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November web new

  1. 1. editorialFor the Parent connect in youTo know, to understand, to I recently came across an article on MSNBC that was titled: ‘Did Being Adopted Contribute to Steve Job’s Success?’ In this article, the author, Jeremy Greenberg comments, “I actually think that adopted kids like Mr Jobs might grow up to have an abundance of faith and confidence, because they get to experience the remarkable love and generosity of their adoptive parents – people with the exceptional capacity to take any child as their own.” He concludes with the statement, “Who couldn’t conquer the world (or at least create the iPad) with that kind of foundation?” Our cover story, ‘Opt to Adopt’, features adoptive parents, who in turn feel blessed for the child that has entered their lives in such a special way. Today we have a lot of options and changes happening across school boards and curriculums. At the state level the Matriculation, Anglo Indian and State boards are all merging into one Samacheer Kalvi. In the CBSE (and soon in Samacheer Kalvi) there is a change in the evaluation process from the summative testing (tests and exams) to the formative testing of the Continuous Curriculum EvaluationFind us on (CCE). Also, today we have a choice of international boards such as the IGCSE and IB. What does all this mean? How do I know what is best for my child? In our special story on, “The Curriculum Dilemma”, we try to answer some of these questions, so you the parent can make a more informed decision for your child. It is not only important to understand what each board has to offer, it is equally important to know and understand your child’s aptitude and learning style, so that you may select a school where the child is most comfortable learning. Our Teen Circle introduces a topic that most parents are uncomfortable discussing with their children – puberty. In today’s world where information is freely accessible, it is important for the parent to openly discuss this issue with the child and clarify any misinformation the child may be exposed to. We now have our magazine online for you to read. We encourage you to participate in our online discussions and to share your articles, recipes or pictures with other parents at With all this discussion on the best curriculum for your child it is important to keep in mind the Chinese Proverb: “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” Nalina RamalakshmiPUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CREATIVE HEAD ADVERTISING PUBLISHED BYNalina Ramalakshmi Rangashree Srinivas General Manager Nalina RamalakshmiMANAGING EDITOR VISUALISER S Visalam Director, Shri Harini Media Pvt. Ltd.Nitya Varadarajan G Swarupa Assistant Manager (A Ramco Group Associate)SENIOR EDITOR - COPY DESK GRAPHIC DESIGNER G Suresh Kumar 8/14, First Cross Street,Shashwathi Sandeep M Ravisankar CIRCULATION Karpagam Gardens, Adyar,CONTENT COORDINATOR PRODUCTION CONSULTANT C Ganesh Chennai 600020Asita Haq Poochi Venkat S Thirumalai PRINTED BY ADMINISTRATION SUBSCRIPTION Canara Traders and Printers Pvt. Ltd. Sheeja Sasindran Dolly Preethi Martina M Type II/33, V.S.I. Estate, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai 600 041Parent Circle is published by Nalina Ramalakshmi, Director, Shri Harini Media Pvt. Ltd. All editorial material including editorial comments, opinions and statement of facts To advertise in this magazineappearing in this publication, represent the views of its respective authors and does not necessarily carry the endorsement of the publishers. Information carried in Parent call 044 24461066/67/68 orCircle is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed. The publication of any advertisements or listings is not tobe construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered. email 1
  2. 2. COVER STORY P.30 The Curriculum Dilemma SPECIAL P.22 Opt to Adopt CENTRESPREAD P.28 REGULARS 6 IN FOCUS MINDSET RESOURCES 10 Help Build your Child’s Self-esteem 20 Helicopter Parenting CHECK IT OUT 50 Board Games of Yore LEARNING 14 Encouraging Public Speaking in Chidren PARENT CHEF 16 Helping Children with Public Presentations 52 5 Healthy Soups HEALTH CIRCLE EVENTS 19 Nutritional Deficiencies in Children 54 Chennai this Month TEEN CIRCLE 42 Talking to your Preteen about Puberty DESTINATIONS FORUM 38 God’s Eden: The Valley of Flowers 4 YOUR WORD ROOTS 46 Heritage Trips Made Fun PARENT EXPRESS 48 The Revival of Traditional Games 8 ‘We wanted to adopt’ LIGHTER VEIN TEEN EXPRESS 56 Voice of Experience 9 Unconditional Love ON THE COVER ADYANTH GANESH DISCUSSION POINT PHOTOGRAPH BY ARJUN DOGRA 55 Pocket Money and your Child2 Parent Circle / November 2011
