Thursday, November 21, 2013

Child's Play? Not so easy......

“Child’s play” – the  dictionary says that the idiom means ‘a task which is easily accomplished’. Really? Well, let’s take a look at a child’s life shall we?
'You thought it's easy?'

  • 6.00 am (or earlier, if it is close to exam time!!):  Wake-up call by a hassled mom or a screeching alarm clock (sometimes both)  
  • 6.15 am (while snoozing with the toothbrush / in the toilet / with the milk glass) Get screamed at by Mom / Dad / Grandparents / every other member of the house - for being late
  • 7.00 am: Pick up a 10 kg bag, and sprint into the school bus, jostle with other kids and find a seat. Then travel through a pollution laden city to reach school 
  • 8.00 am to 2.00 pm: Cram the little head with logarithms, chemical formulae and history dates. If really lucky, add a dash of peer pressure and sibling rivalry. Then back home through maddening city traffic and obnoxious levels of carbon monoxide in the air. 
  • 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm: Continue with the cramming, but with the tuition teacher, the dance teacher and the Kung-Fu instructor. (Oh! I forgot – if the parents are ambitious, add a few more classes like horse-riding, ballet, advanced trigonometry and not to forget the most important – entrance coaching!!) 
  • 6.00 pm:  Math homework, Science projects, and English assignments. Not to mention the discussion with Mom and Dad why Rahul scored more than Divya, or why Sakshi could get that sum right and David couldn’t. 
  • 10.00 pm:  Dinner, and set the 10 kg backpack for tomorrow’s battle.  (Sometimes, crash out on the couch before dinner out of sheer exhaustion.)

Sigh!!!! Now exactly which part of this punishing ritual seems easy

Needless to say, once a human being becomes a parent, their entire world starts to revolve around the little divine beings called children. Rightly so too, because children are, after all, the future of the world.As parents, things that did not seem to matter a few years ago suddenly seem to be the most important things : whether almonds help in memory, or whether the cartoon show has too much violence in it when the cat gets hit by the mouse, or the most common – whether the child is healthy.

Health of their children is on every parent’s worry list, and so it is in mine. From the moment I knew there was a little heart beating inside of my body, I had started worrying about my baby.  And once she was born, every little yawn, every little sneeze and every tearful cry brought out the worst thoughts in my head.

Gradually, I learnt, along with the equally astonished father, that immunity was the key to ensuring the little one lived a normal, healthy life. The first lesson we learnt was that health was NOT equal to just proportional height and weight.

Surprised? Well, yes, growth of the body was a definite indication, but that was not all. What also contributed, was the healthy growth of the body and mind.

The second lesson was that you can’t control everything in the life of the little one – such as allergies, or little bumps on the head from the trying-to-crawl days. So yes, there were external factors and internal factors that affected the immunity of my precious one. I could, for example, ensure that my little one wore her snug winter clothes, but she would still sneeze when we stepped out into the cold. The only solution to combat the external factors was to ensure that her little body was strong and her little mind was agile – by working on her integral immunity by ensuring a few basics

  1. Natural Nutrition : This is first in my list, because it is something that is strongly influenced by the parents. Conscientious parents work towards a balanced diet, ensuring all the necessary minerals and vitamins are available to the growing body. Natural foods, with minimal processing, is the best source. This, along with any supplements (such as this) for rare vitamins and minerals forms the best shield against ailments. We Indians, have a rich heritage of Ayurveda to aid in this front. 
  2. Activity : Play in an open green area is not only a healthy choice for exercising the muscles. It also helps increase metabolism, oxygen intake, and a holistic development of a child – the laughter that fills your life with joy is bonus. We had ensured that the children had access to gardens, swings and trees – TV, computer games and I pads were only when it was raining outside. And guess what – they never complained!
    The best form of Vitamin D - and laughter!!
3. Education : Let me reiterate – not literacy, but education. This meant we had to educate them of each and every practice that made them a better human being, and created a happier environment around them. Ofcourse, this was easier said than done. We had to change so many of our own habits to ensure that the children had the right example.

4.      4. Conviction and hope : This is perhaps, the toughest ingredient. In a time when the whole world is trying to outdo each other, staying true to oneself is something that determines one’s mental health. Similarly, optimism and hope adds to their well-being. 

The underlying prerequisite is that growing children need to be immune to the stress, the various illnesses and the exhaustion that they are constantly handling. Only once this is ensured, can proper development of their mental and their social skills occur. This in turn, ensures a stronger, healthier nation.

This post is an entry for the "Immune India" contest by Indiblogger and Dabur India.


  1. Like your seamless way of weaving text with pictures. Only you have highlighted the all important point of fatigue inducing schedule we have imposed on our children. Your original pictures make your post unique. Best of luck.

    Would appreciate your candid comments on my post at

    1. Thank you for the warm words Saket .... Will head over to your post soon.

  2. Really beautifully written and the schedule looks scary. All the best!

    Hope you enjoy my post at

    1. Thank you so much doc... Found your post very informative too.

  3. Lovely post and the pictures are so adorable!!! Poor kids. :(
    Being a kid is so hectic these days.

    1. Yeah.... I know Red... It breaks my heart when i see them collapsing before dinner sometimes

  4. The details of the daily routine really scares me! What have we come to that we put our young ones through all that?

    1. Hey Roshni.... so good to see you after a long time... how are A&a? .. yeah scary is the right word!

  5. Which is why parents should keep their kids away from sugary treats, processed foods like Maggi...Healthy eating like values should be inculcated early in live.

    A very good post.