Parents Need to Act Quickly to Handle a Child’s Fears, Says Maneka Gandhi

Gandhi's earlier books include "Sanjay Gandhi" (on her late husband), "First Aid for Animals" and "The Complete Book Muslim and Parsi Names", among others

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Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had asked for setting up Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) at the state and district levels for regular monitoring of the Specialised Adoption Agencies (SAA) and CCIs. Flickr
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had asked for setting up Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) at the state and district levels for regular monitoring of the Specialised Adoption Agencies (SAA) and CCIs. Flickr

There is no limit to the imagination of children, especially those below five. But not always what they see or feel may leave a positive image in their minds. And it is to guide not only children but also parents on how to battle such inner fears that Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has once again donned the hat of a writer wth a new book, “There is a Monster Under my Bed”.

“The book gives parents a new way of looking at overcoming a child’s fears so that they can talk to their children. If ignored, it may seemingly appear to go away on the surface but the fear will remain in some form forever. Parents need to act quickly to handle childhood fears,” Gandhi, 62, told IANS.

Maneka Gandhi has written many books on a variety of topics. How did this one come about? Gandhi said her granddaughter Anasuyaa was the inspiration.

“One day she (Anasuyaa) came up to me and said she is afraid that there is a monster under her bed. I had to quickly act positive and responded how lucky she is and I also would like to have one. Its then I realised why the book needs to be written,” Gandhi said.

Parents often tend to ignore the inner fears of children, Gandhi said, adding the book has been to make parents aware about how to deal with such situations.

“A child is a newly-hatched baby they is discovering the world while growing and I think genetically they primed to be afraid of what they don’t understand…

“If we can immediately explain them like in darkness you can see the moon, stars and hear the owls then they can get rid of fear,” she explained.

The 47-page book, illustrated by Snigdha Rao and published by Penguin (Rs 399), deals with common childhood fears like dark rooms, lightening, clowns, injections and even shadows.

Term insurance, time, Life Insurance
Parents often tend to ignore the inner fears of children,  Pixabay 

“Believe it or not most children fear clowns. And of course, the space under one’s bed which is perhaps the most frightening part. Sometimes, children have difficulty in putting their feet down at night and going to the bathroom because they think something will come out from their bed,” Maneka Gandhi pointed out.

The book is a handy guideline for parents on how they can turn a scary thought or moment of a child into something positive. A bonus is the beautiful, bright and colourfull illustrations that the children can enjoy.

Although, Gandhi hasn’t included child sex abuse in the book, this didn’t stop her from talking about it and accepting it is another form of fear that children often encounter, especially within family.

“I haven’t brought that angle in book because what I wrote in this book is fears of mind that is an actual thing that has to be told to parents. And what we have done in this ministry is that we have made a helpline, childline and email. We respond very quickly to such complaints,” she stated.

Also Read- Government of Sri Lanka Urges to Uphold Laws For Disabled

Maneka Gandhi also mentioned that her ministry, for the first time, made it mandatory print details of child sex abuse and about ‘good and bad touch’ at the back of every CBSE book.

Asked about her next book, the minister said she is writing one on flowers.

“My next book would be about different varieties of flowers as today’s youngsters are not much aware of the names of flowers,” Maneka Gandhi said.

Gandhi’s earlier books include “Sanjay Gandhi” (on her late husband), “First Aid for Animals” and “The Complete Book Muslim and Parsi Names”, among others. (IANS)

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Is the Young Generation Really Able to Enjoy Childhood?

The academic competition has burdened the kids of this generation so much, that the meaning of childhood has changed for them

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Childhood should be free of burdens and tensions. Pixabay

-By Muskan Bhatnagar

Childhood is the best phase of one’s life. The phase of life where there is no stress, no worries, no sorrows, but only enjoyment, innocence, and joy. Every time you recall those free happy days, all you’d wish is to rewind your life and relive those moments. Right?

Remember those weird yet fun outdoor games that we used to play all day long? Those little fights with friends? Crying over the smallest scratches we would get while playing? And how a bar of chocolate could give us all the happiness in this world? Those happy days are now long gone.

Nowadays, the idea of childhood has completely changed. Seeing parents forcing their kids into tuition classes at the tender age of 5 or 6 completely surprises me. Parents are so busy in their schedules that they tend to think that their kid might not be able to grasp everything at school. And due to lack of time and attention, they enroll their children into tuition classes at a very young age.

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Parents send their kids to extra study classes after school at a very young age. Pixabay

The parents are not wrong when they say that primary classes are the base of higher studies and hence they provide extra tutoring to their kids. But then, isn’t nursey class just too early for a student to compromise on playing and attend tuitions? After all, that is exactly what a student has to do after completing primary school. What is the need to burden kids with bookish knowledge at an age this young? Neither alphabets nor numbers are so tough. Studying in school is enough for a primary school kid even if the parents are not able to pay requisite attention to their ward’s studies.

Such decisions might hinder the child’s playtime which is very important during early childhood. Why has it turned so necessary to push your child into academic competition since the beginning of childhood? Why do parents want their kids to score the first rank in the first standard? How is it gonna help in the future? After all, academic excellence in primary classes doesn’t ensure good academic performance in later years.

I have come across kids who’ve been studying all day, all night since the start of their schooling, attending all subject tuitions for hours, then attending co-curricular classes as well. Don’t you think that childhood has been destroyed of a kid like this?

