What is the Best Age To Have a Child – When Are you Ready To Have One?

As a woman starts approaching her mid to late twenties, she often wonders when should she have children? What is the best age to have children? The biological clock is ticking on one hand and on the other there are factors like, does she have partner/spouse with whom she can have children? What are her career aspirations? Is she financially stable? So when would she be ready to have a child?

Age is definitely a factor

A woman should have a child when she is physically fit and during the most fertile phase of her life. I do know nowadays women are freezing eggs and having children later on in life, but that is not right! If a woman decides to give birth to another life, it is her duty to make sure she can give her child a good health (whatever is in her hands) as well as the time. If a woman decides to have children after 35 years, she won’t be at the peak of her fertility, neither will she have the stamina to “run after the child”. Ask any parent, how much energy consuming it is to bring up a child!

Make space for your child in your life

A woman should be responsible enough not to misuse this boon of the universe for her own selfish needs! She should also think if she will be able to give the time to her child. It is not fair on the child,if a woman was just to produce the child for her own needs and then hand the baby to the “nanny” so that she can “continue” with her life!

Motherhood doesn’t just mean producing a child, it also means bringing the child up with the right amount of love and attention! To know further about motherhood please refer to my post Motherhood and Me.

Do not have children to please the society

You should not have children just because you are married for ‘x’ number of years or because “everybody” keeps asking you ‘when are you having kids?’ Having a child is an enormous responsibility. You should have a child only if you think you can fulfill all your duties as a mother.It is a lifelong commitment.

Ideal age

According to medical experts, the right age to have a child is between 26-35. With a reason the universe has made a woman’s fertile age in this range. If you have a child any later than that, you would be compromising your child. If you decide to have a child at a very young (before 26), you would not have the maturity to deal with the child. You would not be equipped to take the right decisions for your child .

Medical complications

To have a healthy child is the topmost desire of every expectant mother. At 35, the complications start increasing. The chances of having a healthy child start dwindling. At this age if you conceive a child with physical abnormalities, do you feel that it is fair on the child? Will the child live a fulfilled life? Will you be able to look after a disabled child?

I know that extremely healthy women, who produce children in the right age range of 26-35, also give birth to children with defects but that is not something in our hands. It is out of our control .

Prepare yourself

Before you decide to have a child ask yourself this question, are you ready to commit at least 18 years to another life? Will you give whatever it takes to ensure that your child is brought up in the right way?

How many children do you want to have?

This is a very important question that you must answer. Please refer to my previous post on How Many Children Should You Have? If you do know the answer, then factor that in. You should have the last child before you hit 35. Also decide how far apart you want the children to be in age. For example, You want to have the first child at 30,second at 32 and third at 34.

If you decide to have first one at 34, it will be impossible to have another one before 35. A woman’s body needs to recover in between pregnancies for at least 1 year and ideally 3 years.

Help and support

Every mother would have an easier life, if they have some help and support from the grandparents. If a woman has a child at a very late age, there are fewer chances of grandparents being around to help and nurture the child. Even if they are around, they might be too old to help .

Difficulty conceiving

If you decide to have children at a later age, you might find it difficult to conceive. If you are above 35, there are chances you might not be able to conceive naturally or you might not be able to conceive at all. Even if you decide to freeze your eggs, and conceive the child, your (older) body might not be able to sustain the pregnancy. The chances of miscarriages also start increasing at this age.

Financial Issues

Having a baby is very expensive. Cost of nappies, clothes,nursery fees, school fees, toys,books etc etc. You will need money ! But do not postpone having a child just because you want to save enough before you have a child. If you are reasonably supported through your job or your spouse’s job, then there is no reason not have a child. Remember, it takes time to conceive a child. If you leave it too late, you might not be able to have one.

Once you have your first child and if you feel that you cannot afford another child, then don’t have another one. Just take a decision and stick to it. Don’t forget the biological clock is ticking. Therefore, it is better to be decisive whether you can afford another child or not !

Remember, I am not a medical expert. I am just stating my opinion here.

Conclusion

Are you planning to have a child? How old are you? Are you having a child because of societal pressures? Please get in touch via comment box.

Regards

Motherhood and Me – What does Motherhood Mean?

As soon as the pregnancy test kit comes back positive, you know your life is going to change forever. But do you even realise, at that point, how much is it going to change? How much of yourself are you going to lose in this process of becoming a Mother? Do you even remember what your life was before you became a mother? It is very important to try to recreate a new identity after Motherhood. Motherhood and me(Priya) have had to walk side by side and thereby create a new identity post childbirth.

Early days as a mother

I found the first year of motherhood extremely hard. A 24- hour responsibility of a baby, feeding, changing nappies, sleepless nights, being at home all the time- loss of working life – was just too much to take on. In the first few weeks of birth, a new mom has not only to get used to idea of looking after the baby, breast feeding, but it is equally important for her to have a balanced nutritious diet and a proper rest. Also hormonal havoc a baby causes to a woman’s body has to be dealt with as well.

Simple things like taking a shower, going for nature calls in peace are impossible most of the times! If you can complete at least one meal day without any interruptions that would be a treat!

Next few months

In the next few months as a Mother, You will slowly try to figure out your baby’s schedule, bond with her, cuddle her as much as you can. You might even forget about the outside world or what it looks like. You would have also probably forgotten the timings of all your favourite programs on the television.

