Ways to Deal with Online Gaming and Mobile Addiction among Teens – Guest Post


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We all use computers and mobile phones. Sometimes it’s for work, sometimes for fun, but the problem arises when our children start overusing the Internet for online gaming and visiting social networks. Luckily, if you realize your teenager has a problem, there are ways to help them.

Limit the use of technology

Don’t forbid it, because it will only cause them to rebel and they will find a way to go online without you knowing. Instead, limit it so that your child is allowed to spend some time online every day, but be sure you’re in control and you know exactly when your child is playing online games or visiting social media. Talk to your child and explain why it’s important for them not to spend too much time online. Tell them that they would be given a reasonable amount of time for gaming and chatting with their friends online, but encourage them to spend more time with their friends without technology. Suggest social games, teach them how to play cards, Monopoly or Risk and they will soon realize that their computers and phones aren’t the only things they enjoy.

Photo credit Pexel


Include the whole family

Limiting the use of social media alone won’t be enough if you don’t find your child something else to do, too. However, be careful with your choice of activities. Teenagers don’t really want to spend time doing chores. They will usually find excuses not to do them and go online instead, so you need to make the work look like fun. This can easily be achieved if you set a good example and do the chores along with them. If your child sees the whole family cheerfully doing something together, they will perceive it as quality family time. Begin with simple tasks, such as decluttering and tidying things in your home, since that way it’s possible for each family member to participate. Get rid of anything unnecessary, such as old toys or clothes they’ve outgrown. Organize everything in boxes using home gadgets like a label maker and donate it. Be sure to do it together, to create the sense of teamwork. These seemingly simple activities have a positive impact on the whole family. They will not only distract your teenager from social networks and online gaming, but will bring you all closer together.

Spend time outdoors

Find parks or walking tracks near you and go trekking or have a picnic. Spend every weekend outside with your children, go on field trips and show them there’s fun to be had without the use of technology. Go sightseeing. Wherever you live, there has to be something significant or beautiful there that your child hasn’t seen yet. If possible, get your child a dog. Gather your family, go to a shelter together, and choose a dog for adoption. Your child will know that you value their opinion if you let them decide. This will make your teenager happy, teach them about responsibilities and give them a reason to spend more time outside.

Do sports

Find a sport your child likes and have them take it up. It doesn’t even have to be a team sport. Whatever they choose to practice, it will keep them away from their computers and phones. It will also give them the opportunity to meet other children their age and with similar interests, which will probably make them want to spend more time with their peers. Plus, your child will be healthier and happier if they’re physically active. Attend their games, matches or competitions and cheer for them. It will show them you’re proud of them and give them more incentive to keep up what they’re doing.

As parents, our main duty is to do everything we can for our child to be healthy and happy. So, pay attention to your teenager’s habits, be sure to catch the signs of addiction as soon as possible and solve the problems you have together, as a family. And always find time to talk to your child and let them know they always have your support.

author Bio

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about lifestyle and development as a regular contributor at highstylife.com.

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India at 70 and what do I expect from India at 80?

India enters its 71st year of independence. We have gained a lot in these 70 years, however there is a lot more to be achieved. As a woman, born in Free India I still want a few things to change and a few replaced and as a mother I dream of a certain future for my children. This is a post about those wants and aspirations.

Manyavar did an ad of India- 70 not out and that quite sums up India’s journey of the past 70 years. I loved it.

But I also believe there is a lot more that needs to be done. I am a woman and a mother and I am drawing my list from my experiences and what I see around

What Freedom means to me as a Woman

  • Freedom for me means I can take a walk or go about my life fearlessly, be it morning or night.
  • Freedom for me means not being slotted as an ‘abala naari who always needs a ‘man’s’ help
  • I don’t want extra benefits like reservation for being a woman but I want equal opportunities and rights
  • As a woman, I want people to ask me about my dreams and my ambitions, and not about when I am planning to ‘settle down’
  • I want the freedom to be able to choose between being a SAHM, working mom, entrepreneur, part-time work or be content in being a homemaker and not be judged for my decisions.
  • Freedom from being portrayed in a certain image in our serials and the burden of carrying that out in the real world.
  • Freedom from being expected to do only certain kinds of jobs. Cooking, Cleaning, and Child-rearing need not be allotted to a woman by the society. It needs to be the duty of each partner irrespective of gender.
  • Freedom means being something more than ‘a hot piece of ass’, ‘a dumb maiden,’  or a ‘damsel in distress’
  • Freedom means not worrying if I would be able to get back to work after having a kid

