Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sex Education for Kids - When and How

Was reading a book Ashtavakra by Yandamoori and came across this written piece and wanted to share with you guys..

There are too many myths/objections/suggestions as to sex education in India or maybe else where too... strangely in a nation where speaking about sex in public is considered grossly offensive/derogatory majority are sexual crimes and the population shoots sky high!! 

More than anything, it is curiosity that leads to queries about opposite gender.. it can happen as early as a toddler when they get to learn, understand and ask about everything and anything.. how do we answer, where do we begin is the biggest query a parent of today's might face and found a lovely input which I would replicate.

The way of inquisitiveness swamps the child at the age of 9 to 13.  He wants to know how things are made, stars, watches, babies, etc.  There are two questions linked up together - when to tell and what to tell? 

When a little girl for the first time sees the organ of her younger brother, it is very natural that she should ask what little strange thing is. But this is by no means a sexual question but rather a scientific question.  What to tell and where to stop depends on the age of the child.

- Oswald Schwarz on Sex Education

My views
Like this put in simple words here.. like that is an innocent question here as to what it is, we need not really get into a biology lecture to the kid but just explain them to the point, tell them without making any fuss about it and tell them it is their private part and that a boy/girl or a man/woman are made differently and it is their private part.  This conversations most likely happen in a bathroom setting when the kid is getting bathed or when they see the siblings or other kids of opposite gender, do not rush it up, hush it up.. answer it as coolly as possible and leave it at that.

Also I liked a quote by E.F. Griffith

As far as sex education goes, i see two main difficulties.  first, sexuality is more than pure biology and less than pure spirituality, but a unique combination of both ethics and aesthetics.  Religion must come under consideration and sex education must fit sex into the whole pattern of our life.  Can this be done?  How and by whom?

My views
I guess first as a parent we need to get rid of our own inhibitions talking or thinking about it and then proceed to tell the kid than to impact him/her knowingly or unknowingly.  Like say if we look back into our own lives and think for a while as to when our inquisitiveness began, how it was satisfied, when and how we got to know, it might in a way help understand our own kid's feelings towards things in general.  It is primarily the curiosity about the unknown and if it is answered properly, they would not really venture into other means of getting to know, which might not always be right, the influences there might be at that point, the barrier that we might create unknowingly about asking such questions would lead them to go ask others/friends/peers who are equally unaware or mis-informed on un-necessarily informed.  So, I personally think that a very open relationship, the trust to turn to the parents for anything and the feeling that they would not be ridiculed, scolded, hushed up should be built.

For a wholesome personality development, it is essentially that we provide answers or provide means to get answers by themselves when to do what is the key.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Some tips for lactation

There have been quite a few personal requests for translation of a Telugu post on lactation tips by Swapna, I have been a bit busy.. err.. let me honest, lazy to do so but on a simple request my buddies pitched in to help... both of them did it at the same time more or less, so just leaving them both in.....


1) Have millet (bajri) flour porridge.  have two glsses of warm water first thing in the morning. then take 1 tbsp of bajri flour and roast it 
   in ghee. add 1/2 cup of milk and let it cook. add sugar to taste and have it. this will help in increasing the supply.

2) have walnuts for snack. It'll help in baby's brain development.

3) take two glasses of water and have gondh laddoo ( and a glass milk. this will really help in boosting the supply.

4) Use fenugreek seeds/ Fenugreek leaves in cooking. soak some seeds in water overnight and take it in the morning. or you can take powder too.

5) Use lots of garlic in food.

6) have dry ginger powder with ghee in first bite of rice.

7) have barley water (cook barley in water till soft. filter and drink that water). you can start this when you are pregnant.

8) have bread/rusk with milk. have atleast two slices twice a day.

9) have a glass of warm water 10 mins before feeding or sip while feeding. this will help with letdown.

10) have curries made of tindora (ivy gourd), lauki (bottle gourd), fenugreek leaves, spinach, ridge gourd, snake gourd, carrots, asparagus.

11) use lot of urad dal (black gram) in seasonings.

12) have oats and almonds mixed in cereal once a day

13) you can also have oats with milk

14) try skin to skin with baby (kangaroo care). will help in increasing the supply.

