How parental insecurity affects the child and things to avoid it

Every human have some kind of insecurities and  it’s quite normal to have such feelings of self-doubt sometimes. Few carry those insecurities in some part of their life, whereas few live with those insecurities for their whole life. But in one stage of life these insecurities which you have will really start affecting the other person, it’s nothing but a parenting stage.  Yes, its starts affecting your kids very early in their life.

As a kid I always grown with some kind of social fear and always needed someone to push me forward (even now sometimes :)). So, before having my child I decided that, I should not show my insecurities to her and wanted her to grow independent and self deprived. But, once I had my daughter, I realized having the thought alone doesn’t gonna work because, even as a small kid she picked my fears whenever I stumble in something. Kids are highly intellectual when comes to picking even small nuisances from their parents, say it good or bad. These behaviors that children can easily learn through observation. Sometimes I stress how this behavior came to her, without even realizing that I am the person showing her how to behave like that, through my actions. We are the examples for our kids in each and everything.  I write this blog for myself as a greater recall down the line about the things I want to follow as a parent to avoid such insecurities affecting my kid. I hope this post helps parents like me.

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Calm and balanced parenting really works:

Kids are prone to questions. When our kids ask something, even a silly, no sense question, be sure that you don’t panic or get mad. The best way of hiding your insecurities is staying calm and balanced, and make sure to have a good interaction with your child, which will make your child to develop the same behavior you showed them. If you find difficultly in staying calm and balanced, you can always seek a medical help or through yoga or meditation.

Don’t take your social insecurities to your kid:

Nowadays everyone is facing some kind of social pressure, which is unavoidable but being insecure about certain things and taking those to your kids is not okay. For instance comparing your kid with other kid and constantly telling this to your kid will lead to worse. Your kid will start believing that others are better than him and that he is incapable of performing well or living to the expectations of the parents. This feeling will damage his/her self-worth and self-esteem.

Listening your kids:

Have a conversation with your kid and let your child tell you what he/she needs from you. You are indirectly teaching your kids to listen to others by you listening to them. Never underestimate their feelings. Always be their support system and make sure you don’t pass on your insecurities to them. Trust your kids which will make them to trust the world.

Don’t ever show your emotional imbalance to them:

Being relaxed  in every situation is not easy but being over reacting to certain situations like your child’s illness, injury etc., will definitely pass on your insecurities to them. Convey them that you are with them in whatever they do, thus you are teaching them to be independent and also safe and secure.

Use your experience to help your children:

In your entire life you’ve likely developed a toolbox of coping strategies for your insecurities. If you think your child have genetically inherited certain insecurities like yours then you can pass along to your children some strategies you’ve learned and developed.  In my case I always have the fear of unknown, so I always make sure I learn as much as I can about a new situation before I make that first leap. Now, I use that for my daughter in few instances.

As I always say parenting is not easy, when you decide to grow a strong minded and healthy child. This can be done only as a parent you override your fears and stand confident in front of them.

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3 Best English-German toddler bilingual books that works great for my kid

As I already told in my last blog, which is 5 Best books that helps my kid to learn German in daily basis, now I am going to reveal my 3 best English-German books which helps my daughter to learn both languages simultaneously.  If you are considering introducing these two language to your child at the same time then this blog is going to benefit you and your kid. For everybody trying to raise a bilingual/multilingual child, whatever your background and reason, it’s very important to realize that acquiring a language requires massive exposure to that language. This can be attained by parents talk as much as possible to their young children, to read a lot to them and sing to them.

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1. Englisch spielend leicht (mit CD): Ein Bildwörterbuch:

This book really work very good for my daughter. This is ideal for above 2 years old kids. It has small phrases which is actually easy for kids to catch up words quickly without getting bored. It covers all the basic phrases and words in day-to-day life. At every end  of the page, a small box with easy grammar explanations (see the picture below) are given which is probably useful for mommies like me out there. The exciting part is the CD with this book, which is really good and my little one loves to hear in the car ride.  It costs around 7.99€.

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2. The Toddler’s Handbook: Bilingual (English / German) (Englisch / Deutsch) Numbers, Colors, Shapes, Sizes, ABC Animals, Opposites, and Sounds, with over 100 Words that every Kid should Know:

This is one of the favorite books for many parents. It is little bit on the pricey side, costs around 15.00€. But the quality of the book is ideal for little kids. This book can be used in early months and babies get very excited about the colorful pictures. I couldn’t find good  and quality books like this a lot.

