Birth order & personality


photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8_8/243089839/">hira3</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

photo credit: hira3 via photopin cc

Studies have shown that most leaders were rarely a first born child. Surprised 🙂 ? Can the order of birth, which means whether you are a first born, or a second born etc., can have a bearing on your personality.

Now that I have two kids, I can relate to this much more.

The first child receives the best of the parents & the world they offer to her. More time, more energy, material things, attention- all are showered on the first child naturally as a right. He never has to ask for anything. All is provided before.

The second child has to fight for his stand, & make way for himself. It starts with something as basic as toys, to the time & energy of his parents which is now divided. He also has to manage with parents also are lesser sensitive since they have learnt from their first experience. He is offered more space to learn, his tantrums are tackled differently, his habits are laid out better, he is dealt with more discipline; all because he is the second child.

What all this subtly results in is a stronger personality for the second child. He learns to make the most of what he receives, learns to stand up for himself, voice his feelings. He also gains confidence as he learns & equips himself since the parents are not the over eager & anxious lot they were as first time parents 🙂 . Aren’t all these traits that make a leader ;-D ?

This no way to say that the second child is less loved, since I feel it’s humanly impossible for a parent to differentiate between their kids. It’s just that because as parents we also grow in experience, we pass it on to our kids as we learn on the way. The second child therefore, gets the best of our learnings.


Little time saving tricks

With managing toddlers, every 10 mins saved count. Here are my tips & tricks that I have learnt in my last 4 years of mommyhood.

  1. Travelling- Every time you return home, re-stock the diaper bag with everything you have used in this travel. Wet wipes, diapers, wash cloth, anything at all. Chances are when you are going out next, you would be glad you have saved 10 mins in not having to pack the diaper bag afresh. Buy smaller packs of biscuits/ juices/ chips/ cremes/ wipes etc. This way you can discard when free & don’t have to refill after every travel.
  2. Change/ diaper caddy- Children have accidents (throw up milk while crying or coughing up, bed wetting, drop water/ milk on themselves) which requires a change of clothes. Searching for a fresh set, in the middle of the night when you are groggy & bone tired, can be a task. What I have practised with both my kids is to make a small overnight wicker basket for night which has a diaper, wet wipes, 1 set of clothes & under clothes which I take to the bedroom each night. If I end up using anything from it, I just replenish it for the next day. This also gives an opportunity for my husband to change the kids in the night if need be. And isn’t that awesome 😉
  3. Organise things- Have a small basket for all toiletries which you carry to the place/room where the kids get ready from a bath. This means I take out all required things – talc/ mosturiser, comb & hair brush/ diaper rash cream, hair oil- (all the works) in one go & return them at one go, when I am done.
  4. Sorting- You may be surprised like me  since I learnt this by chance, when I saw my 2 yr. old daughter practise this. Girls are naturally attracted towards sorting, and you can keep a kid busy sorting same colour crayons, blocks, beads, (the smaller the better as they take more time picking it up 😉 but only if the child can play with it safely without putting it in her mouth). This activity can easily buy you 10 minutes before your child gets bored or figures out your trick 😀

Parents v/s teachers

I have been told that my daughter is very headstrong & assertive. Well, that’s politely put. What it means is that you have to cajole, convince and reprimand (mostly in the same order) for everything. Don’t get me wrong, I love her more than life, but I also know that I am not an only parent saying that these kids live dual lives. They are someone else in front of their teachers & a completely different person with their mom!

Recently all parents were invited to her school for a sports day of sorts. Not just me, but several parents were amazed (read shocked) to see these tiny kids walk a straight line, flags waving, with such poise & confidence, not a foot out of place, not one breaking the line. They performed feats which I deem extraordinary. They raced for 20 meters balancing a ball on a spoon, running while dribbling a basketball & what not!

I must confess, the shock was less because I think its impossible for kids this age to be so coordinated & disciplined, but more because all the moms were saying the same thing, ‘My kid just doesn’t listen to me at home, & here she is, doing everything the teachers have taught!’.

These kids take guidance, advice, authority- everything, from their teachers & follow them like besotted kittens J . And all tantrums & indiscipline is reserved for mommy dear!

So you can crib about this injustice and twist of fate, or, you can use it to your advantage. Next time you want to make your kids do something, take the teachers into confidence. Chances are you just might get your way with the kid 🙂


10 values with which to raise children

We are a sum total of our upbringing, our environment and our choices. I have realised the magnitude of the effect all these ingredients have on me, only when I became a parent myself.

Here are some 10 things I have consciously done in the hope & belief that it will give my kids a good environment.


1. Don’t pre-empt everything for her or let her experience new surroundings, new textures, new everything. How many times do you say ‘No, this is not good for you’, ‘No, you’ll hurt yourself’, within the limits of sensibility, (you have to be dense if you let your toddler to injure herself with a knife to learn its sharp), how many times do we let our kids foray on their own. I am guilty of this, and have starting checking myself before I stop my child every time. She’s a child, and she WILL NOT be as sensible as someone 10 times her age, so why do I want her to have my wisdom? She’s a child. Let her learn by finding out. Trust me, kids are in no rush to grow up, we are.