  3. 3. your word www.parentcircle.inLetters to the EditorA close weaving of Tamil culture is maintained in all the articles,which is refreshing. The articles in the magazine ensure a feelingof walking in the morning grass still alive with dew drops.VENKATRAMAN, A CHENNAI PARENTMy best wishes to Parent Circle on the launch of their website. Iappreciate the authentic information on parenting and other childrelated information in your magazine. Wishing you growthand success.S JAYANTI, PSYCHOLOGIST, HYDERABADThe magazine is well-balanced & the different sections takeinto account the many facets of parenting & child rearing. Themagazine is also like an ‘advice tool’ which helps the parentsin their parenting role. Especially in today’s world of ‘nuclearfamilies’, where there is no elder in the house to advise or givetips on parenting, this kind of help is invaluable. Also for the youngparents, the first timers, it is almost like a step by step guide on PARENT FORUMwhat to do and what not to do.All in all, it is a complete magazine for all kinds of parents. It is a Dhanya Bhaskaranvery valuable and a well-thought-of magazine! from Ayanambakkam,MAHIMA BHANUKUMAR, BANGALORE Chennai posted her nature-loving sonIt is a wonderful magazine for all parents in bringing up their Niranjan’s picture inchildren. The articles that I read here relate to my experiences in PARENT to day life. I like the suggestions you give, as they are very You too can posthelpful and practical. I would also like to make a suggestion. It pictures, sharewould be great if you could also publish Parent Circle in Tamil. parenting experiences,This way it would have a greater reach. It would be very useful to post recipes, videosthose parents who do not know English, but who could definitely and links!benefit from the articles published in the magazine. In fact, I havebeen asked whether there is a Tamil edition of this magazine by Post Comments on Discussion Boardmany parents on several occasions. Post announcements on Message BoardP WILLIAM CHARLES, CHENNAI Participate in Quiz and Polls Sign up to start a Parent Circle Neighbourhood Community Also find... n Local Listings n Activities & Workshops n Education & Enrichment n Articles & Information n Read, subscribe, advertis e in the Ezine And more...Please send in your letter with the subject line “Letters to the Editor”, before November n Get to know more ABOUT US n ADVERTISE in our web & print editions15, 2011, to or send them to PARENT CIRCLE, 3rd Floor Shri n Apply for JOBS n CONTACT US n Send us FEEDBACKRenga Vihar, 8/14 First Cross St, Karpagam Gardens, Adyar, Chennai 600020, India. n Find FAMILY RESOURCES ALL RESOURCES LISTED IN THE WEBSITE CURRENTLY PERTAIN ONLY TO CHENNAI4 Parent Circle / November 2011
  4. 4. in focusKids taught to deal withdifferently-abled siblingsLUCKNOW: Siblings of differently-abled children had anopportunity to learn to deal with their brothers and sisters onSeptember 11, 2011. In a sibling workshop organised by SPARCIndia, (School for Potential Advancement and Restorationof Confidence), boys and girls were sensitised about theirresponsibilities towards their challenged siblings. 18 year old Arun Vajpai scales new heightsThe counsellor through a play, created an awareness on handlingand cooperating with the differently-abled people. The siblings Arjun Vajpai, a student of Ryan International School createdwere taught to be polite and patient in dealing with them. There history on the morning of October 14, 2011. He not onlywere various activities to motivate the children and to spread the became the youngest person in the world to have reachedmessage of love to their not so fortunate siblings. the summit of Mt. Manaslu (8,163 meters), the eighth highest peak in the world but also became the youngest person in the world to have climbed three mountains of more than 8000Cops to counsel parents, school meters height.authorities if minors caught driving Arjun Vajpai was successful in this endeavour afterNEW DELHI: The Delhi traffic police has adopted a four-pronged negotiating with the ever-changing extreme weatherapproach to desist minors from driving vehicles in the city. The conditions. He started his climb on 1st October 2011. Therepolice have decided to detain the vehicle, call the parents of the was a hitch in the beginning of the expedition where thechild for counselling and issue a fine of `1000 for allowing children weather played the spoilsport. But once that hurdle wasto drive their vehicle. In addition, they have decided to counsel cleared, there was no looking back.the school authorities on the measures to be taken if the studentswere found parking and driving vehicles right outside the The summits became steeper during the climb. Arjun had toschool premises. cross tributaries along with the camping load and equipment. After reaching the peak the 18-year-old said, “this summit isThe traffic police are checking for violations after school hours such a small place