9 lessons from Aarohi Life Education that are game changers.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever to equip our kids with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information.” – US Department of Education

What is the purpose of this blog?

Aarohi, an experience that elevates my soul journey. How else could I explain tears rolling down my cheeks while meditating at Aarohi? I have never had such an emotional experience while meditating. The tears were representative of freedom, the tears represented the happiness at seeing a child being treated with respect.

As an occasional blogger, I only write when words associated with an experience feel caged within the confines of my heart, the words fluidly come out to spread my life learnings with the wider community.

Who benefits from Aarohi?

At Aarohi, I met children who had never been to any school, I met children who have taken a gap year from the conventional schooling system, I met homeschoolers, I met children pursuing the curriculum of a traditional school. When I facilitate parent cafe, parents often wonder of how to raise children who are emotionally intelligent? Aarohi offers a real solution to this predicament. A child who learns to connect with one’s own heart has found his/ her passion, his/ her purpose and has learnt how to live freely. At Jaatre- Celebration of learning, various ideas from exploring numbers, mathematical concepts to sharing about world war to learning a new craft or learning about entrepreneurship journeys are explored, Aarohi for sure knows how to celebrate learning and offer an unadulterated learning opportunity and space to it’s community and guests.  Aarohi is for everyone, it is for homeschoolers, unschoolers, free range learners, conventional school goers, alternative school goers, teachers, families, parents, artists, researchers, educationists, travellers, seekers, everyone. It is a space to learn and offer your gifts.

Let me invite you to walk with me through my experience of living at Aarohi for three days with my partner, Shaunak and my 3 year old daughter, Raedita. Aarohi is a place where children get to be children, a land where children are offered a safe and non-judgmental space.

As I first walk through the doors of Aarohi, what strikes me is that the environment and the energies at Aarohi are welcoming, supportive, loving, thought-provoking, self-explanatory.

The learnings at Aarohi can come from the environment, from nature, from the facilitators, from children, from guests, from various online facilitators who gift their skills through video calls.

A day at Aarohi starts with sunshine at six in the morning and ends with lights off at ten in the night. I am attempting to delve into most of the aspects of a day at Aarohi.

  1. Aarohi- a self-designed curriculum

In the morning, after meditation, children set out their goals and plans for the day, which are in line with their term plans and vision. During the day, I would observe children engage in their chosen path, if a set of children make a film, somewhere else a child might be painting, or a child might be studying following a curriculum, or a child might be climbing a tree or a child might be engaged in the carpentry or a child might be practicing singing or learning about forensic psychology on YouTube or perhaps a group of children might be making a mud refrigerator or a group of children might be learning a new recipe. The self learning is only supported by facilitators by a process of inquiry through open ended questions at the time of planning every day.

With freedom does comes great responsibility.

While children choose their path, facilitators support children to walk their chosen path. Aarohi manages to strike that perfect equilibrium in support and freedom. An equilibrium- I feel most parents are trying to achieve in their parenting journey.

  1. Functioning of Aarohi- Campus Care and Jobs at Aarohi

When I observe my 3 year old daughter, I learn from her that it is her natural instinct to do productive work and to take responsibility for her actions. She surely feels empowered by taking responsibility by participating in household chores. Aarohi truly empowers children offering an autonomous space for co-creating the space with suggestions, ideas, designing of structure, volunteering to take up a job and also some non- negotiable agreements for taking care of the campus.

Every child has a job to perform, the job can be that of a coach or a receptionist or that of an accountant.

If an 8 year old child is responsible for the pets, a 13 year old is responsible for providing with hot water, a 12 year old is part of the kitchen management team and the list continues. At the time of the campus care- children, facilitators and guests get absorbed in assuming their chores and well, most of the times the chores are performed with a lot of zest.

 

A process that ensures that people of all age groups have a chore to perform, every human being has a responsibility ensures that the world is being gifted with responsible citizens who are capable to make conscious and independent decisions.
  1. Aarohi- honing skills

If I have to list down the learnings coming from the entire day from when dawn sets in with sunshine & community sports to when the day ends with everyone goes to bed at at Aarohi, then, skill set being nourished would be-

 

Being connected with nature climbing trees,

collecting wood,

extinguishing forest fire,

growing their own food,

watering the plants.

Sustainable living- sustainable living is a way of life at Aarohi creating biogas

solar power

natural construction techniques

composting food waste

conserving rain water.  

Life skills compassion,

creative thinking,

self awareness, decision-making,

art of respectful communication,

empathy,

conflict resolution, social skills,

critical thinking, self discipline,

time management, common sense:

and above all, mindfulness.

Physical skills playing community sports and games, climbing trees ,

campus care support the physical growth of every child.

Community building the basic human and social skills of learning how to create, care and live in a community.
Spiritual learning- The most effective way to derive wisdom is to be in solitude. At Aarohi, children are supported to meditate, to introspect, to spend time with oneself, to pen down their innermost thoughts and feelings. Silence as a language is spoken at Aarohi.

Based on my own life learning, I am certain that these holistic processes will remain edged in the conscious and/ or the sub-conscious mind of Aarohi children as they weave their own adult  These processes will always act as a point of reference wherever they go.

  1. What subjects do children learn at Aarohi?

“When we step back and observe children in deep, meaningful play experiences, we find children naturally working on everything from engineering, to art, to math, to physical literacy, to complex problem solving skills and advanced social dynamics”.

The key is to give them plenty of opportunity to do so and Aarohi Life Education and their facilitators seems to be doing just that.
As much as I have a dislike for compartmentalization of subjects, I will still elicit the various “subjects”, so as to suit the ideological beliefs of all readers. At Aarohi, children are living and experiencing multiple subjects in a harmonious way without perhaps a realization that they are learning. They are simply living and the the campus and it’s inhabitants are teaching them all of the below “subjects” without any intention of teaching.

 

Arithmetic

Spoken and written English

Sports

Creative Art

General knowledge

Science

History

Civics

Health and Hygiene

Physics

Environmental science

Emotional Intelligence

Moral Science

Dramatics

Creative Writing

Language

Literature

Geography

There is no adult driven agenda, the adult only facilitates every child’s self learning journey. By having a space devoid of any adult agendas, children end up learning multiple perspectives rather than learn about one particular subject from one perspective.

  1. Cornerstone of Aarohi

However, none of the above learnings would have been possible if not for a safe space for children to be their authentic self, if not for a space that supports them to identify their own feelings, to connect with their own inner being, to be free to be themselves. Adults and children learn to identify and manage their emotions.

Aarohi is a service to mankind, it is an extra-ordinary gift to the society where a child can identify the subtle difference between various emotions.

What is far greater in spirit is that the children have a right to decide, if they wish to live at Aarohi- or not, if they wish to live for a day, a week, a month, a year or years. There’s no threat or bribe or cajoling. Children have complete autonomy on their decision. So, any child whether a school going child or a homeschooler or an unschooler can choose to enjoy the sweet learning of Aarohi for a day or a week or a month or a year.

The learning is so natural that children as they become adults would have internalized the learnings and the way of life of Aarohi’s community, such is the power of Aarohi.

  1. About the facilitators

Aarohi is an answer to the society that is obsessed with segregation of education by disconnecting a human being from one’s own self. Aditi, Ratnesh, Leela and Aparna look at themselves as facilitators and and not as “teachers” who need to supervise or control children. To me as an observer, if Aditi was like a motherly facilitator who would in her own way assure that every person present on campus is well fed and well taken care of, then, Ratnesh was like fatherly figure who is as much loved by the community of children who welcome his laughter, his eccentricities, sometimes stringnet instructions and childlike, twinkling eyes. I look at all the facilitators as facilitipants who not only support a child’s journey, but become part of their journey. If the facilitipants would learn and participate in acting, in playing, in singing, in designing, every child would participate in framework of the structure, the creation of the whole space and teaching and supporting each other. In that respect every member of Aarohi’s community is a teacher and a learner and a co-learner.

  1. Aarohi- where no adult lead agendas exist

Each and every person’s contribution is what makes Aarohi truly a space co-created by every person who stays on the campus. By giving up on any adult lead agendas, by giving up of any authority and by assuming a role of being a gentle leader in the lives of every child, Aditi and Ratnesh have been able to create an exquisite space where every decision is co-owned by the community, where every individual is respected, where a safe space is created and above all where a child is able to connect with his/her own authentic self.

  1. Aarohi- a precious space

How very fortunate are children who grow up in a space which is free from any objective to derive monetary benefits.  A space which puts a child and a child’s needs at the heart of the campus. Aarohi has created a space where autonomy to be one’s own self ensures that no child is bullied or no child gets to be in the ego trap of being a senior or where no child paints or creates or studies to win a competition or to be better than a friend, each child engages in a learning activity or a chore to just be true to their own self.  

 

A campus which is designed and continues to evolve to support children in their life journey. Aarohi strives to prepare children to be ready for life.

 

When I look at children who live with mixed genders and mixed age groups,  children who are always supported to be true to their heart, mind and body, where empathy is a way of life, where every child has freedom, where every child has a right to choose, I can only imagine a beautiful world that these children will create in their adult life.

Aarohi is derived by the energy to derive no particular position, to fulfil no ambition, to derive no monetary benefits, or any ideal. Aarohi gets it’s energy from creating a space where a child gets to be a child, from all the accompanying cheers, the twinkles, the tinkering, the disappointment, the frustrations, the problems, the failures, the conflicts, the everything. This is in my eyes is the beauty of Aarohi.

 

Aarohi is a precious space and it draws it’s energy by trusting children, by having trust that every child is learning not only from the campus, but, also from each other and from all the members of the community. I see children and adults at Aarohi in peace with their own self, no external negativity bothers them, they accept themselves and each other. They are free of the conditioning, so, they are not forced to choose or decide or perform based on what the society expects them to do. However, at times, I did feel that the conditioning of some of the Aarohi parents does invade the sanctity of the soulful process adopted by Aarohi.
  1. Aarohi- a means to no end

Aarohi’s experience blends in with my life journey and leaves me with a deep sense of gratitude for absorbing me and my family and I carry Aarohi in my heart wherever I go. An experience I wish for every parent every child, every family to try.

In my understanding, a child who has spent time at Aarohi has had a heartwarming gift to his/ her river of life. An imprint in the river of life which will always keep the fire to learn burning in their hearts and will never let them get caught in the game to reach a final destination.

If you wish to visit Aarohi Life Education, here is a weblink to Aarohi Life Education, please be free to visit their website to know more about Aarohi.


Reference

J.K. Krishnamurthy’s views on education

TimberNook- Nature based pre-school

 

Author: Ishani

Ishani Shah-Verdia is practicing the virtues of respectful and conscious parenting. Based in Udaipur, she is actively unschooling herself by following the natural instinct of her 3 year old daughter, she is offering support to parents in their parenting journey through facilitating parent cafes, interactive parent-child sessions, listening circles. She is also a traveller and a storyteller.

The essence of Spiritual Parenting – Second ‘Wisdom Nest’ Meet at Bangalore

Nowadays, there are so many parenting styles and terms that one comes across that it can turn out to be pretty confusing pretty soon. For new parents or for that matter even old ones, we are always assailed by the doubt and question if we are doing a good job of raising our children.

