Monday, 19 November 2018

Miss Never Pleased: A unique book for kids aged 7-13

So recently I came across an amazingly unique kind of book for kids i.e Miss Never Pleased by Ayesha Marafani but in a very good way. Now the reason why I am saying it unique is that the story depicts emotional transformation of a child (as she grows) and her realization of the basic human feelings like empathy, care and humility that makes it even more interesting to read for kids!

As I was reading the book with my 10 year old, some incidents of the book made us smile, some made us feel pity with the protagonist i.e Habiba and some made us angry too (because she was too proud at times!). The storybook is about a super proud girl who is always hurting others with her irony inundated remarks but if you study the character deeply, she is a little silly girl who is living in her own bubble that has been created by her elders and also by herself. There is a message within it too that we, the elders sometimes in order to make our children perfect make them so idealistic that they consider every situation from their own point of view.

The beauty about this book is that it narrates how silliness transforms into arrogance and snooty behaviour.She stays the same unless she learns a lesson!

This book also tells us that bullying and belittling doesn't go a long way!

And yes another point this book has beautifully depicted is the urge for parents to always make their kids an emblem of perfection and in doing so, they deprive the children of exploring the world on their own and tasting the fruit of both success and failure and that's why when kids grow up, they blame their parents for not letting them come out off their bubble and this is what Habiba does too in the book!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

World Kindness Day: Let's appreciate kindness!

13th November is celebrated as World Kindness Day all over the world! We all talk about how and in what ways we can be kind to one another but rarely we talk about how to appreciate kindness. Appreciating acts of kindness is as important as doing it. Have you noticed even birds chirp when you feed them food? It's their way of being happy and appreciate goodness.

Do you remember the top 5 moments when you were amazed by others' acts of kindness? Or acts of kindness that helped you in a  certain  situation? I started thinking and I must admit, it took me quite a while because in our always talking about being kind to others , we forget that we should also appreciate those who were  kind to us! Kindness is contagious but in a good way like if somebody was being  kind to you, it certainly would have pushed you towards  being kind and helpful to others!

I thought and compiled a list of 5 incidents where strangers' acts of  kindness helped me:

1.Lost my wallet
I remember that day we were coming back from hospital and my ultrasound report was not right as there were strong signs of miscarriage so obviously as I was very worried, while getting out of the car I dropped my wallet on the road. We ate at the restaurant and while getting out of the restaurant, we realized that my wallet is not with me.So my husband asked the guard if he had seen any wallet and thankfully, he had the wallet with him all secure. He told us that he  had decided that if nobody comes to ask for the wallet, he would go tomorrow to deliver the wallet himself as my identity card was in the wallet . We were super impressed by the guard's kindness.

2.Giving me her place
It was my daughter's parent teacher meeting and the lady ahead of me in the queue gave me her place as a lot of parents wanted to meet the concerned teacher so she asked me that as you are holding a baby so you can go before me! Her saying this made such a  nice impression on my mind that whenever I see her (while dropping off and picking my daughter from school ), the incident comes into my mind!

3. Moving us up the queue
We were travelling to Thailand and it was the first time we were going on a vacation with our 2 year old baby. We were standing in a long queue at Bangkok airport and suddenly an airport official came and asked us to follow him! Of course,  we got scared as what's the matter.The people around us also started staring at us. What the security official did was that he took us to the very start of the queue because we had a baby with us! We were indeed very pleased.
Thai people generally are very kind towards kids as this is what we found throughout our ten day vacation. There were always people around to help us whether we needed somebody to pull down the stroller from an elevation or in case our baby cried, people used to offer  candies.

