Student

Natural Learning is the Classic Learning!

Spending vacations at grandmother’s home, playing out in the park, cycling in the evening and enjoying the childhood games were a beautiful part of our memories. These memories not only gave us pleasure and enjoyment but made us learn many valuable lessons of life. The concept of team spirit was practically learned on the fields while putting our 100% in a cricket match to make our team win. The idea of unity is strength was learned while trying to dribble the basket ball for the first time. The concept of sharing was imbibed from the craft sessions in which we shared our colours and ideas to make the masterpiece together.

These childhood memories were an important learning ground for the children earlier but today, somewhere technology has given it a new version. It’s not that technology is bad and only has adverse effects but somewhere their overuse has affected our kid’s natural process of learning. In today’s time, kids enter into their isolated world with their video games and I-pads and miss out a lot. Inculcating empathy, a sense of care and the concept of sharing in the kids has become difficult as they resist in moving out of their isolated world.

As parents and teachers we need to cater to their isolation, because in no time they will get habitual to it and then taking them out of this zone will become very difficult.

Here we enlist certain points which as parents/teachers or guides  we need to follow and keep in mind to develop the much required qualities of empathy, caring, sharing, unity and more in our kids.

The Art of Observation

More than what is been said, how that has been said, the tone, the body language, the gestures count a lot. Now as adults and experience holders of life we have learned this art of decoding but our kids are just the beginners in this game of life. So, you need to teach them the art of observation. Let them explore and make them meet people; it can be their friends from school, the colony you stay in, relatives, siblings and more. When they will start meeting more people they will start learning the different behaviour patterns. Talk about these meetings of friends and relatives with them later and try to know how they feel about it. This will make them more observant and will make them learn how to deal with different behaviour patterns.
Become their co-readers

Good books not only add knowledge but also make kid compassionate and responsive. Many such books must be a part of their reading list, just be aware of the story and the characters in it. Discuss the stories or a particular scene in it with them and try and know what they feel about the entire thing.

Involve them in Act of Kindness

It doesn’t have to be big, anything small and sensitive enough would do. Asking them to share some of their toys and clothes with children who need them, asking them to share their lunch box with their friends in case his/her friend is not carrying one. Telling them how getting a smile on someone’s face makes you feel great about yourself. These small things are enough to introduce them the big concept of kindness.

Get to know their friends: During the vacation or weekends plan a get together for their friends don’t make your presence annoying or uncomfortable for them rather come up with something new. Some interesting conversation or an engaging game and in the process learn about their friends, how is their company and if they are in the right group matters a lot.

The world is changing and the pace of development is increasing every day let this development benefit your child but be ready to protect them from the adverse effects as well. Let the classics of learning be the same for them as they were for you, so they share your reflection!

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Introduce Buddhism to your child!

Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Buddha was a sage who started to impact thousands of lives in sixth and fourth BCE (Before Common Era) with his profound spiritual wisdom. The word ‘Buddha’ means the enlightened one or the awakened one. No matter what religion you follow what culture you have been born and brought up in, Buddha’s teachings are universal. His teachings have the strength to awaken people to reality and make them introspect themselves. Lord Buddha’s teachings have not only given a deeper insight into one’s existence but also made a significant contribution in liberating one from the day-to-day conflicts in minds.
Here are the best books to introduce Buddhism to your children, usually they get to know about Gautama Buddha through a chapter in history but there is definitely more to know, learn and practice from his teachings. Introduce any of these books to your child and let them, explore Buddhism and add positivity to their personality.
The Story of Buddha by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Lovely illustrations and an ease to follow the story about the life of the young Buddha. A great introduction for all ages, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso was born in Tibet and is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism. Resident in the West since 1977, he is the author of 21 highly acclaimed books that perfectly transmit the ancient wisdom of Buddhism to our modern world. He has also founded over 1100 Kadampa Buddhist Centres and groups throughout the world.

