Ask Amma

Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Pro-Choice (A Dialogue)

In How on 18 December 2012 at 3:47 am

Though I believe in giving choices I am concerned about how we offer choices with information and help children understand consequences that follow. So I come back to the basics to understand what choices actually are.

Is a choice:

– to offer a child two snacks and letting him pick on his own? (The snacks are decided by us.)
– or to let the child choose something from whole pantry itself.
– or, when a child wants sugar or desserts (too much of which we don’t want in their food) to offer apple, grapes etc instead of sugar or desserts.

– Amma of a 3 year-old in California

Before coming to the specific question on choice of snacks, let us look at the general question of offering choices. Read the rest of this entry »

Play or Eat? Why not Both?

In What on 26 May 2012 at 1:16 am

Our son turned-over more than a month and a half back and is extremely active – it has become challenging for us to feed him. He wants to play and eat at the same time – any thoughts on how to approach this phase? Also, any ideas on activities for him?
– Appa of a 5 month-old in Maryland

Since he is, as you say, extremely active, I am wondering why you think he is not getting enough food?

Keep in mind that play is a way of feeding the mind, which hungers just as the body does. A baby who knows where the milk comes from and how to get to it, will nurse. Do you think he is playing "too much" and not nursing "enough?" He may think differently. Trust him. Play with him. If you are still concerned that he is not nursing enough, proactively find times & places that are calm and encourage nursing. Use the sling, use skin-to-skin contact, use music. What I found was that taking a walk just around sunset time, with baby in the sling and able to nurse via nursing kurta was very much conducive to nursing and sleeping. Perhaps it resembled the womb. There were a few months when I did this every evening.

Sometimes babies go through phases where they are so keen to play while awake that they save all their nursing for night and naptime. Lest hunger for play take priority over hunger for food, pack in plenty of play so that he is satisfied and works up a good appetite. Play can take the form of singing songs, clapping, peek-a-boo, dancing, bathing (try all at the same time!). Babies also enjoy listening to conversations and watching others work, and generally being involved in whatever is going on. Soon he will be "helping" you with your work. I would recommend that you get a toy phone, preferably one that looks like a land line, and avoid exposure to the cell phone for as long as humanly possible. Likewise I would keep him away from any screen of any size.

Toys like rattles, cups, balls, socks are fun, but leave some scope for him to discover his own playthings. You will discover the hidden wonders of many ordinary things around the house.

Mistakes

In Wit on 26 May 2012 at 12:57 am

Kids Just Say the Darnedest Things!

Sunitha from Seattle shares these words of wisdom from her 8 year old son Sahith:

Amma, you know what would be a good exercise for you?
For five hours, you let me make as many mistakes as I want
and you sit and just watch without saying anything.

Amma salutes young Sahith’s clarity as well as his Amma’s readiness to share these compassionate words with all of us.

Am I academically fit to homeschool?

In Yes / No on 11 April 2012 at 4:36 pm

Do you think you need to be updated in academic subjects to homeschool your child?

– mother of a 2 year old in Pune

The short answer is: No. Many seasoned homeschoolers elaborate on why this is so, reminding you that:

– You are learning together.
– You are not so much teaching what you know as you are supporting their learning whatever they want to learn
– your children will learn how to learn, to delight as they discover, and to navigate the ocean of knowledge, not just acquire a subset of your knowledge.

When the rubber meets the road, however, doubts can creep in. Read the rest of this entry »

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