At 6 months upto 1 year

At 6 months, you would probably start developing boredom but you will be distracted when you start putting your child on solid foods. A new challenge! By the time your child is one year of age, the weaning would have been established, your child would probably be drinking milk out of a cup or you and your spouse would probably have moved your child to his/her bedroom.

What you would have not realised in this past one year is that your life and your time has become so dependent on the needs of your child, that you have nothing else to do, nothing else to think. You only know yourself as the Mother of your child!

It gets worse in the second year

Things turn for the worst when you do not go back to work after your maternity break. Your child is the centre of your world. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, feeding are the only jobs or hobbies you have! Even if you do get a chance to watch your favourite television program, you will either fall asleep during the program or you will feel guilty for watching the program instead of doing laundry or making fresh meals for your child!

First day at the Nursery

I put my children in the nursery at the age of 20 months. The first few months, I had no clue what I should do during the time they were in the nursery. I would miss them but also be relieved that I could do something of my own or relax my overtired body.

My brain was dead

After my younger one started going to the nursery, I slowly started realising that my brain had ‘died’ after child birth. Every time I decided to think, what I wanted do in my spare time, my brain cells just wouldn’t budge! Therefore, I decided to go for walks to refresh myself and bring my brain back to life! Slowly but surely, I started losing weight, my stamina increased and I remembered who I was before I became a Mother .

Meditation

At the same time I also started meditating which increased the movement of my brain cells, and I realised that I would HAVE TO recreate my identity now. Since it was impossible for me to return to work on account of ‘no help’ in looking after children as well as high childcare costs, I would have to do ‘something of my own’ from home!

Before I could figure out what I wanted to do, I also started realising that I need to look after myself. This included small but vital things to keep myself sane. Silly things like getting my eyebrows done regularly or a haircut or even going out for a couple of hours on my own during the weekend, when hubby could look after kids. Mind you, this was very difficult for me. I couldn’t leave the house without my hubby literally pushing me out! I just couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything without my kids!

Recovering or recreating your identity

A stay at home mother starts recovering her identity once the kids go to school. But this is again a continuous process. A woman has to remember what she likes to eat or what her hobbies are. It is tough and many times(most of the times) a woman will always put her children before her. But this has become a part of her new identity now. She now does something of her own, maybe a hobby or a part-time job or run her own business when the kids are at school. She becomes a mother again as soon as school is finished!

Click here to read how I set up my home based business for free!

Results!

Even though a woman loses her identity after childbirth and recovers part of it every day as her children grow into adults, she is satisfied and fulfilled with the duty the universe has honoured her with!

Conclusion

When your child is very young (under the age of 5), do not worry if you have forgotten yourself. You will regain or recreate your identity as soon as the child starts going to school. You still have got the rest of your life to resolve your identity crisis. But these precious beautiful moments with your beautiful baby/toddler will never come back again!

Are you a Mother?  What are your thoughts on motherhood? Get in touch via comment box below!

Regards

Stay At Home Fathers- Should Fathers be The Main Carers of Children?

Giving birth is a woman’s job and therefore it follows that the responsibility of looking after children is also a woman’s(Mother’s) job. This is especially true in developing nations. Having been born and brought up in India, the concept of stay at home fathers was alien to me. I encountered this when I came to the United Kingdom. Now after living here for almost a decade and a half, I have a completely new out look towards it. But there are a few things which have to be understood and dealt with to arrive at a decision whether one should be a stay at home Dad or not!

Is it about money?

More often than not a Father looks after his children because the Mother has got a higher salary, a better job, a higher potential to earn! Though most of the middle class always look at the mathematics or spreadsheet of income vs expenses, this shouldn’t be a reason for the Dad to stay at home and for the Mom to work!

Call me naive but life is not about mathematical calculations !

What Does a Child Need?

A child bonds with the Mother for 9 months before birth. There is a connection (via umbilical cord) between the child and the Mother for 9 months which is only severed at birth. Therefore , when the child is born, he/she always finds peace and contentment with the Mother. This bond still continues after birth through breastfeeding and watching his/her mother take care of his/her needs. A child will always look out for his/her Mother. This is the Law of the Universe. This cannot be altered.

Would this decision be acceptable to the child?

Due to the above point about a child’s needs, do you feel that if the child (a baby) could speak, a decision where a Mother goes to work and a Father looks after the child, would that be acceptable to the child? I think not ! A child is unable to express his/her emotions but a Mother is like a security for the child . This is again the Law of Universe. The child always automatically looks for the Mother not the Father.

Mother Vs Father

So what would be the difference between a Father’s upbringing of the child and a Mother’s? Some might argue, it is the same. Surely there is a difference in the approach of a man and a woman. There is no denying that women are born with a maternal instinct. I would go far as saying that only a Mother has the patience and the perseverance to bring up her child with the right amount of love , attention and discipline . Only a Mother can understand her child the best .

Fathers are very important

I am not saying that only the Mother is important to a child, Fathers are equally important. What a Father can give to a child a Mother cannot. For example, a Father will not mollycoddle his child. A Father will provide fun/adventures to a child that a Mother cannot. A Father provides tough love to the child.

What are your priorities?

The decision to be a stay at home dad depends on what your priorities are ? Do you feel that you would like to spend more and more time with your child/children? Do you feel that you do not want to miss out on any of their growth milestones? Do you feel that being in a full time job would not let you spend enough time with your child as you would like to?

