Can Monolingual Parents Raise Bilingual Kids?

Can Monolingual Parents Raise Bilingual Kids?

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”

-Charlemagne

Is it part of your priorities to raise bilingual children? Are you a monolingual parent trying to support your child’s language learning process? I know what you are thinking: Oh no! I can’t help my children as much as I want because I don’t know the language myself… what do I do?

As long as you are able to provide emotional and material aid and have the right attitude and persistence everything will be alright. You only need to process this adventure from a different angle!

Empower yourself with these practical tips and you will be ready to effectively support and connect with your kids in no time! 

First you have to lay the foundation for your children to learn a new language and feel supported by you along the way. Don’t forget that it is important to highlight the reasons behind this decision, ask for their opinion and promote motivation in many different ways. We cannot force our kiddos to acquire another language, so things need to be handled with tons of love, communication and assertive but fun resources. 

Learn the language yourself!

Does “teaching by example” ring a bell? Learning the language is a great way to work together with your children and develop stronger communication skills at home. Additionally, it is a fool-proof way to improve your resume, exercise your brain and gain confidence while traveling. It sounds like a win-win situation to me. 


Supporting our children’s German learning journey wasn’t easy. However, it was totally worthy!

Invest time and resources!

You don’t need to spend a fortune, check your local library, second hand bookstores, webpages, and Pinterest to look for tools that your children could use at home to work on the communication skills they need to be fluent. Keep in mind that it is necessary to develop four different aspects of communication: oral, listening, writing, and reading. Prepare yourself with the right material. 

Connect with people that speaks the target language

This is a great way to get your children practice their new skills with native speakers, and it can be done on a regular basis to keep the input of real-like situations going on. At the end, our children are learning the new language to communicate, and it is through speaking that they will achieve higher fluency levels. Relatives, friends or colleagues that speak the target language are always a safe bet to contact to practice speaking and listening skills. Hiring a tutor is also a great thing to do. Nannies and au pairs are very common in the expat community as well. 

Now my son helps me improve my own German skills when we travel. I learn so much from him!

Be creative and reach out to other bilingual families! 

The idea is to provide children with as much exposure to the language as possible, thing that can be difficult to do when you don’t live in the country where the target language is spoken. However, don’t despair! There are many ways to promote learning of a foreign language. I highly recommend visiting websites from bilingual families and multicultural blogs to get ideas, motivation and support. This is a journey better done with the help of those who already have a little bit more experience than us. I personally like Instagram for quick tips and Pinterest for crafty ideas. Don’t forget YouTube for songs and sing-alongs in the target language. 

Put your apron and chef hat on! 

One thing I have learnt all these years of teaching Spanish to children and adults is that we need to keep things fun. So what better way to learn vocabulary in the target language than cooking a traditional recipe? Imagine spending time with your children making a delicious dish, learning about the culture and practicing new terminology in a interesting way. You don’t need to know the language for that matter. Simply write down the vocabulary, look for it online so you can listen to the correct pronunciation and voilá!!! You are good to go…. don’t forget to go to the supermarket though, you still need to buy the ingredients.

 Additionally, you could plan a special family dinner to enjoy the end results of your cooking and learning process and you can invite relatives and friends to show off your new language skills. 

They speak English, Spanish, and German. Now they want to learn French!

 Find a pen-pal for your kids! 

Writing and reading are two of the language dexterities that your children will need to develop. Having someone to exchange emails or even snail mail using the target language is a wonderful tool to support their learning journey. Just remember to check well before contacting other people to pen pal. Our children’s safety always comes first. 

So what are you waiting for?

There are many ways to promote language learning at home, you just have to dare to leave your comfort zone and make the process effective, entertaining, and stress-free. Parents support is the best thing children could receive and I’m pretty sure you can offer them that! Also forget perfection and learn to speak a foreign language too. Your children can be of great inspiration to you and they could even help you with your pronunciation. They will be delighted to have you on board!

Just remember this will be one of the greatest investments in the future of their careers and it is totally worth it to try! Make it fun! 

Dussehra

Major festivals Celebrated in Andhra Culture

Festivals are one way to understand any culture, right? The way we celebrate, the food that we prepare, the traditions that we follow etc., say a lot about our culture. We, Indians have many festivals to celebrate and this post is about the festivals celebrated in the Southern part of India in Andhra Pradesh state.

Sankranthi

The First Important festival celebrated by Hindus is the Makara Sankranthi. This is also called the Harvest festival. “Sankranthi” in the Sanskrit language means the transmigration of the Sun to another zodiac sign.

I love making rangolis with colors for this festival. I also love the traditional food that we prepare for this festival like chakralu (crispy fritters), arisalu (Sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) and laddus.

Explaining Sankranthi to Kids

Sankranthi Rangoli - Muggulu

Sankranthi Rangoli – Muggulu

Ugadi

The Next important festival for us is Ugadi.  Ugadi is usually celebrated in March and it is considered to be Telugu New year.

We prepare a special dish called ‘Ugadi Pachadi’ on that day, which has 6 different flavors/ tastes. This is to remember that life is full of ups, downs, bitterness, happiness and a mixed bag of feelings.

Ugadi Pachadi made with the following flavors is my favorite.

salt (salty-ness), jaggery (sweet), neem flowers (bitterness), tamarind/ mango (sourness), banana (tardy ness) and green chilies (spice).

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi

We also prepare Pulihora (Rice item spiced with tempering) and Mango dal on that day.

We follow a tradition of listening to “Panchaga sravanam” which is a future prediction told by pandits reading the panchangam (predictions written for different zodiac signs).

Sreerama Navami

Sreerama Navami is celebrated on the 9th day after the beginning of the new year.  We pray Lord Rama on this day.

We prepare Panakam (a drink made with water, pepper , nd jaggery) which is good to beat the summer heat.

In Bhadrachalam, Seetha rama kalyanam (A marriage of God Rama and Goddess Sita) is celebrated on that day and many devotees attend the event.

Read more about the festival here.

Sita rama kalyanam

srirama navami

Varalakshmi Vratham

We celebrate Varalakshmi vratham/ Pooja in August. Married women usually do pooja and fast the whole day.  Like many other festivals, we prepare a lot of dishes to offer God and later we feast. Some famous items are Garelu, Boorelu, Payasam, and pulihora.

Read more about the festival here.

Vinayaka Chavithi

Vinayaka Chavithi is another major festival where the whole family participates together. Vinayaka Chavithi is a festival celebrated to pray Lord Ganesha who is worshipped to ensure new beginnings and avoid all hurdles in the path of success.

