Nurturing Relationships Authentically in Digital Age

Nurturing Relationships Authentically in Digital Age

Are we meeting this weekend?

When are you making me brownies?

Do you know where can I find almond flour?

Can you please send me the notes from today?

These are how conversations online begin in this digital age. Unfortunately, it seems like basic social etiquette of asking about one’s well being, about the family, about one’s work, or about life in general have gone out of the window. Smart modes of communication seem to have made our conversations cold and to the point. Emotions have gone missing and convenience seems to have taken over compassion.

But would we want our kids to grow up to be adults with no empathy?

Every single day, I remind my kids that when they meet someone they know, they MUST greet them with a smile and ask them about their well being. The struggle is real believe me! Children are often so caught up with their play and imagination that they tend to be too distracted to acknowledge a new presence.  

[bctt tweet=”So many of us are guilty of communicating with our family and friends only when we need something or need to know something. ” username=”contactrwc”]

But what is our reason as adults to have no time for basic etiquette? So many of us are guilty of communicating with our family and friends only when we need something or need to know something. Unfortunately, the desire of keeping in touch and the feeling of wanting to be there for someone is slowing fading away.

Communication Years Ago 

Almost two decades ago, I moved to the US to go to university. When I was leaving home, I took with me a little telephone directory filled with my family and friends phone numbers. I manually entered each number on my phone and stored them all. Those were the days when we made phone calls to keep in touch. Then came the email and it became the coolest mode of communication.

Even then, emails were filled with emotion and would make one feel so close to someone so far. We poured our hearts and minds out in our emails and saved our loved ones replies for a later read (which would be so comforting!) We probably had more value for emotions and etiquette because we saw our parents and everyone else around us displaying it. How I wish I could turn back time!  

As much as technology plays a huge role in the advancement of human evolution, the question is…is it helping us evolve into better human beings? You may have all heard the cliche line that smart gadgets are making humans less human ? 

Using Technology As Tools 

Not necessarily because a lot of people use these gadgets wisely to enhance their skills, to get their work done, to run a business and so much more. Using social media responsibly is an art too. But when it comes to communicating, relationships seem to have been taken for granted, and time and convenience are given more priority.

In the age of NO mobile phones and NO internet, we were all so happy and content with Graham Bell’s invention. Who remembers those days when you would wait for the clock to strike 12, to call your friend and wish them ‘Happy Birthday!’ That excitement of being the first one to wish (sigh!) and the disappointment of finding an ‘engaged tone’ because someone else beat you to being the ‘first one’ to wish your friend.

Life was so uncomplicated. ‘Call Declined’ in those days was keeping the handset off the hook. Even if we were in deep sleep we would reach out to that phone because if we didn’t, then it would just keep ringing. Back then, receiving a phone call and telling the person that you will call them back later was more convenient. Besides that is the right thing to do!

Invitations for gatherings, congratulatory messages, wishes for special occasions and asking for one’s well being, which were all done over the telephone have been replaced by Whatsapp messages.

Connect Personally  

Raising World Children Relationships

We may have hundreds of Facebook friends and thousands of Instagram followers, but even today one phone call from a dear one, and you are left smiling all day. Feel blessed if you still have a few loved ones, who make time for a phone call. Those are the ones who you need to hold on to.

 Let us take our relationships away from the digital world and bring back the warmth into our relationships.

  • Ditch the likes and comments and meet up for a cup of coffee.
  • Avoid typing a message and make that call instead.
  • Once in a while, make a video call to a loved one who lives far away.
  • Start your online conversations by inquiring about the other person’s well being.
  • Initiate a meet up and don’t just wait for someone else to make a plan.
  • Plan a yoga session together or a digital detox getaway.
  • Set up play dates so that you can catch up with friends, while the kids are busy playing.

Let’s not forget that one day our children will grow up to follow in our footsteps. The world is only moving ahead at a much faster pace than before. The least we can do is inculcate in our coming generations – the value of relationships and the importance of social etiquette. Perhaps this could be our small contribution to making the world a better place!

