All posts filed under: Parenting

6 Common Parenting Mistakes We All Make

The main lesson I learned about parenting is that it doesn’t stop. Once a parent, always a parent! Each of us has an idea about good parenting skills. What makes a good parent? Does anyone have an answer to that question that will go unchallenged by someone else? Each child grows into their own person with all the inherent imperfection that this entails. Healthy parenting recognises and embraces these perceived imperfections. Positive Parenting Parenting styles differ from person to person. It should also differ from child to child. Each child’s situation is unique, and they respond differently to the same things. While one child may throw a temper tantrum to get what they want, another might prefer to crawl under the bed and cry silently. Positive parenting is recognising how best to make kids aware of their own needs and feelings without forcing your own. As I learn everyday, it is a darned difficult thing to do. Inevitably, I make mistakes everyday and learn something about myself in the process. The world is full of …

father and son in playful embrace

Fatherhood

Fathers have a profound influence on their children by just being there for them and teaching values through actions rather than just words. The role of a good father is immeasurable. This is of course only applicable to families where fathers are present. When fathers are good role models, they set the behavioural standard for the child to emulate and for all other men in the child’s life. Fathers have many different roles in their children’s lives. Fathers need to make sure they do an excellent job in those many different roles. A father who is a good role model will help their children respect themselves and those around them. The changing role of the modern day father Many fathers limit themselves to a box when it comes to parenting. They see themselves as the hunter-gatherers but not the nurturers. Even younger parents, I find, are not able to see beyond this role. Changing diapers, feeding, teaching and learning activities, or even dealing with the child’s emotional needs are all delegated to the mother.  This …

How much screen time is too much?

Screen time is one of the most common parenting terms around. While it might seem like a simple concept, it can get complicated when you’re trying to figure out how much screen time is too much. The average screen time during COVID lockdowns have increased drastically for all age groups, and not all of it can be avoided. How much screen time is too much? There is a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to how much screen-time children should have. Sitting in front of the TV or computer all day has long been considered unhealthy, but it’s only recently that doctors have delved into some of the effects and how much screen time is too much. There is no doubt that the current generation of children and teenagers are using computers, smartphones, tablets, and TV for a lot more than just playing games. In fact, children are spending excessive amounts of time in front of a screen. According to statistics, the average screen time for a teenager is about 6 hours in front …

Statue of Mary with a golden crown and sceptre, and Jesus

My Introduction to Becoming a Parent

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a child? Is it hard? Is it stressful? Do you like the changes that are made in your body, your life and yourself when you become a parent? Can you still have a life after a baby? Before you become a parent, every parent you know will tell you how your life is going to change completely. You nod politely thinking yes, of course it is going to change. I know that. Having a child changes your life. What you don’t know is just how completely it does actually change every single aspect of your life. No one can prepare you for that.  It’s not just your daily routine that changes, or it’s like some minor inconveniences that you have to face. Rather, it’s your whole perspective on love and life that is overhauled.  The love you feel for this tiny human cannot be compared to anything you’ve felt before. The responsibility to be the best parent you can be, especially when you’re running …

Baby, sitting on a high chair, eating eggs on his own and smiling

What is Baby-led Weaning?

Teaching good eating habits is a skill that’s important to learn. If you’re a parent, grandparent, or caregiver, you’ll want to encourage your baby to try different foods as soon as possible. Not only will this build their appetite for mealtime, but it’ll help them identify new tastes and textures as young children. Wherever I’ve lived in India, I’ve always seen babies being chased by their caregivers with a piece of food to stuff down their mouths. Homes, playgrounds, and even in restaurants. Whether it’s the twentieth bite of rice and dal, or a cookie (which makes me think if you’re going to force-feeding your child why not just make it a healthier fare?), there’s a child running away from it.  I was sure I never wanted to do that. There had to be a better way. My research saved us all. What is baby-led weaning? Baby Led Weaning is a gentle but effective approach to teaching your baby to eat well. Baby led weaning basically means you follow your baby’s cues while introducing solids. …

Mom looking lovingly at her new baby in her arms

Does having a child ‘complete’ you?