We usually buy a clay idol of Lord Ganesha, hang all types of fruits above the God on a wooden structure called palavelli and perform pooja. We also prepare many tasty dishes like talukalu (made with rice flour and jaggery and milk), pulihora, chalividi (sweet made with rice flour and jaggery) etc.,

Read more about the festival here.

Dasara

Dasara is a festival celebrated around September where we pray Goddess Durga for 9 days. Women also chant “Lalitha sahasranamam” (religious chant) every evening on those 9 days.  We set idols in a step pattern for display and we call this “Bommala Koluvu”.

Read more about the festival here.

Dussehra

Dussehra

Deepavali

The last and the most exciting festival of the year is Deepavali. Deepavali means an array of lights.

This festival is celebrated to signify the win of Good over evil.  We prepare rangolis with flowers, light lamps and illuminate our houses with lights.

We pray Goddess Lakshmi on that day for wealth and prosperity.  We also prepare a lot of yummy sweets like Kaju barfi and gulab jamun.

We burst firecrackers too. Yes, it’s a lot of fun. 🙂

Deepavali Fire crackers

Deepavali Fire crackers

Read more about the festival here.

We also celebrate festivals like Maha Siva ratri, Nagula chanviti, and Atlathaddi.

So, that’s about some of the major festivals celebrated by Telugu people. People from Andhra Pradesh talk the Telugu language. Share all the festivals you celebrate in the comments below.

 

 

 

Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival with Kids

 

How Did the Dragon Boat Festival Originate?

The Tale of Qu Yuan

There are slight variations for the origins of the Dragon Boat Festival, but all tell more or less the same tale of Qu Yuan, one of China’s earliest poets.

Most legends agree that Qu Yuan (pronounced Chew Yewen) was a minister in one of China’s ancient kingdoms. Qu Yuan was lauded as a very intelligent and fair man, but his fellow ministers disapproved of his policies. They convinced the king to banish Qu Yuan from the kingdom. In exile for many decades, Qu Yuan wrote numerous poems about his love for his country (Stepanchuk and Wong; Simonds, Swartz, and the Children’s Museum, Boston).

One day, Qu Yuan heard that his beloved kingdom’s capital city had been destroyed in war (another version says that he one day realized that both escaping and returning to his kingdom were impossible while looking at his home from a dragon boat). Greatly saddened, Qu Yuan composed a  famous poem called the Lament on Encountering sorrow while walking along a river, and disappeared (some accounts list Qu Yuan as choosing to end his life by drowning) (Stepanchuk and Wong; Simonds, Swartz, and the Children’s Museum, Boston).

This is where the narrative diverges more significantly. One legend says that villagers where Qu Yuan was banished got into boats and looked for Qu Yuan in the river, with no success. They then threw rice into the river so that fish would eat the rice and leave Qu Yuan in peace.

Another account says that the villagers threw rice into the river for Qu Yuan’s soul to enjoy.

Yet another account says that one day, there was a fisherman who threw rice into the river to catch some fish (or for River God, depending on who is telling the story). The fisherman didn’t catch any fish but did hear someone call out that it was hungry.  The same thing happened for two days again. On the third day, the spirit of Qu Yuan appeared to the fisherman, telling him that the dragon who dwelt in the river was eating all of the rice. Qu Yuan asked that the fisherman send him rice wrapped in bamboo leaves and wrapped in black, green, red, yellow, and white strings (in order to scare away the dragon).  After obeying Qu Yuan’s orders, the fisherman always caught nets and nets of fish (Simonds, Swartz, and the Children’s Museum, Boston; Stepanchuk).

Make Zongzi

Arguably the most iconic aspect of the Dragon Boat Festival (after the dragon boats, of course)  is zongzi, a type of snack involving rice, bamboo leaves, and various fillings. The specific shape and filling for zongzi vary from region to region, but you’re most likely to see zongzi that are shaped like pyramids.

Zongzi can be filled with sweet bean paste, peanuts, meats, shrimp, mushrooms or any other number of delectable fillings. This center is enclosed by a healthy portion of glutinous rice, which is in turn wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied with twine (some people recommend colored twine, but I’ve seen many people use white butcher twine).

There are practically as many styles of zongzi as there are villages in China, so I would recommend checking out a few different zongzi recipes online to see which one sounds the most appetizing for you! As for my personal favorite, I’m rather partial to zongzi stuffed with red bean paste and sprinkled with sugar – so delicious!

Balance Eggs

According to folklore, those who can balance an egg at noon on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival will have good luck for the rest of the year.

It is believed that since this is the summer solstice (according to the Chinese lunar calendar), the egg may be able to stand upright due to special solar power.  As a fun cultural and scientific activity, why not trying balancing an egg to see who will have good luck this year.

You can celebrate Dragon Boat Festival by doing these activities.

Dragon Boat Races

There are several possible origins for the dragon boat races.

It believed that dragon boat races were held to commemorate the search  for Qu Yuan, who drowned in the river. They may also have been held to honor the Dragon God, who was in charge of rivers and rainfall, so as to ensure a bountiful harvest of rice.

Yet another possible origin is that the ceremony was used to mimic answers visiting and helping the rice harvest.

Boat rowers and dragon boat were believed to represent deceased ancestors and the mighty  water dragon, respectively. The rowers would row in the direction of the rice fields where the rice had recently been transplanted. These transplanted rice seedlings were placed in flooded fields, with the “drowned” rice seen as being in a similar state to those who had died by drowning, so its spirit would be summoned by the symbolic ancestors (the rowers). The dragon boat racing also represented one group trying to make sure that the ancestors of another group didn’t negatively impact the rice harvest.

Ancestors would  then take away misfortune to the land of the dead, and people would offer food for their journey home.

While most of us don’t have the training or physique to participate in full scale races, you may want to see if you areas is having races or try making your own dragon boats using any number of the templates online.

Celebrating Dragon Boat Festival With Kids

Some common traditions which would make great education crafts include:

Making a Five Colored Bracelet or Ribbon

It was once common practice for families to gift ribbons or bracelets made of five colored- thread or silk . But they weren’t any five colors; the colors were representative of the Five Elements, which represented the cycle of creation and were thought to keep bad spirits and luck at bay. The colors were black for water, blue for wood, red for fire, yellow for earth, white for metal.  Not only were zonzgi originally tied with threads of these colors, but also hair ribbons. For extra helping avoiding bad luck, why not wear clothing using these colors only?

