Protect Earth: Talking to Children about Plastic Pollution

Protect Earth: Talking to Children about Plastic Pollution

Talking to children about plastic pollution is paramount. This below statement just about sums up the plight of our planet.

“For small and immediate gains never loose the wisdom to foresee future loses.”

The news channels have been bringing gruesome images to our drawing rooms. Birds , fishes and all kinds of other creatures dying due to plastic pollution.

What is interesting, these living beings are suffering due to our callous attitude.

The bane of our existence “Plastic”.

Plastic was invented and it revolutionized the human world. It won’t break like glass. Lasts longer than paper. Cheaper than metal, so on and so forth.

Here is where we got dealt a bad hand, for the present profits we jeopardized our whole future.

Like most of the human inventions this one is also backfiring and in a major way.

We are getting choked to the brim in plastic and now reeling in the after effects.This thing that takes at least 400 years to decompose is everywhere.

Even in the remotest of places where you might not find a human being some form of plastic can be found flapping in the wind.

Before we place all the blame on plastic let me tell you it is not the plastic that is the culprit, it’s us. Human beings.

Let’s introspect, we invented this thing put it to some really good uses while at the same time for small profits, let it get out of hand and turn into an uncontrollable situation.

Talking to Children about Plastic Pollution

What we can do:

The time to act on this is now. The onus lies with each and every one of us. Along with raising kids to understand the world we have to teach them to understand the environment too.

Talking to children about plastic pollution starts here.

Learn the value of “Planet First”.

The earth is the most important thing they will inherit, rest all is replaceable. While teaching them we have to incorporate it in our lives too, make it second nature to think about our planet first.

There is so much that needs to be rectified environmentally but we can start at the basics. While plastic has all encompassed our lives not all of it is bad. What is slowly choking the planet to death is the waste that is being generated by us through single use plastic.

Talking to Children about Plastic Pollution

At the basic level what should be done? Here are some small steps that we can even make our kids a part of.

Stop buying :

The first thing on this list is plastic straws and cups followed by any other form of single use plastic. Look around us even single pieces of fruit are wrapped in plastic. These bits of plastic get thrown away and more often then not end up in landfills. The trick is just don’t buy the items that come in these pretty packagings. Not only is it economical it also helps curb plastic waste generation. Buy sustainable and reusable straws and cups. Carry own water bottles. Sometimes if it is inevitable to use plastic items then recycle.

No wastage:

Again the same solution that is purse friendly too, don’t buy. We need to curb the mindless consumerism. Our kids don’t use half of what we buy them. Look around at the toys that are forgotten the minute they are unpacked, mostly plastic. Stationery that is filled up in boxes waiting to be acknowledged, again mostly plastic. These things get thrown out once they have completed their duration of being useless. New things are bought and it is an endless cycle. Break it. Go through what the kids have, rediscover and use it. Educate them about the significance of buying less for a healthier planet.


Whatever is surplus share it. Donate toys, stationery, books.

One persons waste might be another’s treasure. Use things well, most things have a life and when put to optimum use save some money too.

Still whatever you might not need and are sure you will only end up hoarding donate it. It can be difficult to let go of things after paying money for but if you don’t use it for a few months chances are you will not use it. Think of it as a service to your planet.


The most important thing that we need to incorporate in our lives. Recycle everything that can be recycled. Don’t throw plastic waste mindlessly anywhere. Talking to children about plastic pollution starts with talking about recycling.

Upgrading phones or computers recycle the old ones. All the electronic stores provide the option to recycle.

It might be a bit of a stretch to locate that recycling bin for recycling of everyday use plastic, but it is pertinent that we do that.

According to stats only a very small percentage of plastic is recycled leading to disastrous consequences. Talk to children about how every piece of plastic is harming the planet and what needs to be done. Educate them and help them identify the areas in life where plastic waste can be reduced. Every small effort counts.

The crucial time to act was yesterday and there is so much that can be done, these are just some baby steps. We as a planet are already walking thin ice and heading towards imminent ruin.

Us adults need to wake up to the damage that has been done all the while instilling in the next generation an appreciation of a sustainable lifestyle. Our planet deserves better than being choked to death with plastic.

Learn more ways to protect earth by helping kids nurture their little gardens.

Books for Travel - Summer Series Multicultural Kids Blogs

Elementary Aged Kids Can Travel the World with These Books

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

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

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

(Aff Links)

Elementary Aged Kids Travel the World with Books

Maya and Neel Series

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

Goodnight Series

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

Travel Guide Series

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

Goodnight Series

Nick and Aya Series

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

National Geographic Series

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

Seymour and Hau Series

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

50 States Guide & Activity Book

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

Flat Stanley Series

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

Real Kids, Real Stories Series

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


Hello World Series

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

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


Elementary Aged Kids Can Travel the World with These Books

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

The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

To say that my son is a perfectionist would be a huge understatement. He does not like making mistakes. And the idea of doing something wrong paralyzes him so much that he won’t even try something unless he knows that he can do it.

