## HAPPY PI DAY TO MOTHERS OF SCHOOL GOING KIDS!

The date 14th Match (3-14) is celebrated by Mathematicians all over the worlds as “Pi Day”. I know of a fact that many mothers help their kids with school assignments – as long as they don’t have to deal with Mathematics! “I leave that to my husband” is the usual comment. So why do most mothers hate Math? As a hypothesis, let’s blame Pi!

The number π (/paɪ/) is a mathematical constant. Originally defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, it now has various equivalent definitions and appears in many formulas in all areas of mathematics and physics. It is approximately equal to 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi”.

Definition of “Pi” on wikipedia.

The definition itself scares the life out of me! I would prefer to say that I’d rather read fiction than get down to exploring the application of Pi. IBut the reality is that child development and math activities have a very close relationship.

## WHY OUR KIDS NEED PI & MATH

One cannot rule out the importance of mathematics in child development. I think we ladies should celebrate Pi-Day even if we are not fond of Mathematics, at least for the sake of our children. We can do that by encouraging our kids to love Math

It’s not as difficult as it sounds. You can buy innumerable varieties of learning toys for different age groups. From simple numbered blocks for kindergarten kids to rubix cube and abacus for the older children – there is a wide range of toys available online. The abacus especially will be useful lifelong. Child development and math games are closely related because they help to perfect the Mathematical skills of your children.

Math is the basis for many career options and there is a genuine need for learning the subject. A reasonably good knowledge of mathematics and the value of pi are required in the fields of:

• Computer algorithms (pi computations),
• Testing of supercomputers,
• Cosmology,
• Engineering,
• Physics,
• Econometrics,
• Seismography (study of earthquakes)
• Meteorology (weather),
• Geometry,
• Trigonometry, and many, many more…

Giving your children the opportunity to explore Math and Pi at a very early age will leave the field wide open for interesting careers when they grow up.

Ladies of 40plus, please overcome the fear of Mathematics for the sake of your children so that they may have a bright and successful future. Take care…

## Teach Children Self Reliance – Six Step Guide

How many of us, as parents, ignore the fact that our children are capable of making sensible decisions? Most often we underestimate our children and their ability to take on responsibility. We cannot treat them like babies forever! So here’s a 6-step guide on how to teach children self reliance and is a must in early child development:

## Step 1: Show respect

Even as early as 2 years of age your kids will pick up nuances from your tone of voice and the words you use while addressing them. If you converse with them as if they are adults, 99% of the time they will understand everything you’ve said and will follow your advice. Treat them like equals and with respect, and the response you will get will be surprisingly mature.

## Step 2: Identify self-help tasks

What are the daily tasks you can let your small children do on their own? Make a list of things they can do independently, for example brushing teeth, making the bed, bathing, wearing ones clothes, wearing socks and tying shoe laces, carrying their own satchels, etc. Emphasize that these tasks are their own responsibility.

## Step 3: Assign responsibilities

Even when children are 3-4 years of age, it makes sense to assign some tasks for them. They feel a sense of belonging and will take on the tasks willingly. It could be anything simple like sorting the laundry, watering the plants, setting the table, keeping toys back in the allotted place or any activity that will teach the child to help around the house.

But don’t try to teach too many tasks at the same time or they might feel diffident. Introduce one new responsibility per week or a fortnight and demonstrate easier ways of doing things.

## Step 4: Keep reasonable standards

Don’t expect your children to learn a something new perfectly in the first shot. Give the kids time to use their own imagination so that they can find faster and better ways of doing things. They may make mistakes initially but they will learn to correct them on their own.

## Step 5: Encourage independent thought

If your kids do things differently let them. Encourage them to think before they do something so that they learn to understand the consequences of their actions when they are still very young. On the other hand, you have to

## Step 6: Listen, listen and listen

The more we listen, the more we will truly understand our children. Giving your children time and listening to them talk will give you a clear glimpse into their thought processes, likes and dislikes, prejudices, biases, talents that you can encourage, problem areas, etc. Listening will help to bridge the gap between your ideas and those of your children. It will also give you the opportunity to teach them to be independent.

