Thursday, December 27, 2012

Effective Parenting
The more research and exploration goes on regarding early childhood education, the same parenting has been becoming harder and challenging. Children are born with natural abilities. They have the potential for growth and development socially, mentally, physical, emotionally and morally. So parents’ parental skills help them to grow faster because the millions of neurons in their brains become active if they are provided a good nurturing environment. Therefore, parents’ parental skills need to be equipped with current knowledge, skills and attitudes in dealing with their children. They need to be aware of their physical, social, emotional and intellectual needs to deal accordingly. Here are few tips for effective parenting; • Have a gentle positive approach to work with their children • Provide nutritional food, including all groups of food • Set a routine for breakfast, lunch, dinner, play & fun time, wash and bath time • Have some time on weekends & vacations to give them exposure to the environment and people in a different environment • Provide age appropriate toys and books • Engage them in meaningful activities • Develop a peaceful environment at home to develop their self esteem and self confidence

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Children’s Positive Behavior
Children are great imitators. They form their behavior based on the pattern of behaviors that they come across in their daily life. They begin imitating the behavior of adults when they see them behaving in certain ways. In our real lives, we might have come across lots of examples, that when we have praised or scolded someone in front of children, they might have acted in the same way. Therefore, it’s significant for parents and families to demonstrate a positive behavior in front of their children. For instance, when children talk or share their small successes or challenges, we ignore or node heads as we are listening but actually we don’t. This gives a message to the children that their point of view is not important. So they learn not to listen to others or ignore in the same way that they have come across. In order, to promote a positive behavior, we need to reinforce the following behaviors; 1. Listen to children and respond according to their needs (social, physical, emotional and intellectual) 2. Praise for small successes and support in solving miner problems. 3. Give a big smile and hug 4. Talk politely and friendly 5. Say, ‘Thank you”, ‘please’ and ‘Excuse me’ when we receive or give something. 6. Avoid discussing others in front of children If we follow these small rules, it will generate positive thoughts and images in children that will lead to generate a positive behavior in children.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Child Development & Home Environment

Child Development & Home Environment The conception of child in a mother’s womb is a critical stage for his development, as brain development begins right from the start. The fertilized egg goes through three phases of development, first trimester, second trimester and third trimester, and begins to take a physical shape of a child very rapidly.
By the second trimester, the eyes, mouth, nose, and ears are almost completely formed. By the fifth month, the baby’s senses are developed and he can begin to hear his mother’s voice and other familiar voices. The baby is ready to learn. The mother should interact and talk and read to her prenatal baby. It is interesting to note that the baby is never born as a blank slate. He is constantly picking up information and storing it in his brain. The way parents interact with the baby even before he is born has an impact on the development of the child later in life. A confident person trusts himself because he knows that he has been wanted and loved from the time he was conceived. Communicating with the unborn child provides the stable, supportive environment that every child needs in order to learn and grow and to become a child who is optimistic, confident and with a good demeanor. He can sense his mother’s emotions and this has an impact on his brain. The mother’s nutrition is also very critical to the fetus. Family members play a crucial role in their interaction with and care for the mother. They need to make her feel cared and respected so she can have a peaceful mind throughout the experience. They should try and keep her content, make her feel respected, and ensure that she is nutritiously fed at all times. Remember peace building begins from the child’s conception and sustains throughout his life! If he experiences a peaceful environment from conception and after birth, he is more likely to have a well-balanced emotional growth and grow up to be a peace-loving adult. Another important point to consider is that we need to think and reflect before partnering two lives (man and woman) together. It’s not only partnership or one’s marital status in a society, but rather it has a bigger meaning for the future. The union through a marriage that brings forth a child needs to have a strong basis for a child’s holistic development and a strong foundation for a strong future. However, this can only be possible if the home environment is safe, peaceful and conducive for a child’s growth for a peace-loving mind set in a peaceful society. Written by: Safida Begum