So I do what every mom is supposed to do, keep reminding him that it’s OK to make mistakes and that learning from our mistakes helps us all grow our brain power.

On one such day of advice-giving, he looks up at me and says, “If I make a mistake, you get angry.” That was the day that I realized that his extreme reactions came from my unrealistic expectations.

That was also the day I understood that Moms can and often make mistakes.

The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

Observe Yourself

So I started observing my behavior around my son. Every time he made a mistake, frown lines would appear on my face as if by magic. If the mistakes continued despite repeated instructions, my soft voice got louder. In a few days, I observed myself losing control more often than I would have liked. It felt as if someone else resided in me and she would take charge every once in a while.

Then, I had to follow up with the real work of catching myself while making those mistakes. It is so much easier to catch something once it has already been done. After-all, hindsight is always 20/20. The real challenge was to identify it right before it started.

So, every time that I felt I was losing control, I would count to ten, or start chanting Om. I also kept reminding myself that I was dealing with another human being, a little one who had his own share of feelings and emotions. And the little child’s expressions as he looked at my face was a bit too much to bear.

Shift Your Perspective

It took all my positive spirit to make myself understand that making mistakes was not the end of the world. I kept reminding myself and forgiving myself every time I lost control of my emotions. It took quite a bit of self-talk to come to terms with this side of me.

I even compared myself to the great Kramer in one episode of Seinfeld, where he decides not to talk. The guy would start talking and then in the middle of his speech, remember his oath, and state, “And it starts now!” That became my catch-phrase, my new mantra …It starts now!

But the most important thing that I did was to make a point of sharing with my son that getting angry over making mistakes was a huge blunder in itself. He had a huge grin on his face when he understood that I was the one in trouble for a change and that he got to “forgive” me.

And they live happily-ever-after

The day finally came, when both of our hard work gave us some tangible result. My son and I were singing a song at a pitch of G sharp.

As the song progressed, my son shook his head from time to time, even as he continued to sing. By the end of the song, I caught on to the fact that we were both singing in different pitches. I had gone down to F sharp which was not how we started the song.

I knew that all my efforts to teach him the value of making mistakes were not wasted when my little one waited for the song to get over, each of us singing in different pitches, and then exclaimed, “Mom you made a mistake … but that’s alright, you still sang well!”

Change in our children begins with us.


The Accepted Culture Of "Body Shaming"

The Accepted Culture Of “Body Shaming”

I will begin by saying, I was very apprehensive talking about this topic “Body Shaming”.

We are a multicultural platform. Often we talk about how various issues are dealt across different cultures. I for one is always on the lookout for things that might be similar across all cultures. One that tops the charts is “body shaming”, so despite my hesitation here I am.

The “culture of body shaming” is one concept that is consistent across all “cultures”.

No disparity, trust me.

If you have a physical drawback in one culture then you have it across all the cultures and you will be duly reminded of it. This begins from the day you are born.

So were you a cute as a baby or not so much? See what i mean?


It comes in so many forms and is mostly termed harmless, even wrapped as “constructive” criticism.

If any conversation or comment about your physical appearance belittles you, makes you question your worth or as a result of which you gradually lose confidence in yourself then it is “body shaming”.

This is a very difficult and somewhat sensitive subject, all the same talking about “body shaming” is tantamount for a healthy childhood. Surprisingly it affects kids and at very young age too.

A flippant remark about someones physical appearance can change the way kids look at people. The worth of a person gets associated with how they look and a tiny seed of body shaming is sown.

Granted we cannot watch what we say all the time but being a bit more careful before judging someone solely on their physical appearance can go a long way.

How can we deal with body shaming? Here are a few things I feel might help.


One morning in 1994 thousands of teenage girls across India waited with bated breath in front of their television screens as Sushmita Sen was crowned “Miss Universe”.

These pageants are supposed to be all about physical beauty but it also signified something dramatic, something more significant.

That moment is etched on so many minds as a declaration to the world “we girls of India have arrived, we can touch the sky”. For many teen eyes it was about what a girl can be and achieve in new day India.

Sadly, overtime it became all about physical beauty and even Sushmita Sen was not above body shaming.

The Miss Universe straightened her crown and proved to the world she is more than a beautiful body. An epitome of inner strenghth. A person who owns her decisions and grows with them.

Every strong person who can forge their own path and gets back up after each fall is a beautiful person. Beauty is as beauty does.


It’s so easy to count your physical flaws everyday for recreational purposes. But when your 6 year old tells you they don’t like their face it hits you hard.

It won’t matter how many times you tell them they are perfect as they are. It has to start with you.

