How round and fluffy rotis by my 5-year old make me proud?

As a small child when I visited my nani’s house, I loved cooking with her. Though she had a cooking platform, she preferred sitting on the floor and cooking, mostly on ‘angeethi’. I also sat down with her and made rotis. Small ones. And, I would offer them to my mamas, nana, nani and a couple of them I kept for myself.

rotis

I was sixteen years old, and during summer vacation, my mom would ask my younger sister and I to make rotis in the evening. She believed, “A girl needs to learn cooking as it’s a very important aspect of being a good homemaker”. Well, her whole life centered around making her daughters study and teaching them housekeeping. So every evening, my sister ad I went into the kitchen and tried our hands at making round, fluffy rotis. Sadly, we couldn’t. However much we tried, our rotis were never round, neither fluffy. But, my father never complained. He was still proud and ate without a complaint.

My mom, on the other hand, was a tough taskmaster. “When you go to your sasural, your mother in law would say that your mother didn’t even teach you this basic skill of making round rotis,” she would taunt. I don’t remember if her jibes ever hurt, because frankly speaking, at 16, a mother in law seemed like a mythical creature, a veryn distant possibility, something that a teenager’s mind doesn’t want to delve upon.

After my class 12th board exams, I got a 3-month long summer vacation. The first day itself, my mother told me,” Remember, you have to learn to cook now that you have holidays”. I groaned out aloud. She never forgot, this woman.

“Mummy, I deserve this vacation because I studied hard for the whole year, not to cook.” I complained.

But, mom being a mom had the perfect reply. As always.

“So you have your vacation. It’s not like I am asking you to be in the kitchen the whole day. Just help me in the kitchen for two times in the day and learn to cook. That’s it.”

“But, I don’t like cooking.”

“Then, what you will serve to your husband, in laws and kids?” She asked.

“I will become an important person, so I won’t need to cook. I will hire a cook.” I answered defiantly.

“It’s good to study, but you should learn cooking too, so that you are not dependant on someone. Remember, when you don’t know something, even your domestic help cheats you. Even Indira Gandhi knew how to cook.” She ended the conversation.

Back then, there was no Internet, so I couldn’t find out if Indira Gandhi actually knew how to cook. But, that wouldn’t have helped much. My mother would win any argument. Hands down. So I started making rotis in the evening. And they were always shapeless.

Now, one evening, my sister and I were making rotis, which weren’t impressive. Just then I had an idea. I took the lid from one of the steel boxes in the kitchen, put the lid on my roti and when I lifted the lid, I had a perfect round shape. Somehow the rotis came out fluffy too. Soon, our roti box was full of round, fluffy rotis. Both my sister and I were super happy. It was our little secret, so no one could know.

My mother was sitting on the garden swing all this time. Just then one of our neighbours called on us. In Ahmedabad, it was a regular affair to visit one another’s home in the evenings for a chat.

To show her (our guest) our culinary skill, we took two rotis outside. She looked at the roti and was impressed.

“Wow, your girls can make such round rotis,” she exclaimed.

Our mom said nothing. She looked at us and smirked knowingly. Our mom knew. Our secret was out. Moms always know.

20 years later, and my daughter is 5 years old. And, while I am working in the kitchen, she loves to help me. Now, before someone starts accusing me of child labour, she does it voluntarily. She helps me wash the fruits and cut the vegetables. But, of late, she wants to roll out rotis. So, I let her. She makes little rotis…but are they round? Yes..!!! Are they fluffy? Yes..!! Do they make me proud? Yes, Yes, Yes…!!!

What I couldn’t do at 17, she did at 5!!!❤

Now, she more or less makes rotis everyday. And, I am a happy and proud mother.

I realized that I am not so different from my mommy, though my reasons might be different.

I do not want her to impress her husband or in laws with round and fluffy rotis, but every person should know how to cook. And make round fluffy rotis…because they are a pretty sight! And beautiful food indeed makes the mind happy!

