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Last year through the country-wide lockdown showed us what disruptions are all about. This second wave that engulfs our country and subsequently forcing many States into lockdown is indicative of how volatile our days have been and will continue to be, and the importance of taking the challenges of parenting, one day at a time.
As homes turn into WFH office spaces, as bedrooms become make-shift classrooms, as devices are shared and used to communicate, learn and work, parenting in Covid-19 times requires a different mindset. I have been saying this from the first lockdown in March 2020, that Pre pandemic efforts were blessed with an ability to shift some responsibility to the school, the classes that children enrolled themselves in, playdates organized. It is essential to have some ‘personal space’ be it for the children or the adults, but in the lockdown world, the ‘chain’ does not really break and the circle is a continuous series of days that at times may lead to frustration for both the adults and the children caught in that ‘bubble’.
The summer months in this country, do nothing to ‘calm’ nerves either, and as one waits for the cool monsoon months, and things to normalize, the reality of the times is that ‘normalization’ is still a distance away in this marathon called Covid. Therefore, it is important to put all of this in perspective, if we have to approach the next 15-18 months with a sense of purpose and make these months count more than ever.
Acceptance that these times are different and difficult will be a good starting point for parents. Approach it like a ‘forced’ adventure, one that can you in fact control. The priority must be wellness and wellbeing, and attention paid to what you are feeling, and compassion for what your children are experiencing. As adults, our conditioning over a period of time, allows us to ‘manage’ emotions, unfortunately, which children as ‘work-in-progress cannot do, and therefore they need direction and role modeling, tons of patience, and lots of unconditional love.
It sounds easy to pin this down on paper, well, truth to be told, it is not. This navigation is maneuvering a ship through stormy waters, and while there will be calm that eventually happens, the timing is something that remains beyond control; hence it is important to create short-term and long-term goals to keep that ship afloat.
Make Weekday Goals
Every educator has been emphasizing the need to create some sort of routine for your children. Children thrive when given freedom, but remember, they need to structure that in a way that allows them some purpose as well. Over the years, as a mother and an educator, I find that children feel ‘comforted’ when given freedom, but also a direction, a path, and some goals to achieve. It allows them to think and plan and gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility. These could be the fun exercises you lead every Sunday with them after watching their favorite serial. It is important that the environment is relaxed and not rushed, and Sunday works best devoid of work tasks (please keep them away), and their school routines.
Think of this as a ‘contract’ between your child and you and defining the ‘week’s goal’ will help both parties to have clarity and reduce the disappointments that usually arise when a parent ‘expects’ something, and the child has totally missed the point because she/he was not paying attention and does something completely different. This routine would include negotiations on screen time, playtime, study time, reading time, eating time, exercise time, bath time, tidying up time, tv time, etc. I use the word negotiation because this cannot be a one-way street with you dictating what time they should eat, sleep, etc. It involves a dialog and the rationale and explaining your points of you to get their buy-in and being open-minded to their suggestions. As adults, you can navigate this conversation to what you would eventually like it to be, but involving children in a discussion makes them ‘listen’ and also ‘locks’ them in.
The 3 strike rule
Have clear consequences for when the routine is compromised. I do not mean that for half an hour of extra playtime means they are denied their favorite meal. What I mean is that for resistance to give up screen time for extended periods, there must be ‘3 strikes’ after which the child automatically accepts that there will be consequences for ‘pushing’ the deadline cut-off. The importance of being consistent is also a clear sign for the children and must be adhered to. Often parents give in, and this then becomes a battleground when the parents do not want to bend the rules. This approach leads to fewer confrontations, and tears because once the child has consented to something, he/she is aware that there will be consequences and yes, expect some resistance and pleading and sometimes mood swings, but children get over this very quickly when they realize their parents mean business! This is the same moment to get over compared to when there are no rules.
What works in your own family setting
Set your own expectations as a family. I cannot emphasize this. While I am a huge advocator for using social media sensibly, at times I realize parents start to use these comparisons. For that matter even on social chats when parents share notes with each other about their children e what works for your family is unique to your household circumstances and do not make the mistake of thinking it can be modeled along the lines of what someone else is managing. This is a huge trigger point for conflicts in homes, and best to always be appreciative of what others manage, but as a family, you have to set your own goals.
Laughter and plain old ‘monkeying’ around are very important if you have to keep the mood light and lively. This also works wonders for acceptance levels when parents have to set deadlines. A happy, joyful atmosphere is important especially with the kind of overwhelmingly sad news that is reported every day. Your job as a parent is to keep your children safe, and happy and also to keep their morale up. They do not need to know all the facts of the world, as this leads to anxiety which is another trigger point for tantrums as children also get worried and are unable to always express this through words.