Important of Nurturing Relationships in Digital Age www.raisingworldchildren.com #digitalage #relationships #nurture #love #friendships #maintain

Minali Bajaj-Syed is an Indian, born and settled in Kuwait. Having lived in Kuwait, India and the United States, She has had the opportunity to experience a diverse set of cultures. She thus, considers herself a global citizen. She is always learning, evolving and trying to spread some positivism. On most days, she is a mother to two kids and a food blogger on Instagram @cinnamon_cardamom.
Unknown Perks of Grandparents' Stories

Unknown Perks of Grandparents’ Stories

Story, the word embodies so much in itself. But grandma’s stories ! Wow!! They have their their own charm, their own aura, their own charisma.

During my childhood days, I used to do accomplish any task in a fraction of second whenever my Grandmother is about to tell a story. Only to those children who have finished their work. That time the fun element was there. We, as children used to cherish that time spent together. listening to her stories without realizing its importance.

Now thought I realize their true importance.

Increases The Bond

It enhances the bonding between the elders and the children. which, I think is very essential to maintain a connection between various generations , specially in today’s time.

Desire For Time Spent Together

Children spend more time with the grandmother or grandfather. The spending of time is relished by the grandparents.

Greater Understanding Between Generations

The understanding develops between them which leads to higher chances of sustainability of peace at home.

Out of The Box Thinking Develops

The morals in the stories and the stories themselves help the children to understand some complex situations very easily.

Enhances Imagination

it also develops their imagination, their creativity. You will notice they even use it in their gossip with other children.

Develops Habit To Listen

That pin drop silence, that mesmerizing attention and that peaceful sleep while listening to the stories or may be just after that, is really astonishing.Those moments amazed me to an extent that I decided to continue that tradition after them also.

These are just a few benefits that I had figured out from the lot. Just a small habit of story telling — be with grandparents or parents can strengthen the bonding as well the relations within the family.

If we categorize this time as “Fun time” or “Family time“, the children themselves eagerly wait for this particular time. In my case, even if I forget, my kids start shouting -” Mumma , Story Time. We want our daily dose.” They don’t even go to sleep without listening to the story. And that time is auspicious for me as well as for my babies and their grandparents.

But the habit is not developed by me alone. The whole credit goes to my grandmothers and their grandmothers.I remember their eager waiting for the session whether by Nani (mom’s mother) or Dadi (dad’s mother).

Stories themselves have many great benefits but being passed on by generations has many more advantages. I have realized the efforts, the love, the sentiments,the affection behind this small act of story telling is priceless.

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.

10 Ways To Teach Kids Gender Equality

Anyone who is even remotely associated with India knows that being a male in this part of the world is a privilege. Despite all the changing times a sense of superiority still comes with the territory. Gender equality is an ongoing battle. They are waited on, given preference, more than often pampered just a little bit extra. Older women in our society consider themselves blessed to be mothers of sons and  female members of some families still believe in this male dominance.

Yet, every day on social media pages I find some beautiful message celebrating daughters, about how lucky all these people are to be parents of amazing daughters. It is all so heartwarming! On the other hand there is news daily about the struggle that women face everyday.

The constant debate about how women are not safe, specially in India makes me feel how hollow all the endearment on social media is. The world is aware of these problems. The sexual harassment, violence towards women and gender inequality to name a few.

A while back I heard a talk from a very learned lady (cannot recall her name) on a social media platform. She said something along the lines of  “We Indians bring-up our sons in a totally wrong way”. Someone else mentioned “Don’t tell your daughters how to behave, teach your sons better”.

These two statements got me thinking, maybe we desperately need to change as a society.

“What a person becomes is a reflection on the whole society”.

This quote purely explains why we need core change.

I too am a mother, at times a very scared one! Telling my daughter to first be strong, then kind, smart and last of all beautiful inside. I don’t try to call her a princess as those pretty creatures are often lazy in looking out for themselves and depend on being rescued.

I try to teach my son better. But cannot control what goes on in the world. Things that are everywhere in the movies, media and our society. So, I made a list of things that I feel we need to teach our children.

No one is Special

Let’s try to teach our sons, being male is not a privilege. It is just as good as being any child,boy or girl. Every child will get everything in a balanced manner. No one owns the world just because of their gender.

Good Touch-Bad Touch

The word NO: These messages are loud and clear.At a young age all children need to be taught about this. There is so much helpful information about this topic online. I shared this with both my kids when they started pre-school respectively. The difference between a good and bad touch.Any touch that feels wrong or uncomfortable is to be stopped and screamed at by a big “NO”. As the Bollywood movie “PINK” recently emphasized, a NO means NO.It does not require any explanation.