How ‘Back to School’ didn’t turn out to be as I had expected?

fracture

My daughter and I returned from a fabulous summer trip to Ahmedabad, just a few days before the school was going to restart. And, our spirits were quite high. That’s usually the case when you come back from your mom’s house, or your nani’s house.

After coming back, it was time to get back things in order for the first day of school – buying a new uniform (as the school had introduced a new pattern), black rainy shoes (though why I bothered, when there were no rains, beats me), and arrange a new school van vendor (the same one that my daughter’s friend takes). So, on Sunday evening, before the big day, we were all ready. My daughter and I laid down her uniform, badge, socks, ‘new’ shoes, comb and a box of millet for the hungry pigeons.

The next morning, my daughter woke up early. All through her summer holidays, she woke up quite late, but that morning she needed no prompting. She was awake much before her scheduled time. I could see the excitement in her face – to meet her friends and teachers after more than a month. So, we were ready and waiting by the gate for the van at the said time. She had already fed the grains to the grey and (one) white pigeons, who trusted her and walked around her boldly. While they flapped away as soon as I came even in the periphery of their vision.

My eyes were on the van. White and yellow school buses came and went…and the private vans too. But, there was no sign of her new van. I was stressed, while she was continuously asking me where was her new van, and her friend. I had to take a hasty decision to drop my daughter to the school, I would call the vendor later to find out the reason for his tardiness. Taking an auto rickshaw, we finally reached the school on time. So, the morning of the first day of the school was a little eventful. She came back in the van (apparently, the van guy had forgotten about the new child, and had apologized) with her friend. She had a big smile on her face.

The same evening, I enrolled her for gymnastics class in preparation for the impending rains, when she would not be able to play in the garden, and would still need to use up her energy.

So far so good. The next morning was uneventful, everything went off smoothly as it was supposed to. In the evening however, while playing in the garden, my daughter fell down from the monkey bar, and landed on her hand. She cried out from pain. There was a swelling on her hand. I rubbed some ice. Her pain subsided a little, and she went off to sleep. The next morning, the swelling hadn’t reduced. I knew that was a bad omen. I rushed to the doctor, got an X-ray done…and came to know she had a hairline fracture near her left wrist. The poor girl got a plaster of 15 days on her hand. A big heavy white plaster. The plaster also meant one thing – No School for fifteen days.

Well, my daughter was happy. As much as you love your school friends and teachers, you love the holidays more. It was a universal truth, and my daughter wasn’t immune to it. So, only the third day of school, and my daughter was already on another vacation, an unexpected one though.

Her class teacher was very supportive, and gave me a brief on the school work she could do at home. She uses her right hand to write, so it is a relief that she can catch up with most of her school assignments. Her friends come to meet her and cheer her up. They draw cute little doodles on her white plaster, and my daughter cherishes them.

I see these fifteen days as an opportunity to spend more time and catch some more bonding moments with my daughter. We wake up late as we did in the summer holidays, and though it’s a task to make her bathe and wash her long hair, we manage it somehow. She uses her time to play with her toys, do her school assignments, and watch TV. In the evening, she goes to the garden, and though she cannot actively participate in the games, she can watch her friends play. Her gymnastic class has been banned though for at least a month, or till the doctor gives her the green signal.

In these ten days of her hand encased in a bulky plaster, I have realized that children are tougher than we give them credit for. Not once has she complained about the situation…and only on one occasion when her hand was really paining, she hasn’t cried or been a bad sport about it – something we, elders seriously need to learn. And the best part is, she is not afraid of going back to the monkey bar.

“Mama, I will climb again, but will take care not to fall down on my hand this time,” she says with a confident smile.

My little strong girl. That’s the spirit of a child. Indomitable.

My husband and I have also not discouraged her from hanging from the monkey bar in the future.

Falling and getting hurt are a part and parcel of growing up. Kids get hurt all the time, and get over it. The main thing is to not let the fear of getting hurt take control of their actions. A happy childhood is when parents teach their children not to feed their fears and to learn to control them. A khuljaaye bachpan is when kids are confident in their decisions, and own up their actions.