Children learn a lot more by setting an example than by mere instruction. In early childhood you have the perfect opportunity to mould your children’s thoughts in the right direction. Spend more time with them and involve them in most of the household activities. And most importantly discuss issues with them as if they are adults. That’s the easiest way to teach children self reliance.

## 6 Step Guide To Deal With Your Child’s Peer Pressure

Between family, friends, school and extracurricular activities your kid doesn’t have much time to be just a kid. A kindergarten child needs space to evolve without feeling pressures similar to adult life. As parents we are all dealing with this major disease called “peer pressure” and its influence on the child’s psychology.

## What is peer pressure?

Studies have shown that the influence of peers has a significant role to play in the academic and non-academic achievements of your kid. All the influences of peers are not necessarily negative. Also, we cannot place every action of your child completely on the shoulders of a peer group.

Following in the footsteps of more intelligent children is usually presumed to be a good thing. But this coin has two sides:

It could make your kid smarter too. The child may develop a killer-instinct for setting his or her goals and working towards achieving them.

On the other hand, the peer pressure could prove too much for the kid. The child would then show signs of rebellion. This behavior is a defense mechanism so that he doesn’t have to match the achievements of the peer group and this can become a habit.

Negative peer pressure doesn’t necessarily mean vices, substance abuse or petty crime! There can be other negative influences of peers that will not only affect the child’s academic performance, but will also change the entire future of the child.

Your kid is very intelligent and capable of achieving good grades. But his peers consider only physical activities and games as achievements. This situation is very common and seems fine when you look at it superficially. But if you look at the long term prospects of your child and potential for higher achievements, it would be a tragedy to let the kid focus only on sports.

## How do you deal with your child’s peer pressure?

The influence of peer groups starts when a child is in kindergarten and not as teenagers. So here’s a six-step antidote for the ailment called peer pressure:

1. Engage in conversation – Let your child talk to you about anything and everything on earth. Listening is a very important aspect of child development. Be a good listener and wait for the child to ask for advice. If you feel that the kid’s thoughts are confused, offer two choices and tell the consequences of either choice. Let the child decide. Listening will help in 3 ways:
• You will know your child’s thought processes,
• If your kid is having problems with the peer group you can lend emotional support,
• You will know the level of influence they have on your child.
1. Use peer pressure to your advantage – As you listen to the child’s stories about the peers, you will know which activity the kid enjoys the most. For example, if your child seems to admire peers involved in art, you can encourage these activities in your kid.
2. Be proactive rather than instructive – It would be our natural tendency to instruct on how to draw or color something. But it is best to show once and then let your kid develop his creative skills. Don’t forget to admire the masterpieces!
3. Be supportive – Get some art materials like child-safe water colors and let the kid indulge in freehand art. If your kid spills some water or ruins a few clothes, provide tissues for mopping and reserve old clothes art activities. Scolding the kid at this stage will discourage the child from artwork itself.
4. Offer rewards for proper choices – Now this is a dicey thing! Offering material rewards is definitely bad because your child will always expect such rewards for every action. So let’s stick to simple things like cookies baked especially for the child or give the kid opportunity to plan the Sunday’s outing, or something along those lines.
5. Make the child self-reliant – Slowly hone the child’s talent so that he or she learns to think independently and knows the difference between right and wrong. Children learn more from observation and examples rather than mere instructions.

At the end of the day it boils down to one thing, LISTENING! The more you listen to your kindergarten child talk, the better is your influence on his/her thoughts. Don’t give up your parental right to influence the mind of your child. Most times, just being there for the child at the right time is all that is needed to make the kid self-reliant and self-confident enough to deal with peer pressure.