Children imitate what they see including body shaming.

To endorse self love in our kids we need to endorse it ourselves. Love that not so perfect nose, flabby tummy, the skin that could have behaved better at ageing. Everything.

We need to learn “If i love my body no one has the right to tell me otherwise”.

Be warned Self love is very difficult. I have had near strangers remind me to be unhappy because of my body and how it looks “ugly”.

Their duty done, all in the name of promoting a healthy life, sprinkled with the holy knowledge that guarantees longevity. Only forgetting to mention “Also be very careful while crossing any roads, use zebra crossings, and you will live to eternity”.

Though only what is does is, add one more miserable person to the bandwagon of self haters with a few million more to go.

Your body has only you to love it, improve it if possible but do not hate it. There are enough people doing it for you.


My children need to learn that no persons body gives them the right to shame it. Nor does anybody has the right to do the same to them.

I highly commend those people who change their bodies for the better. What if some one is incapable of doing so? Don’t they deserve a happy judgement free existence?

As it is the world has too many broken people, no one needs to add to it.

There are people who were born with severe physical imperfections but have thrived and lived successful lives. It’s a person that rises above the odds not just a body.

“If you see a person struggling give them a hand, don’t pull them down further”. This might just be a statement but it has the potential to change the mindset of an entire generation.

So if you have ever been body shamed for height, weight, complexion, a disability or anything it’s time to put your foot down.

To all those whose sensibilities get offended by all of our “not-perfect” bodies, there is a simple science, please look away.

There are hordes of people whose intellect frustrates me or personality I might not like, but that does not give me the right to shame them.

No ones physical appearance makes them lesser human beings, neither do they deserve to be treated unfairly.

As we step into a new year, we all resolve to be better parents, friends or life partners. I also resolve to be a more tolerant and body confident person.

Have you also encountered body shaming? Do share your views on the subject.

5 Fun Tips to Raise Globally Minded Kids

5 Fun Tips to Raise Globally Minded Kids

“Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” Ceaser Chavez

In a world where many buy into the rhetoric of otherness and extreme nationalist sentiments creep on today’s political scene, raising global children becomes a necessity that cannot be overlooked by parents and educators alike.

Nowadays it is important to embrace the fact that gaining a global mindset should not be conceived as an “either-this or-that” subject. To support globalism doesn’t make us less patriotic. To favor nationalism doesn’t stop us from being global aware. This otherness idea is pulling our world apart at the moment and our children are the only hope to bring it back together in the future.

But how to raise global minded children while still loving our own country’s traditions?

From our own experience as a multicultural family living overseas, we conclude that to increase our children’s cultural intelligence we needed to keep track of the three Big C’s: commitment, consistency and creativity. Commitment to the important objective of thinking globally and building bridges between our differences and commonalities. Consistency to constantly feed our kids with useful information about other cultures. Creativity to promote global awareness in a fun way while using age appropriate language and material.

How to bring the three Big C’s to the reality of your own family?

Here are a few tips to help you raise global minded citizens at home. Remember that this list is by no means exhaustive, if you decide to start the rewarding adventure of promoting cultural awareness in your family make sure you use as many resources, tools and creatives ideas as possible to obtain the best outcome.

  • Make room for a world map

Children learn a huge amount through their senses and for that they need lots of relevant opportunities to explore the objects around them. What better way to understand the abstract idea of countries, geographical distance and cultural connections than with a world map?

World maps come in every size, color, texture and some even include sounds! It doesn’t have to be an expensive map, that’s up to you, but it is key to acquire a map that is colorful to attract your child’s attention. Additionally, choose a special place to hang your map up. Family rooms are great places to display your map. We spend a huge deal of time in the kitchen, so ours is hanging up right there in the kitchen next to our breakfast table.

Once you own a world map, use it! Ask your children to point where their home country is and go from there. The possibilities to explore a world map are numerous! Some fun ideas is to work with your kiddos locating countries where Halloween is celebrated; write some sentences about an specific country chosen by your family or even make a 60-second presentation of Christmas around the world during snack time.

Did I already say that you need to be creative?

  1. Start exploring your own culture

It is proven that to respect somebody else’s traditions you need to start by embracing your own. For your kids to grow up global, it is necessary to build a foundation strong enough to support all the new info that will improve their cultural intelligence.

Please do remember that to love someone or something we have to love and accept ourselves first. Same applies to culture. If you and your child don’t know your own traditions, how will you establish commonalities between you and other people’s culture?

Therefore begin by exploring local language, festivals, food, literature and art. Schedule a few weeks for your family to really experience its own cultural identity. Highlight things done at home that are part of your cultural background. Help your kids express who they are, form ideas and connections over this period of time. If they are too young to express their interests and opinions through language, encourage them to use art as a form of communication.