Freedom to me as a mother and a woman in India

What Freedom means to me as a Mother

  • Freedom to happily welcome my baby in this world, be it a girl or a boy
  • Freedom to find the right balance between my family and my personal ambitions
  • Inclusive and supportive workplaces that respect Work-Life balance
  • Freedom of letting my children live their lives on their terms and not be bogged down with ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ or ‘Girls shouldn’t be doing this’
  • Freedom to inspire my children to dream big and achieve whatever they wish for in our country
  • Ensuring that my daughter knows ‘being fair skinned’ is not an achievement and finding a ‘fair wife’ is not the biggest accomplishment in life. Beauty should not be just skin deep.
  •  Respecting everyone and not-judging people based on their body type, skin type, kind of job they do or their educational qualifications. The most educated and wealthy may lack basic civic sense and the most illiterate might have a heart of gold. See good in others.
  • Respecting a hard-working person, irrespective of the kind of work he/she does. No work is big or small as long as it is being done with good intent and complete honesty.
  • Freedom from the fear of “Will my children’s career or educational prospects me hampered because of – caste, corruption, red-tapism or donations”

What are your dreams and aspirations for India after 80 years of Independence? Do share and add your ideas to those above.

Linking the post for #MondayMommyMoments #MMM and #MondayMusings

http://everydaygyaan.com/dear-old-world/

MMM    

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5 lessons I learnt as a Mom

No two kids are alike and hence nothing that has worked with one kid will work with the second kid. I had always believed that parenting is simple and easy (Big Mistake) and assumed I will be a natural and a perfect model for Johnson’s baby ads! How tough can it be? Kids sleep, drink milk, talk sweet nothings and you just have to make them laugh and play with them when they are babies. As they grow up they will learn everything, right! (Totally Wrong!!!) Well, these were the ideas that I had before my baby came along and then I was in for a rude shock!!

That’s when I realized being a parent, is a life long work in progress. Nothing prepares you for it. You cannot learn it nor can you master it. But you do learn a lot from your children. In the following years, after my child’s birth I learnt a few things. Things that have helped me be a better person and hopefully a better parent.

Parenting can be stressful – This is the first thing I learnt as a became a Mom. It also made my respect for my mom grow manifolds. Being  a parent is a thankless job and yet one of the most cherished posts in the world. I respect the fact that I am responsible for growing and nurturing two humans and doing it well is something that I take seriously. I need to be a role model for my children – someone who is responsible, capable of taking tough decisions and never overtly dependent on others.

Focusing on my ‘Me’ time-  As a mother,I ended up losing my identity and choices. I fussed about my children’s choices and wants, family’s requirement and other priorities. I ended up being at the bottom of this priority list. That’s when I observed, my kids never missed on their TV time or play time. They said it made them happy and that’s when it hit me. I need to enjoy things in life to be completely productive. My children made me realize the importance of ‘me’ time.

Keeping my temper in check –I was always known for having a terrible temper. My mom always asked me to keep it in check. Doing a hundred good is wasted with one bad word, she would say. Sadly, I never took those words seriously. However after kids, when I lost my temper and saw their scared faces, I realized how wrong I was. Over the years I have learnt that losing temper hardly serves anything, but arguing without raising my voice can help make a difference. Not that I have mastered this skill. It is still a work in progress but I have made a promise to myself that I will continue working on it.

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To be at the receiving end of nasty remarks, yet chinning up and staying put – When you are a mom for two kids, you end up being in the middle of many fights. While you try to be fair, there are times when the children see you as a villian. The things that you try and enforce as an important rule for their betterment, is seldom seen like that.In situations like these the children lose their temper and say some nasty things. They might not mean it and say in the heat of the moment, but it hurts nevertheless. It is at times such as these, I learnt that I need to put my emotional side away and focus on what is good for my kids and be steadfast in my decisions. They will thank me later.