15) think about baby all the time. keep a positive feeling that you can feed the baby.

16) place few cloves of garlic in fresh cooked rice. eat after 10 mins

If the baby stops latching all of a sudden check for these

1) eggs in your diet in any form

2) any new perfumes/deo

3) onions in diet  


1)Drink 2 glasses of luke warm water as soon as u wake up in the morning..Then have Bajri Powder Kheer:Mix 1 tbs of Bajra powder and roast it in ghee till 

the raw flavor is gone the stir in 1/2 cup of warm mix and cook it reaches the Kheer consistency and have it...Sometimes the milk supply increases so much in 

that case try not to eat the Bajra kheer for 2-3 days n then start having it.

2)Walnuts Increase the baby's memory power so have them as a snack when u feel hungry.

3)eat 1 Gondh Ladoo and drink a glass of milk..drink 2 glasses of water before eating this laddoo

4)Both fenugreek seeds n fenugreek leaves help in milk production..If u dont have time to soak the fenugreek seeds,jst take the seeds directly and drink 

water,jst like how u take a tablet.

5)Use garlic as in cooking much as u can.

6)Mix some dry ginger pwoder and ghee in the 1st spoon of rice u eat.

7)Barley Water

8)Bread n Rusk,preferably bread with a glass of milk gives gud result..have atleast 2 slices of bread twice a day along with milk

9)Have a glass full of water atleast 10 mins before u start feeding the baby,if u dont have time just keep sipping the water while feeding the baby this 

helps in improving the milk supply

10)Use Tindora,lauki,fnugreek leaves,spinach,lady finger,turai(chinees okra) a lot in ur diet

11)Add lots of urad when u make tempering for the curries/dal

12)Make sure u have oats and almond mixed cereal atleast once a day

13)Combination of oats n milk together gives gud result..try this if u can

14)Hug ur baby often as that bonding helps in improving the supply

15)While feeding the baby think abt his/her future n how r u going to raise ur kid n all such thoughts also improves the supply

16)Chop garlic into small pieces n put on the steaming hot rice and cover it with a lid for 10 mins,wait n then eat them together.


A special mention of thanks to a sweet buddy H for pitching in instantly in translating and also lovely Kavya for pitching in in spite of a heavy schedule and an infant to handle... love you ladies!!!

Love you girls!! you are rocking super moms....!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Schooling in India - A few more personal considerations

I do agree that education should not be stressful to kids... whatever they learn should go into their mind happily without pressure is what I feel... I try new ways to make things interesting for the kid and when he gets bored of one way I invent something new and keep his interest intact... 

Coming to SSC, CBSE and ICSE.

SSC is what I went to.... only studies and no play.... LKG to 10th, studies, studies... exams exams exams.

CBSE... central board.. mix of studies and some activities.... compared to SSC higher classes there is less syllabus.  Child should complete 3.5 years to get admitted into PP 1 in CBSE.....

ICSE... Interenational schools follow this... and its more of Montessori system is what I feel... teaching thru activities and all.... Indian mind set ki, competitive world ki I wasnt sure how kids will take it once they have to join the main stream after their 10th or +2.... also ekkuva emphasis will be on social and science ani vinnanu.... SSC, CBSE maths thoo compare chesthee ICSE is far back... I saw this practically when I was in inter... my ICSE classmates used to come to me for help with their mathematics.... 

konni international schools in hyd are coming up with IGBSE or something like that... entoo they are making their own curriculam mixing ICSE and CBSE for primary classes anta.... and kids / parents can choose which one to take up once they come to 7th class..... idhi koncham over anipinchindhi naaku..... 

Final gaa we have choosen CBSE for the kid..

- Poornima (Hyderabad)

Nenu koodaa SSC lone chadivaanu.. chaduvu thappa maro dhyaasa vundadu akkada..Playclass pillalatho alphabets raayisthaaru..adi koodaa English n telugu lo...chaalaa stress vuntundi..So I ruled it out

Ika Nellorelo naaku migilina options CBSE and XSEED.