If the answer is yes to any of the above, then you should follow your heart and become a stay at home Dad ! But if you are a stay at home Dad just to tally the Balance Sheet every month(match the income to the expenses), it is not correct!

As a Father is this acceptable to you?

If you have come to a decision to be a Stay at home dad, it should be acceptable to you as a Man and a Dad. If you are not at peace with this decision, then don’t do it. You will be miserable as well as your child! Remember if you work full time, something has to be sacrificed – it is not possible to have everything.

Wash, clean and Cook

Before you decide to become a stay at home dad, you should discuss with your partner, who will cook and clean. Washing,cooking, cleaning is a joint responsibility of both the parents. It is not fair to put the burden on one parent.

Financial Independence

I am of the opinion, that whether you are a stay at home mom or a stay at home Dad, you should be financially independent. In this day and age it is very much possible to start something of your own from home. You do not need to go and work for someone just to earn money !

There are a lot of options available. In fact, my post on Stay at Home Mom Business Ideas is applicable to Dads too !

If you still need further guidance, check my post on How To Start a Home Based Business for Free.

Time Out

Just like stay at home moms, stay home dads also need time out. Make sure you take regular breaks. Don’t get trapped in the four walls of the house! Do something you like every day . Spend time with your men friends- discuss football or whatever you men talk about! This will bring normalcy in your life just like it does to the Mothers!

Explain to your children

Explain to your children, that ‘Daddy wants to stay at home with you and Mummy wants to go to work’ or ‘Either Mummy or Daddy need to go to work, so I have decided to stay at home and Mummy has decided to go to work’. Keep it simple! Simplicity always works!

Conclusion

In my opinion a mother can look after the child, the best.  A Father can spend time with the child by doing flexible work or working from home. Are you a stay at home Father? What was the reason for this decision? Have you got any tips that you can share with the other stay at home Fathers? Please let me know via comment box below.

Regards

How To Start a Mom Blog and Make Money -Try it Then Buy It

If you do not have any help or family support with your kids, it doesn’t mean that you cannot work or you cannot earn money. It would seem impossible to go back to work because you also have to think of the high childcare costs. This was the problem, I faced too not long ago. I just couldn’t figure out how to earn money or keep myself occupied productively without compromising the way I want to bring up my kids. Fortunately I discovered how to start a mom blog and make money from it.

Flexibility

Once you become a parent, work flexibility becomes very important ! You never know when your child is going to be sick. If your child is in school, there is a break every 6 weeks, either at half-term or at the end of the term. If you decide to put your child for camps or with the childminder, it will start getting very expensive, despite your spouse or partner taking turns with you in looking after kids. The cost doubles if you have 2 children , treble if you have 3!

Part time Vs. Full time

It is not easy to get a part-time job- you have to balance out your pay with the travel cost. Is it worth it? Even if you work part-time, you still have to think of school holidays(childcare costs) and sickness – and at the same time earn only part of the salary. If you work full time , you have to not only think of childcare during school holidays but also from school finish time until you finish work. Therefore your childcare costs increase with the increase in your working hours. The more you earn, the more childcare you will have to pay.

Homework and other things

The biggest obstacle that any working mother would face is the time to do the homework especially for those working full time. If you send your child to the child minders then, you also have to deal with a tired child on top of your own tiredness .

Self Employment

As fancy as it sounds,for any business to run you need something to sell – products or services. You need to have skills to be come a good Entrepreneur! You also need a capital to start a business (which I didn’t have).

Blogging

Blogging is a good way to express your opinion , share your knowledge and help others. This doesn’t  require much capital either and most of all, it is a good way to…

… earn money !

How do you set up a blog and earn money from it – via Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate

During my online researches to get business ideas, I came across Wealthy Affiliate. Initially I started with their free starter membership,to try it out, but within a few days I decided to go for the premium membership! There was no doubt about the high level of step-by-step training provided on their platform . Their training helped me not only set up my blog writing business and make money but also how to advertise my business on social media. Along with that I also got technical support and community support.

If you would like to know more about Wealthy Affiliate, please read my review on it here.

Other options

Blogging was suitable for me, therefore I chose this route, but if you feel this is not your cup of tea, there are still other options which you can do from the comforts of your home. If you would like to learn about other stay at home mom business ideas, read my previous post on Stay at Home Mom Business Ideas – Earn While You Are At Home.

It is not an easy path

Setting up your own business, whether is it is a mom blog or something else, is not going to be an easy path. You have to work extremely hard, sacrifice your television time etc etc, just to get your foot in the door. You also need to continue looking after your kids!

Things which helped me

There are few things I did which really helped me set up my mom blog:

  • Discipline – you have to be very disciplined and committed to your work, your business. There is no boss here to tell you what to do next.
  • Make your own path – do not get bogged down just because “the rest of the world” is Employed. Do what suits you!
  • Believe in yourself- the journey of becoming a mom blogger is not an easy one, it will take a bit of time before you start making money. You will encounter naysayers all the way to success but continue to do what you believe in.
  • This business gave me the thing I craved for the most- Flexibility. This in turn enabled me to look after my kids in my own way. This is something for which I will always be grateful for !
  • Try to have some sort of social life to get human interaction. Join some fitness class- I do yoga! Aim for both mental and physical fitness.

Nothing is impossible

If mom blogging is something which interests you, there is nothing to stop you from doing it and becoming successful. If you look for the path, it will come to you.