How my daughter enjoyed her summer holidays in scorching Ahmedabad?

sabarmati riverfront

I belong to Ahmedabad, and though the city has earned a bad reputation for its oppressive heat, I love it and will have it no other way. So, in this summer vacation, when we had no plans of travelling to the cooler climes, I decided to take my daughter to my mother’s house in good ole ‘hot’ Ahmedabad. Though my Mumbai friends were concerned about its temperature reaching almost 50 degrees, I was confident that my daughter and I would have a gala time. After all, mother’s house is heaven, wherever it is.

My daughter’s fun holiday started the moment she waved her dad off from the large windows of Shatabdi Express. She felt like a princess as the train canteen staff got one food item for her after another. Being the only child in the coach, she was pampered by all and sundry. We did manage to read and colour in the long journey.

Next, it was her nani house where her cousins were awaiting her desperately. Kids played under the hot sun (I wonder, how they like to stay outdoors and don’t feel hot) the whole day. They played (one of her cousins is her age) and would end up fighting in an instant (though they also made up the very next second; all forgotten and forgiven). There were elder kids who made the younger ones play various games and kept them busy. Every evening, we took the kids to various clubs and parks where they would enjoy rides and play on the green lawn.

The elder kids even organized a fancy dress show, where they wrote a play and assigned roles to everyone. They enacted a shorter and slightly altered version of ‘ The Sleeping Beauty’. The fun part was creating fairy wings, tiaras and crowns, wands, etc. out of cardboard, chart paper, glitter paper and aluminium foil. So all of us including children stayed wake till late to make them. Someone cut the wings, someone made the tiaras, while the younger ones stuck stones and stars on the props. And, finally they put up a spectacular show. No one stumbled on the make-shift stage (of old cotton mattresses) or forgot their dialogues. The audience consisted of the elder members of the family, a few neighbours and friends. And the participants earned ice lollies and a visit to the local fair for a mindblowing performance.

We visited the riverfront too – the famous and beautiful Sabarmati River front. Though it’s been quite a few months since it’s been thrown open to the public, it was the first time I visited it. The place was so calm..and gave a proud view of the skyline of Ahmedabad. Kids loved the boat ride and rides in the local fair. I even took the kids for the latest Angry Birds movie which they enjoyed thoroughly.

Nani’s house is special – so is dadi’s. And my daughter has the best of both the worlds. Ahmedabad is where her dadi stays too. My daughter flitted between the two houses and got pampered thoroughly. Her every wish was their command. So she got a heapful of presents, new clothes, toys, chocolates and what nots. Fifteen days into her stay and she was so used to this lifestyle that she was all teary-eyed at the idea of coming back to Mumbai.

She bid her cousins goodbye with a heavy heart. On the train journey, she was all subdued.

“I wanted to stay in Ahmedabad only.” She announced. “It was so much fun. Mumbai is boring.”

“Fun is fun only when it is not a routine. If you start living in Ahmedabad all the time, you might find it like Mumbai only after a few days.” I explained.

She didn’t look convinced. “You enjoyed Ahmedabad so much because all your cousins were there at the same time. Once the schools start, they will all go back to their home. It’s fun because of family, if they are not there, there is nothing fun in Ahmedabad.”

She nodded as if she understood. Though I doubt it.

“When we will come again?” was her next reply.

“In your Diwali vacation.” I replied.

“But that looks very far,” she complained.

“Yes, it is. But, meanwhile you can have fun with your friends in Mumbai.” A smile lit her face at the mention of her friends…she had forgotten all about them during her stay in Ahmedabad, and now they all came racing back in her mind.

She met her friends the next day upon her return and announced, “I have come back. I had so much fun in Ahmedabad. But now, I will have fun with you too!”

It was a good decision for me to take her to Ahmedabad. She is at a right age to understand, that apart from friends, family matters too. For nuclear families like us, it’s vital that children understand the importance of family and their role in shaping their childhood. No childhood is complete without being fed (sometimes forcibly so) by dadi-nani, shenanigans with cousins and asking for masis-mamas for toys/candies. And summer holidays give that opportunity – to explore the various dimensions of childhood. It helps kids in providing them a khuljaaye bachpan.

