Category Archives: Parenting Tips

A Calmer You: so, are you an inch-tape parent?

Will you stop measuring your child up against others? Please? Right now?

Hello Maa’m, Sir, You don’t know me, but the living proof of your reproduction capabilities, who has just handed over the newspaper to you and is now discreetly checking out your facial expression as you read this, does. And it is for him or her that I’m writing this letter to you.

A Calmer You so are you an inch-tape parent

Not sure if you noticed, but your offspring hasn’t really been happy lately. By lately, I mean ever since a few minutes after his birth, when you first uttered ‘the complexion is good but the birth-weight is a little less than the boy born yesterday in the adjoining room.’ That marked the entry of your child, who I am certain you love most dearly, into your ‘inch-tape’ world.

An open letter to ‘inch-tape’ parents-tips deal with growing kids

As he or she grew older, your inch-tape started closing in on her, with reminders that unlike her, the neighbour’s child drinks milk without any fuss, or that her cousin is 2 cm taller even when she’s forty days younger. As years passed, the calendars on your wall changed, but your measuring tape did not. Because the cousin was not just still taller, she had also got 94 percent in exams when your poor Pappu was languishing at mere 92.7.

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Parenting Tips to Deal with Growing Kids[/stextbox]

Your constant reminders that the others will get admission at better places, that the others will get better jobs and that the others will have a better life, are actually contributing towards ensuring that the others indeed get a better life. Because your child is too busy trying to deal with your inch-tape. Can you, for the sake of their happiness and world peace, do the following three things? (‘world peace’ added just to make it sound cooler. Not everything in life has a logical explanation, people!!).

1 Can you give your son or daughter a 30-minute appointment today?

Closed door, heart to heart meeting, in which you will let your child (only up to 80 years old) tell you, in whatever words they can manage, how much it hurts them when you compare them with someone else, be it an outsider or even a sibling. You will not interrupt, argue or say that you do it only for their betterment, because they already know that. They know that no one in the world wants their good more than you do. It still hurts. Just 30 minutes, let them vent it out. They’ve
already promised me they’ll be most respectful. I’m not asking for you to change. I’m just asking you to listen. They deserve to be heard.
And all those who know that their child may not be as expressive verbally, could you please encourage your child to write it all down, in a letter or an email, which you will patiently read? Pakka Promise?

2 Can you manage to find some peaceful moments this week, to sit alone, without your mobile phone or TV anywhere nearby, and remember your growing up years?

Try to remember how you felt being measured up against others, how during exams, a bigger cause for tension than not getting good marks was your friend getting more marks than you. And then ask yourself if sub-consciously, you are becoming the reason for a similar tension in your child’s life? You know how we are so fond of saying things like, ‘I couldn’t afford this lifestyle when I was growing up, so I’ll make sure my child gets it’. The same is applicable even for peace of mind. If you didn’t get it as a child because of constant nagging or comparison, it’s all the more important you make sure your child does. Basically, if among all other things, you have unknowingly inherited your parents’ inch-tape as well, please put it away now. Also, do you remember how you secretly began to hate everyone who your parents compared you with? So, what are you doing now may just be making your child dislike or hate a classmate, friend or even a sibling for no fault of theirs. Don’t do that. It’s just not right.

3 And finally, ask your spouse, or some close friend to look at your life at present and honestly evaluate it. You’ve done pretty okay, haven’t you?

Not being able to utter a word when the kid next door was singing rhymes, not being as tall as Pooja aunty’s son, not getting as many marks in the board exam as the boring geek in the coaching centre or not cracking the IITs or the IIMs like your elder brother, didn’t really keep you from having a fairly good life, no? You know why? Because coming on top in a comparison is just no assurance of a happy life. And you know that. Right? Don’t just nod, kuchh karo na yaar, about this profound realisation I’ve just spelt out. (thank you, taking a bow). Promise yourself that the next time you’ll start to give someone else’s example, in an unhealthy-comparison way, to your child, you will immediately stop.

In fact, if it makes it easier, set a code word with your son or daughter to remind you of this. The moment you start to compare, they’ll say the code word and you would be reminded of your promise. If you’ll do this for your child, I promise on their behalf that they will also take a vow to never compare you with anyone else’s parents. Deal?

