Tag: Developmental Parenting

Digital Exposure & Experiencing Nature -The Balance Our Children Need

Digital Exposure & Experiencing Nature -The Balance our children need!

 

One of the perks of working as a parenting coach and counselor is being able to pull from your own experiences, both as a father and of course as a kid. This forces you to realize just how much has changed since your childhood. As a latchkey kid who thrived on fresh air, Extensive Playtime, and family dinners, I look at today’s generation of tech-savvy tots and wonder when — and, more importantly, how — this transformation occurred.

Today’s childhood is getting trapped in a world of gadgetry!

My first “owned” Gadget was at 21. A cellphone shared by my sister  and me, but operated by my Father because ‘you all are young to use it and hey it is expensive!

The most telling difference between my childhood and the present, however, is today’s lack of time. Time to explore, time to experiment, time to be a child – which means, most importantly, time to play.

Mr.COVID having added to it all!

The Kids of the big cities and now rapidly increasing in Towns as well are living in a ‘citified’ environment- lack of connection with Nature.

A child, any growing child needs stimulation-

The Gadgets, The screens, The schools and even the parents are however becoming Overwhelming rather than stimulating to a child’s sensory demands.

The Child may have all the consumption but is steadily being devoid of the Engagement.

We are teaching our children how to make a living, but not life!

We’ve been telling them how we have made our way to the moon and back, but have trouble letting them meet the new neighbor.

This boon of ‘Digital Fidgeting’ has taken away the ‘Friendly Neighbourhood’.

Quite a Paradox is it not!

So, is there a way back from this? Should we reconsider?

Should we BAN the Digital world from a child’s life?

As a Parenting Coach, I have counseled and seen many cases where extremes have failed!

The answer one feels is in Division of the day, week, month.

Slowly and steadily compartmentalize the mind of the child to understand that the week is going to be designed into 2 parts.

Balanced between Boons of Digital Exposure to The abundance of Nature.

Children nowadays have many more opportunities to literally see the world than we had. In our time, we could only read about different countries and their culture through books. Now, there is digital media to support that experience and of course, not to mention the opportunity to travel and experience first-hand. so why not have a balance.

When you introduce your little one to animals and their sounds on the television, ensure you take her/him to the zoo to see those animals in their natural habitat and hear those sounds real in the next 2 days. This makes 2 days of both offering them Digital Exposure and Experiencing Nature.

When your child watches an animal animation fiction on the Tele, that same week Arrange for a trip to an Animal Café for her/him to feel the warmth and compassion of the animals of different kinds.

The above examples will ensure that a child will consume the ways and means of an animal kingdom, species, and their ways via digital boon and then experience the engagement when they visit such places and feel their sensory demands being satisfied.

A perfect example of balance and harmony of

Look, Listen & feel.

This can be tried in all aspects of the child’s interest. Now the child will know and appreciate the difference between learning from digital media and being and feeling in the real environment. The child enjoys and appreciates the worth of both aspects.

Woh kehte hain na, “ बच्चों को ये सिखाना चाहिए कि कैसे सोचें , ना कि क्या सोचें।

To me, this will create an environment for the child to recognize the balance between Consumption and Engagement.

 

-Santosh Bakhshi

A Life Coach & A Learning Father!

How can we address kids Emotional Cravings?

How can we address kids Emotional Cravings?

 

Kids crave for parents undivided attention. Gizmos, gadgets, devices all are an escape route for them when they are not given to do things they truly want to engage themselves with. Have we ever realized just as we have cravings children too crave for a lot of things? Cravings are not only associated with eating disorders or providing for a sweet tooth, there are emotional cravings too. These days the pace of life is so fast that it is easy to shrug off our children’s emotional and psychological needs. How about listening to those cravings of your child and addressing them one step at a time? While it may not be possible to settle all their needs and cravings in one go but as parents can we hear them out by paying close attention to what they truly desire from a parent? All that children need is an emotional connection with their parents or primary caregivers.

 

Here are 10 things that kids crave to do with their parents.

