when he falls


Posted by msanjay | Posted in habits | Posted on 06-05-2011

In general whenever he falls, we usually don’t pick him up immediately when he falls. This looks a bit harsh initially. It is also a bit more harder on us parents because first impulse is to rush and comfort him when he’s hurt himself.

But he’s learnt to a certain extent to rely on himself to comfort himself.

Of course we don’t just leave him there pick him up only few seconds/minutes later, sometimes we pretend as if nothing has happened at all :

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flashback: his first friend – sharing


Posted by appa | Posted in habits | Posted on 08-09-2009


This is based on a comment left on Shruthi’s post on Sharing

Abhinav’s first friend – a German baby Adrian.

All kinds of different reactions by the two babies were just amazing. Though I’ll never really know to what extent they were able to identify what was going on – there was definitely a lot of curiosity factor. The best part was their ‘arm wrestling’ when both fo them seemed to want to pull each others hand :))

The evening had started pleasantly, but it took a somewhat disastrous turn once Adrian took a liking to Abhinav’s ‘magic slate’. Abhinav started becoming real cranky. Later on after considerable negotiation and pacification and what not, they become friends again and Abhinav even fed some food to Adrian! 🙂

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role playing for encouraging better behaviour


Posted by appa | Posted in activities, habits | Posted on 19-08-2009

He can sometimes be pretty posessive with food or toys, and then he shouts at other kids if they take anything. Of course – food that he likes like chocolates or chips, he’s quite liberal with his regular meals!

One thing we sometimes do: Appa comes to the hall with a bowl of chips. And then he is watching, Appa says to Amma – I like these chips very much, but I’m going to share it. You too take it, Amma. You too take it, Abhinav.

And later on whenever Abhinav shares something, we make use of the fact that he’s always tuned in to what we’re talking to each other – and then I tell “Vijetha, do you know how nicely Abhinav shared his chips with me, he is such a good boy! I became so happy”

change in behavior


Posted by appa | Posted in habits | Posted on 19-08-2009

Usually if Abhinav isn’t eating something, one of the techniques occasionally used is to say ‘Appa yella thinbuDuthe, ninag koDode illa’ (Appa is going to finish all your food, won’t give you anything!) And then he gets real wild and angrily shouts at Appa and then snatches his plate and then gobbles the food. He’s quite possessive sometimes about anything, and this is a bad trick I know that capitalises on this, but well its important that he eats and it usually works! We try to be careful that we don’t overuse any particular trick but then it still happens.

Today I noticed a strange twist…

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how to feed him – some solutions


Posted by appa | Posted in habits | Posted on 27-05-2009

One sweet solution to this perennial question, someone had suggested this earlier but somewhere we had forgotten, and remembered again later – was to get him to abstain from sweets. No more chocolates, gems, or poppins.

This of course didn’t go well with him – but we had a story – ‘a rakshasha (daemon) came and took it all away’

Sometimes he’d go to the door and shout with pumped fists ‘rakshahsa! chocolate kodu rakshasha!’

But after a day or so of this abstainence, his appetite did pick up. It seems that the strong taste of sweets kind of numbed his tastebuds and prevented him from appreciating anything else.

Of course, later on there were times when we’d say ‘chennagi uuta maaDu, shakti baruthe, rakshashainda chocolate kithkobahudu’ (eat well, you’ll become strong, you can snatch the chocolates back from the rakshasha! And once in a way, we’d give him just one gems/poppins.

Another solution:

Appa bandhu thinbuDuthe(appa is going to come and eat it…!).

This seems to work quite well off late.

And I have to theaten to eat it and warn him “ABHINAV! thinbeDa abhinaaav!!!” and he gulps it down. Later on I even add “nidhaaanake nungbeDa abhinav” (don’t swallow it slowwly) and he swallows it slowly and then says “nidhaanake nungbuTe.

He likes this playacting so much that sometimes comes and calls me at mealtime and says “appa, nanag beku, nanag beku antha heLu” (appa, say you want it) and later on “appa, aLu appa!” (appa, cry!)

Earlier I used to feel concerned whether these are the wrong approaches to fulfil the objective… but over time I’ve felt he has a good sense of humor and dosen’t take anything too seriously – so its all right 😉

patterns – breaking free from them


Posted by appa | Posted in habits, story | Posted on 25-05-2009

If we look at our adult life, we find that we’re engrossed on a daily basis on a variety of patterns – routines – like brushing teeth to excercising to eating and working and so on. Of course this might be an inevitable part of a common man’s life, but once they start becoming mechanical and lifeless, we tend to start being unmindful during these times (its as if this time of our life has been ‘written off’ and we were not alive during these times at all, no different from a wound up toy.