Sonal Kalra got so senti after writing this that she actually threw away the inch-tape lying on the table. It belonged to the carpenter working in the house. Damn.

Note: This column is being re-run on reader feedback. It was earlier published on November 19, 2011

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Loving But Sometime Strange

Finally I am at home, enjoying  mama’s delicacies, 24*7 internet, awesome time with friends, no classes, no study( as if I studied in hall 9!),a bit of scolding every now and then and much-2 more!!

I have been writing a lot of poems lately, but I feel that the writer inside me is banging on the closet to get out, to be free… (He! He! I like fancy writing!!)

Ok! Now the writer is free. What about the TOPIC? What should I write about?!..

As I was wondering, MOM came in. She looked serious.

“Beta! Why don’t you put that brown Monkey Cap.? It’s getting so cold; you will catch Cold soon “she asked.

I gave her an astonished look. “Come on! MOM! I am sitting in my room not on a mountain, am not gonna put that stupid-brown-monkey-cap anyways. (I was serious; I was not going to be a laugh stock for visitors!)

Loving But Sometime Strange

Mom gave me dirty looks. “With how much love, I had made it for you? And you used to like it earlier. But now you don’t care at all!”She said in a disappointed voice. Before I could try something, she went away.

I felt absurd. What’s my mistake? Should I have put that cause-of-matter cap? Did I hurt her? Was I rude? Ewwwh! How on earth I used to like that Brown-monkey-Cap?

Next, in a moment of sheer enlightenment I got my topic…… (Drum roll! Please?)…….PARENTS!!

Ok! I am sure about this fact that we guys don’t connect the word “interesting” with Parents (though the word LOVING is always attached to them) but I want you to ogle at this topic.

Everyone loves his parents. So do I. Could still remember, the day when I cried more than a bride when mom and Dad left me in school in K.G.?You know what? I got teased for this, by my female classmate till class 8 after which I went to a BOY’S school. I just took all that embarrassment to prove how much we love our parents… (You can salute me! I am ok with it)

They are our idol in some ways. I still couldn’t make out dads secret to handle situations so calmly and make friends so easily, when everybody around him is dead silent. Mom is really a very hard working woman, who has carried her responsibility so well and Mind it! She is a top seed bargainer … ( I never told her that I had bought the same jeans she gifted..But had to pay twice)

But we can’t skip the fact that parents can be really bugging at times. For instance, they won’t let you keep your mobile under your pillow at nights. They will safeguard you from the ghosts of late night talks and texts and if you protest “Dad why can’t I have my mobile with me at nights?”Then you better be ready for some cross questions (counter strike may be a better word….and i am a big pf the game also)

What do you have to do with it, at such a late time? Who calls you that late? What stupid, good-for-nothing jokes you have to send..?

“Dad! I keep my alarms on my mobile!” I replied to deliver some sense.

“NONSENSE! Who would require an alarm to get up at 10 in the morning?”He says angrily. Next, I forfeit.

Another time, you will play the awesome game of prince of Persia (warrior within) on your P.C. and Dad will come from behind, stare at the desktop and start his monologue” What aim do you think it will serve you? All you doing is banging the ‘poor’ keyboard buttons and killing people in that virtual world.”

Hello??  Dad! I am the Prince here, Prince Of Persia, to be precise and am just fighting for my empire! ( I could feel a sword in my hand that time)

Whatever? Finish it soon! I want you to read an editorial in today’s newspaper, written by Rajdeep Sardesai, be sure that you do it because I will discuss it with you later.

“DAMN…..!!” is all you say and that to softly.

If there is a special occasion like you going out with your family then MOM will make it sure that  you become a CLOTH-STOCK. She just decorates so many clothes on you that anyone can mistake you for a BOMB-DIFFUSING squad member than a party guy.

Don’t talk about social networking with parents. You don’t have to thank MR. KAPIL SIBAL for that, actually parents and social media have dynastic hatred. I was more screwed up than ARJUNA ( I just love putting those extra A) in MAHABHARATA when Dad  asked me the password of my GMAIL account. Poor I, LORD KRISNA didn’t come for my rescue.

i still remember the scenario when   i wrote the poem “Girl! Somehow, one day, you will read these lines”? No Son would like his parents to come across such a poem written by him only. At least I wouldn’t. But thanks to ALMIGHTY (who has decided to use all His might against me) it came across DAD.