1. Mamma  – Tell me story or read to me

2. Play hide and seek with me.

3. Involve me in your work. Can i help you mamma?

4. Can you get me a surprise today?

5. Can you take me to the garden today?

6. Let’s do a bubble bath together ?

7. Can you put nail paint on me.

8. Come with me, stay with me all the time.

9. When are we meeting my friends ? (Since lockdown this is one of the most frequently asked question by my girls.)

10. Don’t go to the office today. I want to play with you.

 

Well some ‘asks’ are easy and fun while the others may not be easy to address on an everyday basis and that is okay. What is important is, to understand that kids do not need expensive objects or toys, all they require is undivided attention, unstructured playtime and a non judgmental approach from their parents. So, what do your children crave from you? Do give it a thought. Hear them out. It’s time to get reflective and give them what they truly desire from you even if it is in piece-meal.

 

Let’s try to invest time in our children because these will help you build beautiful memories as a family. If we are able to give them the desired attention, that in itself is playing a big role in settling their cravings. So, what are you thinking? Get set going and be a family that has fun rather than the one that’s always on the run.

 

I hope you found this blog useful. Do share your ideas and suggestions on how you think kid’s cravings can be addressed.

 

Happy Parenting!

Aditi Malik

Blogger, Podcaster and Parenting Coach.

How to take care of your child’s mental health?

How to take care of your child’s mental health?

Living in the modern world, we all might have heard our peers’ discussing how emotional health is equally important as our physical health!

Well, it’s true. However, if you belong to Generation X or even if you are a Millennial, who is now a parent, you might relate to a lot of stuff discussed in this brief piece on mental health.

Remember the times when our hearts smiled more than our faces! Yes, I am referring to our childhood.

It was the time when innocence was the most prominent trait. Among our cousins and friends, there were occasional fights that lacked blame or ego.

A time when we used to play with toys that were not so electronic.

A time in life where the denial was mostly associated with “I won’t share my piece of cake or chocolate with anyone.”

A time so carefree… isn’t it?

While we grew up, every time somebody threw a No at us, most of us thought it’s such a blessing to grow up and live life on our terms. Little did we know of how much goes into living life on our own terms.

As we grew a little old and began experiencing the bits of life firsthand, we gradually enrolled ourselves for the rat race of making it big in life. Our spirits were then forced to carry the weight of performance and peer pressure.

Over time, these pressures and challenges lead to an understanding of the importance of emotional well being.

Would you like such a life for your child?

Definitely not! We all want our children to live a better life than ours and offer them the best possible support we can. Right?

Here, it’s crucial to note that just like physical health, emotional health is vital for the human body and soul.

Maintaining emotional wellbeing allows children and young adults to develop resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well rounded, healthy adults.

Alarmingly, 70% of children and young adults experience a mental health problem such as depression, abuse, etc.

Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that many children and adolescents move towards depression and anxiety troubles. It has emerged to be a case because of the frequent changes in the way we live and how that affects a child’s experience growing up.

How can you maintain your Children’s mental health? 

1. Parental Help: Parents must have a warm, open relationship with their children. One essential job to be done is to pay full attention to your child and acknowledge their feelings. Reaching out and talking to them would help them avoid finding solace in harmful distractions like Smartphone’s, gaming, prohibited activities, etc.

2. Professional Help: A parental coach can assist and advise you to better understand your relationship with the child and provide you with the right tools to correct behavioural issues.

Let’s learn more about professional help.

Parent coaching sessions offer the progenitors with the tools required to handle nearly any situation in the family. The certified coaches are proficient in assisting moms and dads in creating a roadmap to:

● learn efficient ways to respond to scenarios instead of reacting abruptly

● imbibe ways to become patient and kind towards the child

● creating a calmer, happier, and more inviting environment for the child

● improve the overall relationship between parent and child

● learning effective ways to communicate with children of every age

● understanding the behavioural patterns and demands of children

We all are living in lifestyles that are busy and hectic. Reaching out for coaching helps solve prevalent issues and teaches parents the right way to deal with their child and avoid any arguing, whining, or bickering with them.

