Parenting

3 Brain-Training Game Apps Full Of Fun For Your Child

Since 2020, the whole world has gone online and so have our little ones. The exposure to screen even though if online learning is so much that kids are bound to try and find some entertainment as well on the screens.

Here are the gems that I found when Eira was 4 year old. All these apps have been tried, tested and enjoyed. So get ready to have some absolute fun time!

1. 1Line (Free App)

1Line

I’m sure you remember drawing an open envelope during your school days. The rule was not to redraw a line and not to pick the pencil until the envelope is done. Basically, the rule is to draw the picture with just one line. The app has so many levels and is an excellent yet interesting way to have a good brain exercise.

Eira loves this app and has completed many stages. It became more fun for her when her Dad got involved. Playing on two phones simultaneously and checking who is able to solve them faster is a great way to get a child interested.

2. Cut the rope free (Free App)

Cut The Rope Free

Om Nom is hungry and wants to have candy. But the candy is not easily available. Follow the adventurous levels and help cut the candy free from ropes and obstacles and help Om Nom relish it.

This is a super fun game which will keep kids engaged and scratching their brains. You will also find them jump off their seats when they actually get the candy. You will also find “Om Nom Stories” cartoon on YouTube.

3. Buttons and Scissors (Free App)

Buttons and Scissors

Cut off the buttons from the denim with the help of scissors. You can cut them only after matching 2 or more buttons of the same color and of no other colored button is in the way. You can select buttons only on the same horizontal, vertical or diagonal line. Cut off all the buttons to complete a level and do it in the shortest possible time to get a better score. Logical thinking is what your child will have to do to get this fun game going.

While there are many other games that you might find on the Playstore, these three have been stuck with us for more than 3 years. Make sure you try them as well and you will have a blast.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla

Parenting

5 Tips On How To Teach Your Child The Importance Of Saving

Saving money is one of the most important aspects for adults for having financial security. But do you think this habit can be learned in a day or two? It is an element that needs to be picked up in childhood and rooted in to ensue willingly. We need to empower our kids by teaching them the importance of saving. But how can we achieve that??

Here are 5 easy yet effective five ways to teach your kids the importance of saving.

Image courtesy Pexels

Help children to set goals through a Piggy Bank or Saving Jars
Using a Piggy Bank is a great way to teach your kids the importance of saving. The goal should be to fill it up until there is no room left. I gifted my daughter her first piggy bank when she was less than 2 years old. She didn’t understand the value of it then but knew that whenever she found notes and coins, they had to go into the piggy bank. The money was collected for a full year until Children’s day and then we bought gifts for her from the savings. Starting with these basics, Eira understood that savings are important. Your kid is asking for a specific toy that’s of a higher price, you can help them set goals to make sure to save first and then get the toy. Having multiple jars with pictures of their goals or a gift they want to give their siblings or best friend, will get them excited and keep them on their toes to reach the goal. A saving jar labelled “donation” can imbibe values of contribution towards the needy.

In 2018, when Kerala was in need of relief funds due to floods, I’d explained to Eira that there is a need for donation and that our entire country had risen for the cause. That was a lesson as well as a motivation for her and she also donated a part of her savings through an organization.

Image courtesy Pexels

Provide monthly allowance
Once your kids realize that the allowance they receive from you is a fixed amount, the thought of having an extra income will certainly excite them. Once in a while, allow them to do extra chores and provide an incentive. This will motivate them to be more proactive in helping out at home and even lend a hand to relatives and neighbors.
Exercise caution with the frequency of offerings and which activities are rewarded. You certainly do not want them thinking that they will get paid every time they help out in the house. A proper reward system will motivate a hard work ethic.

Image courtesy Pexels

Teach them budgeting
Get your kids involved when you are creating your monthly budget. Explain to them the difference between what is necessary and what isn’t. This will help them develop smart spending habits. Tell them about, how you set your monthly budgets and keep aside savings to run the household. Instead of numbers, you can talk in percentages, if you are not very comfortable sharing the information.

Lead by example
A study by the University of Cambridge found that money habits in children are formed by the time they’re 7 years old. Those little eyes are always around us watching and learning. We parents are their first role models and what we do directly has an impact on them. Kids at a young age might not understand how a bank works. Most of the kids think that a bank is a place where everyone gets as much money as they need. So make sure that you’re saving first. Having a piggy bank placed right next to theirs with one of your goals will make things perceivable for them. Maybe a family holiday that you’re planning for or a gift that you want to buy for yourself or a family member. The more the situation is transparent the more they absorb and learn.