Casually, DAD read the title loudly and he was shocked, he read it again (softer this time). He slowly went through the body (of poem, off course!), gave me a strange look, I nervously stood next to him. He continued reading (with every passing stanza his voice became softer). It’s really an absurd feeling to hear stuffs like “flirt”,” you will be mine”, an arrow struck at my heart”..etc..etc…in your DAD’s voice only.. I wanted to a dig a pit and slip into it till DAD forget about the poem, I also cursed myself for writing long poems.

Finally poem was red; DAD was silent and serious with his eyes still on poem. Tension had enveloped the environment. “So I guess all this stuff is imaginary?” he asked with his eyebrows lifted.

“Sure! Dad, it’s all about imagination” I meekly replied.

“OH! …..Nice Piece, anyways” he smiled with a hint of glee and then he went away.

It’s really hard to understand your parents sometimes. It may because till the extent of our perspective they are only parents and just-only parents, nothing else. But they are more …..just like us yet so different. So loving yet so strange.

How To Develop Good And Healthy Habits In Children

The following tips and guidelines will help your child to develop good and healthy habits that will improve his self-image;

1. You should be positive on things
generally all kids depend on their parents for everything. They learn most of things from their parents as they grow. So a parent has got a huge influence and big role to play in the development of the kid. Children believe that their mom or dad is always right on everything he says or does. So the parents should ensure that they are positive always and teach their kids positive things. Give the child the message that will make his mind to have a positive mentality of good and healthy habits. Start by thinking positive all the time and tell the kids how great they are and how great they will be if they do as you tell them. Let them know what they are capable of doing as kids like to hear and know what they can do. Make sure you praise them for every good job done and help them to develop a good self-image to the society. When you start by thinking positive on things, you will influence your kinds to think so hence developing good and healthy habits on them.

2. Be realistic and a good role model
Children will always take notice of what you are doing, listening and saying. Make sure that what you do, listen and say has got a positive development in the habits of the children as they grow. It is not that you must be perfect, but try to perfect your characters as they will copy from you. Set goals that have limits, are good, achievable and realistic to engage a positive development of your kids. Develop health eating goals, physical development goals and life goals. If you achieve these goals, your children will see your effort and get influenced. Keep healthy body by eating better as your kids will always imitate you.
3. Limit computer and TV time
Monitor and control what your children are watching, playing or saying. Encourage physical and mental activities that makes your children enjoy. Let them experiment these activities because they will stick with them for longer if they love them. When rewarding your children, don’t reward them with video games, TV or candy instead reward them with something which can improve and develop a good and healthy habits.
4. Let the dinnertime be a family time
It is good when a family sits down together to eat. This will help you to monitor well what the children are eating. Allow your children to involve themselves in the cooking and planning of meals. Provide healthy food for your children and ensure you enjoy dinner with your family by making delicious meals, fruits and good vegetables to make it a norm for your children as they grow.


5. Have fun and stay involved

Plan a time to have fun with your children and let the whole family move together, ride bikes, take walks and swim together.


The writer is Amy Lawson from Manchester. She’s an insurance advisor who also volunteers for several non-profit organizations that spread awareness about organic food. Writing is her passion and she writes quite a lot on topics related to insurance. Presently, she is writing a thesis on child tax credit helpline.

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Dear God,beware of your actions….. Pappu is watching You

Here comes Pappu, six years old, very very naughty and my cutie pie from next door. What to describe about him..? well all in all, just want to say that he is curious and quick witted guy. He comes my home daily, without taking any holiday. In fact, he enjoys holidaying his holidays our home. Actually he adores annoying my wrinkled Biji. They can’t live without meeting and greeting each other.

pappu and god

Pappu is a lovely guy with lots of playfulness and sensibility. Very easy going guy. But sometimes easy and casual going keeps you head spinning and you really get stunned upon his senses. But I think he is the “God” who was most bewildered and staggered on Pappu’s comment that day..

Well that day was an ordinary day when it started. Pappu came home and saw Biji watching news. He also sat with her. Whenever you watch news, you tend to see violence in it, be it from North, East, West or South. None other than killing, intriguing, offending or defending is telecasted. But that news of China and Pakistan intriguing India catch attention of our little Pappu.

