Helping your Child Write her First Words

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One of the greatest things that parents can do for their children is providing them education. And the most crucial time for laying the foundation for school education, amongst children is the elementary stages when they are just learning to read and write. Almost all parents have held the tiny hands of their little ones and helped them scribble out their first words.

For parents who are yet to go through this overwhelming experience and want to make it easy for their child to learn the first steps of writing, here are a few tips to follow:

  • Make your child try scribbling with crayons on big, blank A-4 sheets or try tracing over the alphabets drawn by you on the sheets, for a few minutes daily.
  • Be patient if your child draws the letters wrong initially, appreciate her attempts and show her the right way to write the letters calmly, each time.
  • Never stop her when she scribbles on the floor or walls and give her black boards or chart papers to do her scribbling on, instead.
  • Allow her often, to make use of her imagination and creativity with freedom and do not instruct her about writing the right way all the time.
  • Encourage her to practice more and more by putting her worksheets or other creations on display in her room or a board in the house.
  • Colour big cut outs of the letters with different shades and use them to help identify the alphabets making use of her visual skills.
  • Give her small rewards or praise her efforts even if she lacks perfection at this point of time. This would help her do better next time.
  • Run your imagination and make use of innovative art supplies like clay, sand, colours, etc. to keep your child intrigued in the learning process.

 

Household Chores that you must teach your Children

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One of the prime concerns of the modern age parents is that how can they make their children learn about the daily life activities alongside their school education. Learning household chores like making her bed, cleaning her room, knowing how to cook for herself, etc., not only trains the children for the essential life skills but also makes them self-reliant and self-dependent. Here are some household chores that you must train them in:

  1. Ensure that your child makes her bed, first thing after she gets up in the morning.
  2. Tell her that she should set her plate and glass for the meals by herself on the table.
  3. Ask her to clean the table if she dropped anything while eating and put her dishes in the sink after she finishes her meal.
  4. Make it a habit that she collects all her toys and organizes them properly after playing.
  5. Encourage your child to put all her dirty clothes inside the washing machine by herself.
  6. Teach her how to sort her washed clothes and arrange them in her cupboard.
  7. Motivate your child to keep her study table and shelves organized, with books, stationary and art materials all at proper places.

Starting with these small chores early on, will help build a strong foundation for your children and inculcate in them the habits that they would carry for their entire lives.

Why Franchising makes sense for an Entrepreneur?

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“Entrepreneurship is exploiting an opportunity regardless of the resources currently available” says Howard Stevenson, Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He elaborates that “the key to this perspective is the focus on opportunity (and not on resources).”

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With a wide range of rewarding business prospects in the country, the business fraternity has experienced a boom over the past few years. Entrepreneurs and other investors are voluntarily stepping-forward to spend their time, efforts, skills, expertise and most importantly huge sum of money to establish their own business. Entrepreneurship involves several kinds of risks viz. strategic, financial and other operational risks associated with it. An entrepreneur undertakes the risks ranging right from the inception of the business idea till the time the business is completely established. Moreover, with the advent of several stiff competitors in almost every sector, it is a wise man’s decision to opt for such a route that shall not only be rewarding but less risky as well. Thus, it requires a great deal of efforts to start a business in any sector. However, a budding concept for establishing a business for any entrepreneur is to tread on the franchise path.

The concept of franchising has created a stir in business sector, offering great business opportunities to young entrepreneurs to climb the ladder of success via franchise en-route. In its true sense, ‘Franchising is being in business for yourself, but not by yourself’. Franchising is a great way to have your own successful business and work in your special way. Franchising is such an alluring concept that allows an entrepreneur to fulfil his/her dream of becoming his/her own boss. It is a stress-free and time-tested way of doing the business that enables the aspiring franchise owners to operated business without being completely on their own.

In the current scenario, the growth of franchising is inevitable because it clearly offers aspiring new business owners the best possible chance of succeeding. Enlisted below are some of the crucial points that will answer the question ‘Why franchising makes sense for an entrepreneur?’ and compel you to select a franchise opportunity, if you wish start your own business.

Pleasing for Beginners’ – Franchising is such a luring venture that it appeals to people having no previous experience of running a business and transform into successful entrepreneurs. By presenting a proven business model, coupled with hands-on training, the art of franchising is capable of completely transmuting novices into accomplished entrepreneurs. Sense of Independence – Franchising enables an entrepreneur to become his/her own boss as he/she need not reinvent the wheel. The concept of franchising makes sense for an entrepreneur as it ultimately leads to greater chances of success then if the franchisee was to operate independently.

Proven Blueprint – After venturing into franchising, an entrepreneur is legally entitled to adopt the franchisor’s tried and tested, proven, ready-made business model and code of conduct. Thus, an entrepreneur will reap the benefits of a proven track record of the franchisor.

Reduced Risk – One of the major underlying factors that fascinates an entrepreneur to opt for franchising is the reduced risk factor involved. The risk of failure is comparatively lower than starting an absolutely brand new business. This is so because when an entrepreneur buys a franchise, he/she buys the system that works.

