Articles on kids

New to Nursery ? Helping Kids Adjust to School

Dr. Rahul Varma, Pediatrician
New Season of School has started in most schools in India. Lots of parents must be sending their little angels to big school for the first time. Most parents and kids would be excited and many would be nervous.Few tips regarding our young kids while sending them to school for the first time:Get them mentally prepared. Tell them positive things about school. Your kids should be excited to go to school rather than being scared or apprehensive about it.Tell them you are just around the corner and will come whenever needed. And during school hours their teachers will take care of them.Separation Anxiety is integral part of development which needs to dealt with patiently. BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day. Make sure that your child as well as you have it together in the morning. A healthy breakfast will boost your immunity as well bonding with your kids.Encourage them and support them at every step.Talk to your child; try to spend quality time with your kids. LISTEN to them rather and ask them open-ended questions.Let them open up to you. They might not be able to express things well and might be emphasizing on very small things which you might find not important. But remember, for them these small things might be more important than you think. And it will encourage them to share more important things with you once they grow up.Show them that you are listening intently. Maintain eye to eye contact with them as they talk.Talking daily and discussing things as a daily routine will help you tackle BULLYING in school as well.Educate kids regarding Good touch and Bad touch to guard them against Sexual harassment. Discuss with kids regularly and ask them to talk to you whenever anyone touches them in private parts.Most important is to go with the flow and do not worry too much. Have faith in your abilities.Try to inculcate good habits in your kids and always lead by example.

Outdoor Activities for Kids

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Best thing about being a kid was playing  games and indulging in all sorts of fun outdoor activities. But  gradually the trend is changing, kids these days are hardly seen playing outdoors.  Its important to involve  children in daily physical activities which will help them grow both physically and mentally.  It is becoming increasing important to ensure that the child is being given the right encouragement. As the anecdote suggests, all work and no play makes John a dull boy. Here a few easy tips to get your child started with some fun outdoor activities.Sports: Develop a interest in a sport or two in your children. Team games will increase competition amongst children for increasing efficiency. Check that he is playing the sport and not hanging around and just watching others. Participating in sports will make your kids more active.Fun workouts: Children are moody and joyful. They like games, exercises which are fun and not boring. Ask your child which sport he enjoys and support him in his liking for the sport so that he plays it and has fun along with it. Cycling, dancing, skipping are a few that you can get them started with.Good Habits: Inculcate good habits in your children. Don't over reward your child for every little achievement he makes. Keep a check on their eating habits and develop their taste buds to nutritious foods rather than burgers and pizza's which will cause problems in their efficiency and weight gain.Be a Instructor: Children look up to their parents for advice and help. If possible accompany your child for a game and teach him the game. This will increase the interest level and will improve his performance in the game. Proper training and guidance can make him a rookie.Don't compare: With increasing competition pressure, we want our children to out beat every one. Don't pile the pressure on your children. Some children are slow at learning and learn according to their own pace, comparing them might demotivate them. Let your child have his space.Make learning fun for children with the direction and help them be fit and healthy.

