Thursday, May 19, 2011

Been a while..

It has been a while since I did an out and out First Steps post, have just been doing the info gathering stuff.  Parenting is a never ending job I know but there has come a point when there is a certain balance and rhythm in life, where learning things is there but there is kind of a lull for the time being, there certainly will come a time with bustling activity pretty soon, too much to work on what school, what friends, what tiffen box and all that stuff but for now am a teeny tiny bit relaxed... how is everything with you all..

There have been quite a few personal comments and queries in the recent past which I either try to answer if I know or forward it to Renu to answer if that is the topic she has dealt with or plainly say that I am not aware of.  It feels good to be able to answer and to come to a point where we have the ability to do it.  Once again, please leave in your mail id if you want reply to very personal questions and expect personal replies.  I might take a little time but I will certainly get back to you.

Happy parenting buddies... would love more comments if you like the job.. motivation you see.. even otherwise I will do it for my personal satisfaction, just looking for that unexpected bonus :).

Handling a Hyperactive Kid

Things that help

**Regular physical excercise.
**Interaction with people of all age groups and some exclusive time with their age group.
**Cut down intake of food having sugar, chocolate and junk food, especially more so in the evenings or at bedtime, well balanced nutrition eradicates half the problems.
**Strictly do not allow kids to play violent computer games and watch violent, emotionally charged scenes on TV/cinema.
**Giving the kids small responsibilities.
**Making them responsible for a pet if the health/house/budget permits.

The key is to channelize their energies positively and get the best out their ability. Being Active is a Boon not a Bane..!!  Firstly and most importantly, stop considering it a disorder and run around doctors and specialists, try and understand the needs of the children, their insecurities, spend time with them, understand their deepest fears and desires and most importantly be there, not just physically. 

If there is indeed a problem, then and only then after multiple opinions from various doctors, do you put the kid under medication for hyperactivity.

--- Sree


Also when we go out side or any place or even everyday, tell your child what we have planned for the days. So then kids don't get anxiety like whats gonna happen etc.
Tell them where we are going adn what we expect from their so they don't have surprises. Sometimes these kids mind races so fast that they can't process their own thought process and people lable them naughty, active kids.

so instead give them rough idea about each forthcoming tihngs and teach them turtle technique.
In which take a deep breathe and calm down and think slowly.
Initially you have to guide child to help him recognise those moments when they can't focus and end up in trouble. So help you child saying come here for a minute calm down take deep breathes, count 1-10. Now look around where are we?
what are we suppose to do?
What were we told to do?
Are we doing that? yes? then what else to do?
if not then ok, what needs to be done etc.
This helps a lot.
Also if you let your child know already whats gonna be (in mall, what you expect etc.) it gives them guidelines to follow.
YOu can ask your child after she calms down so wehre are we? What did we takled about it at home? So now you know what to do? How can "we" do it.
Ok lets do it.
When we say "WE" child feels supported and less stressed and shows more interest in achiving expected behavior or correct her actions.

Courtesy :Sonal. IP

Investment Ideas for Kids - Moms Reviews

Visitors, Please feel free to add in more...

Key: Putting the eggs in different baskets

Minor PPF account.
gold- exchange traded fund via SIP (form of mutual fund)
More Gold ETF info here
Fixed Deposits
Mutual Funds - Mostly Diversified Equity(Which gives me liquidity, good distribution of investment avenue of my money in the equity market, no lockin period), ELSS ones (5 star rated ones alone and which are run by the best fund house/fund manager / and have proven track record , which give me tax savings plus good returns - 3 yr locking period)

- Split MF investments in 6 -7 best ones. Keep monitoring fund performance too and make wise switches among funds.

Madhu, you can think urself what you are looking for when it comes to MF - Do you have an orientation for largecap/midcap / bluechip kind of funds ? What is your risk appetite ? Do you need tax saving ? What is ur investment horizon ? Does liquidity matter to you ? You have already mentioned you'd invest quarterly . So, mode is ok. How better and how often you get time to monitor your fund performance and portfolio (top stock holdings of the fund) ?

As you have mentioned abt current investments - both are reputed good fund houses.

HDFC Prudence is a balanced fund :) A good (optimal) performer for those with moderate risk appetite. Reliance Vision - A good diversified equity fund.

To understand where your money goes , where it gets invested, how much % , what kind of sector - is it - its a well established mostly bluechip rated segment (large cap) or a fastgrowing segment with some risk potential (midcap) or totally new shores (small cap - highest risk) and how it reaps returns for you - its past performance (We know its no guarentee for same future returns.but atleast you know the track record) , How the fund has performed compared to its peers . What is the value research star rating , how experienced is your fund manager - how are perf. of funds that he manages, what is fund house strategy

These questions would matter while you make your selection.