If a person tells you to not touch them, you respect that.At the same time if you feel threatened by anyone learn to say “NO”.

Help Yourself

This is one thing I am a very firm believer of. Do not wait on your sons. I have asked my son to help me with small chores around the house, since the age he can manage to. Get your own water, pick up after yourself are some of the things that can be taught from a small age.

Boys Do Cook 

Last summer, my cousin’s son informed me that boys do not cook, mamas do, as they are girls. Few days later my son parroted the same line to me. I sat them both down and asked “Do you boys get hungry?” .Both nodded meekly at this trick question. So I informed them “Anyone who gets hungry, should know how to cook”. You see, hunger does not discriminate based on gender.


Talk about Sex

This is one very important question that has baffled parents far & wide. When to talk to child about it, at what age. Recently, my son who is nine, got to asking all sorts of questions. After dodging for a few months, I decided to tackle the matter head-on.

After some research online and talking to a few other mothers, I gave him a talk on the topic. The best approach I found is give all the age appropriate information, it acts as an insurance against any ill-informed influence. Helping the child to make right choices and not be a confused teenager, Looking to experiment .
Also, it is important as even boys are vulnerable and can be harassed.

Not Entitled to Any Estate 

Our boys in India come with readymade incomes from birth. It is assumed that a boy is entitled to all that the family owns and whatever he gets in the form of dowry.Let’s teach our sons some self-worth. I want to instill the value of hard work in my boy and teach him that all children have the same birth rights. No estate and no dowry can make our society so much better.

Be the Example

This is another very important thing we need to teach our sons. They need to learn to respect all women, starting from home. Don’t be the kind of woman who needs to be rescued. Be your own rescue (at least, most of the time). Set an empowered example ! Let your son understand that women can do all that men can and more. Try to be the kind of mother who takes the world in her stride. Be angry, be upset, be weak but rise from it and take charge of your own life.

Different People, Different Opinions

This is one important thing that all kids,boys and girls,need to be taught. Every day you will not meet like-minded people. Many will ridicule, criticize or threaten you. Kids need to understand to believe in themselves and stand up for their own rights. Also teach them to respect others point of view and opinions. Not every word or thought has to offend us, learn to walk away.

In a world getting intolerant by the minute, tolerance is an attribute to be cherished.


Reassure Them Of Their Place

Today this is a world which is really trying to uplift its girls and women on every possible platform and empower them. We all love our daughters to bits and constantly fight to safeguard their interests. But in all this our boys also need to be reassured of their special place. I make it a point to tell my son how important he is and will always be the biggest piece of my heart not because he is a boy but because he is my first baby.

[bctt tweet=”It is never too late to start trying and no step is ever too small in teaching kids about gender equality. #parenting #kids ” username=”contactrwc”]

Give Your Child a Growth Mindset

 

Gender Equality

Children need to learn that all human beings come with the same rights, despite their gender or sexual orientation.Though every one has their own strengths and weaknesses and the world would be a lot better in understanding and accepting that.

We as a society have strayed and things seem to be getting worse. But it is never too late to start trying and no step is ever too small.

We can start by trying at home, raise our kids to be the men and women we can be proud of tomorrow. What tips would you give to someone bringing up boys ?

10 Ways TO Teach Kids Gender Equality www.raisingworldchildren.com #genderequality #values #feminism #kids #teaching

Substitute Dad - The Story of A Stepfather

Substitute Dad – The Story of A Stepfather

My story is one of struggle and work but with a wonderful reward. Where a man came in and fulfilled a much-needed role missing in too many homes. The absent father.

This is the other side of single motherhood. The advent of the Substitute Father. This is when a man comes in and has a relationship with a single mother.

Our Love Story

It starts like all other relationships, man meets woman. Man falls for Woman. Woman has a child from a previous relationship. Suddenly Man has a new child to father.

Now as this is my story I need to give a little background. I was a bachelor with no children when I met this woman, never had any experience with fatherhood or raising children in any way.

So, one day after the wedding happens, suddenly this single man has a whole family. After the usual panic attack and the momentary self recrimination he gets to work.

Now don’t get me wrong this man has met the child before and in fact has a good relationship with him. There is a huge difference between being the boyfriend and being the new daddy.

