Become a Brain building expert!


The brain is without doubt our most fascinating organ. Parents, educators, and society as a whole have a tremendous power to shape the wrinkly universe inside each child’s head, and, with it, the kind of person he or she will turn out to be. We owe it to our children to help them grow the best brains possible.-L Eliot (1999)



Every baby is born with 100 billion brain cells. Some of these are connected at birth, but most of them are not. It is these connections that will happen in the first five years. Therefore, more the connections the smarter and efficient will be your child’s brain function. But between feeding, changing nappies and catching up on lost sleep, our focus is never truly on making these connections. As our kids grow older, our focus is only on whether they sit, stand, walk and talk on time. We fail to realise that these developments are connected to brain growth, which means just like we take care of feeding our babies we require to focus on feeding the growing brain too.



Here are Terrific Twenty Brain Boosting Ideas on how to nurture your child’s growing brain, after all 98% of the brain develops in the first five years.

  1. More than three quarters of the brain is made of water– Ensuring that your baby is hydrated, is key. Kids can never drink a glass of water at a time; they are more comfortable taking small sips. This may get annoying to us; however think about how it actually helps your child’s brain- as the brain needs to be properly hydrated in order to be alert.
  2. Positive emotions greatly enhance memory- The brain has an emotional filter called amygdala. This part of the brain filters all incoming stimuli and information accepting it only if it is emotionally stimulating. This means more the positive emotions we expose our kids to, the more memory development will be enhanced. The happier and stimulating the interaction and activity, the more likely children will learn for life.
  3. Stress, the number one enemy of your child’s growing brain – Positive stress is good for the brain. Giving simple challenges to our children in the form of games and activities assist brain development. On the other hand, negative stress is damaging and harmful for a child’s brain growth. When we scream, shout, threaten, punish, be overly protective or anxious, when we compare our kids or have too many expectations all these lead to negative stress- corroding and crumbling the growing connections in young brains.
  4. Our bodies require fat, protein and carbohydrates for healthy growth- What does the brain thrive on? – It requires neurotransmitters for growth and development. Therefore, when you keep stress away from your child and expose your child to positive emotions ,neurotransmitters will be released helping your child with benefits of long term memory formation and retention, focus, attention and goal setting. It also helps your child be better behaved with the ability to control impulses and be calm.

These neurotransmitters can be easy to remember with this acronym No. S.A.D, which means keep all negative emotions away from your child, say no to sad!