20 Tips to Understand Child Psychology

Dr. Manchala Hrishikesh Giri Prasad, Psychiatrist
Increasing familiarity with psychology of children is a daunting task indeed. You are expected to be really patient while trying to understand your child’s requirements. The following tips can help you to create a friendly relationship with your child while understanding him/her better:Observance Is The First Key:One of the best ways to under the psychology of your child is to observe his or her activities.This will help you to know the way he or she plays, eats food, draws, sleeps, communicates with others, and the like.You will find many traits that are consistent in nature.Observe whether your child is able to adjust to changes easily or takes time to settle down.Not all kids have similar traits as they tend to differ in personality.Remember that your child too will have a special personality.Distinguish Your Role As A Parent And As A Friend:You need to clarify your role as a parent and as a friend by setting a few limits on your own.You need to be a good friend at times because it would encourage your kid to have a pleasant interaction with you.Do not let your ‘parent-side’ take over while having a friendly conversation with your child. Instead, offer a wise judgment as a friend would do, without blaming your child for any mistake he or she might have committed.This is important because when you think like a parent, your judgment tends to get a bit different and would prevent the kids from discussing various issues further on.Make sure you don’t spoil your kid, but offer sufficient space to make him understand about your view too.Spend Time With Your Kid:When you spend very less time with your kid, you might not have an intimate relationship with him/herYou have to spend more time with your child and get yourself involved in his life, know his friends and such.This would make him comfortable in discussing his issues openly with you.Whether you have a tight work schedule or an important meeting, set aside a few minutes, to stay in touch with your kid and let him know you are there for him.Teach Your Child To Be responsible:This can be the toughest thing in your life as a parent.As a parent you have to make your kid realize his responsibilities at an earlier stage. This will help your child in the future.If your child pours milk in his mug without spilling, encourage his actions and praise him for being responsible.If your child puts back all the toys in the box after playing, it indicates he is responsible.Encourage your kid, as it would help him realize his responsibilities and be independent.Listen To Your Kid:Children expect their parents to take them seriously and listen to what they are saying.Listen to your kid without being judgmental.Understand his point of view and reasoning.If you do not agree to something, discuss with him what your concerns are.Do not make it into a blame game.Support and encourage him. If required, tell him that what he did was not good, but you still love him.Instill Confidence In Your Kid:As a parent, you are the main source of instilling confidence in your child.If your child has faced a first day at school, ask him or her about the school.Ask them what was taught and if he liked the teacher.Ask about any new friend your child may have made.Though making friends immediately is not an easy task, you can improve his or her confidence and prepare to face the new school in a better way.Ask Your Kids’ Opinion In Some Family decisions:Children feel really important if given a chance to be part of any decision making. It makes them more responsible, and you would be surprised at how mature they suddenly seem!If you are setting up a new home or rearranging the rooms ask your kid’s opinion and listen to what he says.You must understand the idea behind the opinion of your kid rather than judging the mistakes in it.This would offer the confidence in your kid to discuss about his decisions in smaller and bigger things.This in turn would help him make good decisions while he grows up.Stay Updated About Your Child’s Interests:Apart from monitoring your child’s development, you need to stay updated about his likes and dislikes as it would tend to change as he grows.Talk with your kid to know which subject he loves in school, the game he loves to play, his favorite TV show, movie stars, music, etc.Take him for a movie he is interested in or plan to go for a favorite match.This will help in nurturing a bond between you and your child.This would also help you understand your child in a better way.Keep Your Promises:Just as you teach your child to not break a promise, so should you!You must first make sure that you win your kid’s affection by keeping up the promises you make him.Whether it is a trip to the beach or a walk to the supermarket, make sure you keep your promises.This will encourage your child to always be honest.Give Them Some Space:This is something that most parents battle with.Each child needs his or her own space.Don’t barge your child’s life and be a hyperactive parent.Allow him to enjoy a bit of activity he loves, but be around to ensure they don’t go overboard.You can guide him whenever help is needed.Ask Small Questions:When you are interacting with your kid, you must remember to gather lots of information from him or her.This would help you to understand your child’s psychology.If you have small kids at home, their communication would be more of facial and body expressions than speaking it aloud.When you ask your kid small questions, it would be easy for him to answer and share his feelings.This will help you to know whether your kid is facing any issues at school like bullying, etc.Allow Your Kid To Be A Kid:Your kid is after all a child. Allow him or her to be.If he makes a mistake, let him learn from it.Do not have too many expectations.Tell him in a gentle way to be careful instead of banning an activity altogether.Let Your Kid take Time To Develop Social Skills:Some kids can become very friendly with others while some may not be comfortable at all.Some kids develop social skills at an early age, while some would not develop it until a certain age.You can encourage your child to develop the social skills in a gentle way.Remember not to force him as he might take it in a negative way.Understand Fears Or Apprehensions Of Your Kid:When your child is apprehensive about certain things, do not label him/her as being afraid.Try and figure out the real issue that is bothering him.Help him overcome the fear by digging deeper and finding out what factor induced the fear.Even if your kid is not able to express the reasons behind the fear properly, you can try to bring out the real reason by letting your child express his inner feelings.Explain Your Side:If you have taken a decision that your child is not happy with, let him know the reasons that led you to take that decision.This way, you are helping him to grow up as a good decision maker.Even if it is about the time you have fixed for your child to get back home, you can tell him that you have concerns regarding his safety.Even if your kid is not happy with it at the moment, he would appreciate it as he grows into an adult.Be Flexible:It is good to set some rules and follow it. • You have to remember that there can be few exceptions when such instances arise. • You can bend a few rules at such occasions and make sure your kid stays happy and know that their happiness means a lot for you. • This rule can be applied while watching a match of your kid’s favorite sport or a popular movie that you are watching with him.Discuss Your Interests To Avoid Arguments:The main key to understand children psychology is to know what features are common between your kid and you.It might be food, music, games, subjects, hobbies or any other thing.Discuss about your interests with your kid and have a plan about how to develop it further and have fun.This would help you avoid small fights or big quarrels such as who is going to have the TV remote, or which place you should visit for a family vacation.Don’t Stop Talking Even If Your Child Is Not Listening:As a parent of a growing child, you will agree that your kid does not listen to whatever you tell him.Though he might argue with you, your advice would stay etched in his mind as he grows up.Even if he might not agree with what you say, the essence of your advice sticks on.So do not stop your advice session as it will help your kid as he grows and matures.Enhance Self Esteem:Creativity can influence kids psychology in a positive way.As a responsible parent, you can try to enhance your kid’s creativity through motivation.Hang up his artwork on the wall, frame them for your living room display or post them on your blog to encourage them further.This would help your child to build his self-esteem and concentrate more on his creative activities.Create A Peaceful Sleeping Time:Do not let your kid indulge in video games or watch TV before bedtime as it will prevent him from falling asleep faster.Offer a peaceful environment before he/she gos to sleep by setting the room with night lamps.You can also read out a story as a bedtime routine.If your kid gets enough amount of sleep, it is best for developing a positive attitude.