Don’t forget to enroll relatives and friends in this adventure. If you don’t reside in your birth country, connecting with grandparents who can provide a clearer idea of your family’s cultural identity is a must! Your mission is to expose your child to his or her roots. This is something that will benefit all family members and surely increase your CQ (cultural intelligence).

  1. Discover your artistic side

Art projects are a wonderful way to explore culture. But how to use crafts to learn about other countries? Gather information from the Internet to write a schedule of art projects for your children. Also, highlight important holidays around the world and search for fun ideas to use art to discover new traditions. The arts provide a fantastic opportunity for young children to holistically learn about the world.

It is a great idea to invite relatives and teachers to help children with their multicultural art projects as well. Keep in mind that the possibilities are endless and crafts aren’t restricted to just painting and gluing stuff. Encourage your kids to take photographs or draw an abstract picture of their lives at home and of what they see during travels. For more cross-cultural inspiration visit multicultural blogs, Pinterest, and other websites that promote diversity awareness.

  1. Time for Journalism

Provide your children with a notebook, pencil, colored pencils, old magazines, and newspapers and invite them to put on their writers cap. Journalism is a powerful tool to learn about ourselves, our own culture and other countries’ traditions. It is also a great way to track progress, so your kid can see for himself how far he has come since starting his growing-up-global journey.

By setting aside fifteen minutes twice a week in the evenings to journal, your children commit time to their multicultural adventure each week and that allows them to check in, express their own emotions about traditions, and redirect their focus. Maybe there are certain aspects of a culture that they don’t agree with, or that they don’t understand well. This is the opportunity to review the impact of diversity awareness in your child’s life and learn how to accept other people’s traditions in a respectful manner.

  1. Put on your aprons and chef hats

Cooking can be an effective way to protect our culture, our food and our family stories. It is also a great resource to learn about other country’s identity and connect with people from around the world. The significance of a meal goes beyond the taste and aromas, a traditional meal creates a deep connection between food, kinship and culture. And what’s best? Children love to cook!

Arm yourself with recipes from around the world including your own family recipes. Involve your children in the cooking part and explain to them the relevance of such a meal for the culture of a country. Relate food to holidays to enhance the learning experience. I have always stressed the story of the ingredients, where they come from, their taste and unique features. The goal is to teach our children about diverse others by doing and tasting culture.

Did you find some other great ideas of your own while reading this article? If yes, share them with us down in the comments.

If no, don’t feel discourage. Here is a tip you can use right away: talk to your children about their favorite traditions from your own culture this evening during dinner. Remember to be passionate and curious about cultures and your kids will follow your example. Be driven to spread cultural awareness and appreciation of your own culture through art, writing, food, and observation.

Join me on my journey to raising little nomads.

It is a challenging journey but oh so rewarding! You will enjoy it!

Teaching Little Kids Big Lessons

Teaching Little Kids Big Lessons

Today, we meet Karishma Bathla, an author out to teach little kids life lessons through books about big people. People who have made a name for themselves by doing BIG things.

Tell us more about yourself?

I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, professional and most recently, a self-published author. My foray into writing children’s books is the first step towards fulfilling my dream to become a full-time writer. Currently, my full-time job and career is in Finance. When I am not working, I love to travel, cook new dishes, read (especially to my son), spend time with my family and write.

How did you come to your passion/profession?

My passion for writing children’s books stems from two things: my love for reading and my desire to teach my son important lessons in life.

Earlier this year, my husband and I were reading books about Jeff Bezos & Tony Hsieh. My son, who is 4, would ask us to read those books to him. But, given his young age, short attention span, and no pictures to look at, he would stop listening and go back to playing.

That’s when I thought “how can I teach my son and other kids about such inspirational people while teaching them important lessons.” And, that’s how my book series “Little Kids’ Big Lessons” was born.

Tell us about your family.

I currently live in Seattle, WA with my husband and 4-year-old son. Prior to Seattle, I’ve lived in Houston, Texas and Queens, New York. My son has a variety of interests but his favorite are reading, playing sports, building with Legos and playing with his toy cars. My husband & I love to travel to different countries, spend time with our son, and discuss business ideas.

How many places have you lived? How has that affected your world view?

I have lived in three states in the U.S. – I was born & raised in New York, lived in Texas after marriage, and currently live in Washington.

There are a few principles that I live by:

  • Find the good in people, irrespective of where they are from,
  • Don’t let a few bad apples cloud your judgement about one culture/region,
  • Respect others and learn from them,
  • Work hard and always do your best,
  • Think positive and positive things will happen to you, and
  • Give back to those in need.


What do you think are three biggest struggles most parents go through teaching kids about Indian personalities?

I think the three biggest struggles are: (1) there is limited awareness, (2) particularly for those living in the U.S, there is limited focus on world personalities outside the US in the education system and (3) of the few there are to learn about, we only focus on a portion of those personalities (i.e. Mahatma Gandhi.)