that only one person can stand at a time.when most of the children could be noticed driving outside their The wind was blowing at a high speed due to which it wasschools. Earlier, senior traffic cops had met the principals and very difficult to hold the tri-colour. I unfurled the flag of Indiateachers of 45 leading schools of Delhi that are part of the Road and the flag of ESSAR foundation at the top…and what aSafety Club. This club was formed with 25 schools last year moment it was…If I close my eyes now I can still feel the windbefore the Commonwealth Games. blowing on me on TOP OF THE WORLD!” Kids to learn fielding Jontys Way MUMBAI: Mumbai based Omtex Sport Academy launched "Jontys Way", a specially-designed programme to change the concept of fielding. Talking about the programme which was designed by Rhodes himself, the former South Africa cricketer said that India has talented fielders like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, but more were required to make a strong impact at the international level. Jontys Way will provide professional training to cricket associations, schools, clubs and players of all age groups for periods ranging from three to fifteen days.6 Parent Circle / November 2011
  5. 5. How are A home, clothing, food and security: Every child has India’s the right to a home, food, clothing, education, health care children? and security. More than 4 out of 10 children in India live in India has extreme poverty with less than $1.25 (`55) a day to live on. ratified Protection against violence: Children have the right to be (signed) the protected against all forms of violence, including neglect,UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that India maltreatment and abuse. No child can hurt or abuse another child.must respect the rights of the child and listen to what children have Indian schools have banned corporal punishment since July say. Are the rights of the child respected in India? Hazardous child labour: The child has the right to be protectedThe first fact: Of the 1.2 billion population, more than 447 million against both economic exploitation and work that is hazardous toare children, of which 127 million children are under the age of five. his health or that which prevents him from going to school. All workName and nationality: From the day a child is born, he/she has is prohibited for children under 12 years. An estimated 30 millionthe right to have a name and be registered as a citizen of this children in India are working in some 27 million children are born every year in India. 6 out of 10 School and education: The child has the right to go to school.of them are never registered. There is no documented proof that Primary and secondary schools should be free for everyone. 8 outthey exist! of 10 children in India go to school, but many of them leave schoolThe right to live: 1 out of 14 children in India (more than 1.8 too early.million every year) dies before the age of 5, usually due to causes THE CHILD’S VOICE MUST BE HEARD! The child has thethat could have been prevented. 25 million children are orphaned. right to say what he thinks about any issue that affects him/her.Water, sanitation facilities: 9 out of 10 children in India have The adults should listen to the child’s opinion before they makewater from improved water sources. Only 3 out of 10 children can decisions, which must always be in the child’s best interest!use adequate sanitation facilities. Source: Parent Circle’s event for parents Be the support that your children need but let them make their own career choices Panel discussion at the workshop - that was the underlying message given to the parents at the ‘Guiding your Guest speaker, N Ilango, a visually- Krishnan, Chief Gardener, Theosophical child into the future’ event held at the impaired person, who runs a skills training Society; and Navaneetha Rao, a cancer Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram school by company said “My mother was simple and researcher from the US. Their success the Parent Circle Magazine and Ignite illiterate, but she ensured that I was able stemmed from following their passions Minds, an educational sector institution, at to take care of each day as it came, in a despite the challenges and obstacles they Chennai on October 22. self-reliant way. This is the ultimate desire faced in their career paths. of every parent for his child, whatever the Anita Sanyal, a career consultant spoke career. Sometimes education can be a Arundhati Swamy, the President of on the importance of face to face career stumbling block for parents who forget this Chennai Counsellor’s Foundation counselling to understand the child’s goal and try to impose their own unfulfilled concluded the session by advising aptitude and interest. dreams on their children.” parents on the importance of informal career talks with the child starting at the Sriram Naganathan, an educationist and The highlight of the event was the 8th standard. “Our parents guided us to the Managing Trustee of Ignite Minds, panel discussion and a question and face an earlier environment, suitable for who gave the keynote speech, stressed answer session. The panelists were K those times. We too, need to prepare our on the important mix of interests, abilities Satyanarayan, co-founder of New Horizon children appropriately for the changing and income potential for a bright and Media (a publishing company); Poochi dynamics of tomorrow’s world,” successful career. Venkat, a naturalist and photographer; V she said. 7
