Time for parenting

It's often difficult for parents and kids to get together for a family meal, let alone spend quality time together. Here is a section for more effective parenting, child-rearing tips that can help you feel more fulfilled as a parent by Vidya Shankar, a Child Rights Practitioner and a Montessori advocate for children. Founder of CASCADE Family Learning Services.

Gadgets and TV.

3) We are living as a joint family. While we are able to curtail our children, others children are spending time with gadgets and television. By default our children too seem to be interested in those things only, even though we are spending time with them. The other children don’t feel comfortable or enjoy with activities like how they enjoy with screen and gadgets. What should we do?

It is natural for children to be interested in what their peers are involved in. In a joint family setting, it is important to discuss and communicate the needs of children with other adults at home, in a calm and objective manner. Find a neutral time to talk to them individually or as a group to convey the same. The change will be slow, but it can happen. It is important to initiate and lead by example, as to how you can engage the children (all of them) in the daily practical life activities. This can be done after letting other parents know before engaging with their children. The change has to come from the adults and you can slowly facilitate it, by winning their trust first and placing these important ideas before them.

Sibling Issues:

4) My 4 year old plays with his 10 year old sibling and his friends all the time. These kids are much bigger atleast 14 to 16 years old. Is that ok for both of them? Will he be exposed to unwanted words and thought process from the big kids?

Yes, there is a risk of exposure to unwanted words and ideas from the elder children. The Absorbent Mind is still at work for the 4 year old while the older one may look upto them as role models. It is important for the children to interact with all age groups of people, but in this case if we can invite the older children home and they interact here, that shouldn't be a problem. This exposure away from home is best to be avoided, if not strictly limited. If those words/ideas are tried in the house, it can be be firmly dealt with by stopping them then and there and reminding that we don't use them. Playing with the appropriate ages is a must, if not no play is better than deleterious play. Taking them to meet friends of their age groups in parks will ensure that they find peers, who they can play with. Older children will definitely influence the thinking process of younger children, as they both are not in the same plane of development of the older children, and will not know how to deal with profanity or challenging defiance which are likely to emerge in that age group play.

Parenting queries? Ask the expert advisor Vidya Shankar.

Check out June edition for previous quetions and answers.

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