Lead by example, dear parent

Lead by example, dear parent

Mary Chelladurai, Nov 9, 2013


There is only one way to stop your kid from procrastinating. And that is to lead by example, by not succumbing to procrastination yourself first, reckons Mary Chelladurai.

Procrastination is usually noticed in late childhood especially during adolescence. It needs to be addressed and arrested. If not, it can plague adulthood. Procrastination or using delaying tactics in adulthood can become a hindrance to one’s desire to perform and excel.

How can we nip this in the bud? Many parents wonder why adolescents can’t just do the things expected of them. The area of great concern is, “why do children postpone home-work, tidying their rooms, getting ready for something, and even their daily routine?” Many frustrated parents talk about the number of reminders they give their children. Often, reminders do not help. In times gone by, every parent would have heard his/her child retort, “I’ll do it later!”, only to discover later that the task was left undone.

Are children out to defy parents and get at them? Are children overwhelmed with the enormity of the task at hand, or is it the push and force from parents which is de-motivating them? Are children natural procrastinators? This cannot be true because research reveals that all behaviour is mostly learnt or inherited but can be changed with conducive environment.


Rita Emmet, in her book The Procrastinating Child, gives us an insight into why children postpone action or play a waiting game. She brings home the fact that many times, our poor communications skills and demanding behaviour put them off. We use this technique on every child. Some children get tuned in and do things in order to get us off their backs. Others argue, display emotional upheavals, and empty buckets of tears before complying. In all this, we emotionally drift away from the child.

Many a times we are tempted to view procrastination as a small and harmless weakness. Beware! If not taken seriously and handled appropriately, it can erode the quality of our children’s lives.

Enormity of the task

Children can view some task as too demanding, or hard. The natural tendency is to bypass difficult tasks and get down to doing something which is easy and pleasant.

Parents should talk to their child, explaining how the task at hand can be looked at with ease and comfort. Listen to the child’s point of view and try to help the child to reason clearly. Break each task into small time-bound segments. Let the child complete each segment bit by bit within a 10 or 15 minute plan. At end of 10 or 15 minutes, let the child switch to something of interest before returning to the task. Eventually, chances are that the child will be interested to complete the task within the stipulated, mutually agreed upon time. Once the task is completed, genuinely appreciate and applaud the child’s efforts.

Feeling of inadequacy

Sometimes, children feel that they do not have the skills or knowledge to do the task given to them. Sometimes, the child can view a task as different from what (s)he is normally used to doing. They need to be positively challenged and motivated. Many times a child may want to do a task perfectly. But once they know that they cannot meet their own expectations, they avoid doing the task altogether! Help the child to set fair standards. Encourage them to understand that perfection is achieved when a task is done over and over again, and that experience brings perfection.


Young children have good excuses. They might say, “I am not in a mood to do this now.”  Do not buy this all the time. Confront this myth of moods. Speak to the child and make him/her understand that all of us are not always doing the things we like. We should slowly cultivate a liking to all the things we need to do. In fact, we get motivated and inspired when we take concrete steps and see that we are nearing the goal.

All said and done, remember that what you do yourself is what your child is going to learn. Be the best role model, when your youngster is doing home-work. Do not relax before the TV when you have loads of work to do.

Always lead by example. This will be a good motivation.

What Our kids need ?