  6. 6. parentexpress to Bhubaneswar with her to complete ‘We the medical tests suggested by our doctor in Chennai, since there were no hospitals nearby that would do the tests we required. The haemoglobin analysis wanted to indicated possible health problems which could not be confirmed without doing a adopt’ DNA analysis, for which Bhubaneswar did not have any facilities. We were also uncomfortable with the attitude and opinion of the paediatrician in Bhubaneswar. D ANITA BY V SATISH AN We came back to Chennai with her reports and a blood sample to get theO the necessity and importance of revealing DNA analysis done. When we received ur journey to bring Nidhi the child’s adoptive status to him/her. We the report we were relieved and thrilled home began several then had multiple discussions with our to see that it ruled out the possible health years ago when we parents and siblings about our decision to concerns indicated earlier. Nidhi was dreamt of starting a adopt a child. It took us about a month to indeed meant to be with us! Euphoric, family through adoption. collect all the required documents and we we went back to sign the foster careFrom the year 2000, we became more submitted our application form. paperwork to bring her home in May 2010.and more oriented to this idea. The optionthough, of having a biological child had One of the social workers from the ACA While Nidhi continued to grow swiftly, wealways been open to us. During the last visited us at home and prepared our continued to follow up with the agencyten years, we interacted closely with many home study report. She told us that the and lawyer to fix a date for our courtadoptive families - parents and children. ACA would inform us if they received any hearing. We went for our court hearing inWe strongly felt, beyond any doubt, request for placing children from the state Orissa in June 2011, got our court orderthat we should start our family through agencies. She also informed us that there in August 2011 through mail, and wentadoption. It just felt right! were several parents waiting ahead of back there in October 2011 to register us and that it may take us up to a year the adoption deed. The legal paperworkWe also felt that the total acceptance of to receive a referral to adopt an infant. is now complete and Nidhi has all thea child not related through blood, could She suggested that we contact various legal rights that our biological child wouldonly accentuate the importance of the adoption agencies in Tamil Nadu and also have had. The adoption agency in Orissaparent-child relationship; and that such those from other states (since we were will now apply for her birth certificate anda love would be truly pure and selfless. willing to travel) to see if they had an infant send it to us as soon as they receive it.We met several other people who that could be placed with us. We expect this to take another couple ofsupported our dream, and there were months. So all in all, the entire adoptionsome who expressed some concerns. We began to call up agencies in process from the beginning to the end hasOnce we brought Nidhi home though, all Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and were taken us about two years. Meanwhile Nidhithe concerns and worries disappeared disappointed to hear that the waiting time is growing up and will be 2 years old inmagically. Of course we expected that, but was about 2 years. One of the agencies December! Life has been complete, full ofit was wonderful to see it happen. we contacted in Bangalore asked us to joy and challenges, with her. get in touch with CSA (Catalyst for SocialWe started the adoption process in Action) in Pune. We did, and they put us ANITA AND SATISH ARE A YOUNG COUPLEOctober 2009 by visiting the Adoption in touch with an agency in rural Orissa that FROM CHENNAI WHO HAVE RECENTLYCoordinating Agency (ACA) in Chennai. had a child-referral for us. ADOPTED A GIRL CHILD.They explained the entire process and Write to us on parenting experiences in 600 words,also helped us to think through some of We went to see Nidhi in March 2010 when with the subject line ‘Parent Express’ to or send them to PARENTthe post-adoption issues that families may she was three months old, after a long CIRCLE, 3rd Floor Shri Renga Vihar, 8/14 First Crossencounter. They also talked to us about journey by flight and car. We travelled St, Karpagam Gardens, Adyar, Chennai 600020, India.8 Parent Circle / November 2011
