Everything has changed a lot since Covid-19 has affected the whole world. Education has also witnessed a lot of changes with the onset of Pandemic. E-Education has become the new trend for education of all ages. Being a mom of a toddler, I sometimes worry about vision related issues. E-Education has increased the screen time for kids with a significant reduction in their concentration.
This new trend of E-Education has its own pros and cons for kids and families at large. Speaking of personal experience, I have witnessed various changes in my daughter Kreesha after her schooling started, oopsy doopsy! E-Schooling started.
Ability to understand and comprehend various Accents
Competitive feeling of doing best
Operating Basic Laptop
Increased curiosity to learn new things (though she has been very inquisitive since early age, but now she does not spare even a single moment of learning)
Increased screen time
I do not promote online learning for young kids, however, I do believe that they need a push and guidance to keep their learning at par. For the same, I started Kreesha’s e-learning and trust me, it has helped me a lot. I teach her at home with all basics and skills, however with teachers and peers around she does her best and is motivated to learn.
I hear from my friends that their kids spend 4-6 hours sitting idle in front of cartoons. Then, I believe if you can divert your child’s 2 hours from cartoons to learning then, it is not bad at all isn’t it?
For me that was the reason to start Kreesha’s pre-schooling online. Coz, how much you say kids will find their way to watch their shows and skip learning. She sometimes asks me if this is what school is? And I try to convince her no, it is not. I don’t know when the normal schooling will be back with no restrictions and masking for kids, but I do wish it comes soon. Because nothing matches the classroom learning.
We have started to settle our lives
Create our identity in the new world
Glad to be on step two
But the haven is still far away
The result of this new beginning
Now we will also have name and fame
In this crowded world
I want to make an identity of self
But the haven is still far away
Will Neither stop nor be tired
I'll just keep moving
Everyone will know me
I would such deeds
But the haven is still far away
The journey has started
Now this convoy will grow
Wonderful world of Wonder Mom
Will now be everyone's small world
But the haven is still far away
Months back, I shared my experience of meeting moms who are worried over their kids’ delayed milestone achievements. I firmly believe in the fact that every child is different, however, if a child doesn’t start speaking at 2 years of age, it might be a reason to worry. In that scenario, you might want to opt for Speech Therapy for your child.
I am not a speech therapy expert, yet would like to share some basic fun activities, which I tried with Kreesha. Kreesha started speaking only after 2nd birthday. She used to say words earlier like Ma, Pa, dada, dadi, ice, rice, dudu, juice, and a few more. So, I playfully involved her in these activities and she started speaking phrases and now she is 2.5 years old and is able to speak long sentences with 10-12 words also.
Activities till 2 years:
Kreesha started her eye contact with us at an early age of 3 months. So, I started talking to her. She would respond with her eyes and expressions. For example, if she was happy, she would move her legs and if she is sad then she would simply ignore the situation.
Sharing small details of her daily routine with her like, “now its time to take bath, we are going to sit in bathtub and enjoy the bath”. Verbally explaining your child about their daily routine helps them build vocabulary but develop good habbit also.
Talk about things baby see in their room, house. Explain what is it and why is it in the house.
Talk about family and family members.
Talk about body parts and help them point their body parts.
Read them stories, rhymes sing them fun songs.
Show them colours and various objects, wait for them to respond.
Activities after 2 years:
Speak clearly to your child. Make them aware of the importance of clear speech.
Do not speak in their language, even if you do, do repeat the correct pronunciation or word also.
Repeat what they say, so that they are assured you understand what they want to say.
Show them pictures of various objects found in house, classroom, playground and get them talking about it.
Play yes or no game. Ask your kids simple questions like, “Do crow fly? Are you hungry?” Let kids respond to your question in a yes or no. Play vice versa – get your child ask questions to you.
Have a conversation where a child has to make choice like, “Do you want juice or milk?” or “Do you want to go out or play in the house?”
Talk about various body parts and what it does
Place some toys in a box and ask your child to pick one-by-one and tell what is it
Exercises to Try:
Paper Blowing is one of the Exercises to boost your kids’ Oral Motor Skills
Blow a balloon – Blowing a balloon helps the child develop facial muscles, which enable the child to speak easily.
Paper Blowing – A fun activity that will enhance your kid’s oral motor skills and concentration.
PS: I will soon be sharing a video on my youtube channel with other fun activities to help your kids develop their oral motor skills and enhance their speech.
The moment your child sits on the floor with bent knees, feet outside their hips and bottoms touching the floor. While sitting in this position the legs of the child are similar to the formation of alphabet ‘W’ and thus is termed as W-sitting.
Why kids prefer W-sitting?
Kids often playfully sit in W position, however, for some sitting this position is a way out to make up for their hips and trunk muscular weaknesses. This position provides the kid with extra stability and firmness to play around with toys while sitting upright. You do not have to worry for your kid, is s/he frequently changes sitting position, yet if you notice your child sitting in W-position for a longer period, try and correct their position.