Going From Stepfather to Father

The day comes where have to step up and father this young boy who has never had a male figure in his life with the exception of an absent and bitter father, A biological father who does not want to pay for his child.

So this day comes when the child has a need for direction, for a man to show him how to be a man. Now this is my job and I have absolutely no idea how to fulfill this in any meaningful way so I go to my backup plan.

The wonderful and all connecting Xbox.

So we sit together one day playing some game in which I am bad at and we begin to talk. It is slow at first with basic small talk. Talk about the game and instruction on how to get better at it, that was him instructing me as he is a natural wizard at it.

Small talk leads to something a little deeper and before you know it we two are connecting on a new and different level. A level that probes the hurt and pain that he feels at the abandonment by his biological father, the anger that he feels towards his mother and the lack of hope for a real future.

My heart breaks at his words but I know that I must be strong and give him the support and advice that he needs at this time. I take a deep breath and begin to tell him my own story of abandonment, of my lack of a father in my life and the negative effect that it had in my life.

He sits and listens to me while I recite my story, the game forgotten. Time goes by, questions are asked and honestly answered. On both sides, a deeper connection is made between two men, one an angry teen and one a confused and scared adult but more importantly between a father and a son.

Being a Father is Hard Work 

This was one the first of many conversations between myself and him. Conversations that were not always polite or civil. Angry words were said by both parties. Punishments and rewards were handed out. Love was created and nurtured.

Now he has moved on in his life, graduated High School and has been offered a scholarship to a local college. My son went from lost and lonely, desperate and afraid with no hope to a wonderful young man with a future. I like to think that my calm influence had something to do with that.

I say this not to pat myself on the back but to show that it can be done. For men out there who are in or entering into a relationship with a woman with a child.

You are the FATHER and it is your responsibility to act the part. It does not matter if your seed is their seed. Anyone can get a woman pregnant but it takes a real MAN to be a FATHER.

What do you think it takes to be a good father?

Story of a Stepfather - Substitute dads are wonderful guides, if they choose to be www.raisingworldchildren.com #dads #fathers #dadlife #stepfathers #parenting #values

Chris Segee is a leading coach in the field of Divorce Recovery and Author of the Best Selling The 90 Day Heal available on amazon. He has coached persons in the throes of divorce and other emotional turmoil for the past 20 years with dozens of success stories of saved marriages as well as saved souls of those who have been divorced. He welcomes any and all inquires to his email chrissegee@gmail.com
Cultural Storytelling - Its Importance and Impact On Our Kids

Cultural Storytelling – Its Importance and Impact On Our Kids

As we discussed in our previous article 7 Storytelling Hacks – Introducing Kids To Cultural Stories, Indian culture is rich with stories sharing life lessons, morals, traditions and values. Story telling is really an art and a story teller is an artist.

When I was teaching as a professor, I would introduce a new book to my students during my lecture. This will make them curious in reading the book. I would list the name of the book, author, publisher and cost of the book. Mostly I would list only those books I have read. Most of my students really appreciated this.

Still my students thank me for teaching them the toughest subjects like Data Structures, Programming and Operating System in an easier way. This was made possible only by experimenting various pedagogic tools. Among all,  story telling, puzzles, and role play are my favorites.

[bctt tweet=”Story telling is really an art and a story teller is an artist” username=”contactrwc”]

We are dedicate an hour in a week as Reading Hour in our family during Sundays. We three will engage ourselves in reading for that one hour. It’s a family bonding hour and relaxation hour too. And we have a policy of gifting friends and kids with interesting books only.

We are die hard fans of books and stationary items. And we are collecting books for setting up own library in our house. We are proud to share that we have collected nearly 300 books so far. My son is having his own collection of nearly 150 books.

Though Indian culture is rich with stories, story telling is found to be lacking in this modern era. The reasons for this are wide spread. With my personal experience as a mother and as a professor in an engineering college, here i have listed some important reasons for the lack of story telling.