Always be ready for unknown contingencies- Being a mom of two has made me an amplifier of contingencies.I over think every situation. I am on high alert at all times and I have a solution for almost everything. I know that just when you think you have it all under control life throws a bouncer and you need to figure it out.

I am still a long way from being a pro at this. Still learning new things every day, working hard to be a good parent everyday, trying to be a better version of me. But I am happy in the knowledge that I have learnt a lot on the way

Linking it up with #MMM Monday Mommy Moments by Deepa Gandhi and Amrita Basu 

Let’s Agree to Disagree

She walked in with a huff! How could you? she scorned looking at me. What are you talking about? I asked a little perplexed. It was Friday fun box, couldn’t you give something fun? I eat the healthy stuff everyday, why couldn’t you give me junk food or instant noodles for tiffin she shouted. My friends made fun of me, she said while being on the verge of tears. All I could do was hug her! “Darling eating healthy home cooked food isn’t bad. It will be beneficial for you. Besides I did give you home cooked pasta”, I tried reasoning with her. But she was beyond reason. Tiffin food was one of the points that we disagreed on.

As she walked off, I realized we disagreed on a lot of stuff. Reflecting on my days as a daughter and remembering my friends relationships with their mom’s, disagreement seemed like a pattern, a constant fix if you will in any mother-daughter relation. In my younger days, it didn’t matter much as all of them had the same stories. Oh! Mom never understands, or mom’s too strict were the common exclamations among us. Mom’s weren’t supposed to be sugary-sweet. Also, I don’t think kids had a say when it came to tiffin, study timings etc.

Today there are disagreement on simple things like clothes to wear, food to eat, shows to watch, study timings, etc. and the list is endless. Add to it the mushy ads and serials that show a near perfect mother with a ‘sarva gun sampanna’ daughter and I end up feeling like I am losing the plot. I used to imagine that I will end up being this old lonely woman whose kids never visit her or remember her because she chose their well being over peer pressure or show-off.

I know that’s a little over dramatic, but hey, it’s my blog! I can be dramebaaz here 😛 Then All Out made this badass mom Advert and I was so thrilled. It was as if I found a validation to my PhD theses.

My daughter saw this ad and she said,” yeah, that’s you! So you will be the ‘Satark’ Mom, who will be worried about me and stand by me when I face any problems!” And I loved the sound of that. I am okay if my daughter isn’t the most obedient daughter in the world, but I will feel extremely hurt if she isn’t a free thinking, independent individual who isn’t scared to voice her opinion. I want my child to think of me as the first person she can turn to if she is facing a problem. I want her to believe that her mom can help her and if not help her, will atleast stand by her in her times of trouble because let’s face it, life isn’t always rosy.

Now I sleep in peace. I have realized that its okay to disagree. I have nothing against people who have found that perfect balance and never have any bone of contention with their children. I am not there yet and I do work hard on it everyday,but I have also realized that working on it doesn’t mean giving into things that are not good for her.

We don’t let it get vicious or hurtful but we have come to realize that I can never be the TV projected ever smiling mom nor will my daughter be the picture perfect daughter. We voice our opinions and discuss all things under the sun, but  we also agreed to disagree.

Confessions of a Mom of Two

I am a mom of two. Anyone expecting a mushy, joyous Johnson baby advertisement kinds of anecdotes or stories, should quit reading right away.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So, I am a mother of two and am on a continuous guilt trip! Not joking, and the fact that it feels like a roller coaster ride doesn’t help! Who do you tell? How the hell do super mom’s or the many “We have it all together” Mom’s manage it is beyond me. One thing is for sure, my respect towards my mother has grown manifolds since I became a Mom,especially the second time.

frustrated mom

My day is roughly like this – during the morning school rush, if I get pushy with my kid number 1 to get things done quickly, I am scorned upon and at times blasted with ” You never understand what I want” or “You never do this to kid 2,”  and this from a kid who has barely entered Primary school.

