my daughter Aditi, four, began saying
“phis” instead of “fish” because of the
long hours she was spending with my
maid,” admits Shalini Goel, a Delhi-
based homemaker. “It was a hopeless
and unsuccessful case of weeding out
faulty pronunciations with constant and
endless arguments.”
Sometimes these maids are young
girls, prone to texting consistently on
their mobiles and doodling hearts on
paper with lovelorn looks as they chat in
hushed tones. “I have often discovered
this situation myself, especially during
the afternoons and weekends. It began
when I observed my 10-year-old making
funny eyes at the boy-next-door when
we were in the elevator. She was picking
up this body language from my help. My
problem is that I travel frequently and
can’t afford to fire her as she has been
with us for a few years and is in sync
with the kids,” shares Anuradha Singh,
Mumbai-based investment banker.
Dr Archana Jambusaria, “I believe
that drawing the line is completely
circumstantial— parents should neither
be severely strict nor absolutely mild.
The responsibility of the help should be
limited and purely instruction-based by
family members. There is an acute need
to educate them and set rules to bring
in a certain sense of discipline. Working
parents must make time for family
relationships and use communication
tools like mutual respect, an absence of
ego, rational thinking and a ready ear,”
she elaborates.
Teach Reach
Sometimes children bring home,
faulty grammar and pronunciation
from their school teachers too. For
instance, my nine-year-old’s teacher
tends to pronounce certain English
words, heavily-coated with her local
accent. This leads to a constant tango
between us, often in ironing out the
pronunciation and me circling spelling
errors in the teacher’s communication to
me in the school diary.
Says Nidhi Dhawan, a Pune-based
marketing professional, “I was appalled
when my two-year-old kept saying
“shopping?” every time I readied
myself to leave for work. Finally at a
parents get-together in her playschool,
I discovered the teachers singing some
song with the kids, about daddy going to
office and mummy going out shopping.”
The problem could also be a tuition
teacher, a coach for extra-curricular
activities, or your own mother. “I
discovered that when my 10-year-old
was too tired to do his homework, his
tuition teacher was doing it, feigning his
handwriting. When I confronted him,
he said “It is okay to do this once in a
while.” I brought the classes to a halt
soon,” says Sheela Rajput, a Mumbai-
based entrepreneur with three kids.
You need to
develop and share a rapport with the
teacher and outline clearly and firmly,
what you expect of the teacher and what
the parental rules are for your child.
Copy Cat Syndrome
“But Aryaman’s mother allows him to
play downstairs till 9 pm” countered my
daughter, when I admonished her for
returning home past the deadline of 8
pm. I explained that what works for one
parent, may not work for another.
Someone’s mother may allow
sleepovers or allow her to run errands
in the market, alone, or drop him off for
a movie with his friend. You will always
be the demonic parent because of the
rules you set. Children always compare,
crib and aim to conquer. As a parent, you
need to sensitize yourself to your kid’s
needs yet be the primary decision
maker, not one who surrenders willingly.
when setting the
rules, Dr Chhabria suggests employing
a calm tone, without being rigid,
stubborn or disrespectful, and giving an
appropriate explanation. Also time the
action well. Choose a good moment to
discuss the issue to avoid ego clashes.
Media Act
Television ads have a tremendous
impact on children. “My son splashed
pomegranate juice on his sister’s white
tunic and stroked the feature wall in his
room with a ballpoint pen. Incidentally,
the child in the washing powder ad that
advocates that stains are good, studies
in their school. Both of them were very
cool about it because this detergent can
easily undo the damage, according to the
commercial,” says Rajshree Damani, a
Pune-based homemaker.
As a parent, you
need to devise your own infrastructure
and checks. Says Dr Jambusaria,
“Television and online exposure needs
to be supervised. The bottom line is, if
parents maintain great communication
with their kids, they can always be
aware about the varied influences in
their lives and gently guide kids in the
right direction.” But most importantly,
says Dr Chhabria, “As working parents,
streamline a common parenting style.”
Common goals in parenting between the
concerned couple, always form a strong,
and united front. ■
whon there’s a divorce. Single
Parentingbecomes more
and con&sion.
parents each have their own style that b
“Shekhar tends to pamper Kaven
with the latest gadgets, whatever
she asks for, whenever they spend
time together,” says Suchitra
Krishnamoorthi, who divorced
film-maker husband Shekhar Kapur
a few years ago and is bringing up
their daughter Kaveri, in Mumbai.
“But I like to budget everything. My
rationale is that she does not need
everything, all the time, and I make
this clear, since I need to deal with
the dav-to-day situations at home.
Dr Jambusaria suggests these steps.
• Establish a good communication
channel with your child.
• Observe any changes in your
child’s behaviour, including frequent
instances of partial truthfulness
• Spend quality time with your chi
as well as his/her friends.
• Instill an adequate amount of se -
confidence in your child.
• Don’t let anger take over. Try to
act in a balanced manner while
previous page 69 Better Homes And Gardens India 2012 01 read online next page 71 Better Homes And Gardens India 2012 01 read online Home Toggle text on/off