Each session provides techniques, tools, and strategies to handle specific family life issues. A coach avoids talking about the past and instead focuses all attention on now and the days ahead. With assistance, parents produce results by developing clear, concise steps to determine intentions, values, and goals for moving forward to a healthier family.

With every session, a parent can learn new techniques, strategies, or methods to handle specific family issues. A parent coach would always motivate you to focus on the future and avoid talking about the past. With the right assistance, you, as a parent, can witness fantastic results, leading to form a healthy and happy family.

While looking for your child’s mental health, below are some other aspects that can be worked upon are:

1) Maintaining good physical health, eating a balanced diet and following a regular exercise routine

2) Making them feel loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe

3) Making them learn and grab opportunities to succeed

4) Accepting who they are and recognizing what they are skilled at!

5) Since your child can test your nerves, attaining mindfulness will make you happier and let you manage anxiety, stress, and depression.

 

Author

Vishakha Goyal
Founder- LifeLitmus
IPA Expert, Parenting Coach, Access Bar Practitioner, Sound Healer

 

SHINE AS A PARENT

SHINE AS A PARENT

 

I Guess All We Can Do Is Stay Devoted To Our Children And Be Generous With Our Time. Our Children Should Always Be Our Number 1 Priority.

Try Not To Teach Your Fears To Your Kids. Introduce Your Children To What’s Possible

  • LEAD BY EXAMPLE : the best way to influence your kids is to walk the talk. Model the behavior you wish to see. Those little eyes watch everything you do. I refer these from “Family Wisdom from the monk who sold his Ferrari”. Which is a book that will be very helpful to you as you grow young leaders at home.
  • DEVELOP YOUR CHILDREN : see yourself not just as a parent to your children but as a “developer” of them. It is important to actively develop their minds, hearts and soul. That’s your job expose them to great art. Introduce them to cool people who produce unique ideas
  • INSPIRE YOUR KIDS, Big ideas : parents teach their children how to view the world. Parents show kids the way the world works. And if you see the world as a place of limitations, so will those little people you are raising. Try not to teach your fears to your kids.

 

Introduce your children to what’s possible. Inspire them to be great human being who will elevate the world – in their own special way.

Be an enabler. Encourage them always because “ skills can be developed by non correctional methods”.

 

Fasiha Shaik

Parenting Coach

 

Help Yourself and Your Child Busting the Exam Stress!!!

Help Yourself and Your Child Busting the Exam Stress!!!

Parents easily get stressed when the exam time of the children draw closer. Exams can really be stressful for the entire family, but in reality, it needn’t be this way. It’s understandable that the child will experience stress and anxiety. If we as parents stress out, kids will stress out even more. Instead of putting additional pressure, there is a lot that parents can do motivate their kids for scoring well and prepare systematically for their exams.

Here are 10 practical and handy tips for the parents that will help them prepare their kids score well in the exams and reduce stress:-