Doodles Doodles On The Wall, Which Is The Prettiest Of Them All?

doodles

I still clearly remember the time when we had decided to get our house painted. The walls were in a pretty bad shape, the paint was peeling off, and my one year old daughter just loved scrapping it off with her fingers and putting it in her mouth. Though it had needed a re-painting for years, I can’t for the life of me remember, why we dithered and waited that long. Anyway, so we decided to get our house painted and entrusted our daughter to my parents in law in another city. It was a painful period for me, staying apart from my daughter for such a long time, as we couldn’t subject her delicate lungs to the clinging dust, loud sounds and harsh smells of turpentine.

However, what hurt me the most was the insensitive comments of the people around – why are you getting your house painted now? Your daughter will make the walls dirty by scribbling and doodling on them.

My husband replied – I am getting the house painted for my satisfaction. If my daughter chooses to draw or write on the walls, it will give me another degree of satisfaction.

My husband is one of those rare specimen of humans who believe that kids be given complete creative freedom. Their creativity gets limited when you give them a sketch book of A3 or A4 size. They need a larger canvas to express themselves. That’s where blank walls come in.

So, our daughter got the freedom to scribble and draw on the walls with whatever she could find; be it the humble pencil, the ubiquitous pen, the colourful sketchpen or the unsympathetic marker pen. All made their presence felt on our freshly painted walls. She drew lines, circles, potatoes, sun, moon and even, Peppa Pig.

The best part was when she showed her creation to us. Her proud smile was all we cared for. It made us proud as parents.

Our visiting friends and family on looking at the doodled walls exclaim and announce that our daughter has an expensive hobby. We ask them – why? The cost of a re-paint is way too cheap if it helps give wings to our child’s creativity.

Not all of them are convinced. Well, we can’t convince all of them. It’s not our job. But, what I feel is M. F Hussain and DaVinci did not become famous by sketching in drawing books.

We both like to nurture our child’s creativity and guide her gently by sitting down with her and participating in her favourite ‘doodle-on-a-wall’ spree. See these doodles of mommy, papa and my cutie pie..isn’t it awesome?

doodles1

Don’t these walls look more decorative than merely painted walls? They have more character now, after all, they hold a child’s interest, creativity, passion and joy. And, all of these reflect on the walls. It makes our house a happy home.

Once she came to me and asked, “Mama, are you going to paint on my drawings on the wall?” Her nearly-teary face tugged at my heart. I felt a little guilty because I was planning to scrub the walls for my annual Diwali cleaning.

But, that’s when I made a decision – No, my darling, if you want we will never paint the house again.

And then she replied – And if we do get it painted, we can sit again together and doodle on the walls.

I nodded my head. She was happy and hugged me tight. Yes, that’s what it takes to make your little child happy.

Sometimes, I think we pay for expensive drawing classes, but do not let our kids enjoy it. We gift our kids the latest gadgets, but do not let them taste the joy of simple activities.

A happy childhood is not made of expensive things, but of beautiful memories. If doodling on the walls, scribbling on the floor and putting stickers on the cupboards and the refrigerator is what make your child happy, so be it. Give them the creative freedom, let them explore themselves, and grow. These are the simple joys of growing up, and all children should have them.

That’s how they will have a truly khuljaaye bachpan. A childhood where they are not questioned for every move they make, their creativity is not curtailed by social decorum and their enthusiasm is not snuffed out by superfluous rules. Give your child the gift of an unfettered, happy childhood, a #khuljaayebachpan!

How I stopped co-sleeping and made my 4-year old sleep in her room, ALL ALONE?

sleeping on her own

How to stop co-sleeping?

Image source – www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

I didn’t buy a crib when my daughter was born. If you know anything about Mumbai or have visited a Mumbai home, you would appreciate the fact that a crib is a luxury. My second bedroom was spare, but I had wanted my baby to co-sleep from day one. Come on, isn’t nursing easier with your baby sleeping on your side? So, we happily slept together. I loved her warm body next to mine and her sweet breath. Well, my husband wasn’t much of a fan of this arrangement. Believe it or not, the baby kicked him and hardly gave him any space to sleep. The poor man spent many of the nights in the spare bedroom.

