Discipline yourself to discipline children

It was refreshing to read your cover story ‘Disciplining children in the new millennium’ (PW August). Parents around the world face this challenge every day. Should they spare the rod and spoil the child or should they adopt non-corporal ways to discipline them.

I have often yelled and screamed at my children for recalcitrant behaviour, but never inflicted physical punishment upon them. But over the years, I have learnt that the best way to discipline children is to remain calm and patient while persuading them to adopt good behaviour practices.

I have also found that sharing and consulting with other parents on ways and means to discipline children helps. It made me feel less alone. I know most of us want to keep our children’s negative behaviour to ourselves, but it is important to share one’s frustrations with like-minded people and solicit their advice. Sometimes I have found that it is my own irritation and anger that has provoked me to yell at my children.

Also before disciplining children it’s important to first discipline oneself in terms of an exercise regimen. I found that I am a lot calmer on the days that I exercise and they are also a lot calmer on the days they have had exercise. Also if you and your children have slept well, shouting matches become rare.

Sindhu Chandran
Chennai

 

Child-friendly recipes please

My children are foodies, and enjoy a variety of cuisines. I’m a bit worried that I might be over-feeding them, or giving unhealthy food. I like your Health & Nutrition section because it features healthy and nutritious recipes.

I wonder if you could publish easy-to-prepare recipes that children can cook by themselves. My children are 11 and 13 years respectively, so I can allow them a bit of kitchen work, with supervision. I believe cooking is an essential skill that all children need to learn early in life.

Rianna Kapoor
Mumbai

 

Interesting & engaging

Congratulations for publishing an informative and well-written parenting magazine. I enjoyed reading your August cover story on disciplining children in the new millennium. I also enjoy reading the Activity Zone section. It offers some very interesting ideas on engaging children in outdoor activities such as nature walks.

My children are very creative and I enjoy taking them on nature walks and getting them to write poetry or paint. I think we need to take a break from our tech-intensive lives and encourage children to enjoy simple pleasures of life such as nature walks. Even reading is an activity that can keep children engaged for hours.

I love your Fun with Words section too, and often share it with my children and we try out the quiz/activity. Do please include more stories for children and teenagers.

Shilpi Sethia
Delhi

 

Child readiness for preschool vital

Thanks for your excellent Early Childhood feature on ‘What’s the right age to start preschool’ (PW August). I am a mother of a three-year-old girl and we have chosen not to send her to school until she is six and are homeschooling her until then.

When we first made the decision not to send her to a preschool, our parents, grandparents, neighbours and friends warned us against it saying that she will not get the “right” start and that it will be very difficult for her to adjust in primary school. But we truly believe that there is no fixed age for a child to start preschool.

As author Aarti C. Rajaratnam writes the most important factor determining a child’s entry into preschool should be child-readiness not chronological age. Children need to be socially, emotionally, developmentally, and physically ready to embark on the journey of structured education. By deciding to homeschool our child till class I we have chosen a more fluid, unstructured path of learning. This also allows her to devote more time to reading and playing outdoors.

Breejna Sundarapalli
Bangalore

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