Thursday, December 17, 2009

Low attention span :(

Is low attention span in kids a "gods gift" for parenting? - I say... "yes" - if you make maximum utilization of this low attention span.

How do I use low attention to benefit in parenting?
  • Usually kids do bad behavior in relation with something they need to play with, eat, watching television etc - depending on the situation, pick an alternative option for your kid or build an element of play to the activity you need the kid to be doing.
  • Take them away from the scene - give them a new place to get adjusted or something else to play with
  • If the new option given, is good enough - the kid will forget the earlier scene, situation and start involved in the new situation
  • This helps in avoiding a tantrum situation, that could make you lose the patience and having your kid go through hard times

Is this good to shift the attention point, that could have been used to teach a good behavior to the kid?
  • "Yes" - it is good to divert their attention to something new, you can always teach good behavior, while the kid starts engaging into new situation
  • Kids have low attention, so they would potentially forget the earlier tantrum / difficult scene - but they have not forgotten about it - so you can remind them about earlier situation & explain - it was not good, request them not to repeat

Would I see the kid repeating same bad behavior, by using this attention diversion?
  • Yes, on the short term - you might see a repetition... but if you do make it a point to explain - what your kid did was wrong, after you move to new scene & have them realize / accept the mistake - the amount of repetition should go down
  • Look at attention diversion as a way to avoid accident, then having yourself sit down & reflect up on, what would have happened - if accident did happen

Good luck in trying this... and happy parenting.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Parenting... easy with Patience

Easy & Enjoyable parenting happens, when you as parent exhibit lot of patience with the kid… it does not mean you will never lose patience, it should once in a while and not always… below are few ideas to keep your cool / patience in difficult situations:

  • Provide alternative options, when your kid is forcing or showing temper tantrums on particular thing. Kids - have low attention span, it's better to move their attention into something else, than trying to teach a lesson, by spanking or giving them some punishments
  • Create a "star" calendar system - in case of really bad behavior from the kid, give her a "0" and for good behavior's (even for situations out of tantrum) - give her a "star" (number of stars, could be up to 5 - depending on good behavior). Apply creative ideas - to allow your kid to use the star's as needed
  • Set short & long term celebration events to the kid - for example: make a promise to take your kid on a vacation or to her favorite amusement park in summer vacation - if she behaves well through the next few months. This helps in two ways - to control the number zero's you might get on the star & also you are teaching your kid to learn "goal setting" for her behavior & eventually for her career
  • Bring in random "surprise" elements for the kid - you need to show few elements of "new" or something exciting to your kid, it helps because… we are in the age of "innovation" & as many situations of "wow" or something new to kid… will help them cultivate the habit of discovery. It also helps you get lot of energy from this wow event from your kid to "refill your patience"

I'm thankful to my wife, Lakshmi - as she needs to go through single parenting during my travel times & she has learnt lot of these patience games in taking care of our kid - Aditya.


Thursday, July 2, 2009


Imagine this:
You recently joined a new company and every time you make a decision or give a recommendation for work on hand and your boss kills your idea and you are asked to do what he suggests. I'm sure - if this continues after you have established credibility and continue to piss you off, and you are capable of getting another job... you will make the move.

I don't think any of us, after we grow up - can take a place where you are not being heard or listened to, we like the company of people who listen and have open ears, give you the freedom to explore... why? because that is when we are working to our best. Wait a minute... why am I talking about adults on a parenting blog - because some parents are like the bad boss who don't listen to their kids or even if they do... very little of the times.

Listening to your kid is important...
Yes, having an open ears and listening to what your kid has to say, what she likes for dinner, where she wants to play, what dress to wear - obviously with some boundaries around them that you have set for safety or cultural reasons. I know, what you are thinking by now -- "Yeah, I listen to my kid, give her options", good if you are already... I would only challenge to reflect upon & see instances that you have pushed your thought or desire on the kid in past one week, month etc... how would listening help? let me give your few characteristics that would nurture in the kid by adopting this:

thinking attitude:
You have now given a chance for your kid to think & come up with what she wants to do, what she does not want to do... she analyzes the choices she has, build a reasoning to pick one - this is nurturing her analytic capability. You are giving room for her to breadth and not just pushing through what you or your spouse like.

self responsibility:
If you let your kid to make the decision & go forward... you are giving a strong message that she is responsible for her decisions and need to go through as long she believes, learn when to abandon a path & come back. Keep in mind, you are always their to give them assurance about their choice or for support... if they are totally lost. You are instilling the sense of "self responsibility" in their hearts & building their confidence.

knowing their limits:
Your kid starts learning her limits as she explores with her decision making, realizes what she is good and what she is not good at... as against you making the decision and forcing her to take a path. This is eventually shaping your kids strengths, weakness, opportunity realization and is shaping up to a responsible teenager as she grows.

learning from mistakes:
Yes, your kid will make mistakes - might fail several times, could get annoyed and might lose an interest on something... that you thought she should pursue, it's ok... let go. Just because you thought was dancing class was right for your daughter & she is not willing to go (because you listened to her) - it's fine, give her the space to explore, make a choice, learn from mistake and help them get back.

list can keep going on...