My daughter turned 2. And I thought it was a good time to make her sleep in her bedroom. I talked to her pediatrician about it, and he agreed with my suggestion. So, once my daughter was asleep, I put her in her room. In the middle of the night, my husband woke me up.

I woke up with a start. “What happened?” Then, I saw our daughter in his arms, with tears streaming down her cheeks, and sobbing loudly.

She had been crying for sometime. And I didn’t hear that. Our bedrooms are at the opposite ends of the apartment, and I just didn’t hear her crying. So much so for the idea that mothers are tuned to their kids’ needs. After that sorry (guilty) episode, I didn’t dare to put her in her bedroom.

Two years passed. And the thought of making her sleep in her bedroom never surfaced. She was four, and then I realized she was old enough to understand that she should sleep in her own room.

I sat with her one day, and told her, “You know you are four years old, and soon you will be five. That’s quite big. And big kids do not sleep in their parents’ room, but sleep in their own bedroom”.

She enjoyed the idea of becoming big. But I could see her face fell down when I mentioned she needed to sleep in her bedroom.

“All alone?” She asked. I nodded.

“Why me? You and papa sleep together, why I have to sleep alone?”

Valid point.

“Mama and papa are married, hence we need to sleep together. But, kids need to sleep in their bedroom till the time they get married.”

“I also want to get married.” She replied, her lips puckering.

“Yes, all in good time. But for now, you can sleep with your soft toys. You have so many, just pick one everyday, and you won’t feel alone.” I suggested.

So that night, she picked up a Red Peppa and went to sleep. I stayed with her till the time she fell asleep. I also switched on the night lamp, in case she woke up in the middle of the night and was scared.

A few hours later, I felt the touch of warm fingers on my neck. I didn’t need to open my eyes to know she had come back.

The next night, I told my daughter, I will give you a surprise if you sleep the entire night in your bedroom.

It was the first child-free night that my husband and I got since after the birth of my daughter. The next morning, when I woke up my daughter, the first thing she asked, “Where’s my surprise?”

The bribe worked. It kept my little darling to her room. This went on for a few days, till the time I decided, enough was enough, and I needed to stop the pattern. Then, I told her, “No more surprises, and you still need to sleep in your room.”

It’s been quite a few months now…there are nights when she comes back to us if she is scared, and then there are nights when she wakes up the next morning in her bed. I am glad that I did that. As a mother, I feel empty and miss her sweet warmth, but as a mother, I also know that my daughter needs to start being independent. And sleeping on her own is one of the first steps in the direction.

Also, I have a confession to make – I can now fearlessly spread my arms and legs in all directions…I love sleeping without my child.

Here are a few tips on how you can slowly transition your child to sleep separately:

  • Make a child sleep in a cot/crib from day one. She is already sleeping in a separate bed, it makes the transition to a separate bedroom easier.
  • You can give your child small gifts as a way of appreciating her effort. However, decide a duration, for instance 5 days or a week, and convey it to the child.
  • Kids love being big and grown up. Talk to your child how sleeping in her bedroom would make her feel big.
  • Let her know she can come to your room anytime in the night, if she is scared or upset. Kids are reassured by this knowledge.
  • Install a night lamp in your child’s room. You get some interesting ones nowadays, in different shapes, colours and characters.
  • Initially, you can pat your child to sleep in her bedroom or sleep with her on her bed. As she gets comfortable sleeping in her room, start distancing yourself. You can read a story and kiss her goodnight. Let the child fall asleep on her own.

Happy independence to you!

7 things to do with your child in summer vacation (holiday trips not included)

Mixed racial group of kids throwing water balloons at camera

Kids enjoyo

Source: Wisebread.com

Come summers, and my heart beat increases. It is the harbinger to summer vacation, relentless heat and unlimited fun. As a young girl, I loved the summer holidays, the break from the school and everyday homework, playing outdoors the whole day, no curfew on bedtime, plus sometimes a holiday trip or a mandatory visit to my nani or dadi house.