Healthy Kids Are Happy Kids (Kids Nutrition)

Ms. Harpreet Pasricha, Dietitian/Nutritionist
To ensure good nutrition for your child and that they grow up healthy, they will need to eat a large variety of foods. The amount of foods that they eat is much less important. Remember that your child's appetite may decrease and become pickier over the next few years as his/her growth rate slows. As long as they are gaining weight and have a normal activity level, then you have little to worry about. You can still offer them a variety of foods, but can decrease the serving sizes if they don't eat a lot.It is much easier if everyone in the house follows these guidelines than if your child has to do it aloneLimiting Television: You should limit television viewing to about one or two hours each day (this includes playing video games or using the computer). Watching television doesn't use up many calories and it encourages eating unhealthy foods and unhealthy habits. On the weekend, live life instead of watching it on TV. Find a new place to hike, go cycling, turn off the television and play card or board games or pursue other hobbies.Healthy Eating Habits: Your child should eat three well-balanced meals of average size each day, plus two nutritious snacks. Discourage skipping meals (especially breakfast). Snacks: You should limit snacks to two each day and they can include low-calorie foods, such as raw fruits or vegetables. Avoid using high calorie or high-fat foods for snacks, especially chips, cookies, etc. Be the sports parent who speaks up about the nutritional quality of “treats” served after games and practice. Offer to put together a list of nutritious snack and beverage choices.Drinking: You should encourage your child to drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Water has no calories and it will help you to feel full. Other drinks can include low fat milk, milkshakes, buttermilk, fruit juices and soups. Avoid letting your child drink regular soft drinks or canned fruit juices, as they are high in calories (150-170 calories per serving).Diet Journal: Help your child to keep a weekly journal of food and beverage intake and also of the amount of time that is spent watching television, playing video games and exercising. You can also record your child's weight each week (but do not weight your child every day).Regular Exercise: Encourage your child to play outside whenever feasible. Encourage regular exercise for 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times each week. This can include walking, jogging, swimming, bike riding, etc. It can also include playing a new sport, such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, etc.Special Occasions: Do not pamper the child with food with promises like 'finish homework and will get a bar of chocolate' which most of the parents do; instead offer the child your time by playing games, swimming, cycling or visiting a gallery/museum. Allow your child to have special foods or desserts only on special occasions and not on an everyday basis. Be Innovative: Challenge your child to create his own recipe and explain to them what nutrients are here in which foods it will help the child to understand the nutritional value of particular food and will also help to understand the importance in the body. You can help promote good nutrition by setting a good example. Discuss food advertising with your child.