Reasons for Lack of Story Telling

Raising World Children Cultural Stories

Teachers and parents are not able to tell stories in this modern world due to some difficulties as:

  • Limited time to complete the syllabus: In schools and colleges, they have only limited time to complete the prescribed portions. Hence they could not experiment with many pedagogic tools like story telling, role play and all.
  • High stress in working environment: Parents are facing work pressure and high stress beyond their limits. They are being driven by annual targets, performance hikes, societal pressure, and work challenges. So they love to relax in front of TV when they are back home.
  • Lack of time: Moreover, parents also not finding time to read stories and other topics. They have to manage the physical, financial, emotional and critical needs of their family. All these demands time for its execution.
  • Less priority: Parents are not aware of  the benefits of story telling and spending quality time with their kids. They are happily satisfied  by providing them with expensive gifts and hi tech life. They have hope on quantities than the quality. Work is their higher priority.
  • Lack of interest: Social media and digital gadgets are becoming the most important in our life. They are slowly making us to be lazy.  Both parents and kids are not interested in traditional stories, games and discussions.
  • High homework stress to kids: Kids are being forced only to get academic excellence rather than getting real world knowledge. The performance of a kid is measured only by exam marks and not by his interests and talents.
  • Effect of Micro Families: In earlier days, my father and grandfather and all lived in the same house as joint family. And today micro / nuclear family is the trend. The parents are running for their life and the kids are dumped with the maids, or gadgets or  play schools. So nobody is there to tell them the fascinating stories.

Advantages to Cultural Storytelling 

While it is totally understandable that life gets in the way of creating a magical land fueld by imagination, the impact is tremendous. Science says that story telling has numerous benefits.

Moral values Get Rooted Deeply

Through stories and plays, it’s very easy to inculcate the moral values and positive things in the minds of kids. They get those values deep rooted in their hearts and will learn life lessons too.

Makes Younger Minds Malleable

 Younger minds can grasp easily and can learn the morals and values from the stories. It’s easier to built a positive attitude in the minds of younger kids than the grown up adults.

Encourages Kids To Be Curious

 Kids may be introduced with adventures, science fiction, riddles, and traditions through stories. They also develop their knowledge by exploring their culture, tradition and inventing new things.

Vocabulary Is Improved

By reading and listening, kids can improve their word power. They build their confidence in communicating their heart. They will be introduced with new words and thus their vocabulary gets improved.

Screen Gets Reduced

Story telling aids in lesser screen time. It keeps the kids creative and active. Their self confidence and the art of communication gets improved. This will lead to happier and stress free life.

Kid’s Memory and Focus  Enhances

By repeating and replaying the stories, kid’s memory and concentration power gets enhanced. It really helps in decision making and boosting their potential to face the life with much confidence.

Kids Develop Empathy

They develop a deeper understanding of the world around them, in terms of people, history and subtext. It is important to explore different varieties of stories like the ones we have in our cultural section.

Do you tell stories to your kids? What are your favorite stories? What is your favorite time in a day? List your suggestions for spending quality time with your kids. Looking forward to read your stories.

Cultural Storytelling - It's importance and impact on our kids. www.raisingworldchildren.com #cultures #storytelling #stories #kids #kidslearnfromstories #countries

Vasantha 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.

 

 

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.

Kindness - Theethya Satish Narayan

Kindness – Theethya Satish Narayan

 

I am Theethya. I am 5 years old. I live in Dublin, Ohio. I like to do drawing and craft work. I love to play with my dad and granny’s. My favorite cartoon is “Peppa Pig”.When I grow up I want to become a eye doctor. I like to sing and dance. My favorite game is to do puzzle fixing.


 

Kindness is doing something nice for daddy or mummy or friends. I made this frame for my dad. I want to surprise my dad while he come back from office. He really got surprised and I got hugs and kisses from him. I love when my mom and I are doing craft work. I made the frame using the popstick. I enjoyed painting the popstick and sticking the beads and foamsheets. It was a great fun doing this.

Kindness - Hazel Batra

Kindness – Hazel Batra

 

My name is Hazel. I am 6 years old. I like to do drawing and dancing. I don’t like to be out by myself. My favorite festival is Christmas. I like to eat pasta. I play with my little sister. I love my mom and dad.

 


Kindness is

  1. Feed the birds.
  2. Read books to someone.
  3. Open door for others.
  4. Sharing toys with your friends.
  5. Giving your lovely smiles.
  6. Donate food, drinks and toys.
  7. Make a thankyou card for teacher.
  8. Set table for dinner.
Kindness - Aarav Singh

Kindness – Aarav Singh

My name is Aarav. I like Ninjago lego toys. I don’t like kids that bully me. I like to eat pizza, fries and mom’s green chicken. My favorite Indian festival is Holi. My favorite American holiday is Christmas. I will make the world a better place by recycling and helping friends.