But, now as a mother to a daughter, I dread this summer vacation. Reason? No school. What to do with your child the whole month and some more.

Well, there are two options that I can think of:

To go on a holiday. Well, as simple as it may sound, it’s definitely not. Especially, when you are not thinking of going on one. Hubby doesn’t have the time.

My daughter is already asking me, “Mama, where are we going in this summer vacation?”

She has recently started understanding holidays and its significance, I do not want to disappoint her.

So I told her, “Let me think!”

“How about going to nani house, I want to play with XXX (my nephew)? And go to the park, and eat ice cream.”

Luckily for me, my parents and my in-laws stay in a different town than Mumbai, so that would definitely be a change of scenario. It would be a lovely vacation for my daughter, though Ahmedabad would be hot as a furnace in the summer. But, I can’t keep my daughter from having a good time when I still have fond memories of my summer holidays with my cousins. But, again this visit can’t be for the whole span of the school holidays. And I will still need other options.

To enrol her in a summer camp. Now, the only glitch here is – most summer camps are for only a couple of hours. And, she still has 12 more hours to pass. So, again I will need other options.

I mean TV is always there, but I don’t want her glued to the idiot box the whole day. And it’s only so much a child can draw and paint.

Hence, I have thought of other options for my daughter to stay engaged without resorting to screen time. You can try some of them too.

Make activity groups: Most people find it a nuisance, but What’s app comes in very handy at such times. I have made an activity group of my daughter’s classmates. We meet as often as we can for activities such as canvas painting, crafts, visits to the beach or park, fire-free food making, scavenger hunt, movie dates, etc. Kids love to meet their friends in a non-school/formal setting, and it is fun for them. Also, I catch up on some much needed gossip.😉 And they hardly cost anything.

Organize play dates: This is different from the above point. Here, a single mother (a noble sacrificing soul) invites 3-4 kids or more, as per her patience level and the availability of help, to her home. She can keep kids engaged with a few craft activities, Lego, play doh or just let the kids play with the toys and bring the house down. Mothers can take turns inviting, so that not all mothers are involved at one time.

Enrol her in a library: My daughter is already a library member and we borrow one book a week. But for the summer months, I am planning to upgrade her plan, and hike it up to 2 or 3 per week. It might mean, I will have to do read her more, but it will be worth it. Also, I can assign her book-related work like spotting words, writing spellings, etc.

Buy her activity books/kits: I am planning to subscribe to activity books like Hot Pot, etc. that have puzzles, colouring, jumble words, spot the difference and more. Also, there are many activity kits such as FlintoBox. They are quite child-friendly and keep the kids engaged without minimal parental supervision.

Household activities: This summer vacation, I have decided to enlist my daughter’s help. She would be taking care of watering the plants, cleaning her room, helping me in the kitchen, etc. Also, I am planning to cook and bake some exciting stuff, and I am definitely going to need her for that. When last month, I had made strawberry jam, she had helped me in washing the pinky berries, adding sugar and other stuff, and lastly in tasting the sweet jam. This time around, she will be helping me with mango jam and baking breads, cakes and cookies. Hmmm…I can already visualize the holidays taking an interesting shape.

Window shopping: I love shopping, well who doesn’t. Of late, with my husband’s increasing work, he hardly gets time to take me shopping. Well, not being a kind of wife who nags her husband for his absence or lack of time, I have started taking my daughter along. And what an asset she has proved to be. She has helped me buy shoes, clothes and accessories.

I love the way she takes snap decisions for I take forever to arrive at one.

“Mama, buy that purple dress.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because Princess Sophia wears purple, and she looks so pretty!” She beamed.