He asked curiously…”Biji..what is it? What is happening between these trio?”

Our Biji, I find her the incarnation of Rani Jhansi, angrily replied “ Our not so good neighboring countries want to take away our piece of land..But they won’t be successful as they are wrong and wrongs never win ! !” I don’t know why this Government or God don’t take it seriously and helps us. Pappu remained mum but I was sure, in his insane mind he was into something..

Well, Biji exasperated changed the channel and started watching mythological series on Lord Shiva.. She calmly asked Pappu to pay his obeisance to Him and seeks blessings of Lord Shiva from TV. He is God, be on T.V, the creator and manager of this universe.

Pappu did the same and started watching it,that too with interest, well well well ..that was phishy for me then, Pappu and mythological series?? How??

Amm..moving forward with the story of Lord Shiva, in it, Jalandhar, the deadly demon was attacking Indra and other angels, He opened war against them.

Pappu interestingly asked Biji…”Biji Biji…what is going on here??”

Biji explained,” demons attack angels for more wealth, boundaries,status etc, they want to steal everything from angels,but you see angels would face them and beat them”. Pappu was excited to know about angels win.

She again changed the channel, murmuring bad about these commercial breaks that comes in serials..

Wow..there was another epic going on..this time again demons were harming angels of God.

Pappu got irked watching same story over and again.. Biji smiled,patted him said..” Pappu beta,in every epic this story is repeated, be it Ramayana, Shiv Puran etc”

Hmm..okay..i take it if you say so ! was his reply.

And then suddenly he asked her,Biji you always ask everyone to follow God, right?

Yes my dear..any doubt in that? replied her.

Then China and Pakistan are not doing any wrong intriguing India . Pappu remarked !

“What?” Biji and I were stunned on listening this..

How are you saying this? Can you explain?

He gently smiled and said…” look Biji, in heaven, there are also issues like conspiracy, malignancy,magic and war rules them all” and as a good followers, we are following the same.

So Biji, if you want peace on this planet, kindly asks your God to watch His actions as we are watching and following Him. Biji got mum over his statement and I burst into laughter..and was imagining what’s God reaction would be on his statement??

God might be thinking “ Hey Pappu…yeh tune kya kaha?”

"My Parents Just Dont Understand me" .. like .. really ?

Aeons have passed since the apparently ‘never going to end’ war between the not so modern parents and their so very inexperienced kids has been going on! Almost everyday I come across this topic, posts of children on social networking sites railing against their parents for not being modern enough to accept their child’s romantic relationship with someone else followed by the morose “Why me ?” and the melancholic “ My parents just don’t understand me” … I mean come on people they are YOUR PARENTS doing everything just for you and you harass all their concern with this “Why me?”

Kids Fight with parents relationship issues

Why ME” Revisited.

Just the other day a cousin of mine (13 years and 4 months old to be precise) almost on the verge of drowning in the lake of depression started telling me how her parents suspected her without any reason and kept a check on her phone without any fault of hers which yet again was followed by the morose “why me” ,and not to forget..the melancholic “My parents just don’t understand me” with such a deplorable expression that it actually made me go “ Ohh poor her ! How insensitive can parents be sometimes” when just the next minute with a current of exhilaration in her voice did she start telling me about her ‘boyfriend’ (oh yes and its the very boyfriend without any space or hyphen between the BOY and the FRIEND) , Mr Dude , and how she loved to spend time with her Mr Dude ! Oh come on … there you are … that is the very reason why you are in the “Why me” state.

Well i know all the youngsters out there must be snarling at me but just think .. think of the reason the elders tell us not to get involved in this stuff! I know how it feels for I’m not a fairy-tale princess either but I’ve grown up learning from my experiences as well. After all these years I can feel that I’m a better person bereft of all sorts of worries and tensions and not to forget , the fear of being ‘caught’ . Yes I’m just another teenager but more than that i am a person who learns from the experiences. And i definitely do not fall in with the sentence that one can learn from others’ experience , unless one is a total cheater cock , just like one’s thirst can never be quenched by seeing the other gulping down water! But all i intend to do is instil a thought in your brain which will coerce you to give it another thought .

Lessen The Burden!