  1. Know your child’s Exam time table – A very helpful way to help reducing yours and your child’s stress during their exams. Parents must know what exam the child has got next in order to help them prepare on time. It proves to be an extra element of support. You can simply add it to your calendar or pin a copy of the exam time table onto the notice board.
  2. Regular monitoring of their studies– Always take some time out to monitor your child’s progress. Sit with your child and design a schedule so that he or she has enough time for revision. Lending a helping hand in building a useful schedule for their days and weeks will help them efficiently utilizing their time. Don’t let them putting off all the preparation for the last days.
  3. Cut back on distractions– Any distractions, be it TV, gadgets, phones, gatherings, parties or even a disturbance from siblings must be avoided. It’s imperative to give your child the right atmosphere during exams to make him perform and score well. Try to allocate a comfortable room or a space in the home for your child to study in peace. 
  4. Do not compromise on child’s nutrition – Your Child health might get affected while dealing with exams pressure. An extra and special care is very much required keeping in mind the pressure child has on his mind. Adding fresh and seasonal fruits may do wonders for them. It helps them improving their concentration levels. 
  5. Enough sleep is fundamental – Be it school or exam, enough sleep is essential for a child to perform well. Teenagers have a habit of catching up on social media before bed which can cut the sleep time resulting in them being tired right before their exam. Prohibiting device in bedroom especially during exams or cutting off the internet is highly recommended. Installing parental control is also advisable during exam time.
  6. Help them to be active – Encourage them to take breaks between studies. As studying continuously will tire out the brain and affect the ability to retain knowledge. A power nap, stretching exercises, listening to music OR dancing can refresh and re-energize them.  Processed food, high caffeine or sugar intake can make kids anxious during exam days. Teenagers are recommended not to exceed 100 ml of caffeine a day.  Encourage them to take plenty of water.
  7. Never compare your child – Comparing your child with other kids, using negative words to demean them, or questioning their caliber on the basis of scores will just hurt the sentiments of the child. His true potential shouldn’t be measured with scores in the exams. Parents must remember that  exams are just one of the many challenges your child will face and it’s not the end of life. So, take it easy!
  8. Reward your child efforts- Rewarding your child is important to motivate them to put their best foot forward. Don’t bribe them with expensive gifts. A simple family outing or catching up with friends or cousins after the exam can help the child to take his pressure off.
  9. Identifying warning signs, if any – Its imperative to ensure your child’s mental well-being too. It’s natural to feel anxious during exams. But if there are signs of extreme anxiety, loss of appetite, anger issues or irritated mood, these could indicate that the child is not keeping well. Always keep a check, intervene and talk to them at the right time.
  10. Stay calm – Don’t build too much pressure on them. Stand in support of your child, believe in his abilities, help them preparing for the exams without overburdening them with your expectations.

So, stay calm! And if you can’t, fake it till you make it. Try to hold your stress inside and not to discuss with your child.

Hope these tips will help you and your child staying stress free in the days of examinations. These tips will not only help them coping with stress but will also form the right outlook for exams.

 

Author

Neetu J. Talwar

ESL Trainer and Parenting Coach from Deep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Journey Brought By Sanctity of Life

 

The thing is about the time when I got pregnant for the first time, like all women, I was also waiting for an anxious time. Meanwhile, I met my doctor in connection with the regular checkup. I do not know how she understood my heart as soon as she met me. She very kindly explained to me that when a delivery takes place, a mother is born along with the birth of a child.

She suggested me that I should be mentally and emotionally brave with the physical and emotion changes I was going to face while going through the physical recovery.

Little did I hear her. Because by this time, my mind had been occupied with overwhelming thoughts and emotions. I was worried thinking in a moment of time how a careless girl (which I more or less was) could be a good mother. Many questions were causing uproar in the mind, like,

“What kind of mom will I be?”, which had been something brushing around my brain all the while I carried a life in my womb, where I was about to introduce someone to the world, I knew I had to be the perfect introducer here. I was going to do what nature has chosen every woman to do; to create and nurture a new life. Which surely is a bliss.

But its very well said that God does not give you strength to get rid of all kinds of problems. God sure shows the way but doesn’t work in your favor as long as you do yourself a favor. In the moment of desperation, it feels like God has left you on your own at this point.

And something like that, happened to me as well.

Series of events went so drastic that shook me to my core. Outside the operation theater, nurses were looking for my husband for documental formalities, but, I did not have my husband at that time as he was traveling to visit me. Since its very well known that presence of the baby’s father calms the mother to be down, seeing the man she loved could lower some adrenaline.

There were no men with me at that time.

My brother who was and still is very supportive of me was at a distance of 1000 km from me and was getting restless talking on the phone.

My mother was helpless because she had to take care of me along with maintaining financial formalities of the hospital in a quite urgent manner. So she went to the ATM to withdraw money. I had my aunt with my mother, who was upset herself but was encouraging my mother, in every manner she could.

And I, lying in bed, trying to accept the coming time as a challenge.

I do not know, I got so much courage from inside me that I told the nurse that the document has to be signed by me. The nurse asked me many times that you will sign? And I said, “yes I will”.

Meanwhile, I talked to my brother and explained to him that he should not be disturbed, I was with the Doctor Controlling the situation. I assured him to not to worry.

