Cakes should be an integral part of birthday celebrations for all age groups

Kids cannot fathom / imagine a birthday celebration without a cake. Right from triple-decked cakes made at home to cakes 2.0 where in, the choice of the image on the cake lies with the kids and is printed on using edible glazed sugar.

And absolutely why not have a cake as part of the birthday celebrations – as this may change during teens or once an adult – where the impact of sugar may be the deciding factor in whether a cake is being ordered or baked. (notwithstanding the countless healthier / sugarless options available today)

Irrespective of what the impact it has on my midriff, cakes and birthday celebrations go hand-in-hand in my household. The protagonist in this case being my son, who, religiously ensures that we celebrate every member’s birthday with the customary cake cutting. So across generations, we are now accustomed to the customary cake cutting and happy birthday singing which goes with the process. The fact that you may be on a diet does not hold any bargaining power in front of the child. Their own birthdays are naturally more elaborate with the current favourite superhero likely to find himself on the cake with all the kids looking at it with barely suppressed glee in their eyes as they decide which part to consume – this site is pure pleasure to watch.

And if you step back and think about it – we can certainly emulate some learnings from what we see with our kids – birthday cake is equal to celebration which equals celebrating life. So let’s not think cutting a cake is childlike but go out and order one when the special day arrives.


Battle for the TV remote

Parents, time for you to give up the battle for the TV remote in summer vacations!

I am sure this problem is not unique to me but possibly faced by families across the world. TV watching is an integral part of evenings for most families. Higher the family number, greater is the battle for the remote. Tastes and preferences vary with age and across family members. While men have a skew towards sports, women may lean towards soaps, family & drama, and for children, the first point of addiction is usually cartoons, edutainment and super-hero movies as they grow older.

Advancements in technology today have increased the number of screens we access during the day and have also given us options for the consumption of content. However, the simple pleasure of sitting together and catching up with the family cannot be replaced, even if it is as family hour over dinner or with TV. Kids, however, demand their exclusive TV time away from the family. If we succumb to this demand then we are only increasing their screen time.

Is there a way out? One possible solution could be that the family hour and the children TV time are clubbed together. The challenge is to break the grip of mindless and violent cartoons to loop in something more relevant and entertaining such as the new edutainment channel in India, DaVinci Learning. Having seen some of the shows in the evening with my son, I must say they offer a wide variety of informative content created in an captivating manner for kids and adults alike.

If this route does not work, the other solution could be fixed slots with a hard stop, where the children are allowed to watch channels such as DaVinci Learning for entertainment and educative learning. Hard stop is most definitely required as most kids learn early the power of “five minutes more” as they know the adult is likely to get distracted and the five minutes can easily become fifteen.

Yes, I do have a lot of experience of this debate as well. Either solution, mutually agreed upon, could work wonders in harbouring peace as against the battle for the remote.