So this vacation, I am planning to visit malls (she loves going up and down the escalator) and the nearby local market with my partner in crime for some mouth-drooling window shopping. Oh, I forgto to tell you, she loves it too! Like mother, like daughter! So, licking on Natural’s mango ice cream (it’s a must in the summer), we are going to paint the town red (or rather the Lokhandwala market!😉 )

Learning a new activity: Summer holidays should be as much about fun and frolic, as it is about learning. So I am planning to enrol her for swimming. She dreads swimming, and I would like her to get rid of her fear. So along with her friends, so that she is comfortable, she will be learning swimming. I have a good mind to join her for swimming as well and make it into a mommy-child learning experience. Let’s see!

With so many activities listed down, I am in a better (or should I say, calmer) state of mind than before. I have always advocated a liberated childhood for my daughter. And my above plans, some of them made with her in consultation, will do just that. My daughter will experience a #khuljaayebachpan, as always!

You can read more such posts here – http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/first-time-mommy/article/7-things-to-do-with-your-child-in-summer-vacation-holiday-trips-not-included

I Have Secured My Daughter’s Future. Have You?

axisbank

Last month, I had visited Kidzania, Mumbai with my 4-year old. It was our first visit, as 4 is the minimum age requirement for a child. I had heard a lot about Kidzania, especially how huge and exhausting it could be for a small child. Once inside, I found it to be a big crazy world, and so unimaginable. To say I was impressed would be an understatement, I was in awe of the whole place. And as for my daughter, she was in cloud 9. Her enthusiasm dragged her and me to various activities appropriate for her age. She was a window cleaner first, a fireman (a firegirl in her case), next, aiming hose over a building on fire, then a DHL courier girl, a dentist, a supermarket assistant, a dabbawala, a painter, and so many other things.

As she hopped from one profession to the other, it made me think how this pretend thing will soon turn into a reality. She is still small, but growing up quickly, and soon she would be thinking about her future and career options. In our times, there were a few selected career choices – to become a CA, hold an MBA, an engineer, a teacher, doctor and a few others. However, today, the choices have multiplied, and there is a wide scope of career choices. Apart from the regular career options, there are many unconventional ones as well. For example, she might want to become an environmentalist/geologist, or a forensic expert, or a space astronaut. She might want to take up a career that requires foreign education. That involves quite a bit of money. Yes, I know kids’ education doesn’t come cheap nowadays. What with numerous classes and appropriate technology, sponsoring a child’s education has become a big fat Indian wedding-like project for most parents. Well, as I said earlier, very soon we will be sailing in the same boat. It made my eyes open and my heart thumping harder.

My husband I talk about our nest egg when we retire, but it’s time we plan diligently for our daughter’s education as well. I would not want my daughter to drop her aspirations because her parents couldn’t provide sufficient funds for her education. It involves a bit of planning, I realized.

Once driven, I could not stop myself. I went online, to Sir Google (as usual), and did a bit of homework. Firstly, I came across this interesting video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTaHzfWsrcA of kids doodling about their future plans and of parents painting what they would like their children to become in future. I saw a bit of myself in every parents’ painting.

We took this test found on one of the sites that finds out education costs for various careers across various countries, both for today and for the future – http://www.homework.axismf.com/index.php#theHow

It threw at us a figure that took our breaths away. May be, most of you already know about it, but this came to my notice only recently. It made me regret, how much time we had already wasted. We could have had a nice savings for our daughter till now, had we known about it earlier. However, one good thing came out of this whole exercise. My husband and I have pledged to encourage our daughter to explore fields of her choice and support her decision, both emotionally and financially. We have already started investing in her future by investing in Mutual Funds.

This is the Monthly SIP chart that was recently forwarded by my friend. I found it quite helpful. Sharing it, it might come handy to you if you are looking at investing in your child’s future education too. – http://www.homework.axismf.com/the_what.php
On a slightly different note, it’s good to encourage your kids to read about and explore various career options. If you have secured your child’s future, even the sky should not be the limit to your child’s imagination as far as his or her career is concerned.

Download from here a few short stories, painting books and crossword books that will open up your child’s mind and help him explore various professions. – http://www.homework.axismf.com/the_fun.php

So, finally, are you convinced? About planning for your child’s future? Yes, start now and do your homework. Do not wait for your child to turn 10, 15 or 18, but start early. The sooner, the better!