A thirst to learn new things

If you are new to the world of online business, then you will be learning a lot of new things. Believe me, it will be good for your mind- after all the monotonous , mechanical mom jobs that you have been doing! This will definitely wake up your ‘baby brain’!

Conclusion

If you feel your child is too young and you are unable to go to work, blogging is  a good option. A blog was a totally different field for me. I learnt everything from scratch. So if I can do it, so can you!

If you are a stay at home mom blogger, please share via comment box, what is the topic of your blog for the benefit of the readers.

Good luck,

The Benefits of Being A Stay At Home Mom – They are Immense!

I often get this look, ‘you are a stay at home mom, you don’t work ‘, or people give me that sceptical look, ‘what do you do?’ Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) is considered a taboo by a lot of people. There is no pride in it or joy in it, for others, not me! Is being a SAHM now something to be ashamed about? This a question every mother should ask herself. What are the benefits of being a SAHM?

No, it is not ‘your house will always be clean’!  A SAHM doesn’t mean that she has to clean the house all day long!

You always have a choice

When you enter motherhood, you have got a limited time for yourself. We all know that. But if you opt to be a SAHM, then you have a choice as to how you want to lead your life. You can decide what you want to do in your free time (when kids are sleeping or in the nursery). If you are a working mom, every day for a fixed time you will  at work.

Earning money

The main difference between a SAHM and a working mom is the salary or lack of it, but there is a another option. If you persevere and belief in yourself, you can very easily set up your own business from home without anybody’s help.

If you work hard and follow your instinct, you will be able to earn an income from your business. This will not only give you increased confidence and financial independence but also help you pass your time productively.

Please refer to my previous post on SAHM Business ideas here.

Pursuing your hobbies

If you want to pursue your hobbies or interests, it will be harder if you are working. You still got to come home, cook meals and help kids with their homework! For every mother it is very important to do something they enjoy.

There should be things you should do to lighten you up, give you some space to breathe, spend time doing things you like or with people you are close to!

If you are interested , please read my post on Hobbies for SAHM.

Your children will be what you want them to be

If you want your children to be what you want them to be, this can only be achieved if you spend lots and lots of time with them especially when they are under 5 years of age. Remember every person has a different way of handling your kids as compared to you. By every person, I mean your child minder, your mother, your mother -in-law etc.

Only a mother understands her child the most- the reason is obvious. A mother has nurtured a child for nine long months ever since he/she was conceived! Nobody can beat that- not even the father!

Your child is like a clean slate when he/she is born. You can write on this slate only what you want, how you want and when you want. For example, if a toddler is irate or in a tantrum for wanting a chocolate instead of a piece of fruit, only a mother has the patience to convince the child to have the fruit instead of the chocolate.

Only a mother will persevere to instil good habits in a child, for example having 3 balanced meals a day, minimise junk or readymade meals etc. But this can be achieved only if you are SAHM, especially if your child is under the age of 5 years.

Remember , you can always go back to work once they are settled in school.

If you set a good foundation of your child’s life, you will see the benefits of it as they grow.

You do not have to rely on other people

I met a mother once who said that her mother-in-law looks after her kids while she works full time. One day the mother-in-law was not feeling well during the school holidays, but the mother instead of thinking of the health of the elderly mother-in-law, thought to herself ( and said it aloud to me), what should I do if you are not well, I need to go to work. Obviously I was dumbstruck! Parents must remember that the Grandparents are doing the parents a massive favour by looking after their children.

Grandparents are elderly people who need to look after their health as well. Do not overburden them with your children. It isn’t fair on them!

If you are not sure what the Grandparents role should be in your child’s life, please refer to my previous post here.

So if you are a SAHM, you do not have to worry about who will look after your children during illness and school holidays.

Even child minders are humans, and they can fall sick or have an emergency in their personal life.

Even if you have figured it all out

If you are intending to go to work and have figured it all out, who will look after your kids during the school holidays, you still have to think who will look after your children when they are sick. After all, a child will need his/her mother the most when they are sick. Mothers can comfort the child like no one else can. If you are a working mom, you also have to worry about the childcare costs – they are not cheap either!

If you decide to be a SAHM, do not restrict yourself to the 4 walls of the house – it will drive you crazy! Do something of your own!

Conclusion

Finally it all depends on what is priority in your life, what are your beliefs on how to raise your child. Either way, do not feel guilty. Make the most of your life too!

Are you a SAHM? How did you pass your time during school hours? Please share for the benefit of other readers via comment box below.

Regards

Why is Extended Family Important ? – Let your Children form Their Own Relations!

When I ask “why is extended family important?” I am asking this question in relation to your child and not you! Extended families of the parents are very important in the child’s life. I know some of you might say that I don’t get on with my extended family… or I do get on with some of them but not all of them. Some of you might say, I get on with my extended family but not with my spouse’s extended family! ‘My in laws are actually outlaws’. I hear all that loud and clear.

But despite all the above, I would like to underline to you the importance of an extended family in your child’s life.

Grandparents of your child

If you consider your parents or your mother-in-law and father-in-law as extended family, then it is very important that your child spends time with them. This should be done on a frequent basis if possible. Grandparents can teach what parents can’t. For example, they can teach them, family traditions or culture like mother tongue, family festivals, and family histories. Children like story telling. Grandparents are very good at story telling especially stories which have a moral at the end.

