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How to Raise a Book-Reader – Easy Hacks to Get Your Kid to Read More

A child reading a book quietly under a tree oblivious to the world around is according to me one of the most beautiful images in the world.

We all aspire to have that image to be our child. But how do we get there? I mean oblivious to the world is a little unreasonable in this day and age, but yes, a book reader nonetheless.

Some hacks that worked for us:

  1. Start with interests The key is to figure out what interests them the most. Just like us, they have preferences too. At the age of 4-5 they start developing those interests and that’s when its important to expose them to as many genres’ as possible. Adventure, Comedy, Fairy tales, real life inspiring stories, science, thrillers and many more. Once you know what interests them, invest in those books and make sure they have enough supply of those. Don’t worry about they being stuck to any one genre. Once they like reading, they will devour anything.
  1. Don’t Judge Sometimes they will pick up books which according to you are senseless, but we all have been there and read Mills & Boons. So let them too read a ‘Captain underpants’ or ‘Dogman’ every once a while (apologies for judging). But yes, slowly nudge them towards better writings and books. 
  1. School is best at disciplining A child always listens to the teacher compared to the parent. They have more influence. So make sure your child’s school has a library period and they actually read and discuss books. Maybe also write a short review on the books they read. If that’s not the case, please insist the school to take it up.
  1. Discuss the book This one requires a bit of work from our end. But its important that we do it. Because reading just for the sake of reading is good but not enough. We want them to develop those critical thinking skills through these books. Discuss why they did or did not like a particular book. Ask questions like ‘what if there could be different ending’ or ‘how would you react if you were the character’. Don’t forget to discuss the books you are reading currently. They understand more than what we give them credit for.
  1. Be a reader yourself This one goes without saying. I don’t remember my mother ever forcing me to read. But she always had a book with her to read. A Thursday evening library trip could never be missed for anything. Come rain, storm, guests anything. That got me hooked and I insisted to having a library ticket for myself at the age of 10. These days we as parents have so many other options to library, buying preloved books, bartering with friends.

So pickup that book which you have been meaning to since so many days and get the beautiful journey started. Both for you and your child. 

Happy Reading!

Green Parenting – 5 Ways to Develop ‘Eco-Friendly’ Habits as a Family

Green parenting is an ‘eco-friendly’ lifestyle choice to encourage ‘green’ habits as a family.These are habits to consciously choose natural , toxin free alternatives over others.It might sound overwhelming to think for the planet in everything you do, but it’s not that difficult.

As is the case with any parenting – walk the talk, you do it and kids will follow! If you take a responsible step towards Mother Earth, your children will do too. And what’s more, while you care for the planet, these habits will care for your wallet.

When it comes to you and your kids, think of these things – what are you eating, what are you buying and what’s around you.

Here are some easy ways to develop ‘green habits’.

No Plastic

This one’s pretty obvious – say no to plastic. Think grocery shopping, birthday parties or family outings. Each is an opportunity to choose ‘green’. Carry your own cloth bags to shop. Use reusable, recyclable decorations, plates, cutlery in parties. Fill reusable water bottles, pack your own food for the trips where possible, don’t litter – leave places as clean, or cleaner than you find them. Saying no to single-use-plastic will save tonnes of it going to landfills.

Watch Your Food Habits

Eating meat adds to global warming, go veg if you can – if not fully, then partially. Avoid processed food – ready-to-eat, pre-cooked meals come with packaging that heads to landfills and poisons the soil. Cooking your meals will be healthy, cost effective and an excellent habit you can pass on to your kids.

Shop Pre-loved

Yes, you got that right. As your baby grows, you will amass a lot of baby stuff, some which you genuinely need and some which is ‘just in case’. Every new product – breast pump, sterilizer, steamer, cot, pram, stroller – will head to the landfills once your baby outgrows it. Unless – you choose to pass it on to another parent who can reuse it. You can encourage your kids to give away toys and stuff they no longer use or need. Why not be that parent who buys pre-loved products for their kids ? Good for the planet and for the wallet.

Watch What Goes in the Bin

Diapers and sanitary pads take years to disintegrate. Choose reusable diapers and pads or cups if possible. They will save you money and save the planet too. Segregate waste. Make your own composting bins. Grow your own veggies – kids will love spending time with you and will develop healthier eating habits too. Encourage your kids to recycle waste.

Look Around The House

Is the fridge temperature too low or the washing machine temperature too high? Adjust to optimise. Are fans and lights left ON while leaving the rooms? Switch off if not needed. Are the taps running while you brush or soap? Conserve water. Harvest rainwater, use solar energy if possible. A greener house will spend less and save more.

 The habits of our children today will positively impact the planet. Let’s encourage them to lead an ‘eco-friendly’ lifestyle.

What Do You Do With The Stuff Your Kid’s Outgrown?

As parents, we want everything for our little ones to be ‘just right’. From the day of their arrival (or even before) we amass so many things which we need and which are ‘just in case’.

Prams, cribs, cots, bassinets, strollers, swings, rockers, walkers, not to mention the numerous toys and books – the list is endless. Our kids grow fast, leaving a trail of high-priced, low-use products behind.

What Can You Do About It?

  • If you have another one on the way, you can handpick a few favourite (and expensive) items and store them for later use.
  • You can hand it over to a relative, friend or neighbour who can use those items. You can declutter and earn some goodwill too.
  • You can sell these preloved items in yard sells, or reselling platforms. Ensure you choose the platforms wisely -interact with strangers with caution and make payments securely.
  • Choose to giveaway to shelters, NGOs or day care facilities which can put these items to great use.

Choosing to buy or sell or give away preloved products is good for our planet – and also good for your wallet. Buying quality preloved products is economic, and is reducing the landfills one product at a time.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Do I really need so many things for my child? Pick only essential ones, which can later be resold.
  • Will this product grow with my child? Think products with multiple settings like high chairs and prams, or multipurpose products like activity tables and play gyms.
  • Will it give good resale value? It might be expensive to buy, but will have good resale value.
  • Would I rather buy preloved? I am ensuring a better future and greener planet for my kid.