4. My daughter's school card thrown out of the car's window!
It's my daughter school's policy that they don't allow to a child to go home if parent or whoever comes to pick her up hasn't got the school card. Few days back, my toddler son threw the card out of car's window and I got so tensed as I would have to get a new card made from the school office.The very next day as I asked the school guard about the card, he told me that yesterday a child saw the card on the road and returned it at the school office.  I was so relieved to having spared myself from the hassle!:)

5. Got my wedding ring back
You must be wondering now that why kindness is all about the lost and found things(lol). But these are the incidents that came into my mind instantly. I am sure there are many more! :)
We were on our flight to Malaysia when I forgot my wedding diamond ring in the washroom. And the good part is that I realized it soon that something is missing on my finger. When I told the air hostess, she told me that somebody had just given her that ring saying that it was found on the sink.

So kindness is all about being honest , nice , caring and considerate . I am so happy that it is being taught to kids now in school. My daughter's school is having kindness week and they have to write an act of kindness daily. I think that's a great idea to inculcate kindness in our future generations ! So be kind and let's appreciate kindness all around!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

5 things Amelia Bedelia stories teach your kids!!

I love reading Amelia Bedelia stories because they are devoid of the actual problems of the world! They are simple, funny and so easy to read !

That's why I gifted a volume comprising of these stories to my daughter on her eighth birthday and Yes! she loved it. It feels so good to introduce literature to kids.

While I was browsing on the net, I read somewhere that you should not let your children read Amelia Bedelia's stories, it would make them dumb but I don't agree. Being simple and funny is not dumb and that too in a kids' book . What is more satisfying than kids understanding the simple stories and bursting into fits of laughter by simply reading about a simple and honest literal- minded housekeeper.

These are the five things that Amelia Bedelia
stories teach your kids:

  1. Housekeeper can be a protagonist too!Yes!!Not only princes, princesses and superheroes can be a main character of a play or story but every character belonging to real life can be a protagonist.
  2. Always remember to see the good side of others; sometimes only one quality of a person stands against all the weaknesses in his personality like Amelia Bedilia was too good at making pies and cupcakes and that quality stood against her habit of being too literal.
  3. Loyalty is one thing that always wins hearts like Amelia Bedilia was so loyal to her employers that she did as they said; the only flaw in her was that she took things too literally. Amelia Bedilia always keeps her promises.  She is afterall one honest employee.
  4. Amelia Bedelia is so hardworking! She is always trying to make her employers happy by trying to accomplish her tasks in time. 
  5. Amelia Bedilia teaches us to be happy no matter what happens and never loses hope!

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Do Thoughts and Habits play any part in shaping destiny??

You might think it as a weird question but keeping aside everything, it is a fact that habits do play a pivotal part in shaping character.

I remember when I was small , my father told me not to shake my legs while sitting as it is a bad habit and it really puts a bad impact of your personality on others. Then he told me a story about his childhood when his friend's mom once asked him to stop shaking legs while sitting and her words impacted my father so much that he left his habit. Of course we all know that what bad impact of nervousness this habit leaves on others.

This is one of my most favourite quotes and it is so true! Of course the quote has to be good because it is by one of the most influential figures of 19th century. This is exactly what we need to teach our kids that the very essence of a character starts from a thought and a habit.

Steven Covey's book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" is my favourite inspirational book to date. The quotes he has mentioned about habits and character traits of humans are amazing. He has mentioned Horace Mann's quote:
Habits are like a cable.We weave a strand of it everyday and soon it cannot be broken

During our childhood, our parents emphasize again and again about good habits, bad habits and also about friends having good habits and friends having bad habits. And now after some years, we are trying to make our kids understand this because habits do have a greater impact on success of a person like if a person is habitual of losing hope after one failure, he will never succeed because hard work is associated with hope!

Another brilliant quote by Aristotle on habits:

We are what we repeatedly do.Excellence then is not an act, but a habit

If we draw an inference on this quote, then probably it means that (for example in sports)when big players win again and again, it's because they have developed a habit of winning! But obviously this habit requires a blend of many things like hard work, determination and will power.

As Allama Iqbal, the greatest philosopher  poet of subcontinent  rightly said:

The miracle of life stem from ingenuity of thought and action,
Ingenuity of thought and action covert rough stone into precious red diamond 

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The best story book for your little girl!