Uncles, Aunties and cousins

Every relation your child has gives him/her something new. Also, if the child is able to bond with different relatives he/she will feel more secure in his/her environment. If the parents have siblings, then children should be encouraged to mingle with uncles, aunties, cousins etc. This is especially beneficial if you have got only one child. Children need the company of other children. Children learn faster from other children- this is where bonding with cousins can prove to be beneficial to your child.

Uncles and aunties can bring different things in the child’s life, maybe because the mind-set of the uncles/aunties is different from the parents or it could be because the uncles /aunties are more experienced due to having older children.

Look at the bigger picture

If you are not keen to see your extended family too often, then make an effort at least once or twice a year. Try to look at the bigger picture. Think of all the benefits your children will have when they will get a chance to know and bond with your extended family. I believe that children have a right to form and maintain their own relations. If you do not get on with your child’s aunt, that doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t bond with his/her aunt.

A sense of belonging

With the extended feeling, children feel a sense of belonging, and this makes them feel secure. This is especially true in regard to Grandparents. They will get the love and attention of other people.

Extended families make festivals merrier

Even though you dislike your extended family, you would have to admit that more the merrier especially during festivals, whether it is Christmas, Diwali, Eid or Hanukkah. Also, children will learn to enjoy your cultural festivals.

Children learn how to care for others

Children will see how the parents behave towards the extended family, they will learn how to look after others, how to think of others and be selfless etc. This is especially true when they see you (parents) caring and looking after your parents (Grandparents).

Your child will learn to bond with people other the family

Your child will learn how to bond and maintain relations with people other than the parents and friends. This will be a huge learning curve for your child.

After the Grandparents have passed on

Even after the Grandparents have passed on, your child will still get the love and attention of the uncles, aunties and cousins. They will still have a ‘family’ outside of their parents and siblings and so will you!

If you feel the extended family are spoiling your children

If you feel the Grandparents are spoiling your children, remember every Grandparent has the right to spoil their grandchildren. Every child has the right to get spoilt. Maybe, even you were spoilt by your Grandparents!

In case, you feel that some members of the extended family are spoiling your children in ways which are unacceptable to you or if they are teaching something contradictory to what you teach them, then you should approach the member and explain to them in a calm manner that this is not acceptable to you and to refrain from repeating it again with your child.

You should also explain to your child (in case of contradictory teachings from the extended family) why you are teaching them, what you are teaching them.

Indifferences with other members should be dealt with amicably, peacefully and with maturity.

Every family has its own share of problems. Rise above it. Be the bigger person.

Responsibility is yours

It is the parent’s responsibility ultimately, to discipline their child and give them the right guidance! Filter things out of your child’s life in relation to the extended family. You decide what is appropriate and what is not!

You will grow as a person

By making this effort for your child, of dealing with people you do not get on with, you will grow as a person. You will learn to be more resilient and accepting of other people’s faults.

You are your child’s role model

Even though you feel that your child hasn’t noticed anything or doesn’t understand anything about family politics, he/she can pick on your vibes very well!

Benefits are immense

Remember the benefits of an extended family are immense for your child, so do not get deterred by the negative aspects!

Conclusion

Not only the children but parents benefit also from extended families. Parents can also get guidance about their children from experienced parents in the extended family.

What are your views about the influence of the extended family on your child? What difficulties have you faced from the extended family in regard to your child? Please share via comment box.

 

Regards

What Should Parents Teach Their Children – Have you Covered Them All?

‘What should parents teach their children? ‘ is the question which is foremost on any parent’s mind- either a new parent or an existing parent. Before you stress over this , remember parenting isn’t an exam! It’s ok if you have forgotten to teach your kids something. It is never too late. Sometimes, you automatically realise and sometimes you just need a little reminder. We all do.

My post specifically relates to things you should teach your children about your customs and traditions. Below are things which I feel are necessary to teach children but if you feel I have left out anything please put them in the comment box at the end of the post.

Mother Tongue

If you are not living in the country of your origin, it is very hard to teach your child your mother tongue, especially if the children don’t have anybody to speak to in their mother tongue other than the parents. Despite all this, I believe it is very important to teach your children your mother tongue .

I consider teaching mother tongue as an inheritance. I believe that inheritance and legacy just doesn’t mean money and property, it also means what you will pass on to your children and remain with them long after you are gone.

Another point to be considered here is that, if you do not teach your children your mother tongue, your children will not be able to teach their children and therefore your language or mother tongue will die with you ! As crude as it sounds, it is the truth!

If you think it appropriate you can send your child for tuition to learn the language , though I recommend, it being taught by the parents. Even though you do send them for tuition, your children might still not talk or understand the language as they are not getting enough practice or because they don’t speak it with the parents.

You can also take the help of Grandparents. Remember, it’s your parents who taught you the language in the first place!

Traditional Foods

If you have any traditional foods as per your caste and community, you should not only teach your children to eat it but also at an appropriate age teach them how to cook it. Try to create the same environment as your own country if possible. Your children should know about their origins.

For example, as soon as I started weaning my children on to solid foods, I started giving them rice and lentils as well as Indian bread (chapati) and Indian vegetable(sabji or shak).

Cultural Festivals

This one is a tough one but not impossible. Remember as a parent you have got to make your child aware of all your traditions and culture. Try to celebrate all or at the very least celebrate the most important festivals of your culture. You can also make them more aware of it through books or movies showing these festivals. For example, as an Indian Hindu, Diwali is the most important festival for us. So I teach them ( through books or just by talking to them ) what is the significance of Diwali by telling them the story of Rama and Sita and Ravaan and that Diwali means the victory of good over evil.