Create a Bag of Fragrant Herbs For Good Luck

It was common tradition for people to wear small pockets of herbs and spices to keep away misfortune. It is believe that these sachets could also ward of sickness and keep ying and yang in balance. Some people would also hang herbs from their houses. Common herbs include garlic, mugwort, and sweet flag, with sweet flag and mugwort being popular because they look like swords and tigers, respectively

Decorate Your House with Protective Animals

The common name for these five animals is a bit of a misnomer. The “Five Poisons” include snakes, centipedes, scorpions, lizards, and toads and sometimes the spider. They were decorated on almost any surface imaginable, from clothing to desserts and more. It was believed that by decorating items (or oneself) with these animals, one could avoid bites from these dangerous animals or even use their combined power to combat other poisons that one may encounter.

Make Clackers

Clackers (similar to castanets) were used to add emphasis when singing songs or telling stories, make a simple pair of castanets (Simonds, Swartz, and the Children’s Museum, Boston).

How will you and your little ones celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival?

How To Celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival With Your Kids www.raisingworldchildren.com #dragonboatfestival #chinesefestivals #china
Works Cited

Swartz, Leslie, and The Children’s Museum, Boston. “The Dragon Boat Festival: The Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon.” Moonbeams, Dumplings, & Dragon Boats. By Nina Simonds. N.p.: Gulliver, 2002. 46-57. Print.

Stephanchuk, Carol. “Dragon Boat Festival.” Red Eggs & Dragon Boat: Celebrating Chinese Festivals. N.p.: Pacific View, 1994. 34-40. Print.

Wong, Charles. “The Dragon Boat Festival (5th Day, 5th Moon) Duanwu Jie.” Mooncakes and Hungry Ghosts. By Carol Stepanchuk. N.p.: China & Periodicals, 1992. 40-50. Print.

Taylor Barbieri is the founder of Little Linguini, a website that offers private one-on-one language coaching in Chinese to  children ages 5 to 17 and their families. After discovering her love for languages in high school (and studying more languages than she can remember!) Taylor made it her mission to share this passion with others.  In late 2017, Little Linguini will begin debuting courses about China’s culture and history as well.

 

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home

 

India is famous for its cultural and traditional richness of festivals and celebrations. We, our family love the second half of every year since those six months are full of many festivals. I personally love to celebrate many festivals like Maha Shiva Rathri, Krishna Jeyanthi, Vinayagar Chaturthi because of their vibrant, colorful, foodie and cultural way of celebrations rather than their religions importance.

Festivals really help us to inculcate friendship, cultural importance and moral values in the young minds of our children. Recently we celebrated Sri Krishna Jeyanthi at our home. So I thought of sharing the pooja and celebrations of Sri Krishna Jeyanthi with you to throw some light on our Indian tradition and culture.

 

What Is Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

Krishna Janmashtami or Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jeyanthi is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

 

When Is Sri Krishna Jeyanthi Celebrated?

It is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) during August or September.  

 

 What Are The Other Names For Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

  • Krishna Astami
  • Janmashtami
  • Gokulasthami
  • Sree Jayanti

 

How We Celebrate Sri Krishna Jeyanthi At Our Home?

We invite our friends and relatives for the pooja and festival. Sri Krishna Jeyanthi is a fun filled celebration particularly for kids. So we invite all nearby kids for the festival. Also, we involve our son to be a part of the celebrations by making decorations and arrangements at our home.

 

Beautiful Krishna Sticker

Beautiful Krishna Sticker At Our Drawing Hall

 

We welcome our guests with colorful Kolam or Rangoli. Also we draw small footprints of rice flour from the entrance of our house to our pooja room. This is for welcoming Sri Krishna to our house. Making the footprints using rice flour is for small creatures like ant and insects to eat. We just care more for all living creatures.

 

Kolam or Rangoli

Kolam or Rangoli

 

Krishna's Footprints

Krishna’s Footprints

 

All the idols and photos of gods and goddesses at our pooja room are decorated with flowers, garlands and jewels. And Sri Krishna statue or photo is specially decorated. We offer Sweet Aval or Poha, Seedai, Murrukku, Butter, Butter Milk, Jhangiri, Pal Kova, Betal Leaves, Coconut and Fruits as prasad. Mostly the snacks will be prepared at home with extra flavor of yummy ghee. Krishna is a big lover of butter and ghee. So we believe that he will bless us with all abundance by tasting his favorite snacks.

 

Decorations At Our Pooja Room

Decorations At Our Pooja Room

 

Krishna songs and slogams will be played. The house will be filled with aroma of splendid incense sticks. It adds a divine effect to the celebrations. All family members will assemble and the eldest of the family will do the pooja. And the pooja starts with Aarthi, Songs and ends with yummy snacks.

 

Sri Krishna Jeyanthi - Offerings To Lord Sri Krishna - Raising World Children

Offerings To Lord Sri Krishna

Children will be dressed as Krishna and Radha. The elders will tell the stories of Sri Krishna. They enjoy by singing songs, playing instruments, dancing, reciting mantras, drawing, coloring and playing dramas. We, ladies, myself, my amma and my mother in law will recite Krishna Astakam and sing Sri Krishna Songs.

Also we visit to nearby Krishna Temples. Anna Thanam or Donation of Food will be offered at most of the temples on this auspicious day. We would usually donate some money and rice for this ceremony. Thus festivals will bring us closer, kinder and happier by all means. Also festivals are an easy way to teach spirituality to our kids.

What Mantra To be Chanted On Sri Krishna Jeyanthi?

 

We will chant Krishna Maha Mantra. This mantra can be chanted by anyone irrespective of religion, faith, gender and nation.

Krishna Maha Mantra

Image Credit: Pinterest

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Krishna means “the all-attractive one,” and Rama means “the reservoir of pleasure.” Hare invokes His presence in our lives. This Maha (great) Mantra – chanting of His holy names brings innate satisfaction and the highest pleasure to all of us.

Info Source: ISKON, Delhi.

What Is The Significance Of Krishna Maha Mantra?

The sound and vibrations of this maha mantra will bring peace, happiness, cleanse the mind and soul, suppress our sorrows and anxieties.

Do you celebrate any festivals? What are the fun and joy about your festivals? How do you involve your kids on the celebrations? Please share with us …… And stay tuned for our Vinayagar Chaturthi celebrations .

How To celebrate Krishna Jayanti - Raising World children | Krishna Jayanthi | Celebration | Indian Festivals

 

 Vasantha Vivek Raising World ChildrenVasantha Vivek loves to call herself as a happy woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend, mentor, seeker, lover. She’s from Kovilpatti, a small town of Southern Tamilnadu of India. She was a teacher by profession. She worked as a professor at an Engineering College for nearly 15 years. She has learned a lot as a teacher. She hopes that she had inspired some hearts during that period. Teaching is her passion Reading is her love. Cooking is her heart. She enjoys reading and writing very much. You can find her @mysweetnothings on Facebook and Twitter.
What Celebrating Birthdays Does for Our Kids

What Celebrating Birthdays Does for Our Kids

Childhood is often reminisced with fond memories, especially around special occasions like festivals, summer or winter vacations and of course, birthdays.