What our kids need: Attention from
mom and dad

Rajiv Kalkod,TNN | Oct 18, 2013, 02.25AM IST
BANGALORE: Nisha, the only child of management executives
Ajit and Deepthi, failed her class V exam. Unable to
understand what went wrong with their daughter who
excelled in studies till last year, the couple, both of whom
had had brilliant academic lives culminating at IIMs, headed
to Nimhans.
“The child was under psychological depression. Both her
parents were out at work for most of the day and their
interaction with the child were limited to weekend outings.
They got her the best of things but had little time for her.
She began losing focus in class and repeatedly headed to the
toilet to relieve herself. Only when it began to show in her
academics were the parents alerted,” says Dr Uma Hirisave,
chief psychology consultant, department of clinical
psychology, Nimhans.
Nisha’s case is among increasing instances of what’s broadly
classified as scholastic problems faced by children in the age
group of 3-16. Dr Hirisave said they see one child with
scholastic problems every day, and that three-fourth of
children suffer from them.
According to psychologists, if a child is naturally brilliant and
intelligent, but falls behind in class, it indicates the child is
suffering from scholastic problems. There are chances the
problems persist beyond childhood if not treated in the initial
The primary cause for a child encountering scholastic
problems lies in its vicinity. Lack of emotional attachment at
home complicates a child’s situation in the classroom, where
syllabus is only a burden. “We are seeing more and more
children with scholastic problems because both their parents
have demanding jobs and spend little time with them.
Parents’ standard response is to send their kids for tuitions,
hoping it solves the problem. But what children need is
personal attention by parents and not merely tuitions,” Dr
Hirisave said.
Scholastic problems manifest in activities like reading,
writing, language and understanding fundamentals.
“Some kids find it difficult to read. Some find mathematics
difficult, others find languages tough. The level of difficulty
varies from children to children,” said Dr Uma Hirisave.
Scholastic problems are different from learning disabilities,
which have to do with the child’s individual intellectual and
grasping capacity. In children with scholastic problems,
academic performance changes and declines over a period of
There are no medicines to treat scholastic problems, which
can be resolved only through counselling. “First, we should
understand a child’s problems. Then we should counter
them. A child who finds mathematics tough should be taught
the subject in a different manner. The role of parents and
schoolteachers is very important here,” Dr Hirisave said.
* Drastic change in child’s behaviour: repeatedly goes to
bathroom, gets upset over petty issues, fights with parents,
siblings and family members for no reason
* Academic performance drops, pays less attention in
* Throws tantrums at classmates, argues with teachers,
doesn’t participate in classroom activities
* Sits alone, interacts less with others
* Food habits, sleeping pattern may change
A dedicated team of experts from the department of clinical
psychology, psychiatric social work department and child and
adolescent department drawn from various departments run
a parental support group, Aasare, for children and
adolescents with scholastic problems and learning disabilities.
The group meets every Thursday at Nimhans and counsels
children and parents. For more details; contact 8026685948/
These young patients lack human contact
Children with behavioural problems are another major
category of young patients turning up in big numbers at
Techie couple Puneet and Ramya’s daughter Arathi, 2, cried
incessantly through the day, leaving a bewildered caretaker
with no alternative but to quit her job.
“Arathi suffered from a lack of human contact. With both
parents working, the child could never experience human
contact. Her mother returned to work when she was only
seven months old. A child needs to be in continuous human
contact to develop social skills,” said Dr Shobha Srinath,
professor, psychiatric professor, child and adolescent
department, Nimhans.
Chirag, 3, was brought to Nimhans by parents Prasanna and
Shubha as his bedwetting refused to cease. Shama, 2,
suddenly turned silent and refused to go to her father, forcing
parents Gabriel and Manorama to take her to hospital.
Dr Shobha identified the common threads binding most cases
of children with behavioural problems: both parents work,
mostly in the IT and BT sectors, and are under tremendous
work pressure, and they are part of nuclear families. There
have also been instances of these children hailing from
troubled homes.
According to Dr Shobha, these children, mostly in the age
group of 1-5 years, suffered from insecurity. New parents
should pay attention to three important aspects. “Regularity,
predictability and security are the three aspects kids look for
in their parents. That’s why we advise new parents to spend
more time with their kids,” Dr Shobha said.
“When a couple decides to have a child, they should also plan
how they are going to bring up the child. Many children
suffer from depression as both parents don’t mix with them,”
she said.
Citing research, Nimhans doctors said 14% of children face
behavioural and scholastic problems. “Unfortunately, only 3%
visit doctors. The remaining 11% with problems go
unnoticed,” said Dr Shobha Srinath.