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3. Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch (Kinderbücher):

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This is one of my favorite books and it’s a oldest book of all and many native Germans recommend this book. This book is on the pricey side, costs around 24.00€, but it’s worth the buy. I got this book from a second-hand shop for 10€. If you guys could buy it or just lend this from a friend or buy in second hand shop like me, then that would be great, because it really works for my child. I highly recommend for kids above 2 or probably 3 years old, as the book is a paper book. It’s designed for both genders, you can see the pic below.

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I hope this helps for mommies to choose the right book for their kids. Stay tuned for more English and German story books for little kids.

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3 Best Freizeitparks for kids under 10 in Germany in my experience

 

As summer is near, we all can’t wait to plan for family trips with our children. We all love to explore beauty of Europe by visiting places and enjoy the idyllic landscapes, unspoilt nature, dense forests, rustic pastures and majestic mountains, whereas our kids definitely need some real fun by letting out their energy which they saved throughout  the winter. One of the best way to entertain them is by taking them to amusement parks. Something which I love in Germany is, there are theme parks which is made also considering little kids. We are family who love theme parks and if you are one like us then definitely this blog is gonna help you. We have explored quite a few theme parks in Germany and the following three Freizeitparks will always pop into my mind as we enjoyed there to the core.

1. Phantasialand, Cologne

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Phantasialand in Winter is quite different with more winter attraction

Visiting Phantasialand with your little kids is the best option for your family in this Summer. Phantasialand is conveniently located between Cologne and Bonn. From Brühl train station, Phantasialand shuttle buses are available  for  3.00€ per person to and fro. The ticket prices for children and Adults can be found in the link. Children under 4 years old with ID proof can go for free. The exciting thing is that everyone gets in for free with the proof on their birthdays.

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The park is divided into various themes (Asia, Mexico, Africa). There are eatery joints inside and they are okay, so need not worry to take food with you. They maintain the park really tidy which attracted me for sure. The Black Mamba roller-coaster is best ride for roller-coaster lovers. We really had so much fun and I highly recommend it for Kids. The park opens this year by 1st of April.

2. Conny Land, Bodensee

If you are planning for Bodensee trip, then do include Conny Land into your list. This park is the fabulous place for children with great variety of rides, activities, nice animal shows and water play. Most of the rides were suitable for below 10 years old. The fact that it’s not too big is also a plus as you can take it easy and still go on all the rides in a day with no big queues unlike other theme parks. There are water rides really good for small kids, better take a swim suit with you. It has parrot and sea-lion shows which my little one enjoyed a lot. The entrance ticket is 29€, which is highly reasonable. Seniors and kids under 3 can go free. Children up to 14 years old on the day of the birthday upon presentation of a valid ID can go for free. For young kids it really a mini paradise. Food was really good in the food court. The park opens this year by 3rd of April.

3. Steinwasen Park, Freiburg

Best way to visit this park is by having the black forest red card, by which you can visit this theme park for free. This is one of the best attractions for kids when you plan for black forest trip. It’s not a big of an amusement park but definitely worth to go with kids and  the atmosphere in the middle of the woods is quiet attractive. It’s not only you enjoying rides but also you get some wonderful fresh forest air. Children under 10 will really have a great time. There’s a small zoo as well there. The interactive wild park is also a best attraction here.  There were lots of rides inside and out as well as a water splash, a luge bobsled type run, a sommerrodelbahn (mountain coaster) etc.  I highly recommend for a family outing. The entry ticket if you doesn’t have red card is 23 euros. Kids below 4 years old can go free. Children under 12 years old on their birthdays can go free.

This is really a small gist about these Freizeitparks which we love, as I covered all the three in one place I couldn’t give detailed description. But, I hope this will give an idea for you and your family to plan for best trips in coming summer.

Tschüss, Biss dann!!!!

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Getting through sudden weaning from breastfeeding. My experience and tips

To start with my experience I was very satisfied mom in breastfeeding until my daughter was 1 year and 3 months old. Real struggle started after that. My daughter’s nutritional attachment has become more of emotional attachment and she started asking for milk all the time, which made me frustrated and exhausted.

