Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Have We Discussed How To Raise Our Kids?

This post was first published on Parentous.

Disclaimer: My intention is not to annoy/offend any grandparent or parent but voice some common observations among family, friends circle and neighborhood.

It is common these days to find both parents working and kids being entrusted into the care of grandparents. But are we discussing the nitty-gritties of how we want to raise our children amongst us, the ones who are going to provide the primary care to the children? Are we all on the same page?

Few observations:
  • One of my friends (more like an acquaintance) is a working mother to a 6 year old. Her child is with his grandparents the whole day when he is not at school. Left to himself, he would eat nothing which has any nutritional value (read wafers, biscuits, magi et al). On a holiday, he would be hooked to the TV either watching cartoons, or watching the unrealistic family dramas with his grandparents. He would sleep at midnight and wake up at whatever time he wants.
  • I have seen little kids watching so-called saas bahu serials and crime-based shows with their grandparents for long hours (even actively discussing the plot). To make matters worse, these days the latest trend is of explicit content in TV-serials. As grown-ups we know what is real and what is shown to gain TRPs. But, do these kids have the wisdom or experience to differentiate between what is real and fictitious?
  • I am very particular about the nutrition intake of my child, what he eats throughout the day. I have consciously kept him off the chocolates, biscuits, namkeens, other junk food, packaged juice, etc. During the day he eats what we eat for the main meals, while the in-between snacks are usually fruits, dry fruits, dalia, some cheese and on some rare occasions, glucose biscuits (if there is really nothing else). On the other hand, I have seen some grandparents giving the tiny tots biscuits, wafers, chocolates on demand because the kids would easily eat them. Of course, they would! Which kid would not? It is our responsibility to provide them nutrition. And slowly when they are hooked to the junk food, not finding anything else tasty, then the kids are called ‘spoilt’! I don’t think the kids are to be blamed here at all.
  • The habit of eating while watching TV is a poor habit. It takes your attention away from the food and you don’t enjoy your food as you should. I have seen this happening in kids. They stop enjoying their food, and would do it only while watching TV so that they are not aware of what is going in their mouth, sometimes even spoon-fed by the grandparents.

In my humble opinion, even if the parents are delegating the responsibility of the child to someone else, there must be a set of rules, thoroughly discussed and properly communicated. Many grandparents are offended if you point out too many things because they feel they have done the job and have more experience. It is important that the parents address the issue tactfully on how they want to raise their child.

I am keen to know your thoughts.

I would like to repeat that in no way I want to point fingers at the grandparents because they are supposed to pamper. It is our responsibility as parents to discuss how we want to raise our kids. However, if we choose to raise our kids in this way then that is another matter altogether. 


  1. Hello Reema,

    I truly agree to your points. My son is 16 months old and has a habit of watching TV while eating. I truly Dislike this and I am working on it. But on the other side, he is very much
    he is hyper-active and doesn’t sits for a second. Most of the time, throws his food out of the mouth if he is not engaged by one or the other way. I am worried about this but I know, it will be ok. As all kids are different and you need to give them their own time. I like your parenting posts a lot and truly admire the way you bring up your kid. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi, first of all I am truly flattered and humbled by your kind words. Secondly, I would say, the sooner you break that habit, the better it will be for your child. The best thing is he is quite small right now, you can easily make a new habit at this time. What works for me a lot of time is letting him eat on his own. Let him try eating, while you actually feed him.
      I have a child in my neighbourhood, 6-7 year old. He would not eat without TV. He does not find any taste in food. The parenting books and articles say if the child eats while watching TV, he never cherishes the taste of food. You know, it is such a common phenomena even for grown ups to watch TV while eating. I have consciously broken that habit in my home (we used to do that too but you start thinking about these things seriously when you have a child). I empathise when you say he spits the food out. Frankly, we also have to feed the uninteresting food to our son while playing with blocks. He is 23 months right now. I know, it is also not a very good situation. When he eats on his own, he is more cooperative. It may get a little messy but he will learn eating on his own and be less resistant to food.
      It is scary the way kids look hypnotized when they watch TV. It is as if their energy is sapped and they turn so dull and besotted. Half hour everyday is OK, but you know, once they get the habit, it is tough to break away. It is tempting to make the kids sit in front of the TV to finish of chores but I resist. Now, for last few years, I even forget I have a TV at home.
      Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts :)

  2. Thanks for the reply, I am truly thankful to you. Well, will surely try your ideas and hope will get the victory soon. Thanks a ton! It means a lot.

    1. Hope it works, and the pleasure was all mine :)

  3. Hi dear,

    Yes It really worked. I tried this for two times and he finished the full plate. I am so much delighted and thankful to you. Really it's a great thing!!! Super happy today at my work. All credit goes to you yummy mummy. Keep posting such informative articles, I daily read your blog. Even your old posts. I enjoy it :)

    1. Wow! I am thrilled that it worked.
      And I am touched that you read my blog :)

  4. hmmmm 2 things....I agree with you there shud be no TV while eating. I have seen the bad of this habit that is why I totally agree with you. I read to my son while feeding him, dunno how right or wrong it is but the fact is that he eats faster!!

    second, the grand parents thing. Trust me discussing things with them and telling them don't do it this way is easier said than done and I am saying this with experience. Talking to them is like walking on egg shells. Not that making them undeerstand is not possible but you have to be very tactful but even then trust me you can hurt their egoes!!! I have umpteen examples of this!!