## How Gardening And Child Psychology Are Related

Children love playing outdoors as they are permitted to mess about in mud! If we take advantage of this trait through gardening, children will learn many new skills and have fun at the same time. The entire process of sowing seeds, watching seedlings coming out, seeing the plants grow tall, admiring the flowers and the actual activity of tending the plants can be fun for kids. That’s why gardening and child psychology are related in a unique way.

From the physical development angle the fresh air and sunlight will be excellent for the overall health of children. The physical activity involved during gardening will give the kids exercise and improve their appetites which is necessary for growth. When we speak of psychological development of children, these are some of the benefits of gardening:

### APPRECIATION OF NATURE

Kids learn a very important lesson while tending a garden – that it is the responsibility of humans to take care of nature. When they are personally involved in nurturing a plant(s), they learn to love nature and care about the environment. It is more effective than teaching through books or presentations in a classroom.

### SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY

If you are dealing with more than a couple of kids, like in a school, each child should be asked to tend the same plant each day. They develop a sense of responsibility. They learn quickly that if they neglect the plant it will wither and die.

### SELF ESTEEM

As the plant starts growing the child will develop self-confidence in the knowledge that he/she can do something worthwhile. This self worth will come in handy in achieving higher goals in adulthood.

### PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITY

A little time to watch their favorite cartoon shows on television is fine. On the other hand, gardening will teach the kids how productive activity can be fun too. It doesn’t necessarily have to be boring just because it is sort-of educational!

### ANALYTICAL SKILLS

Gardening doesn’t mean just sowing seeds, watering plants and watching them grow. During their time in the garden children can be taught other important plant-related topics like:

• The science behind the growth of plants,
• How seasons and daily weather affect the plants,
• Nutrition for plants,
• The edible parts of plants,
• Which insects are good for plants,
• Which insects are harmful,
• Importance of weeding, etc.

Gardening therefore becomes a whole new journey of discovery for the children. They learn to analyse the effect of the environment as well as their own actions on the plants.

### TEAMWORK

Every child is equally responsible for nurturing plants. This shared responsibility instills a feeling of solidarity among the children. They develop skills like teamwork and cooperation. They begin to understand others’ problems and learn to help each other when necessary.

### CREATIVE SKILLS

Kids can be encouraged to be as creative as possible in the garden. Let them have the freedom to choose the plant by showing an example. When they look at a grown plant they know what to expect. They can hone their creative skills and make the plant look greener, healthier and better than the original.

### To sum up

Global warming and climate change are the two major concerns of nations across the globe. In this scenario teaching children to not only appreciate nature but to also grow plants/trees is imperative.  As gardening and child psychology are related, the activity will help to nurture children as well as plants.

## Senior Living Communities In India

As a senior citizen enters the portals of a home for the aged, he either stoops down as if losing that last bit of dignity and self-sufficiency. Or he walks slowly with his head held upright, surveying his new home and trying to feel ‘at home’ so that he can settle down as quickly and with as little fuss as possible.

### OTHER OPTIONS OF SENIOR LIVING

These days there are several options that seniors (or their children, on their behalf) can explore for a happy life, post retirement :

• Independent Living
• Assisted Living
• Alzheimer’s Care
• Continuing Care (CCRC)
• Nursing Care
• Home Care
• Respite Care-Short Term Stay

### SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITIES IN INDIA

Although the list below is not all-comprehensive, it serves to show that the concept of senior living communities is catching on, in India.

The Association of Senior Living India (ASLI), a voluntary membership association is meant to coordinate between developers and service providers that operate in the senior living industry, with the end users. ASLI also pegs the current demand for senior housing in India is about 3,12,000 units.

A few leading projects in India include:

In some cases, there’s an option of a lifetime lease, wherein residents receive a title deed to live in the apartment for the rest of their lives. Herein, one can also bequeath it to one’s children, who can live there after they turn 55. There are other financial options as well.

Senior living is for the most part, about caring. Every resident needs to feel cherished. Senior living communities aim to ensure that their every need is fulfilled, right from physical health to a perfectly balanced care of mind, body and spirit. All activities, both individual and collective, are meant to enhance and promote their holistic well being.

