How not to spoil your kids

I think all of us, be it adults or children love to be spoilt, not just by material possessions but by the whole package  – physical, emotional and a psychological.

With children it is even that much more difficult not to spoil them and living in a joint family only makes it that much more difficult.

Word ‘ spoilt’ in relation to children according to me can mean a number of things. Besides physical possessions of toys and games, etc it also relates to:

  • Behavior
  • Manners
  • Respect for the elders
  • Neatness and care of possessions

And most importantly do they listen to you

A lot of what I have listed above actually begins and ends with us and that too has to be imbibed in the young impressionable minds at a very young age. The kids pick up the cues very  quickly and therefore what they see is what they learn.

So if we are scattering our things don’t be surprised to see them follow suit. If we don’t demonstrate a discipline of conducting ourselves, setting boundaries of expectations why do we expect our kids to behave like robots under our command.

So if we expect them to be well mannered, behaved and listening kids then the onus really lies on us.

This is truly a case of walking the talk.

The art of saying NO

Let’s dwell on something very important – how to say no to a child?

The easy one’s are situations when you know that the child is being unreasonable and relenting to his or her request is going to do more harm than good particularly in situations or request where there is an element of danger as well.

Tricky ones are situations when you know the child is just being a child and his or her ask with expectations oozing out of their eyes and they waiting with bated breath for your answer are the real killers.

We may relent at times and give in depending upon the nature of the ask / situation.

And at times just to set an example you would deny the request. Now depending upon the desperation level within the child and how seriously he or she takes you –  the request is likely to come back through a differentiated pitch with a couple of promises also thrown in just to elicit a yes out of you.

Usually here the no becomes sterner and the arguments and counter arguments continue till such time either party gives in. Reason may or may not work at this stage and at time theatrics and threats are also likely to be thrown in.

While I have elaborated a rather lengthy technique to a simple “no” I believe and I have seen many of us being impatient, shouting, threatening and at time even smacking the child in order to establish supremacy and get order into the situation. Is this really the right technique?  I am not convinced.

I am sure there is psychological and emotional damage that we may be causing inadvertently. Not from denying an unnecessary or irrelevant treat but using physical or verbal force.

 

Can we control the bad genes?

It is a no brainer – we all pass on some of our genes to our offspring. I am not technically qualified to quantify the above statement with more facts and figures but we all know this universal truth.

The question I want to pose before you all is how to control the bad genes if at all there is such a thing as “controlling genes”

Eyesight, receding hair lines, weight or tendency to gain weight, sugar, hypertension, etc. are some of the genes related concerns which may impact with age.

Eye sight and weight is something which can kick in pretty early in the kids’ life.

So while being aware about family history of ailments is important so as to ensure one keeps a look out for these issues. Other than that is there anything that one can do?

 

Changing trends in family vacations

When was the last time you got together as one large extended family for a vacation? Leaving family occasions such as birthdays and marriages, we haven’t really gone for a holiday as one large extended family.

In my own experience the last couple of years have either been holidays with just the immediate family or like minded friends.

My childhood was very different – I’ve spent many a memorable holiday with a bunch of cousins either at an aunt’s place or the erstwhile family home. Those vacations were fun. We would play pranks on each other, go out for outings, movies, cards, carom board, UNO. You name it and we would have done something or the other – not sure what the aunt felt about all of us running amok at her house.

These holidays were great for all of us as they gave us an opportunity to come together as a family, get to know each other that much better, create long lasting relationships and bonds. Another highlight was the length of these vacations always very long but time when you are having fun always slips away faster.

A long holiday in today’s day and age is a luxury which is practically non-existing irrespective of whether you are self-employed, business or service. But that is not the point – I am being nostalgic about what the vacations meant back then and how different they have come to be. The agenda for today’s generation is ‘exotic destination’ or something different experience. This is also possible on account of travel and holidays becoming affordable. But talk about spending 2-3 weeks in a relative’s house for a holiday and both your own and their families would want to have you certified!