Am I being too harsh, am I being too lenient, should I chastise my child if he/she pushes others to get his turn on the slide or should I just brush it off as childish behavior which he will outgrow soon enough? Should I discipline in public or should I wait for a more private time? So many questions and so little time really to contemplate all of them and find our own best solutions.

All of us are looking for answers, the “tips & tricks”, the right way to parent our child right – from sources outside of us in the hope that we will hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, nothing can be farther from the truth. The answers all lie within us. And that is what Spiritual Parenting is all about.

A group of 16 parents from the SwarnaPrashana parenting community came together this past weekend to explore and discuss this very topic and find deeper answers to the questions they have been looking for. Led by Velu Jayaprakash, soul coach and founder of the community, while the 4 hours long session gave many insights and much more common guidance, it also neatly made us shine the torch back on ourselves to explore how “spiritual” and “holistic” we are as individuals before we even attempt to find out how to parent spiritually.

For truth be told, children cannot be “instructed” or “advised” or even “taught” to do things – they simply observe us parents and just mimic us. If we want them to stop demanding junk, we first need to push it out of our lives. If we want them to sit quietly and read, then we need to first show them by doing it ourselves. If we want them to meditate, we first need to do it. But hardly any of us do what we demand from our children – instead, it’s easy to fall into the trap of labeling them as hyperactive, restless and so on and so forth.

While these are the basics that we need to remember, it will also help to understand the different stages of a child’s life so that we may align our approach to their differing needs accordingly. In the first four years of a child’s life, the child is said to be living its mother’s karma and is under her influence the maximum. The next four years, the child is under the influence of the father’s karma and is watching him closely to imbibe his behaviors and characteristics. By the time the child reaches 8 to 10 years of age, the child’s own karma from past lives start coming alive and the child’s soul starts orchestrating different events and behavior in tune with the child’s own planned life path and purpose.

As a parent, if we want to make any kind of positive impact on our child and “guide” them as we seem to think we can, then the first 8 years is the only time we have (give or take a few years). As mothers, we play a crucial role in shaping their character in the first four years and as fathers, we knowingly or unknowingly hold the power to change them in the next four years. And the only way we can bring about any of these changes we may desire is to first bring it on ourselves during these critical years. We need to take a hard look at our own actions and reactions and alter them accordingly.

And that, parents, is also one of the most important things to understand in parenting. Every time your child behaves in a certain manner, you can be rest assured that he or she is doing so only because you yourself have been a cause of it. If your child is throwing a tantrum and demanding your attention, then perhaps you have not been spending enough quality time with him/her. If your child is really testing your patience, then perhaps they are simply being your teacher to help you to cultivate more patience.

For, as much as we think we need to parent and teach our children, the children are as much our teachers and guides in this life. The crux of spiritual parenting is to simply realize this essence – that parenting is an opportunity that the child has given us to make ourselves into better individuals, the rest of it all including our ideas of shaping and molding our children is just – our ideas!

These are but some of the wisdom that we shared in the Wisdom Nest meeting along with going into the basics of holistic living (If you have been part of the WhatsApp community, you will be knowing most of it by now. If not, do peruse through some of the other blogs to read about it in detail).

We also went through a wonderful soul meditation session at the end of the meet, thanks to Velu. It was a very sublime and deep experience for many of us. We all unanimously wished we could extend the meeting some more and spend more time with the other like-minded parents but alas we had to move out of the venue.

Do attend or take the initiative to organize the next Wisdom Nest meeting in an area near you, I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy coming together as a community physically.

About Wisdom Nest Series:

In an endeavor to share more of the ancient wisdom and knowledge, we will be organizing more such events at different places across Bangalore and other cities in India in the months to come. As more parents come together to take part in these meets, our aim to increase the collective knowledge we hold as a group and in turn publish these findings and discussions for the benefit of all. This was the second Wisdom Nest meet organized at South Bangalore. The first Wisdom Nest meeting happened in North Bangalore at Kalyannagar. Read more about the first meet here. If you would like to organize a similar meet in your area/city, open to both Swarnaprashana parents as well as others outside the community, please do contact Velu Jayaprakash.

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.

Stop cheating about God to your child

When it comes to upbringing a spiritual child, parents are mostly in a odd situation, a they themselves have no idea.

Introducing spirituality to children at younger age is a challenging task, as we parents ourselves have no idea. Today psychologists say, more than IQ or EQ, Spiritual Quotient (SQ) matters a lot. Once the SQ is higher, the soul is pure, it automatically gains the right things in life.

We should remember a fact that what we believe or not believe is just limited to our own experience we gather from birth (and previous birth) with our limited knowledge we gained from others eyes. In short we are just a collection of thoughts of others, are you not?

If you ask yourself, have you ever seen God? Did your parents? Did your grandparents saw? Even if they did, what is the fact that, they are telling the truth? We do not even have a  scientific proof that our own parents are actually biological parents, did you do DNA test? We took it with a faith right?, proof came later. So it is an essential fact that we inculcate the true facts of what you have learnt, to the child in an open way, show them the common sense, explain the scientific meaning, leave an open ended gap,  so that they think over it and realize as they travel this life.

Since most of religious scripts are written like stories, we tend to believe it coz we are constantly made to believe on the limited knowledge by parents, later we started to assume as per our convenience. But today children are different and evolved, so we should rethink about our belief system and guide them properly.

Share them the history, from your common sense than text book, tell Shiva was a person who lived 20000 years ago. Tell them Jesus was a human, later with good virtues they elevated themselves into a godly soul, later, they become part of nature.

Explain the rituals if you follow it, do not teach, when you believe and do it yourself children can sense it. If you do not know the meaning, find it, if not, admit that you do not know, and encourage them that you both will explore together. Trust me, you will discover a new meaning for divinity from your own child.

Do not protagonist and antagonist anyone from the religious story or script. They have a deeper meaning. Explain them how each side has their own belief and fought for truth. This will free them from most dangerous systematic cognitive error of mind called as community bias. The very thought of feeling that we belong to certain cast, language, region, color, etc. is a psychological disorder. Most of the time it is planned by our own parents unknowingly.

One of the most blunder parents do is, telling their children that if you misbehave, God is watching and later he will punish him. Are you not portraying God a harmful person? Rather taking the usual route, tell them there is divinity inside the child and it is watching them, later it will misguide them if they do not realize their mistakes and correct himself.

You might be wondering will all this logical steps help children at younger age? The answer is they do not, but you are setting the ground clear for them to believe and build. That is why the gurukula system is thought after 7. They wait for the children’s brain to fully develop and as per their ability par the past life that is explored in horoscope, the guru guide them.

If you look deeper, the babies from birth  have the divine qualities intrigued with past baggage. Ideal things we can do is to make them listen to chants, you do it with them, these sounds patterns and mandalas trigger certain neural charge in their brain to keep the brain unharmed with those psychological disorder and invoke the divinity in their brain. These chants or reading the sacred scripts will attract cosmic energy into them.

I am not giving you a quick fix right now, I am only kindling your thoughts to make you think little deeper. In coming blogs we will explore more on nurturing the divine quality of the child and guide them in their spiritual path.

Author: Velu Jayaprakash

Velu Jayaprakash is a social entrepreneur, product manager, techy, photographer, meditator, father of two angels, ancient wisdom seeker, holistic adviser and Soul coach. You can reach him at velu.jayaprakash AT gmail DOT com

Stop worrying about entertaining your child.

The creative adult is a child who survived

My son is 3.5 yr old and in junior kg class ... daily I take his study Lyke writing and oral for one an hour... I just want to know am I doing right or I need to do something else in that one hour ... wt can I teach him in this age .. he goes to school for 3 hrs in d morning .. and at evening he goes to activity class for one and half hour... he is very much naughty ,he dsnt play wid toys, he likes pretend play , he messes up all d tym , he loves his small brother bt always mischiefs wid him and will make him cry all d tym ...  bt he behaves very shy outside home 

So plz suggest wt I need to make him learn in this age... shall I take his study or not?

This is question we received in our regular what’s app group. The intent behind the question is clear, it is a query raised by a well-intentioned parent. A parent trying to do her best, a parent wanting to gift her best to her child. Also, a parent engulfed in the age old concepts of parenting….I feel as we progress from one generation to another, only the faces are changing, parenting still being the same.

Parenting is a journey which we need to take with the child. We need to unlearn, unwire, we need to re-learn. From a perspective of how can I teach my child, the focus should shift towards how can I co-learn with my child?

My blog on My transformative journey as a parent  is a good read to delve into my journey of how my perspectives changed while co-learning with my daughter.

On this blog, I attempt to pen down my thoughts, my experiences, my journey, my observations, my awakenings to break the notion that we need to be experts to home-school / unschool or provide a conducive environment to the child. Gaining knowledge through reading well-established principles on parent-child communication, undergoing training as a parent are a few techniques that will assist any parent. However, if you are not able to do any of these, you can still provide a conducive environment to your child to blossom. Parenting can be as simple & fulfilling as taking our children to a garden, playing in the rains or as complicated as getting inappropriate toys/ unnecessary flashcards and then being supremely insecure of our parenting choices.

These simple words form the premise of my life as a parent. These words resonated with my observations of my daughter and other children coming to my workshop that lead me to trust, ‘that my child is learning in every moment of her life’.  

This blog is only an indication of ideas on “engaging children productively” that are anyways available on any conscious, meaningful, respectful parenting styles or on any progressive pedagogies that exist in the public domain. What I have attempted to do here is to amalgamate all what has inspired me, all what I have observed and all that I have implemented or I intend to implement with my daughter. This blog can only unleash its full potential when read in conjunction with the reference links that I have shared on the blog.

This blog is based on the foundational philosophy that has been propagated by many great thinkers that “human beings are natural learners.”

The activities/ learning spaces that I expose my daughter to are based on my sensitive observations of my daughter’s day-to-day life. I share my journey with a wish, with a hope that you as a reader through my experience are able to transform your perspective, are able shift your intrinsic, conventional parenting style. It requires great power to walk away from being a “plagiarist’ version of the previous generation or from simply falling into the trap that the society lays before us. Our insights as parents from observing our children in a non-judgemental way helps us truly understand the heart, mind, body and soul of our child.

Before, reading any further, I request the readers to take a moment to unlearn and to read with an open mind.

Activities from birth– a child has come into this world. So, every thing that a child looks at is new for the child. The child just needs to be placed on his/ her back and left to observe. The parent can be in the vicinity silently observing the child.

We should start placing the child’s mattress in the open areas, in the garden, in a balcony. We should connect our children with nature, nature is the third teacher. Let your child observe the birds, the animals, the various sounds, the beautiful fauna. As a parent, we should consciously adopt the role of a facilitator engaged in observing our children.

For instance, if I am cooking, I would take my child with me and let her be on mattress/ mat on the kitchen floor. If I am working, writing, thinking, reading, I would let the child be on a mattress/ mat around me. There is no need for toys at this point. Also, as much it is of utmost importance to engage with the child, independent play in a safe space should be encouraged.