If it is not possible to celebrate the other lesser known festivals then you can always talk to them about it when you feel they are beginning to understand or are getting interested in the festivals linked to your culture.

Other Traditions

There could be other traditions linked to your culture which could be important. For example, it is an Indian tradition to take blessings of the elders especially during festivals like Diwali. So if that is your tradition as well, you will have to make the effort to teach your children . You should do it to your elders and let them ‘copy’ you.

Effort has to be yours

If you are not living in the country of your origin, extra effort will have to be made by parents in order to teach children about your customs and traditions. If you don’t make efforts, you won’t see results! Efforts have to be made continuously, constantly and regularly.

Persevere . Even if they don’t show any interest initially, do not stop trying. If you do it continuously, they will come round and show interest. Try different ways of teaching them -don’t stick to the traditional way of teaching them. For example, if you have more than one child – ask them who knows what is a sock called in your mother tongue? Praise them all for trying or getting it correct.

You have to do it yourself

As I have repeatedly said in all my posts, parents always copy their children. So parents need to be seen by children as following all their customs and traditions. For example, if you do not speak in your mother tongue (at least at home) children won’t speak it either.

Praise and encourage them

Whenever your children follow your customs or traditions, make sure to praise them. This will encourage them to do it again. If they speak in your mother tongue , encourage them to talk to other people (who have the same mother tongue) in that language . This will give them lots of encouragement as well.

Try to make it fun

If you try to make it fun to learn your customs and traditions for your children then, they will learn it faster. For example, I have downloaded an app on my phone which teaches them our mother tongue but also lets them play games. Ordinarily, I don’t allow them to play games on my phone. So this is a treat for them!

Believe

It is important for parents to believe that teaching your children about customs and traditions is an important lesson to be taught. Teach your children what you believe is important. Teaching for the sake of it will not give any results and will be a waste of your time and effort.

Conclusion

Teaching children your customs and traditions is very important. If you teach your children, then they will teach their children. If you do not teach them they will be unable to teach their children and all your customs and traditions will die out – at least in your family.

What are your thoughts on teaching your mother tongue to your child? If you are already doing it, what hardships do you face? Please share via comment box below.

Regards

How To Teach Kids Responsibility – Why is it so Important?

My niece passed on her precious Barbie dolls to my kids as she had outgrown them but within a few weeks of my kids receiving them one doll’s head has snapped off(no idea how!) , another’s leg is broken! Yet another’s hand has snapped off! I pondered on this for a while, how to teach kids responsibility and why is it important for parents as well as the children. Every day at school pickup time, my kids would have lost something or forgotten something at school. Sometimes we realise this before we leave the school. Sometimes we realise when we are already home.

Does this all sound familiar?

Why is responsibility important?

Teaching children to be responsible is important so that they know what they understand what is expected of them and what will be the consequences of their actions. For example, children should know that it is expected of them to tidy up the room after they have finished playing with their toys. They should be taught that if they push their sibling from the stairs, the sibling is likely to get seriously hurt.

If you do not persevere and teach your child responsibility, you cannot say that ‘my child does nothing!’

Foundation has to be built from a very young age

From a very young age, children have to be taught how to be responsible. For example, you can teach your toddler how to put all his/her toys away, in a toy box. At that age, you have to show them with action, and make them copy you. From a young age, they have to be taught to clean their own mess. As the child grows make it a ‘rule’ that they have to pick up all their toys and tidy up the room before they go to sleep every evening.

Read my post on Top Toddler Toys.

Praise them

Praise and encouragement are very important in children’s upbringing. Make sure you acknowledge or praise them whenever they act responsible. My daughter has the habit of forgetting her things in school like her school cardigan, her water bottle or her reading record. Very often something has gone missing. On the days she brings “everything back”, I praise her “well done for bringing everything back”. If she has lost something in school, I ask her to go to the Lost &found; and find her things herself in the break time. I only ask the school if she is unable to get her stuff back.

Help with the chores

As per the age of the child, make them help you. Soon you will learn which chore they enjoy the most. Start them off with the chores they enjoy. For example watering the plants in the summer or helping with putting away the laundry. Then slowly introduce them to things which have to be followed on a daily basis like clearing the table after every meal. From the age of 3, I made my kids put their plate in the sink after meals. By the age of 8, they would have to rinse their plates and put them in the dishwasher.

Don’t over expect

Children are not going to do a perfect job. Recognise the effort and the intention.

 

Self-care and looking after things

Self-care is also a part of making your child responsible. For example, taking showers on their own, washing hands properly before meals and after going to the toilet, changing on their own etc.

Also encourage them, to look after their things, books or toys. You can tell them that you can use only those things which are not broken or torn.

Make exceptions

If sometimes your child is tired and is unable to put all his toys away, help him out but reinstate the rule the very next day.

It is a long process

This process of teaching them to be more responsible will last their entire childhood. At every age you will have to teach them to be more responsible – not only remember doing the things they already do but also get more responsibility.

Step-by- Step instruction

When we, adults go through any kind of training or a course, we learn faster if we are given step- by -step instructions. Same goes with children. When you start making child responsible or if you are giving a new chore to your child, give the step-by-step instruction. For example, you want the plates wiped before they are placed on the dining table. You can say, Wipe the plate first very carefully. Hold plate tight so it doesn’t slip out of your hand . Place each plate carefully on each mat. Do it slowly. No rush.