  • Norepinephrine- Responds to novelty and aids in memory formation.
  • Serotonin- Helps control impulsivity, calms the brain, aids in reflective behaviours.
  • Acetylcholine-Helps with frontal lobe functions and in formation of long-term memories.
  • Dopamine-Assists in focus, attention and goal setting.
  1. Diet affects memory development and brain growth-Foods that have additives can be harmful for growing brains, as additives are chemicals that can interfere with neurotransmitters. Keep kids away from junk food, control salt and sugar intake.
  2. Breast-feeding your baby for the first twelve months of life can boost IQ levels- If for some reason you have to stop breast feeding early, then be sure to select an infant formula that has brain-boosting nutrients.
  3. Your growing toddler needs a diet that is optimal for brain growth- Even the slightest deficiency in vitamins, minerals or essential nutrients such as iron or iodine can harm the growth spurt of the brain.
  4. Sleep enhances memory retention-The brain is constantly collecting stimuli and information throughout the day and which means it requires organising all this stimuli and information correctly for long term retrieval. The brain does this during sleep time. For this, your child requires adequate sleep (nine hours) to be able to assimilate information and transfer to long term memory. Children below the age of 3 years need their nine hours at night and a couple of hours of nap time in the day. There are two cycles of sleep (non REM and REM sleep) – during one cycle the blood goes to the brain and the brain works on organising and rejuvenation and during the second cycle the blood supply is more to the body and the body muscles rejuvenate. So, in short if your child gets insufficient sleep then either the brain or body will be tired and fuzzy, leading to confusion and loss of what is learnt.
  5. Most moms complain that their kids are fidgety- Well, in brain terms fidgety is good. Why? Because small muscle activity stimulates brain growth, which means more your kids touch, fidget, and move-more the connections in the brain. So, let them fidget!
  6. Neuroscience has two significant areas of research– the first is the term is ‘plasticity’, meaning that the brain structure in young kids can be shaped and nurtured with the experiences we provide to them in the first five years. This experience can be in the form of nurturing, stimulation, attachment, food, bonding etc. These good experiences will impact brain structure.
  7. The second significant research is the presence of “mirror neurons”– These neurons are stimulated when we watch someone do something. In fact, research has proven that these neurons fire in the same way when we are performing the task. Therefore, remember, ‘kids learn by imitation’. Their language, behaviour, social development and emotional development will all be based on what your child sees in you and your family.
  8. Both sides need to communicate efficiently for a smart brain-There are two sides of the brain-left and right side which means for a smart brain, both left and right sides of the brain need to communicate efficiently. Activities like creeping, crawling, climbing, walking, marching, dancing will help both sides of the brain communicate. When both sides of the brain can easily communicate then subjects like maths, language etc, will be more easily understood by children.
  9. Shaken Baby Syndrome is the cause of many deaths and harms the young brain- Parenting is not easy. Parents need to be honoured for this lifelong commitment they make and at times a parent can lose their cool and end up hitting or shaking their kids. Shaken Baby Syndrome is the cause of many deaths and can also can harm to the brain as shaking may cause your baby’s brain to swell, bleed or bruise.
  10. Aromas stimulate mental alertness and memory- Ensure that you use baby products that have stimulating, yet non irritating aromas- best is vanilla. Be careful in selecting play dough too, remember the best play dough should be soft and smell like vanilla cake! Play dough gives stimulation to all the senses and so is a great activity for growing brains.
  11. Colours also stimulate mental alertness and memory – Young children prefer primary colours. Be careful of over stimulating the environment your child is in, but also beware of under stimulation as too many muted colours can be boring for kids.
  12. Multi sensory toys– While selecting toys for your child keep in mind the more multi sensory the activity, the more likely is your child to process the learning from the activity. Buy toys that are multi developmental and help all growth domains like balls, stackers, books, blocks, play dough, soft toys, peg puzzles etc.
  13. Did you know that the common garden ‘slide’ helps nurture brain development?– Yes, it teaches young kids self regulation and impulse control as they wait to climb (patience) , then climb the steps (effort) to reach the slide and then get the exhilarating slide down.(reward)
  14. Singing fires neurons in the brain and stimulates brain growth-Sing often to your kids, buy rhyme collections that have soft music and words that your child can relate to.
  15. Pause after you give instructions to your child-It takes a while for your child to process information, so pause after you give instructions to your child. Why? Because of the large network of neurons in your child’s brain. Information and especially instructions take a while to be processed. So give that space to your child else you will stress out your child.
  16. Memory increases by re-visiting information-As you complete the song or story your toddler chimes, ‘again’, this is because ‘memory increases by revisiting information frequently’ and so ‘again’ is a common word in the toddler’s vocabulary.


Use these Terrific Twenty Brain Boosting Ideas everyday and make them a part of your parenting style.

IQ is not fixed at birth. Experience changes the brain – (Healy, 2004).

Twitter: BornSmartKids

All work and no play makes children dull!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! An often heard comment but recently research shows that there is much truth in this simple saying. Dr. Stuart brown says in his book ‘play’ that people in jobs are not able to find solutions to problems or make new discoveries or survive a crisis efficiently all because they have lost touch with play in their lives or were brought up in a ‘play less’ environment. He says that “those who had worked and played with their hands as they were growing up were able to “see solutions” that those who hadn’t worked with their hands could not. They couldn’t spot the key flaw in complex systems they were working on, toss the problem around, break it down, pick it apart, tease out its critical elements, and rearrange them in innovative ways that led to a solution.”



If play teaches us all of the above then what happened to play? What is leading to its slow extinction? many reasons, car parks have replaced ball parks, making children achieve trophies and medals has become more important than learning a play skill or a game, if a skill cannot earn us money or a living then it naturally loses its importance and the feeling that play is a waste of time, as the world works on the premise that every minute of an individual’s life should be productive, and play is definitely not perceived as productive. And as Dr Brown says- Play activities don’t seem to have any survival value. They don’t help in getting money or food. They are not done for their practical value. Play is done for its own sake. That’s why some people think of it as a waste of time. It is also voluntary—it is not obligatory or required by duty.

So how does play help us? Play has its impact in varying ways in all our stages of life. As a baby lying in a cot, play is about the random movement of the hand hitting the toy hanging in the crib, here this random play teaches the baby about cause and effect and he learns to internalize this action to get a reaction which is the movement or the sound of that toy.

As the baby becomes a toddler, play is about touching , shaking and throwing every object and this leads to the child understanding about holding, picking up, letting go, enhancing the neural networks of the brain as it helps excite the 5 senses, the pathways to the brain and it also helps child develop eye hand co-ordination and fine motor development.

As the child grows older toys become his play, balls, dolls, teddies, cars involve him and he is able to explore, talk, relate to others and learn through trail and error.