We can perhaps give just one open-ended toy at the age of 6 months. One age appropriate toy is enough for a child to be engrossed in for a few months.

Once we start observing our children sensitively that is without any interruptions, we will commence learning and gaining insights into our child’s heart, body, mind and soul.

Through my life experiences, I have awakened to the reality that child-directed learning is the only way real learning can happen. As human beings, we will find our learning journey.

To give an analogy, I observed that my child is intrigued by the presence of  a dog, I took my child to a friend’s house who has child friendly dog. She engaged with the dog by touching the dog,  she did get scared when the dog tried to lick her. At this point, as a facilitator, we need to understand our child. We need to let our child know that we understand that he/ she didn’t like being licked. We give our child a lending ear without any explanations. I have come to experience that ‘I hear you’ are the most powerful words then ‘I love you’.

 

I then shared stories on how dogs lick when they want to show their love for someone. After a few days, when my daughter encountered a dog, she was fine getting licked, getting pushed to the ground. There is a possibility that some children will intrinsically love getting licked by dogs or some may not. That is fine. As of today, my daughter plays with street dogs and she has self taught herself on ways to befriend dogs.

 

Now, the question here is what is the child learning? What am I teaching?

 

In my opinion, compassion and love for all living beings is what children are born with. Our role as parents is to nurture their innate qualities so that they do not lose their spontaneity and innocence. Raising kind and compassionate human beings is a service to mankind, to the upliftment of the whole society.

If a parent observes a child being interested in plants and flowers, let the child touch and smell the different textures of different plants and flowers. We might not want to see this as an educational opportunity and talk about the name of flowers….just let the child enjoy the process of exploring. There is time and place for knowing the name of flowers, don’t rush into it. Let the child ask you the name? That means you might have to wait for 2 years or one year….but, I insist, please keep on hold any structured agendas.

If the child shows interest in the food you are eating, create a food mat for the child. Let your child play with steel and wooden utensils for a rich sensory experience. This is what I did when my child started showing interest the food we were eating.

The early stages of a child’s life are all about offering a rich sensory experience. From ages 0 to 7 years, we as parents and facilitators need to understand that children are making a sense of the world through touch, smell, taste, hearing, sight, body awareness and balance.  It is only through sensory play that children develop their fine motor skills and gross motor skills.

Now, again, the question is what are children learning?

Children are absorbing the sounds and smells from the kitchen and therein getting a rich sensory experience of sight, smell and touch.

More importantly, our children develop a strong connection with food, child learns to respect food, this is first step towards letting the child learn to eat independently.

A kitchen in my experience is a rich source of a sensory experience.

Infants/ toddlers/ young children ‘smell’ the food being cooked, ‘touch’ different food objects, utensils, ‘hear’ different sounds, ‘see’ variety of objects. Toddlers and Young children can engage in hours of pretend play, they really might not need the fake looking kitchen sets that the toy companies keep marketing about. Toddlers can be given a few vegetables, pans and ladles and here you have countless hours of play and real learning. When children engage in real tasks of smashing food, peeling, chopping etc, they get a sense of responsibility besides ofcourse  developing their fine and gross motor skills.

What is a food mat?

Food mat is essentially displaying different sort of food materials on a mat and letting our children crawl and touch different fruits and vegetables. If the child is not crawling, but, showing interest in food, let’s say the child is at the age of 9 months, we can still create a food mat for our child. The child might roll over to reach out. The child might communicate to taste a fruit, we can cut and let the child explore. This again is a rich sensory experience.  If we are not able to create a food mat, it is enough that we let our child touch and explore a bowl of fruits.

The idea is we should always follow the child’s lead. We might see tonnes of ideas on Pinterest on activities for babies & toddlers. But, we should instead of setting up this activity, learn to observe our child and follow the child’s direction. If an open ended activity on Pinterest coincides with the child’s area of interest at that stage in a child’s life, yes, we should go ahead  and execute the Pintrest idea. We should learn to let our children built their curriculum.  We should to the extent possible get disinvested from the idea of “teaching”.

For instance, typically, children in the age group of 1 to 2 years are interested in pouring water. A parent might in ignorance say it in a colloquial tone, “my child only likes to pour water and splash water….he is not interested in anything else”. This is a grave mistake parents make.

This is a matter of perspective. ‘my child is slow at learning numbers’. At this stage, my child is interested in playing with clay. My child is more interested in learning about animals. My child is very good at woodwork. It is a matter of perspective.

If we observe our child being interested in pouring water, we can set up a pouring station or give water and a few utensils for the child to play and explore. Now, what is the child learning? It is a disgrace that our whole meaning of learning boils down to learning colours, numbers and alphabets.

When a child pours water, in addition to getting a rich sensory experience of water, the child is understanding how to measure?we need to appreciate the fact that a small child needs to really concentrate to pour water from one container to another. So, these are the essential steps before a child reaches a pre-writing stage. You can use the terms ‘Oh, your jar is half full, and we have a math lesson happening while playing.

Spiritual growth

In our whole endeavour to providing activities for activation of brain and cognitive development, we forget the most important element, that of visiting places of spiritual growth. Taking a child to places of spiritual growth is far more important than taking a child to a colouring class. We should devote our parenting towards the enhancement of the heart, mind, body and soul.

Do read this blog to further understand on introducing meditation in a child’s daily routine.

GIVE me the child until the age of seven, and I will give you the man” — Jesuit proverb

Social skills

Children spending time with family members, children spending time playing with friends, cousins, siblings, children playing in parks, role-play, children spending time with people from a cross section of the society are all instances where children’s social and language skills are being nurtured.  

Physical growth and sensory development

Playing with mud, playing with sand, making puddles, jumping in puddles, practicing yoga, walking, nature walk, running, balancing on a log of wood, climbing, sliding down, cycling, rocking are simple instances on how children grow physically.  Young children require a lot of physical movement, they aren’t built to sit in one place. Let them run, let them play with sand, mud, sticks, earthen clay. Take them to parks, let them slide, climb on the jungle gym. Let them learn to take age appropriate risks, let them develop their physical side. Let us vouch to give them an open platform. Going to parks and engaging with different playground equipment contributes immensely towards the development of sensory skills of balance (the stimulation of the vestibular system of the inner ear to tell us our body position in relation to gravity) and body awareness (also known as proprioception) – the feedback our brains receive from stretch receptors in our muscles and pressure receptors in joints which enable us to gain a sense where our bodies are in space.

Children are born to play and learn while playing. They are learning while playing. We should refrain from meddling with the natural instincts of a child and observe as silently and in a  non-judgemental way possible.  I have noticed a child in need of vestibular sensory development will jump, will spin on an office chair, will swing, will chose to go round & round on a merry-go-round, will dance, will roll in a garden, will rock on a rocking horse, will slip and slide.  We need to refrain from saying derogatory remarks such as ‘stop rocking or stop jumping.’ I had once read

To rediscover the role of a parent as a facilitator in a playground, do visit my blog.

http://swarnaprashana.org/?s=playground

We should in reality present children with safe opportunities to match with their sensory input requirement. Instill hooks for swings in different locations, provide a mattress to jump on.  The child can stop if the child feels dizzy or nauseated and these activities need to be under supervision of an adult. (Inputs from my guide and friend, Yamini Priya on a discussion on sensory input requirements of children).

Pretend play/ Role play

Encourage pretend play, let the child act out his part. In-fact, I engage with my child and my niece in role play, sometimes, I become a chef, sometimes, I am a baby, sometimes, I am a receptionist, sometimes, I am a patient. Sometimes, I might not be involved with the pretend play, I might be listening to the creative conversations from the room next door while reading a book or working on my blog.  Pretend play also gives us an opportunity to delve into a child’s inner world, towards the child’s innermost feelings and thoughts.

Take the lead from the child and let the child thrive in the make believe world. Let the child imagine things and scenarios and we would soon realise that how we as adults have lost our creative juices long ago. Let these creative thinkers shine. We would be doing a big favour by letting the child’s imagination prosper. To make a world a better place, we need problem-solvers and we need creative thinkers. To raise creative thinkers, we need to raise kids with imagination skills. Let us vouch to be indebted to the spontaneity and innocence of these souls who have come us to probably teach us how simple life really is .

This is what, Georgie Wisen, play therapist, working with well known author Tina Payne Bryson, co-author of the Whole Brain Child has to say about parent-child collaborative play,

“So… I’m a play therapist who does pretend for a living and mom of a 3 year old who does Floortime therapy 2x a week for a speech delay. Basically I have to play all day long everyday. Playing pretend is a muscle you build with practice. At the same time, we have grown up, followed our childhood play’s purpose, and moved into our adult responsibilities so we approach our children’s play differently than they do. Their play gets repetitive because they are learning from repeated experiences of doing the same thing but with micro-mini changes each time, i.e. the pillow fort “door” is one more inch to the left this time, will it stay on? I agree we don’t always have to show up to witness or facilitate the rich learning they are doing in their play, they are learning just the same while we get other things done. But there’s a big advantage when parents do “get into it” enough to create flow and mutual sharing, also referred to as joint attention or reciprocity of play between child and parent. Research points to more neuroplasticity and stress resilience. Of course we all work hard at parenting so your kids are likely to have a lot of this already from your loving care. But I have noticed anecdotally, that the kids I see in my practice whose parents enjoy playing with them seem to recover from rough spots much more quickly than kids who mostly play alone. Maybe we should do a study to verify that, but it’s really got me feeling more invested in my son’s play – an extra layer of protection against stressful times can’t hurt! :)”

Art

Just give your child crayons and plain paper. Give your child water colours and plain paper. Create vertical and horizontal structures.  Give your child chalks and blackboard. Let your child create art with scribbling. Watch the process, engage with the child by matching the child’s scribbling skills. There’s no need to overstep and hijack a child’s art. There is no need for worksheets, activity books, activity classes. Let us do our selves a favour, save this money and spend on stocking art supplies. My detailed blog on my experience as a facilitator of a parent-child session on Artdom shall follow soon that will surely assist us in deepening our understanding of our role as a parent during an art session at home. Have abundance of art supplies(in stock), create a dedicated art space, let them experiment, let them explore.

Music and Dance

Dance with your baby, dance with your toddler, listen to music, put on some soft soothing music at bedtime. Get simple musical instruments, play those instruments with the child and here you have a music class. If we know how to play a musical instrument, we should just play the instrument. If we are learning how to play an instrument, we should take our children with us to our music class. We should sing to our children, share stories, read stories to our children. We should do all this to engage with our children and not to set up an educational experience.  

If we follow the path of observing and providing opportunities for self directed learning to our child/ children, we will never have to go to any hobby classes.  While guides/ teachers are required for certain learning experiences, we should refrain from bombarding our child’s routine and over stimulating with a series of activity centres; hobby classes. What we can instead do is direct our child’s current interest to specialized guide.  For instance, I have often observed that we as parents enroll students to a series of music classes, dance classes, art classes, sports. What I feel is, children in a specific age group might require specialised training. But, the election of classes should always be based on the curiosity level, the relevance of the specific class with the child’s interest.