XSEED ante syllabus SSC/CBSE/ICSE ki alignedgaa vuntundita..but they emphasize more on activity based learning..Montessori system lo laagaa annamaata..deeni gurinchi poorthi info ee link lo vundi

Naaku thelsina parents chaalaa mandini adigithe ee syllabus gurinchi positive feedback icchaaru..but still nenu decide chesukolekapothunnaanu between CBSE/XSEED

Memu pandu gaadini join chesina school lo Playclass, LKG and UKG matrame vundi..and akkadanthaa activity based learning ane concept ye follow avuthaaru..Playclass 1 yr lo vaalla syllabus identifying alphabets (large and small case), numbers (1 to 10) and 4 or 5 colors and shapes + Rhymes...Ivannee koodaa they learn thru visuals, games and other activities...writing emee vundadu..Ikkada playclass lo vaadi performance choosi vaadiki comfortablegaa vundi maaku nacchithe LKG and UKG koodaa ikkade continue chesi 1st class ki CBSE/XSEED vunna school lo join cheyyaalani anukuntunnamu. So daanikinko 3years time vundi kaabatti ippudu ekkuva alochinchatledu :)

- Keerthi (Nellore)

(Purely personal considerations which I posted for my personal reference and for any one else who might be interested or on the lookout like me)

Schooling In Hyderabad - A mom's considerations

Well, when joining kids in a school a lot of things go through parents' minds..

a mom from Hyderabad, AP, near KPHB, Miyapur area says...

These r d main points v considered first

1. A big NO to Too hi-fi schools (i mean AC class rooms, buses and so on....)
2. CBSE syllabus 
3. I can keep her upto +2 (Inter 2nd year)
4. Activities should be included with communication and confidence skills.
5. Not too far from our house (considering travelling time)
6. Good play ground for out door games (Physical exercise is must)
7. Last but not least Hygienic place.

After going through so many schools and surveying stuff, we narrowed down that if the kid is provided the proper basics, they will learn anyway.  almost all the schools are similar in one way or the other except for slight differences, so pick a right choice for yourself considering all the factors including price and commute but one thing is make sure that it is an International/CBSE school considering most of the parents are from IT/Software industry and tend to keep moving to and fro be it in India or abroad and it is easier for kids to adjust.

Approximate kids' ages and schooling years
2.6 yrs - Nursery.
3.6 yrs - PP1(LKG) admission
4.6 yrs - PP2 (UKG) admission.
Nursery and PP1 admission is direct admission

but from PP2 onwards there is an admission test which the kids should pass before getting in

Every academic year admission starts from Nov to May depends on the School .......

For people staying close to Chandanagar, Madeenaguda, a few of school options
Genesis International School, its not too hi-fi school at the same time not too bad school also, they are charging appr 60k - 70k including transportation.
Oakridge and Meridian - They are charging more than 2 lakhs annual fee
Maharshi and Bharati Vidya Bhavan - these looks like our generation schools with good ground but only thing is very less activities, full time studies. These schools are charging appr 60k per annual year.
Arbor - very new school located in Ayyappa Society, Madhapur.
Lilly School - Chandanagar, very good reviews but its State Syllabus next year or so expecting Central Syllabus.
Sentin School - In Miyapur, its Euro Kids school.

Courtesy:  Avanthi

(Purely personal considerations which I posted for my personal reference and for any one else who might be interested or on the lookout like me)

Magic Pot - A Manorama Group Publication

For parents in India,

Found this book at my regular book sellers where I go to buy my magazines for the month and weekly whenever I happen to go to Gudiwada.

Magic Pot a magazine for nursery/primary school children.. one of its kind, too many activities, big font, good stories, puzzles and a lot more to look for.. just loved it from cover to cover and the kid enjoyed me reading it to her too..

so, if you happen to be a parent of a pre/primary-schooler, then just go for it and you will not regret  :).

From the publishers of Manorama, Tell Me Why is another knowledge magazine for the kids.. just loved them both..

For more details

Log on to which also has English in its options though it comes up in Malayalam.

or call 1800-4255-002 or 04812564393

The Reluctant Tooth-Brusher!!!

Kid refusing to brush...!!!!

Well, my kid loves to eat up the paste than actually brush.. it is a struggle getting her to brush normally and properly.. like it is some kind of a power struggle at times.. well, after some point, one needs to put an end to reluctance and work towards making it a happy routine.. how, how, how...????