Image courtesy Pexels

Avoid impulse buying
“Mom, can I get this toy?” , “Dad, can I get this dress?”. Do not fall for those words especially when it comes to teens. Make sure they know that things cannot be bought in a whiff. Planning your budget, making sure to know how much can be spent in that particular week/month is properly planned. There might be friends who get all the stuff that they demand for right when they ask for it, but you need to make sure your kid understands that contentment starts from the heart. A little can go a long way. The best way to make sure they learn budgeting is to include them in the grocery planning and shopping with you. Moms very well know how much planning goes into keeping their pantry filled within the budget to keep saving yet bringing delicious meals to the table.

Image courtesy Pexels

Learning responsibility about handling savings
After a certain age, you can guide your kid to open a savings account in a bank. This is a great way to learn how to operate a bank account as well. Don’t forget to pitch in a portion into their savings when they start a bank account for their motivation. This step will take money management to the next level. But thats not all. Educating kids about finance management is a process and L&T Mutual Fund can help you in just that in the best way possible.

A Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) can be one of the best possible options for it. A SIP investment can help you save from as little as Rs.500 each month, and it can help you to accumulate a sizable amount over time to reach your goals. A perfect way to invest your child’s savings and explain them how their savings are growing over time.

The SIP Calculator can be used to see the monthly SIP amount they’d need to invest in order to achieve a particular goal in a particular time period.

Every child is different but as parents, you have to guide them and help them start their financial journey so they can become adults who manage their finances well. With time, assistance and support your child will learn the skill of savings at a younger age which will ripple impeccably into their adult life.

Disclaimer: This is for general information only and does not regard to the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this information. L&T Investment Management Limited, the asset management company of L&T Mutual Fund or any of its associates; does not guarantee/indicate any returns/and shall not be held liable for any loss, expenses, charges incurred by the recipient. The recipient should consult their legal, tax, and financial advisors before investing. The recipient of this information should understand that statements made herein regarding future prospects may not be realised or achieved.

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

CauseAChatter · Parenting

5 Steps To Make Sure Gender Equality Starts At Home For Kids

There are countless things to talk about when it comes to gender equality and supporting women. But how do we ensure that our future generations, our kids are raised to know the true meaning of gender equality? To make sure that they do not just talk about it but also follow the same in their day-to-day lives. Every deed that we want to do should start from home. That is the cocoon where the foundation is built and we need to start right there just like we teach everything else.


Let’s see how we can implement some simple steps at home.

Image courtesy Pexels

No work is gender assigned
Cooking to cleaning, taking care of kids and elderly, all of this and more is mainly done by women of the house. They have always been at the frontline when it comes to household work as they mostly are the caregivers. Some partners do help out but men being at work all the time and in the current scenario, online all the time has not been helpful.
Make sure that your kid does not consider it as gender assigned. Home is for moms and work is for Dads. Divide the household work between all the family members. When has it been compulsory that only a woman should cook or clean, right! I and my husband have our specialities when it comes to cooking. He can make Asian food and stir-fries way better than me. So my kid knows who to go to when she wants some stir-fried noodles and whom to come to for a bowl of pasta or aloo paratha.
Assign daily chores to kids as well. Make sure they understand the importance and why they need to play a role in it. Kids can help in dusting and tidying up around the house, fold laundry. Help plan/prep a meal and make a salad.

Image courtesy Pexels

Gender stereotyping must be explained
There are couples who work, then there are couples where men work and women are homemakers while there are also couples where women work and men are homemakers. I’m sure it didn’t come as a surprise to you but you also need to make sure it doesn’t surprise your child either. Having age-appropriate conversations on gender stereotyping is very important. Some logical conversations with a mix of real-life examples can make that work easily. Children are great learners you see!

Image courtesy Pexels

Gender is not an excuse
I have a son in the toddler phase who wants everything his way. He has recently figured out that screaming and crying can get things done just the way he wants. Every person around us says “Boys will be boys”. They are bound to be naughty and violent but is that a good excuse for misbehavior? Can I let my daughter think that just because she is a girl she has to be her best self while her brother can do whatever he likes because he is a boy? That is so wrong in many ways. We cannot generalize behavior depending on gender right! Gender should definitely not be an excuse.

Respect one’s feelings in spite of gender
Practice feminist parenting which demands to respect one’s feelings in spite of the gender of your child. Boys should not cry and girls should not punch. Gone are the days when these cliches were used. A boy can cry when he wants to and a girl can punch back when she is hurt. Not that she should but it should be both ways.

Image courtesy Pexels

Respect the choices that your child makes
Toys are never gendered specific but somehow dolls and kitchen sets have been attached with girls while cars and trucks for boys. But when it comes to a doctor set, both can have them. Why so?? A child can play house with dolls or race some cars while cooking with a kitchen set. While another child may reject all of these and play only with a set of blocks. We need to learn to respect our children’s choices. It is their imagination that is going to help them grow and toys just aid in that.

Image courtesy Pexels

Practicing what you preach is also important. Parents are the most important role model for children so make sure you are practicing gender equality rather gender neutrality at home. After all, the change will start at home and will ripple into their lives making them better person respecting other people irrespective of their gender.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.

