Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tantrum Threes.......

My daughter is three....and yes, like many of us already know and will vouch for, the threes are the Tantrum Threes.....
On a regular day my daughter does not get too much time to throw tantrums....not that she is a regular tantrum baby. She is generally quite well-behaved in front of others, thankfully so. I always believe that mood swings and tantrums are best handled behind closed doors, or at home when there is no outsider present, when you can give your undivided attention to your child and handle the situation better.

In my experiences as a mother I have come to realise one thing - that a child will ALMOST ALWAYS behave weird or throw mood issues when the parents are not giving them the desired attention. This is especially true of a baby who lives with only the parents. They are so used to constant and undivided attention from parents that even a little deviation of attention to a second person can trigger of a mood swing, and sometimes, tantrums.

One of the biggest threat of triggering a tantrum in a baby, especially my daughter, is when I scold her in front of someone else. I may scold her or say anything to her when she is only with me. But the moment I say something in front of another, even that typical 'big eyes mommy is angry' look, it is enough to bring a bout of tears in her......I know now its always better to take her to a side and talk to her in private, even though she is three.....Being three is not the issue here though, the thing is, she maybe just three, but she has a mind of her own, and a sense of self-respect that is at a tremendous threat of getting wounded when scolded in front of others.

Of late my daughter has been showing a lot of mood swings when it comes to food. I used to get really upset at times, trying to force her into eating, which would further aggravate the mood swings. Lots of tears and crying and pouting would follow, add to it my anger and frustration.

I found out a better way to deal with it. Instead of forcing her to eat all the time, I give her her plate and tell her to finish it. I am careful to serve very small portions on her plate. If she finishes and wants more, good. If she doesn't want more, at least she finishes the tiny portion served. Some days she does not want to eat at all. Instead of forcing her too much to eat, I let her do whatever it is she is doing. In the meanwhile, I eat my portion with a lot of show, mentioning in between that the food is good and that it is making me grow big and strong. I don't tell her to come back and eat. Sometimes that does the trick and she comes back to the food herself.

Sometimes she really seems to be full. So I grant her the benefit of doubt and let her skip her food for the time being. She may be three, but sometimes it's useful to ask her what she would like to eat, of course giving her a few options from my end first. I mention three-four dishes and ask her to choose. In most cases, when I serve her the desired food, she usually finishes it.

Well, it is going pretty okay for me at the moment....I thought this could be useful for you too.....

And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This Winter....

It's winters....that time of the year when our little ones are again so prone to those bouts of cough and cold and we parents are running around with that dreaded thermometer in hand, calling up the doc, fixing an appointment, and trying desperately to make the poor little ones drink the daughter seems to love medicines!!!!so my task is difficult to explain to her that now she does not need any!!!
Sometimes, winters approach so suddenly on us that we dont really get the chance to keep our woolens in the sun, just like ma used to do when we were small. Of course we all are quite restrained on time these days. What with office and home and many more added responsibilities, it is not always possible to take out time and remember to do each and every chore. If you did not really get the chance to sun-out your woolens before use this winter, try and send it to a good dry-cleaner. Sometimes, children develop allergies, especially rashes and cough and cold from these same woolens that have been in storage for most of the past year.
This winter, let honey be your child's best friend (not for infants though, and if your baby has had any prior allergies or reaction to honey, make sure you check with the doctor first). A little honey in milk, instead of sugar, will help your child stay away from the regular cough and cold. Also, why not add just the tiniest pinch of ground turmeric in your baby's milk? Or even jaggery? Not only are these rich sources of nutrition for your little one, they will also help your baby fight the virus.
Green leafy vegetables are back with the let your child enjoy these...of course make sure that you clean them properly before feeding your child. Clean and boil these greens in salt water and then mash it (if your child is too small) or cut into fine pieces and mix in the flour you use for your daily roti and parantha. Use the boiled water of the leaves to make dals or curries. The best part about these leaves are that, if you dont have the time to do this each day, just boil them and keep them in the fridge...once boiled, they can be easily stored for a week to ten days. Also, make ample use of the lovely vegetables in the market, carrot, beetroot and so many other nourishing foods. Make vegetable soups/stews at home, make vegetable porridge, make custard with many natural things for our little ones just waiting for us to bring back home.
Of course it is not always possible to keep cough and cold at bay. But lets try and go a little more natural this season....
And for us parents...I know we all have that childhood fantasy of playing doctor all the time....but please remember, when it comes to your child's health, we are simply NOT ALLOWED to play doctor...even if it is 'Just A Cold', please take them to a good doctor..