My book series is different in that it will be about people of modern times, not the past. And, they will be about people from different countries/cultures so children will learn that you can be from anyplace and accomplish anything.



How do you suggest parents encourage kids to imbibe qualities of people from the past? How have you?

Reading. I am a big believer that reading is a powerful method to teach kids anything. This habit can, and should be, developed from a young age. When they are younger, they have a big appetite for learning and are very curious. They also learn a lot through repetition and reading the same books about such people will help to solidify the positive qualities in their minds.

Please tell us about your vision to teaching kids about the world?

My vision is to help children establish a solid foundation built on important values that will help them throughout their life.

What are three pieces of advice you would like to share with parents?

I’ve only been a parent for 4 years now and based on this little time, I can share what has worked for me:

(1) be your children’s’ friend,

(2) help them understand the difference between right & wrong and

(3) recognize their abilities and encourage them to develop those and be the best they can be.

How does one raise multicultural kids today in an ever evolving world?

The key is to highlight the similarities among cultures while acknowledging and accepting differences.

Openly discuss with them about people of other cultures and answer any questions they may have. Encourage them to read about people from different parts of the world and highlight what they can learn from those people.

Do you have anything to share with our readers? 

I’ve started a book series called “Little Kids’ Big Lessons” that aims to teach young children values that will help them in life. Each book tells the story of a successful, inspirational person of today and how they have changed the world. Each book highlights a key value that has helped them become successful. The books are written in a simple, easy to read format with colorful illustrations. Both parents and children will enjoy.

My first book is called “A Curious Boy Named Jeff.” It tells the story of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and how curiosity helps him to learn new things every day and the world around him.



My second book is called “Reach For The Stars Like Kalpana.” It tells the story of Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian origin woman to go to space, and how determination helped her make her dreams come true.

I would encourage parents to get a copy of either (or both) books.

Download this FREE BOOKMARK!


At Raising World Children, we are on the constant look out for world changers. People who are trying in small or big ways to make the world a better place.

Find out more about Karishma here. Don’t forget to grab one of her amazing books for your kids.

When Did Being a Mom Become a Competitive Sport?

When Did Being a Mom Become a Competitive Sport?

Competitive momming is a problem, a big problem. It feels as though we’ve lost our villages, especially when everyone on social media seems to be playing the one-upsmanship game.The thing is, competitive parenting isn’t new, it’s just that we see it a lot more.

Feeling as though life is a competition can lead to some pretty bad problems with depression, especially for new moms.  Here are some ways to deal with it when it comes up – whether in person or online.

Ask yourself if the person is actually trying to compete.

Sometimes, what we take as competition really isn’t. A mom may be socially awkward and may be trying to relate to you. Others may be trying to share something that they’re excited about, but it’s not translating that way on social media, or the delivery is off.

Sometimes, too, when we feel someone’s trying to compete, it’s really more about ourselves. We might feel that we’re lacking in some way or another and misread the intent as snarky. It’s important to try to see through what’s being said to what’s being intended.

Ask yourself why the person might be trying to compete

Might the individual in question be experiencing feelings of self-consciousness or guilt him or herself? This can cause people to be more competitive than they ordinarily would be. For example, a mom who is feeling guilty about having her child in day care because her family is trying to shame her for working or who is self-conscious because she’s a stay-at-home mom and getting flack about not working may come off as more snarky than she intends to if she’s put on the defensive.

If you feel that the person may be acting in a competitive way from a place of vulnerability, validate his or her claim, then complement the person on something that she’s doing well.

Don’t feed the troll

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a situation where a parent is one-upping others or maybe you. Joey did great on his spelling test, so Debbie feels the need to comment that her Chandler got skipped a grade ahead, and Alison states that her Gina is homeschooled and working at an 8th grade level at age 7.

Don’t give into the impulse to pile on. Yes, maybe Alex just got another belt level in karate, but does it need to be said? Instead, go back to the original focus, Joey, and tell his mom to congratulate him on the good work he’s done.

The pile of stuff competition

I see this every holiday season, and it’s something that personally makes me nuts. A parent either posts about not giving kids a bunch of toys, or sticking to 4 gifts, or posts a photo of an overstuffed Easter basket or overflowing Christmas tree. People pile onto the original poster and attempt to shame the person into doing things their way.

No matter how bad you might want to, don’t add to it. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if you’re an extreme giver or a four gifter or you do no gifts at all but experiences and others do differently. What does matter is that what your tradition is makes you and your family happy.

Watch your own urge to compete

It’s natural to want to show off your child, but remember, your child’s achievements belong to him or her, not you. It’s one thing to share those achievements, it’s another to brag about them.