Closing Note:
Listening is something you should start at as early age of the kid as possible and being consistent, reasonable is important - you cannot say... "Ok, I get this... but will start doing this, when my kid is 6yrs, 7yrs etc" - age does not matter, listening is an attitude you should learn & follow through various stages of your kid, it would help and your kid.

Please drop me a line, on what your thoughts are... @

Thanks for reading this!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Support for BreastFeeding, one million campaign...

This has been one subject that I've been thinking to write for a while, finally here it goes...

Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India ( is doing an amazing job in India for promoting & encouraging the mothers to do an exclusive breastfeeding infants up to 6months & recommend to continue breastfeeding till the kid is 2yrs. My son's pediatrician - Dr. Asha Benakappa (an amazing doctor!) is the South India coordinator for BPNI, she will drive home the point on breastfeeding that will ensure new mothers would continue to breastfeed their kids till 2yrs of age.

Why exclusive breastfeed up to 6 months?
  • Kid gets the best food from mothers breastfeed
  • Provides the required vitamins, anti-biotics etc
  • No need for any supplementary food
  • Don't worry about weight chart, given by hospitals - they are not really made for India kids

Why feed upto 2yrs?
  • Make your kid healthy & stronger to fight any germs or infections
  • Breastfeed kids will stay healthier than bottle fed
  • Did you know, India has an act against promotion, marketing of Infant food substitutues -
  • Avoid any kind of food supplements, bottle feeding your kid
See this report card on India - "State of Infant & Young Child Feeding" -

One Million Campaign - - is currently going on to raise one voice for supporting women to breastfeed, please make your pledge to the campaign.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Engaging with the kid is important...

In my opinion, good parents can be judged based on the amount of time they engage with the kid... depending on the age of the kid, you engage for different reasons.

0-1 Yr
  • Parent need to engage with kid to help them with exploration of the things around them
  • Creating a mobile for the kid's cradle
  • Helping the kid to start talking
  • Giving bath to the kid
  • Changing diapers
1-2 Yrs
  • Helping them to walk around, feel new things, explain different objects
  • Sit & play with the kid
  • Building blocks or initial set of puzzles - help them learn the art of the game
  • Dedicate at least an hr or two everyday to be with the kid
  • Taking them out for a walk or park area
2-3 Yrs
  • Age for building further bonding with the kid
  • Teaching good behavior through books
  • Helping your kid to engage with other kids
  • Teaching them to share their toys
  • If you start with school - try if you can drop or pickup the kid for few days in a week

Monday, January 12, 2009

Creating an Inquiring mind?

Creating an inquiring mind is an essential part of the good parenting, we would make our kids a better person by inculacating the habit of inquiring about what they see, hear, rather than simply leaving it off & not understand about it.

Try this first on yourself, for a week or so - increase your level of concentration on the items you observe from dawn to dusk, make sure to keep a sheet of paper handy to note down about all the new things you observe around in the day. Either the same day end or the next day, go look-up about every new thing you observed & understand about it, by asking few simple questions:

1. What is this ______ ?
2. How does this work?
3. Why is this important to me, people around or universe?

end of one week, you would at least learn dozen new things that you did not know in the past, it's also possible one of them could influence the way you go about in the daily life / make you feel better / excited!

Now, go back 20yrs & imagine if you had this habit built into you? don't you think, it would have helped you know more about things around you, about the world? and in-turn make better decisions about your studies, career, family, nature?

Would this make your kid brilliant, may be or may be not - I'm not prescribing to make your kid the brightest kid around in the block or school, but it would make him a better human being and have an ability to think about something before making decisions.

Does our education system teach this habit? - To my knowledge there are very few schools that probably inculcate this culture, current education system is on a "race" mode, where they want to have more of their students getting the best grades in final exams & want to have as much information filled into the kids brain to output on the exam sheet... that they miss out to feed for the future. It's like kids are educated by giving them a fish everyday, instead of teaching them to fish themselves!

Does this start at school or at home? - kids first school is home & learn by seeing others... best place for the kid to start this culture is at home, unless you as parent practice this - expecting this by your son / daughter to do this is tough.