### Conclusion:

Today, the younger working population often moves out of the family home or even permanently out of the country due to education and career choices. Again, in some cases, couples have no children or younger relatives that they can turn to. Or they may just wish to be independent! Senior living communities are therefore the need of the day and we see more and more people exploring this route for ‘seamless’ post-retirement living.

## NEGATIVE THOUGHTS CAUSE CHRONIC DISEASES – PREVENTIVES

Chronic diseases have their roots in childhood and negative thoughts cause chronic diseases, because they create an imbalance in the physiological energy system. Knowing this, one can influence certain traits and emotions in children that would prevent the diseases. So let’s take some of the major organs and see which emotions will protect which organ:

### CHRONIC HEART DISEASES

Early indications: Over excitement, timidity, cowardice, self-centeredness, compulsive deceit, lying,  etc.

How to overcome: Why do we use the term ‘braveheart’? By inference, development of qualities like courage, honesty, conviction, forthrightness and empathy for others will prevent chronic heart diseases. Group activities that compel children to socialise and interact more should be encouraged, especially outdoor games and sports.

#### CHRONIC RESPIRATORY DISEASES

Early indications: Depression/grief due to personal loss, lack of willpower, lethargy.

How to overcome: The lungs need space, literally! Why do we say, “Chest puffed up with pride?” These may be old fashioned terminologies but there is a science behind the words. Self confidence manifests in the form of an expanded chest and a straight-spine posture. Activities that will give a child a sense of pride or a feeling of achievement will be the best way to prevent chronic respiratory diseases like dramatics, elocution, sports, etc. Get a pet dog or cat for the child and see the miraculous recovery.

### CHRONIC LIVER FAILURE

Early indications: Unjustifiable anger, jealousy, irritability, frustration, resentment, migraines, muscular tension, undue stress, etc.

How to overcome: Activities like art, pottery, sculpting, music, will teach the child qualities like patience and will channelise the mind towards positive emotions.

### CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASES

Early indications: Extreme nervousness due to fear or shock, problem with retention of urine.

How to overcome: There is always a particular cause behind the child’s fears. Get to the root cause of that fear and remove the child from its vicinity; whether the fear is caused by a person or thing. Let the child learn safety, self-preservation, valour, and calmness through games and role play.

### COMMON PREVENTIVES FOR CHRONIC DISEASES

What is the least common denominator in the ways to overcome chronic diseases? Children need to be taught how to relax, learn to socialise without feeling stressed out, and must develop an activity that prevents negative emotions.

Two most effective activities are yoga and Zen art:

Yoga – Pranayama (breathing exercises) and simple asanas that improve blood circulation and keep the chakras well balanced;

Zen art – The peacemaking effect of Zen art is unquestionably accurate.

It is true that negative thoughts cause chronic diseases. Hence, it becomes very important to channelise a child’s mind towards positive thoughts and actions. This is not only good for the mental well being of the child, but will also keep the internal organs healthy.

Take care and God bless…

## WHACKY FRIENDSHIP DAY GIFT IDEAS

Happy Friendship Day, readers. Your constant participation on my blog has really spurred me to write more. So here’s something to keep the virtual friendship going. Let’s get a little daring this year and gift each other some quirky stuff. And believe me, there’s no shortage of that!

### FRIENDSHIP DAY GIFTS IN DESCENDING ORDER OF WHACKINESS

#### DARING CROCKERY

Glasses, now what’s so daring about that? Here’s a set that will have your friend ROFL! Gift your friend these torso shaped glasses and you will have the most memorable Friendship Day of your lives. Click on the link for more details.

A hip flask is a very common gift article, but when it is looks like this then it’s bold and beautiful.

PERSONLISED FITNESS PROGRAM

Gift your friend a body-beautiful or body-building program with the hottest coach at your local gym. These programs usually involve customised training and diet regimes. You can add a Fitness Tracker too. Fantastic ones are available that are compatible with Android and iOS mobile phones.

