In this episode, Ms. Swati Salunke speaks about two more concerns, i.e. Safety & Discipline for children. Discipline-one word all adults speak and try to inculcate in their young children. Discipline is a way of life, some say it is required, some say the child will pick up, some say any way the child will learn later on, what is the point in disciplining now. There is a very thin line between Strictness and Discipline. As counselors, we believe there are certain disciplines to be imbibed right from childhood. Nothing major something, very simple as, sleeping habits and eating habits.
To start with- what, kids at that age require? In the initial stage, a child requires 12-15 hours of sleep, sometimes even 18 hours, later on, it goes on reducing. During the child’s academic years, Parents need to ensure that the child sleeps for eight to nine hours. There has to be a sleeping discipline, at 9:00 pm- lights out, means lights out. Developing a sleeping pattern or habit among children is very useful, even in the later on stages, when academic calendar begins. Along with sleeping time, the eating habit is important too.
Parents complain that their child has food only when cartoon network is on, or certain TV serial is on or maybe some music. We hear from parents that their child likes fruits or ice-creams or sandwich and it goes on. Especially mothers end up a lot talking about the eating patterns. Surprisingly instead of home food, more outside food is given at this age, i.e. First five to seven years. Home food makes lots of difference in the child’s nutrition intake.
It’s seen that parents are giving their children aerated drinks and different kinds of junk food while children are being taught that its junk food and they are not supposed to eat it. The most surprising thing to hear is “kya karein Mam, kam se kam ye kha leta toh hey”, but what you are giving your child, is it healthy? Is it worth it? You need to stop it at that very time.
A simple home food really gives nutrition to your child. Certain supplements can be given if felt after consulting the Nutritionist as well as the Paediatricians. Do not bring in any haphazard diet control or restrictions. Introducing your child to various flavors is a must, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian or spicy or not spicy or sweet or sour, everything is acceptable. But from where and how you are giving or how it’s cooked has to be checked. Sometimes as working parents or with other responsibilities it may just go off your head. The more careful you are choosing what the child eats or not, is beneficial, for the child’s health, as well as your health in the future.
Hope the cues are taken to make relevant changes in the diet or sleeping pattern. Good sleep for the child at a certain age starts from 8:30 pm to 9:00 pm onwards. Do not take your child for late night parties or events. You can have your own late nights but ensure your child is safe and has a sound sleep at home. In next episode will talk about Managing Tantrums and Misbehaviours and Learning.