A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hahn
A Handful of Quiet presents one of the best known and most innovative meditation practices developed by Thich Nhat Hanh as part of the Plum Village community’s practice with children. Pebble meditation is a playful and fun activity that parents and educators can do with their children to introduce them to meditation. It is designed to involve children in a hands-on and creative way that touches on their interconnection with nature. Practicing pebble meditation can help relieve stress, increase concentration, nourish gratitude, and can help children deal with difficult emotions. A Handful of Quiet is a concrete activity that parents and educators can introduce to children in school settings, in their local communities or at home, in a way that is meaningful and inviting. It includes four full-colour meditation cards with short mindfulness poems that are recited during the meditation. Any adult wishing to plant seeds of peace, relaxation, and awareness in children will find this unique meditation guide helpful. Children can also enjoy doing pebble meditation on their own.

Is Nothing Something? By Thich Nhat Hanh
In Is Nothing Something? Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh answers heartfelt, difficult, and funny questions from children of all ages. Illustrated with original full-colour artwork by Jessica McClure, Is Nothing Something? This will help adults plant the seeds of mindfulness in the young children in their lives. Beginning with the most basic questions, what is important in life? And why is my brother mean to me? And progressing through issues that we all wrestle with, such as how do I know if I really love somebody? , How long am I going to live? , and what does God look like? , each page presents a question with a short answer from Thich Nhat Hanh, appropriate for beginning readers to work with on their own. The back of the book has practices adults can use with their children to go deeper into the answers and the first complete children s biography of Thich Nhat Hanh. Both humorous and profound, is Nothing Something? is the perfect resource for kids with questions, adults looking for how to answer them, and anyone with questions of their own.

Buddha at Bedtime Tales of Love and Wisdom by Dharmachari- Nagaraja
Growing up in the modern world, our children have to cope with the ever-increasing amount of stress, which can hinder their development. The ancient wisdom of Buddhism, with its emphasis on peace, love, and compassion, is the ideal basis for helping any child to face these challenges with inner confidence and calm. Building on the age-old art of storytelling, this beautiful book re-tells 20 ancient Buddhist tales in a way that is thoroughly fun and accessible to children. Featuring superb, full-page illustrations, the stories will transport kids into an imaginary world of enlightenment and discovery where they will meet delightful characters and discover an easy-to-understand Buddhist message, one that will help them think about how they can apply values such as patience, perseverance, honesty and generosity to their own lives. Designed to be read aloud by a parent or read by older children on their own, these compelling narratives provide a pleasurable, soothing transition into sleep.

Sitting Still like a Frog by Eline Snel
Mindfulness—the quality of attention that combines full awareness with acceptance of each moment, just as it is. Is gaining broad acceptance among mental health professionals as an adjunct to treatment. This little book is a very appealing introduction to mindfulness meditation for children and their parents. In a simple and accessible way, it describes what mindfulness is and how mindfulness-based practices can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware. The book contains eleven practices that focus on just these scenarios, along with short examples and anecdotes throughout. Included with purchase is an audio CD with guided meditations, voiced by Myla Kabat-Zinn, who along with her husband, Jon Kabat-Zinn, popularized mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as a therapeutic approach.

Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens by Diana Winston
Many of today’s teenagers are tired of the pressure to compete and consume and are looking for a different way to live their lives. This book offers an alternative, the 2,500-year old practice of Buddhism, written in a style that will have immediate appeal to young “seekers” and those wanting to understand the ancient teachings. This book addresses such relevant topics as peer pressure, emotional difficulties, stress, fostering peace and even protecting the environment. For everyone looking for self-help, self-esteem, and self-awareness, this book offers advice on Discovering truth in a world of hype, Accepting ourselves, Working with difficult emotions, Dealing with temptations and making the right decisions about sex and drugs and advice on volunteering, working for peace and protecting the environment.