My childhood is replete with such fond memories and I often like to revive and relive these memories through each passing year, in my own small way.

Although, a tad bit older, none the bit wiser, I try to recreate the magic of those moments. Memories around birthdays don’t need an “age” or a number specificity to cherish and celebrate.

I choose to celebrate each and everything, including birthdays, which my parents celebrated to make us feel special and loved.

My Special Days 

Birthdays for instance were a big deal for me, especially in my growing up years. I remember it was in standard 5, when I decided that I was too grown up for childlike pompom laced birthday parties. I clearly remember how I had declared that I was a grown up then and strictly told my parents to stop creating a hullabaloo around my birthday any more.

To respect an eleven year old child’s decision, they made sure my last formal, childlike birthday party was way beyond “normal”. They got me a special castle shaped cake with all fancy sugar decorations (in those days getting ice cream cones as the castle tops with silver balls and bells was a great deal on cake). Apart from that, they called almost everyone from their world, arranged some fancy games, and literally hosted a party that lasted to the wee hours of night.

Honestly, as an eleven year old, I felt I had grown up, but my parents hadn’t. I was all the more certain of not repeating the celebrations anymore to save myself from further embarrassments caused through my parents over-indulgence.

Anyway, the years rolled by, but my parents didn’t leave any stone upturned to help me savor my birthdays. The years since then, still were laced with birthday celebrations of a different kind.

Although, there were no “party” parties as such, yet there were gifts wrapped and placed near my pillow, surprise cake in the morning, special breakfasts, formal lunches with friends all laced with homemade fancy food, and night time were reserved with cozy dinners with family. From morning to evening, I was made to feel as if I had done something great by simply taking birth on this planet.

As I look back now, I feel my parents left me more than fond memories around my birthdays.

What It Meant

They left me a treasure chest of feelings indescribable into words. They chose occasions like birthdays to help me realize that I was that special thing in their life that made their life worth living. Birthdays were a way to be thankful for everything they had and felt, through me or my siblings. To help us understand the happiness that they felt, they created that soft cocoon of happiness around us, which till today we would like to carry as part of some unstated legacy.

The fact that we were cherished, loved and respected is what has made us, the siblings grow strong, emotionally stable and mentally secure. We now don’t crave for material cravings, but rather the companionship of our loved ones on special days to nurture that feeling of warmth and security.

Doing the Same for My Child

This feeling of security is what I wish to create for my son too. A feeling of belonging, being accepted, loved and respected is something that creates that strong capsule of security in our kids’ minds. This feeling of being wanted is what makes them strive towards perfection, in order to please us, or to sustain that feeling of being loved and cherished forever.

Any pitfalls, by way of unacceptability or disrespect from our end, is what throws them off balance and they tend to deviate.

My mother always said that with freedom came responsibility. She extended freedom to me, without drawing any boundaries, sometimes even scaring me. Her excessive faith and freedom is what sometimes scared me and I often questioned myself with my own given freedom.

This fear she believed, created that sense of self-realization in me, the ability to assess myself. This fear of failing in her eyes, shunning the faith that she had put in me, was what helped me pull the reins, when I felt the need to (without having her telling me). I guess it was the fear of me being unaccepted or looking at something they loved and cherished, so defeated, is what spiraled that sense of responsibility in me.

And this feeling of acceptance and belonging got strengthened on such occasions, when I was made to feel special and accepted and loved, despite all flaws.

Although, we don’t need special days to cherish the companionship that we have, yet I wouldn’t deny that birthdays or special occasions are sure shot means of celebrating the bonds that are so special in our lives.

I always look forward to celebrate the birthdays of my loved ones by doing something special. It isn’t always about material things, but definitely the ways in which we make our loved ones feel on their special days that counts. The feeling of being needed and belonged is what makes their D-day, a special memory in many years to come!

As a mother, I would always love my child to remember our special equation through the happy feelings he had on his special days and on not-so special days.

The material things will eventually fade away, but the feelings are what will last in his heart and mind for eternity! He should be able to hold onto these fond memories, and use them as base, to create some more for himself and others in life ahead, even when we are not around.

After all, parenting is all about building memories and what better way than using special occasions like birthdays to create them!

What is the importance of celebrating birthdays? Should we just stop?

 Malvika Roy Singh A freelance creative writer and blogger for the past 7 years, Malvika Roy SIngh writes about subjects like travel, food, lifestyle, health, interior designing, real estate, digital entertainment, media and marketing, education etc. Her parenting blog helps her be a conscious parent (www.wipmom.com) When she is not writing, she can be found either running or playing with her 4 year old son enjoying time reading. She resides in Hyderabad and can be reached at mroysingh@gmail.com

 

bunny mask rwc featured image

How To Make DIY Easter Bunny Mask- Easter Craft For Kids

Easter Bunny mask is a quick and easy craft that you can do with your children. This is such a fun craft to make and especially a perfect non-candy gift for the Easter baskets. You and the kids can make these rabbit masks in minutes.

The fun part is once you trace the template the whole mask making process can be done by your kids. Aren’t they looking so cute?! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

DETAILED VIDEO TUTORIAL : 

Supplies Needed:
  • Heavy card stock paper
  • Foam Sheet
  • cotton wool or ‘cotton balls’
  • elasticated strings or satin ribbon for tieing in the  back
  • Foam sheet cut into long strips for whiskers
  • Scissor
  • School Glue
  • Pencil & Ruler
  • Paper hole punch

Easter craft - Bunny Mask | How to make a Easter Bunny Mask this Spring Season | Craft For Spring

Method:
  1. Measure your kid’s face and head circumference. Depending on it trace a mask template and cut it out.
  2. For the inner ears, trace the shapes on a foam sheet, cut and paste it on the mask template.
  3. Cut the foam sheets into 6 long strips for whiskers.
  4. In the traced part paste the white and pink cotton balls and also the whiskers as shown in the video.
  5. Using the punch, put a hole on both sides.
  6. Tie the elastic string in around the mask.
  7. That’s It! A cute Easter Bunny Mask is ready to be added to the Easter basket.

Tips: If you don’t want to use it as a mask you can paste the skewers on the back side of the mask and use it as a prop for easter photography too.