Taking the above discussion further, let us visualise a 7 year old is interested in jumping, take that child to a trampoline or create a mattress for the child to jump. If we google up, we will get tonnes of ideas on a safe DIY jumping mattress for a child in this age group. This 7 year old is in need of a strong vestibular inputs and is listening to his/her body that is asking them to jump. Let us raise our children who learn to listen to the intuitive inputs from their body.

There are many parents who would say, I let my child do whatever my child wants. I never interfere when my child paints an apple as yellow. I invite you to shift a focus and tell yourself, I am a facilitator, I am no one to allow or disallow my child. As a facilitator, I can set limits in certain situations (for eg.where physical safety is involved), but, I cannot impose my own conditioning to invade my parenting journey.

Free play and boredom

In my opinion based on my journey as a parent and a facilitator, free play and boredom leads to new inventions, cognitive development, self discovery, independence and social interactions.

Kids should have scenarios where there’s nothing to do and they will invent a new play or a new game. I would in-fact encourage parents to offer free spaces, opportunities of free play, no conditioned structures, space & time free of planned activities and then, take a back seat to appreciate the magic to unfold.

Most parents would agree that they want to raise self-reliant individuals who can take initiatives and think for themselves. But filling a child’s time for them teaches nothing but dependence on external stimulus, whether material possessions or entertainment. Providing nurturing conditions and trusting children’s natural inclination to engage their minds is far more likely to produce independent, competent children, full of ideas.

The only condition during this time is that children shouldn’t have any access to any form of electronic media. To re-phrase this, children should anyways have no access to electronic media.

To understand the obvious perils of media, please read this very informative and transformational blog

Perils of visual media

Household chores

Watering plants, helping with the dusting, mopping the floor, organising are some of the household chores that kids not only are very happy to participate in, but, these chores instill in the kids a sense of responsibility.  The foundation years (Age o to 7) is when we can establish a real sense of the adult world. If we wish to have an equitable society where men and women participate in discharging their duties towards the household chores, if we really wish to impart life skills, let them participate in sweeping the dust off the floor, mopping the floor, dusting, making the bed, cleaning the utensils, folding clothes. Give them age appropriate real tools. I had once read somewhere (I cannot recollect where, so, i am unable to give credit). “Children are real people, they need to be given real tools”.

The everyday tasks of playing with water, feeding animals/ pets, caring for pets, climbing stairs, playing with playground equipment, playing with animals, watering plants, eating food independently, smashing the food and eating, playing with clay, cooking food(washing fruits & vegetables, smashing mush, smashing potato are the basic tasks that children can help with).

Do read this blog to get a deep insight into introducing age appropriate life skills to kids.

Age appropriate chores

Activities and toy selection

Toys and activities should be open ended. Also, the mantra should be “less is more”. There is no need to buy expensive and lot of toys. Firstly, as my friend & guide, Yamini, once mentioned, kids who are given abundance of toys can’t learn to value things. Secondly, I feel, kids with abundance of toys are not able to concentrate on one toy. So, at any given point in time, the child should only have 1 toy which can slowly increase to 5 toys.

Do visit this blog for a lot of ideas on open ended play Best open-ended spaces

The beauty of open-ended toys is the palpability that kids can play with these toys for infinite time, there is no correct or incorrect way of playing. There is no ending point, there is no psychological pressure of task completion. Examples of open-ended toys would be wooden blocks, cars, ribbons, cotton & silk scarves, animal figures, dollhouses, balloons, puppets, dolls(made out of wool and not the plastic ones), kitchen equipment, home-made play dough, clay, sticks, shells. Also, before introducing any new toy, always observe the interest of your child. For instance, I introduced blocks to my daughter only when I observed her stacking a few bottles sitting on a dining table.

Activities can vary from art activities, water play, sand play, mud play, gardening, watering plants, playing with animals, feeding animals.

In the end, it is not so much about selection of toys/ activities/ after school programs. It is more about our commitment towards a philosophy that entails us towards counter-intuitive ways of banishing the use of ‘right and wrong’ and let kids manipulate toys in a manner they deem fit.

Examples of close-ended toys would be electronic toys, jumpers, bouncers etc which are detrimental to a child’s growth.

If we do choose to offer close ended toys like shape sorters, puzzles, Lego blocks, there should be minimal or no intervention from adults on the correct way of playing these toys. Let the child figure out which shape fits the sorter, let the child create his/ her own play with close ended toys.  In all likelihood, children create their own play with shape sorters. Children, typically innovate, they take their time to decipher the so called ‘correct’ way of playing with these toys.

Trust

Have immense trust that your child is learning and thriving in each and every moment that the child is living. Human beings are born with an innate ability to learn and they will learn whatever there is to learn for their physical, emotional, social, spiritual and sensory development. Facilitate their process,  offer open-ended toys, offer an unstructured space for them to thrive.

Above all, trust them. Please stop labelling kids as shy, good, bad, clever, naughty, mischievous, bright, intelligent. Accept them for who there are, love them for who they are.  Any book that you might read on parent-child communication stresses on this cardinal law. We really really need to stop labelling our children. We need to love them for who they are, we need to accept them for who they are and love them unconditionally.

Limit setting and safe space

I am often misunderstood when I offer my suggestions and many parents feel that what I am essentially suggesting that the child should be left to mend his/ her own ways. While the child needs a lot of freedom, the child also needs to be gently guided towards a set routine, safety issues. But, we should use our interruptions sparingly and only when it is absolutely necessary. Also, it is important to create a safe space, so that, the need to say ‘No’ reduces. It is my belief in creating a safe space that lead me to Resources for Infant Educators (‘RIE’) and we can read more about creating a “Yes” space on this blog Indoor Playspace by Janet Lansbury.

As we commence the process of trusting our children, we acquire an art of appreciating the little miracles that happen in everyday play and an otherwise ordinary day will suddenly seem as an incredible day filled with real learning and immense joy. Real learning can happen only through play and through a process of fun. Let us learn to let our children ‘live’ and all the life learnings shall come to the child in a harmonious manner. We will slowly and gradually shy away from compartmentalizing learnings(physics, math, language, chemistry etc etc )  and surrender ourselves in the complete belief that children will learn whatever is there to learn for their mental, cognitive, physical, spiritual growth.

To summarize, a parent needs to work on the principle of trust and ‘non-judgement’. Parents need to offer open ended toys & activities. Not every opportunity needs to be an educational opportunity, have trust that the child is learning in every moment. Being busy and keeping the child “busy” are concepts that we need to introspect about.  

To conclude, I will direct my readers to this link Sensory activities for kids which has a detailed list for activities for children in varied age groups to engage with. My purpose for this blog was to transform the perceptions of “doing something” for children towards understanding and accepting that children are learning in every moment of their being.  

Credits- list of resources that I have taken some inspiration from-

https://www.thespruce.com/why-sensory-play-is-important-2086510

https://www.goodstart.org.au/news-and-advice/october-2016/exploring-the-benefits-of-sensory-play

http://www.playcounts.com/ 

http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/kangana-ranaut-open-letter-if-saif-ali-khan-opinion-on-genetic-inheritance-is-right-i-would-be-a-farmer-back-home-4762137/

I owe this blog to the following people for teaching me through their philosophies, blogs, books and discussions:

  • Janet Lansbury
  • Anisha, my friend from Mexico
  • Teacher Tom
  • Shri Aurobindo’s philosophy on integral education

Author: Ishani

Ishani Shah-Verdia is practicing the virtues of respectful and conscious parenting. Based in Udaipur, she is actively unschooling herself by following the natural instinct of her 3 year old daughter, she is offering support to parents in their parenting journey through facilitating parent cafes, interactive parent-child sessions, listening circles. She is also a traveller and a storyteller.

What to do to keep your child safe in a playground?

It is so easy to get bogged down when the society keeps giving constant onslaught of what our children should or should not be doing or else they will be left behind. What our children really don’t require is worksheets, tests, colouring books, educational games, videos on nursery rhymes, games on laptops or any other so-called “educational applications”.

What they really require is unstructured, unconditional free play time, what they require is time to get bored, what they require is to play freely in the outdoors.

Playing outdoors, playing with sand, playing with water in an independent environment in the company of kind adults engaged in sensitive observation is the need of the hour for the overall sensory development of any child.

A playground, a park are facilities that are freely available in any city. Parents should explore these facilities rather than taking children to consumerist malls, gaming zones in malls. The more our children play outdoors, the more they are getting a rich opportunity to connect with nature, outdoors is such a powerful tool that is available to us to raise intuitively intelligent adults.

While free play itself is vital, an outdoor playground is the only place that contribute towards the overall sensory development of any child. To understand the relevance of playgrounds for the optimal sensory development of children, please refer to this blog.  How to design playgrounds for optimal sensory development? It is a good read to understand how the different sensory skills are developed through playing with various playground equipment.

Let us now commence our journey towards discussing a more beneficial, a more conscious, a more meaningful process of connecting with our child in a playground set-up.

1. GIVE SPACE

It is not our right to intrude in the personal space and the internal mental thoughts of a child. When we take our children to a park, the best thing that we can do is step back and observe our children. Some kids might instantly start climbing the hill or climbing the stairs leading to the slide. While, a few other kids might just stand there looking at the joyful kids playing.

To an uninformed parent, this might feel like the ‘child is not playing’; or ‘child is not enjoying or perhaps the child doesn’t like going to the park.

However, these impressions that we make about children are based on our perceptions.

The child is there observing, absorbing, processing the new surroundings, the energies, thinking on where he/she wants to play? What does he/she really want to do?

What looks to an adult as a child not doing anything is in-fact a child who is keenly observing the bright colours of the playground equipment, the child is in-fact learning by observing how the older kids are climbing the stairs or how the toddlers are swinging? The child is In-fact analyzing the risk associated with each playground equipment and making mental notes about which equipment he/ she would want to play with.

For an analogy, let us compare a child’s first visit to a playground to what happens when an adult visits a bungee jumping site. How many adults would straight away wear the harness and take the jump? I bet on a ratio of 100, perhaps 1 adult might do that. Adults would normally scan through the area, observe others taking the jump, muster the courage, visualize themselves taking the plunge and then finally decide on taking the plunge or perhaps decide not to take the plunge.

So, now as an adult, when you take your child to a playground, put yourself in the shoes of your child. Empathize. Imagine yourself at a bungee jumping site.

2. MINIMAL INTERVENTION

Interrupting the child and not giving the child the space to breathe leads to the joy slowly fading away and the enthusiasm of playing disappearing.

Intervene only when it is inevitable, when there is a real safety issue involved as opposed to perceivedsafety issue.

For instance, there is a slight danger if a 2-year-old decides to stand up while sliding. I have often seen that many toddlers chose to climb the slide from the opposite direction, to my observant eyes, I have never seen a child hurt himself/ herself by trying to climb from the opposite side. What I have observed is that  in due course the child realizes himself/ herself that it is better idea to take the steps instead. What I have also seen is that the child coming from the opposite direction would usually not slide down till the child coming from the other side has not stepped down. When adults step back, kids learn to take turns, learn to share, learn to be patient and above all learn to trust themselves.