  7. 7. teen expressUnconditional BY AVANTIKA SIVARAMANI n life, we all have that someone. That someone who can make the world seem like zero gravityexists. That someone who makes the skybluer and makes the sun shine straightdown your path. That someone who canalways put a smile on your face, despitethe stormy conditions you face. It can beanyone, your father, your mother, yourbest friend, your classmate or even yourdog…but, there is always someone. Toyou, it seems that whatever that someonedoes is miraculous. Such people make theearth move slowly and give you a feelingthat you have all the time in the world. does, it is a part of life. Reality strikes. heart. Try to not cry when you think aboutThey make it seem like you have no more Hollow, traumatised and scared, you face them at night. Try not to be sucked intotears left to cry ever again. That is what reality without your supply of happiness. self-doubt and jealousy and the torture ofyou love about them - the way they make Everything seems cold, rigid and insecure. the thought that you are not good feel, how they take away every pain You can barely manage a smile. Laughing You see yourself in a mirror and youimaginable without even knowing that they is unimaginable. Your heart keeps practically smash the mirror to so. screaming for them, your mind flashes images of the times when you were Nothing has ever been comparable toAs time passes, you grow more and more together and pain consumes your being. this kind of pain. It is sharp, crucial andattached to them, become more and more Whatever should have barely scratched undeniable. How could the person whodependent on them. You see that they are your self-esteem, now makes massive provided all the happiness bring youthe ones who start showing you the beauty gashes. You are more alone than you ever the worst form of self-doubt? How couldof life, what it is like to trust again and have been. Your source is gone. Life the person who made life so beautifulbreathe freely, without having a care. They is dark. suddenly turn into a source of pain? Howshow you what it is like to laugh whole- could the one person you need, not careheartedly and they give you unadulterated Want to know what could hurt more? If about you?happiness. The world can never be lighter you find out that someone else is morethan when you are with them. You love the important to them. That there is someone Worst of all, how could you still love thisworld the most when you are with them. they care about more than you. Someone person? How could you still see that face they would much rather be with, than you. and still find the slightest sliver of peace?The more time you spend with them, Someone, who compared to you, is likethe more you feel that they are a part the sun. They no longer think about you The answer is: unconditional love.of you. You do not know how to cope as someone special but now they think of Beautiful and heart-wrenching. Filling andwithout them. You rely on them more you as someone long gone and of no use. tearing. Powerful and exhausting. Trulyand more and your need for them grows, You see them happy with their special if they provide all the happiness… someone and all you want to do is fadeWhat happens when they are suddenly away. You try to scratch such images out AVANTIKA SIVARAMAN IS AN EIGHTH GRADERnot there? Separation comes, it always of your brain, try to rip them out of your STUDYING IN HEBRON SCHOOL, OOTY. 9
  8. 8. learning Some of them paused and punctuated their speeches with ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’ to fill the gaps. Agitation, sheer helplessness made some quit half-way. What really tugged at my heartstrings was when some sought out their parents’ eyes in the audience or in the wings, with tears, R ecently I was asked to judge silently beseeching for help. I noticed that an Interschool Literary event some got worried at their parent’s reaction for primary and middle school to their fumbling and some were just plain children. There were about 15 ashamed or embarrassed that they had let to 20 schools participating and their parents down. at least 50 children ranging between the ages of 6 and 14 I consoled a crying child and then asked were bursting with enthusiasm him why he was crying. He said, ‘My to showcase their talent for mother told me not to do so many things, the oratorical and elocution but she did not tell me what I should do!’ competitions. The younger children had memorized their Following this, I had yet another occasion respective