I was all alone in Germany without family support and husband worked full-time and he could support only in evenings so, no distraction for her to stop asking for milk. I somehow slowly started reducing my breastfeeding sessions in daytime. I gone through all the articles related to weaning and everything seemed to be simple and experience of others weaning their kids seemed to be natural and easy. I know everyone’s experience is different, for some it’s easy and some it’s a struggle.

In my case, the struggle was real once I tried to reduce feeding in night-time. It was terrible when she started feeding more in night-time than before which lead me sleep deprivation. I couldn’t bear and as I didn’t have family support here, I decided to fly to India and finally stopped my breastfeeding cold turkey with the help of my mom and sister. I didn’t feel emotionally bad or depressed but more relieved and happy mama. It took only one week and she was all okay and happy. When I asked her whether she wants some milk and she just said no mommy and went, which surprised me!!!

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Take a look at some tips from my experience:

Wear a support bra. My first and foremost suggestions for moms who decided to wean is to choose a bra which supports your breast and not too tight. If you choose to wear tight bra thinking it will stop your milk production like me, then will definitely lead to clogged breast. Being bra less once you have engorged breast is also not a good idea.

Relieve engorged breast. Remove a little milk when you feel your breast are too much engorged. Too much pumping or hand expression of milk will make your body to continue producing even more milk.

Use only cold compress. I made a huge mistake by using hot packs on my breast which gave a short time relaxation but lead to more pain. Thankfully I didn’t use for longer. Later when I consulted doctor, he told hot packs will lead to severe damage in ducts. Cold cabbage leaves and ice packs relieve the inflammation and pain of swollen engorged breasts. It will even help to reduce the milk production. The product that I mentioned below is a life saver for me. These pads can be used both warm and cold and the cooling method helped a lot to ease the pain.

Plan to stay home for few days. Your breasts are definitely going to leak and the discomfort from the swollen breasts will make you highly uncomfortable so, just plan to stay home for few days.

Ibuprofen, Tylenol or Advil for help. There are some chances of getting fever so, keep meds in case. For me more than fever I suffered a lot from neck and shoulder pain due to my breasts engorgement.

Seek family or friends support. Seeking family help is the best thing happened to me. Your toddler will be totally distracted instead of clinging to you and crying. And most importantly, support with the house work will reduce the burden from your shoulders.

Reduce the physical touch. It doesn’t mean you have to avoid your child. Having too much cuddling time will lead to your child asking for milk. So, do some activities like coloring or puzzle instead of hugging and kissing.

Don’t skip eating. I was so scared to eat as I thought it’s going to make me produce more milk and ended up being hungry and frustrated along with the breasts pain. So, don’t starve. Better to avoid non vegetarian foods.

I weaned my daughter when she was around 2 years old, she was a toddler so, it is easier for me (technically my family) to distract and family support made me less stressful. Weaning from breastfeeding is not same for everyone especially with small babies. Going cold turkey will affect them as well as you from emotional depression so, consult your pediatrician before weaning.

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Engaging kids in home. Ways that I follow

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Back then, in my childhood I used to always play outdoors, of course it’s India and the weather is always favorable for outdoor games and yes weather plays a main role in engaging kids. Here in Germany, after having my daughter I realized, how hard it is to engage a kid in home especially in winters. Her terrible two drove me crazy and I was constantly thinking for ideas to engage her. Kids have a lot of energy to let out. Being a minimalist parent I don’t want to invest more on toys or expensive stuffs, while we have a lot of things around us which bring joy to our kids.  So, Parents here you go, take a look at some of my ways to engage kids indoor.

Be with your child. I know parents, not always have time to spend with their kids. But, when you do have time to spend with your child, do things that they enjoy. Giving your time is a big thing for kids. Even simply sitting near them and staring at what they play matters a lot to a kid. In case if you are working parent, avoid bringing work home with you. In case you have to, allow your child to sit with you and do some coloring or doing puzzles etc. But all they need is your presence.

Fun Reading sessions. My daughter loves books in any form. Sometimes she take my novel and start pretending to read :). Reading sessions are really a good way to engage kids and also make them to start their interest in reading at very young age. Since early on, I have been reading books to my daughter. After I finished reading a story book to her, I would always tell her it’s quite time now for mommy and you to read the book by ourselves. And she will just stare the pics of the book and keep saying the words from the stories which I read. It’s a good way for improving their memory and creative thinking.