And I said the same thing to my husband.

And then, I went to the operation theater. When I came back to my senses, when anesthesia had done its part, I heard that my aunt is talking to someone and saying that she showed great courage, something we had not expected from our childish child.

Now the real meaning of writing so much is that you can come out of any kind of challenge by staying positive.

This episode had prepared me for the years to come and now that I have become a mother, every day there is talk of giving a good upbringing to my children, I keep on learning for it every day, every day there are new challenges. And I learn something from all of them. To be a better mother to my children. I am preparing my children for every situation in every sphere of life.

It is going to be very long, but I must say it will  definitely because I am getting parenting techniques day by day that will make my journey a lot better. I may perform my duties as a parent the best I can.

 

Divya Vats

Parenting Coach/Mind Trainer / Career Strategist

Visit my website www.aacons.in

Parenting – An Art and Science of Patience

Parenting – An Art and Science of Patience

It was not easy for us to get into the role of a parent when we first thought of it. It took us huge amount of time and energy and effort to accept the very fact of being a parent. The lives were going to change, priorities were going to change, the scheduling of every small event and activity was going to change. In short, we were going to change. Coming to this thought of being a parent tested us and our patience for the first time. And we realized what we were asking from our life. 😉

Although the decision was made by us but destiny had something else in store for us. We tried what not; ayurveda, homeopathy, allopathy but we were not getting the results. Slowly at our subconscious level we had started accepting it as a fact that probably we won’t be that lucky, ever. It was a very tough time for us, I still remember sitting with my wife and discussing about the possibility of adopting a child also. Days, months and years passed, lives got back to where it was. Work, functions and get together, a hectic schedule were a part of our life. We had still almost made it final that we are going to get a child adopted then on the same day we got to know that we are the blessed one. We were going to have our baby. We were very excited, doctor’s appointment was fixed and we went in. Doctor took my wife for check-up and I was waiting outside with an ocean of thoughts in my mind and a broad smile on my face. After sometime I was called inside and we were asked multiple questions as work and life style, daily schedule and most importantly schedule of the previous months. Now the excitement was getting replaced by concern and it was probably visible on our faces. After taking all the necessary information we were told that the baby did not survive. It was 5th year since we were married and we were seriously planning for it for a very long time. But it did not happen. Wait was still on. We were being tested for our patience. And trust me, the test was not easy. My wife had to suffer from huge trauma after that, those sleepless nights and continuous weeping was making it even worse for her and for me too. Fortunately our parents understood and were supportive so it took less time for us to come out of it. Life moved on, so did we. Life came back to normal and again we had this thought of being a parent. Whole cycle got repeated but this time we were more cautious and careful for everything hence we took extra care at every step. It was 10th year of our marriage and we were blessed with a handsome young prince, who is now of 4years.

But, why I m sharing this with you? What made me think that this story needs to be shared? I m not sharing it because of its uniqueness. As it is not unique, although it is very special and close to me. But I’m sharing it because these 10years exposed me to various experiences and learning and encounters with people which helped me put a foundation of taking up parenting as a topic to study and understand it in detail. I have seen many fathers and to be fathers so much disconnected with the process of being a parent that they miss on the joy of it. I’m not a medical expert but I know that the ‘to be mother’ goes through lot of mood swings and she is not able to reconcile her actions or thoughts or even reactions. This is the time when the ‘to be father’ needs to be with her, strong and mature to handle her. It is not only the responsibility of the mother to take care of the child but also of the father, equally, even before the child is born. We as parents or to be parents need to be extremely patient to handle this stressful situation and days of such stress. It’s not easy; it never was and never ever will be. But we have to accept it then only we can be a responsible father.