Before you comment on someone else’s post or announcement with a competitive bend, ask yourself if you’re really adding something to the conversation. It may be better to instead congratulate the person and save your own announcement for another time.

What have you done to reduce competition?

What actions have you used to reduce competition when you’ve seen it? Have you found something that works well to de-escalate the situation? Share in the comments.

When did Parenting Become a Competitive Sport? Parenting Competition needs to be avoided

  Freelance writer and entrepreneur Ronda Bowen has been publishing articles on a variety of topics including parRonda Bowen Raising World Children – Where Cultures Meet Parentingenting and education for the past decade after leaving a graduate program in philosophy. She has four children ranging in age from 6 months to 19 years old. She believes that it is vital to raise children to be globally aware and to have empathy for others. Current projects include two blogs, political website, fundraising for an international non-profit organization, and a handmade business.

Unstructured Play :  Let Kids Unwind Organically

Unstructured Play : Let Kids Unwind Organically

School until 3:00pm.  Soccer at 3:30 pm.  Dance at 6:30 pm.  Quick dinner and homework until 9:30 pm.  Bedtime. Repeat.  Over and over again.  Check with almost any parent today, and they can recite a litany of their child’s structured activities, all designed to enrich the childhood experience.  And it does.  But there’s something else to consider.  Time to play.  Not just any play.


Being a kid is now hard work, with long hours put in everyday.

Raising World Children Hard Work

Come with me for a moment, and take a look at something I don’t see as much as I once did.  Kids playing outside.  Not in the community soccer club.  Not at a t-ball game.  Not at a swim meet.  Just playing outside, on the sidewalk, with other neighborhood children.

Small communities where everyone knows everyone have an advantage here.  It’s highly likely if your child is doing something amazing, one of the neighborhood parents will be there to cheer her on.  It’s also likely if your child is about to try something dangerous, that same parent is probably there to add a word of caution.

Unstructured play has a name now, but it used to be an everyday occurrence.  

[bctt tweet=”Being a kid is now hard work, with long hours put in everyday. Allow them to unwind organically.” username=”contactrwc”]

Letting Go is Hard But Important

Raise your hand if you remember your mom telling you to “just go out and play.”  It wasn’t something anyone planned, or managed.  It just was.  And it still can be.

As parents, our job is to provide a safe, welcoming space.

The hard part is stepping back and allowing the kids to entertain themselves, to be bored sometimes, to use their imaginations to create something we never would consider.

Although my son had plenty of traditional toys when he was younger, his toy of choice was an old boat rope.  Long enough to throw up over a tree branch, he could hold both ends and swing over imaginary dangers.  Arranged on the driveway, he could create a course for his bike.  With two friends, they could limbo underneath it.  They could tie it to a bucket and pull snacks up to the tree house.

The possibilities were endless.

Raising World Children Park

The local town park is a happening place.  At first glance, there appear to be two brightly colored plastic and metal swinging, climbing, hiding structures.  Not so, if you’re of a certain age.  One is a castle, defending against a pirate ship.  All hands are on deck.  A princess calls from the castle ramparts, requesting help to save her home.

Perspective is an essential part of unstructured play.

Buckets of sidewalk chalk sit by many of the front doors in a small town.  At one house, the neighbors have used chalk to craft a “welcome home” mural.  There’s a hopscotch board drawn in the street.  All the basketball hoops face out, next to driveways, inviting any and all to play.

Ears perk up when someone yells, “Car!”  Everyone scatters to the curb and waves the car through, greeting the driver and smiling before the play resumes.

Unstructured play, by its definition, doesn’t have a to-do list.  It’s a time to unplug, allow the mind to wander and think, “what if…” and then try it.  If you can provide an environment and stop yourself from providing suggestions, you’ll be on the right track.  If you can make it through the sighs and grumblings of “there’s nothing to do,” you’re golden.

And then, the magic begins.  Go out and see for yourself.  Send your kids out to play.

Unstructured Play - Let Kids Unwind Organically #kids #play #cultures #studies #school #holidays

Deborah Fingerlow is a writer, traveler and explorer seeking adventures both large and small. Parent to one daughter in college and one teenage son in cyber-school. Food allergies play a significant role in day to day life decisions, as does the support network of a small town in south central Pennsylvania. Neighbors are known by their first names and a walking district encourages community engagement. Business to business communications and the development of authentic connections are Deborah Fingerlow’s superpowers. You can find her at the local farmer’s market, therapy dogs in tow, camera in hand. You can find her on twitter @debfingerlow and on facebook @connect.converse.write


Please Stop Telling Me What To Say To My Kids

Please Stop Telling Me What To Say To My Kids

There are so many articles “(Insert Number Here) Things Not To Say To Your Kids“ doing the rounds that tell you how to talk to your children. And I find it amusing to say the least.