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Parents are not able to give attention to their kids’ studies and hence seek help through tuition classes. Pixabay

Parents need to understand that providing kids with luxurious lifestyles and all possible facilities isn’t called good parenting because at the end of the day you’ve destroyed the innocence, pure joy, and the childhood fun of the kid. Kids nowadays don’t experience the purity of childghood innocence, the burden-free playtimes, and the carefree mischiefs of childhood.

They’ve been exposed to academic competition and the race to achieve the highest marks, at such an early age that they have to compromise on every other thing. The parents have also become so careful that they don’t completely allow kids to have fun or to play outdoors. The fear of getting physically hurt stops parents from sending their kids to play as carelessly as the previous generation did.

Also Read: 80% Maharashtra School Students Don’t Report Cybercrimes: Survey

Seeing kids miss out on the happiest and the most carefree phase of their life saddens me. Studies are no doubt one of the most important aspects of life, but that never meant that it is more important than enjoying life.

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Children should be set free from all the burdens of life so that they can enjoy the best phase of their life carelessly. Pixabay

Adulthood and teenage years are hard phases of life, most of the time. Adolescents often face many difficulties, and adulthood has its own problems. The only carefree and stress-free part of a person’s life is childhood. After all, school life never comes back and there is no friendship as pure as the school friendships. Then why are we killing today’s generation’s childhood?

Let your child explore new things out of the bookish world, let them play more study less, let them play rough, let them become strong on their own, let them find subjects of their interest, let them make countless of unforgettable memories, let them make mistakes, let them live carelessly till they reach an age where it gets necessary to be burdened. At the end of the day, what childhood memories are your kids going to share with their kids?

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80% Maharashtra School Students Don’t Report Cybercrimes: Survey

It is also reportes that 33% students deleted content due to which they were targeted for cybercrimes

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37 per cent of the students revealed that they were affected by some sorts of cybercrimes. Pixabay

At least 80 per cent of school students in Maharashtra aged between 10-17 do not report cybercrimes they face online to their parents, teachers and the police, a new survey revealed on Thursday.

The study done with 1,148 children studying in the 6th-9th standard across 18 schools in Maharashtra, found that 33 per cent students deleted content due to which they were targeted for cybercrimes, while 31 per cent informed their friends about it.

The survey by a non-profit startup Responsible Netism and Cyber Peace Foundation, Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) was conducted between October 2019 to February 2020 to understand internet usage trends of children across Maharashtra.

The research found that 37 per cent of the students revealed that they were affected by some sort of cybercrime including their accounts being hacked, cyberbullying, being threatened online, harassment by strangers and even receiving pornographic content.

“Millions of kids in Maharastra today are being exposed to cybercrimes owing to the ease of access and anonymity that internet offers,” Sonali Patankar, Founder President, Responsible Netism, said in a statement.

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60 per cent of students faced other Cybercrimes such as cyberstalking, online gambling, etc. Pixabay

“Our research points to the fact that technology companies are not stringently safeguarding the interests of children towards ensuring their cyber wellbeing,” Patankar added.

Also Read: Every 4 in 10 Adults Suffer From Gastrointestinal Disorders Globally: Researchers

The findings showed that at least 60 per cent of students faced other crimes such as cyberstalking, online gambling, body shaming, added to inappropriate groups online, threatened online, etc.

According to the study, 46 per cent of the students revealed that they were dependent addicted to their devices (phones, tablets, computers) and it affected their studies. The report also revealed that Whatsapp and Tiktok are the two most-used apps by children in the state while PUBG and GTA are the most popular online games amongst children. (IANS)

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Having a Child with Cancer Doesn’t Impact Parents’ Separation: Researchers

Being parents to a cancer patient kid doesn't trigger separation, say researchers

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Chldhood cancer may not trigger seperation among parents according to researchers. Pixabay

Contrary to traditional belief, researchers now say that having a child with cancer did not appear to impact parents’ risk of separation or divorce or affect future family planning.

Childhood cancer can cause feelings of fear and uncertainty among parents and burden them with many practical challenges related to caregiving and work-related obligations, according to the study published in the journal Cancer.

For the findings, the research team from the Danish Cancer Society Research Centre examined data from several registries in Denmark, linking information on parents of children diagnosed with cancer in 1982-2014 (7,066 children and 12,418 case parents) with parents of children without cancer (69,993 children and 125,014 comparison parents).

Parents were followed until 10 years after diagnosis, separation or divorce, death, emigration, or the end of 2017, whichever came first.

Overall, parents of children with cancer had a four per cent lower risk of separation and an eight per cent lower risk of divorce compared with parents of children without cancer.

Among parents of children with cancer, those who were younger had less education, and were unemployed had elevated risks for separation and divorce.

The findings showed that risks were also higher among parents of children diagnosed at a younger age.

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Parents of children with cancer had a four per cent lower risk of separation. Pixabay

The investigators also evaluated how the diagnosis of cancer in a child affects parents’ decisions on having another child.

Also Read: Lockdown: Here are 5 Occasions to Celebrate With Luxurious Meals at Home

They expected that parents of a child with cancer would have fewer children than parents of children without cancer and that they would postpone having another child.

This was not the case, however, as the researchers found that the childhood cancer experience did not negatively affect parents’ future family planning in Denmark.

The researchers noted that health care providers should communicate these reassuring and encouraging findings to parents, but that support should be offered if needed to improve family life in the long term. (IANS)