Once the child is born, responsibility and sharing increases. Many parents don’t realize the fact that the child is not saying anything in initial 2 years but is listening and observing everything that you do. And whatever we do around the child is shaping him for years to come. Hence patience is required a lot more than expected. Now a days it very concerning to see that people are expecting the child of 2 years or 3 years to behave with the maturity of 10 years. It is not possible and it’ll never be possible. Kids are going to be kids and we need to understand that. The sooner we realize this and act on it the easier it’ll be for all in the family. Handling tantrums and making them disciplined in itself is a challenging task and again patience is tested. We have to be extremely patient with the child. Imagine a small life is standing in front of you with huge questions in their mind. They are trying to decode the things and trying to put relations and combinations. And at the same time they want you to help them out. So instead of helping them if we shout at them or get irritated because of their questions, then are we not missing on the greatest pleasure of seeing a life bloom in front of our eyes? Understand their struggle; they are new to everything, even to you. And they are making their thoughts and beliefs observing you. Their condition is so fragile that they are not even having proper words to describe what they are feeling. And if we react to them with our head held high, the connect would never develop. And this is the reason many parents are missing the growing process of their kids and suddenly they realise that kids are all grown up and don’t have any emotional connection with them.

My overall experience with my kid and all the parents that I interact with, or observe or come across with, the major factor which can solve all these issues for all and which can realign these beautiful moments to be lived, is patience. We are today so much into our own work and life that we unknowingly ignore the most precious part of our life, our child. This is a bundle of joy which gives us an opportunity to look at our own self as a child through our own eyes. The small arms, when they wrap around your neck you feel blessed to be loved so much unconditionally. When the small twinkling eyes look at you with pride and affection and deep love, you feel being born again. When the small little hands hold your finger to take the first step of their life, it makes you feel your own journey of first steps again. The first word which addresses you makes you touch the sky. Their small talks, stories of their own fairy world, where they are the hero and you are the super hero for them, unfolds your own potential and capacity at times. All this and many more moments like these makes you a parent. But it all can be felt and lived if we apply patience as the key ingredient.

I would request all “parents and to be parents” to be patient with your child and see the magic. Pause before you react, breath before you act. It’ll not only teach your child to be patient but also will add value to your life and the moments it brings to you.

Happy Parenting!!

Keep Learning, Keep Growing

 

Aniruddha Pathak

Parenting & Career Coach    

 

 

HOW TO HELP WITH EMOTIONAL DYSREGULATION IN CHILDREN

HOW TO HELP WITH EMOTIONAL DYSREGULATION IN CHILDREN

 

If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve witnessed a tantrum or two in your day. We expect them in two-year-old, but if your child reaches school age and meltdowns and outbursts are still frequent, it may be a sign that they have difficulty with emotional self-regulation. And many older children, even if they’re beyond tantrums, they continue to struggle with impulsive and inappropriate behavior.

What is Self-regulation?
Self-regulation is the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation.

Problems with self-regulation manifest in different ways in different children. Some kids have a huge, strong reaction and there is no build-up. They can’t control that immediate behavior response. For other kids, distress seems to build up and they can only take it for so long. Eventually it leads to some sort of behavioral problems.

Why do some kids struggle with Self-regulation?

When parents give in to tantrums or work overtime to soothe their children when they get upset and act out, kids have a hard time developing self-regulation. In those situations, parents become their external self-regulators. If this pattern happens again & again, and a child is able to ‘outsource’ self-regulation, then that might develop as a habit.

How do we teach Self-regulation skills?

See acting out is essentially an ineffective response to a stimulus. We need to help the child slow down and more carefully choose an effective response instead of being impulsive. If we approach self-regulation skills in the same way we approach other skills and provide practice, rather than pointing bad behavior it changes the tone and content of the feedback we give it to our children. Rather than giving up, try paring down the activity so it is more doable, and slowly give your child more and more independence to handle it.

Pro-tip: Expecting perfection from ourselves may actually increase tension and negativity.
we should keep working on our own emotional muscles, accept ourself & our family for where we are in the process. It’s never too late to start!

Regards

Swati Mahajan

Parenting Coach

Moving from Digital to Development

Moving from Digital to Development

 

In today’s digital age, it is not very uncommon to find even toddlers using gadgets. Many parents try to please their children by giving them tablets and phones so that they are kept busy and entertained. But have you ever thought that a toddler needs more human interaction than with an AI?