Responsibility brings bonding

When my younger child started primary school, I told my daughter, “look after your brother”. Whenever they have a joint play date, I instruct them to look after each other, be nice to each other and don’t leave the other out of the game you play with the other kids. Be there for each other.

Also, when you give them chores to do, they will feel included and involved in your life and this will create further bonding.

Responsibility brings trust

When you start giving more and more responsibility to your child, trust will automatically build up when the child executes all the chores to the best of their capacity. You have to remember to give them chores only as per their capacity and age. When you know that your child can complete a particular task well on their own, do not hover around them to see if they have completed the task or not. Leave them to it.

 

Responsibility brings self – confidence

When your child completes a chore satisfactorily and earns your praise, it will automatically increase their self- confidence. Next time they will say, “Mummy, I can do it”. This will feel very satisfying to the parent as well.

Appreciation

When we give them household chores, children will realise how hard parents work, to get things sorted on a day-to day basis. This will automatically make the child appreciate his/her parents.

Conclusion

It is never easy to teach your child to become responsible. It is a continuous process. But nothing about parenting is easy; the important thing is to make it fun for yourself and your child and being consistent. Sooner or later, they will start becoming more responsible.

Do you have any tips on how to teach kids responsibility? Please share via comment box below.

Regards

Sibling Rivalry Into Adulthood – Is this Healthy?

Sibling rivalry is healthy up to a point, when the children are young. But the sibling rivalry into adulthood might lead to destruction of relations not only between the siblings but also with the parents. Therefore, from an early age, when the children are young, parents should take preventative steps to ensure that they give everything including love and attention equally to all children.

It is very important that what is done with one child should also be done with the other!

What is sibling rivalry in children ?

Sibling rivalry means when children try to compete with each other and go to any lengths to “win”. Sometimes sibling rivalry is healthy whereby it encourages all the siblings to do better. But if proper steps are not taken by parents to control the rivalry it may carry on into their (children’s) adulthood!

What causes sibling rivalry in children?

Sibling rivalry is caused by factors such as:

  • Unequal love and attention to all children- sometimes parents do this intentionally and sometimes they do it unintentionally. If they do it intentionally, it is favoritism. Please read my previous post on favoritism here.
  • Parents comparing children which increases the rivalry- “why don’t you try to become like your brother?” Please read my previous post on comparing children here.
  • Children wanting praise or attention from the parents .
  • Children trying to get into the “good books ” of parents.
  • Child might feel,even if its not the case, that parents are always taking the side of his/her sibling when the siblings fight.
  • Huge age difference between siblings – if the gap is huge (10 years+) it might intensify sibling rivalry as over the years the circumstances of parents might change, what was possible with first child might not be possible with the younger one and vice versa .

Sibling rivalry might increase or reduce in adulthood.

Little bit of sibling rivalry is normal

All siblings fight. Through the fighting they bond as well. They compete with each other too- to try to grab attention of the parents. This is all very normal. So if your children are doing this, it is quite normal.

Don’t encourage the rivalry

Don’t encourage rivalry by comparing children. Sometimes you might do it unintentionally or blurt out something like “your brother does this for me all the time, why don’t you do it?” Even if you do say it in the heat of the moment, reassure the child by saying that you love all of them equally .

Too much sibling rivalry might be carried into adulthood

If there is too much sibling rivalry in childhood, it is more than likely that it will get carried into adulthood. If it does it might not be healthy for the siblings. After the parents have passed on, the siblings only have each other. So it is the responsibility of both siblings and parents to try to make effort to reduce rivalry. It must be remembered by the siblings, they too are adults now and responsible for their own actions.

Siblings should also remember(being adults now) that their relation with each other is different from the one with the parents. One relation should not spoil the other.

Reasons for sibling rivalry in adults

  • Favoritism towards one sibling by the parents.
  • One sibling just doesn’t get on with the other due to difference in their nature or character.
  • More dependence on one child by elderly parents compared to others.
  • Sibling rivalry into adulthood might also be as a result of differences which might have cropped up between the siblings due to certain incidences or miscommunication or misunderstanding. This might have nothing to do with the parents.
  • Sibling might not get on with the spouse of the other sibling. This will affect siblings relations with each other and lead to rivalry.
  • Competition between spouses of siblings might also lead to sibling rivalry with regards to wealth or social status.

Effects of sibling rivalry into adulthood

  • The sibling who feels he/she isn’t getting attention from parents might have problems with self-confidence.
  • Relations between siblings will get affected due to fights and communication issues. After all adults are not as forgiving as children!
  • Siblings will continue competing with each other which might not be healthy  and will lead to a lot of stress.

If you are facing sibling rivalry

Try to take these steps if you are facing sibling rivalry:

  • Forgive and forget. Try to be the bigger person.
  • Make peace with yourself first. Even if you do feel that your sibling is getting more love and attention of your parents then you should first to accept the situation. Try to look at it as an outsider rather than looking at it as an affected emotional person.
  • Don’t dwell on negative things which serve you nothing! In fact, do not discuss or complain or rant about every “episode”.
  • Continue to be “normal” with your parent(s) by offering them what you can. Don’t beat yourself if your opinion or your idea doesn’t get accepted by them and the “favorite” sibling’s idea gets accepted.
  • Treat yourself nicely and maintain your self-respect. Don’t stop loving yourself. The important thing is to love yourself. Belief in yourself.
  • If you feel that your self-respect is being compromised than maintain distance from your sibling for little while. Take a break but not for too long otherwise you might grow too distant.
  • If the sibling rivalry is due to misunderstandings or miscommunication , try to sort it out amicably with your sibling as early as possible.