2. Let her fall. Don’t rush to catch her to avoid a fall. A grazed knee is a small price to pay for the loads of confidence and experience that she will gain from falling. By letting her fall, and letting her pick herself up, you are giving her & yourself (very important) the confidence that she is capable of navigating & taking in her stride the challenges she is encountering. After falling once & hurting herself, you will be surprised at how careful she becomes. You don’t have to hover around her all the time with worry. As a parent I know I can’t & won’t be around her all the time protecting her. So I want her to at least learn these basics in my presence.

3. Encourage curiosity- Show pleasure when they ask a question while reading a book or watching the TV, or anything that catches their fancy. This single trait will take them far, when they are writing entrance exams and are judged on their thinking-out-of-the-box capability.

4. Teach them to question authority, in a respectful manner. I know that’s walking a thin line, but don’t we want to raise kids who are confident and not afraid to call a spade a spade. But this is a tricky one, since a child who has been raise to be fearless & righteous, will keep everyone around her to follow the same values that she has been asked to live with 🙂 . Very often my daughter reminds my husband mid-sentence that he is not doing something right, or, objects if she is talking to someone & I interject, reminding me that its rude to interrupt when two people are talking 🙂  .

5. Let them participate in decision making- Small decisions like whether she would prefer to watch TV, or do craft, or help me in the kitchen (that’s what she calls it 🙂 ) let them know the meaning of choices & slowly help them connect the dots that with a decision comes the responsibility of actions & repercussions. Let her make a decision and teach her the value of choices, and the fact that you trust her.

6. Ask questions & see how they open up. They have a valid explanation for everything they observe, and you will be amazed at their creativity.

7. Don’t limit her. Make her believe she is the best. Stop before you say she can’t do it, she’s too small. Instead tell her that it requires her to be a little taller/ little stronger…… Don’t ever tell her she can’t be something. Children are born confident, we rob them off it, a little each time we tell them they can’t do something. Didn’t we all start out wanting to be fighter pilots, racing car drivers & wildlife photographer before we succumbed to the conventional career choices 🙂 .

8. Don’t pass on your prejudices to her. I have built my likes & dislikes over these years, and for some reason. Lizards & creepy crawly insects make me uncomfortable. But other than the basic of what’s dangerous & hazardous, I want my kids to decide what they like & what they don’t independent of me. May it be cuisine, career choices, sports & everything.

9. Older is not always right. Just because I or someone older is saying something doesn’t make it right. Have the grace to accept & apologise when wrong. It will set an example that elders & anyone can make a mistake.

10. Mischief & misbehaving are two different things. Everything is allowed so long as it is mischief and fun, that’s what separates a child from an adult, BUT, bad behaviour should not be tolerated. Personally, I feel, 3-3.5 yrs is the age when a child should be made to understand and respects boundaries. This is the age when their social interactions increases, they get exposed to their peers & many older people at pre-school, and this demarcation is essential. But enforced any earlier, and it affects their self confidence.


Skill set of a new momma Part -2

With every day as your kid/s blossom, you and your skills also continue to grow.

Skill set of a new momma Part -2

  1. You shall not tire- Even if you are on your feet for 8 hours straight; you shall still attend to your babies’ every need before you can hit the bed.
  2. You shall have enviable enhanced physical strength levels- With a laptop bag, a diaper bag, a grocery bag & a school bag, you still have the strength to carry your crying toddler is she so desires 🙂 .
  3. You shall sleep uninterrupted only during night (if you get lucky) and with 1 eye open and for years to come.
  4. You shall be able to multi-task, eat, talk, run after one kid, and make the other one brush her teeth simultaneously. These variables will constantly change, but the talent of multi-tasking shall remain a constant in your life.
  5. All food shall taste the same- Everything you eat shall be eaten in a rush, already cold since you spent 45 minutes in feeding your toddler, and since you would have lost interest in it long back, it will all taste the same.
  6. You shall master the art of putting together an ensemble in under 5 minutes, and still manage to look wow 🙂 .
  7. You shall have only 10 minutes in the bathroom- Manage whatever you can in this time. See I asked you to learn to prioritise 🙂 .
  8. You shall know new feelings- Unwavering loyalty, fierce love, protectiveness, possessiveness, irrationality, irritability and they just keep adding over the years….
  9. You shall feel complete happiness like you have never known before 😀
  10. You shall find a deeper meaning to your bond with your spouse- Your husband becomes more than what he was before, he is now a, partner in your good-cop-bad-cop routine, the soundest shoulder to rest your weary head on, someone who will always squeeze out extra strength to change the bed sheets at 3 am in the morning when you child soils them, who will share the pride, joy & pains of parenthood with you every moment of the journey.

Here’s my older post in case you missed it 🙂