Spot signs and addresses them quickly
Knowing the pulse of your children and what works and what does not must be your biggest driving force. Leave the academic goals aside for a moment, know what makes your child happy, what is confusing your child, what is tiring your child, what is difficult for your child and accepting that, you will be able to reach out to different professionals e be it your child’s teacher in a school or a therapist for intervention. When you are not able to manage the emotions as a family, and the sooner you get professional help, the safer it is for your relationship. This could be a behavioral change or an academic dip, or even an emotional indifference, it is very important to spot the signs and address them quickly.
Find some me-time
Ensure that the time you spend with your child involves quality interactions, and also some time for the child to manage independently explaining you have household chores or work tasks or need to connect with the family of friends socially (this is important for them to know so that they also put a price on these relationships). This ‘distancing’ is also healthy, as lockdown times demand every minute of your energy, and as an adult, it is unrealistic to believe you can sustain like a superhuman with the same tenacity. Distancing therefore allows for personal time, which is just the oxygen that your relationship needs. What it also does is that after your personal ‘quotient’ is in a happy place, allow you to give your child all the attention, energy which is the memory they must be left with. Not a parent who is drained with work tasks, and emotional about a friend not well who is leaning on them for support. This passes over to the child who will no doubt exhibit this behavior in time as a response to something you may suggest as a way of ‘acting out. As they say, get the oxygen mask on yourself before you even begin to help those around you!
These are some basic reminders to get you through the months ahead. Remember, no parent has a complete fix on this, and no child is perfectly going to follow all rules and all one can do as a family is making this relationship about communication, mistakes, corrections with some funny and happy memories.
Achieving soft, beautiful and happy skin is a dream for most of us or at least a long-pending item on our wish list. While there are lot of suggestions, a laundry list of do's and don'ts to follow, there are some basics that don't change. We have to understand that happy skin is a holistic process that requires one to work on building healthy habits combined with good skincare.
Here's a ready reckoner by ITC Fiama of tried and tested skincare habits that will serve as a reminder that skincare doesn't need to be complicated, it just needs to be consistent.
* Cleanse & Moisturise -- The first and the simplest step towards healthy skin is regular cleansing and moisturising, it is advisable to use a moisturizing body soap that ensures your skin gets the right nutrients and remains supple and nourished. A great product suited to this requirement is Fiama Gel Bathing Bar, which is enriched with nature's goodness. Fiama's bathing bars come in 5 variants and they help moisturize the skin making it appear soft, happy and bouncy.
The first and the simplest step towards healthy skin is regular cleansing and moisturising. | Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
* Balanced Diet -- Healthy skin is an outcome of a balanced diet. The food we eat provides the building blocks for healthy functioning of our bodies. Our diet has everything to do with the health of our skin. The nutrients, minerals, and proteins found in food support collagen production and healthy cell membranes, and protect skin from harmful stressors, such as UV exposure.
Healthy skin is an outcome of a balanced diet. | Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash
* Smile -- While most of us hate the idea of having crow's eyes and lines while we smile. We rarely realize the benefits of a simple smile. When we smile the blood flow gets better, and the skin receives more oxygen and nutrients. This can help you develop a healthier complexion alternately it also leaves you stress free making you look happy and radiant.
When we smile the blood flow gets better, and the skin receives more oxygen and nutrients. | Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash
* Drink Enough H20 -- With our bodies comprising of 70 per cent water, drinking sufficient amount of water is the easiest way to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Drinking adequate water helps flush out toxins from our bodies, preventing pimples and acne and boosting the skin's elasticity. No wonder, water is called the elixir of life.
Drinking adequate water helps flush out toxins from our bodies, preventing pimples and acne and boosting the skin's elasticity. | Photo by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash
* Move Your Body -- Along with cleansing and proper nutrition, another aspect which is important for happy skin is movement. When we move or burn calories, the body produces chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain and trigger positive feelings and happy thoughts. This feeling of pure happiness and joy reflects on the skin, thus having the power to completely change your mood and keep you and your skin beaming. (IANS/ MBI)
When we move or burn calories, the body produces chemicals called endorphins. | Photo by Joanna Nix-Walkup on Unsplash
Keywords: Skin, soft, happy, healthy, food, move, calories, water, smile, moisturise, water, cleanse
It is true that street performances has been existing in India since ancient times. But, it was Philip Astley who brought the concept of circus in India in the 1880s. Interestingly, Astley is known as the father of modern circus.
Birth of the Great Indian Circus
In 1879, the Royal Italian Circus by Giuseppe Chiarini came to India. Before any of his shows, he would often say that India did not have a proper circus, and apparently, the country would have to wait for many years in order to develop the "circus trend".
