When your kids become old enough (and responsible enough) for an allowance, a parent is faced with two choices – should the allowance be handed over unconditionally or should the kids perform some chores in return.
Akriti came to us with this query. Should she pay her children to help our with chores at home? Will this help them learn the value of money?
Our star contributer Noopur Agarwal advises, “While it’s important to teach children the value of money, it is not right to pay them for doing small things. If you will start paying them for every chore, they will loose their innocence and will become money minded like us grownups!”
This is a line of thought that is generally agreed upon by most parents – and even some financial experts! Finance gurus say that if the kids learn that by working they get paid, on the flip side they will also learn that they can refuse to work on the grounds that they don’t want money! What’s more if they save their “earnings”, they may even realise that they have enough of their allowance to last them for a few days – and hence flat out refuse to do chores!
On the whole there are three major reasons why you should never pay your kids for their chores:
1. It sends the wrong message!
If kids are being paid to complete chores, they will no longer feel the need to do any chores “for free”. What’s more, they will learn to demand payment for any small favour or request. It takes away from the sense of achievement and moral obligation of caring for the home and doing what’s best for the whole family.
2. It could lead to a sense of entitlement!
When a child is paid for her work, she no longer thinks of his family as a cohesive unit – she will start thinking of herself first! Your goal is to foster an environment of family teamwork and not “every man for himself”.
3. They will ask for a raise!
Don’t you start resenting your boss when he doesn’t give you a raise despite how much work he sees you putting in day in and day out? Well now, is that a situation you want happening with your kids? Just imagine: “Mommy, I did more dishes this week than last week – so I deserve more money!” Now isn’t that a situation you want to avoid?
We hope our Mommy advice has helped Akriti find a solution. There are many other ways to present your kids with an allowance, and payment in return for services is not always the right decision!
We thank the SOS mom who came to Anamika’s rescue: Noopur Agarwal.
It comes as a shock to many parents when they first learn that their toddler has been hitting others. Most times, toddlers start displaying aggressive behaviour when they are exposed to a new environment (read: playschools). This is a common problem and parents need not stress over it.
Your toddler is still struggling with his linguistic skills and cannot properly communicate what he wishes to. This is also the stage when your little one is learning to be independent and begins making decisions of his own. All of this combines with the impulse to try and control the others make children of this age get physical. A little hitting and biting is completely normal for a toddler, but parents should not ignore this behaviour. Parents should let their toddler know that aggressive behaviour is unacceptable through different ways.
Apoorva came to us with the same problem, recently her 2.7 year old tot has developed the habit of hitting his peers at his school and she is looking out for help. Our SOS Moms gave their two cents to Apoorva on this issue.
Deepti Pathak advices Apoorva to simply stay calm, “Wait for another six months. Your problem is very common”, whereas Rekha Meena observes, “I just can’t understand why today kids develop the habit of hitting others. I’m a mother of 2 kids and both of them are very disciplined. When they misbehave initially, stop them immediately so they come to know what is wrong and right. Mother is the first teacher.”
Harsha Rajiv on the other hand has a logic we parents often overlook, “Usually when a kid gets hurt, elders in the house to console the kid say ‘Wait I’ll hit this thing that hurt you’ and thinking the kid will stop crying. This is really bad. Do divert the attention of kid saying something else, I tell my kid to stop crying so the magical fairy can come. I think problem is if the kid doesn’t like something he hits, even if it is a person. You have to convey a message to the kid with the support of teacher saying that hitting hurts. You have to keep trying to make him understand, don’t give up.”
Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan says, “It may be a reflection of what your kid sees around him. Home environment, wordy duels between parents, cartoons exhibiting hitting behaviours or may be he is hit by either of the parents or elders at home when he troubles you. We have to start talking to the kid who exhibits such rude behaviour. Even if you shout at him or punish him, it is not going to help. Don’t hit him back, instead take time to spend more time with him. Whenever he is cranky give him something to eat. Again don’t feed him with foods loaded with sugar. Give him homemade food. Take him to a park, play area and indulge in physical playing. This will calm him down. Especially swinging him in a swing for 20 minutes minimum daily would definitely calm his aggression.”