Parenting: A Journey!!

Mrs. Hemlata Thakur, Psychologist
Parenting can be wonderful and rewarding, but it can also be difficult and unpleasant. Most parents experience moments (or months or years) of feeling overwhelmed. As a psychologist, parents approach me to know the best ways of handling their children. However, before using any parenting style it would be sensible to understand that every child is unique and they behave in their own special ways with the given environment. As children develop from infants to teens to adults they go through a series of developmental stages that are important to all aspects of their personhood including physical, intellectual, emotional and social. Now that the new academic year is to begin very soon, parents must be gearing up more than the kids. The intention of this article is to help this journey make easy-going.Let’s look at the developmental stages of children from 3-7 years old. This is the fastest growth period. During this period the primary feature involves the child regularly interacting with other children at school and in the neighborhood. Central to this stage is play, as it provides children with the opportunity to explore their interpersonal skills through initiating activities. Children begin to plan activities, make up games, and initiate activities with others.Hence it is best to provide them with Play telephones, kitchen appliances and utensils, tool sets, medical kits etc. Also, they would enjoy vehicles, Dress-up clothes and, of course, baby dolls, as well as toy people and animals as kids would like to construct scenarios. Finger or hand puppets offer another way of acting out and mastering day-to-day experiences.Children, at this stage, will be learning to read and write; to do sums, to do things on their own. The language and social skills can be boosted with letter-word- and number-recognition toys and games. Activity books can help reinforce math and language learning. Early board games like snake-ladder, carom-board would introduce the concept of taking turns and sharing with others. Art materials (clay, crayons, paints, collage materials) are another creative favorite with most children in this age group.And of course, outdoor sports like running, jumping skipping would not only help them build the muscle control and strength but will also develop a sense of initiative, and feel secure in their ability to lead others and make decisions.Parents play a very vital role. It would be best defined as a right combination of encouragement, support and guidance. Parents serve as primary teacher for the mastery of basic learning skills and encourage active discussion and experimentation of new concepts and skills. Parents need to understand that children ask questions out of their thirst for knowledge. These questions should not be turned down as embarrassing or nuisance. The realistic clarification would help children fulfil their curiosity in a constructive manner.By understanding your child’s development, you will be able to provide them with opportunities as well as toys that can boost their development and prepare them for the next phase of their growth. At the same time, you as a parent would be able to set expectations and limits that are acceptable to your child.To conclude, observing your children growing is an enriching experience. As the child is growing, a parent also gains many insights. This journey would be really elevating when a parent is consciously involved in the entire process.

Kids - Are They Really Affected by Parents' Addiction?

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
In our experience, parents usually think that their addiction has not really impacted their children in any significant way. Also, in our experience, this is not true – actually believing in the lie that the child is not affected by addiction in a family, is part of the addictive denial.Addicts' children are most affectedKids are highly sensitive, their growth process is dependent on it. They feel, taste, absorb and internalize what’s around them, including the toxic soup of addiction. Kids love their parents. Since they sense that the parents are not in control, they begin to take ownership of the problem believing it’s their fault. Shame, blame and guilt rule in addicted households. And addiction is cunning: the desperate and repeated attempts by family members to ‘fix’ the problems are doomed to fail, over and over again.A simple yet powerful exercise we use at Hope Trust’s Family Support Program to help children is we ask them to write a letter to addiction, not to the parent(s). Children share this letter with parents and it’s often the first time parents understand how damaging addiction has been in the lives of their most cherished ones.Children are explained that addiction is a disease and their addicted parent is not bad, but sick. Surprisingly, children accept this fact readily and are on the path to recovery themselves by forgiving the huge ‘betrayals’ by the parent. A rehab is a place to heal, not a punishment – this they can actually see and feel as they visit their parent and also interact with other members. They can sense the sincerity and genuine help being extended by the professional yet friendly counsellors at Hope Trust. They begin to understand that recovery is the gift of freedom, not a label suggesting you’re broken or faulty.And they discover the joy of having their parents back in the family – a truly priceless gift!