The Barefoot Book of Buddhist Tales adapted by Sherab Chodzin
The Buddha taught that life is like a dream, yet real. The ways in which we may fruitfully engage with this mystery are playfully explored in numerous tales from the folk traditions of countries including India, China, Japan and Tibet.

As a child, Siddhartha the Buddha was troubled by some of the same thoughts that children today have. They wonder about birth and death. They wonder why they get sick and why grandfather died. They wonder why their wishes do not come true. Children also wonder about happiness and the beauty in nature.
Because the Buddha knew what was in the hearts of children and humankind, he taught everyone how to live a happy and peaceful life. Buddhism is not learning about strange beliefs from faraway lands. It is about looking at and thinking about our own lives. With these books on Buddha may be your child gets many queries settled, many doubts resolved and many questions answered.

A Disclaimer for Parents Before Result Time

The season of examination has just subsided and few schools are still about to wrap up, the pressure, tension, and seriousness in the atmosphere was about to clear when the parents start with their moles of expectations and unbearable pressure for a good result.

Excessive academic pressure on kids can backfire severely and end up affecting the child negatively. The undue pressure and a constant greed of expectation from them may destroy a child’s calibre and a setback may break down his/her self-respect and confidence.

Worry, Worry, Worry!!

By parent’s constant pressure to perform better a child can feel less inspired and more threatened. You need to know and judge the child well, there are some who are confident and bold but some are shy and introvert. The manner to treat a child depends on his/her nature and behaviour. The pressure can make them feel paralyzed and then they won’t actually learn but just get mechanical about the whole process. They start feeling that they are not good enough and this invites stress and anxiety which can be very dangerous for their mental state. If your child expresses any signs of stress or anxiety take it seriously and talk to him/her about it. Help them feel better through encouraging talks and supportive atmosphere at home.

“I’m not good enough”

Your constant pressure and high expectations can make them fall a prey to low self-esteem and loss of confidence. If they miss your mark of expectation by the minimal difference it can cause bad mental impact in their minds. They will start believing that grades and marks are the only parameters to judge their hard work and efforts, which will cause them harm in the longer run. Spend time with your child and emphasize to them the importance of working hard and giving their best and that marks are just an output and you do not judge them on it.

Bad Behaviour

Too much pressure to do well in school can involve kids in unethical practices as well. Your continuous pressure to get an A+ grade for all subjects can threaten a child and giving up to his/her fear they end up cheating and getting involved in all such practices. At times too much stress and anxiety may also involve them in malpractices of drugs and alcohol, so keep a watch on your Childs behaviour and never stress the fact that marks are the only motive of their life.

Always be there for your Child

Every parent wants their child to do well in life and that’s one reason they pressure their child for academic growth but always remember encouragement is better than pressure. Understand your child and his/her emotions, every child is different so don’t compare. They will know the seriousness of doing well in exams and living up to your expectation but let them live their childhood and enjoy their innocence.

Let them choose their favourite subject and give them the time to go out and play, they will make their future just give them their space.

How to Make Your Child Responsible?

As a parent you always have that habit to teach your child endless things – How to be caring, to be honest, to be a hard worker, to listen to elders and many more. But one trait that is high up on that list is how to be responsible!

Being responsible includes many learning’s in itself; somewhere it helps to enhance your Childs personality and moulds him/her in an appropriate direction

Raising a child with good manners is not that difficult, all you need is to be is a little careful, pay a little more attention and develop early good habits which help your child achieve a fruitful future.

Here are few guidelines, which if you follow can help you in the process:
Start Young

You can’t make sudden changes and raise immediate expectations from a teenager to act and behave responsibly. Children are carefree and take time to understand the seriousness of things. You need to start instilling in them the habits of responsibility at a younger age so that their personality is developed accordingly.

Let Them Help You

Don’t grumble and be annoyed while doing the usual housework. Invite your child to help you, may be simple dusting or a little help in the kitchen. This will make your child feel valued, maybe it makes your job a little longer but don’t worry your child would learn a lot from it.