Toddlers can be a handful to their parents. With all the energy and enthusiasm toddlers possess, it can be difficult to deal with them. But no parent should take their kid’s aggressive behaviour lightly, parents should explain to their children the consequences of hitting immediately. Sending quality time and a few measures can solve this problem once and for all.
We thank all the moms who came to Apoorva’s rescue:
Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan, Harsha Rajiv, Deepti Pathak, Rekha Meena, Robe Samarth Gaonkar and Rajnideep Sandhu.
Constipation is a very common concern among the moms of toddlers. Some of the common causes of constipation in toddlers are toilet anxiety, dehydration and diet. Swati’s two and half your old child has the problem and she came to SOS moms for their advice on the same. Let’s take a look at what our SOS moms have to say to Swati.
Moms Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra all agree that Swati’s little one should be given ripe bananas and papaya in different forms to ease his problem. Both banana and papaya are rich in fibre and can help with constipation. These two fruits can also be given in the form of milk shakes, juice and any other form to make them seem less boring to your active bub.
Also moms like Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, agree that spinach and greens will help Swati’s child to a great extent.
Moms Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru suggest Swati to feed that the child should be fed black raisins soaked in water every morning. Chetana Suvarana Ganatara suggests that a porridge made of oats and prunes (packed with fibre) will help. Shanti Gupta says dried figs soaked in water overnight will also work wonders.
Preeti Khanna and Manasi Joshi suggest that the little one should be given milk with two drops of ghee in it. Milk may cause constipation but milk with ghee has a reverse impact. Sweta Bharadwaj, Sonia Sonu pipe in with their suggestion of feeding the tot with curd regularly.
Diana Samuel says, “Try 1/2 tsp honey in 1/2 tsp warm water on empty stomach in the morning. It worked for my child when she had severe constipation. Note: water must be warm not too hot nor cold. Give him lots of warm water throughout the day. Hope it might help.” Harsha Rajiv suggests, “ Water intake should be increased. Fruit juice, fresh fruits in puree form is also effective. Fibrous food like palak and other greens in soup can be given. Also Palak kichdi, carrot soup, carrot milkshake etc work. Do include greens in your baby’s diet at least once a week.
Other SOS moms also agree that Swati’s little one should be given warm water throughout the day in equal intervals. Also the child should be made to sit on his potty seat everyday even if he doesn’t pass stool to build a habit. Constipation can be easily resolved with a few key changes in diet and momma’s care of course!
We thank all the SOS moms who rushed in to aid Swati with her problem:
Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi, Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra, Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru, Harsha Rajiv, Diana Samuel, Pratibha Gautam, Swati Agarwal, Shama Mittal, Nausheen Sharieff, Amrita Singh, Sarika Singh, Dia Bijlani, Namrata Mandowara, Chetna Ganatara, Bindiya Yadav, Sakshi Batra, Simpy Jalan and Reema Verma.
Though you may miss your European backpacking days or Caribbean cruising days, vacationing with kids can be different but fun.
With all the additional gear to pack and extra safety factors to consider, there may be times when you wished you’d just stayed home.
There may be times when you might have to deal with kids getting on your nerves with their cranky behavior and tantrums.
Read on for a short guide with some tips to help you reduce the stress and keep the fun alive on the vacation for everyone.
1. Allow Them to Pack By Themselves: Let the children do their own packing. Give them a little direction by giving them a packing list with instructions. By letting them do so, they would feel more involved and would look forward to the vacation.
2. Do Things that Kids Enjoy: While you may not enjoy a hotel with water slides and other rides, chances are your kids would. As such, hotels would keep the engaged and happy with something enjoyable to do. Surely, your little one would not enjoy being tagged around at museums. Do what they like and what they enjoy. Try making the vacation educational (to some extent), yet fun.