Parenting is a two way journey – teaching as well as Learning

Parenting is a two way journey – teaching as well as Learning

Bangalore Ashram, India

“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
~ Sri Sri Ravishankar

Sri Sri Address to parents 

It is very difficult for me to talk about parenting. I have no experience. But I can give you some ideas through observation. You have to put this into your experience and see. If you are very orderly, children will make you chaotic. Children are best to break your boundaries. I remember one of my uncles used to be very strict and discipline with me and my sister very much. When he had a son, his son started disciplining him, broke all his barriers. So, your children teach you a lot that others may not be able to. The first thing for us is to observe a kid, its tendencies, and the direction the kid is taking. It is a two way journey. What do you want to learn from them? And what do you want to teach them? Don’t try to put them through your own vision. You have to share your vision with them and persuade them if their vision is wrong.

Every child has come to this planet with certain tendencies, certain basics which cannot be changed. And he/she acquires certain things which can be controlled. Are you with me? It is a big exercise. If you are a very much disciplined person, child can create chaos in your life, and they can show you your place, make you break your barriers. We have to be very sensitive. This is one thing that we have to keep in our mind. If you tell children not to lie, and ask them to reply a phone call saying you are not at home, this is simply not going to work. Having an argument in front of your children will make it worse. If you want to have some argument between you and your spouse, you better give your children some job, and then fight as much as you can. But by the time they come back, you better patch up.
We encourage the tendency in children not to give things away, and holding onto things. When that goes beyond a certain limit, we feel suffocated. We often tell them to keep things to themselves. Then they get this tendency of holding back. Small actions can reflect one’s personality. It can be a hindrance to one’s personality. At the same time we can encourage their giving and sharing attitude, and that can develop one’s personality. So, we can do a lot in modifying the acquired talents or personality of a kid. But you cannot do anything with the seed that a child is born with. That will anyway come. These two aspects we have to distinguish, and that is wisdom. And half the job is done if you can do that. The rest half, you have to leave it to God. You have no control on rest half. So this whole process teaches a lot of patience and perseverance, and yet leading them to where they should be going. Giving them a dream and persuading them to walk towards the dream is a biggest challenge in front of parents. So, expose them to multifarious activities. This has to be done before a child is 10 or 11. You should take the child to science, arts and expose them to all the faculties including doing service. On one Sunday, give them some chocolates and ask them to distribute to the poorest people. Once or twice in an year, take them to slum and ask them to do social service. This would enhance their personality in some unknown manner and same thing in studies.
You have to expose them to both science and music. The left brain as well as the right brain has to be nourished. You know, the concept of Saraswati, Goddess of learning, is so amazing. If you look at the symbol of Saraswati, there is a musical instrument, a book and a rosary in her hands. Book symbolizes nourishing the left brain, the musical instrument symbolizes nourishing the right brain and rosary symbolizes the meditative aspect. So, knowledge, music and meditation – all three are required to make the education complete. Then you can call someone educated and civilized. So, make sure that children learn music and yoga. And also make sure that the children have a scientific tempo, and they ask questions. Encourage them to ask questions. A child starts asking questions at the age of three. Then on they keep asking questions. Many times, they come up with questions of which you have no answer. How many parents have this experience? They make you wonder. They make you ponder on reality which is stunning. So, it is very necessary for them to inculcate both music and scientific tempo.
Then see the personality of your child. See that they interact with various age groups. How do they interact with little ones? How do they interact with the ones who are older to them? How do they interact with someone of their own age group? This is something very important. You can understand with this whether they are developing any superiority or inferiority complex, or if they are becoming introvert or extrovert. And you can play a very important role here. Play some games with them, and encourage them to interact with all the age groups, and we can mold their personality to a very central, talented and flexible human being, to a personality which is free of complexes. Children who have inferiority complex would like to interact more with the younger ones and would try to run away from elder ones and even try to avoid their equals. People with superiority complex try to shun the younger ones, and would only want to relate to the older ones. They are not good communicators in either case. As parents, you can teach them communication skills. It is very important for them to learn how to communicate.
I want you to do an exercise. Tell to the person sitting next to you, “I don’t trust you”. This is a chance to say it if it is your spouse (Jokingly)! (After some period of time when audience couldn’t do it even after being asked upon two – three times) You cannot do it seriously. See how difficult it is to tell someone that you don’t trust him/her. It is difficult to tell someone that you trust him/her. But it is even more difficult to tell someone that you don’t trust him/her. Did you get it? Did you notice you did something that you never did before? You told someone that you don’t trust him/her and you start smiling. Has this ever happened to you before? Children have a trusting tendency by nature. But somehow their trust is broken. We need to look into that. Do they trust themselves? Do they have enough confidence in themselves? A healthy child has three kinds of trust.