You can learn more going through each of these. I have been investing in MFs more than 7 years now and I am glad - its a good choice. - the funds where i've put my money.

Insurance (Protection, Savings and tax saving).
Real estate - Includes regular income generating commercial complexes as well as empty plots with money multiplying potential as well as real estate venues as residential homes which gives one excellent tax saving as Home loan as well as is an asset.
Post Office Savings.

Courtesy:  Anusha, IP

Simple Kid Activities At Home

Some tried and tested ideas by moms.. these are for kids above 3 yrs because it needs a little coordination, balance and general big baby skills and not for toddlers and infants

Building Stories
We can build a story together. I started a story and asked my daughter to continue the next scene and then it was my turn and then hers till the story ends at an appropriate juncture. It was really interesting doing with her...

A couple of samples I tried....

1) My daughter loves the story of "Goldilocks and the three bears". So I told her that Goldilocks has now been good and its the little bear who has been naughty and did not listen to his mother and ventured into the city. Now what do u think will happen?   She thought for a while and said, "The little bear will look at the crowd and so many vehicles and he was knocked down by a car". Then I continued saying, "Then the scared bear looked for a house and entered one. It was the house of the Goldilocks". Then we continued till the little bear ran back to the forest....

2) Another was - "I said Letter A is very proud of himself. He says the names of many animals, fruits, veggies etc. begin with him and he is the greatest". The letter 'B' on hearing that said, "No, no...thats not true! Even many animals, birds, fruits etc. have their names beginning with me". Then both of us listed various things that begin with the two letters.... Then I asked my daugghter, "What do u think happened next?". She immediately said, "Letter 'C' came and said, "Dont fight". ....

While building the story, I finished my cooking too :-)

And she also connected the word 'build'. She said, "We only build blocks, is it not? How come u are saying 'build' stories?" And then I explained to her....

The downside is through out the day she wanted to build stories....:-)

Sorting vegetables/fruits that we buy from the market and putting them into smaller baskets or covers. Removing curry and coriander leaves from their stalks and putting them into covers...are some tasks that we can get children to help us on.

As children sort, they build essential visual skills and logical thinking. And while they sort, we can do our work while simultaneously reeling off the benefits of each of the vegetables and how it helps them build a strong mind and body.

Float or Sink!
We can bring a small tub of water and place it in an area in which the child can do some experimentation safely. We can ask the child to collect a variety of objects from in and around the house like a feather, leaf, crayon, pencil, coin etc. and drop each one in the tub and see whether each of it 'floats' or 'sinks'.....

While children learn new vocabulary thru this experiment, they also learn an important science concept. As children begin to understand the concept clearly, we can extend by analysing why objects 'float' or 'sink', what do fishes do, what happens to an object that sinks....and so on.

Also we can get them make paper boats and float them in water.

Balance walk...
Find a long rope and lay it on the floor. Take turns with the child to walk on the rope without falling off or losing balance. Children get better and better with this with practise and also develop balance, coordination and concentration :-)

- Courtesy:  Bala

It helps develop thinking skills.

1. Find 3 objects that are alike in some way, such as, the same color, the same size, the same shape, and the same type of object. Then, find one that is different.
Set out the four objects and have your child find the one that is different.

Sometimes your child will pick one that is not the one you had intended as the different. However, upon questioning her, she has a valid reason why this one is different and the others are the same. If they can explain their reasoning, accept their answer. This is a great game to teach children how to look at all characteristics of an object, and how to see that objects can fall into different categories.

2. Sort by fruits and vegetables
3. Sort leaves, toys by color
4. Sort spoons, pebbles by size

Courtesy:  Renu

Color Mixing - Messy but good exercise before bath

I took red, yellow and blue paints . Then applied red on his left palm and yellow on his right palm and asked him to rub together.and pressed his palms on a white paper . I asked "what color is it? " he said Orange.. Like wise do mix and match and involve the kid, they will enjoy it.

Rolling Crayon/pencil
Put a box on the chair of dining table and ask the kid to sit on the opposite side of the table, giving some crayons, pencil, some rolling object and ask them to roll out so that they fall into the box, they can keep the count of misses and hits and can get involved in the play for a while, initially the hits will be low but eventually the kids with their persistence will learn it :).

Courtesy:  Geeta