Then comes the symbolic play stage, when he is able to substitute a block of wood to be a telephone and he plays differently using each object to be something else, not many adults know that symbolic play is what will help a child in later reading and writing. How? let me explain, first a child will use a telephone as a telephone in his doll play, then when he does not have a telephone, he will substitute it with an object that looks like a telephone and pretend that it is a telephone, so we can say that he has learnt to represent the telephone with another object. Now lets understand reading, first a child recognizes the picture of a ball, and then slowly he learns to read the word ball. For him the word ball immediately brings to mind a picture of a ball. so reading is nothing but representation of letters to mean a picture! Now if this child is not allowed to play games that involve symbolic play, his reading and writing will naturally suffer.

As the child grows older play is about group games, games with rules and rough and tumble play, this kind of play is again important in our later work life as rough and tumble play teaches you how to recognize signals from their playmates, signals about stop, or I am enjoying, or I want the play to end. in rough and tumble play the players may be squealing with delight or with fright, and players learn to recognize and use these signals for social development and social skills development. These body signs will help in later work life relationships. Have you seen teenagers indulge in rough and tumble play, when you watch them you might feel they are punching and harming each other, but it is nothing but harmless rough and tumble play, also helpful for ‘cardiovascular health’.

Play continues even in adult life when we joke with friends as part of play or play pranks on each other or have impromptu bets or challenges or play a game of estimation like , ‘guess how many runs will Sachin make today?’ all this is nothing but play, it relaxes us, helps us bond , helps relieve us from stress and  makes us happy.

So then does it mean that we should not put our children for badminton coaching or cricket coaching or drama classes? No, it does not mean that all clubs and classes should be banned or all competitive activities should be taboo, it only means that play should bring our life back to doing everything in moderation. so clubs, classes and competitive activities are essential but if that is all your child will do then it robs him of a sense of mastery of his life, it teaches the child to be dependent on others for scheduling his activities it steals from them the enjoyment of creating their own games. So instead I would suggest for every hour of scheduled activity that your child indulges in, give him 10 minutes of unstructured play time to rejuvenate his senses and recharge his brain cells.

Here I would like to quote something from dr. brown’s book that always makes parents sit up and take notice-

His sea squirt is an ugly creature.   In this larval form, it has a primitive spinal cord and bundle of ganglia that act as a functional brain. This tiny brain helps it move selectively toward nutrients and away from harm. Like most oceanic creatures, juvenile sea squirts spend their time growing and exploring the sea.


Once the sea squirt grows to adulthood, it attaches itself permanently to a rock or a boat’s hull or pilings. It no longer needs to monitor the world as it did as a juvenile because the passing current provides enough nutrients for it to survive. Its life becomes purely passive. The adult sea squirt becomes the couch potato of the sea. In a surprisingly macabre twist, the sea squirt digests its own brain. Without a need to explore or find its sustenance, the creature devours its own cerebral ganglia. It’s like something out of a Stephen King book: “All work and no play make sea squirt a brain-eating zombie.


The sea squirt is an example of a basic principle of nature: Use it or lose it. If a capability is not being used, it becomes an extravagance that is jettisoned or fades away. Either we grow and develop or we waste away.

Most animals grow new nerve connections extensively only during the juvenile period. The sea squirt stops moving, and many higher animals stop playing, and the brain stops growing.

But not humans. The brain can keep developing long after we leave adolescence and play promotes that growth, we are designed to be Lifelong players, built to benefit from play”

So choice is ours –play or grow or don’t play and rot the brain cells away! Then why not play? Did you know that everyone has a play personality? Yes, just like humans have different learning styles like auditory (learn by listening) visual (learn by seeing) and kinesthetic (learn by doing) similarly we have our play styles-

Looker- we like to watch people play, so we watch cricket matches or a golf game or watch people dance etc and get the same enjoyment that we would have had we been participating.


Listener- we love to listen to jokes or pranks, we even like to tell jokes and enjoy it when people laugh as listening to laughter and enjoyment is the play for these people, they are also avid email forwarders and sms forwarders. They like to hear from others about ‘play’


Movers- are the pranksters, they like to be the ones playing games, pranks, planning and organizing, they will love to be on the field and not off it.



So what’s your child’s play personality, what’s your husbands play personality and what’s yours? Now imagine if all three of you have different personalities, it would be fun to watch you play together!



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The Three Magic Words


So often one come across mothers dropping their children to school and when teachers greet the child with ‘good morning,’ mothers prompts their child, “say, good morning”, without giving the child the required space and time to process the social interaction and without realising it, mothers have made social interactions a boring process which just needs to be completed, rather than an enjoyable interaction.