Show Kids the Way

Play with a child’s skill level, you need to understand where they are missing and figure out how to teach them the same. If your child never enters kitchen involve him/her in simple tasks like washing fruits, laying the table etc. You first need to observe your child well to conclude on their habits.

Praise Them

Kids love to help, they want to help! To them, chores don’t feel like work. Keep up positive ambiance by offering specific praises for actions. “You hung your coat on the hook and I’m proud of you!” Or, “Thank you for emptying the garbage in your room!” Children will develop a sense of ownership for any repeated action. And this constant communication helps them take initiative in other situations as well.

Manage Your Expectations

Don’t raise your expectation too high! They are still children and won’t be able to deliver work to perfection, so don’t criticize or discourage them rather motivate them and recognize their work. Teach them how it is to be done and then let them grasp it with time.

 Provide Structure and Routine

Kids thrive on order, instead of offering rewards to get them to meet responsibilities, set up a morning routine with a positive end result. The small tasks like brush your teeth before going to bed or wish everyone good morning once they are up in the morning, should be part of their daily schedule.

Avoid Rewards

At least at first! Don’t assume a reward system has to be in place for your child to learn responsibility. While a reward chart can be effective for some kids, others respond just as well to praise, spending time with you and feeling the boost in their self-confidence. Save rewards for tasks that go above and beyond what you expect to be your child’s normal household responsibilities.

When your child says, “I forgot to bring my book home again,” he’s really saying, “It’s not my fault that I didn’t meet my responsibility.” You need to respond by saying, “We’re not talking about whose fault it is, we’re talking about whose responsibility it is.” In that way, you can shift the focus onto the child’s responsibilities and you won’t get stuck in an argument about the nature of the excuse. Just a little attention and your extra efforts can really make your child turn responsible.

Time to learn – How to talk to your Child!

“Children learn more from what you are than from what you teach.” Parenting is the most crucial and vital responsibility which needs to be met with an understanding attitude and a capability to listen, learn and teach. You should understand that it’s not always the parents who teach and impart wisdom it can be the other way round too. Be prepared to learn new things, admire their thought process and have the willingness and openness to appreciate it.

Children literally imbibe everything which they see and hear around them, this goes a long way in building their personality.

At times when you are in the middle of things and in all that rush, you end up speaking out unintentional words which land up very negatively in a child’s mind. You might not mean it, it was just lack of time or some sort of confusion going around but it has a very bad impact on your child’s mind.

So, you need to be extra careful and watch what you speak and it does not limit to only them. Be careful while talking to others as well when children are in proximity, as it is you should always be polite and good while talking to others but be little more alert when children are involved. Little bit of effort and a strong will, will make it happen!

Watch out for these 10 things which you should refrain from saying to your child.

Never say – ‘you are a bad boy/girl’

Never feed them with negative thoughts or actions, don’t give them any kind of fear. It hampers a child’s self-esteem when you categorize them as a bad boy or a girl. Explain them things, talk to them about positive good things. Don’t tell them that doing a mistake or anything mischievous will make them bad rather make them understand how their actions can hurt others and they will learn values rather than fearing to be bad and doing the right thing out of compulsion.

Don’t Compare

Don’t ever do this mistake of passing statements like ‘Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?’ This not only inculcates a feeling of jealousy in them but also makes them feel like a failure. Don’t make them feel weak or incompetent in any manner, this may also develop a dislike between siblings.

A straight NO is too HARSH

If you keep saying no to them every now and then they will start losing faith in you. A straight no comes too harsh, modulate that no into something soft and polite and then say it. Instead of shouting out a NO to play inside the house tell them the weather is so good outside lets go in the park and play.

‘You can’t do this!’ is not the right way to say

Never shake a child’s self-confidence by de-motivating them, there might be certain things you know your child won’t be able to successfully accomplish but still never discourage him/her. There are better ways to put your point across, tell them do it and if you face any problem let me know, and we will do it together. This will encourage them to try new things and will also help build their confidence.