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Involving kids in household chores. I would say it’s one of my favorite task because it always makes my household chores less stressful by seeing the cuteness of her doing those chores. Give chores which excite them. For example, I say my daughter to clean the television because it shows you your favorite cartoons or wipe the mirrors as it shows your beautiful face everyday to you etc. Involve them in kitchen for putting veggies in respective baskets and cooking. My daughter roll her own tiny Chapathis (Indian bread), sometime peeling carrots with my assistance and baking with kids are always fun. Involving them in house hold chores make them to teach cleanliness, discipline and also how to look after themselves and the house.

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Painting. Which kid is not the fan of painting, be it hand painting or with brush. My daughter sometimes do it on her face too. It’s okay to be messy while having fun. Creativity starts from colors and using them on papers , so encourage kids to paint more and don’t forget to encourage them by showcasing their creativity on walls or doors or like me by hanging it in a notice board.

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Doing exercise together. It’s a great way for both to have fun. We laugh a lot while we do mommy daughter exercise. There are a lot of videos out there which you can play in TV and just do by seeing it. It is quite a good way to be fit and also incorporate healthy activity for the kid in indoor. For us sometimes exercise sessions will change to dance sessions too :).

Make use of old cardboard. Before you throw away those cardboard of your new washing machine arrived in, you need to check out all of the brilliant things you can make with them. Amazing play houses for no cost can be made for your kids. My daughter used to stay in that for whole day and play. It doesn’t need to be so perfect (your kid doesn’t need that too).

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Her dolly sleeping in the cardboard house

Do a magic show. I made her a backdrop with two chairs and said mommy is ready for your show, that’s it my daughter got so excited to make her own show.  It made her to think all interesting things for the show like shadow puppets, magic toys arrives from shopping basket etc., which was so fun and it really encouraged her creativity.

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Magic show – She asked me to close my eyes and took toys from the shopping basket 🙂

Role play. Every kid has their favorite story and favorite character in it. Find the stories which they are obsessed with and start playing a role play, It’s not only fun but also helps them identify good from bad while encouraging bravery.  You can choose a superhero or a fantasy characters such as unicorns, dinosaurs, princess tales etc. Along with being fun, using imagination in their play improves their creativity. It’s not necessary to buy those costumes, just make those with what is available near you. Kids will never complain about it for sure.

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Role play – Little red riding hood (obviously I am the Wolf :))

Do try these methods, they are cost-effective, develop the skills, bonding and also engage them in home. Please do share you experiences in comments which might help a lot of people out there.

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Dealing with mixed emotions being a parent – few tips for best approach

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In this fast changing world, parenting seems subject to changing styles and it somehow became a competitive sport. Parents get keep on tracking their kids for better manners, habits, and behaviors, forgetting the single most important skill for “positive” parenting over the course of our kids’ lifetimes is our own self-awareness and self-regulation as parents.

Parenting is an intensely emotional experience which comes with two extreme feelings. One is the pure pleasure of cuddling, playing, laughing, exploring, and deep sense of connection and love and on the other hand the emotions are mixed with feelings of frustration – things like losing their odd life, financial independence, career, spontaneity, time with their partner and friends and  feeling trapped by the huge change that has completely taken over their life and sense of self. These mixed emotions will make a parent (especially mom)  to think that their identity as an individual has been replaced by that of ‘parent’.

So, it’s highly important to manage our feelings as a parent, because these mixed emotion will deeply affect the child’s mental health in future. Here are few tips which I learnt through my experience and would like to share with you:

Controlling our emotions. This is the foremost thing every parent should follow. We all have a bad day but when it comes to kids they are not like adults to sense your stress and keep calm. Kids needs their parents attention so, instead of showing your stress to them, giving them that 5 minute attention, keeping everything aside will make a huge difference in the kids attitude. After giving them the 5 minute attention you can slowly tell you need a little time to rest. It will definitely work. Give it a try!!!

