while frustrating is good for their resilience.

Yes, it is embarrassing and makes us hot in our face to have them throw a tantrum specially in the middle of a store. Brave through it because every other parent around you understands and the kids get a lesson by association. They learn that it is not the end of the world if they do not get in on a trend.

What To Spend Money On

Children understand much more than we give them credit for.  It may seem they are too young for it, but understanding the Why of what you as a parent are willing to spend money on gets them thinking of the importance of spending in the right place, at the right time. It’s not about the amount but the use of the item bought.

Make Them World Conscious

Make your children world wary. Share with them trends and stories from around the world. Discuss with them the dangers and positive outcome of each internet challenge, latest gadget, new fad etc. This gets their thinking gears moving and makes them aware of moral values, real world consequences and gives them a good directional thinking.

Every chance you get. Reading to them. Telling them about your childhood experiences even helps.

Getting Bored Is Okay

How often have you said or heard, ” They played more with the box than the toy that came with it.” ?

Let them think of ways to entertain themselves. Lots of time for free play, supervised and unsupervised. Unstructured play allows them to know how to keep themselves safe while keeping themselves entertained.

My favorite story  was that of a child who starting making and selling his own Fidget Spinners when he couldn’t find where to buy them! To my immense pride (and relief) my own son never asked for one, but wondering about the use eventually tried and succeeding in making the same from Legos.

Games, toys and trends have their own place in our social and mental growth but doing anything blindly, just because everyone else is doing it sends the wrong message to the youth. We need to nurture them to be self reliant in understanding core values of moderation and self control!

Using Fads Like Fidget spinners TO Teach Kids Core Values in Life www.raisingworldchildren.com #life #fads #fidgetspinners #corevalues

Raising World Children NBC 12

Featured on NBC12 RVA Parenting

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. In her spare time she volunteers for Circle of Peace International and impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in an upcoming Anthology 100+MomsOneJourney as well.