I hope you enjoyed the inexpensive yet creative Easter Bunny Mask crafts. I’d love to hear what you have come up with to add to what I’ve created.

We would love to hear from you. Make this and show it off! Email it to us at contact@localhost or upload it on social media and tag us. @passionatemoms,@raisingworldchildren. We would feature the best ones on OUR platform for the world to see!

 

How Valentine's Day Became My Every Day Why

How Valentine’s Day Became My Every Day Why

I was 18 and had been in an “on-again-off-again” relationship for a few years. On Valentine’s Day of my senior year, we were “off again.” I was bitter, sad, felt like a loser, and wanted to cancel the day altogether.

Until something shifted.

A few days before the big day, I got the idea to research the history of Valentine’s Day and St. Valentine. I wanted to explore deeper than the facade that Hallmark and Hollywood sell us. I was desperately searching for a way to turn my hurt and self-consciousness into something new and more beautiful.

While reading up, I came to the conclusion that Valentine’s Day is a commercially created holiday, and that St. Valentine likely wasn’t an advocate for only romantic love, but all love. I decided that Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about loving out loud, telling the ALL of the people I love that they are special to me, and celebrating the collective love for humanity.

 

 

I dug deeper than my pain and recognized that I had lots of love that I needed to express on Valentine’s Day (and beyond), and I needed a new way to connect, rather than disconnect in shame, sadness, and isolation.

This day couldn’t be about teddy bears, roses, and chocolate from a boyfriend or a crush. To me, Valentine’s Day needed to be an expansion of the definition of love and a broadening of who and how we love.

Thus, my next idea… I decided that it would be most meaningful to show love to people in our society who are often forgotten or overlooked: those experiencing homelessness.

I got my mom in on the whole idea, and we quickly got started making Valentines by hand with doilies, glitter, stickers, and markers; albeit still a bit commercial, handmade cards were a joyful tradition that my mom shared with me and my sister.

Along with each Valentine, we would hand out a treat. We decided on donuts.

 

 

On the morning of Valentine’s Day, mom and I drove downtown in my hometown, Albuquerque, New Mexico, to deliver little bits of love and sugary hugs to people who were living without a steady, stable home.

We received so many smiles and appreciations, and we ran out of supplies quickly. The sensation of being present with another, sharing a moment, and acting on the principle that everyone deserves love was powerful and transformational!

Again, something BIG shifted.

 

CELEBRATING VALENTINES DAY IN MY EVERY SINGLE DAY

From that February 14 on, Valentine’s Day became my favorite holiday. I’ve been known to host Valentine’s craft parties, my mom often ships me a box full of love and treats, and I often share about this memorable, perspective-shifting experience from my senior year of high school– my search for love and meaning in the world.

I must admit that I still partake in some of the commercial elements of the holiday, but my philosophy about the holiday comes from a place of authentic love, rather than expectation. This is what I hope to share with you and even more so with your teenagers who may be feeling pressured, depressed, expectant, or even excited about the stereotypical ideals of this holiday.

Over time, my love for the holiday grew, and I eventually named my commitment to live in love: Valentine’s Day Everyday, a movement.

 

 

What started as a desire to heal myself became one of my biggest WHYs– the reason I keep showing up and the reason I want to live another day: to notice love, to live in love, and to create love. Not just one day out of the year, but every day!

HOW YOU CAN MAKE EVERY DAY VALENTINES DAY

I’ve made it part of my life’s mission to tell people I love them. I’ve committed to noticing and observing love around me and appreciating it. Whether it’s a heart-shaped hole in the sidewalk, a lost and found love note, or witnessing a mother hugging her toddler, I want to know love.

And it’s not just the nicely packaged things that are love. It’s dropping my breakfast on the way out the door (when I’m already late), the basket of laundry waiting for me to fold it, and the meltdown my tween client is having that reveal what love is and teaches me how to love freely and fiercely.

 

Valentine’s Day Every Day is about looking at ALL experiences through the lens of love. Responding from a place of love and staying open to all forms of love.

 

I invite you to take on this mission and make it your own. How can you live each day as if it were Valentine’s Day for everyone?

 

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO  TODAY

Below are a few ideas that you might like to try as you get started on living Valentine’s Day Every Day:

  • Snuggle with your partner a little longer.
  • Pack an “I love you” note in your child’s lunch box.
  • Pay for coffee for the person in the drive-through behind you. Or the car in the toll booth line.
  • When you see something– a book or knick-knack or greeting card– that reminds you of a friend or family member, buy it for them. Don’t wait until a holiday or their birthday to gift it.
  • Hand out snacks or water to people who are experiencing homelessness.
  • Text a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, simply expressing what you love about them or sending a virtual hug.
  • Make a meal for a friend who has been sick or tired or stressed out.
  • Gift yourself the chocolate or flowers you look at with desire. You are worth it!
  • Write a love letter to a stranger!
  • Make a handmade card or collage for a friend or family member— just because.
  • Pick a flower and pass it to the next person you see.
  • Leave a positive affirmation somewhere where another person will find it– inside of a book, on a chair, on a signpost, etc.
  • Look for hearts in nature. (You’ll find soooo many!)
  • Write a poem for someone you love.

Have ideas? Go for it! Whatever comes up is authentic and real for you. Show that love to yourself, others, and the world.

Find Out How Every Day is And Can Be Turned Into Valentines Day | Love | Family | Joy | Be With Family On Valentines Day

 

If you’re looking for accountability as you integrating this mindset into your life and your family, let’s chat! As a Child-Centered Coach for parents and teens, I work with clients to build their lens of love, and I would be honored to support you and your children on the journey. As an online Child-Centered Coach for Teens and Parents, Courtney supports tweens, teens, and young adults in finding their voice, growing confidence, and thriving. Through 1:1 and small group coaching sessions, teens and tweens are able to overcome anxiety, disconnect, and isolation as they discover their truest sense of self and develop a deep sense of empowerment. Courtney supports parents in self-care, growing alongside their children, and in developing balanced sensitivity towards the process their child is creating and offers an online membership for parents of tweens and teens. Sessions with both teens and parents guide families in developing the trust, communication, and connection that’s crucial for a life of ease. You can find out more about Courtney Harris Coaching here: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyharrisedconnect/ and https://courtneylynnharris.wixsite.com/mysite

 

 

A Glance At : The Other Side of Giving !

A Glance At : The Other Side of Giving !

Just what do I mean by the “other side of giving?” To put it into context, I’ll need to tell you my story.

Like many of you, I consider myself a humanitarian. A philanthropist. Since high school, I can remember enjoying the act of giving. I think it started Labor Day weekend 1979, when my best friend and I door knocked collecting for MDA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Jerry Lewis telethon.