It is important that children grow up with social smartness, or what we commonly call ‘people skills’, as getting along with people means half the battle IS won and social interaction is a human need so it makes people happy when we interact, have fun, exchange ideas and are liked by others, it boosts our confidence, self esteem and gives us that small bounce in our steps!

happy children

So inculcating inter personal intelligence in children is beneficial to their future success. Parents and schools must focus on developing this intelligence and it starts with the preschool years. It starts with small little interactions and what we call manners. How to eat, how to sit, how to talk, what to say, when to say, what to do, are all an integral part of this understanding. Here parents and teachers need to remember that manners are not what we do only when someone is watching us but manners are what we do when someone is not watching us. This is the important difference, so if you have to always prompt your child to say good morning, or thank you, it only means that the child has not understood the value of these words and is just repeating them to please you.

Teach children words like ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’ and ‘please’ by referring to them as the magic words or the magic keys that help you do things with ease, as soon as you say these words, people smile, and make you happy so are they not magic words? It is important that parents find out from the school the kind of techniques and methods that the school is using to teach manners and social skills, so that parents can teach

children the same at home, this will help children pick up the social skills faster.As adults we need to be conscious of our own manners and social skills.

Do we say ‘thank you’, ‘please’ and ‘sorry’ enough?


Another important point especially in the teaching of the word ‘sorry’ is to see that it is used in the right context. Saying ‘sorry’ is about meaning it, feeling it and never repeating the regrettable act again. It is not just about saying the word and moving on. This is what we are teaching our children today. As soon as one child hits another we promptly ask him/her to say ‘sorry’ and the child does just that. The child says ‘sorry’, moves on and hits another child. So he/she has understood that sorry is required to be said after one hits or harms, so it is not the hitting or harming that is bad but not saying the ‘sorry’!

We also need to be sensitive about the rhymes and stories that we expose our children to; maybe we can change them a little or add some elements of manners in them

goldilocksespecially if the child is at the stage of learning social skills. There is a favourite fairy tale; Goldilocks and the three bears, where Goldilocks takes what she wants, does what she wants, spoils the bears home and then when they come home instead of saying sorry she just runs away! Is that good manners? Here is a story that is a good discussion topic of what magic words Goldilocks should have used.


So thank you for reading this article, sorry if it has been a little too long and please see that children enjoy the magic of manners!


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Rainbow at your door

Research shows that colours have a significant influence in your life. Know your colours, because the colour of your child’s room, his/her school bag, the colour of the soap your child uses, the colour of his/her plate, the colours of the food on his/her plate all have the potential to influence your child.

When a child is a toddler, his/her favorite colour is inevitably, the colour red. ‘I want a red ball, red shoes, red car’ etc. And then comes the awareness of other colours from primary to secondary and then to mix and match and sometimes children conjure up their own colours. Colours are something that we take for granted in the environment but if used well can help you get the best out of your child and even your husband!

Colours have an impact on our moods and emotions; this is a known fact of colour therapy. Children bring colour to our life, so let’s add more colour to their life.

Did you know that colours impact your health? Well here are a few interesting facts about colours:

  • red paint.jpgRed is a warming and stimulating colour and excessive amounts can lead to anger, irritability or hyperactivity, naturally because it is a stimulating colour.
  • Orange is an anti-depressant colour, which means it can make orange paintyou joyous; no wonder some communities tie colourful orange flowers on their doors!
  • Yellow is calming, promotes well being and happiness and for children it is  a happy colour- happy sun, happy sunflowers…..yellow paint
  • Green is again calming and relaxing and imparts a feeling of energy. Try walking on green grass or going to a green garden, you automatically feel calm, relaxed and rejuvenated.

green paint

  • Blue is a soothing colour and it induces calm and restful sleep without nightmares!

blue paint

And brain research says that colours that enhance brain function are:

  • yellow, beige and off white increase optimal learning

  • red, orange and yellow spark energy and creativity.

Now let’s enhance children’s lives both at home and school with these facts….

In our everyday shopping we generally don’t give that much importance or thought to colours, we first give preference to the price, the size and then select from the given colours the colour we like. But we may end up with a ‘tattered rainbow’ for our child. Think about it, a bright yellow in your child’s bedroom, red pyjamas, and orange bed sheets! So you have a child who is bright and ready to learn with the yellow, hyperactive with the red and ready for something creative with the  orange colour, and then you wonder, ‘my kid is active at bedtime, how do I make him/her sleep?’. Simple! With light green bed sheets, light blue pyjamas etc..