And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shopping With My Little Fashionista...Tommy Hilfiger Children's Wear India

This was something that the brand Tommy Hilfiger asked me to write on.

If ten years back you asked someone about fashion and to which age group it applied to, chances are you would have heard something of an answer like teenagers/young adults. And this would have been the starting age group to which the term fashion applied.

Not untrue, this was pretty much the scenario till a few years back.

But come back with the same question today – which age group does the term ‘Fashion’ apply to in the starting category - and the answer just has to be – toddler.

It is not funny what the toddler of today is capable of – be it colour coordination, contrasts, matching, accessories, what to wear and what not, what to wear when, and what to wear with what – our toddlers today know all that and more.

Fashion today has taken up a whole new meaning. What was earlier a term for the teenage and young populace is today a term for someone who is just out of the crib. And if that is the case, as a mother I do believe that it is definitely the responsibility of the brands to come out with creations that are not only stylish and cute, but also sensible and realistic.

My little darling is all of three, but she knows more of her wardrobe and get-up than probably me.

My house has become a pink house, thanks to her phase of PINK ONLY, that still rears its scary head on and off, and I will say it, with due respect to all pink-lovers, that I HATE PINK!!!

Babies today know much more than we give them credit for. My daughter walks into a store with me, already decided on what she wants, whether its going to be a skirt, or a frock, or a tee, or a dungaree, or Capri, or jeans, or shorts…she has it all pre-decided – of course it is a different matter altogether that she never really sticks to that list, we always have to try and trick her into not selecting too many outfits – a trick she is soon catching up on and outdoing us.

So, as a mother, it is really a pleasure to walk into a store and see most of the work already done – that the displays are well-coordinated and thought out, that their staff is well-versed in the outfits and combinations – that is always a real help to a parent who is alone in the store with a toddler – that the material is such that will not harm the tender toddler skin, that the colours are bright and cheerful, that there are as many frill and fanices as are boys’ tees and shorts. The selecting, the coordinating, the trying on – it is always a comfort to have someone around who can help you with these little but important points and also guide you towards a useful purchase, without of course breathing down your neck.

Once someone had gifted my daughter a dress on some occasion, with all due respect to the person and to the thought that accompanied the dress, I did not make her wear it much, as the colour I thought was too dull to be put on a baby. As a mother to a daughter in the toddler age-group, I always prefer colours that are bright and fun. Of course a baby looks good in any and every colour, but that does not negate the fact that I do not really dress her up in greys and browns and shades that will make a day seem dull…and neither does she go for that colour in the store either. It is interesting to have a store that has bright and happy colours on its shelves - that is the store where babies’ clothes should be.

On a typical day when we are going out, my daughter has her preferences on what she wants to wear. She usually gives me two-three options and I am free to choose for her, but sometimes she takes the upper hand and decides on her own. So once the dress has been selected, she will promptly decide what clips to wear and which socks and shoes will go with it.

Get it right – kids today are not easily fooled, and neither are the parents. So unless and until a brand can offer them the best that is available, the race is already lost. Parents these days are much more aware and conscious about what is good and bad and what options there are in the market. Be it the material of the dress, the way a zipper has been stitched on, the buttons, the pattern – whether it can graze the skin of the baby – parents today are much more aware and take each aspect into consideration before making a purchase. And why not, if you are paying so much for a dress that the kid will outgrow in the next couple of months, it only makes sense that you make sure you are getting your money’s worth. And it is always good to come across a brand that acknowledges this parent-perspective.

There are endless days at home with my toddler when I have realised how aware she is about the concept of fashion. She is no fashion model, my little one, but she does have her taste in place. She knows what dress she wears at home and what dress she wears out, she knows the concept of matching, these days she is moving towards the concept of contrast, she has her likes and dislikes in place.

And yes, as a three-year-old, she has also begun to tell me what to wear and what not, like if I am wearing something to go out in, she will tell me if she does not like it and promptly ask me to change.

These are just some of the few things that my daughter does which make me realize how the concept of fashion is changing.

Mine is not an isolated case. I am sure you too must have experienced this in your own way, either with your own kids, or with young children in the family. And I am sure it has definitely amazed you, as it has amazed me. And, if your and my experiences are anything to go by, we can safely say that, fashion, as it is today, is definitely not going to grow up anytime soon ;)

As mentioned on the Tommy Hilfiger page: 'Debolina is the Editor of Parenthood and Pregnancy Magazine and blogs about her Little One at My Little One And Me.'

I would love to hear the views of ALL parents...Im sure you have interesting experiences on similar lines too :)

And like I always say and believe in:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!!

- Debolina Raja Gupta


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