We turned in our money at the local tv station, then sat by the tv eagerly watching the main tally board grow to surpass the previous year’s giving. Just knowing we played a part in affecting those numbers, no matter how small, made us feel good.

A few years later, when I had kids in school, I’d purchase several turkeys and other dinner items, then would take the grocery bags to our school principal so she could distribute to the families she knew were in need. Through the years I’ve given coats and other cold weather wear. I’ve given hot meals, coffees and cocoa to needy people standing on busy street corners.

Teaching Giving

But some of the most rewarding times, were the years my kids and I sang Christmas carols at a senior living community. We’d watch our audience snap their fingers, clap hands and bop along. There was a sparkle in the people’s eyes and they’d often assist us by singing along. Each year, I watched their tears well up. There really was no better feeling… Except for the many times I saw one of our kids wipe tears from their own eyes in response. Every year, we’d complete the evening at our neighborhood coffee shop with a tasty treat of hot chocolate. My children still recall these times with sweet fondness.

One year at my weekly business meeting, I suggested we adopt a family over the upcoming holiday season. Later that day the president of the group, Trish, called asking if I’d had a particular family in mind, because she did. She asked if I’d mind if she took the lead. No, I definitely didn’t mind her running the show!

Sharing Giving

As each weekly meeting passed, Trish told us a little more about the family we’d adopted and although I wasn’t able to afford to purchase anything new, as my own financial circumstances were poor that year, I did find a wool coat in near-perfect condition in my closet. But when I offered Trish $10 from coins I’d turned in, she smiled, gently pushed my hand back and said, “It’s okay, I know you can’t afford to do this.” Knowing she was right, I hugged her, wished her a Merry Christmas and returned the bills to my near empty wallet.

My financial circumstances that year had put me behind with just about every creditor and utility company I had. I hadn’t answered my telephone in nearly a month and needed to call the heating company to avoid disconnect.

Before making those calls, I decided to take a few minutes to do some meditation. I knew making those calls would be difficult. So, I went to my room, sat on my bed and breathed. About 40 minutes later, there was a knock on the door. Fearing it was a creditor and hoping they’d go away, I ignored it. The knock came several more times before I finally answered.
A sweet smiling face of a beautiful woman greeted me. She said simply, “I’m here to deliver some gifts.”

Learning to Accept

“You do? Who are you?”

“That doesn’t matter,” she answered.

“Who are they from?”

“That doesn’t matter either. But I’m to tell you there are many people who love you very much. Merry Christmas.” She placed gifts bags on the porch and turned to leave.

“Wait!” I took her hand and pulled her into an embrace. “Thank you so much.” I watched her disappear around the corner of the house, closed the door, then sat on the floor beside the gifts. I peeked inside one bag catching a glimpse of what was inside.

Money! Tears came as I pulled a lovely wreath from the gift bag. Among it’s silver and red ribbons, dollar bills were fanned out and attached as well. Bills of all denominations… I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Also inside the bag was a stack of gift cards and some decorative tins containing wrapped candies, cookies and even more money. I cried. Hard. Hunched over, forehead on the floor, sobbing. I mean, “can’t breathe, snot running sobs.”

When all the money was counted, the total more than covered the disconnect, as well as several other bills. Tears continued the rest of the week. I used the gift certificates to purchase gifts for my children. Even as I write these words, tears are flowing again.

Thankful For Others Giving

I knew these gifts were from my business group, and we were the family Trish talked about all those weeks. So, I called to thank her.
“For what?” She not so innocently responded. “By the way, no one in the group knows it was you,” she added.

Every Christmas season, I hang that special wreath on the front door and tied an ornament inside it’s greens, a golden angel, as a reminder of every one of my friends who gave to me that year. Every one who gave so generously.

I’m definitely not accustomed to being on “the other side of giving” to that degree. That year’s gift still means more than anyone could ever know. I give a silent toast every year on Christmas… To those who gave to me and to those who give to so many others, I would just like to say, “Thank you my Dear Friends. Thank you.”

Janie Saylor is a certified life coach with a degree in psychology and a focus on the emerging field of positive psychology. She’s mom to two grown children, her son, now 21, and her daughter, 25. In 2006, Janie published the book, “The Road You’ve Traveled, How to Journal Your Life,” which came from her own life experiences and those of many others who she taught life journaling to for 11 years. Janie’s also co-author of the book, “When You’re DONE Expecting: A Collection of Heartfelt Stories from Mothers All across the Globe,” consisting of stories sharing a beautiful perspective of Motherhood. “In writing about my own life so openly, my hopes are for just one person to see their own struggles from a different perspective.” Janie enjoys uplifting others with positive posts, videos and memes on her Facebook page, Become University, “Your Happy Place!”
Is it really essential to be a secular being?

Is it really essential to be a secular being?

Or is it all just a hype ? 

In the fast paced modern society, when everything is changing so rapidly, I think it’s our obligation to make us as well as our family, more flexible, more adjustable so as to be more compatible with the norms of the society. The migration of people from one part of the world to another has also become one such norm.

Whether in search of job or to earn more money or just for a change or for their families or for any other reason, people today are not reluctant in making a change. Though the world is a small place, still the cultures, customs and traditions are quite different in each and every part, whether it’s within a particular country or outside a country.

In this age, the idea of being secular becomes essential.

When you respect each and every religion along with its customs –

–You’ll be able to mingle up with the residents of that place and definitely feel one amongst them.

–You’ll be joyful throughout as you can take part in their celebrations too , with full energy and enthusiasm.

–You’ll never be aloof or desserted in the hour of need as there’ll be a support system for you with whom you can share your griefs and sorrows.

–You can have celebrations round the year, thus leaving little or no room for negativity.

–And most importantly, you’ll also have a chance to spread your fragrance too.

Having no idea of tomorrow, I make it a point to teach or discuss various festivals with my kids so as to make them a responsible and a compassionate being. But, it was not easy initially as the obsolete but important question—

How to give them knowledge when I myself was not aware of most of the facts?                 

But it’s said-Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And in the process of finding the answer to the above question, I also became a ‘Learner’. And that helped me a lot, even helping now.

What I did was

–I educated myself about the particular festival. For example, if about Christmas, I learnt about its origin and importance through books and internet, of course.

–I got myself involved with the members of the particular community, who used to celebrate it and learnt to make the dishes and little things related to that festival. Like for Christmas, I learnt to make Christmas tree, bells and Christmas cake. Once we even made the snowman. And believe me, the experience was ecstatic.

–I even learnt some stories to narrate to my children about that festival. For Christmas, I learnt the story about Jesus Christ .

