A year ago, we decided to go green as a family. I must say that though adopting green practices is very satisfying it is painfully difficult to implement. We have forgone plastic bags, are growing our own vegetables in a terrace garden and have begun composting kitchen waste. But as we live in an apartment, there were complaints from neighbours of foul compost smell, and we have temporally stopped recycling kitchen waste. We also tried to convince the apartment residents to install solar power, but they declined.
Though it may not be feasible for many families to build compost pits and install solar power, I believe parents should take the lead in instilling “green” values in children. They can begin small by encouraging children not to waste water, switch off lights, plant saplings and use cloth/paper bags. Also go on family walks to a nearby park so children learn to appreciate nature. If children learn about environment conservation at a young age, they are likely to grow into adults who respect nature.
I enjoy reading your recipes section. The April recipes featuring breakfast cereal and strawberry jam were particularly delightful. It was educative to read about the dangerous health effects of eating commercially prepared jams which are packed with preservatives and artificial flavours. Simple, home-made organic food is the best solution to fighting many diseases.
I also loved your household cleaner recipe featured in the Activity Zone section. Please add a section on safe, organic household products in future issues.
I teach physical education in a school in Chennai and thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview of tennis champs Aarti Ponnappa and Gaurav Natekar on balancing parenting duties with work and the importance of sports education (PW, March). Very recently, there was a newspaper report in Chennai about how schools in the city are doing away with the post of physical education instructors. This is a sad state of affairs.
On the one hand, parents and educators worry about the child obesity epidemic and on the other, they refuse to encourage sports activities at even the school level. If children are not encouraged to play games and sports, how will they ever grow up to understand the importance of sports and fitness in their lives? Schools must encourage children to play at least one sport from a young age.
Include child safety advice
I enjoy reading your Ask the Doctor and Ask the Counsellor columns. The questions and answers are very informative. You need to expand these sections to include advice about how parents can protect children from online/social media abuse.
Unfortunately in the age of the Internet, children’s exposure to violence and risky behaviour is on-going and omnipresent. Most parents are not tech savvy and unaware of the many dangers lurking in the online world. It would be helpful if ParentsWorld provided information and advice on helping children deal with tech addiction and dangerous online games and challenges.
Online learning benefits
The news story about students learning science better online is true (PW, March). My son, a class VIII student, was experiencing great difficulty in understanding physics. To help him out I googled and found several online interactive physics lessons. He not only enjoyed the interactive/animated lessons but his knowledge of physics concepts has improved greatly. I also believe his understanding of history has improved vastly after he began learning the subject through online videos and lessons.
It would be great if ParentsWorld could explore the subject of online learning further and suggest online resources. There are thousands of websites and apps and the advice of an expert in shortlisting the best among them would be very helpful.