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.

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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Season your parenting !


Is there something to be learned from each season about parenting and looking after children?? Well, I think that god created seasons to add a variety to our life and to help us appreciate the sun after the rain and the rain after the hot scorching days of summer. So let’s have some fun and try out some season based parenting techniques-


Summer season-Summer is all about the hot sun, cool shady places, cool drinks (not cold drinks!), summer clothes, ‘keeping our cool’ , getting a tan, swimming, splashing in the water, and summer is also about light food and lots of naps.

Parenting secrets to learn from summer season-

  1. Don’t be like the harsh scorching summer sun for your children or else they will seek out the shade in some other place!
  2. Give compliments often to your children, they will be like the cool drinks of summer, so refreshing and needed.
  3. Keep rules light and fresh like the summer clothes, so that your children do not feel hot and bothered in them.
  4. Let go of your reservations and go out and get dirty, play with your kids and allow them to be free.


Rainy season-All about umbrellas, rainbows, snails and frogs. Peacocks dancing. Yummy food. Floods in the city. Getting wet. Thunder. Lightening. Dark clouds. The cool wet breeze. The smell of the wet mud and of course splashing in the rain and getting wet.

Parenting secrets to learn from the rains-

  1. LET GO! The most important parenting secret, let go of your inhibitions and allow children to explore and grow.
  2. Just like the rain washes away all the dust and heat, see that you have warm words and actions for your child after you have been angry with them.
  3. Ask yourself do I give enough reasons for smiles to my child, do I give him/her all the colours of the rainbow?
  4. The snails should teach us that all children may not be achievers so learn to accept the snails too!
  5. The frogs teach us to shout, whoop with joy. It’s nice once in a while
  6. The peacock shows its lovely colours and feathers only when it rains. So if you want your child to show his lovely talents and gifts do you shower them with the rain of love and acceptance?


Winter season-

Warm sweaters. Hot food. Cuddling up with a warm blanket. Snugly caps and gloves. Sitting by the fire. Waiting for warmer days. Shorter days. Longer nights.

Parenting secrets to learn from the winter season-

  1. Winter teaches us to cuddle and get closer, have you hugged your child today? Do you hug him/her often?
  2. Do you give children the feeling of being warm, looked after? Or do they always feel the chilly winds of your ‘high expectations’
  3. The greatest warm food that you can give your child is a sense of belonging, the feeling that ‘I can and I will’.
  4. Winter teaches us to have lesser expectations from our children and give more of our time and trust.

So ‘season’ your parenting with the above and you can never go wrong! Happy ‘seasoned’ parenting!


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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 the child. .


When a child is a toddler, the favourite 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 a mix and match and sometimes conjuring 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 (maybe this can be put in a box)

  • Red 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 you joyous; no wonder some communities tie colourful orange flowers on their doors!
  • Yellow is calming, promotes well being and happiness and in children it is associated as a happy colour- happy sun, happy sunflowers…..
  • 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.
  • Blue is a soothing colour and induces calm and restful sleep without nightmares!
  • And brain research says that colours that enhance brain function are- yellow, beige and off white for optimal learning and 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 say ‘my kid is active at bedtime, how do I make him sleep?’. Simple with light green bed sheets, light blue pyjamas and so on.

When one knows that colours make an impact then use your colour sense when buying anything for your child and also try to see that there is a combination of colours otherwise I am sure it would be quire boring to have yellow snack box, yellow water bottle, yellow bag, and yellow pencil. Yes, I heard you say that my child insists on one colour, perfect no problem, but there can be designs on those colours? They need not be a plain yellow, right?


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 attract your child to the plate, instead of the boring white. Also the food that you serve the child should be in different colours, I am not asking that you add food colours but a riot of colours on a food plate makes a child feel attracted and even the pickiest of eater at least starts nibbling, so try for at least 3 colours in every meal- so have something red (ketchup, cherries, tomatoes) have something green (cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, broccoli) have something yellow (dal, sabzi). Then of course there is purple, white and orange to experiment and add. Play a game with your child and ask him 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 teeth or having a bath. Bring the colour genie to help you! Buy soap and toothbrush of his/her favourite colour, stick colour full stickers on the handle of the toothbrush and see how your child is attracted to the toothbrush. For very picky kids, change toothbrush colour every two days and let your child guess which colour toothbrush has mummy kept for you 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 has been scolded or slapped, never. Ever, have this colour on a child’s body.
  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.


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The Three Magic Words.


So often I have come across mothers dropping their children to school and when you wish the child, good morning, the mother prompts the child, “say, good morning”, without giving the child the required space and time to process the social interaction and without realising it these mothers have made social interaction 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 is half the battle 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!

social-2            social

So inculcating inter personal intelligence in children is beneficial to their future success, parents and schools must focus on developing this intelligence.

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. Yes, 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 them 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 in the teaching of manners and social skills, so that parents can teach 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 that 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 them to say ‘sorry’ and the child does just that 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 especially 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! Now, is that good manners? So here is a story that is a good discussion topic of what magic words should Goldilocks have used.

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


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