There are also chances of kid having an anatomical difference in their hip joints making their thigh bones twisting inwardly. This condition needs medical supervision and is known as femoral anteversion.*
Why ‘W’- sitting is bad?
While sitting in w-position, kids tend to use less of core muscles. This might result in the weak shoulder and wrist movement affecting their fine motor development.
The w-position restricts the body movement and prevents the side-side weight shifting
Since there is reduced torso movement, the kid might develop limited coordination between their left and right body sides. The minimal coordination may also affect child’s bilateral coordination (using both body sides simultaneously)
The W-sitting positing lay huge stress on the hips and knees joints resulting in the postural problems and frequent lower back pains among kids
How to rectify W-sitting
Noticing your child sitting in ‘W’- position, you might want to encourage them to sit in other forms.
Small chair – Offer your child with a comfortable low height chair to sit on. This will help them move their torso and strengthen their bottoms
Cross legged – This position is also referred to as ‘Criss-Cross Applesauce’ and is common sitting position while Pranayam. This helps them straighten their backs and keeps lower body muscles comfortable
Legs in front – Toddlers do prefer sitting this way. This sitting position helps the child relax their leg muscles while correcting their ‘W’ position
Legs sideways – In this position the kid’s legs would be on one side of the body while sitting in knee bent and sitting on their bottoms
Kneel down – While kneeling down might sound similar to W – position, however, in this on the kid sits on the hips and both legs are intact with feet underneath hips.
Encourage a movement based floor activity to let your child change her/his sitting position frequently.
For further advice and supervision reach out to your pediatrician or contact occupational therapist
Though staying away from writing and sharing my experiences has been very difficult for me. However, I just could not do anything about it, as my entire family was struggling with Covid-19. These two and a half months have been very stressful and tiring. The only thing that was comforting was the fact that my little princess, Kreesha, is safe and healthy. It was indeed the toughest time my family has witnessed.
There are many families around suffering and struggling daily with this deadly virus. Some have even lost the battle of life against the virus. I would like to share our experience as a family struggling with Covid-19, what all we have learnt and what have we cherished in these times.
Nurture the nature
Spend quality time with family
Teach kids about the nature and its value
Stay connected with near and dear ones
Spent good quality time with my toddler
Working together as a team
Strengthening our bond
Understanding the value of each other
These are the basic things I have learnt during my struggle with Covid-19. I am not here to guide or teach anyone during this hard time, but just to share my own experience as a struggler and recoveree of the disease. Share your experiences with me and I would share them with my readers. I would love to know and learn more about same.
At the end, I would summarize that if you are think positive and eat healthy, the recovery becomes smooth. Also, once you recover, take care of your diet and healthy lifestyle in the new life gifted by GOD almighty!
Weeks back I shared my concern over parental worries for delayed milestone achievements by their kids. I have met moms who are worried about their kids’ development, and I always mention that every child is different. I also mentioned that I would share some easy activities for early walk and speech development, which I have used with my own kid. However, I would also mention here that, don’t force your child into these activities, if s/he is not comfortable. Also, connect with your pediatrician, if you have any doubts about your kid’s developmental delays.
Easy Activities for early walk
Tummy Time is good exercise to boost your child’s motor skills and muscle development. You can start the tummy time of your child at as early as at 2 months of age. I have earlier shared the detailed article for tummy time mentioning how it is to be done and the benefits of the same. Tummy time helps your child strengthen thigh muscles to hold body weight.
Crawl with your child and show them their favorite toy above eye level for them to make an effort to reach out. The curiosity to catch the toy will enable the child to make extra effort, this will help them boost their strength.
Regular Massage with baby oil or desi ghee boosts the muscle strength and also provides energy to kids. Massage relaxes the muscles of your kid and offers them a soothing feeling. Kids feel pampered and loved.
Massage when your child starts standing while holding onto an object. When your child stands up holding a table or chair, try and massage their legs at that time. This massage helps their calf muscles to gain more strength and kids respond to it while making a move.
Assist your child in taking first steps by holding hands. Let your kids take first steps with your support.
PS: Avoid Wheeled walkers for your kid as it might affect their muscle development. (My Paediatrician advised)
So, we were on a trip last week to Shogi, Himachal Pradesh with our chota packet. I always thought travelling with your young ones can be very tedious, but trust me it was not that difficult. Our first trip was to Rishikesh with Kreesha when she was 1 year old. She totally enjoyed the road trip and does not bother at all during long journeys. I follow certain rules set by me and my husband so that there is less chaos. I don’t say that these are best, but they have proven to be helpful to me.
Rules I follow:
Packing Checklist – Helps a lot while travelling with your younger ones. A checklist for all essentials eases out a lot for mothers. Baby’s packing checklist should include everything as small as gloves to as big as coats. Nothing is small when it comes to kids. Starting from basics like undergarments, dresses, boots, medicines, toys, feeders, etc. include all items that your kid needs daily. Don’t just make a packing list for the kid but make one for yourself and general items as well. It will help you remain calm and sorted.