Easier Finance – By opting for a franchise, an entrepreneur receives financial assistance from the franchisor, as he/she makes arrangements with the banks and other financial institutions to lend money. However, the responsibility for the repayment of the loan amount shall be borne by the franchisee only.

Low on Cost, High on Returns – The primary benefit that a franchisee reaps is the low cost of investment. This is due to the reduction of costs and the savings made in administrating and advertising the franchise outlet. Moreover, association with an established brand name ensures assured profits and returns on investments, which ultimately ensures faster cash flow for the entrepreneur.

Mentor & Peer Support – Franchising benefits the franchisee with ongoing training and support from the franchisor. Moreover, with the support and guidance from the mentor viz. the franchisor as well as from the peers viz. other franchisees, an entrepreneur becomes competent to conduct its set of operations, in a stress-free way.

Develops Faster Customer-base – Once an entrepreneur gets associated with an established brand name, it becomes easy to fetch the targeted consumers. This is due to the strength of the brand and loyalty of the customers spread near or far.

Exclusive Territorial Rights – By venturing into a franchise, the franchisor guarantees predetermined territory to the franchisee that assists in succeeding within that territorial region. This relieves the entrepreneur from not having to compete with another franchise location of the parent company.

Moreover, franchise investment is one of the safest businesses that involves less cost and more revenue. Besides this, indulging in business franchising is a win-win situation for the three parties involved i.e. franchisor, franchisee and the end-user of the product/service.

In a nut-shell, franchising does makes sense for an entrepreneur as it is the best way to perk up the business and get the desired results.

 

Include These 10 Essential Nutrients in Your Child’s Diet

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A child’s health forms the top most priority for every parent. Parents often worry about their child’s nutrient intake. You aim at providing your child with a healthy and balanced diet, but, it is essential to know the vital nutrients which must be present in your child’s everyday diet.

Given below are the 10 essential nutrients that must form a part of your child’s everyday diet:

  1. Calcium

Calcium builds strong bones and teeth, promotes healthy nerve and muscle function and helps the body convert food into energy.

Sources: Milk, yogurt, cheese, egg yolks, broccoli, spinach, etc.

 

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps form and repair red blood cells, bones, and tissues. It helps keep your child’s gums healthy, strengthens blood vessels and boosts the immune system.

Sources: Citrus fruits such as grapes, orange and vegetables like tomato and sweet red pepper, etc.

 

  1. Vitamin D

It helps their body absorb minerals like calcium and builds strong teeth and bones. It is essential for reaching their growth potential and peak bone mass.

Sources: Eggs, fish like tuna and cereals, etc.

 

  1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and bone growth. It helps protect the body from infections, promotes the health and growth of the cells and tissues in the body, including the hair, nails and skin.

Sources: Carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.

 

  1. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the finest source of energy in the body. They help the body to use fat and proteins in repairing the worn out tissues.

Sources: Breads, pasta, potatoes and rice, etc.

 

  1. Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acids help build cells, regulate the nervous system, build immunity, and help their body absorb other nutrients. It is necessary for their healthy brain function and vision.

Sources: Nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, fishes like salmon and tuna, etc.

 

  1. Iron

Iron is important for making hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying red pigment in blood and myoglobin, a pigment that stores oxygen in muscles.

Sources: Red meats, whole grains, beans, and nuts, etc.

 

  1. Fiber

Fiber helps in the smooth functioning of your child’s bowel movements.

Sources: Whole-grain cereals, chickpeas, lentils, seeds, kidney beans and nuts, etc.

 

  1. Magnesium

Magnesium keeps the bones strong and the heart rhythm steady. It supports your child’s immune system and helps maintain muscle and nerve function.

Sources: Nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, whole grain bread, etc.

 

  1. Potassium

It works with sodium to control the body’s water balance, which helps maintain blood pressure. It also assists with muscle function and heart rhythm.

Sources: Fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, cereals, etc.

Benefits & Challenges of having a Single Child v/s Siblings

Aug 2015 Women On Top-PG-26 (1)Raising children is much more than a routine life process. It is something that every parent does out of utter love & affection and utmost dedication. All parents want to provide the best possible upbringing to their child. Therefore, to be able to give the best to their child and to have a better parenting experience for themselves, many new age couples wish to plan for everything about their child in advance. Amidst such planning for the future & brainstorming for the betterment of their child, a question that often crosses their minds is that whether it is better to have a single child or more than one child.

Based on my own experience as a parent, my close observation of other parents and my acquaintance with relevant research findings, I would like to share some of my observations & thoughts concerning each of the two situations with all of you.

More and more couples these days are choosing to have only one child for a number of reasons. In some cases, it is the financial constraints of the family, while in others it is the parents’ desires of fulfilling their own career goals. And many times it is simply the couple’s belief that this is the best way through which they can save & provide all the resources, love & care to the child. However, there are a lot many aspects that need to be understood from the child’s perspective.

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One of the most noticeable challenges that a single child faces is the feeling of loneliness. With no other child of her age at home to share her favourite toys with, to enjoy silly make believe games with or to fight with for a few extra bites of food or new pack of colours, the child seeks even more attention from the parents and expects them to behave as her sibling would. Since most people in big cities have nuclear families, there is usually no one to give that added attention to the child, unlike in a joint family. The situation becomes furthermore tricky when both the parents are working.