‘Parenting the Angels’ by Sri Sri Ravishankar

”Parenting the Angels’, a session where His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar addressed an audience about modern-day parenting and all that it entails


Irregular bedtimes tied to ti behavioral problems.

Irregular bedtimes tied to behavioural

Parents, please note! Children who do not have a regular
bedtime are more likely to suffer behavioural problems, a
new study has found.
Researchers from University College London (UCL) found that
irregular bedtimes could disrupt natural body rhythms and
cause sleep deprivation, undermining brain maturation and
the ability to regulate certain behaviours.
“Not having fixed bedtimes, accompanied by a constant sense
of flux, induces a state of body and mind akin to jet lag and
this matters for healthy development and daily functioning,”
said Professor Yvonne Kelly from UCL Epidemiology & Public
Health. “We know that early child development has profound
influences on health and well being across the life course. It
follows that disruptions to sleep, especially if they occur at
key times in development, could have important lifelong
impacts on health,” Kelly said.

Analysing data from more than 10,000 children in the UK
Millennium Cohort Study, the team collected bedtime data at
three, five and seven years, as well as incorporating reports
from the children’s mothers and teachers on behavioural

The study found a clear clinical and statistically significant
link between bedtimes and behaviour as irregular bedtimes
affected children’s behaviour by disrupting circadian
rhythms, leading to sleep deprivation that affects the
developing brain.
As children progressed through early childhood without a
regular bedtime, their behavioural scores which included
hyperactivity, conduct problems, problems with peers and
emotional difficulties worsened. However, children who
switched to a more regular bedtime had clear improvements
in their behaviour.
“What we’ve shown is that these effects build up
incrementally over childhood, so that children who always
had irregular bedtimes were worse off than those children
who did have a regular bedtime at one or two of the ages
when they were surveyed,” Kelly said.
“But our findings suggest the effects are reversible. For
example, children who change from not having to having
regular bedtimes show improvements in their behaviour,”
Kelly added. The study was published in the journal

10 Tips on Good Parenting -Sadhguru

While it is true that there is no single definition or correct method of good parenting, a few parenting tips could go a long way in ensuring the happiness of your child. Let’s take a look at 10 guidelines that Sadhguru has for us on raising children.


Parenting involves a certain amount of discretion. There is no one standard rule for all children. Different children may need different levels of attention, expression of love, and toughness. Suppose I was standing in a coconut garden and you ask me, “How much water per plant?” I’d say, “At least 50 liters per plant.” When you go home, if you give 50 liters to your rose plant, it will die. You must see what kind of plant you have in your house and what it needs.

#1 A Child is a Privilege

It is a privilege that this child – this bundle of joy – has come through you and arrived in your house. Children are not your property; they do not belong to you. Just see how to enjoy, nurture, and support them. Don’t try to make them an investment for your future.

#2 Let Them Be 

Let them become whatever they have to become. Don’t try to mold them according to your understanding of life. Your child need not do what youdid in your life. Your child should do something that you did not even dare to think in your life. Only then will the world progress.

#3 True Love

People misunderstand that loving their children is to cater to whatever they ask for. If you get them everything they ask for, it is stupidity, isn’t it? When you are loving, you can do just whatever is needed. When you truly love someone, you are willing to be unpopular and still do what is best for them.

#4 There’s No Hurry To Grow Up

It is very important a child remains a child; there is no hurry to make him into an adult because you can’t reverse it later. When he is a child and he behaves like a child, it’s wonderful. When he becomes an adult and behaves like a child, that’s bad. There is no hurry for a child to become an adult.