Now that you know that colours make an impact, then use your colour sense when buying anything for your child and also try to ensure that there is a combination of colours otherwise surely it would be quire boring to have a yellow snack box, a yellow water bottle, a yellow bag, and a yellow pencil. Yes, we understand that your child may insist on one colour,  but there can be different and designs on those colours? They need not be a solid yellow, right?

pinterest bubble blower

There are other ways that you can use your newly learnt colour knowledge, how about your child’s food plate? If you are using plastic or melamine then try out colours that make the plate attractive to your child, instead of the boring white. Also the food that you serve the child should be in different colours. Do not add food colours but do add a variety of colours on the plate makes to make your child want to eat and even the pickiest of eater may start nibbling, so try  serving at least 3 colours in every meal- so have something red (ketchup, cherries, tomatoes) have something green (cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, broccoli) and something yellow (dal, sabzi, corn). Then of course there is purple, white and orange to experiment and add. Play a game with your child and ask him/her to choose a menu for the next meal which will have red, yellow and white. So you have given him/her the power to choose but within the colours you want.

Children are picky in all hygiene habits, be it brushing one’s teeth or having a bath. Introduce the colour genie to help you! Buy a soap and toothbrush of his/her favourite colour, stick colourfull stickers on the handle of the toothbrush and see how your child is attracted to the toothbrush. For very picky kids, change the toothbrush colour every two days and let your child guess which colour toothbrush his mummy or daddy has kept for him/her today. (Buy 4 toothbrushes and exchange them every two days.) White soaps are boring, where soaps are concerned kids are attracted to translucent colours, colours that make them feel as if they can see through the soap.

Some colours to consciously avoid in a child’s life:

  1. ‘Colourful’ words!

  2. The red on a child’s cheeks after he/she has been scolded or slapped. Never ever, let this color show up on your child.

  3. The brown frown on a child’s face when you ignore him/her.

  4. The grey of boredom when doing boring drill work.

  5. The black mood that stems from jealousy, sibling rivalry, unfulfilled expectations and being rejected and ridiculed by adults.

  6. The white lack lustre mood of a child addicted to video games and television.

Colours are not only in clothes and furniture, they are in our lives in every aspect of it and the more natural colours that we will bring in our child’s life the more vibrant and colourful will we make his/her future. So begin colouring your child’s life today.



Animal Exercises!

Don’t get the wrong idea.. we are not talking about how to exercise as animals,  but we are going to see how animal movements can be used as fun exercises for children.

animal exercise

Why animals?

Well that’s simple. Children love movement and animals have a variety of movements and children love animals and love to mimic their movements!

So come along  and take them on an animal safari.

Rules :

  • Follow your mother/father/teacher.
  • No shouting or screaming, as you will scare away the animals!
  • No guns allowed!

So lets go, lets tip toe as we don’t want to scare away the animals.

Note to parents:- This is an imaginary activity so it is about making children imagine the animals and about having fun. When you will participate with your child, not only will you be able to spend quality time and bond with your child but it will also be a nice relaxing work – out for you.

Who do we see?


Make the sound of an elephant trumpeting. Yes,an elephant.
-So let’s spread our legs and hold our arms away from our body and stomp around like elephants all the while singing this song.
(Tune mulberry bush)
“This is the way the elephant walks, elephant walks. (2)
This is the way the elephant walks,
so big and huge is he.”


Now do you see the tall giraffe? Well lets become a giraffe.animals pictures
-Stretch your neck,look up,hands at the side of your body,stretch your body and tip toe and walk like a giraffe singing this song.
“This is the way the giraffe walks,giraffe walks(2)
This is the way the giraffe walks,
so tall and quiet is he.”




animals 2

Now what do we see.Oh! Look at those naughty monkeys.
-So stretch your hands above your head and act as if you are swinging from branch to branch singing this song.
“This is the way the monkey swings, monkey swings.(2)
This is the way the monkey swings,
so quick and nimble is he.”



animals pictures


-Well here comes the king of the go on all fours and walk majestically like a lion.

Roar like a lion singing this song.

“This is the way the lion walks, the lion walks. (2)

This is the way, the lion walks
so big and strong is he.”


Wasn’t that fun? Well think of any more animal exercises that come to mind, mail them to us and we will add it to our list of animal exercises with your name.



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Telling stories without books

Children love listening to stories. And they may well demand a story at odd places like – while eating or bathing or travelling in a train.


You can be caught without a book and hence be unable to tell a story but remember, a book is not always necessary to tell a story.



An ‘object’ and a ‘feeling’ are the only two things required to make up your own story.

For example you are giving your child a bath and he demands a story with your hands soaked in soap suds, a story book is out of question.

mother baby playing

Then what? Fear not, – just look around and you will find bits and pieces of a story lying around you.



Well look around again.-can you see that rubber duck? Well lets start the story with him.”once upon a time there was a duck who loved to play in water,he would splash and swim and paddle all day long”….



-Are you stuck? Well look around again.