poems or speeches during Navarathri to observe this and the older children had phenomenon. It is also an occasion when small cards with pertinent children are urged to sing at the houses points to help them jumpstart they visit. In one of the houses I sensed their talks. the same unease and nervousness prevailing in one of the children when she I looked around and was asked to sing by her mother for the observed the scene before golu (dolls exhibition). The child started the start of the event. with hesitation and kept looking at her Some were practicing mother for direction and reinforcement. aloud furiously, walking up The mother kept a steady look at the child and down. I smiled when I saw to ensure she started at the right pitch, some of them hit their foreheads maintained the raagam and the thalam and BY MEERA SHIVASHANKAR when they forgot a point or made remembered the words. The look changed a mistake. The younger ones were to a glare when the child mispronounced anxiously nodding, looking up a word. The child’s song was barely a solemnly at their parents as their whisper when she finished. At one pointWe should make the attires were being adjusted even as the mother was visibly irritated that her they were being given last minute tips daughter had not lived up to her usualchild realise that he about going on stage standard of singing. The child hung hershould focus more on and speaking. head in shame.enjoying the opportunity While the actual competition itself left THE PARENT’S me in awe of the children and their RESPONSIBILITYof speaking and having aptitude, I could not help but be drawn What makes one child so confident to a handful of those children who forgot and another so self-conscious that itfun rather than worry all that they had prepared, who started interferes with his natural propensity for to stutter and stammer. Then there expression? What role do parents play inabout the result! were those who fidgeted or fumbled, this? As parents, are we living our dreams intimidated by the unrelenting crowd. through our children? Do we ‘accept’ our14 Parent Circle / November 2011
  9. 9. Subscribe Now! Limited Period Offer Mail the filled in form to Shri Harini Media Pvt. Ltd., 8/14, III Floor, Sri Renga Vihar, First Cross Street, Karpagam Gardens, Adyar, Chennai 600020, along with a cheque / DD favouring SHRI HARINI MEDIA PVT. LTD. You can also pay by credit card at our office. For further details, contact our Customer Care Department. Phone 044 24461067 (Direct Line), Fax 044 24461068 or email us at I WANT (tick) Subscription Gift Subscription PLEASE FILL THE COUPON IN CAPITAL LETTERS TICK TERM COVER PRICE SPECIAL PRICE YOU SAVE 1 Year `480 `300 `180 2 Years `960 `500 `460 I am enclosing Cheque / DD No………………............................................... Drawn on (Specify Bank)……………….......................................................... of `………………………………….......... Dated……………………............... favouring SHRI HARINI MEDIA PVT LTD. MAILING DETAILS BILLING DETAILS same as Mailing Details SUBSCRIPTION FOR Name: Mr/ Ms……………….............. Name: Mr/ Ms……………….......... .......................................................... ...................................................... Address…………………................... Address…………………................ .......................................................... ....................................................... .......................................................... ....................................................... .......................................................... ....................................................... City……………….............................. City………………........................... .......................................................... ....................................................... For more details State……………….......................... State………………........................ call 044 24461067 ....................................................... ...................................................... email visit Pin……………….............................. Pin………………............................ Tel.No…………………..................... Tel.No. ..………………................... Mobile no. ……………………………. Mobile No. ………………...............Parent Circle Date of Birth......………………........... Date of Birth......………………....... Email……………………..................... Email……………………................. ......................... no. of children agedThis is a limited time offer. Rate & Offer valid only in India. Allow 4-6 ...........................................studyingweeks for processing of your subscription. SHRI HARINI MEDIA PVTLTD. reserves the right to cancel or extend or discontinue this offer or in School .......................................... I agree to the terms & Conditions.any part thereof at any time without giving any reason or prior notice.SHRI HARINI MEDIA PVT LTD. is not responsible for any postal delay. .......................................................... Name................................................Conditions apply. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction ofcompetent courts and forums in Chennai jurisdiction. .................................... Signature.......................................... 18 Parent Circle / November 2011