I have a hard enough time keeping track of all the things to do in my day and everything the family needs. Telling me to reword myself in every parenting situation is an unrealistic goal.
We are all human. And the best part of being human is having emotions. Check out any robot movie! Being emotional makes us vulnerable to our surroundings.

So guess what?

When my child has to be told for the 10th time to wear his shoes as we are getting late for a class I am paying 30+ dollars for or my toddler keeps using the words ” Oh my Gosh. Look at her butt! “(from the movie Sing) in spite of being told not to over and over again, I will scold them. When my son is rude to me, I will give him a time out. When my daughter lies down on the floor screaming about candy after we have been out all day doing chores, I will come home and vent to my husband, passionately (and loudly).

Mind you, in no way am I condoning being sarcastic or humiliating you child. I am talking about those times that people say the right thing in a misplaced tone or words that slip out in exasperation! Yells that arise from spilled milk after you getting ready for guests or screams of caution when your child is doing something dangerous.

Forgive yourself those.

 How Martin Luther King Jr. Biography Affected Me

I was reading Martin Luther King Jr’s biography last week and was surprised that his father, a pastor no less whipped him mercilessly when he made mistakes. Yet more than the whipping MLK feared disappointing his father. He never lost sight of the fact that even though the consequences were severe, his father loved him and only meant to guide him.

And he turned into an inspiration for everyone around him.

When I was a child, I feared my mother’s eyes. When acting out, I could sense her across the room holding me in that particular stare that said, “I know what you did and you are going to get an earful when we go home!” Those eyes kept me grounded. I don’t remember the yelling. I was always secure knowing my mother loved me enough to pay give importance to all I do. However, I will always remember the important life lessons that came with.

Of course, I don’t condone whipping you child but why do we think times have changed so much that kids will get traumatized, forget how much they are loved if merely scolded or said the wrong thing to ?

A World Of Nice Parents 


Imagine a world where everyone was always nice to their kids. Where you were mild mannered whether your child was right or wrong. Where you clapped for them even when they failed. Where you were always smiling and hugging them. That would lead to a world where children would not have the capability of processing negative emotions.

They wouldn’t have a sense of achievement. They would never have learned how to handle failure. When someone disagreed with them, they would be at a loss as to the right way to respond. In a world of bullies born of weaknesses, they need to understand that sometimes people act out when they are actually hurting inside.

The pressure of being “right” all the time will eventually get to you. Notice when your child is behaving badly in public and you have tried everything positive that isn’t working. The child needs a time out or telling to but you need to go to the car/home first. Think about how suffocated you feel during that time. How upset! Now imagine if you went months feeling like that. Eventually all those emotions will catch up and you will definitely implode! Is that what you want to instill in your child?

My mother often told me a famous Indian story of a thief who grew up with a mother who pampered and praised him no matter what. When he finally got arrested, his mom went to visit him. He called her close to him and bit her ear off saying, “ You are my mother. It was your job to twist my ear and tell me when I was doing wrong. “

It is not a parent’s job to be nice to their children. It is to love them. It is to guide them. To be mature human beings ready to lead the next generation.


How Martin Luther King Jr. Biography Affected Me and My Parenting | Family goals | Life Lessons

Being Human in Parenting

Today the culture is so self serving and peer affected. It is our responsibility to ensure children learn to differentiate right from wrong. To do the right thing when it needs doing. To do chores. To study hard. To be kind, gentle, responsible people who know how to respect every thing and being.

I have yet to meet a person who does something without prompting. And after multiple prompts it is natural to end up irritated. By using different strategies, I try to find the one way that will convince them of what needs doing. Every day is a constant battle with children. From brushing you teeth to the second they close their eyes, there is sly tact, persistent prompts, exasperated yelling involved. On rare occasions the method/wording is uncalled for. And I apologize. But that too teaches my children that reacting wrongly is natural. It is acceptable to make mistakes as long as you are willing to course correct.

Kids should know there are consequences to their actions. That it is okay to vent. They should understand that just because someone yells or says something that they don’t like doesn’t mean that person hates them. Often the person is just tired of not being heard. Youngsters today need to know how to process emotions. Words are only as important as the intention behind them.

[bctt tweet=”A parent’s job is not to be nice to their child. It is to guide them. Martin Luther King Jr. Biography made me introspect on what my job as a parent really is. ” username=”contactrwc”]

I will give you, the “what not to say” lists thoughtfully made are useful in making us ponder about how words can be perceived. In sensitive situations that is a must! Words can hurt, yes! But we need to remember that the intention behind sentences uttered is more important that the words themselves. We need to focus on our history with the person uttering them. We need to remember people make mistakes.

Acknowledge that and process it. Discuss it with the person in question if it truly matters. Then move on.

If we all start focusing on what is said to us and ignore actions that truly speak their own language, we will lose sight of the good in humanity.