So, intervene only and only when it is “absolutely necessary”.

A parent’s urge to kiss/ hug their child; a child’s favourite uncle  or a favourite friend or a child’s favourite bird flying above does not act as a warrant to interrupt. Trust that your child will any ways in due course spot their favourite uncle/ friend/ bird. Unless there is a “serious” safety issue involved, there is no need to interrupt the child.

It is definitely not in our child’s interests to be physically lifted and put on different playground equipment based on the likes and dislikes of parents.  As parents, it is our duty to take steps that are in the best interest of our child. So, have “trust” that your child is enjoying, “trust” that your child is learning, “trust” that your child’s senses are getting developed even when it might look as if the child is not doing anything. The child is “thinking”. Give your child the space that he/ she deserves.

A really small child might look at the parent for approval, all a parent needs to do is acknowledge the child. The adult needs to be present with the child and yet not intervene. This process is similar to an adult getting absorbed in admiring a tree or sea waves. The process of silent observation is akin to observing the leaves fluttering or observing the sea waves roaring to the shore.

At this point, I would like you to answer these questions:

  • Should a parent interrupt their child’s sequential arrangement of thoughts? (By lifting her and putting her on a slide or showing her or comparing what other kids are doing)

Or

  • Should a parent trust the ability of a child to decide on which playground equipment the child wants to play?

3. RAISE INDEPENDENT THINKERS

It is okay and and in reality a  cherished moment if the child plays with just one equipment for the whole evening or chooses not to play with any equipment. Depending on the personality trait of a child, the child will take a day, a week or a month to decide to play with a different playground equipment.

I will take you through my journey with my daughter. She would initially just play with sand at the playground. After, almost 5 visits, she decided to play with the toy car at the playground. After, a few days, she commenced to play with the merry-go-round. On one of the visits, she chose to play with the puppies instead of the playground equipment. As a parent, let us not attach any predetermined notions on how the child should play at a playground. Let the child lead the way and the parent should just follow her lead with trust and conviction.

After almost 20 visits, she chose to play with a tunnel. The beauty of this process is when she decided to enter the tunnel, she was able to hop on and hop down the tunnel all by herself without any support. She is yet to explore the other playground equipment, but, I have the trust in her that when she is convinced of her own physical strength, she will choose to use slides, the see-saw and the rest of the playground equipment

The inner joy and lessons learnt from being able to independently decide and successfully execute a thought are immense. She is building her confidence, her concentration and independent thinking skills. Life skills that shall support her throughout her entire life. If you wish your child to excel at one particular subject at academics or to triumph at a particular sport or any activity, a playground is the perfect place to build the right foundation.

4. ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO FALL DOWN

Most of the playgrounds are designed keeping in mind the safety of the children. Every park will normally have sand, grass or soft play-mats as a base to create a safety net for children. To my mind, children have an inherent mechanism to judge the degree of risk involved. Children should be encouraged and supported to take age-appropriate risks.

It is typically seen that parents intervene, parents continue to demonstrate what equipment to play with, how to play with it, what to do, what not to do?

Broken spirit.jpg

“Don’t go so fast on swing, you ‘will’ fall down”- When we say something negative, we have in a way manifested  a wrong intention. So, choose your words carefully. We need to learn to trust our child to understand his/ her strengths and inner voice. Unnecessary interventions such as “Be careful” not only takes away the joy from playing, but also acts as a deterrent for the child to trust his intuition and body intelligence. 

In some cases, some wealthy families will ask their nannies to be with the child. So, the nanny will constantly hover around the child keeping a hand behind the child (so as to hold the child and prevent the child from falling). Falling down and rising up is an integral part of growing up. A child who has never fallen down will grow up to be an adult who cannot accept failures.  An adult who cannot handle emotions of failure is likely to enter a state of depression or in some cases suicide.

However, let us understand what messages are going out to the child when parents keep worrying about their physical safety even at a playground.

When we intervene, these are the messages that go out to the child:

  1. ‘I am incapable of making independent decisions’
  2. ‘The world is not a safe place to play’
  3. ‘My decisions are not important’
  4. ‘It is not okay to fall’
  5. ‘Adults have no confidence in me’

When we keep worrying about a child playing with sensory appropriate playground equipment in a relatively safe environment, we forbid ourselves from nurturing a parent-child relationship based on trust and open communication. When we constantly protect our children and worry about the physical safety of the child, we are building a relationship based on fear. In our attempts to protect the child from any physical harm,  we let the child get harmed from within. Physical harm can be repaired with bandages, would we as parents ever be be able to repair the psychological and emotional harm done to the child through meaningless interventions?

So, the next time, you visit a playground, relax a little, give the child’s nanny a break too, let your child play independently. You can observe what your child is doing, how is your child playing, learn from your child.  We need to shift our perspective from I have to teach everything to my child’ to ‘I have to learn everything from my child’. Do read my blog on My learning journey as a parent to get an insight on my progress as a parent.

5. NO ‘SELFIES’ PLEASE…

In the world of social media, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, it has all come down to clicking those perfect pictures.

We have forgotten the magic of enjoying the moment and our focus has shifted from finding inner happiness to pretentious display. Does every moment of your child’s life need to be captured on camera? Does every moment of your child’s life need to go on social media?

As parents, we need to focus on instilling in our children the right values, the right ethos. Do we fully understand what this generation will grow up to become? A generation that will grow up to give more importance to selfies is likely to grow up to be narcissists. Imagine a world filled with narcissists with no love and compassion for fellow human beings. Imagine a world where friendships are harnessed for social media platforms and there are no real feelings? My heart cries when I see parents intervene, specially to click pictures. When a child is climbing the stairs leading to the slide, the child is doing it with a lot of concentration, all the focus of the child is on safely climbing these stairs without skipping a step.  It is dangerous to intervene and that too so that we can take a picture of the child.

If this is not enough, I often find parents marching orders to kids to dance or to smile to jump for them to be able to take Instagram perfect pictures. Ever wondered what the child feels? If you really wish to click pictures, click natural pictures from a safe distance. These natural clicks would speak a thousand words and create memories to last a lifetime.

Not all teachings have to come on the same day, not all moments need to be captured on camera. The most beautiful moments can be experienced when we observe in mock silence and let children lead the way.

Let kids play freely!

Keep the joy of playing alive!

Disclaimer- The blog is an expression to advocate the rights of every child for free play and outdoor play. Kindly note that, neither the author nor the website are responsible if any unwanted accidents happen owing to poor maintenance of playground equipment.

Author: Ishani

Ishani Shah-Verdia is practicing the virtues of respectful and conscious parenting. Based in Udaipur, she is actively unschooling herself by following the natural instinct of her 3 year old daughter, she is offering support to parents in their parenting journey through facilitating parent cafes, interactive parent-child sessions, listening circles. She is also a traveller and a storyteller.

The sinking childhood ship, Perils of visual media.

 

Screen time has taken an essential seat in the lives of modern childhood. Various forms of media have penetrated into several functional elements of life, taking away the Magic of Childhood….the very life and creativity from our children. Childhood is no more about wild chases, silly conversations, the giggles, and wiggles.

It is an insurmountable challenge we are aware of, that remains as a conundrum for parents and facilitators who are working towards breaking this spell of Television and media on the little naive minds. I often wonder “Are the kids who have embarked on childhood journey sailing through the perils of visual media; are going to reach the shore of life with a brave heart of a traveler or going to be doomed into a no man’s world!!”

Are parents the anchors of a child’s life? Are the reins of the child’s future is in our caring hands or hidden under a stranger’s veil? Do we allow strangers into our house and perch them on a high seat of honor?

Television is a triumph of a machine over people – Fred Allen

Children, Tv, Child, Television, Home, People, Boy

Definitely not. So, Can you fathom a stranger taking a parents role or any significant role in shaping your child’s mind and destiny? Unequivocal, NO.

Yet through media in the name of television, game stations, mobiles and gadgets with endless hours of viewing, we allow strangers into the minds and souls of our children every day. The agenda and motivation behind various programs, advertisements, apps and visual modules are outright mundane and commercial but boldly prophesied for its suitability and sterling benefits for developing brains of the children. It has turned into a modern babysitting tool.

Many young parents claim harmless healthy content viewing that is structured and screened as helpful. On the contrary, several reports have stated that the actual act of viewing TV as more insidious and potentially damaging to the brains of the developing child than the actual content of the TV programs.

Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years age and poses a certain number of risks. It induces passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitement, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screen time even when it involves channels specifically aimed at them.( High Audiovisual Council 2008 ). It is the breeding ground for hyperactivity, Childhood obesity, ADD/ADHD etc.

Screen media have become integral to our lives and to alienate it completely from our daily lives is hugely challenging. With all our consciousness we need to protect both our own and our children’s viewing.

What are we doing to our children growth and learning potential by allowing them to watch TV and videos and spend endless hours playing computer games? Developing an understanding and raising awareness of the detrimental effects of screen viewing empowers us to make good decisions for our children, ourselves and for others in our care.

The infant is born with 10 billion nerve cells or neurons and spends 3 years adding billions of glial cells to support and nourish these neurons.

The brain of 6-7 years old child appears to have a tremendous capacity for making thousands of dendrites connections among neurons. This developmental potential ends around the age of 10 -11 when the child loses 80% of these neural connections. An enzyme is released within the brain and literally dissolves all the poorly myelinated pathway. can we all read it again…it dissolves all the poorly myelinated pathway!!! In earlier times, this space and time of childhood are filled with free play, outdoor activities, theaters, stories, puppet show, music and family evenings which is recreational n rejuvenating.Hence, it is imperative to limit or avoid screen time to the maximum extent and bring the classic moments back.

There is a sequential development of child’s brain from most primitive to the highly evolved thought brain or neuro-cortex. It is important that the young children who are in the process of forming their motor-sensory pathways and sense organs need the rhythmic movements to facilitate this development but it is curtailed by the TV and screen time.

Child’s visual activity and full binocular (3-dimensional) vision are not fully developed until 4 years of age.  The picture produced on the TV screen is an unfocused(made up of dots) two-dimensional image that restricts our field of vision to the TV screen itself and eyes of our children, have to strain to make the image clear besides the ill effects of invisible waves of Electromagnetism.

Visual skills which are needed for various activities are impaired in this process. Watching TV do not dilate the pupils of eyes, show little to no movement and lack Saccadic movements of the eyes (required for reading). This hinders their reading and writing skills leading to poor performance. This explains why many kids nowadays are struggling with their homework time, sitting for a long time to finish a task which essentially calls for focus and concentration.

The advancements in the technology brought Colour televisions and have its own impact. Colour combinations produced on TV result from the activation of only 3 primary colors- Red, Blue, Green.  The colors from it are exclusively processed by the Right hemisphere and hence Left hemisphere is diminished. Thus, Corpus callosum is poorly utilized here. A child can receive the full spectrum of colors from nature alone and it’s highly recommended antidote for captives of new age maladies.

Interestingly, Reading produces active fast beta waves while TV watching leads to an increase in slow alpha waves in the Left hemisphere and at times even in the Right hemisphere. No rationalizing of information happens during TV time. It doesn’t give time for a higher level thinking that inspires deeds that a simple book reading offers.