  10. 10. health circleProtein and calcium Knock-knees in children 2. Cramps in legsmineral BENEFITS 1. One of the important macro minerals in 3. Delays in motor milestonesdeficiencies the body. 2. Helps to build strong bones. 4. Heart becomes irregular 5. Weakness of bonesin children 3. It is involved in Neuromuscular, enzymatic, hormonal, and other metabolic activities. 6. Poor sleep disorder Long term deficiency leads to osteoporosis. 4. Used in blood clotting, muscle contraction and Though osteoporosis is the disease of the BY DR SANTHA NARAYANAN maintenance of cell membranes elderly, today’s young adults who do not expose Note 1. Vitamin D or exposure to sunlight themselves to sunlight and work long hours inI increases its absorption. n the last issue we had AC rooms also suffer this. Excess of calcium discussed Vitamin and 2. Calcium decreases with ageing. leads to constipation and loss of appetite. Iodine deficiencies in 3. 99% is stored in bones and teeth.children; we are concluding 4. It is not manufactured by body. Hence, FOOD SOURCES Dairy products - milk, cheese,now with a few more supplementation is a must. yoghurt, salmon fish, green-leafy-vegetablesnutritional deficiencies. SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY such as broccoli, spinach, calcium fortified foods, 1. Bowlegs/ Pigeon breast/ ice creams.protein ironBENEFITS An important component BENEFITS Iron is essential for the child’sof every cell in the body, protein is growth and development. It moves oxygenneeded to build strong structures in from the lungs to the rest of the body andthe body (bones, muscles, tendons, helps the muscles to use and store oxygen.ligaments), to rebuild body tissues CHILDREN AT RISK OF FACING IRON DEFICIENCY ARE:and to produce enzymes. 1. Babies born prematurely or having low birth weightProtein Energy Malnutrition (P.E.M) It is a manifestation of chronic 2. Babies on cow’s milk before the age of 1under-nutrition, consuming food with insufficient protein energy or 3. Breast-fed babies who are not given iron after six monthsboth. Both Marasmus and Kwashiorkor come under the 4. Babies on formula which is not fortified with IronP.E.M. category. 5. Children with chronic infections or restricted dietsCAUSES FOR KWASHIORKOR 6. Children who drink more than 700 ml of cow’s, soy or goat1. Early weaning and feeding of starch rich cereals. milk everyday2. A diet high in starch and low in proteins. 7. Adolescent girls who lose Iron during menstruationSYMPTOMS SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY1. Fluid collection in the body. 4. Skin changes 1. Fatigue or weakness 6. Inflammation of the tongue2. Thin extremities 5. Brittle hair- flag sign 2. Pale skin 7. Susceptibility to infections3. Liver enlargement 6. Constipation 3. Poor appetite 8. Irregular heart beat 4. Shortness of breath 9. Behavioural problemsIn Marasmus, the body utilizes its own tissue for energy and 5. Irritability 10. Unusual craving for other non-appears skeleton like. Children also have: nutritive substances like sand.1. Poor appetite 4. Dry skin Untreated Iron deficiency in children can cause physical and mental2. Sparse hair 5. Low body temperature delays in areas such as walking or talking.3. Anxious look PREVENTIONTREATMENT 1. Breast feed or give iron-fortified formula to infants1. Provide adequate nutrition 2. Encourage a balanced diet2. I.V fluids if necessary 3. Enhance absorption with Vitamin C3. Treat underlying infections 4. Give iron supplementsBreast-feeding a baby up to six months is the best way to prevent FOOD SOURCES Lean red meat, seafoods, all kinds of beans,childhood malnutrition. greens, tofu, broccoli, drumsticks, brussel sprouts, nuts and driedFOOD SOURCES Dairy and egg products, meat, fish, grains, fruits, egg yolk.nuts, beans DR SANTHA NARAYANAN IS A PRACTISING PAEDIATRICIAN FROM CHENNAI. 19