–And nothing is complete until you give your imagination, some colorful wings. So for Christmas, I created an imaginary Santa in my kids’ mind who would give them chocolates on 25th December. And it worked. Just after getting up, they look for their chocolates under their pillows. They thank Santa for the chocolates and relish the experience that they get from these little things whenever we come across any Christian family as they never feel left behind.

That’s why I feel it’s the feeling, the empathy towards any religion that matters a lot which only, we as parents can instill in the little hearts of our children .What they develop is faith, which they’ll definitely cherish later.

How Do We Achieve A Goal When We Have No Knowledge Of The World | Raising World Children | Parenting | family | kids | teaching Kids

  Ruchika Rastogi, an Indian who was born and brought up in Delhi. She loves to explore the unexplored. A mother of two lovely kids, she works as a teacher and her passion for writing has helped her survive during her hard times. Her first non fiction book got published last year with the name-A Mystical Majesty-the woman. As a contributing author, her anthology with the title–Wait Till I Tell You got launched recently. With dreams in her eyes, she believes in living life optimistically.
Matches Are Made In Heaven

Matches Are Made In Heaven

Matches are made in heaven !!

Its true! Indeed !!

Initially, I was quite dubious of the fact — Matches are made in heaven.

Our Arranged Marriage

But after getting married to my husband, I have started believing in it. Ours was a totally arranged marriage, wherein the bride’s parents meet the groom’s parents. The Kundlis were exchanged. And it’s only when the Kundlis match, the conversation regarding the two people — the girl and the boy,starts. And as per our tradition, I also believe in these nity gritty things. After all, it’s for us only.

Fortunately, our Kundlis matched.Then the day was fixed on which we will meet face to face. So on the a decided day, we met. Though our meeting had to happen but it was still very unusual. As we both were working , so neither of us was interested in taking a leave just to meet the partner in question.

Knowing he felt the same, attracted me towards knowing him more. So, it was decided that we will ll meet in a park during the morning hours.The morning where everybody was busy in their morning walk, jogging, yoga and what not, we were there to discuss our serious future.

And on that day, in those 10-15 minutes, to be precise, something happened – which changed our lives!

He was his normal quiet self while I was doing the chatting and the questioning. I felt somewhat irritable too when I was not getting the responses from him. But there’s an element of simplicity and something was there in his eyes, which got stuck somewhere.

After the meeting got over, we both went to our respective offices and from my office, I agreed to my father to move ahead in this relation. Right! I said yes and in just one hour two complete strangers became everything for each other.

So, the match was fixed. And we got engaged on 17.4.2005. But, still the marriage had to wait. There was a long courtship period of 7 months. And that was the time, we got to know each other, somewhat. His way of surprising me in one form or another had surprised me.

When I was least expecting him or his call, I used to get the shock of my life by seeing him outside my workplace , which was admired by me always. As he was not a very chatty person, so he used to make it up by something or the other.

arranged marriage

And thus, the cupid finally struck! We got married on 14.11.2005, Children’s Day. See, it felt like God had also made plans for us. The date got inscribed along with the celebration of children’s day and our dear Nehruji’s birthday. On that day, amidst our families and friends,in a large set up, he came on the horse like my prince charming and I became his better half, forever.

Though we had our ups and downs,struggles and rewards, fights and romance, still the bond of love and trust for each other has kept us tied with each other. Touch wood!

Thus, I concluded, whether it is arranged marriage or love marriage, love can happen anytime and anywhere. These are just the names to help us move further. Rest is all our faith, trust, love, respect ,maturity and responsibility towards each other, which matters a lot. Gradually, I had realized that love doesn’t mean to ignore the flaws of the person but it means to accept the flaws of the person and let him also accept yours so as to have a pious and lovable life.

Because—Matches are made in heaven. Share your wedding story with me.

 Ruchika Rastogi, an Indian who was born and brought up in Delhi. She loves to explore the unexplored. A mother of two lovely kids, she works as a teacher and her passion for writing has helped her survive during her hard times. Her first non fiction book got published last year with the name-A Mystical Majesty-the woman. As a contributing author, her anthology with the title–Wait Till I Tell You got launched recently. With dreams in her eyes, she believes in living life optimistically.
Teaching Diversity To Our Kids

Teaching Diversity To Our Kids

The Pew research center published an article last year about diversity pointing out 10 important demographic trends last year. One of the statistics stood out for me. It said” By 2055, the U.S. will not have a single racial or ethnic majority.”

We are raising our children in increasingly diverse society with representations from so many different cultures. The electorate, the work force, our education system are all going to be impacted. We will see people around with different ways of speaking, dressing, eating, praying and living. It is a massive opportunity to learn about each other and grow. We will essentially witness a rainbow of cultures, but we have to be ready to open our windows and step outside. What are some things we can do to make diversity an important part of our households?

Celebrate together

Festivals are important. Other than celebrating with our family and friends, we should raise awareness in our schools about each other’s festivals. For example, I realized fall is chock full of festivals from different cultures. It would be great to do a showcase of different cultures in school. Maybe a culture day to celebrate different festivals Rosh Hasanah, Diwali, Onam, Eid, Ashura, Thanksgiving to name a few. Check the calendar and stop by the school and see if you can talk to the classroom about your festival. Encourage other families from different ethnic groups to do the same.

Read together

Children are constantly looking at the books they read to form world opinions. Let’s give our children diverse material. There is no need to be pedantic about cultural topics. Sometimes simple books are the best conversation starters. If you have read ‘Last stop on Market Street’ by Matt De La Pena, you will know what I mean. The book teaches empathy and love in a way that is so easy and even fun for the children to understand. Ask your library to stock up with diverse books be it from your culture or other cultures you have been curious about.

Bond together

Make an effort to build connections with families from different cultures. We are always comfortable with the familiar, but we learn and grow by exposing ourselves to the new. Call your neighbors over be it for Chai and samosas or Coffee and Cake. Arrange for playdates with children from different communities. Just stop by and say hello to that person who just moved here from a different country. Let your friendships expand.

Travel wide

What better way to learn about different ways of living than actually seeing and experiencing it. Travel far and travel wide. Make it a cultural learning experience. Observe the trees, the houses, the churches, the temples and talk about similarities and differences. Try different foods, speak to the local people. Let your child always be curious.

Learn more languages

Keep your mother tongue alive. If you are a multilingual household, speak to your child in different languages. Don’t worry, children’s minds are like little sponges. They will have no problems communicating using multiple languages. Teach numbers in different languages, use basic words for food, colors and slowly build up. I need serious effort on this one myself!