Once, Balasahib Patwardhan, who was the king of the Kurundwad state of Sangli (today's Kolhapur) went to watch the circus. He was accompanied by Vishnupant Chatre, who was the keeper of his stable and also a riding master at the stables. As it was ritual, before starting with any performance, Chiarini used to challenge the audience by saying, "a thousand British Indian rupees and a horse would be given to anyone who would repeat his daring effects within six months". Interestingly, this time, the challenge was accepted by Chatre, and he announced that he will perform the same in Kurundwad within three months. And if he fails, he promised Chiarini that he would return "ten thousand British Indian rupees and top ten horses. On March 20, 1880, Chatre came to perform his circus at the Kurundwad Palace Grounds. But Chiarini did not come to see it.
Soon after this, Vishnupant Chatre bought most of the circus equipment from Chiarini, and within a year, he formed a new circus company called the "Great Indian Circus". This is referred to as the first circus company in India. Chatre's Great Indian Circus toured various parts of India and the world. Later on, Chatre merged his circus company with his cousin's company to launch a new company by the name of "Karlekar Grand Circus".
Other Famous Circuses of India
After the coming of Karlekar Grand Circus, many circuses came into being in India. In 1904, the Malabar Grand Circus, which was the first circus company in Kerala came into being under the leadership of Pariyali Kannan. Another circus named the Great Royal Circus was started in 1909. Though, its previous name was Madhuskar's Circus. One of the famous circuses of India was also the Grand Bombay Circus which was founded in the year 1920 by Baburao Kadam. Since a long time, tradition of circus as an art has been prevalent in India, though slight decline in its practice is evident now.
Keywords: India, Circus, Tradition, Art, Performance, Great Indian Circus, Philip Astley, Culture
By- Naman Rastogi
The first thing to understand about API security testing is that it is not a one-size-fits-all process. Testers must take into account the scope of the project, as well as the specific needs of developers and end-users. This article will provide you with some basic guidelines for an API security testing program. It will also outline some API security tests that you should consider including in your API testing process.
API security testing is a process that checks API functions for security vulnerabilities. These tests are intended to identify problems with the API's design, functionality, and implementation. API security testing is a proactive way to check the API for potential exploits.
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Tests To Include in API Security Testing
The API's parameter tampering test is a way to check any API calls that contain parameters for known attack patterns. The API security testing tool you use should provide warning alerts when it finds these types of vulnerability points.
Parameter tampering occurs because developers aren't properly securing the input data before it enters an API call from another application or web service. This gives attackers the ability to tamper with API input data. You can checkout this detailed guide on How to Perform Web Application Testing
Testing for API parameter tampering can include looking at all variables within API calls and checking whether they need to exist or not. In your tests, you'll also want to check how values are passed into API calls and whether or not they can be changed once data is passed in.
Also Read: No Halfway Deal In Security
Input fuzzing is one of the most basic kinds of testing you can perform on an API. It occurs when attackers send API inputs that contain random or unexpected values. This test will show you whether the API can handle random data or not. It should do so without impeding its performance, but rather enhancing it.
The API security testing tool you use should allow for several different types of fuzzing:
●Data Format Fuzzing: An input format can be modified to see how the API responds when an invalid value is received.
●Range Fuzzing: Some APIs only accept certain numeric ranges from authorized users, such as credit card numbers and phone numbers. You should check whether your API functions properly under this type of condition.
The first thing to understand about API security testing is that it is not a one-size-fits-all process.Getastra
●Boundary Fuzzing: This type of fuzzing should be used to check for boundaries within the API itself. For example, checking if a string is between certain character lengths, determining whether it's possible to pass in an empty parameter value that will still produce valid results, etc.
Testing for API input fuzzing can also include randomizing parameters that are always required by the API function being tested (e.g., session IDs). If these values don't need to exist, hackers will be able to bypass any checks made by the developers who have implemented strict guidelines regarding API usage.
Another API security test you should consider is to check for unhandled API functions. Unhandled API methods are those that developers didn't code into the API. This happens either because they were unaware of their necessity or simply forgot about them.
Allowing access to these functions creates a vulnerability point in your API's functionality. Unfortunately, attackers can use these vulnerabilities as attack vectors. API security testing should search for unhandled API methods and alert you to their presence.
This API security testing method will help you determine how well the API performs under different input conditions without any malicious actors trying to tamper with it.
A final API security test you should consider is to check for possible injection attacks. This type of vulnerability occurs when user-defined input data can be inserted into API calls as part of the API's scripting language.
Injecting attacks have been a long-time security threat for APIs. This is because they allow attackers to use any type of data that can be manipulated and inserted into an API call. They should ideally only allow what is provided by regular users or applications trying to access the API.
The API security testing process goes beyond just finding the presence of common API attack vectors like cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, remote code execution, and much more. It also looks for other API features that can put your system at risk if they aren't properly secured with input validation defenses or strict API security features.
Though API security testing may seem daunting, it's a necessary step in securing your systems and data. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you don't have time to do this yourself, you can always seek help from security experts. The costs are justified by the benefits. So, make sure to conduct API security testing if you haven't already!
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)