Extra dresses – Keep extra dresses for your kid, even if your kid is grown up. As you never know with kids, they might dirty their clothes much before you realize. Extra dress / set for your kid might increase the luggage a bit but would keep you relaxed on the trip.
Go to food items – Always some go to food items for kids like their favorite cookies, some homemade cake, dry fruits, fresh fruits. These quick snack things bring in relief to the hunger pranks of the child. Kreesha loves Amla candy and raisins, so I make sure I always pack them for long trips.
Tetra packs are best – I used to carry milk in the thermos / kettle. However, I have realized that with change in temperature the milk gets easily spoiled. Now, I always prefer carrying tetra packs of small size with me, as they don’t need a boil before consumption.
No to bulky toys – Kids might request you to carry bulky toys on the trip. You should try and pack some handy and small toys for the trip.
Pack enough water – 4-5 liters of water for a 3 member family on a long journey is sufficient to go with. Give your child a handy water bottle to keep her / him hydrated throughout the trip.
I hate it when little are compared to each other, especially for their developmental milestone achievements. Speaking out of my personal experience, Kreesha started walking at the age of nine months. However she just started speaking at the age of 25 months. I was time and again told by everyone around that you need to consult the doctor, get her speech therapy and what not. But, I was sure not to visit the doctor for her speech milestone.
I somewhere had this feeling that she started walking early so maybe she would take her sweet time to speak up. Also her paediatrician told me not to worry about her delay in speech as kids do take time these days to speak up. Moreover, the fact being every child is different and achieves their respective milestones at their own pace.
With Kreesha, the best thing has been her quick grasping power and amazing memory. She started recognizing alphabets (Hindi & English), colours, body parts,objects, animals, fruits at the age of 15 months. Her responsiveness and expressions are the best thing. She started expressing and responding to almost everything at a mere age of 6 months. She used her gestures, hand movements and facial expressions to convey her thoughts.
So, if your child has not achieved the developmental milestone, they are supposed to; Worry not. It is absolutely fine mommy. Your child is special in own way. Every child achieves their milestones at their own pace. However, you can assist them in achieving their milestones. I would soon be sharing some activities for speech and walking milestones. These activities are the ones, I have been doing with Kreesha to initiate her development.
PS: I am not an expert, but a mother who has been sharing her own experiences and views.
Few days ago, I heard someone saying, “She is a perfect mother.” I asked myself, if there is anything like a Perfect Mother. Then I realised that motherhood is a journey, it is an experience. Like every child, every mother is also different and special. There can be no comparison between two mothers, actually there should be no comparison at all.
It is very true that only a mother knows what is good for her child. As a mother, I do get to hear various suggestions by elders and friends. I do listen to all and consider also if required. However, I prefer listening to what my heart and mind says is good for my child.
I feel as the child grows, the mother also grows and develops new skills. A mother’s love and compassion can never be compensated or compared to anyone. A mother can be a home-maker or a working professional. She may have a helping hand with her, or maybe doing everything on her own. She may have hired a nanny for her child, or looks after her child herself. The fact remains, that a mother is the only one who knows about her child the best.
We as a society might sometimes judge a mother, but we hardly know the hardships she is going through to raise her child. I happen to do the same for a mother, then, I withdrew my words and apologised also. For a mother, her child is the world. So, next time if you see someone pointing out to any mother or you yourself happens to do the same; apologise. Motherhood is a journey of a mother and child and we as outsiders rarely know the hurdles they both overcome in this journey. So stop judging and start being empathetic.
The pandemic has affected everyone badly. The worst effect it has on the outdoor activities for kids. The kids have had the worst hit in this pandemic. The kids have been in closed doors for almost 9 months now and this has affected their growth. The effect on development has been both mentally, physically and emotionally.
As a mother of a 2 year old child, I would definitely suggest to go out and have some sporty time with your child. I also do understand that Corona has restricted the outdoor activities for all of us. However, going out for a while in the park to play or just for a walk with your child is good. Do take necessary precautions like wear a mask, take sanitizer with you, don’t let your kid touch anything in the park and maintain social distance. If you don’t feel comfortable in the park, take your child on the terrace or your balcony for some sunshine.
Activities Kreesha and I enjoy while out in the park:
Bat & Ball: The simplest form of cricket for young kids is not just fun but also a good physical activity. It stimulates the quick responsiveness among kids and enhances their physical capabilities.
Catch & Throw: Simple catch & throw of a ball helps children to strengthen their hands grips and improves concentration.
Running: Since Kreesha loves to run, we often do short runs when in park to move our legs a little extra.
Admiring surroundings: Kreesha loves birds and nature. During our park visits she loves to watch squirrels and birds around and play with them. She even feeds them. This is also good for kids as it makes them humble and modest.
I am not saying, you should take your child in the park only. But do take your child outdoors once in a while to make them more connected to nature and themselves. The importance of outdoor activities for kids cannot be explained in this one article. Next week I will be back with the detailed article on the critical developments a child undergoes when outdoors.