PERSONALISED COFFEE MUG

Pick the craziest selfie of the two of you and have the image printed on a pair of coffee mugs. Gift one to your friend and keep one for you; and you can relive that mad moment whenever you see the mug.

ETHNIC HOT PANTS

Get denim hot pants with bold and brightly coloured ethnic patterns on it. They look real cool and summery.  These are featured on this link, where you can get all the relevant information on. Great idea, don’t you think so?

## FRUSTRATION LEADS TO AGGRESSION – TEENAGE SPEAK

‘Frustration leads to Aggression.’ I was perusing the Psychology course-book that I’d recently bought for my classes and came upon the frustration–aggression–displacement theory by *Dollard-Miller and Effects of Frustration by **Dill-Andarson.

.And I remembered the incident with the group of my friends, where I had suddenly erupted in a rage when one of them said something nasty about my girl-friend. I had punched him hard then; much to my chagrin later. Thank God I apologised to him and he graciously accepted my regrets about the whole incident.

Well, after’stewing’ in my thoughts all day, I came to certain conclusions about the main enemies within myself that cause frustration, especially during this transition from adolescence to adulthood:

1. Licentious thoughts: The raging hormones are not just responsible for the change in my appearance and voice.They change the way I view the opposite sex and create those urges that nature has made essential for the future of the human race! But which, when thwarted, leads to lust-and unwholesome thoughts. Movies, serials, computer games aggravate this situation. Then follows guilt and fear of censure. So how does one handle that?
2. Anger: Thwarted desires- knee jerk reaction-anger and rage. Anything that goes against the fledgling ‘ego’, anything that challenges the conditioning ‘learnt’ from parents,teachers and peers makes me so furious that I could burst! Over-reaction? Why-of course!
3. Avarice: That new I pod, the fastest laptop, my friend’s dad’s new car, someone’s fashionable clothes are just few of the things that evoke greed, it’s not just about food!
4. Temptation: The next level: Temptation! I have stolen that skull-ring that my friend left on the wash basin counter in the change room. And such other knickknacks that don’t cause concern. I know this is wrong. So then, what??
5. Envy: I feel jealous of just about anyone who, according to me has got ‘a better deal’. Can’t get rid of these thoughts.
6. Restlessness: I feel unable to ‘forgive and forget’ and as a result, I am often unable to think positively. There is a constant anxious feeling gnawing in my belly.
7. Fear: Like most of my friends, I have made some plans for my future. But when I think of the unknown, uncharted future, my stomach ties itself up in knots.

### The Key:

There is no quick-fix solution for this adolescent angst, which of course is not peculiar to me alone. (It merely manifests as different behaviours in different teenagers.)

For regaining my equanimity, I turn to:

1. My family who are more like my friends just seem to understand me at every moment.
2. My friends, of whom I am lucky to have a decent lot.
3. My teachers, who guide me for my career and my gym and sports coaches, who insist on daily exercise, proper food, rest and sleep.
4. Good inspirational books, thanks to my mom’s library.
5. Some excellent programs on TV and the internet.
6. Above all, those few moments of daily bonding between my Creator and me. This reinforces the ‘feel good factor’ within me!

### Conclusion:

My aim: To personally negate- ‘Frustration leads to Aggression.’ I am pretty sure that I’ll succeed!

References:

*Dollard, John; Doob, Leonard W; Miller, Neal E; Mowrer, Orval Hobart; Sears, Robert R (1939).Frustration and Aggression. New Haven, CT, US: Yale University Press.OCLC 256003.