The trap of various visual media interactive programs promising knowledge adept kids turn a blind eye to the repercussions referred above. To reap the same benefits, parents can bank on the repertoire of books and theater plays. The gift of time and book reading are the best gifts that parents can give their children in the present times that nurtures the intelligence of heart and just not the minds.

Just like fasting is beneficial for our health; ELECTRONIC FAST is instrumental in shaping a healthy mind and soul of a child enriched with joy, imagination, innocence and creativity which is oozing with delicacies of childhood; a treat to eyes!!

In our next post, we will see how visual media can be avoided/minimized and electronic fast can be incorporated into our lives by filling with essential elements of a child’s core needs.

I am so thankful I had a childhood before technology took over. let us create the same magic again in our children’s lives… 

Author: yamini

I am Yamini, a Science and Education graduate, currently a work from home Mom as Subject Matter Expert - SME at e- learning solutions. Being a learner at heart in a voyage of self discovery for me, Motherhood is a calling and Parenting my passion. Belief in sharing and giving is my faith. Exercising the same faith, would blog on topics of interest like Parenting and education to learn, reflect and grow together. You can teach me at yamini2523 AT gmail DOT com.

Stage 1 – Weaving pearls of wisdom to connect with the beautiful baby inside you

pregnant-woman-1512961_640Congratulations! So, you have seen the two pink lines and you are feeling elated, happy, excited, overwhelmed, scared, responsible. You might be experiencing very strong emotions, the reality might not have sunk in as yet. So, now, what do we do next?

I would love to share what I did when I commenced my journey of motherhood. I started talking to my baby, the little human being that had come to me. This might feel weird to a few mothers and very natural to a few other. However, once we are able to shift our mindset, we as human beings rise to a higher level of consciousness.

I read these eloquent lines somewhere on the Internet and these lines resonated with me on a much deeper level since it fully encapsulates our feelings as mothers.

When someone is expecting, she is not “expecting a child” she already has one. She is not “going to be a mother” she already is a mother. The baby is not “on the way” the baby has already arrived.  If we are going to change the way society treats unborn children, “we have to change the way we talk about them”.  

And, let me just add, we will have to shift our perspective on how we perceive unborn children.

My very good friend and the founder our community, Jayprakash Velu (better known as Velu) has spent years researching the origin of the journey of the soul.  He has spoken to Siddha gurus, ayurvedic practitioners, midwives, holistic healers and from years of his dialogues with these noble souls and deep meditation, he has some very delicate and beautiful information to share with us about the journey of a soul.  I wouldn’t want you to shift your beliefs based on your religious opinion, I would instead like to invite you to delve into understanding the journey of the soul and it’s emotional well-being with me so that we can co-learn together.

From Velu’s learnings, “we have come to understand that the soul always comes from a different dimension, from the sky. It travels to the ground, and then enters the soil, later into the father’s food three months before the act of conception. If the conception happens, it enters the body of the mother. In next few days, it is the nature in combination with their karma, that decides to start the process or not.”  

Our ancient scriptures, many alternative education philosophers believe that the soul chooses the life, the soul has chosen you to be his/ her caretaker/ parent/ mother-father.  The child is ours, yes, but the soul belongs to the world and the soul has come to this world with a purpose.

It doesn’t matter which religion we belong to, the soul is at the crux of human life.

With this understanding, we will be ready to stretch our horizon and look beyond the tiny little dot that we might be able to see on the sonography monitor. Now, what you see is the physical form but what a mother experience is a spiritual form, it is the true form. Being true to this understanding, a mother should commence talking to the child in her womb from the start.

“Eat right, eat healthy, take care of yourself” is the advice that you will get from your family, friends, and doctors. Yes, that is very important. But, what we are going to talk about is how do we as mothers nurture a beautiful relationship with our children while building a healthy emotional state for your child.  

WHY? There is an old saying which says “Precaution is better than cure”. In today’s modern times, we are blessed to have many Theta healers, past life regression healers among us. In numerous conversations, these healer friends of mine have pointed to one fact, the fears, the stress, the complexes, the stigma that an adult faces, the root cause of all these problems goes back to their childhood and the journey they had as an unborn child.

“It is easier to build up a CHILD than it is to repair an ADULT”. Choose your words wisely.

In ancient texts, there are numerous references to the unborn child understanding every feeling, every emotion that the mother experiences and also understanding every word that the mother says and hears. Hence, we often hear our adults say be careful of what you say in front of a pregnant woman.

The famous story of Abhimanyu from Indian mythology Mahabharata where Abhimanyu not only learns the art of warfare and archery while in his mother Subhadra’s womb, but also, learns how to break the whirlpool like army formation by listening to his father Arjun’s words is a very good illustration for us to understand that the unborn child is already a person in himself/ herself. Caught in a whirlpool by Devdutt Pattanaik

How should I talk to my child?

Talk to your unborn child with love, respect and gratitude. Give your child the same respect and dignity that you would give to a fellow human being. Talk to your child in a dignified tone that you would use for a person-to-person contact.  

Why should we talk to our unborn children in a respectful tone?

Because it gives our unborn children an affirmation that they are respectable, independent human beings about to come to this world. Isn’t this what we want our children to grow up thinking about themselves?

What should I talk to my child? What should I say?

In my experience, the first thing I feel a parent should do is thank their child as a sign of gratitude for choosing them. The child shares the energetic fields with both the mother and the father and when the father starts to connect/ communicate with the unborn child, father’s affirmations sets the foundation for inviting fathers into the parenthood journey.

A parent can start communicating by saying “thank you for choosing me as your ma and thank you for choosing <<your partner’s name>> as your papa” in their native language.  

The second step would be to welcome the soul to your womb and you can do so by simply saying “Welcome, my child to my womb. Let us start our journey from today.”

As an analogy, let us compare this situation to an adult visiting a friend’s house to live with the friend for six months. How comfortable would you as an adult feel if your friend says these simple words, “Thanks buddy for coming and staying with me, we will surely have a great time”.Wouldn’t it be beautiful for an unborn child to feel honoured? For a moment, just put yourself in the position of your unborn child and experience the joy of your mother welcoming you to her. This joy is what our unborn children need to experience for leading a truly happy life.

It is also important for the mother to start getting prepared for the coming nine months of pregnancy. The mother can also start giving positive affirmations to herself.  Just listed a few illustrations below:

  • I choose to see beauty in the whole process of bringing a new life into the world
  • My body is physically ready to experience these beautiful nine months of pregnancy.
  • My pregnancy will be a happy, healthy and a beautiful journey.

A parent can now simply add a few thoughts of their own to commence this beautiful journey with their child.

These simple messages are very powerful and act as a stepping stone for establishing a lifelong relationship with our unborn children based on mutual respect, trust, transparency, communication and honesty.

By taking this first tiny step, your boat has sailed and we can now let our inner voice guide us from here, for inner voice has no reasoning, it is what we know is the right thing to do. It is our inner voice, it is the absolute truth.

Author: Ishani

Ishani Shah-Verdia is practicing the virtues of respectful and conscious parenting. Based in Udaipur, she is actively unschooling herself by following the natural instinct of her 3 year old daughter, she is offering support to parents in their parenting journey through facilitating parent cafes, interactive parent-child sessions, listening circles. She is also a traveller and a storyteller.

Birthing

Birthing is a sacred process of delivering the child the mother has nurtured over nine months in her womb. Read along to know about this sacred journey the mother embarks upon and throw light on the various options available in these modern times for the birthing process and the support you can count on.

Birth is not only about making babies. It’s about making mothers;strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and believe in their inner strength. – Barbara Katz Rothman

When one would nudge a grandmother or grandaunt to tell us their birthing stories, beautiful stories emerge which make us feel that birthing was a simple process then. As a grandmother recounts how she would just slip into a room in their home when she feels ready, delivers the baby with the help of a midwife and get back to the usual business after couple of hours as if nothing has happened. This would be the same story for all of her 12 babies! Without any sophisticated technologies or highly educated doctors or zillions of books/web pages which give weekly descriptions of pregnancy – how did our ancestors do it so easily?

Similar birthing stories vary from culture to culture. Quoting few birthing stories from the book “The magical child”:

“When an australian aborigine mother is ready to deliver, she drops back from her tribe, alone, She digs a hole in the sand, squats over it, delivers her infant, waits for the placenta to discharge, catches and eats the placenta(which is more nourishing than liver and ideal for the mother at that moment, a practice followed by many economical cultures, such as the Eskimo), puts the infant to her breast and runs to rejoin her tribe. She is gone an average of twenty minutes.

The Ugandan mother, as is typical in non technological cultures, follows her usual routines until some five minutes before the baby appears.She retires to a place of privacy, squats, delivers her young (perhaps with a help of midwife, perhaps not), and resumes her ordinary routines within the hour.”

Natural birthing has many advantages. The mother feels more satisfied with the whole birthing experience and can instantly connect with her child physically after the birthing has taken place. She feels normal and not drugged in any way.The child is also more alert and can easily latch on to mother’s breast and the mother also can initiate breastfeeding sooner.During the process of natural birthing, the muscles help squeeze out the liquid from the lungs of the child and the chances of having any respiratory issues at birth are nil. The birth canal has good bacteria which helps boost the immune system and protect the intestinal tracts of the child.The intestinal microbes plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the infant.Pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding seed the microbiomes and hence have a long term effect on the health of the child.

Lot of support for natural birthing is sprouting up around the world. Many women who want to experience the natural way are coming together to discuss and seek support from midwives/Doulas. Midwives are professionals who are trained to educate and support women to maintain healthy pregnancies and help during their delivery and also support them during their postpartum period.They help the mothers to trust and listen to their body.Women’s body is designed to give birth naturally.The vaginal muscles are built for delivery and the fetus can easily mould its head and pass through the birth canal. Midwives encourage the mothers to follow their natural instinct and to do what is needed to push the child .A complication in delivery is usually not the norm but are exceptions. Such information about the body physiology and how the body works during labour physically and emotionally are conveyed in lamaze classes.

During the birth process, midwife checks for the fetus heartbeat, mother’s blood pressure , pulse and temperature – checks if there is any medical intervention needed for both mother and the fetus.The mother is in her constant care and observation. Apart from the observations, midwifes will support mother emotionally, give her occasional massages and just share the space with the parents and let the nature take its course. Midwifes aim to keep all the interventions including vaginal examinations to the minimum and give constant support to the mother irrespective of the time it takes.

When the birth is undisturbed,just born babies have the natural instinct to find mother’s nipple and commence breastfeeding.Midwives encourage skin to skin contact between mother and baby for the sake of bonding and also for the baby to seek for mother’s breast.

Midwives strongly believe in the independence of movement of the labouring mothers. They are not strapped down to a bed but are allowed to move about freely in the room and take on any position which feels comfortable.

Quoting a similar text from the book “magical child”

“An apparently incidental issue here, which actually turns out to be monumental,is the position medicine men of the West have, since the time of Louis XIV, forced their victims to take: the supine position – flayed out flat on the back and, in a shocking number of cases, even strapped down, a position that would strike terror into the staunchest soul.What does the word supine mean?Helpless and incompetent.This position throws every muscle and bone of the body completely out of line for natural delivery of an infant from the womb and makes that delivery extremely difficult.”

