Hello Wonderful People!.......Happy New Year!!
I wish all our children, parents and patrons the very Best of Health & Happiness in 2017 :-). New Year is synonymous with new beginnings. It is the time when we are willing to take up new challenges and bring in the change with renewed vigor! There is no rulebook in parenting, but yes there are some changes that are always for the better.
So, here is a list of 10 simple but very effective tips that we can adopt in our every day lives that will make 2017 worthwhile and give us a sense of achievement. Remember that trying to realize all the tips would be great, but if you are able to follow even a few of them and be consistent, it'll truly be rewarding!!!
- I will not use the word “Say” - All parents have the habit of cueing the child to speak by using the word “say”. Do not use "Say" because it is an instruction. A natural demand to speak is by asking a question or commenting and then pausing immediately to a mental count of 5.
- I will not say ‘Look” - “Look at my face” is an instruction. The child might look but he has no clue as to why he is looking. Looking at the face gives us lot of information about emotion, intentionality of the message, whose turn is it to speak etc. So getting the child to look at you by naturally pausing at the key word of the sentence and making sure that you are at the child’s face level helps him look and also process the intent/ information.
- I will not say “No” - Pick your battles to say “No”. Saying “No” to your child is important especially when he might injure himself or others. But remember that saying “No” very often and when not necessary will lead to increase in the undesired actions. So instead of saying “No”, tell your child what action is expected of him.
- I will not ask back-to-back questions - Remember that your ratio of question to comment should be 1:1. Always ask a question followed by a comment.
- I will spend half an hour with my child without gadgets everyday - In this tech addiction era, it’s important that you decide to play or talk to your child without your gadget for at least half an hour a day. It’s the time to enjoy and have fun and become a child with your child.
- I will not smack my child - Hitting the child is NOT a solution, to any problem you are facing with your child. Do not hit because you will see that the undesired action might reduce for a very short time giving you the feeling that it works, but later increase further in frequency and severity!
- Weekends/ Holidays are Precious.....Engage them! - Natural learning is the best learning. Having a new experience created at home or outside will always be understood and remembered by the child more clearly. These activities need to be planned on weekends or holidays, thanks to busy and mechanical weekdays. It can be by involving the child in a cooking, cleaning/washing or a similar routine at home or just exploring outside in the supermarket/vegetable market, family functions, Parks, swimming pool, pet stores/ shelters, picnics, treks, holidays etc.
- Give ME time to your child - Your child might be the most busiest member of your family, with his school and therapy schedules! Remember that your child needs some time to be by himself and be a child and not necessarily be in an adult’s teaching agenda all the time. Give him that space and time to explore and be on his own! (with safety concerns met)
- Mom Guilt is Universal so Survive it - Mom Guilt has been talked and written about enough! This feeling is magnified in moms of children with special needs. So escaping it is difficult but yes, surviving it is possible. Take a break from your child whenever you feel your body or mind needs it. It can just be a siesta or a mommies outing, whatever suits you best. You will find yourself being more patient and positive at the end of it.
- I know my child best so I will rely on my instincts - Remember that you know your child the best..More than any therapist! So it is important that while discussing concerns or challenges with therapists or professionals and getting solicited/unsolicited opinions from family and friends, go by your instincts and do not trust opinions or judgments from others without debating them.