Goofing up is OK!

Children make mistakes; all the time! They fall down, they spill things over, they forget chores, they mess up at school and so on. And they are always expected to apologize. Because we want them to learn to say sorry. While that’s not incorrect, it’s incomplete! The only way to ensure children learn to accept mistakes and realize it’s not the end of the world, is to apologize when you are at fault too.

Psychologists have observed that children absorb, absorb, absorb and then reproduce all of it. Unfortunately, one can’t tell when the reproduction happens, and when it does it might be too late to reverse the learning. Children are observant of every little thing they see and are watching all our actions. And without our knowledge they are picking up nuances from our behaviours.

When children make mistakes, they feel embarrassed, guilty and scared. Hence, when they see adults make mistakes and accept them, it reduces the fear of a mistake. They start to see that mistakes are common, and could be made by anyone; adults too. Apologizing for a mistake and moving on gives them the courage to do the same.

At times, parents are worried that if a child makes a mistake and is subjected to name-calling by other people, it could damage the self-confidence of a child. It could, but temporarily! Because how you deal with it at home could decide whether the child can gain his/her confidence back.

The more attention you give to such details, the more aware you will be of your child’s feelings. However, it’s important to simplify things for your child so he/she doesn’t believe that every mistake is a disaster! While they shouldn’t be ignoring mistakes and moving on like nothing happened, they shouldn’t also be collapsing after having made a mistake. Picking them up, moving ahead and regaining confidence – an essential process for a child to grow into a strong adult.

So, if we behave as strong adults and showcase sensible behaviour, we are helping in building a strong, confident generation.

This blog is based on the article –

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Let’s get real!

Motherhood brings in a whole new change! It comes rushing in with bursts of joy and love! And unfortunately, in the case of 90 percent of Indian mothers, stress comes tailing behind. Stress caused by the pressure to be a perfect parent!

While the pressure to be a perfect mom is a global concept, surveys have revealed that it’s more common in India due to various factors. Motherhood sure is huge step, that kicks off with the pregnancy, distinct changes in one’s body and then comes the baby; that’s when it’s supposed to be a true celebration, but often is accompanied by a nagging pressure to be good at it.

Clinical Psychologist and Counsellor Varkha Chulani says that there is indeed nothing like a perfect mother. There are no fixed rules or norms one could follow. The pressure is felt when one believes that one must not make any mistake. Now that’s highly impossible right? Humans are prone to making mistakes, in any realm of life and fortunately, making a mistake is not the end of the world. And she adds that, the more natural and instinctive one is, one doesn’t falter much.

To add on, Dr Uday Pai, past president of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, says that in India, one of the main reasons for increased pressure is the fact that a mother is bogged down by two sets of grandparents. Contrasting suggestions from each set of grandparents increase the level of stress for a mother, especially a new mother, who is already dealing with her own issues.

Surveys brought out various fears new mothers face right from not looking good post pregnancy to not feeling confident about being a good mother; from wondering what is right for their baby to worrying about not having time for themselves.

Furthermore, with the number of articles and tips the online world has to offer, a mother is left feeling bewildered! Who can tell her what is right and what is wrong? Now, this is where psychologists believe that a mother must follow her heart, her definitive instincts and step into the world of parenting with a positive attitude.

The key to positive parenting starts with the mother feeling good and confident about herself. Bodies ought to change and will change! But with a healthy lifestyle, one can always go back to being how they were before pregnancy. Meanwhile, the focus should be on eating well and feeling good. And with respect to being perfect moms, its valid to be worried. Even Dutchess Kate Middleton had similar fears. But getting over them, and going with natural instincts is the key to being a REAL mom, which hold more value, right?

The blog is based on the following article –

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Heartache for Sale!

Why do we sell our old stuff? To get rid of junk, maybe! To avoid accumulation of unwanted things over the years; to be able to make place for new things to come along. Imagine doing all of the above for your broken relationships! Get rid of the heartache, move on and make place in your heart for a new relationship. Weird, but oddly satisfying right?

Vietnam has its own market for heartache , allowing people to discard the things given by their ex-lovers. It’s a sign of moving on. After having gone through a heartbreak, people find themselves depressed and unable to carry on with their daily routine. They said this market acted as a closure for them as it helped them dispose all the stuff they could no longer bear to look at. They also found it oddly relieving to see that there are so many others who have gone through similar break-ups and that gave them strength to move on easily.

This market is of significant importance in a place like Vietnam, where till just a generation ago, arranged marriages were extremely common. This concept of heart-ache and moving on is a symbol of the change over the past few years and how with the use of social media, dating and break-ups are no more rare.

Social attitudes have changed drastically with the country adopting western country norms, almost replicating the situation in India today.

Dating is common, so are break-ups! And moving on after a break-up is essential! It avoids baggage being carried on to new relationships! And as a concept, this is a treat to psychologists and counsellors. However, the question here is – why are there so many break-ups? Why is the youth finding it difficult to hold on to relationships? Of course social media has a huge role to play here!

With the number of options available online, everyone always feels they could get better, they could find someone better. Rising expectations and the greed to always find “the best”, cause people to lose interest in the current relationships with a continuing search for better ones. And it’s time the youth halts for a bit to understand themselves better and aim at having more successful relationships!

Having said that, today, the trend is to have several relationships before finding “the one” and it sure is healthy to have access to a heartache market. The bottom line is – emotional baggage of any kind is dangerous! So in case you don’t have access to such a market, set up one for yourself – your very own junkyard. And start afresh !

The blog is based on the following article –

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Digital self-harm

Suicide, self-harm and self destructive activities have been observed over the years and unfortunately, have become so mundane to hear and read about. People are taking lives at an alarming rate, yet reading about it is not so alarming anymore. But what has caught everyone’s attention recently is the new killer – digital self-harm; because harming oneself physically is just so passé!!!

To even think that there are new ways of self-harm, is so disheartening. “Digital self-harm”, or “self-cyberbullying” is a behavior where adolescents/teens post mean things about themselves anonymously. This concept came into light with the suicide of a 14 year old who sent herself hurtful messages on a social media platform and ended by taking her own life. A study showed that nearly 6% of people who took their lives were victims of digital self-harm prior to that.

What’s important to note here is not the absurdity of the whole idea, but the reasons that compel adolescents to do so. A survey revealed that boys too were a part of this but apparently for different reasons. They confessed that it was to be funny or to get attention, whereas the girls took to digital self-harm because of depression. The underlying reason for either of the genders is to get a response or to be acknowledged. This leads us to wonder what is missing in their lives, at home or at school, with parents or with friends; that begets them to take such steps.

This also gives us a hint that adolescents have to be handled very delicately yet smartly. They have various needs at different levels, and when some needs are unmet, they could lead to extremities like self-harm. Being there for your child, observing his/her behavior and establishing a strong foundation of faith is so essential for him/her to know that they can approach you instead of social media ,in times of distress.

Providing a child with basic physiological needs is not enough. A child has emotional needs that have to be catered to. An effective and trustworthy two-way communication between parents and children is enough to bring down the rate of depression among children. The actions caused by children sure are shocking, but what’s more shocking is the reason behind them. And as parents, you can only pick up hints, gather clues and solve the puzzle for them before it’s too late.

Let them know you are there for them, come what may. And this needs to be conveyed in behaviour, not with mere words. Furthermore, this needs to be communicated to them at an early age, not “last minute”, when they have turned into adolescents!  Hopefully this would help the next generation progress towards finding new ways to live rather than reaching out for new ways to die!

This blog is based on the article –

Deccan Herald page 6 – 1st November 2017 – Digital self harm alarmingly prevalent in teens: study –

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