So what is the right way of birthing? There are various natural birth options available.

Water birthing

One of the most popular birthing method where birth takes place in a tub of warm water. Water provides a calming influence on the mother and reduces the pressure on the abdomen. Lot of women have reported to have enjoyed their labour in water  as it provides significant pain relief and facilitates the mother to assume any position which is comfortable for labour and birth. Some people call Water birthing as ‘aquadural’ which is definitely safer and more effective  than an epidural.

Quoting from Waterbirth.org site:

“The effect of buoyancy that deep water immersion creates allows spontaneous movement of the mother.  No one has to help the mother get into a new position. She moves as her body and the position of the baby dictate.  Movement helps open the pelvis, allowing the baby to descend.

When a woman in labor relaxes in a warm deep bath, free from gravity’s pull on her body, with sensory stimulation reduced, her body is less likely to secrete stress-related hormones. This allows her body to produce the pain inhibitors-endorphins-that complement labor. Noradrenaline and catecholamines, the hormones that are released during stress, actually raise the blood pressure and can inhibit or slow labor. A laboring woman who is able to relax physically, is able to relax mentally as well. Many women, midwives, and doctors acknowledge the analgesic effect of water. Thousands of these mothers state they would never be able to consider laboring without water again.”

Birthing centers such as Birth Village, Kochi , Birthing Sanctuary, Goa facilitate water birthing.

Lotus Birthing

Lotus birthing which is also known as Delayed Cord Clamping (DCC) is a practice where the umbilical cord is not cut after the childbirth but the placenta is kept connected through the umbilical cord until the cord dries up naturally – this drying up may vary from 3 to 10 days.This non violent way of keeping the placenta intact with the infant seems to have life lasting benefits.

Quoting text from the book “Lotus Birth”:

“Lotus Birth establishes the baby-placenta relationship and suggests that the mother gives birth to the baby-placenta. As we shall see, there are no sustainable medical reasons for cutting the cord and separating the biological unit that conceived, grew and delivered (or birthed) together.

Lotus Birth ensures that the physical body is well cared for by ensuring that the baby receives the full quotient of the oxygen-bearing highly nutritious blood that is in the cord. The infant obtains 40 to 60 mL of ‘extra’ blood from the placenta if the cord is not tied until pulsations cease. The loss of 30 mL of blood to the newborn is equivalent to the loss of 600 mL to an adult. Common practice of immediate cutting of the cord before the pulsations cease deprives the newborn of a possible 60 mL of blood, the equivalent to a 1200mLhaemorrhage in an adult. This is a likely explanation of the strange phenomenon of weight loss that most newborns seem to endure. The new organism is put immediately under undue stress to reproduce the blood it was denied.

The immature liver is supported by the placenta in the offloading of toxins, as the pumping action continues until the cessation of pulsations. Most babies’ bodies are loaded up with these, including any drugs administered during the birth, and have to begin life dealing with the unnecessary toxic waste in their immature systems.”

Placenta has always been that integral organ which physically connects the mother and the fetus – feeding and nourishing the unborn with nutrients and oxygen through the umbilical cord. In few indian cultures, if a girl child is born, they would gently rub the placenta on her as this would ensure clear skin with minimum facial or body hair.

In few other cultures, the mothers eats the placenta which is rich in stem cells and iron content.

Hypno Birthing

Hypnotherapy is used to assist the birthing process. It functions on the premise that most labour related pain is the result of fear and tension, which can be diminished.

Deep relaxation breathing methods and visualisations techniques are taught through the pregnancy and many women have felt labour pains to be less intense while using hypnotherapy technique.

Experience of a mother who has undertaken hypnobirhting – from the website hypnobirthing.com

“Sherry says, “go with your gut and keep breathing”. This was tricky, I was surprised at the power of the NER (natural expulsive reflex) of my own body. Jon got the relaxation track going and I said to myself, “this power cannot be greater than me, it is me.” I talked myself into going with the flow of power (it was not painful, please don’t confuse my surprise with pain) and accepting the pressure. It’s really neat when you stop being scared (I spent two years, terrified to be exactly where I was at that moment) and give in to the reality and majesty of the experience. I was following my own body’s lead to birth and my baby’s desire to be born. I felt so in touch with everything going on inside and truly no pain. I looked to Jon for rejuvenation and calm. 40 minutes later, I held my son in my arms and snuggled to my chest, literally the first person to lay hands on him in this world. “

Some of the options available for mothers in India for natural birthing –
  1. Bangalore birth network URL: http://bangalorebirth.org/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bangalorebirthnetworksupport Contact: Nora Kropp; emailid:bangalorebirth@gmail.com
  2. Birth Village , Cochin URL:  http://www.birthvillage.in/FB:https://www.facebook.com/Birthvillage-Natural-Birthing-Center-129023770511075/Contact : Priyanka Idicula; emailid:birthvillage@birthvillage.in Ph.no: 9895283189
  3. Birth Sanctuary ,Goa (Center in Goa is closed, may open a new center in Auroville pondicherry shortly) URL:  http://www.birthingsanctuary.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/BirthingSanctuary/ Contact : Kasia; emaild id:contact@birthingsanctuary.com Ph.no:09489244823
  4. Healthy Mother , HyderabadURL: http://healthy-mother.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyMother/ Contact: +91 78930 68666
References

http://www.livescience.com/45681-vaginal-birth-vs-c-section.html

http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/natural-childbirth.html

https://midwifethinking.com/

http://www.birthvillage.in/

http://www.birthingsanctuary.com/

http://healthy-mother.com/

http://www.waterbirth.org/

http://www.lotusbirth.net/

https://placentaremediesnetwork.org

https://us.hypnobirthing.com

Born at Home Documentary

Author: Smitha Ravi

After working as software developer, I shifted my lens to more soulful work which includes freelancing and teaching computer science. I am passionate about our indian culture and holistic living. Being part of swarnaprashna group, gives me a chance to work along and meet people who share the same passion and learn along the way. You can reach me smitharavi97 AT gmail DOT com

Words of wisdom : Osho on Parenting

An unexceptional parenting advice by Osho. Live and let live.

Forwarded by : Honey Jones || Source : Osho

Unconditional Love

You will be gone soon but the children will be here. And nobody can manage anybody else’s life. Though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit even in your dreams. God will take care. It is none of your business to be too concerned. Whatsoever we can do, we do, but one should not hanker about things going the way you want. That is very egoistic.

You have given birth to a child, but once he is out of the womb he is free of you. First he depended for his breath on you when he was in the womb. Then he will take his own breath.

You don’t say,
‘What are you doing? Are you trying to be free of me? Trying to be independent?’

You feel happy that your child is breathing.

First he will take milk from you, then one day he will start eating on his own.

First he will go on clinging to your apron and then one day he will leave it.

You will be happy because the child is growing, becoming mature. Then finally one day he falls in love with a woman.
He has found his woman, so he will go on his own way.

Bless them, and whatsoever happens they have to find their own life and their own meaning to life.

Now you are free.Just try to find your meaning, your life, your goals, and devote the few days that are left to the search of the ultimate.

Don’t be concerned with ordinary things. I have never seen a single parent who is happy about their children. I have heard a Jewish joke..

A Jewish woman died and the first thing she asked when she got to heaven was if she could see Mary. So it was arranged. She went to see Mary and said, ”I have only one question to ask. You must be the happiest woman in the world. Your son is worshipped by millions.” Mary said, ”What! I always wanted him to become a doctor”.

Nobody is ever happy. Even the father of Buddha was not happy. He was very very annoyed because his son turned out to be a beggar. He became a sannyasi and the father was hoping he would become an emperor. He crushed all his father’s hopes.

One thing is certain that the child is not here to fulfill your expectations.
The child is here with his own destiny, and he will unfold his own destiny. You are trying somehow to direct his destiny and that is going to be frustrating. So if the child becomes a thief or a murderer, of course the parents feel bad, and it looks logical.

But even if he becomes a Jesus or a Buddha, then too they feel frustrated
because they have their own ideas and the children try to do their own thing.

Accept it and bless them. They have to find their own ways

Who are we to interfere? And how can we?

Pray for them but leave them on their own. You try to grow yourself.

Author: Priyadarshini Somasundar

Priyadarshini is an Engineering graduate in Electronics and Communication. She used work for Dell, Later shifted to Chennai after marriage and worked in Ericsson as system analyst. I have always been passionate about our tradition and curious to know about our ancient wisdom and practices, which made me join this group.

Parenting Workshop

DISCLAIMER : Our group does not endorse any of the above programs. However, we would like to collect feedback from parents and individuals who attend it and share the feedback.

Lot of parents have requested us to let them know of any good parenting workshops – we as a team have collated the ongoing workshops in bangalore/India. Hope this helps parents find solace in their parenting journey and find answers/help to the queries they have. (In alphabetical Order) 

  • Arohi Life Education
  • Art Of Living
  • Ashraya India
  • Children's Life University - Introduction to The Essence of Parenting and Teaching
  • Conscious Parenting
  • ISP - Infant Sidda Program
  • Kutoohala
  • Life University -Little Budda Training Program
  • Magic Hive
  • Parenting People
  • Parenting Perspectives
  • Positive Parenting
  • The Creative School
  • The Institute of Achievement of Human Potential
  • The Parenting Place
List of parenting workshop topics are Preparing Children Sexually & EMPOWERING CHILDREN

Offline 2-3 hour sessions

Ratnesh 98450-45833

http://aarohilife.org/workshops-parents

Kelamangalam, near Hosur

They conduct workshops for a group – 15 to 1000 people . Any amount wished by the audience can be contributed to them.

They conduct two workshop, Know your Child and Know your Teen.

The Art of Living offers short workshops that throw light on children and teens, their behavior and the issues that affect them.

The Know Your Child workshop is designed to help parents understand children better and thus improve the quality of family life dramatically. KYC does a root cause analysis of children’s behavioral patterns and equips the parents with the knowledge to help children blossom to their full potential. These inputs are also vital to preserving the beauty of the relationship as the child grows up to teenage and adulthood.

Offline 3 hour workshop

Vyakti Vikas Kendra India, PYSE Department, Shanmuka Hall, The Art Of Living International Centre, 1st Gate, 21st Km, Udayapura, Kanakapura Road, Bangalore – 560082 Contact: +91 9379509359

Email: novice@vvki.net” http://www.artofliving.org/know-your-child India

The cost for a single person is Rs 300 and for couple is Rs 500.

The Good Parenting Workshop is designed for Parents with kids who are 12 years and under. The presentation involves the creative use of media and drama. We’ve conducted the workshop at Ashraya as well as in several schools in the city.

The key topics that the Good Parenting Workshop covers are: – The Parenting Process – How to Discipline Your Kids and Still Have them Love You – Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child – Knowing Your Child’s Love Language – Five Guaranteed Ways to Create a Brat – Working as a Team with Your Spouse

Press coverage:

Press Writeups

offline-event: The Pride Hotel on Richmond Road http://www.ashrayaindia.org/bangalore/good-parenting-bangalore/ Bangalore

This wonderful introductory workshop is for anyone interested in conscious, co-operative and holistic parenting and teaching.