What other ideas do you have to teach diversity to your kids?

How To Teach Kids About Diversity | Raising World Children | Learning | Children | Peace

 

Sandhya Acharya grew up in Mumbai, India and now lives in the Bay Area. Her articles and short stories have featured in NPR (KQED), India Currents, Peacock Journal, and Aaduna. She won the third prize in Katha 2017, a short story contest by India Currents and Wellstone Center. Her first children’s book Children’s book: Big Red Firetruck!: Children’s ebook, Beginner reader, bedtime story about 2 brothers and Fire Trucks. Children’s book ages 2-5. was well received with a rating of 4/5 and 29 reviews on Amazon. Her new children’s book is titled “10 Gulab Jamuns – Counting with an Indian sweet treat” and promises to warm your heart and tantalize your taste buds. The book also includes basic lessons in counting, models positive parenting and highlights sibling love.

BOOKS BY SANDHYA ACHARYA 

 

 

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
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.
Ear Piercing Ceremony - A Mother's Dilemma

Ear Piercing Ceremony – A Mother’s Dilemma

Every parent reminisces their kid’s “Firsts”.  It may be their first smile, kiss, jump, birthday, tonsure. To create such a memory my family is already discussing my daughter’s ear piercing ceremony.

In the Tamil language, its called as ” Kadhani Vizha“, where the ear piercing is considered to be a ritual and it is celebrated!  I am very excited to see my kid with the adorable cute pair of earrings. I can already imagine her in the earrings sparkling to match her smile.

Karna Veda (ear piercing ceremony) is a Hindu tradition practiced in India. It is a religious trend and in some communities not doing this ritual is considered to be a sin. Apart from aesthetic reasons, ear piercing is also performed based on other beliefs.

Traditional and Scientific Reasons for Ear Piercing 

  1. Some believe that the pierced ears help ward off evil.
  2. Acupuncturists believe the earlobes is a vital acupuncture point and piercing it has some therapeutic value.
  3. Susruta, the great Indian surgeon, advocates ear-piercing by saying that it prevents diseases like a hernia and Hydrocele.
  4. It is also believed that ear-piercing regulates the menstrual cycle in girls and prevents hysteria and other diseases.

Our Family Rituals For The Ceremony

Once I got married, I have to follow my husband’s Kuladeivam (Patron deities or grama devata of village assigned to the specific community). In other words, I accept his families religious customs as my own. Our family tradition ear piercing does not accompany tonsuring (shaving off the hair on the crown) which some other families do.

  • Piercing are performed on all kids regardless of their gender on their eleventh month or odd years of age like 3 years or 5 years and so on.
  • Auspicious date and time are calculated and discussed among the family members. Mostly ear piercing will be performed in the temples. Once the date, time and venue are fixed invitations for the ceremony are printed. There is some standard format of invitations which are printed especially for ear piercing ceremony. Now, generations getting modern, some prefer their own customized invitations. Below is an example of the traditional invitation.
Raising World Children Ear Piercing

Our Ear Piercing Invitation

  • On the day of the ceremony, the kid has to be sat on her uncle’s lap (Thaai Mama- Mom’s brother). If the mother doesn’t have a brother then another male equivalent to her brother can take that place, could be the grandfather as well.
  • A professional person who pierces ears is booked and he applies some lotion or ointment to make the ear lobes numb. Now he pierces the ear with a sharp needle and puts the earring which has been specifically purchased for the ceremony. This will be the most painful and sad part for any parents to watch their kids crying with the excruciating pain.
  • The earring purchased for the function will be mostly made out of gold as it doesn’t rust and overall it is more affordable to buy for the Indians compared to platinum or diamond.
  • Once the rituals are finished the guests and family members who have appeared for the ceremony are served food with a special menu. The food might be prepared at home or pre-ordered from any catering service and it depends on the crowd we invite.
  • Nowadays, ear piercing is just carried out as a “childhood ritual” and no longer it’s seen as a tradition to follow. The girls retain the holes for wearing studs, while the boys gradually lose them.

My Own Ear Piercing 

The day of my own ear piercing is still a nightmare for me. I remember it clearly, how brave I was and how much it hurt.  My earlobes throbbed and the pain was excruciating. Unfortunately, I was one of the kids who got an infection due to piercing. Sadly, it took one whole week to recover. Now the situation is totally different and I love wearing long, big earrings and being an Indian, makeover is something I yearn and I thank my mom for making that tough decision.

My desire for earrings constantly increased. I wanted to get the second hole pierced in my ears when I was in my college and my parents said yes. Thank God I had the opportunity of piercing my ears with the professional using staple guns and it was not painful comparatively. Or maybe the decision was mine so I didn’t have anyone to blame and just accepted the pain. Ha!

[bctt tweet=”Ear piercing ceremony. To do or not to do, a mother’s dilemma. ” username=”contactrwc”]

My Dilemma

Now, being the decision-maker on behalf of my kid makes me feel guilty and stressed. Considering the celebration and family get together this is a very important day for my daughter.

From being a daughter to the mother of my daughter, I cannot disagree with the concept of makeup or jewelry in a girl’s life. But at the same time, I don’t want to be a cruel mom who is fulfilling her desire to see her daughter with earrings.

How do I know my kid love to dress up like me? What if she grows up like a tomboy and hates to wear even studs? I feel scared. Am I being selfish? Maybe it differs from each perspective. If my mom had a doubt on this decision I would have ended up blaming my mom for not doing so.

With the bit of mom guilt, I am bracing myself to see my kid cry with that excruciating (maybe unnecessary?) pain. But I hope my daughter would love to wear earrings gradually.

Performing ear piercing ceremony is not only to follow the rituals blindly. It’s about family gathering to show their love and support. More importantly, family bonding gets stronger while conducting these Rites of Passages.  I know my kid will not be happy about being held still and but the infant’s concept of pain is fleeting enough.

All, said and done : I don’t want my kid to miss this wonderful memory!

What’s your opinion on kids ear piercing? Do you follow any rituals? Share your story and experience with me in the below comments section.

 

Ear Piercing Ceremony - A Mother's Dilemma www.raisingworldchildren.com #tradition #values #piercings #modern #parenting


Author: Suja DineshSindhuja Kumar is a proud mom and a lifestyle blogger living in Connecticut, USA and origin from Tamilnadu, India. She is happily married and nothing excites her more than being a mom. She blogs to keep herself sane, more or less writing about positive parenting adventures, DIY Craft tutorials & scrumptious recipes that empowers every mom and woman to stay inspired and living an elegant life in a creative way. Check her work @ PassionateMoms.