#5 It’s Time To Learn, Not Teach

What do you know about life to teach your children? A few survival tricks are the only things you can teach. Please compare yourself with your child and see who is capable of more joy? Your child, isn’t it? If he knows more joy than you, who is better qualified to be a consultant about life, you or him?

When a child comes, it’s time to learn, not teach. When a child comes, unknowingly you laugh, play, sing, crawl under the sofa, and do all those things that you had forgotten to do. So it is time to learn about life.

#6 Children Are Naturally Spiritual 

Children are very close to a spiritual possibility if only they are not meddled with. Generally, either the parents, teachers, society, television – somebody or the other meddles with them too much. Create an atmosphere where this meddling is minimized and a child is encouraged to grow into his intelligence rather than into your identity of religion. The child will become naturally spiritual without even knowing the word spirituality.

#7 Provide A Supportive And Loving Atmosphere

If you set an example of fear and anxiety, how can you expect your children to live in joy? They will also learn the same thing. The best thing you can do is to create a joyous and loving atmosphere.

#8 Maintain A Friendly Relationship

Stop imposing yourself on the child and create a strong friendship rather than being a boss. Don’t sit on a pedestal and tell the child what she should do. Place yourself below the child so that it’s easy for them to talk to you.

#9 Avoid Seeking Respect

Love is what you seek with your children, isn’t it? But many parents say, “You must respect me.” Except that you came a few years early, are bigger in body, and you know a few survival tricks, in what way are you a better life than him?

#10 Make Yourself Truly Attractive

A child is influenced by so many things – the TV, neighbors, teachers, school, and a million other things. He will go the way of whatever he finds most attractive. As a parent, you have to make yourself in a way that the most attractive thing he finds is to be with the parents. If you are a joyous, intelligent, and wonderful person, he won’t seek company anywhere else. For anything, he will come and ask you.

If you are genuinely interested in giving your children a good upbringing, you should first transform yourself into a peaceful and loving human being .

What is the Best Kind of Parenting?



When a child is born, the first and foremost thing one should understand is that you did not create life. You only worked as a passage to deliver life. So you must understand that this has only come to you, this doesn’t really come from you or belong to you. It is just that you have the privilege of nurturing it for a certain period of time. You need to build a certain friendship with this little life that’s entered your space now.

A child is everything that you are on a small scale. So if a child has arrived and is of a certain significance to you, the first and foremost thing that you need to do is, start cleaning yourself up. The best parenting you can do is to fix yourself. You might have lived in all kinds of distorted ways, but now a child has come. This is the time to straighten up your life.

Don’t worry about straightening up the child’s life because he is learning quickly by imitation. He is picking up whatever he is exposed to. In many ways, you are the biggest source of imitation for him. The best thing is that you are straight; you are the way your ideal is. Whatever you think is the highest way to be, you be that way when the child is around, because he is learning by imitation.

He may be exposed to many other sources of imitation which you cannot control. At least you can do your part. So the best thing you can do is to come down from your high horse of “parenting” somebody. Just learn to be a simple friend to your child, so that when he is in some kind of confusion or some kind of trouble, you are the first person he wants to talk to.

It’s very important that parents look at this – whatever their aspirations, whatever their goals, if you want to bring up a child, it is a 20-year project. So when you start, you must have at least a 20-year commitment.

Our ideas, our thoughts, our emotions may change as we move on and many discords may happen, disagreements may happen, struggles may happen. When two human beings are in a certain level of proximity, certain level of sharing, many things may happen. But, because we have a 20-year project, we must be committed at least for 20 years. This much maturity and commitment one must have before they decide to bear a child. Otherwise, it is not needed for you. You are still a child; you can fight and go away. You can disagree with somebody and leave the house today, if you are in that condition, you are still a child and you don’t need a child. Asking a child to bear another child is not fair. So you don’t have to bear a child. And you will be doing a great service to the world, because right now our only problem is excessive human population.