One day my daughter and me were returning home from the kindergarten by bus, she always wants to sit in the particular seat before her friend do, but it doesn’t happen that day and she threw a big fit, while her adorable friend gave her the seat and stood in the bus for the whole ride.  Tuning in my feelings into anger or disappointment, I just took few deep breaths to clear my mind (I am not perfect still!!!! ) and calmly said it’s not always possible to sit in the same seat and its ok to be disappointed. She understood and gave the seat to her friend by herself the next day.  Key is to think the best way to respond. Where remaining calm is a hard work (still I am learning :)) and it will definitely pay off in future.

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Little distraction will do.  When your child doesn’t listen to you and asks for five more minutes of cartoon time, game time or playing time and hates you for not giving their extra time then instead of being mad and yelling at them just try to distract them, by giving your kid a big hug, by doing this you are letting them know that you hear their frustration and empathize with it. If this doesn’t work just distract them with a silly funny dance which can turn the tides. It not only relieves the kids frustration but also your stress.

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Run out of the situation for a minute. When your child cannot calm down and having hard time just take a time out instead of being in that moment and reacting. This way you can prevent yourself from the negative emotion ruling you. Giving a time out for yourself, will make you and your kids mental status to calm down. “You have to be in control of yourselves if you want them to be in control of themselves.” As the quote says it’s a great tool to control negative emotions and help in channeling your emotions in a right way.

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Misconceptions which shocked me about India

It’s been a while since I wrote something in my blog. Recently I finished my B2 level in German language. My 10 months course not only taught language but also got the opportunity to mingle with people from different countries. After getting closer to people from other land, something which surprised me is the misconception what they have about my homeland India. Some made my eyebrows raise and few made me laugh. I realized, India, being a multiculturalmultiethnic and multireligious society, there is no big wonder that people have so much misconceptions. Here, I like to write about some questions which I came across being an Indian in Germany.

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Do you speak “Indian”?

No, of course we don’t speak “Indian,” because Indian is not a language. People have no idea, how many languages and dialects exist in our country and are spoken by everyone. There are about 122 native languages exists in India. So, whenever I come across the question “Sprichst du Indisch?” (do you speak Indian?), my answer will not be yes or no, rather a big lecture of Indian languages.

As shown in Bollywood films, do you guys dance in streets?

I remembered, when my good friend asked this to me “Tanzen Sie alle, wie in Bollywood-Filmen gezeigt, auf der Straße?”, I couldn’t control my laughter. Yes we love to see movies but none of us go around dancing in streets and singing in the rain. We live so normally, much like the other people in the world.

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Have you seen snakes in streets?

It was a weird question which I came across from one of my Greek friend. She literally thought India is underdeveloped and we see wild animals in daily basis. I asked “where you have seen snakes” She replied “In Zoo or Snack parks”, I said “Dear even I have seen it only in zoo and snake parks like you”.  Snakes are not commonly found in streets or in public places except in zoos.

Why Indian food is so spicy?

Not in every part of the country we serve spicy food. If you go to northern part, for example, we have Dal varieties (curried yellow lentils), can be mild. In down south we have delicacies like idli, vada, and the most loving dish curd-rice. We have foods that suit for all kind of taste buds.

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Dal (yellow lentil curry)

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Curd rice

You speak different language other than your national language?

As I said earlier there are about 122 native languages and 23 official languages in India. 60% of Indians have mother tongues other than Hindi. So, its normal for an Indian to speak in his state’s language and not in national language.

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Why can’t you eat beef but eat chicken?

There are people in India who eat beef, It’s something what Hindu religion says and its our choice to eat or avoid. So, people who follow and believe in Hindu religion doesn’t consume the cow. There are many religion other than Hindu, hence many consume beef in India.

Can you teach Yoga?

I always have a weird smile at this question and say no. Because I always felt ashamed that more than Indians, the western world is taking Yoga more seriously (as far as i know). It’s a fact that lot of us don’t do Yoga.

Do all Indian people sleep in streets?

One of my German friend visited India and she saw a large amount of people sleeping in streets and parks and thought its a normal practice for Indians to sleep in streets. But, no not every Indian sleeps in streets. They are bunch of homeless people like the same in other western countries. The only difference is the number of people, which is obviously higher, considering the Indian population.

Does India have a hot weather all 365 days?

Nope! Even our countries weather changes from region to region.  India does get very hot summers, equally cold winters and a moderate tropical weather. Looking at the size of the country it is not possible to have only one kind of weather throughout the year. We have six ecological seasons.

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