Healthy Food for Kids | Healthy Food for Children

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Kids need a filling and nutritious diet for growth and unhealthy foods will slow down their growth if the daily nutrition is not met accordingly. From carbohydrates for energy to go non-stop through out the day, the amino acids from protein to build muscle and recover them, vitamins and minerals for healthy functioning of organs and chemical reactions in the body and fat for good cholesterol and cushioning of organs.Though kids like foods that are surprising and delightful to their taste buds. Get creative with your recipes and start making your food nutritious and attractive. Here are foods for kids to keep them healthy. Give your child plenty of options ranging from chocolates to everything that they like.Cornflakes with milk and fruits: We all feed our kids with cornflakes but make it more healthy with adding fruits to it. Include the fruit that your kids like eating. Strawberry, grapes, nuts, seeds, apples, bananas etc. This meal will provide your kid with carbs, protein and essential vitamins and minerals along with iron to improve metabolismEggs: Eggs provide a lot of satiety and protein, vitamins and minerals. Make it healthier by adding a slice of cheese or add a few slices of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber etc. The meal will keep the kids feel fuller and have lots of nutrition for a good growthSandwiches: What about adding a slice of lean meat for non-vegetarians and cottage cheese for veggies ? Play around with your stuffing options with boiled mashed potatoes, cheese slice, tuna or vegetables. Choose whole grain bread or multi flour bread to make it more healthyDrinks: Say no to aerated drinks including the cola's and sweetened sodas as they would add empty calories which is not healthy for a child's growth. Provide other varieties from fresh fruit juice, lemonade, buttermilk, banana milk shake, mango shake and other shakes with fruits, nuts and seedsWalnuts: For healthy functioning of mind omega fatty acids are equally important. Walnuts, flaxseed and fish products like salmon, tuna etc are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids which are important for development of child's brainYou can pick lot more healthy options for your child. Keep foods providing empty calories and junk that add no nutrition away from their diets. Use less oil in the food and avoid fried foods. Follow these basics and keep your kids healthy.

Kids With Special Needs

Ms. Merlyn Hilda, Physiotherapist
“Kids with special needs are not weird or odd. They only want what everyone else wants” - Was a quote by an unspecified author. How true it is? Conditions related to global delayed development is all about to show your skills as parents in bringing up our kids. These special children are special gifts to special parents! We name the conditions by just the inability of our kids like ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia….etc. Lets not label them as DISABLED. These conditions give us an opportunity to serve our kids in a better way. Early intervention is the  key to identify the problems and help them overcoming it. Its our job to make them to learn in setting goals to achieve. Carers and parents need patience in dealing with such kids.At REVIVE we have approaches to treat and deal your kids. Our Principle is “To teach you fishing so that you can feed yourself “. Because parents and carers play a vital role in bring up the special kids, we design the program and involve the parents to be more active in achieving the  goals.The Initial Rehab plan leads to a thorough assessment and perfect diagnosis. The intervention and therapeutic services are delivered for couple of months and then weaned off to be taken care at home once the parents complete the parenting program of ours by best early interventionist. As carers and parents you are to visit once in a week to review the progress and revise the goals.Have queries? Feel free to call us @ +91-8553776509 orMail us @ revivepohcs@gmail.com or revivepohcs@bangalorephysiotherapist.comvisit us @ www.banglaorephysiotherapist.com