A parent is the child’s first teacher. A teacher is a child’s role model. Parenting and Teaching are in themselves both an art and a sacred science and deserve this recognition and space.They provide many opportunities for growth and nurturing the seeds of love and compassion for ourselves and our children. For this, we need to learn new ways of working with children.

Contents – Introduction to Spiritual Parenting and Education – Steps towards Parenting/Teaching from love instead of fear – Our Journey as a Soul – Effects of our Subconscious Mind – Healing As a Foundation for Conscious Living, Parenting and Teaching – Awareness Exercises – Mindfulness in Parenting and Teaching – Introduction to Inner Child Healing – Connecting with and Nurturing the Inner Child – Recognizing limiting beliefs. Replacing Self Criticism with Self Nurturing

2 days workshop

Dhivya +91 99865 52528 Rathy +91 99865 52529

http://cluglobal.org/ http://cluglobal.org/events/introduction-to-eopt

Bangalore Rs 4500/- including organic vegetarian lunch and snacks.

Dr Shefali Tsabary lectures extensively on mindful living and conscious parenting around the world and is in private practice. Following are the 2 online courses available: Introduction to Conscious Parenting – Level 1 Going Deeper into Conscious Parenting – Level 2 TED talk

Pre-recorded, downloadable access to both audio and video teachings by Dr. Shefali encapsulating her core concepts.

Mailing Address: 1 Welwyn Road, Suite 370, Great Neck, NY 11022 Email: office@drshefali.com

Online Courses

Online $125 each course

ISP – The Art of Parenting is an experiential workshop that guides parents on how to bring up children right from the stage of conception to 8 years.

It deals with the overall development of the child covering the Physical, Mental, Social, Emotional and Spiritual areas. It also deals with imparting total Education to the child covering all the 5 elements of nature, namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.

Offline and online sessions are conducted

In total, 9 sessions with the conductor.

Srujana Shekar (Bangalore) Mob +91 9743434290 Blog http://infant-ssy-program.blogspot.in/ srujanassy@gmail.com” http://ssy-isp.com/

All over the world The cost may vary depending on the urban/rural location where the session is conducted. Bangalore – Rs 15000″

Kutoohala is a parent and child experience centre.It is a place to connect, bond and to discover the joy of a new thought, a new idea in yourself and your child. Different workshops which they conduct are as follows: – Introductory parenting session – Advanced parenting Sessions – Developing the Love for Reading in children – Nurturing Creativity in Children

Offline – 2-3 hour sessions

kutoohala@gmail.com 9611119478

https://www.kutoohala.in/about-parent-workshops

Basavangudi ,Bangalore

Rs650/person for the first session of parenting.

Each child is a creative genius by birth. But because of the inappropriate parental upbringing and conditioning in schools by teachers, children tend to lose their creative ability which is mostly the right brain approach. We all know that the logical brain is useful only in processing information whereas the right side of the brain is very powerful, creative and intuitive by nature. Children are conditioned to use mostly their left brain in schools but if they are encouraged to start using their right brain effectively, it can introduce other dimensions into their studies and learning processes propelling them to excel in whichever field they choose to specialise in. So we need to train our children to start using the right side of their brain right from their childhood to develop their creative expression fully.

Life University plays a significant role and has taken a step in bringing out the true potentiality in children and in helping parents to raise their children with full awareness.

2 days workshop

Life University Nagsanpally Village, Bantaram Mandal, Vikarabad, Rangareddy District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Phone: +91 40 23554151 Mobile: 09848019022

Email: info@lifeuniversityglobal.org http://www.luglobal.org/our-work/our-programs/little-buddhas-training-program/ Andhra Pradesh

Chetana : Journey of Self Discovery

Chetana is our 10 day parenting workshop that is held at our center in Bangalore. The focus is on understanding children, their aspirations, behavior and thoughts that would enable parents to connect to their children more effectively. Effective communication techniques that can improve relationships would be explored.

The workshops is for parents, grandparents, teachers etc. who are constantly interacting with children on a daily basis . We believe every child is unique and needs to be respected for what they are and not what they will be.

Offline It is 10 day parenting workshop, they conduct both Weekend batch and Weekday batch with each session of 2 hours. Call : 9342133490 or walk in and meet Subha Parthasarathy (facilitator) @ MagicHive.

E-Mail : subha@magichive.in

Chetana

Bangalore Rs 5000 for 10 session workshop in the span of 5 weeks.

Some of the workshops conducted by Parenting People are as follows: YOU’RE A STAR! Confidence in kids blows up and down in seconds, and it does for parents too. learn effective ways to boost confidence for parents and for children.

CREDIT CRUNCH PARENTING Don’t have kids – they cost a fortune. When money is tight, how can we encourage our kids to value what is free? Would you like to raise a child who is wise with resources and doesn’t treat you like a walking wallet?

WHO’S THE BULLY? Bullying is everywhere – at work, at home, in your neighbourhood and in schools. How do we support our children to cope with bullies throughout their lives?

SCREEN TIME How much is enough, and what are they watching on screens of all types. Who’s in charge of the remote control? Decide what’s right in your family and when to switch off.

FAMILY VALUES What do you want your family to stand for? What is important to you as a family and how do you communicate your values in ways that are helpful?” A workshop may vary from an hour to half a day

info@parentingpeople.co.uk

Telephone: 01223 328307 http://www.parentingpeople.co.uk/parenting-workshops/ UK cost can start from £10/person

Some of the workshops provided are: Tears, Tantrums and Battles: Preventing Power Struggles Top Tips for Quibbling Siblings, Raising Respectful, Responsible and Resilient Children in a Privileged World. Are You Parenting Like a Caveman? Discipline That Works, Homework without Tears, Battles and Headaches

All I Want is a Little Respect” Keeping Your Family Grounded & Connected” Offline 90 mins “Karen Jacobson, MA, LCPC, LMFT karen [at] parentingperspectives.com (312) 330-3194 Lauren Bondy, LCSW, Certified LifeLine™ Practitioner lauren [at] parentingperspectives.com (847) 562-9503 (847) 562-9497 (fax)

http://parentingperspectives.com/services/workshops/

USA

Parenting Workshop, Atta Galata “Parenting has now become challenging and more complex in the current scenario. This workshop attempts to introduce you to the psychological principles of catering to your child’s dynamic needs across their life-span, in a fun- loving and interesting manner.

Topics Covered Developmental and psychological milestones of children from infancy to early adulthood, Parenting styles and methods, Effective strategies

Question and answer round with parents

Take-Away Message

You can learn to teach your children You can learn how your parenting style is impacting your child You can understand your child and his world better You can learn how to keep open communication with your children Gain insight about the different areas of their development Explore strategies for effective parenting Establishing a parenting philosophy for your family

The workshop is conducted by trained psychology students of Indian Institute of Psychology and Research (IIPR). As at part of the Academic Curriculum of M.Sc. in Psychological Counselling, students are trained to conduct psycho education workshop on varied topics to the general public to create awareness and educate about the varied aspects of parenting.”

offline – Free Event

Please register on 080-41600677 or 9632510126. Attagalata Koramangala

https://www.facebook.com/events/528085524043565/ Attagalata, koramangala, Bangalore

A Parent Listening Skills and Communications Workshop based on Dr. Thomas Gordon’s famous model. The workshop is called Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.)

Sonal Kothari is a Parent Educator and runs P.E.T. (Parent Effectiveness Training) Workshops in Bangalore, India. If you are a parent that feels “there has to be a better way”” – this program is for you.

Press coverage: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140112/jsp/7days/17779037.jsp

Offline

Sonal Kothari Blog:http://positiveparenting-sonal.blogspot.in/ sonal@positiveparenting.in https://www.facebook.com/PositiveParentingBangalore/ Bangalore

Our Living Wisdom Centre offers many spiritual processes for the whole family to heal and awaken their inner wisdom. Raising children requires conscious, sensitive parenting, and teaching. Adults need to unlearn the old ways to begin anew! Healing ourselves and awakening our own inner wisdom is the core of unlearning and relearning. Through these spiritual science processes, we become aware of our own inner barriers, and transform them to function more effortlessly at our highest potential.The course facilitators are Jayashree Ashok and B. Ashok Following sessions are included in the course – Introduction to Conscious Parenting – Mindfulness in Parenting: Seven Components of Aware Parenting – Parenting From the Heart: Connecting with Your Child – The “”Yes”” Behind the “”No”” – Practical Sessions for Parenting Challenges – Keys to Parenting

Offline Creative, #83-84, LG Lakedew,Bilishivale, Doddagubbi Post, Bangalore 560077 RSVP: 9986552528 / 29. Email: pragyathehealingcircle@gmail.com http://www.thecreativeschool.in/our-workshops/conscious-parenting/2/ Bangalore Rs 2000 (Includes workshop fees and Organic Vegetarian lunch and snacks)

All children love to learn. They can learn absolutely anything that can be taught in an honest and factual way when they are taught in a joyous way. The younger a child is, the easier it is for the child to learn.

Parents who have been carefully instructed in child brain development are the very best teachers for their own children.

The parent and child together are the most dynamic teaching and learning team. The family is the cradle for intellectual, physical, and social excellence in the child.

The objective of The Institutes is to make children intellectually, physically, and socially excellent. The various early development programs are as follows: – The newborn program – The reading program – The math program – The encylocpedic knowledge program – The physical program – The How To Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence course

http://www.iahp.org/

Early Development

Around the world

The Parenting Place is the one stop destination for parents looking for solutions to parenting problems.

It is run by Dr Debmita Dutta (MBBS,MD) who is a Parenting and Wellness Consultant.

Workshops and consultations at the Parenting Place aim at empowering parents with knowledge about their children’s developing Brains and Bodies so that they can use this knowledge in their day to day interaction with their children to bring up emotionally secure and socially well adjusted – Rapid Learners.

Some of the workshops conducted for parents of 1yr tp 8 yrs – – Decoding the balanced diet – Building the little brain with speech – Taming the tantrums – How to facilitate learning etc

Workshops for parents of 9 yrs to 19 yrs – – How to parent an adolocent – Helping teens cope with stress etc

Offline

Each class from the workshop is 1 hour 30 mins. Number of classes in a workshop may vary.

Inside PARI’s Haute Couture Premises, 1/2, Cambridge Road Cross, Ulsoor, Bangalore – 560008. Landmark: Opposite NILGIRI’s Departmental Store

Phone: +919611739400 Email: debmita.dutta@gmail.com http://www.theparentingplace.in/contact-us.html#sthash.xbOukjod.dpuf http://www.theparentingplace.in/workshops.html

Bangalore

 

Author: Smitha Ravi

After working as software developer, I shifted my lens to more soulful work which includes freelancing and teaching computer science. I am passionate about our indian culture and holistic living. Being part of swarnaprashna group, gives me a chance to work along and meet people who share the same passion and learn along the way. You can reach me smitharavi97 AT gmail DOT com