Raising Happy children (Live from the Parentune workshop)
Created by Parentune Support Updated on May 22, 2013
The Parentune Expert Panel was a part of the recently held World Children Expo (WCE ’13) where they undertook a unique workshop, “Raising happy children”. Parentune café and workshops are in line with the parentune mission of empowering parents to tackle real time parenting issues. The parents were unanimous in admitting the unexpected parenting challenges thrown at them. There is perhaps ample around us to reflect the phenomenal changes in terms of work culture, technological advancement and Internet boom. All this and more have pushed joint-families to give way to nuclear families and have more and more working mothers. Urban parenting today needs an approach updated with today’s time.
Driven by the awareness around the challenges faced by the urban parents the Parentune expert panel - Dr. Ann Simi John, Clinical and child psychologist, Ms. Tanuja Sodhi, Nutrition and fitness expert and Mr. Nitin Pandey, Founder CEO of Parentune, Child development and education expert, conducted the workshop “Raising happy children” at WCE. The workshop offered insights to strengthen and smoothen out the parent-child bond by addressing several important areas covering nutrition and fitness, handling aggression in children, how role-modeling is no longer a choice and more. Here is a crisp assortment.
1) As a part of ever growing abundance in urban lifestyle we find ourselves over-feeding our children offering them calorie dense foods and empty nutrients. Moreover, with all the safety issues and time crunch we find ourselves and children doing less of physical activities. So, as a consequence more and more children are fighting dangerous side effects of the likes of obesity and juvenile diabetes. In such a scenario the importance of healthy eating and active lifestyle cannot be over- emphasized.
2) In case you notice the aggression in your child, watch out for the root cause like insecurity, frustration, unexpressed anger, some recent change at school or home, death of a pet or of someone in the family and avoid curt reactions to child’s anger. Parents can perhaps help by offering acceptance and by being firm in letting the child know that it is not OK.
3) Educating children about the importance of being assertive rather than aggressive, by leading by example in person. Role modeling can do wonders in this area. So think before you abuse in mid of a traffic rage or an argument with a friend or a colleague over the phone.
4) Children are good copycats and they learn crucial behavioural lessons from their own parents, so parents can definitely help by consistently displaying a behavior in action that they would wish their children to emulate.
The workshop was concluded by an energizing question-answer session wherein the Parentune team cheered parents actively offering answers to their queries and also rewarded the three most interesting questions by giving Parentune goodies and the parentune badge.
Some of the interesting questions, which were answered by the Parentune experts’ are:
Q. I don’t know what to do when my two year old doesn’t eat anything… I have to either force feed or be content in watching her gorging on French fries.
Parentune expert suggestion: Encourage healthy eating and good health by encouraging free play, including colorful food in the platter of the parent and child, avoid force-feeding of the child but look out for signs of hunger and let the child ask for food. And of-course, limit the exposure to junk food.
Q. However much I try, my five-year-old child hates sharing anything, I have organized a lot of play dates to sort this issue but no avail, I am tired of counseling her, I am in a fix.
Parentune expert suggestion: Be gentle yet firm with the child, introduce new toys as not exclusively for the child bit for all in the family, encourage play, that involves circulation of toys, let the child throw tantrums but firmly express that everyone is following and getting things turn by turn, when organizing lunch and dinner for friends and family; team up with your child as a hosting team mate and plan with her so as to what to make for everyone, how to take care of guests by sharing stuff in the home. In the same spirit, engage with the child as a gifting teammate when going out for Diwali gifting, birthday parties and other ceremonies.
Q. My six year old daughter enervates me by not obeying me at all, I have asked her time and again to not to play too much with gadgets like cell phone and I-pad but she finds her way by catching up with gadgets when I am not there. I have explained her politely many times but now I often feel angry on her
Parentune expert suggestion: Be gentle and firm, avoid arguments and state clear consequences- action that you will take - of the undesirable behaviour and stick through it. Dealing objectively might help
Q. My four-year-old daughter is gradually getting distant from me. Whenever I stop her doing something undesirable, she reacts violently. I love her but she does not seem to understand this and often accuses me of being a bad daddy, I am just not able to deal with it.
Parentune expert suggestion: Children are naturally more akin to the parent of the opposite gender, and they make an effort to impress the opposite gender parent, so one of the possible reasons of the child’s over-reaction might be the aversion to the scolding from the more sought after parent. Moreover, both the spouse should offer behaviour checking commands in the same firmness and tone to make the whole affair more objective and less emotional. A consistent parenting style between both the parents and in some cases, even, in case of the grand parents is highly effective.
Though the discussion could have gone on and on but it was brought to a heart-warming conclusion by the team, expressing gratitude to all who participated. The experts mentioned, that for some it might be logical to judge or comment on parents, when the parents look like being overwhelmed by all sort of stresses but we at Parentune respect their core –self, which is always searching ways to nurture their children, to achieve more for their child. So, undoubtedly the parents truly deserve to be supported in a PRO-PARENT way– In true service and for the progressive parents.