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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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