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Developing positive perceptions of romance

PW invited parents of Heritage Xperiential Learning School, Gurgaon to share some insights on how they help their children get proper perspectives of love and romance, as opposed to what they learn from media and peers

“We are aware that 21st century children receive less love than we did in our childhood because of the culture of working parents. My husband and I try to set an example by showing affection for each other, friends and family including my six-year-old son Ram (class 1) through thoughtful and creative gestures which we believe are genuine ways of expressing love. We have taught Ram that there is love in every little act of kindness — like giving someone your full attention without being distracted, or being kind to them when they hurt you or helping others even though you have something more urgent to do.” — Vidya Nair, co-founder & COO, VSpace Technology

“We firmly believe children’s perceptions are based on their personal understanding and value systems. Both go hand-in-hand in contributing to their outlook and opinions. The stronger their self-belief, the clearer their perception of right and wrong. Our 12-year-old Rohan (class VII) and nine-year-old Rishaan (class IV) are fully aware that moderate displays of affection — hugging, shaking or holding hands and giving each other surprise gifts — is natural behaviour. We have taught them that love cannot be measured in monetary terms and that good intentions and sentiments are important.” — Anuj Anand, entrepreneur/ management advisor

“I believe maintaining positive and open channels of communication with our children can set them up for loving and lasting relationships as young adults. Conversing freely with my nine-year-old son Vihaan, (class 1V) and two-year-old daughter Ishani without judging them is my favourite activity. To all their innocent questions I try to be as honest as possible, answering them using age appropriate language. Small gestures of love and affection between family members give them more valuable messages than what is projected on television or films.” — Dr. Poorvee Mathur, healthcare management consultant

“Over the years Valentine’s Day has become a popularity contest and more about materialistic love rather than of true love and romance. Restricting children from media, Internet and peer access will not help alter that perception. We believe in spending considerable time with our children — 13-year-old Aayush (class VIII) and eight-year-old Arjun (class III) — to give them lessons in expressing love with kindness through conversations and story-telling. Children from a very young age learn to observe parental behaviour with the biggest learning being able to distinguish between overt and covert display of affection.” — Amita Khare, professional storyteller

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