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A real engagement in a meaningful activity and creativity.
Grandmothers with their beautiful smile and cheerful faces for their accomplishment of showing their creativity in making toys.
Grandmothers play a pivotal role in raising their grandchildren at Gilgit Baltistan of Pakistan for the following reasons: - Extended / joint family systems so grandparents are supposed to care for their grandchildren. - Culture, norms and tradition of supporting & protecting parents also increases the chance for their responsibilities. Since education and awareness is increasing and men and women try to improve their economical situation so the grandparents become an engine for the change process. Therefore, engaging them in meaningful activity becomes a great motivational factor for the families. - lack of Old age Care System from the Government side also increases a chance for grandparents to play their roles and responsibilities in caring for their grandchildren. This 'Toy Making Session' really contributed alot to grandparents own motivation. They made very interesting comments saying, "We were thinking, we are not educated and we dont have any importance but today, we learned that we also know alot. Thank God,it means, we are not less important so thanks Rupani Foundation for involving us" This session helped families to create a respectful environment at home and that contributed to children's better care at home.
'Toys Making Session by Grandmothers at Agah Walidain (Informed Parents) Program Rupani Foundation, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan  in 2009.

Sunday, July 8, 2012



Responds to positive adult’s speech
Makes gurgling sounds to express emotions
Babbles sounds such as “ba-ba-ba-ba” and “da-da-da-da”but not associate with people
Babbles sounds such as “goo” and “gaa” considered important pre-speech behavior
Says at least one word

Laughs out loud in response to smile, tickle, gentle bouncing on knee etc
Yells or make loud sounds when tired or happy(ahhhhhh or ehhhhhhh)
Gestures or points to indicate need

Imitates rise and fall of adult speech in his sounds
Listens to songs, stories or rhymes with interest

Responds to own name
Imitates sounds like “uh-oh!”

Understands simple words commands and phrases

Sunday, June 24, 2012



Makes Demanding cries to communicate
Makes sounds
Laughs to get adult attention
Distinguish voices
Feels anxiety on separation from familiar adults
Shows sense of trust
Smiles at sounds of familiar voices
Responds to smiles with smiling
Distinguish voice tones & emotions
Feels anxiety in presence of strangers
Responds positively to caregivers
Tracks moving persons or objects
Pays close attention to older children and their actions
Plays games with adults & older children
Plays with others
Makes eye contact
Cries to demand attention
Calms self-regulate own distress

Appears angry

Monday, June 11, 2012


PHYSICAL/MOTOR DEVELOPMENT                              

Turns head when cheek is stroked
Turns head easily to both sides in lying on back position
Brings hands to midline while on back
Reacts to loud noises
Lifts head off surface from face down position for 1 to 2 seconds
Rotates or turns head from side to side to explore the environment
Holds head up
Follows moving object with eyes
Pushes down on legs when feet are placed on a firm surface
Makes quick and jerking arm movements
Responds to loud sounds
Smiles when cheeks are stroked
Brings hands to face
Grasps and holds objects briefly

Moves head from side to side while on stomach

Focuses on objects 8 to 12 inches away

Lifts head while in lying on back position
Transfers object from one hand to another
May stand momentarily without support
Holds chest up in face down position with weight on forearms
Uses toes and hands to propel forward or in a circle
Walks with assistance
Rolls from stomach to side

Rolls from stomach to back
Grasps small items

Rolls from back to stomach
Sits without support

Stands with support

Brings feet to mouth easily while in lying on back position

Monday, May 14, 2012

Child Development Milestones

Parents frequently ask ,"How will I know if my baby is progressing normally?"The more parents and caregivers know of their children, the better they will be able to provide appropriate experiences. Children are one-of-a-kind and unique in their own ways. Observation is the best tool to assess a child's development.There are many domains of child development like

  • physical/motor development
  • social/emotional development
  • communication/language development
  • cognitive development
Knowledge of development milestones are important for all caregivers to observe and record a child's development over time. Developmental Milestones Observational Record can display a lot of information and track child's progress. Three categories can be used in the observational record i.e. Learning, practicing and mastery.When  any new action or behavior is noticed,  it can be recorded with the date and comment when a milestone be attempted, repeated or accomplished.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Importance of Fathers in Child Development