Target Happy Brushing...1,2,3...

Brushing twice a day happily... WE CAN DO IT!!!! (all is well style ;)).  Brushing is fun and let it be so!

Eating toothpaste is the most common things the kid love to do, considering the paste is sweet/minty flavored, etc. so the key is to give very little paste.. almost a pea size or less than that.

Make it exciting, pick up multiple brushes of her choice, the animated/toy ones, the musical/vibrating battery operated ones, her favorite colors.. whatever it takes her to brush happily..

**Let her have her choice of brush for the day, keep a couple of them handy.
**Let her have a pick of choice of toothpaste, keep a couple of flavors handy.

**Brush with the kid, in front of a mirror, teach the kid to do it on her, let them repeat the action.
**Name the teeth or let the kid name the teeth, tell them that it is like bathing them, clean them through and through, every single teeth, upwards, downwards, back and front, massage the gums, keep talking to them.
**Tell them the germ cycle, germ stories, how important is oral hygiene, how germs accumulate overnight and how not brushing just pushes them down the tummy and into the body, get into the tummy, eat it, bite it.. whatever that makes the child sit up and listen and actually see the need to do it.
**sick songs happily when the kid brush.. make up own words.. like brush, brush brush your teeth, washing the germs away.. spit, spit, spit the paste, whatever silly catchy things that come to your mind at that time.

Show them some brushing videos like Elmo brushing, etc.
Rhymes on brushing before we actually get to brushing

Brush, brush, brush your teeth, brush it every day
amma, daddy, Sreya, Chutki brush it every day... whatever, whatever that comes out of your mouth, set a tune and get them going!

Well, the kids truly bring out our creative/negotiating best!!!

Do not forget to share other tips that you might have successfully implemented!!

Head Lice

... and the school woes start, in what way.. lice!!! Eeeks!!!

If you happen to be from India, almost every one of us tend to have this experience of head lice, scratching and un-licing or whatever it is called in the hands of patient mothers and grandmothers... De-loused for the summer vacation only to be infested in the first week of school... and the result is

They are not harmful but highly infectious and scratchy and annoying and cranky kid is the result!!!

It is such a common phenomenon that once in school, it is almost expected :(.. sigh!!! and so my problems start... the kid goes to school for a week and is infested.

So bring out traditional lice combs oil the hair regularly, give head bath every 2 days or weekly twice and bring out (pela duvvenalu).

The problem gets worse during the rains with them drenching and the lice thriving in that fungus and moist head area.

Prevention methods
**Good hair care routine and hygiene, regular hair wash.
**No sharing of combs/hair brushes/caps/hair accessories, towels, clothing.
**A kid/individual infested, whole family infested :(!

We were prescribed Dimeticone solution, Hedrin.. a bottle of odorless/non-sticky solution applied from roots to the ends of each and every hair shaft.. treatment only for kids above 6 months of age kids under that age group need to be medically supervised.

Apply the lotion from the roots to the ends of each hair at night time, leave it on for 8 hrs. and rinse it off with normal regular shampoo.. repeat the same exactly a week later as any nits (lice eggs) that might have been left would have hatched in the meantime.  3/4 of the bottle for the mother and 1/4 for the kid!  or contact your doctor for exact details and suggestions pertaining to it.

I would suggest visiting a doctor rather than the over-the-counter lice drugs available, considering it is a medicated preparation and nothing un-supervised should get into kid's eyes or system by any chance.

Repeat the exact routine and keep watching closely for re-infestation...!!!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Ragi Recipe

this is recipe ucan use sugar or jaggery

2 heaped tbsps raagi powd
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup water
2 tsps badam pwd
1 1/4 tbsps jaggery syrup (adjust)
a pinch of elachi
1 Add a little cold water to the ragi pwd
and make a smooth paste and keep aside. Heat water and milk in a
stainless steel vessel and when it begins to boil, add this paste and
stir continuously to avoid any lumps.
2 Add jaggery and badam pwd. Continue stirring
on medium flame and you will find that it thickens. After 3-4 mts, add
the cardamom pwd and continue stirring for a mt and remove from heat.

Courtesy:  Lakshmi