Short answer when I want to avoid further discussion: Yes Long answer: Yes, but only if you really wanted one in the first place and have some sort of a support system that will ensure you retain a basic level of sanity at most times, and at other times they will take care of you and the baby, because MY GOD the tiny things can be loud and deprive you of your most basic needs and make you want to leave everything and sleep peacefully for just one hour. But look how cute they are when they sleep…awww.  A new adventure, a new world to discover! That’s what becoming a parent has meant to me. I never knew I could love someone so much and that becoming a parent would change my life completely. I knew it was different and expected it to be difficult but nothing prepared me for it. When I was a kid myself, I loved babies. Then as I grew I understood it’s not all chubby cheeks and cute gurgles. By …

Mom and her baby lying next to each other smiling

Breastfeeding Basics for Beginners: What they don’t tell you

While I was pregnant, getting closer to my due date, I did all the research I could on what to expect once the baby was in your arms. Research calms me. It gives me a semblance of control over a world of chaos. And Boy! Was my world going to get chaotic! The one thing I never looked into was breastfeeding. I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby but never researched it because I thought I didn’t need to. It’s the most natural thing in the world, they said. It’ll happen automatically and immediately, they said.  Liars! Breastfeeding is not a natural talent Breastfeeding problems are not uncommon among new mothers. However, breastfeeding awareness is shockingly low. Let’s start from the very beginning.  As soon as my baby boy was out and his vitals checked, he was handed to me for a quick suckle at the nipple. More of a comfort thing I was told, as the milk wouldn’t have come in yet. Once we were settled in our room, the nurse had to …

Baby hand holding mom's finger

Parenting in the 21st Century

What is it like to be a parent today, as compared to ten years ago? Well, I’ll remove the suspense for you. It is very different. I am a mother of a wonderful child. At first I was not quite sure what to do in my role as a parent. It wasn’t until I got over the shock of having a new person in my house and got some practice changing diapers that is when my real lessons began. Parents will worry Being paranoid comes naturally to every parent from the moment they hold their first child. The fear of something bad happening to your child is like a constant nagging at the back of your head. You think it’ll subside as your baby grows older and learns to navigate the world. But, in reality, you just learn to live with it.  I was surprised to learn the reason for this. Apparently, right after giving birth, the mother’s amygdala in the brain becomes active. It is responsible for your survival instincts making you overprotective of …

Book on parenting kept with kids toys

Looking for some parenting advice? My top 3 books for parents

Becoming a parent is a wonderful and life changing experience. You have a new little person in your life, so there’s going to be changes in you as well. As a reader and seeker of information, I turned to books and the Internet to help me out during different stages of my parenting journey.  I am so grateful to be living in an age when so much information is available literally at my fingertips. These are some of the books that have broadened my parenting perspectives and helped me better connect with my child. What to expect: The First year by Heidi Murkoff This is of course the bible for every new parent. It gives suggestions from different parenting perspectives so you don’t feel your choices are wrong or something you need to feel guilty about.  It takes you through the different milestones each month. Your baby might reach them sooner or later but at least you’ll know what to expect and how to deal with it. It’s very detailed and that gives you a …

Mother with her newborn baby

Childbirth and its Aftermath

Pregnancy might be your most beautiful stage in life, but it’s certainly not as rosy as it is made to sound. Becoming a parent is the greatest thing that can happen to a person. You hold a baby inside you for nine months and then you finally get to meet the tiny troublemaker. Becoming a parent is one of the biggest changes you’ll ever go through in your life. It can be exciting and scary. It’s the kind of change that will enrich your life or destroy it. Few things are as more important than parenthood. It’s a difficult job, but also an important one to have. Becoming a parent for the first time can be very intimidating. Having a baby changes your life Like most women, I had only ever heard of good things that happen when you have a baby. You glow while you are pregnant and are always smiling looking at your cute baby bump in the mirror. Childbirth pain is just a minor inconvenience that you’ll forget as soon as the …