 


Kindness is helping each other. In Ninajago Lego, Jai helps Kai jump to make Lord Garbadon fall. He throws Kai into the air and destroys Lord Garbadon’s fort. By doing that, Jai showed being a good friend to Kai. Good friends always help each other. It is important to be kind to because it is the right thing to do. 

Disciplining In Times of Online Video Games

Disciplining In Times of Online Video Games

Discipline. Specially in the times of video games and Nintendos is hard. Parental discipline varies throughout the world. What’s the norm for one culture is considered overly harsh in another. A study from 2010 from six different countries showed that the discipline techniques across various cultures tends to be most effective depending on what that area of the world deems as the norm.

With my own children, now 20 and 24, discipline styles differed between their father’s house and my own, my house being much more lax in discipline. Not to say that I didn’t discipline. Quite the opposite. The difference being, my style had strong communication at it’s core.

Personal Journey with Disciplining My Son

I reflect back to a time when my son was 11 and had been playing an online game at his father’s house. Once he got ahead in the game, my son had access to communicate with people from all over the world. I wasn’t happy in this particular phase. But I tried to figure out a way where all of us could be happy.

[bctt tweet=”I had to find a way to instill values in him while making sure I don’t take away his favorite hobby.” username=”contactrwc”]

I gave my son a host of rules and regulations on a handmade ‘contract,’ which he had to sign and agree to follow. I also told him I would be playing the game as well so I could keep up with his conversations with others and keep an eye on the activities.

A silver lining which I didn’t expect, was that it gave the two of us something to talk about. Something we had in common. Where many sons are pulling away from their parents, I was pleased that we were creating a bond and communicating more and not just about the game.

After a couple months of him and his friends playing this online video game, my son came home from his best friend’s house and told me he was unable to sign in to the game. What he didn’t know was that I was able to access a particular area of the game.  This allowed me to see any inappropriate conversations he had with other people in which he had been ‘reported’.

While he stood over my shoulder watching me access this area, he started to get antsy. What I discovered was that he was swearing at strangers and even in one instance, got into a conversation with someone where the topic of girl’s chest were being discussed.

I told him how sad it made me to see that he broke the rules. I told him I was extremely disappointed in the language he had chosen to use. In an effort to defend his stance that he did nothing wrong, he blamed it on his friend playing on his account. I called his bluff and said I would contact his best friend’s mother. I knew that she would want to be informed that her son was using such foul language.

I have to admit, the sheer panic and desperate pleas where almost humorous. I knew perfectly well, this was my son’s own doing. For more than forty five minutes, I simply and firmly expressed my disappointment in his choices. Finally, his shoulders slouched down in defeat and he asked, “Can’t you just spank me and get this over with?”

“No, as a matter of fact, I can’t,” I told him. I made him call his best friend to apologize for his poor behavior and he also was to apologize to his friend’s mom. For using such bad judgement with his inappropriate language, at her house and with her son.

Immediately after disconnecting the call, I turned to see my son was standing there with silent tears rolling down his face. We spoke about the circumstances for a bit more then I sent him to his room after grounding him from the game for for two weeks. I actually changed his password so he was unable to play.

A day or so later, he was laying on the living room floor watching TV. He told me his stomach really hurt. “Are you thinking about what you did?” I asked. He quickly sat up and asked, “How did you know!?”

I sat beside him and expressed my happiness that his stomach hurt. He looked at me with utter confusion. I said, “I’m glad your stomach hurts because that tells me that you now know that you have done something very wrong. If your stomach didn’t hurt, I would be very concerned that you hadn’t learned a lesson here.”

I reached out and hugged him. As I did, I whispered in his ear, “Do you think some ice cream might help your stomach, sweetheart?” The two of us went out to the local ice cream parlor and as we ate, I made sure not to bring up the previous day’s bitterness. The focus was now completely on the lessons he’d learned.

I know I’ve been far from perfect in disciplining my children, but it is these experiences which turned out to be the ones they still remember now that they’re young adults.

Now getting back to the 2010 discipline study, what was found was that in all six of the countries included in the study, the more harsh the type of discipline used in an attempt to correct poor behavior, the more aggression, anxiety and other problematic behavior was left in it’s wake. I feel we can all learn something as we read through this important study.