**Dill, J. C.; Anderson, C. A. (1995). “Effects of Frustration-Justification on Hostile Aggression”. Aggressive Behavior 21 (5): 359–369. doi:10.1002/1098-2337(1995)21:5<359::aid-ab2480210505>3.0.co;2-6

## Doodle Fruit Games 2016 by Google – Fruit Fun For Kids

Ever seen a company that cashes in on current events, makes life fun and leaves a subtle message – that eating fruits is a good thing? As usual Google leads, with the Doodle Fruit Games 2016 which was just launched yesterday. The game coincides very neatly with the scheduled Rio Olympic Games.

A preview of the game is available on YouTube at:

The game starts with a bang, with strawberry rushing to finish the race.  The jumpy coconut, lemony lemon, and prickly pineapple are all waiting to block the strawberry’s progress. A grape is green with envy and the Blueberry is swinging in excitement. The big, big Watermelon is rolling after the little strawberry in hot pursuit! Do you think the strawberry will make it?

Kids will surely have a fruit salad with the strawberry on top, won’t they? Why not download it from App Store and find out? The app is available for both Android and iOS mobile devices.

## HOW IMPORTANT IS DEVELOPMENT OF NON ACADEMIC SKILLS IN CHILDREN

“My little one is in the play group this year. You know, he’s already going on Environmental Science field trips,” one of the Moms says to another, as they wait for the school van. “Thank God, he’s not just jotting down page after page of the alphabet and numbers. Today’s child has evolved many times over, through development of non academic skills. We adults need to re-invent our input in their nurture.

As parents we have to think beyond providing food, clothing, shelter and formal education. And in a child’s education we have to think beyond academics. Development of non scholastic skills begins at home and continues in the school environment.

### SOFT SKILLS LEARNT AT HOME

Self reliance: The ultimate aim of parents and educators is to empower the child towards a fruitful, joyful and successful adulthood. Some important aspects are readily imbibed at home like healthy eating, exercise through play, helping with household chores, reading, art & craft, music, etc.

Balancing academics & non academic skills: Most skills can be introduced little at a time; such that the child follows a reasonably disciplined daily routine. As they reach preteens children learn to maintain a good balance between academic prowess and non scholastic activities like sports, art, social networking, video gaming, music, etc.

### HOW SCHOOLS HELP IN HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT

Schools also play a large role in the development of non academic skills in children. Some aspects are:

Emotional Intelligence: Daniel Goleman and Peter Senge have developed the concept of a “Caring Classroom”. According to this concept the children are taught qualities like empathy and emotional intelligence during the course of their formal education.

The authors believe that academic success is directly connected with emotional intelligence and should be an intrinsic part of education. Maybe that’s why Compassion Classes are so popular in schools in the USA.

Character Building: Today, schools are introducing activities that draw out qualities in children like:

• Determination,
• Courage,
• Self-confidence in the face of hurdles/failures/rejection,
• Self-control and self-correction,
• Enthusiasm,
• Optimism,
• Positive thinking,
• Generosity,
• Gratitude,
• Compassion and others.

These qualities are usually taught through games so that the children learn while they play.

Interpersonal skills: A successful adult has excellent social skills like leadership qualities, effective communication, team-building, planning and organizational skills. These talents have to be inculcated from kindergarten school via different forms of day-to-day curricular and co-curricular activities.

### COMBINED ROLE OF HOME AND SCHOOL

Love is the most important quality in children. Teaching them to love themselves, other humans, and all manifestations of nature makes them positive and happy adults. Some skills include:

Environmental awareness: Ecological Imbalance and Environmental Awareness are the buzzwords of the day. The responsibility of teaching conservation and protection of nature lies both with the family as well as schools.

Racial non-discrimination: A loving nature brings about harmony that is so essential for World Peace. In fact many crises today have their roots in this disharmony. The ability to understand and love others must be encouraged when the children are very young in order to make a positive difference.

Let’s just say then that it does not matter if some of the skills listed above seem like attitudes or cognition or perception. What really matters is that, through development of non academic skills they grow up to be loving, caring, wise, joyful and smart kids who can ‘take on the world’! And let’s not forget appreciation and thanks-giving to the Creator who makes everything happen!

**Images courtesy pixabay.