Mrs. Geetika Bajaj is a Company Secretary by profession, a wife by choice, a mom by God's grace and a blogger by passion. She is a mother of 22 months old, Shivanya.
Q. What are the changes that you have experienced in your lifestyle during this entire pandemic situation?
Honestly speaking, I have enjoyed the entire lockdown as a vacation because I could replenish my sleep in these times, which I could not during our daily lives, honestly because we cannot change kids’ schedule so I change my schedule according to her so that I can sleep accordingly and I can do my daily chores like meals and all accordingly, and now these days I am facing difficulty in waking up early than lockdown so these are the changes I found in myself in my lifestyle.
Q. Being a mother what all activities are there which you have introduced to keep your child involved during this entire pandemic situation?
Honestly my baby is a social baby, means she loves going out, she could not sit but now I make her sit entire day here, earlier she was like she has to go out with every male member stepping out. Now when, of course we cannot take her out so she cannot peep outside now. It so scary. So for activities I would say I'm not a DIY mom at all because I cannot make any time for any of such things. So obviously the thing that matters is how much you are giving to your kid, by DIY activities or by any other activities. Educational toys are there available at your doorstep, so I have toys. So I strictly don't believe in spending much on toys. Whatever I bring for Shivanya, I keep myself updated to the specific thing that I have to buy for her. At this point of time she doesn't know what to bring and what she likes. So, I strictly follow my norm that I have to get one specific thing only, this will increase her level of thinking. As you are asking me about the activities I make her engaged every time, this is the daily routine. I believe in free play so, I let her do what she wants to do and one of the important thing is that she is a pampered kid. Every single kid is a pampered kid these days so she doesn't play alone at all. So, I make sure that I am watching her every time she plays being the naughtiest one, and that is why I accompany her in the kitchen. I allow her to be with me in the kitchen. Well, today there are so many things that you can convert into DIY use oriented. Like, making pillars of glasses is one activity, allowing them to use spoon, bowl, water and anything you want. I make sure that she knows where is her plate, where is her spoon and where is her glass. At this point of time, in only these 2 months she knows where are her things, where to place the things, where to pick up from, everything she knows, because I let her and I allow her to do everything she wants. I believe ‘NO’ is a very bad word, so I let her do. I know she is naughty but at this point of time you cannot always say. When somebody says no to us it feels really bad so according to me I keep her engaged in the kitchen activities, like , tower making, bowls, and everything.
Q. What is your opinion on how these activities help the kids as well as their parents?
Definitely these helped my kid. I don't know about others, but it helped my kid, like I can give you an example, she knows A-Z. A for apple, B for ball, C for cat to Z for zebra. She knows everything. She knows 1-10 counting. She doesn't shuffle a single word in it. So, I have made her to let herself be, that's was my every time.
How it helps in brain development? This is the most important thing we moms look for and as a parent I don't have to buy expensive toys for her. This is the basic thing because I think that toys get malfunctioned easily, they are of no use. They believe in breaking the toys. That’s how I think that free plays allow them to explore whatever they want and as parents we can save our money by not buying toys. She is the one who doesn't even engage in the DIY activities for more than 5minutes So why will I take such pain in making all of it and only for such 5 minutes.
I have one more activity in my mind that I do, water activity, from here to there activity, this are the most engaging activities for your kids.
Q. Do you believe in giving smartphones to kids, so that they can watch and play video games and things like that?
Before this lockdown she was not at all a screen time baby I didn't even allow her, not even for a minute before the lockdown. But as I said she was a social baby and now she has to sit inside the house, so, I have allowed her screen time. According to me, screen time is not bad if she is learning something out of it. For example, she knows approximately 4-5 rhymes at this age. So, she has learned it from there only. Especially the name of the colours, but kids can only recognise colours when they are seeing. So, I think nothing is bad unless you make it, you have to adjust the screen time according to kids.
I know access to everything is bad but if your kid is learning something out of it, then there is no harm in giving your kids screen time, but of course you have to manage the time limit. I cannot allow her to over use.
Q. Does your lifestyle involve daily exercise in the scheduled of these activities?
Yes, I am doing such activities that involves physical activities too. I take her for around 1 hour to terrace, she does cycling, waters the plants, playing with the ball, these involve the physical activities like, muscle movement. Brain development is as important as the physical development.
I believe this, so I take her to terrace. Whenever we do any activity in the kitchen like I just say, ‘you just go and throw it in the dustbin’, she has to pick that up- movement of hands or fingers, she has to open the door, again movement of hands, she has to throw, use of brain, so there are little things that you have to judge when you are doing it and one more activity we have, that is ‘chakla-belna’ for her in the kitchen so that she can make rotis and this involves physical activity of course. So all the activities are related and connected.
Q. What do you think is main reason for kids to stay motivated in doing physical activities even when they are at home?
Variation in activities is one thing. Even people like you and me are also bored and demotivated so of course looking at the ball, is also losing their patience, sometimes we also lose our patience and want to go out, even if it is going out in the car. At this point of time she knows that we have to wear the mask before stepping out of the house.
So according to me the variation and the activities keep them motivated. I think you have to be a talkative mom to motivate your kids, because at every point of time they need motivation and you can give motivation only by talking to them. Because one thing I just want to point out is that they understand everything no matter what you say. Just you should be knowing the exact path to make them understand.
This is what I believe variation and talking to your kid, every time. I have become so talkative now to motivate her because they have grown bored of the screen time as well. My daughter is like I don't want to see this. She has reached her saturation level even in terms of screen time, so we have to find out something else to make them engaged now.
Yesterday, I gave her phone to remain engaged while having meal since it was just last few bites of the meal. She said that she doesn't want to look at the screen. Is think everyone is demotivated, the level of demotivation is quite high in almost everyone.
Q. Any message for all the parents out there and their children?
Everybody is going through a cop job with their kids because those who are living only they know how they are managing their kids at this point of time because even I know how I am doing it so I cannot comment on anybody. There is no such advice to anyone because I know everyone is doing their best with their kids, the thing is I know many moms who are doing DIY activities which is great. I don't know how they get time to make such boxes and everything out of the things. I don't get time at all. I only have the daily activities as a routine. I would say that if you are engaged in your daily activities tell babies to get engaged too because this will help them to become independent. They will get a lot to learn.
I remember, when I was a kid, I would never keep my plate, because my mom didn't let me, so I used to take it casually. But children should know each and every etiquette.
I am a total desi mom. I don't believe in the over-modernisation of kids but of course I will provide everything she wants. I am always inspired by my mom or mother-in-law. I think, that at this point all the kids are just into the screens. In this lockdown the amount of physical activity is reduced. Even when we were young and at home, we did not have phones at that time. So, imagine if there are no phones now as well, so I make her involved in my activities, so that I can do my work and she can learn something by seeing me.
She knows name of every fruits and vegetables. She knows everything. Just because I allow her to do anything she wants. She even corrects us. Plus, she knows everything in Hindi and English. You only have to raise them, let your kids do whatever they want. They just have 3-4 years in which you can allow them to be whatever they are because after that they will have a lot of pressure. So, I don't want to give her any more pressure.
Children learn more without any pressure. If we keep nagging then they will get irritated. I have seen that if we put pressure on the kids then they won't do it. So just let them be, doesn't matter what they do. I don't think pressurising your kids is important. Gradually they will definitely learn. As in the schools they teach everything.
To explore the world of Geetika and her daughter, Shivanya, follow them @shivanya_mom