The fact of the matter is that we are actually kids. Yes, kids switching over to adulthood, but not yet adults and this fact makes a mammoth of a difference. The thing is that when YOU actually become an adult, you’ll laugh at (or sometimes even regret) all this. Parents are somewhere actually right because it is the “happy times” we’d be missing on by involving in relationships.

The reality is that we actually can’t handle it because we aint mature enough ! Lucky those people are who are able to but as far as I’ve seen and the recent Confession pages on Facebook have shown, most cant . No wonder we see umpteen number of teens feeling depressed and OVERBURDENED because of this extra burden they carry which they aren’t even ready to carry!

The grim truth is not that the parents aren’t supportive but that you aren’t smart enough and it is but natural. You feel infatuated , you become friends, you get in a relationship , you do blunders , it finally ends up , you regret and are left with sheer bittersweet memories which attract you and sway you away. You end up sleeping on wet pillows, updating distressing statuses, becoming a mere hardboiled recluse. You end up disliking fun and finally become a humdrum person until you again come at the first infatuation stage and the cycle continues.So many heartbreaks, unfulfilled promises and nonsense done. But did you ever think how nice it would have been if you had limited it to just becoming friends. Then you would have been bereft of all kinds of fears and worries and would have even continued to be with that person instead of being ruefully separated like in your case! You would have been happy then. You would have felt free, no one to blame, nothing to regret. Now if you are not as flickering as the streetlight near my house, you would have got my point!

These years are the golden years of your life where you get a chance to be free and ENJOY because after that you will eventually have to face the vagaries of life. Why not just enjoy this freedom with no regrets and morose “Why Me”s . All you gotta do is be real and sensible and live the life which you’re meant to live. Love is a big word and if it is love, it doesn’t end so quickly.

However, since you can see that it mostly doesn’t ‘work out’ you should give it a thought that it is an imposter in the form of love, fooling you all the way long. The decision remains in your hand : to be or not to be a fool. For one thing we all know is that to find a 13-year-old , or even a 16-year-old for that matter, falling in “love” can sometimes be really hilarious but we all that once even we had gone through this stage. Life is all about choices you make .. so make better choices to make your life better! Stay Happy!

If you are a bit too much addicted to social networking sites, do join us on Facebook and follow us onTwitter to get the tips on how to get rid of this habit. Smile.

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Maid is your new Mom

Perhaps the title does not sound new to you but surely depicts something that will touch you somewhere deep in your mind. While I recently visited a much famous mall in a metropolitan city, I took my child to the play corner. I stepped in with him as he is too young to play alone, I noticed that a majority of children were accompanied by their maids while their mothers were watching from outside. It was not the first time that I was seeing this but surely for the first time I felt this.


In many homes both the parents work. And it is really good that women are becoming more and more aware of their money making potentials and are highly educated. But the point is at least when you are not in your office at least at that time the children deserve your attention. You are standing outside and guiding your maid to handle your child, isn’t it sounds like “outsourcing their work of sharing sweet moments with the child, being a part of his/her life, making them feel happy and secure” ?

I am not against working women, I just want to say that nothing in this world can replace parental attention. Slowly maids are taking up roles of parents.

Better income is does not ensure better quality of life

It would be very apt to say what I have stated above as behavior of children is a product of their environment. If children live with tolerance they turn tolerant, if with criticism, they learn to condemn. If you will praise them, they will learn to appreciate things and if you will teach them sharing, they will become generous.

Also children, when quite young, follow their caretakers, be it their real parents or are the paid ones. The norms and values of your child minders might not be suitable to you. But you do not pay your house help for instilling such values in your child, apart from exceptions; she is just a paid service for outsourcing your job of parenting.

[stextbox id=”black”]Your children need your presence more than your presents.  ~Jesse Jackson[/stextbox]

Problems of skill acquisition

The first three years of a child’s life are very crucial. Physical, cognitive, social and emotional learning is at peak during these crucial years of life. These are the years when rapid development of the brain occurs and any sort of behavioral abnormality can pose future problems in the acquisition of basic skills. How can you expect your maid do help your child in all these things when she herself is too young or is not educated?

Maids are the cheap economic options

Maids are quite economical options to look after the children as they also do additional work. Some mothers are dependent on them, right from the first morning shower of their baby at the time of putting them into bed.

Abstain yourself from creating an emotional void in your child’s life.

Above is a guest post submitted by Parul.

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