‘Don’t talk to me’ goes wrong

Never abandon your child, this will turn very negative and can have a very bad impact on a child. If they have done something wrong try explaining those things, listening to them and answering all their questions so that they understand their mistake and being careful in future.

Don’t say ‘Girls/Boys don’t do that’

Never do any kind of gender discrimination between children, be it for small things even this brings negativity and in the long run inculcates disrespect in the mind of a child for the opposite gender.

‘You are too big to do this!’

Don’t deprive him/her of their childhood, they will eventually grow up but for now, let them enjoy their childhood and don’t expect them to behave like grownups. Yes they might be mischievous but they are allowed to be that at this tender change, teach them discipline but on the other hand let them enjoy their childhood too.

Keep in mind these small points and you will be able to deliver a better atmosphere to your child, not only you will be able to understand them better but also your child will love your company and will make you his/her secret sharer.

“Children learn more from what you are than from what you teach.” Parenting is the most crucial and vital responsibility which needs to be met with an understanding attitude and a capability to listen, learn and teach. You should understand that it’s not always the parents who teach and impart wisdom it can be the other way round too. Be prepared to learn new things, admire their thought process and have the willingness and openness to appreciate it.

Children literally imbibe everything which they see and hear around them, this goes a long way in building their personality.

At times when you are in the middle of things and in all that rush, you end up speaking out unintentional words which land up very negatively in a child’s mind. You might not mean it, it was just lack of time or some sort of confusion going around but it has a very bad impact on your child’s mind.

So, you need to be extra careful and watch what you speak and it does not limit to only them. Be careful while talking to others as well when children are in proximity, as it is you should always be polite and good while talking to others but be little more alert when children are involved. Little bit of effort and a strong will, will make it happen!

Watch out for these 10 things which you should refrain from saying to your child.

Never say – ‘you are a bad boy/girl’

Never feed them with negative thoughts or actions, don’t give them any kind of fear. It hampers a child’s self-esteem when you categorize them as a bad boy or a girl. Explain them things, talk to them about positive good things. Don’t tell them that doing a mistake or anything mischievous will make them bad rather make them understand how their actions can hurt others and they will learn values rather than fearing to be bad and doing the right thing out of compulsion.

Don’t Compare

Don’t ever do this mistake of passing statements like ‘Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?’ This not only inculcates a feeling of jealousy in them but also makes them feel like a failure. Don’t make them feel weak or incompetent in any manner, this may also develop a dislike between siblings.

A straight NO is too HARSH

If you keep saying no to them every now and then they will start losing faith in you. A straight no comes too harsh, modulate that no into something soft and polite and then say it. Instead of shouting out a NO to play inside the house tell them the weather is so good outside lets go in the park and play.

‘You can’t do this!’ is not the right way to say

Never shake a child’s self-confidence by de-motivating them, there might be certain things you know your child won’t be able to successfully accomplish but still never discourage him/her. There are better ways to put your point across, tell them do it and if you face any problem let me know, and we will do it together. This will encourage them to try new things and will also help build their confidence.

‘Don’t talk to me’ goes wrong

Never abandon your child, this will turn very negative and can have a very bad impact on a child. If they have done something wrong try explaining those things, listening to them and answering all their questions so that they understand their mistake and being careful in future.

Don’t say ‘Girls/Boys don’t do that’

Never do any kind of gender discrimination between children, be it for small things even this brings negativity and in the long run inculcates disrespect in the mind of a child for the opposite gender.

‘You are too big to do this!’

Don’t deprive him/her of their childhood, they will eventually grow up but for now, let them enjoy their childhood and don’t expect them to behave like grownups. Yes they might be mischievous but they are allowed to be that at this tender change, teach them discipline but on the other hand let them enjoy their childhood too.

Keep in mind these small points and you will be able to deliver a better atmosphere to your child, not only you will be able to understand them better but also your child will love your company and will make you his/her secret sharer.