Parenting · Uncategorized

Is Your Child Getting All The Vital Nutrition?

Right from the birth of a child, every parent is always on the lookout for the best. Healthy growth and proper nutrition are what they always have on their mind. Parents love to track the growth as it is an important indicator of how their overall health is shaping. There are many factors in nutrition that help in development. Your child might sometimes meet all the growth factors while sometimes slow down on them.

Image courtesy Pexels

There are several key indicators of healthy growth in kids like their weight, height, etc. and to keep them growing steadily the right nutrition from day one is very necessary. When a child’s growth is slow, a parent might feel disappointed but those measures need not always be the numbers of optimal growth. Some kids grow steadily right from the start while others reach their growth milestones slowly. Even a pediatrician is not looking for a major growth spurt but just a steady growth. If there is a sudden drop in health then that seems to be a red flag which needs to be considered and taken care of.

This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Childhood is also a very important time for brain growth. Without the right nutrition a child may fall behind in cognitive development and this has its effects in later life too. Food is also a very important part of mental health. These are some of the reasons why monitoring growth in children’s peak years of development in India is crucial.
The slow growth in a child if taken very lightly can have some long-term effects. Sleep is another factor which gets hampered. It can also affect a child’s mental development and performance abilities.

Nutrition and growth go hand in hand
Good nutrition definitely helps in proper growth and development of a child. There are some nutrients that kids’ need to thrive on like carbohydrates, proteins, limited intake of fats, calcium, iron, essential vitamins and minerals, etc. All these are important for their bodies to function properly and for them to excel in their daily activities.

Healthy eating habits happen with time.
A parent can be concerned about their child not getting the right nutrition due to being a fussy eater or disliking some of the foods that are nutritious. Being worried is most certain but being consistent is important.

✓Train their taste buds right from the start. ✓Introduce them to all the varieties of flavors and you will be surprised how wide their choices can grow.
✓If your child doesn’t like a certain food then make sure a favourite of theirs is also served. A good mix served together which is not only appealing to the eye but also to their taste will help.
✓Try to plate their foods in an interesting way. You need not go all exotic for it. Khichdi and roti can also make good food art.

Food art made with healthy ingredients by Eira. This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

✓Sit at the table or the floor to eat.

✓Children show more interest when they know how to cook. Little kids can be involved in no flame cooking and plating. This makes them feel involved. Making pancake and cake batter together, rolling puris and parathas and making ladoos turn into activities and promote healthy eating as well.

Kids making their own sandwiches for breakfast. Image courtesy Pexels

✓Keep kids active by helping them practice yoga, exercises and active play. This promotes a healthy body and mind while keeping them fit. It also increases their appetite and helps in digestion.

Keeping kids active through exercise/yoga or sports is very important. This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

✓Healthy yet tasty snacks should be offered between the major meal times to keep them satisfied. Whole wheat pancakes, dry fruit ladoos, various varieties of Chikki, flavored makanas or a glass of PediaSure in their favourite flavour make great snack options.
✓By being a role model ourselves, we can make them learn faster how to consume healthier meals. Have meals with your child.

I make sure that I give well rounded nutritious diet which includes fruits, veggies, grains and meat on a daily basis to my kids. Milk is another most important thing that should be included, as well. Even with all that we do, we cannot be sure that the intake of nutrients required for their bodies is completely acquired through the amount of food they eat. So, a health drink like PediaSure can help. It helps support immunity and brain development, along with healthy weight and height gain with its 37 nutrients. PediaSure is certainly a nutritious supplement for children.

With so many measures taken for the growth of children, we can still miss out on understanding their growth and if it is in the right direction. That is why it is important to monitor their growth.

Image courtesy https://pediasure.in

The Grow Right Tracker by PediaSure has made it super easy to do that. Just click on the link that will take you to the tracker and enter your child’s age, height and weight. You get a downloadable report that you can use to discuss with your paediatrician, or simply keep a tab. I have started using this and it has been quite a relief. As I said, growth and nutrition go hand in hand, hence monitoring it is essential and in fact the #FirstStepToGrowRight.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not reflect the views of any brand. Any omissions or errors at the author’s end does not assume any liability or responsibility on any party mentioned in the blog.

CauseAChatter · Parenting

Only Me! – Does being an only child effect mental wellness?

Are you an only child or do you have a sibling? Haven’t you heard (parent or not) at some point of time that an only child is a spoiled one? That they are too stubborn and do not share. They do not socialize especially when things don’t go as per their way. Compromises are a big No! There are chances that they might grow up being a lone wolf. When these traits were studied it got a name. Only Child Syndrome.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Lets see what researchers and psychologists have to say about Only Child Syndrome. Is it real or just a myth?