As kid 1 goes to school making grumpy faces, I start my guilt trip which usually result in concluding that probably I am not doing enough for kid 1. Just as I get into a defensive mode and try pep talks about how I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, kid 2 waltz in and promptly falls or does something similar. I kick myself for letting it happen and though the kid no.2 can hardly talk, his teary eyes with a cute smile are enough to send me on a guilt trip. I mean when a kid looks at you as if you are ‘the most perfect’ thing it has ever seen, how do you not feel guilty! And the saga continues from dawn to dusk.

Over the years, I have understood two things – the first borns are usually more pampered. You care more for them since they are born, they are used to constant attention, however, it is also true that they are the most experimented species. As first-time parents, there are many things you are not aware of. At times you try anything and everything that people around you suggest and then there are times when you prefer to ignore the good old tips from granny and act all knowing (after Googling stuff!) Either way, it’s the kid that get’s affected.

With kid no2, you start off with an assumption that you are a pro and now you know everything, however, what we tend to forget is all kids are different and the situations we faced during the first time might not repeat themselves. Also the fact that your enthusiasm and energy are at an all-time low, the second born misses out on a few stuff. Like recording things- for first kid you have the recordings of things like first poop, first yawn, etc. however for the second kid, even milestones, like walking and talking might not get recorded. It’s not intentional, you are trying to manage the house, office, kid 1 schooling etc, and you somehow miss out. But it happens! Same goes for 1st-year birthday parties- usually, firstborns get a big fancy birthday party complete with special cake, games, treats etc. It doesn’t matter if the kid does not understand anything or the fact that in most pics the kid looks like he/she is on the verge of crying.  The second kid should be happy if he gets anything close to a decent birthday party.

Over the years, these small things add up and make you feel extremely guilty when you look at either kid and these thoughts are heightened when you meet some super moms. I know it and I do feel that way. But a wise old lady told me once ” These things don’t matter in the long run. You can fight, you can cry and be angry, but at the end, if your kids come up to you and share their joys and their sorrows and you see love for you in their eyes, you have done a good job! So all mommies out there, take a bow and never ever feel low. You are doing an extremely good job and let nobody tell you otherwise – even your own self!

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

It was a bright summer morning and Maya woke up early as usual and went for her morning walk. Just as she was passing the local grocery store, near the closed shutters, she saw something move. The discarded cardboard boxes were heaped there in a corner. She was about to ignore it for rodents when she heard a sound. She turned and went closer to inspect the sounds. From the half opened carton box she could see two tiny legs.

She smiled and opened the other flap of the carton and there they were yawning with their tiny mouths and looking around with their dreamy eyes. The innocence melts her heart instantly. She just stood there staring at them as they stretched and wriggled. Just then they realized her presence and stared back at her with their big coal-black eyes. There was a tinge of fear in those eyes but they were more pleading than scared. Maya knew in her heart that she had to take them home. Her motherly instincts took over and she bent down and scooped them in her arms. After cuddling them and making them feel safe, she put them back in the carton box and carried them home.

 

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Photo Credit- Pixabay

 

She walked in the big iron gate and set the carton box down near the big shady Mango tree. This is a good spot she thought and told them very lovingly that she will find them something to eat. Her husband, Vinay had just finished reading his morning paper, when he saw Maya come in. He went near the tree to see what was going on and saw two little heads peep out of the box and stare back at him. He knew Maya well, to understand what must have happened.

Just then, Maya came in with two bowls of just right warm milk and bread. She placed the bowls in the carton box. The two hungry pups lapped up the whole milk. Maya and Vinay were sitting cross-legged on the lawn under the Mango tree, looking at those hungry pups feed.  The pups realized they were safe and quietly scrambled out of the box. Each slowly made way to the laps of Maya and looked up to her content and happy. Maya was smiling back at them and caressing them to ensure that they feel secure.  Vinay looked at her and said, “Did you know today was Mother’s Day?” Maya looked up with a tinge of sadness but when she saw Vinay smile and gesture at the pups she realized he meant it with affection.

They had spent a long time being sad about not being able to be parents, but today looking at those abandoned pups and the love she felt for them, she realized she might not be a conventional Mother, but she was Mother no less!