Written by Dr. Mona Kulpati (MBBS Dr PDMMC Maharashtra, DCH, MRCPCH (Pediatrics) UK)
Parenthood is a novel and enriching experience. However, we may find ourselves sometimes overwhelmed with the ever changing dynamics of child rearing.
The following are some perspectives to help guide parents:
1. Stick to a routine
For instilling discipline, it is important to set a schedule for your child. Stick to a wake-up time, meal time, screen time and bedtime. A range to the time and any weekend leeway needs to be decided by both parents and kept consistent.
2. Channelize energy
A wholesome day is enjoyable. Include colouring/craft, instrumental music, storytelling and household chores to your child’s day. Encourage tasks which foster individual responsibility such as watering the plants or making beds.
3. Restrict screen time
Phones, iPads, laptops, television and gaming all qualify as screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no screen time for kids less than 2 years old, 1 hour supervised screen time for 2–5-year-olds and custom-made screen time for children over 5 years old as per their educational and recreational time. The importance of internet in today’s education is unquestionable, however excessive screen time has been shown to adversely impact a child’s memory, cognition, sleep, academics, eating habits, temperament and social skills. Exercise online safety by installing content control apps or child guidance locks.
4. Holistic diet
Plan a weekly family diet chart which can be pinned up on your kitchen board. Here are some important points to consider when planning your child’s diet-
- Encourage regular intake of water, lemonade, coconut water, clear soups for hydration, minerals and vitamins.
- Natural immunity boosters like Vitamin C(citrus fruits /amla), a portion of vegetables and fruits daily as antioxidants
- Protein for muscle building in the form of eggs, chicken, fish, pulses
- Good fat as handful of nuts/seeds
- Restrict sugary drinks
- Restrict takeaway food for weekends
- Home food can offer both variety and nutrition
5. Exercise daily
Just like meals and screen time, exercise is a daily necessity for your child. Yoga, skipping the rope, taking the stairs a few times or even dancing to music are good options for physical exercise. Use your terrace or balcony for sunshine exposure.
6. Talk to your child
Listen to their anxieties and concerns. Take your doctors help if your child shows any change in their temperament. Stay updated on their academics/online classes and friends.
7. Consult your doctor
Get accountable and correct inputs from your child’s doctor for their health concerns – behavioural and physical.
8. Play the role
Last but not least, do what you would like your child to do. You are your child’s best influencer.
About the Author
Dr. Mona Kulpati is one of the best pediatricians in Delhi NCR. She is a Consultant Pediatrician with over 15 years of experience in Pediatrics and has worked at the Department of Pediatrics at AIIMS and Apollo Hospitals. She also consults at Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital. Some common problems that she is able to effectively manage on a tel consult are Mild/early fever, Rashes, Nutrition and growth, Diarrhea, Constipation, Behavioural issues. Dr Kulpati is a lifetime member of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Member Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, and a member of the Celiac Support Organization.