A child’s early developing stage is until the age of 6. Hence, it is very essential that you do not let him or her be dependent on gadgets.

Do not forget that every child needs attention and gadgets are no substitution to it. Here are few things that you can do to help your child move from the digital to the development stage.

  • Get Real Games: 3D games are fun and attractive, but they also harm your child’s mental growth. So, instead of downloading a game on your tablet or phone, get your child a game appropriate for his or her age. Games which will help your child in learning and at the same time have fun with it.

 

  • Spend More Time with your Child: It is very important that you try to spend as much time as you can with your child. The more time spent with your child, the more disinterest your child will be with the gadgets.

 

  • Encourage Creativity: Every child at the toddler stage loves to draw (or should I say scribble). Encourage your child to be creative and let him or her draw or scribble. Appreciate your child for what he or she has created.

 

  • Get Them Involved: You may want to keep your child away from the household work, but the truth is by keeping your child involved during your household chores can help you interact with him or her better. It also makes it easy for them to learn quickly and easily.

 

Do not let gadgets hinder your child’s growth. Enjoy this stage with your child because time does not turn around.

 

Happy Parenting!!!

Arti A

Parenting Coach

 

Parenting Lessons from the Vienna General Hospital

Parenting Lessons from the Vienna General Hospital

 

The Vienna general hospital had two maternity wards, one handled by doctors and the other by midwives. In the mid-1800s, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiz was heading the ward that was being handled by doctors. The surprising fact was that the mortality rate of mothers who were looked after by the doctors was 1 in 10 and the mortality rate of mothers looked after by midwives was 1 in 50. This was quite embarrassing for the doctors. They tried changing the bedsheets, cleaning the floors window curtains, but the mortality rate remained the same. They even laid down SOPs for both the wards so that there was uniformity in all respects. Even after all these measures, there was no change in the mortality rates.

The situation was so alarming that many women preferred to deliver on the streets than go to the ward looked after by the doctors for the fear of dying. Dr. Ignaz happened to visit another hospital and was away from Vienna general Hospital for few months and in these few months, the mortality rates of the women at the ward looked after by doctors also reduced to 1 in 50.

Dr. Ignaz after returning from his visit began to examine the reason for this and he found out that, since they were in a  research institute most of the doctors split their time between research on cadavers and treatment of live patients. After doing research, dissecting a cadaver they went on to treat live patients. The very doctors who were supposed to treat the patients were unknowingly carrying the germs that caused the patients to die. They had no idea of germs at that time. Dr. Ignaz found out that he spent far more time on research on cadavers and then directly attended to the pregnancies.

It was Dr. Ignaz after his discovery that he formulated the germ theory. It was after this discovery that all doctors were advised to wash their hands with chlorine and lime. It was a simple solution, but it solved a grave problem. The mortality of women treated by doctors dropped drastically to 1 in 100 after they started washing their hands with chlorine and lime.

 

What can we learn from this incident?

Just like the doctors were unknowingly responsible for the deaths of their patients, many times parents are unknowingly responsible for crushing the child’s dreams and making him/her follow dictates that they feel is right

It needs unconditional love to view children as completely different human beings with curiosity to experiment and discover life on their own.

Parents need to master active listening to understand the unsaid words, the unspoken language and not force a child to just listen to what they say and expect the child to follow without complaining.

It is understandable that all parents do what they do with the intention of giving the best to their children. However, just like the doctors of the Vienna general hospital, they unknowingly do more harm than good.

The focus needs to move from the external world to the inner world, then the entire approach will undergo a dramatic change. The solution may be very simple like washing the hands of the doctors, but the impact can be profound.

Parents need to step back just like Dr. Ignaz who went on a visit to another hospital, which prompted him to search for significant differences in approaches in the doctor’s ward and the midwife’s ward.

The changes could be as simple as choosing a different set of words that we use or just listening to the child without judgement or maybe expressing how you feel or just allowing him/her to take responsibility.

 

Yes! Everything starts with awareness of the situation and taking the appropriate action.

Girish Paniker

Parent Alchemist