So its key to put life into every moment of our life, so that routines are not mechanical routines any more. It helps to introduce some randomness.

In Abhinav’s case, for the past week or so, he’s started suddenly getting into this really cranky routine of hating to remove his clothes for a path.  He keeps insisting that he wants to wear ‘adhe baTTe’ (same clothes) – nothing to do with any particular favoritism of a particular set but every day its the same drama. He just starts crying and creating a scene and tears start streaming down his face and oh man its unbeleivable – one might imagine we’re like cruel fellows whipping him with a stick or something. And past couple of days he’s gone a step further, after his bath he insists he wears the same clothes, and even if they’ve gotten soaking wet  – we end up squeezing them dry as much as possible and putting them on, so he’s in this damp t-shirt, and we went to the terrace so it dries off faster in the sun!

So today it was just the beginning of the same scene again, when we could identify that this was becomming too much of a repetition. So once the pattern was recognized, it was easy to solve.

He asked “spider kathe heLu” (tell me a spider’s story) so I started with a spider which was walking around, and it started building its web… (my wrist was the spider) And in the process it then crawled on to Abhinav’s shirt and dirtied it – and Abhinav had to remove it… (and I started removing his tshirt). He was ok but suddenly looked at his mom and got back into the pattern and started crying again. So I put it back on, but this time took him out of sight of her, in front of the washing machine. There I continued with the story – spider kakka maaDbuDtu (spider did kakka) and then Abhinav puts his clothes into the washing machne. Now he was more than willing to cooperate easily and I could remove his tshirt. And then I involved Vijetha in the story as well – then he asked his mom to put in some soap water… and I handed him over to Vijetha telling her – now you put soap into the machine. The thing is that now he’s distracted and involved in the story, he dosen’t realise he’s now ready for his bath!

So this story-telling with role-playing is one out-of-box approach we found useful for avoiding cranky situations! 🙂

can television add value to an infant's education?


Posted by appa | Posted in habits, listen, parenting | Posted on 19-03-2009

Abhinav has learnt quite a few rhymes and vocabulary from watching videos, so I used to think the answer was yes, to a certain extent of course. But this article from Time magazine was quite surprising.

Television often helps as an alternative babysitter or maid, but there are claims that it can add value to education as well and making them smarter.

The claim always seemed too good to be true: park your infant in front of a video and, in no time, he or she will be talking and getting smarter than the neighbor’s kid. In the latest study on the effects of popular videos such as the “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby” series, researchers find that these products may be doing more harm than good. And they may actually delay language development in toddlers.

Are they suggesting a balanced approach, of a little bit of TV? No! They recommend no to any television.

This growing evidence led the Academy to issue its recommendation in 1999 that no child under two years old watch any television.

The reason they give actually makes sense… (emphasis mine)

As far as Christakis and his colleagues can determine, the only thing that baby videos are doing is producing a generation of overstimulated kids. “There is an assumption that stimulation is good, so more is better,” he says. “But that’s not true; there is such a thing as overstimulation.” His group has found that the more television children watch, the shorter their attention spans later in life. “Their minds come to expect a high level of stimulation, and view that as normal,” says Christakis, “and by comparison, reality is boring.”

Pretty amazing similarity in Nipun’s striking post: Attention, please

So what’s the alternative?

The authors of the new study might suggest reading instead: children who got daily reading or storytelling time with their parents showed a slight increase in language skills.

Very simple idea but easy to forget…

“Every interaction with your child is meaningful,” says Christakis. “Time is precious in those early years, and the newborn is watching you, and learning from everything you do.” So just talk to them; they’re listening.

Well in any case here’s one of the Baby Einstein videos on the net… its pretty cool I think.

Another article has a counterviews and presents both perspectives, that reports that viewing within a certain threshold does help.

And studies suggest that parents’ talking and gesturing frequently to their babies early on have a significant impact on their children’s vocabulary and language competence by school age.

This is something we did, that sure seemed to have worked quite well with Abhinav.

TV exposure in babies younger than 2 doesn’t do any good, Schmidt and Christakis agree. But does that mean a few minutes in front of the tube will sentence a baby to remedial classes for the rest of his life? “What I tell parents is ‘Ask yourself why you’re having your baby watch TV,’ ” says Christakis. “If you absolutely need a break to take a shower or make dinner, then the risks are quite low. But if you are doing it because you think it’s actually good for your child’s brain, then you need to rethink that, because there is no evidence of benefit and certainly a risk of harm at high viewing levels.”

In any case I don’t know how to manage to avoid cartoons and stories and rhyms without TV/computers & youtube. One thing that works well is to instead of delegating babysitting to them, we often watch the video with him and explain what’s going on in Kannada, and find him quite responsive to this.