By being competitive and jealous of your sibling will not serve you in any way. It will just make you unhappy .

Conclusion

Parents though elderly should try and accept and acknowledge opinions of all their adult children and perhaps explain to them why they are unable to accept opinions so that children do not feel “unwanted” which might later give rise to sibling rivalry. Parents should try to be just and fair to all their children from the children’s childhood into adulthood.

If sibling rivalry has nothing to do with parents, but difference of opinion just accept it and move on. Don’t hold grudges. It will just pull you down.

Have you experienced sibling rivalry? How did you deal with ? How did your parents react to it? Please share via comment box below.

Regards

Is Parenting Hard? – Is It Worth It?

“Is parenting hard?” is the question often asked by couples contemplating having a child. Is it worth it? Sometimes people who already have children think of parenting as the most difficult job(me included) . Then why do people have children? Parents moan non-stop about their children – why didn’t they think about this before they decided to have children? Is parenting only about pressures, worry and stress? Is there something, that people miss out on if they don’t have children?

 

 

 

 

Let me highlight a few things below which your child will bring your life:

Your child is your teacher

Some parents always think that a parent has to teach the child discipline, good behaviour, family culture, maths homework etc. But try to look at the other side of the coin. Your child teaches you:

  • How to learn to be patient.
  • How to teach your body to stay awake the whole night and do all the chores including looking after your child the next day without feeling the exhaustion.
  • Multi tasking- there is no job in this world which teaches you how to multi task as much as parenting does.

My most favourite ones:

  • How to be an emotion switcher (within five seconds!). This is the scenario: My kids are fighting with each other, I get angry with them, tell them off. They say sorry with that look .. POOF … . anger is gone .. Replaced with a Mum’s heart brimming full of love for her children. You experience this magic only with your children. Children can teach parents how to have dual emotions at the same time.
  • Before you have children- you would think I can’t do so much work in a day – “it is impossible” . Once you become a parent you can pack in the same amount of work in an hour !

You grow as a person

Once you have a child- he/she is your responsibility . Whether you have any emotional, physical or financial problem, you have still got to love and look after your child  and play with them. You wouldn’t believe how much you grow as a person.

Your faith in the universe becomes stronger

When you see your baby soon after he/she is born- you would feel as if the biggest miracle has happened in your life. Watching your kids grow, makes you realise the power of the creator of the universe which increases your faith. As you handle your child and deal with your own issues – your faith will get stronger in God or universe.

Children give you the reason to be happy

If a parent has had a stressful day, spend one hour playing with the kids- become a child yourself. Before the  hour is up, all your stress would have disappeared. Such is the power and sweetness of a child!

Your life will be busy

Your life will be busy, upside down but you won’t be sitting lonely and depressed if all your “partying friends” are busy .

You will be the most important person in your child’s life

If you have ever come across a phase in your life, when you feel you are not able to please anyone- your boss, your spouse,your siblings or even your parents- fear not ! You will always be the most important person in your child’s life. Your child will give you a reason to love yourself once again!

Parenting teaches you to care and share

Parents have to practice what they preach to their children. If you teach your children to care and share, you will have to demonstrate it to your children. This would automatically make you a better human being.

Parenting gives you fulfillment

Parenting or having a child gives immense fulfillment despite the sleepless nights and hard work and loads of laundry! You are responsible for another life. It is an honour too to be entrusted with another life by the universe.

Parenting makes you selfless

Parenting makes you selfless. When you become a parent , you are constantly thinking about the welfare and needs of your child all the time. This makes you very selfless. You are not thinking only about yourself all the time.

You will be able to leave your legacy to someone

Everybody want to leave their imprint before they depart from this world. You can leave your imprint through your children by giving them your upbringing , thoughts, opinions, culture etc.

But before you decide to have a child it is important to :

  • Understand that your life will change forever.
  • You will have to move mountains to raise your children.
  • It involves a lot of hard work and sacrifices.
  • Your child/children will always be your number one priority until they become adults. Nothing or nobody is more important than your child/children.

Apart from the above,  there are a few other things I would like to highlight,

Parenting- if you have no help

There are many parents like us (my husband and I) who have no help with the children. But that shouldn’t be a reason not to have children. A child is always best looked after by the parents, in my opinion. It is hard but you will see the fruits of it sooner or later. Parents can love, guide,discipline,instruct, teach children like no one else can. Every other relation for the child is optional or a bonus.

If you have seen other parents being miserable

Do not let the misery of other parents dictate whether you should have a child or not. A person should make up their own mind whether they are ready to have a child or not. There are good and bad days, ups and downs when you are a parent. Ups and downs are a part of life whether you are a parent or not. Finally, it is the attitude of the parent which will decide how happy the parent is after having the child!

Conclusion

Parenting is a choice. In my opinion, having children is the natural progression in life. Parenting teaches things which nothing else can and most of all becoming a parent is one of the most joyous moments of our lives. Are you a parent or planning to be one? Do you think parenting is hard? Please get in touch via comment box below.

Regards