-what do you see? A bear shaped soap?

Well-“one day a bear came along to meet the duck.The duck was happy to see him and asked him if the bear would like to join him in the pond. Well our bear was a very naughty bear and he started splashing water on the duck, both of them had fun,suddenly the bear saw a boat”-notice the toy boat in the tub?-

“so the duck and the bear got into the boat and sailed happily everyday in the pond.”

There!  That was not very difficult was it? – well as I said an ‘object’ and a ‘feeling’…

Why a feeling? Well, one needs to give some direction for the story to move, so having a feeling like -lonely,happy etc is important.

Involve your child in the story as well,let  them add their  own ideas and thus make it a fun activity.

So the next time you are stuck without a story book and your child wants a new story, just look around for an ‘object’ and give it a ‘feeling’ and soon you will be saying,“Once upon a time…….


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Why does my child not listen to me?

In today’s world, teachers and parents need to be leaders and not bosses. In Piaget’s words they must work for the goal of ‘autonomy’ (intelligent and ethical decision kids-with-empty-thoughts_1308-5083making) rather than obedience.


There should be no such thing as ‘discipline’; it should be behaviour management or modification. Discipline, is fixed, like in the army, but behaviour can vary and with it varies the methods of handling misbehaviour.

baby brain 

Children in the first 6 years lack impulse control, they react without thinking.  Impulse control is developed with the growth in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, so the more the pre-frontal cortex develops, the better will be the logic, reasoning, attention and focus of the children.


Play games to develop impulse control, simple games like ‘Simon says’ and ‘Red light, Green light’, all develop impulse control. In Simon says, the child has to concentrate and wait for the word ‘Simon’ to do the action, so he/she controls his/her impulse to do the action, until the word is heard.

Image result for children playing simon says

After the age of 6, behavioural problems continue sometimes because kids lack self control. It is important to understand that:

  • Children are able to focus only on one thing at a time. And so during a tantrum they are unable to see the other point of view.
  • They are unable to figure out the impact of their actions on others in a logical way.
  • Kids have a hard time working out how to get from one state of affairs to another, So it takes them time to work out their emotions.

The best time to change children’s behaviour is not during a tantrum, as the brain is in shut-down mode during a tantrum.  It is often when children are not in the heat of a tantrum that they are best able to think and learn.

It would be ideal to have an agreement of behaviour both at home and at school:

  • Rule # 1 hitting and hurting is not allowed and so we will use words instead. Show kids a socially accepted avenue to express their anger and frustration; don’t stop them from experiencing these emotions. Use sentences like, ‘I know you are angry because I did not give you the toy, but instead of beating me, you can beat the pillow’. Don’t react to kid’s misbehaviour with your own, if we are telling children, not to hit others when they are angry, then how can we hit them when we are angry?Image result for child hitting cartoon

Any form of whacking or smacking is still child abuse. You may justify spanking by saying you love your child and want him/her to improve but you are only teaching the child that hitting is a form of showing love, and they will then grow up accepting violence and violent people. Domestic violence stems from such childhood experiences. Children who are smacked associate love and violence to be the same and so they turn violent or accept violence towards themselves.

What works is conflict resolution. Conflict resolution can be taught in the following steps:

  1. Seeking help– by calling for an adult or going to an adult and informing him/her that someone is troubling them. Here adults need to understand that this is not tattling and the child should not be blamed for coming for help as this is the first step of conflict resolution, when the child’s efforts at this step fails then he/she ‘fails’ to believe in any kind of resolution and will then resort to violence.Image result for child and adult talking cartoon
  2. Taking turns– an important social skill that is needed to survive with friends and siblings and children should be motivated and complimented for doing it.

Image result for children taking turns

      3. Using language instead of hands– teaches children to talk about their needs, their likes, and dislikes. Teach them to communicate to their friends and siblings. ‘Please don’t push my toys’, ‘please don’t push me, you are hurting me’. Etc.

Image result for children talking cartoons

     4.Teach children to walk away– a very important technique that can be very helpful when dealing with bullies, instead of standing and arguing or appealing to the bully, walk away from him/her.

Boy with green backpack walking Free Vector

     5. Discussing and planning with adults– telling the parents about a certain bully or how some of her/his friends tease him/her etc. Then the parents can sit with the child and help the child plan what to do and when. This helps the child understand that there is always a way out of the problem and also helps her/his self-esteem and confidence as the child is assured in the safe feeling that her/his parents are there for him/her.

parents discussing with child

For repeated instances of misbehaviour, it is important to see children who experience repeated serious conflict not as problem children but as children with problems who need guidance.