However, if the parents maintain a friendly relation with the child and spend ample time with her, they can surely fill in the space of her sibling with a little more efforts and affection. Another challenge with an only child can be her non-social nature at school or her inability to mingle with other children. Think of a child who has spent most of her time with her parents and not with any brother or sister of her age group. Such a child, in general, will find it a bit hard to interact with other children when she starts going to school, where her parents are not present to comfort her. She might also need some additional care and practise to learn to converse with other people.

On the other hand, as for the benefits of having a single child, parents of an only child, the child being their first and foremost priority, try new & innovative activities with her, thus spending quality time with her. When they find it difficult to get involved into the child’s world of imaginary creations and activities, they find a way to involve & engage the child into their own world of other exciting things like taking them to movies, going to game arcades or enjoying rides at amusement parks, etc., more often than usual. This brings the child much closer to her parents and helps the family’s bond grow even stronger.

Also, having a single child allows the parents to devote all their time, efforts & especially resources for the upbringing of their one child; thus, keeping her at the centre of attention and focusing on all her needs & demands. Many surveys have shown that quite opposite to the popular belief that an only child grows up to become more arrogant & self-centred with age, in reality, such a child turns out to be more content & calm. This is clearly because the child does not have to experience any ‘sibling rivalry’ or any ‘cold war’ to win her parents undivided love & attention. However, there is always a possibility of spoiling the child if the parents don’t know where to draw the line and keep fulfilling all her demands without her putting in any efforts.

While having a single child has its own challenges and benefits having two or more children has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, too.

The most obvious advantage for a child with siblings is that she never feels lonesome or bored as she can always share her feelings, tell her stories or try some inventive activities with her brother or sister, activities that sometimes even the most dedicated parents find difficult to do for their child because of their tough work-life or maybe their psychologically ‘adult’ brain. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that for today’s ‘up-and-running’ parents, it is sometimes challenging to be able to relate to the child’s imagination completely. Whereas, a brother or a sister belonging to the same age group, can understand her vivid and artistic fancies, easily.

Moreover, same aged or nearly same aged siblings enjoy doing most of the things together, example, playing with fun race cars or clothing the dolls, hosting the little make believe tea parties or doing the crazy little experiments & expeditions, etc. in their own special ways, which actually helps in strengthening their bond for lifetime. Even when there is an age gap between the siblings, the child feels more at ease in sharing her thoughts and mental state with her elder brother or sister, than doing the same in front of her parents because of the fear of disapproval or misunderstanding. Additionally, interacting with her siblings at home, in a way, helps a child in developing her overall skills of language and in improving her ability to express herself freely.

According to what I observed in children with elder siblings, because of watching her elder brother or sister acting in a particular manner, such a child tends to behave like a matured individual, right from her early years. For instance, when a child watches her elder sibling sit & eat in a certain style, she would immediately imitate the action, thus, forming a habit. This is how most of the personality of the child is heavily influenced and many life skills are directly passed on to her from her siblings. Also, she becomes more socially active by learning the art of fine-tuning with other children and sharing her food & belongings with them, because she has been doing so at home with her siblings.

Talking about parenting more than one child, it is a little more of a hardship for the parents than a struggle for the children for their attention. The very first logical challenge that parents have to meet is the expense and the exertions of their efforts to satisfy both (or all) the children at the same time. The different age groups, different choices and different needs of the children further add to this difficulty. A plain & simple example of this is a situation where the family goes out to dine and they just can’t decide which restaurant to go to because one of the children wants to eat Chinese and the other wishes to have Italian food. Though appropriate thinking & patience can help the parents find a suitable solution but usually they have to be very careful about not hurting either child’s feelings and maintaining the right balance.

It is true to some extent that older siblings can prove to be really beneficial to the parents in handling and entertaining the little children, thus, providing a helping hand. However, parents also have to keep in mind that they are children after all and have their own childhood engagements. Depending on the elder sibling for looking after the little one all the time will allow them with little time for their own activities, which is wrong straight out. And I am sure that no parent would want to neglect the basic requirements of one child while providing for the other.

Furthermore, the level of warmth in the relationship between a child and her sibling is, practically, impossible to anticipate beforehand. Sometimes siblings do not get along well for a number of reasons with severe distinction in the age, personality and choices being the most primary reason. Regardless of the bond of friendship, empathy and care and irrespective of the age difference among the children, there is always an ongoing contest between them for the parents’ attention and time. In fact, having more than one child claims almost all the time of the parents and it becomes a major task for them to find some time for themselves.  In between the professional time-table and the family life, their personal life as a couple and their individual ‘me’ time is what suffers the most.

At the end, the decision of having a single child or more children basically depends on the particular situation of the couple. After discussing all the pros and cons of each situation and thinking about how they want to step into the stage of parenthood, parents can make their choice. According to me, there is no particular wrong or right answer for the question. It is just about giving both your emotional and material best to your child or children, while not sacrificing your own individual space too much. After all, only wholly happy parents can raise entirely happy children, who can ultimately create one blissful family.