Are you searching for a book for your daughter that is replete with inspirational and heroic true stories instead of typical fairy tales where the only purpose of a princess is to look beautiful and marry a prince! 

Then you must give your daughters a gift that they would surely treasure : Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (100 tales of extraordinary women). There are two books in this series. This is part 1 and it is literally mesmerizing. You get to know about so many young girls and women who had the ability to think out of the box!

It is no doubt one of the best books I have ever bought for my 10 year old since her birth and even the best book I bought for myself! The inspirational book features 100 heroic women from Elizabeth 1 to Jane Austen, from Malala Yousafzai to William sisters and from Michelle Obama to Yusra Martini.The book talks about amazingly talented women hailing from different fields of life.The illustrations are super amazing too! I myself was amazed to read about brilliant women architects; athletes, painters, doctors, activists, rock stars, scientists, politicians, chefs, formula one racer, writers, mountaineers and what Not!!But these all women have one thing in common: the ability to defy the odds!!

A must read for every girl and woman!
It is the best gift you can give to your daughter as the very first page says, 

To the rebel girls of the world: 
Dream bigger
Aim higher
Fight harder
And,when in doubt, remember
You are right 

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Teaching Toddlers through Transportation Theme!

Transportation theme is very much emphasized in pre schools and there are plenty of valid reasons for it!

  • Every kid gets happy while going out on a car or a bus! That's why many preschools nowadays take kids for a ride on the bus during transportation theme just as to actively involve them in the learning process 
  • Kids have a natural inclination towards different sounds of transport !The sounds of car, bus and planes make them excited!
  • Boys especially love playing with toy cars, trains and aeroplanes so it becomes easy to engage them in transportation theme!
What transport related activities we parents should do at home?

  • Read short story books to them related to transportation especially usborne books having sounds. They are perfect for 2-3 year olds as it makes learning fun too.
  • Whenever you go out with kids, point towards different modes of transport and tell the child about it. 
  • Adorn the kid's room wall with stickers related to the theme you are teaching your kid e.g. if you are focussing on transportation theme you can have picture of car, bus, plane or even a spaceship on the wall! Recently I bought a beautiful wall sticker from Habitt and my son absolutely loves it!

  • Help them relate to what is in the book with real life like picking up a car toy and telling the child about what it is and what it sounds like! Having toys related to transportation theme also help a lot in grasping the whole concept! My favourite transportation toys are those of Early learning centre uk.
  • Colouring and even painting activities like making tracks with paints fascinate kids but only those who are interested in art related activities at this stage! Some children are just not interested in painting at this stage. You can leave them and let them enjoy with cars alone!:) They will develop interest eventually!

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Magical 10th birthday !..All about Unicorns!

Now whoever has a daughter aged 7-12 can totally relate that sometimes it feels that that the world is all about Unicorns!

A year back I didn't know what is this all craze about Unicorns but my daughter's so much talking about unicorn urged me to write on almost every reliable kids items' selling page that do they have any and yes I meant any unicorn items ( be it a dress, pencil case, slime, lipbalm but the word unicorn has to be there!) Because I was searching for her birthday gift and I couldn't find any suitable unicorn themed present.

My daughter just turned 10 and I knew that her birthday cake, goody bags all have to be unicorn themed otherwise then you would have to hear all year that my so and so friend is having a unicorn themed birthday and that her mom was so sweet to arrange it for her!

So for making her birthday Magical, I ordered unicorn themed goody bags from Bits n Bobs. They were reasonable and good too. I ordered unicorn themed cake from Cake Monster which was amazing. It was all a surprise for her as like every little girl, my daughter also loves surprises.

So when your kids are happy so are you. Unicorns are magical; may be that's why little girls dream of them. Whatever the theme Is, it does help in creating lovely memories which your children cherish all their lives. It doesn't matter whether your budget is big or small; happiness and magic lies even in the smallest things you do for your kids!