So try the following-

  • Identify and specify instances of misbehaviour
  • Observe what happens before and after the behaviour
  • Measure how often it happens
  • How long does it last
  • Find a pattern in the behaviour
  • Bring about the Change and implement it.
  • Continue measuring the behaviour
  • Every time the child exhibits the new behaviour, encourage new behaviour.


How we modify our kids behaviour when they are at their most vulnerable has a tremendous impact on their personality, coping skills and our dreams for them. When we believe in positive behaviour management, it fosters emotional growth and logical thinking is nurtured. Children learn about cause and effect and they learn to trust adults and respect and love themselves.

Adults should remember that children do not misbehave, we misinterpret their behaviour.



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Twins or Double Trouble?


Twins and triplets look cute with their similar faces, cute smiles and matching clothes. watercolor-mothers-day-card_23-2147509354But ask their parents, especially their mother and you will realize that twins and triplets mean exhaustion, frustration, and tears for the mother. And this starts right from pregnancy.

In his book “Twins 101: 50 Must-Have Tips for Pregnancy through Early Childhood from Doctor M.O.M,” Dr. Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin stresses to parents to aim for fairness, not equality. And in this simple advice lies the secret of raising twins and triplets.

Most parents aim for equality but things are never equal with twins because they are individuals trapped with the same features and so they are treated as ‘one’ their entire lives, when they are actually two distinct individuals. Ask a mother of twins and she will confirm that when one child wakes up, the other child feels sleepy. When one child is active, the other child wants food. And so it is a roller coaster ride because one or the other always needs help, attention and support.

Some simple tips for parents with multiple children:

  1. Prepare for life after birth as soon as you know that you will be giving birth to multiple children. Think of how you can get extra help. Mothers please don’t try to do it on your own, it may be possible, but in the long run you will break down.
  2. Try not to buy everything similar for the kids. Learn to notice the individuality of collection-of-four-smiling-kids_23-2147608074each baby and let that blossom. Yes, they are growing up together so each child will want what the other has, so learn when to give in and when not to give in.
  3. They will fight for everything and they will team up against you! Yes expect these extremes, so try and have slightly separate schedules for your children so that you can give both your children an equal amount of attention. If  this is not possible, then try and give both your children equal attention during particular activities/every day rituals or you will end up always giving maximum attention to the demanding twin.
  4. Yes, one child is always dominant and one child is submissive. So early on, identify which child has which trait and match your parenting to their temperament.
  5. Give your self at least 20 minutes a day where you can unwind alone. It may appear to seem impossible in your mind but you need to plan it and you will achieve it.
  6. No amount of reading will prepare you to be a parent of twins because the secret is ‘temperament’  and it all depends on the temperament of your twins. So learn to recognize and adapt to it right from birth. Remember when parents ‘tamper with temperament’ it leads to ‘tantrums’.

Turn the word twins into an acronym and you will be able to bring some sense into the chaos called ‘twin parenting.’


Once the shock of knowing that you are having twins wears off, you will soon realize the benefits. You have completed your family in one shot. Both your children will grow up together, both will have a sibling and friend and you will soon be free to pursue your dreams as they will both grow up and become independent in no time. Yes it means double the cost and responsibility, so plan as soon as you get the news but stop feeling terrible about it.


When faced with a choice or a dilemma, choose the option in which everyone comes out a winner. To do that you may have to be firm sometimes but it works.


Treat each twin as in individual or you risk your twins having emotional issues. So try to not to have favorites and train yourself to think as per the situation. If each twin needs a separate schedule, then do that. If both children are happy doing everything together, then encourage that. But don’t let either one of your children make the decisions for you, you need to make decisions based on the circumstance and situation at hand.


Learn to say NO, and then stick to it. Bawling twins are a handful but once they realize that you are firm, they will adjust to your ways. Don’t be worried about being firm with thumb

the naughty one. Children have to realize early on that good behaviour will be accepted and incorrect behaviour will not be accepted.


Handling twins is not a one person job, so plan in advance and thinking about who can help your raise your little ones.  Could it be your husband, your mother, your sister, a nanny or a baby sitter? Choose wisely and ensure that you don’t divide the work but rather share the responsibilities. This means that you can’t allow for one person to be looking after one twin and for you to always be handling the other twin because this would breed sibling rivalry and mean more trouble for you.


In school or in a childcare setting, please guide the teacher on how to identify between the two, so that it is easier for the teacher and this in return will boost your children’s   self esteem as the teacher can identify them individually. Ideally try not to keep twinstwins 2 together in the same class as they will always be compared to one another. But some twins prefer to be together, either way ensure that the teacher/other staff treat them as individuals and not as ‘mirror images’. And yes if there is no uniform, do dress them differently. Let each child’s identity flourish and work on ensuring that they are not just labelled ‘twins.’