Only children have stereotypes and are very familiar with many people. I myself have seen many kids who because of being single have been pampered by their parents and families. They are adviced to have another child just to get the only child down to earth of I may say so…

This syndrome came into existence somewhere in the late 1800s when child psychologists G. Stanley Hall and  E. W. Bohannon used a questionnaire to study different traits in children. They concluded that children without siblings possessed a long list of negative behavioural traits. They both were firm with their idea and also pushed that children are better off with siblings.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Some researches that took place later on, did agree with Hall and Bohannon while some researchers found some flaws in their study and called Only Child Syndrome a myth.

There might be some truth in it though. A new study suggested that to some degree, these conventions are true. Only children didn’t score as well as participants with siblings in the personality trait known as agreeableness. The differences were interestingly seen to be wired in the structure of the brain itself. It’s surprising that there can be a correlation between personality and neurology but the study says that that the environment we grow up in does affect us, and maybe right down to our brain cells.

Photo from Pexels

But that doesn’t mean that single child in a family lags in everything. There are pros and cons on both sides.

The researchers wanted to study the psychological and neurological conditions, so they looked at college students who were only child in China, a country which has been under one-child policy for more than 30 years. They compared the intelligence, personality and creativity scores of participants being only child to participants with siblings. Even their brain scans were compared to find structural differences.Lets see what they found out in their research.

Neurological differences were also found as there were differences in the structures of their brains.

Only children have better relationship with their parents but that again depends on the parents and the place where they reside. According to the study in China, families from urban areas where parents were both working, the only child went through low love awareness, depression, trait anxiety and dependency as compared to urban children with siblings. Low love awareness can result in negative mental health according to the analysis.

Not much difference was found in rural only and non-only children.

As the saying goes, “You need a village to raise a child”. It seems that it is true after all.

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

Another fact that I came across through a friend in my Engineering days who was an only child. During a discussion, he shared that he did have a great relationship with his parents, more with his mother specifically and mom was a home-maker. But he did have an imaginary friend upto a certain age and preferred that company. He said he wished that he would have a sibling.

All this sounds a bit too harsh and maybe scary, right! But it definitely shows that it does affect a child’s mental well-being. That doesn’t mean that parents should jump in right away to have another child or that if you can’t, your only-child will definitely have issues. You will find people who will share that they are happy to be an only-child and are now parenting an only-child as well.

There are many ways to make sure that an only-child turns out to be a mentally healthy child.

1.      Allow freedom

Photo by Jennifer Murray from Pexels

An only child mostly has a parent or a caretaker hovering over them all the time while siblings are left to play on their own. Only child should be allowed to play on their own as well which will help them develop their ideas. Give them their own space, their own freedom to grow.

2.     Encourage individualism

Make sure to make the child understand that individualism is important and not always crave to be part of the crowd. Praise their individuality.

3.     More and more playdates

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Expose the child to more and more of social settings and give them chances to be around peers. Being around more kids can help them learn to interact.

4.     Encourage passions

Photo from Pexels

Get your kid involved into many activities and mostly outside the house where they are with peers and into social settings. They will not only find their interests but also develop a sense of self which is good for every child but especially onlies.

5.     Learning compromise

This value needs to be taught from time to time. Something that onlies might not have to go through at home as there is no sibling to challenge them in different situations. Do not give them everything they ask unless it is necessary.

6.     Healthy relationship with parents

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Onlies or not, kids need to have a transparent relationship with their parents. They need their love and support from time to time but that does not mean you let everything go as a parent of an only child. Being their friend might not work every time but will help a great deal when being their secret sharer.

7.     Do not swoop in every time

Every parent has the urge to protect their child in every situation but its healthy for them and especially for onlies to know how to navigate themselves in such situations and find their way out on their own.

8.     Teach empathy

Kids with siblings learn this value as they have to consider them in every or many situations. Onlies need to be taught this by their parents. Create situations where they get to see and learn empathy. Volunteer at orphanages and old-age homes. Help friends and family when in need.

9.     Be the encouragement

Onlies are kind of perfectionists as parents and grandparents praise them in everything they do. Whwther or not their work is good, all they get is praise. There is no immediate competition as such at home. They tend be more upset when they lack or fail at times. Make sure they take it all in a good way. They should learn to accept failures but as a parent instead of piling on their disappointments, make sure you encourage them when they fall.

10. Don’t make a mini version of you

Photo by Polesie Toys from Pexels

Do not expect that all that you did not do or get in your childhood, the dreams that were not fulfilled will be completed by your child. That your child will probably turn out to be a doctor or an engineer or an artist. That is just your only child and not a second chance for your redemption.

If your a parent with an only child, don’t be stressed. Many children who are onlies are loving and compassionate and wonderful human beings. If your child does have some difficulties, know that you can always help them to get back in the right direction!

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.

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