6 Kid-Friendly Snacks for Fuss-Free Travel

Dr. Rahul Varma, Pediatrician
You're all set to go on a fabulous road trip, but then there's that one question -- 'What to give the kids if they get hungry while travelling?'. Believe it or not, we've got some quick, nutrient-packed snacks that can come to the rescue (These are way better than store bought chips )! FruitsRoasted MakhaneBanana chipsDry Fruits (Avoid in very small babies)Roasted pumpkin seeds/Sunflower seedsKhakraBiscuitsPop CornGranola barsIt’s an all-time favorite with kids in western countries. Low on sugar and high in fiber, they're a great way to enhance nutrient uptake while on the move. Team them up with mini yogurt cups for an added calcium boost.Kiddy cereal (Honey loops/chocos /oat-bites)Breakfast need not be an ordeal. Think outside the box by carrying with you store brought kiddie cereal. Make a nifty necklace out of ring cereal and have your kids wear it while travelling. They will have a blast snacking on these neck munchies.Celery sticks with peanut butterStuff a half-filled jar of peanut butter with celery sticks and carry it with you while on the move. When hungry, pull out a stick and let them munch away. Full of protein, vitamins, and energy, this yummy snack will ensure a fuss-free travelling experience. Baby carrots with sour creamCut and peel a few baby carrots and store them in an airtight container along with a small cup of sour cream. Yummy 'and' healthy! What more could you ask for?Spinach and cheese wrapsCook some chopped spinach with cheese and spread it out onto whole wheat pita bread. Cut them into mini rolls and store them in an air-tight container along with napkins. Remember to pull this one out first as they don't store too well.Banana bon-bonsSlice up some bananas, dip them in the kids’ favorite yoghurt and roll them up in crushed crackers. Freeze them overnight in an airtight container and carry along. They are great for road trips as they defrost slowly.   So for your next grand adventure or holiday, try these simple recipes to appease the kiddie hunger pangs. Bon voyage!

Why Doing Away With the Gadgets Is Important for Your Kid

Dr. Rahul Varma, Pediatrician
Steve Jobs did not allow his kids to own and use an iPad at home. He feared that the iPad would turn his kids into addicts of the device. He should know. After all, he was the founder of Apple Inc. and the father of the digital revolution. Most, if not all, Silicon Valley techs and engineers limit and shield their kids from technology and prefer to send their kids to schools where the focus is on hands on learning and computers are not easily accessible.Why do the people at the pinnacle of digital change shield their kids from this technological marvel? The reasons are too many and varied, but everyone agrees on some common pitfalls of early exposure to technology.Children learn better from real life experiences rather than screen time. It is more so if activities involve moving and doing. Various surveys and studies show that on an average 12-month-old baby is exposed to up to 2 hours of screen time a day.Young age (< 2 years) is very critical for learning of new concepts. Most of the learning involve 3 dimensional Sensory- motor experiences which cannot be replicated on a 2 dimensional screen. Active play involves better hand – eye coordination , fine motor skill development.Example:  Compare a ball in real life and a ball on Screen.Infants are still developing concept of 3 dimensional vision. For a small baby  watching on screen a BALL is just a flat, shaded circle. In real life if we roll a ball across floor it proceeds in a single motions and gradually slows and stops finally. But on Screen same action cannot be done; it will be broken up. Small babies may stare at bright colors and motions on screen but their brain is not capable of making sense or meaning out of these amazing pictures. By  the age 2 years brain has developed enough and baby can understand things better. Due to all this confusion it is better to avoid screen time in small babies.Distorted sense of reality:Early exposure to technological marvels such as tablets, smart phones and computers are detrimental to the physical and mental growth of children. They give children a distorted view of reality and interfere with the natural development of the child's brainCo-ordination and dexterity: Children as young as 3 and 4 when exposed to the iPad may become experts at swiping the screen, but lag behind in developing dexterity in their fingers that comes by playing sports or musical instruments.Concept of space: Young children have still not developed a sense of space and each new walking, bending and climbing experience helps to develop a sense of space. Early exposure to the iPad interferes with this development and gives children a distorted sense of depth and space.Social Skills: Various studies have shown that children growing on iPads or other similar screen devices tend to lag behind in development of real time social skills. Regular activities such as developing social skills and making friends become a task for such children. Such children do not spend time with their own thoughts and imagination and require constant stimulation.Emotional skills: Development of internal mechanism of self-regulation is an important milestone in a child's emotional development. Constant and continuous use of such devices to distract and control the behavior of children impedes their ability of self-regulation.Maths and Science: Playing with blocks in real time develops visual-motor skills and sensorimotor skills in children that are the base of all learning. Application of maths, science and logic in the classroom and outside comes naturally for kids whose basic skills are well - development. Playing with real blocks and puzzles is frustrating for young minds who are used to manipulating objects by swiping the screen. The list of the evils of early exposure to screen only gets longer with time. There has been very little systematic research and the technology is still quite new to fully understand its complete effects. For now, the safest thing to do is keep that tablet away from your kids or at least stop using it as a baby sitter.