How Do Fathers Fit In?
Fathers have a direct impact on the well-being of their children. Even from birth, children who have an involved fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers. These children also are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood.
The way fathers play with their children also has an important impact on a child's emotional and social development. Fathers spend a much higher percentage of their one-on-one interaction with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. Children who grow up with involved fathers are more comfortable exploring the world around them and more likely to exhibit self-control and pro-social behavior.
One study of school-aged children found that children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie and were more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior.This same study found that boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and that girls had stronger self-esteem. In addition, numerous studies have found that children who live with their fathers are more likely to have good physical and emotional health, to achieve academically, and to avoid drugs, violence, and undesired behavior.
In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the healthy development of children and to create a safe environment for children.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Babies and TV

Why TV is Bad for Babies

Babies and TV   Why TV is Bad for BabiesShould babies watch TV?
Experts don’t think so, but parents with babies and small children still allow their little ones to watch the boob tube. Television fascinates babies and toddlers. They love watching it, and they’ll spend hours in front of the TV if you let them. The television is a “good” babysitter; it keeps babies and little ones occupied like nothing else.
But there’s a price for allowing your kids to watch TV – their language development, social and cognitive skills may suffer as a result. Here are the main reasons why TV watching is bad for your baby.

Delayed Cognitive and Verbal Development

In a 2010 study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine researchers found that TV watching in babies can stunt their verbal and cognitive development. (Cognitive development is how a child’s ability to learn and solve problems.)
Researchers found that babies who watch TV are at higher risk for having delayed language and cognitive development at 14 months old, especially if they’re watching TV shows that are meant for adults and older kids.
By 14 months old, babies who watch TV score lower on developmental tests.
Fourteen month old babies who watched an hour (60 minutes) of TV every day scored one-third lower on developmental tests, compared to babies of the same age who didn’t watch TV.
Their developmental scores were still considered in the normal range, but the discrepancy still alarmed researchers.
Experts argue that you should not allow your babies to watch TV, because when their eyes are glued to the television, they’re missing out on talking, playing, and social interactions that are important to theirlearning and development.

TV-Watching Babies Vocalize Less

There was another study in 2009, which had similar results. Researchers from the University of Washington found that TV watching decreases the likelihood of babies learning new words, playing, talking, and interacting with others around them.
When babies watch TV, they become so fascinated with it, their parents are often equally as distracted, and this limits the parent-child interaction. For every hour that a baby watched TV, they heard 770 fewer words from their parent. Conversations between the baby and parent decreased 15 percent, and the overall number of vocalization (babbling, talking, noises baby made) also decreased.
This is important, because vocalization is how your baby communicates before he can talk. Cooing, babbling, and other vocalizations are the early stages of speech development in babies.
The researchers in this study found that no matter what was played on TV (regardless of whether it was baby-friendly shows or adult television shows), watching television hampered rich social interaction between parent and child. Even when the babies and their parents actively interacted, just the fact that the television stayed on (even if it was only for a few minutes), the researchers still saw a drop in the baby’s vocalizations.

Infants Who Watch Baby Videos and DVDs Learn Fewer Words

The results from the above study only validated what a 2007 study had concluded about babies and TV.
For each hour of watching TV, babies learn six to eight fewer words.
In 2007, researchers set out to examine baby videos and DVDs (such as the Baby Einstein videos) and its affect on baby. They found that for every hour each day that a baby spent watching baby DVDs and videos, these infants learned six to eight fewer new vocabulary words, compared to infants who never watched the videos.
These educational products had the strongest negative effect on babies between 8 and 16 months old – which is when language skills are beginning to form. The researchers found that the more videos that the infants watched, the less words they knew. The TV watching babies scored 10 percent lower on language skills, compared to babies who never watched videos.

Why is TV so Bad for Babies?

So what’s the big deal about TV and babies? Why does watching television delay their development.
Dr. Vic Strasburger, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told Time Magazine:
“Babies require face-to-face interaction to learn. They don’t get that interaction from watching TV or videos. In fact, the watching probably interferes with the crucial wiring being laid down in their brains during early development.”
Interestingly, previous research studies have shown that babies learn faster and better when they are interacting with a native speaker of their language. When they watch the same person talk on a video screen, it does not benefit their learning skills.
In a nutshell, babies benefit from social, face to face interaction with a real person. It helps them learn better. Putting them in front of a TV only delays their development.

The Recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend that parents allow children under age 2 to watch television. Their reasoning is that the first two years of your child’s life is important to his brain’s growth and development. Kids need positive face to face interaction with adults and other kids.
For children over age 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only one or two hours of educational and nonviolent television programs, which should be supervised by parents.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Learning in the Womb

Stimulating Your Babies' Senses
Read and sing!

Just by taking time out of every day to talk, read and sing to your baby, you will enable him to get to know the two of you long before he is born. This in turn will help him to feel more secure during his first days in the strange new environment of the outside world. If certain stories or songs become a part of your pregnancy routine, then this is something you can use to your advantage after the birth.

Your unborn baby can recognize patterns of speech and intonation (if not individual words), with vowel sounds coming through particularly clearly. Studies have shown that newborns are soothed by hearing the same stories and songs they were used to listening to in the womb. You will almost certainly want to play music to your baby during pregnancy. Because low frequencies travel better through liquids, bass and percussion instruments, and the low notes on the piano, will be most audible. It doesn't matter what kind of music you choose though, provided it's pleasant to listen to - for the two of you as well as the baby. The way the music makes Mom feel is actually the most important factor.

So enjoy this special time, as the three of you get to know one other before your baby's long-awaited arrival. As your baby grows larger and more visible, you will increasingly enjoy the time you spend interacting as a family. When she is awake and active, she may respond to your voices with a kick or sudden "swimming" movement. You will begin to realize that your baby is listening, really listening, to her parents' voices. And isn't it great to know that when it does come time for your baby to leave the sanctuary of the womb, she will already recognize and be comforted by the voices of the two of you - the two people who love her more than anyone else in the world.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Womb Environment

It's a fact: happy, healthy mothers produce happy, healthy babies!

High levels of cortisol (the stress hormone responsible for the body's fight-or-flight response) in pregnancy are associated with babies who cry more and sleep less after birth.

Chronic stress in pregnancy has also been linked with low birth weight in babies. It's therefore in everyone's interests for Mom to pay extra attention to her emotional state, making relaxation and stress reduction two of her top priorities.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, life is stressful during pregnancy. If this is the case for you, then be sure to take time out regularly to do something that soothes you - be it yoga, meditation, listening to your favorite music, watching your favorite TV show, or taking a warm bubble bath (but avoid very hot water, which is bad for the baby).

The importance of the physiological effects brought on by such activities can hardly be overstated. The simple act of relaxing deeply will alter the chemical composition of your blood, reducing cortisol levels and improving immune function. Not only is this good for your baby's developing nervous and immune systems, but you will feel stronger and less frazzled, too - particularly as you contend with the dramatic physical changes of the third trimester.

Mom will of course also want to keep her energy levels up in preparation for the birth (not to mention the job of looking after a newborn!). Now is the time for the whole family to pull together and help Mom and the baby be as healthy and happy as possible - by encouraging Mom to eat well and get plenty of rest, by reminding her to take her pregnancy supplements (pregnant women can be very forgetful!), and by helping her to remain as calm and relaxed as possible.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Prenatal Education

It is now universally proven that the foetus is not just a mindless mass of flesh, but a highly responsive and evolving human being, capable of receiving, understanding and responding to external stimuli. It, therefore, follows that the foetus has a right to receive positive and enriching feedback or garbha sanskar.

The Indian History of Prenatal education 

The story of Abhimanyu is well known in the Mahabharata. Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, learned how to enter the Chakravyuha (the strategic arrangement of warriors to entrap and defeat the enemy) when he was in his mother's womb. Abhimanyu had heard and remembered the narration of the technique by Krishna to Subhadra during her pregnancy.
When Pralhad's mother was pregnant with him, she used to listen to devotional songs. Therefore, even though Pralhad took birth in a Rakshasa family, he became a devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Mother of the great Indian freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar used to read the courageous stories from the Ramayana and Maharana Pratap to her son when he was in her womb.