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

Using Potty Training To Develop Early Core Values

Hard work, determination, self-confidence, social skills, and independence are all qualities parents want to teach their children. We take them seriously. But most parents don’t think those are taught in the bathroom. That sounds silly. The truth is that the potty training stage is vital to building strong, capable children and lasting, solid relationships between parent and child.

You’ve taken the time to catch the coos and snag the snuggles. You rejoiced when baby rolled over and again when they took their first steps. But, the stinky messes at diaper change don’t garner the same praise or smiles, do they?

Yet, this process is certainly natural and the time you invest in your child transitioning from passive diaper filling to purposeful potty filling can boost your child’s self-esteem, deepen your relationship and, quite unexpectedly, be really fun.

So how does a parent make a party out of poop and pee? There are several things that you can incorporate into the process. All the things that toddlers enjoy in other rooms, they enjoy in the bathroom. Books, dolls, rhythms and quality time with you are all transferable to the bathroom. And as much as we were taught not to have a potty mouth, it is actually helpful to talk about the bathroom in other rooms.

That potty talk can take place in many ways. Good books exist to help put words in the mouths of parents unsure of how to start the potty dialogue. Adding such a book to the daily reading routine will help introduce the idea to both you and your child. Dolls are quite useful, too, not only adding a level of play, but also adding companionship. Dolls have a secret power, too. As you teach your child about anything, including potty training, encourage him to instruct the doll. As he tells the doll, what he understands and doesn’t understand, will become clear. Dolls are like mirrors reflecting your child’s understanding. If what you hear reminds you more of a funhouse mirror, try teaching that part again. Your child can’t do correctly what he doesn’t understand.

A successful process certainly begins with a great deal of support. And support is spelled t-i-m-e. You will spend time reading books, playing with dolls and maybe even singing bathroom themed songs.

What more can you do? You can take your child to the bathroom – when you use the potty. Narrating your “experience” might be awkward but it’s normal for your child. They are used to hearing his entire life narrated:

“Look at Katie walk!”
“Is Ayla eating with a spoon?”
“Andy is sitting like a big boy on the potty!”

We don’t usually exit the bathroom and announce proudly, “I made a poop in the potty and I washed my hands after!” But, your child will find that statement fun and encouraging. Why? Because as adults we see the bathroom as more of a library than an auditorium, but for a child “all the world’s a stage”. While you can use the bathroom several times a day without giving it a thought, this process is awkward for most children. It’s not like you let them poop into any other chair in the house.

And to be honest, that toilet flush is loud and not a little creepy, right?. Potty training is a very transitional and empowering time in a child’s life. This is the first physical accomplishment that they are attempting to master since walking and requires much more control, awareness, detail and sequencing.

Being in the bathroom with you for your assorted “accomplishments” will be a great learning tool, too. They can sit on thier little potty while you assume the throne. When you wipe and flush, so can they. You can wash and dry your hands together.

Doing this together several times a day will help reinforce that this is a natural process that everyone does and makes muscle memory for the sequence of wiping and flushing, wishing and drying. And whether or not they makes a deposit at the potty bank, allow your child to praise you for your job well done!

Through many attempts comes a success. And a string of successes becomes mastery. Your confidence is bestowed in praising the effort more than the outcome. While they sits on the potty, each moment of your time in conversation, reading a book, singing a song, or involving a doll will give her the patience to keep trying. It will also build her conviction that you will always be there to help her.

Some children take to potty training more quickly and some need more time. Some children have developmental delays and some have had trauma in their young lives and need even more support and patience.

The good news is that this often dreaded stage of parenting is really a great platform for the coming phases.

You and your child will set precedent for the learning process. Your child will learn how to trust you with other obstacles they face. Potty training isn’t just a physical accomplishment, it is emotionally empowering, too.

The openness you share will help build a more trusting relationship in the future. Your child will pass through life going from one accomplishment into the next challenge. Being the interactive, encouraging and inspiring parent at this phase will show your child that you will be all of those things in the next.

Don’t worry about how fast you get potty training done or get dragged into the “I trained my child faster” race. Successful potty training should not be defined not by how quickly it was done – but by how thoroughly it was done – by how happily it was done – by how the parent-child relationship blossomed in the process.

Done successfully, the achievement of toilet training will give your child confidence they can build on for a lifetime, and help them to develop those desired qualities of hard work, determination, self-confidence, social skills, and independence.

How was your potty training experience over all? Do share the lessons you learned with us below. 

Jackie Leverton is the founder of Tot on the Pot. She and her husband combined their love  for kids and family, to create fun and meaningful activities, driving them forward every single day. So in an effort to help moms and dads enjoy every minute with their kids (even the crappy ones), they spent years crafting the perfect play based solution that would actually make kids want to adopt the potty as part of their routine.