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Hickory Dickory Dock…The clock struck one

As we run around in a frenzy completing our day to day tasks, we almost end up running against time and many mothers wish that children would do more things on time and waste less time. For children to understand what time is and the act of being on time or wasting time, it is important that they understand the concept of time.


What is time? How do we see it? Where do we see it? How do we know that time is up?

kids-with-empty-thoughts_1308-5083For us it is easy to understand these questions but these are concepts about time that we take for granted, and which can be confusing for a child .


The concept of time first begins in simple everyday rituals because till children cannot count, it goes without saying that they will be unable to understand what is the small hand on a clock, the big hand on a clock and when it is 2 o’clock etc. The understanding of time starts with simple everyday rituals and routines. ‘We will brush our teeth at 6, then we will have milk at 6:30, and then we will sit for a story at 7’. Children as young as 18 months can understand when you tell them what their routine is and infact kids love routine as it adds that much needed structure to their day and gives them things to look forward to. This is also good for their growing brains as brains thrive on routine and knowing what is coming next.

Singing to children songs about time, clocks and other time related concepts also helps. So when it’s time to put toys away it helps to sing the song given below. Similar songs can be sung for eating, brushing one’s teeth and other daily chores.



‘Its time to put your toys away, toys away, toys away.


Its time to put your toys away. It’s time to end our game’.

Songs and rhymes like Hickory, Dickory Dock help children understand about the existence of clocks and make them aware of them in their environment.


The next step is to make a picture clock for your child which is in the shape of a clock but instead of the numbers has pictures of his/her daily activities in the same sequence. Where number 12 usually is on the clock, paste the child’s photo and on the other numbers place pictures of the child’s routine of the day. As the time to brush the teeth approaches put the big hand on the child’s photo and the small hand of the clock on the picture of the child brushing his/her teeth and say, ‘Lets see what time it is. Oh, its time to brush your teeth.’

The concept of time is not only about teaching a child how to ‘see’ time, but is also about teaching the importance of being on time, using time well and understanding that there is a special time for everything.

  1. Concept of being on time– This is extremely essential. At this age children learn by imitation, so your child will learn by looking at you and noticing your habits, so be punctual!
  2. realistic-hourglass-design_1284-1335Using time well– Here you can use different methods, for example use visible items like a sand timer so that children can see time passing and know when there is  little time  left to complete the activity etc.
  3. Special time for everything– Just like schools have a timetable, it is important that mothers make a timetable for home and help their child display it in their room, this helps children understand routine, structure and time management!


Try out these time tested activities with your child and we guarantee that you will have the time of your life!



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Let’s play music!

The hand and the brain need each other. Neurologically, “a hand is always in search of a brain, and a brain is in search of a hand,” as Wilson said, “ The use of the hands to manipulate three-dimensional objects is an essential part of brain development.”

And the good news is that when your child is playing a musical instrument then the hand and the brain are connecting and helping your child grow. So do you need any more motivation to gift your kids’ musical instruments today? Read on and we have 11 more reasons!


Playing musical instruments  has a good effect on your child’s growing brain, here are some things that you can do to expose your child to musical instruments:

  1. Buy a picture book  about musical instruments, name each instrument to your child and slowly your child will be able to name all the musical instruments.
  2. musical-instruments-vector-isolated-objects_1196-497For older kids help them understand the difference between instruments that need air and those that need strings etc, so that you are developing a deeper understanding of musical instruments with them and at the same time they are honing their observation, classification and set formation skills.
  3. Take children to a musical instruments store and explore the instruments theremusical-instruments-vector-isolated-objects_1196-497 and see what your child is interested in, and maybe you can first buy a younger version of the same. Remember not a toy version, a beginner’s version is better.
  4. If you find that it is too noisy to gift your child a musical instrument then select a specific time of the day and let your child play with it only then.
  5. Download instrument sounds from you- tube and listen to them with your child and connect to each instrument.musical notes
  6. Play a game of ABC with your child, name a musical instrument with each letter of the alphabet! Did you find all 26?
  7. If you want your kids to learn a musical instrument then share the fun of learning it with them, you explore it too!
  8. RecorderPlay a game, ‘Guess the instrument’, and ask thinking questions like, which instrument requires your finger and mouth to play it? (flute, recorder,etc). This thinking game helps kids relate instruments to facts about them.
  9. Let your kids draw different musical instruments and display them in the house.
  10. Go on a musical treasure hunt, hide chits with names of each instrument on them and as the child finds each chit, the child has to act out how he would play that musical instrument.
  11. Take them to a local museum to show them how  musical instruments have evolved over the ages.

Have a musical time with your child!



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