3. Maintain a Routine: Children love routine and tend to get cranky when it is interrupted. Try to organize your travel at times that will not disrupt their sleep or other usual routines. Also, consider vacationing somewhere close to hime. A child really does not care whether it is a beach in Goa or Pattaya. For them it is just a beach.
4. Dining Out: With young kids, you might want to consider saying a no to formal restaurants. However, if you do plan to indulge, ensure your child has a fun time so that they are content and less likely to be cranky in a formal setting.
5. Illness and Emergencies: Always carry a first aid kit and basic medication that your little one might possibly need in times of emergencies. You never know if essential medicines are available where you are going.
6. Keep them Entertained: If you plan to do a road trip or take a long flight, consider carrying some toys or gadgets the kids would enjoy playing with. A Sony PSP or card games like Uno, that they can play on the flight, might be ideal.
7. Expect the Unexpected: To cater to unexpected illness or mood swings, always consider putting in a free day into your itinerary, just in case you miss out on some sightseeing or shopping. Try to go with the flow and treat it like an adventure to be conquered.
8. Slow Down the Pace: Do not pressure your child to do too many things in too little time. Consider visiting few sights to make them more enjoyable and less stressed. Also, take a few breaks every now and then.
9. Alone Time: If you would like some alone time with your spouse, you might want to consider arranging for some babysitting facilities with the hotel. This will allow you to spend some quality time with your partner, while your children are kept busy elsewhere and taken proper care of.
Now that you have these tips for your vacation, do share where you are planning to go this summer. Bon voyage.
Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Although tantrums are part of daily life with most toddlers, they are much less frequent with some. However, you can definitely prevent many meltdowns by organizing your toddler’s life so that they end up throwing fewer tantrums.
Why Toddlers Have Meltdowns
Parents need to understand that, as your little baby grows and explores their world, they begin to realise that more and more things are within their control. They are also naturally exploring their limits and those of their caregivers. There is a reason why the Terrible Twos deserve that name.
Tantrums or meltdowns are a natural process of your toddler gaining more independence and control over their functions and actions. Parents should not take these meltdowns personally, but instead avoid creating situations that can exacerbate them, such as when your child is tired, hungry or just cranky.
It isn’t easy to deal with tantrums, but there are few tricks which could help you deal with such scenarios. The key is to get inside their little heads and outfox them before you get to the stage of failing to win with grown-up logic.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
A tantrum is definitely not a pretty sight. Kicking, screaming, pounding the floor, throwing and hitting things are quite common among toddlers. If you find yourself getting frustrated, then just calmly leave the room for a few minutes and return to your child after they have stopped crying. By keeping your cool, you will help your child to calm down too.
Bring Out The Toys
One of the many reasons why kids don’t always want to do what you ask them to do is because they are engrossed in what they are already doing. For example, a child who doesn’t have any underlying bath time issues might ignore you if you ask them to take a bath; yet would come along willingly when you ask them which toys they would like to take along. The same works for going from bath to bed or for any other matter.
Don’t Try Reasoning
Trying to approach a child’s anger logically will not work. Toddlers are not logical creatures and when they are in the middle of their tantrum, talking is not going to work. Thus, the best possible thing to do would be to divert their attention from what it is that is upsetting them. For example, try giving them a hug or a toy to distract them. As toddlers generally have very short attention spans, it just might work.
Cut Down On Junk Food
Certain foods can make your little angels turn into complete rascals. For example, sweets generally trigger blood sugar fluctuations which can cause mood swings and caffeine in drinks makes them hyper. Avoid sugary foods and never give your child energy drinks, tea or coffee.
If your child’s tantrums seem to be occurring on a frequent basis or if they are hurting themselves or other people, then seek help from an expert. The expert would be able to discuss your child’s behavior with you at routine checkups, help figure out reasons for such behavior and ways to deal with it.
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net