So no matter what your culture’s norm, try taking a breath. Muting our own reactions to our children’s poor behavior, is said to improve our results. What do you find works during disciplining? Specially, in this digital age.

How To Discipline Kids IN The Times of VIdeo/Online Games www.raisingworldchildren.com #onlinegames #videogames #discipline #parenting

Janie Saylor is a professional certified coach with a degree in psychology, her focus is in the emerging field of positive psychology. Janie is the mom of two grown children, her son, age 20, and her daughter, age 24. Being the mom of a recovering addict and an advocate for addiction and recovery, also brings a new dimension into Janie’s writings and life experiences. In 2006, Janie published a book, “The Road You’ve Traveled, How to Journal Your Life,” which came from her experiences teaching life journaling to people over the age of 60 for 10+ years in many different communities in the Metro Detroit area. Janie’s used her experiences and education as she developed 8-week online coaching program and has had tremendous success in improving the communication, lives and relationships of her clients. You can contact her at LifeCoachJane@gmail.com >

Kindness - Radhika Goyal

Kindness – Radhika Goyal

My name is Radhika Goyal. I am in First Grade. My favorite thing to do is play outdoors and art. My favorite thing is Ipad. Whe I play outside I like playing ball and hola hoop and bubbles. When I am drawing I draw happy things. I like going to Disney World. My favorite color is blue pink and purple. My favorite food is sambar rice. I am 6 years old.


 

Being kind is good. One way is to help someone when they are feeling sad. Another way is to share something. Another way that you can be kind is write a nice note to someone and give her a hug.

 

Kindness - Ailani

Kindness – Ailani

My name is Ailani. I am 5 years old. I like gymnastics and making people smile. I don’t like being bored. I want to be a gymnast when I grow up. My favorite holiday is my birthday!

 


I show kindness to my friends by making them smile and helping them when they need help. Being kind means sharing love and doing things that make people feel happy. My Mommy helps me with all of my business stuff and selling my candy bouquets.

Chinese New Year - Jiya Patel

Chinese New Year – Jiya Patel

Hi! My name is Jiya Patel and I am 10 years old and I love puppies. I also love to bake and want to be a baker when I grow up and adopt a puppy. My favorite festival is Holi which is an Indian festival of colors. During Holi we play with colors and we dance a lot. I love to get messy with the colors. The first time I ever celebrated Holi was when I was 1 year old, but I have not played in years until recently this year

 


 

The Chinese New Year (CNY) is also known as the Spring Festival in China. In 2017, CNY was celebrated on January 28, 2017. It is the most important festival or holiday in china of the whole year. On the CNY the most important part is the family reunion. A lot of Chinese people prepare for the New Year by going shopping, visiting relatives, and doing fireworks. This is a lot like the Indian Festival called Diwali. During Diwali me and my family gets together with relatives and do many similar things like shopping for new clothes and doing fireworks all night long followed by a big Indian dinner. I would love to celebrate the CNY, if I could as I would most enjoy going shopping and fireworks. My brother who is 4 years old is very scared of fireworks, and runs inside the house when we do fireworks as it gets very loud.

Chinese New Year - Riya Jaldu

Chinese New Year – Riya Jaldu

My name is Riya Jaldu. I am in third grade. My favorite thing to do is draw and make art. My favorite is dog (or puppy). I live in Fresco, Texas. My drawing is based on Chinese New Year.I chose because I love making designs. I knew I should have used my designing skills and made beautiful lanterns. The dragon is only good because I practiced. So, don’t look at this and say ” I wish I could draw like that”. You should say, ” Cool, I know if I practice one day I will be good like her.

 


 

Chinese New year also called as Lantern festival is an important festival celebrated by Chinese. It is also called Lantern festival because on that day thousands of lanterns are lit and released in the sky. And lots of people gather to see the dragon parade.It is their tradition. This festival celebrated between January 21 and February 20 according to Lunar calendar.

I have a friend who is Chinese, we studied together in 1st grade in my old school. Now she is in 3rd grade just like me. She said that each year is marked by one of the chinese Zodiac animals like, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Boar, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, and Snake.

Chinese New year reminds me of Diwali because of the lights ( lanterns). The part that I would enjoy watching is the the lanterns float to the sky. I would really want to celebrate this festival because it would be cool to see the parades go down the street.