Education channels versus Cartoons

Without a doubt I believe education channels wins hands down.

The content and knowledge presented in an interesting and absorbing manner is a treat not only for the children but for the parents as well. In fact it may just act as a refresher for the parents.

Da Vinci Learning (#client) recently held an introductory session for parents and kids where in some interesting experiments were demonstrated live. The atmosphere was abuzz with excitement as bursting volcanoes, recreating a comet, understanding polymers and playing with bubbles enthralled not just the kids, but also their parents. The simple yet effective experiments  were conducted with eager participation of the little ones. This not only ensured that they understood the science behind experience, but also created fond memories for the children and curiosity about the channel.

While there is no question of the benefits and the positive impact of such education channels like Da Vinci Learning there is a possible flip side for the parents.

From a parent’s perspective such channels may not always be the preferred choice of the child as they flip through the TV menu, as unlike cartoons, education channel viewing would require an investment of the parent’s time as well. This primarily on account of the questions which may come up while viewing the content particularly from young kids. Therefore joint viewing could be an ask depending upon the programming.

So the bliss of putting the child in front of the TV and taking some me-time or catching up on some chores will not hold true with education channels. I would also like to add that all cartoons may not be necessarily bad – yes there are the odd favorites like Mickey Mouse and the Toon Club which are also effective in imparting knowledge to the younger kids. My vote squarely goes to the education channels.



When push comes to shove

Some kids will pick up mannerism or acts as they grow up – either from peers or from television. It is possible that such acts are done to attract attention or are in reaction to some thought or situation; they may even be an early symptom of a nutritional deficiency (so I have heard). 

While such acts may seem innocuous and harmless to begin with – they need to be addressed at the earliest possible – before they become a habit difficult to shake. Besides discussing this with the family doctor / pediatrician to rule out something serious, it is also important to talk to the child to find out the reasons for such behavior and to counsel the child. Ignoring such acts with the hope that they disappear may not work and with the passage of time such mannerism may become ingrained in the mind of the child thus be exhibited subconsciously

So if after repetitive counselling and requests fails and push comes to shove a stern authoritative approach may just do the trick. I am not propagating physical contact but a very serious parent to child conversation establishing boundaries and authorities may be required. Ramifications for not discontinuing the behaviors should also be spelled out to ensure there is no ambiguity.

If this approach is a change in tack from your usual problem solving mechanism, it may be a shock for the child and he may get the message. It may be upsetting for the parent as well, but with a heavy heart one must do what is required for the betterment of the child. Having adopted a particular approach it has to be sustained through such acts, i.e. there cannot be a softening once you decide that the last straw has broken the camel’s back.

Weekend dad

Hand on heart confession-yes, I am a weekend dad.

Well, not all the times but, yes, more often than I would like. And without being melodramatic, it does eat into me once in a while – actually a lot of times. Does this mean i tend to over indulge or spoil my child- no.

So weekdays are typically long hours at work resulting in a hurried half hour or maybe an hour spent in creating some quality around the very little time that you get. This time too, mind you, has demands of eating dinner, watching some telly (optional), and generally talking about how the others’ day was and your own unwinding.

Throw in an evening engagement, then this time too is lost. As a result, weekends become that much more special and sacrosanct for me in terms of being able to spend some quality time with my son.

I do have a more than willing partner in assisting me in my household chores both internal and external. And thank god for that!

 Weekend, then for me is all about sports, indoor games, cooking together – all this has by now become a part of the splendid routine for the family.

All of this, of course, comes at a price in the form of angst from the high command once in a while but as they say life is nothing but a juggle!

 Happy juggling