  11. 11. mindsetA re you watching over Helicopter what your child is doing, and notdoing, every day? ParentingDo you plan andschedule mostof your child’sactivities?Do you actually do BY SRIRAM NAGANATHANand not merely helpwith the homeworkthat your child issupposed to do? Being an over-involvedIf your child is athome and if you are parent willaway, do you call her (or eventuallysomeone who is at home)from your cell phone every drive younow and then to check what nuts.she is up to?If your answer is ‘yes’ to thesequestions, and if you are wondering whatcould be wrong with your actions, watchout, you are in a psychological dangerzone - you could be a ‘Helicopter Parent’,causing more harm than good toyour child! Consider yourself aFoster W Cline, MD and Jim Fay coined WHAT HELICOPTER Helicopter Parent if you:the term ‘Helicopter Parent’ while PARENTING DOES TOdiscussing ineffective parenting styles YOUR CHILD p Feel ashamed when your child fails,in their book Parenting with Love You may have the best of intentions, but or fails to meet expectations, eitherand Logic: Teaching Children overprotection has serious long-term yours or others.Responsibility. Helicopter Parenting may consequences. Experts say that childrenappear to arise out of love and affection need to learn to cope with failures to be p Fight your childs battles for her,for the child, but is actually rooted in a effective in life. Sadly, this is out of the such as protesting an unfair gradeperceived insecurity about the question for a Helicopter Parent. or score in a test.child’s future. WHAT IT DOES TO YOU p Take over your childs projects andSuch a parent will not accept the child’s Being an over-involved parent will homework.failure in anything and hence, will not eventually drive you nuts. Studies havelet the child learn from his or her own shown that Helicopter Parents reported p Are preoccupied with the details ofmistakes. Like helicopters, such parents more sadness, negative beliefs about your childs activities, practices,hover closely overhead, rarely out of themselves, and less joy and contentment, schedules and performances andreach, whether their children need them irrespective of whether their children were only talk about these issues withor not. ‘succeeding’ or ‘failing’. your spouse.20 Parent Circle / November 2011
  12. 12. special BY RANGASHREE SRINIVASA this through the stories of some ahead with an unrelated adoption of a child adoptive families. in need. Today she is a favourite with everybody. BOND OF LOVE dopting a child is no G Nageswaran and R Revathi are the Srividhya already knows and has acceptedmore or no less than an alternate way parents of a lively little six-year-old girl. her adoptive status. We are Sai Babato parenting. As a part of an important Srividhya was adopted when she was devotees and have told her that she isnodal body, the Adoptions Coordination just 72 days old. When Revathi had a gift from God. We have exposed herAgency, Tamil Nadu, I come across varied some trouble with her pregnancy leading to people who are economically lessperceptions to the idea of adoption. I am to complications, the couple decided to fortunate and have explained to her thatconstantly in touch with scores of parents adopt a child. “What began as a selfishwaiting in the wings to bring a child into thought, transformed into a need to dotheir homes, whom they can call their own. something purposeful with our lives,” says Nageswaran. “When SrividhyaIt is said that a biological child is born from came into our lives, our family dynamicsyour womb, but an adopted child is born was transformed into something magical.from your heart. The bond between the We gave up minor squabbling and stroveadoptive parent and adopted child is very, to make our home a haven of peace forvery special. It cannot be expressed in our child. Initially my family wanted us towords, but here is an attempt to illustrate adopt from within the family, but we went Srividhya with her parents22 Parent Circle / November 2011
  13. 13. centrespread Arun Pandian Rohan Kaushik Arun Pandian is a 4th standard student My son Rohan is now five years old. He is studying in the Avvai Home School in Adyar. intelligent and shrewd but at the same time, he He is a bright boy with a big smile, very is very mischievous. In spite of this, he is his enthusiastic about learning. When he is not teacher’s pet and his mother’s darling. Heplaying or taking care of his younger siblings, is learning yoga for the past two years he can be seen drawing and colouring. and he is really good at it. I am very NALINA RAMALAKSHMI, NEIGHBOUR proud of him. RAHUL SURESH, FATHER November 14 is Children’s Day! We are thankful for our Shricharan Raghavan Shricharan is a very special child for us! Yes, he is a leap year baby Our bundle of joy is two and a half years born in 2008! He is three and a half old. He knows to speak the words most years now and is caring, confident, important to him, ‘No’, ‘I want’, ‘give it’ and self-aware and respectful of those uses them with intense emotion. He’s probably around him. At this age he does the youngest user of the iPod and an unconventional all the work (like eating, writing listener, because he enjoys the most complex homework etc.) by himself. I am Carnatic compositions. He also insists that capsicum glad that I have a son like him. is only ‘Casasum.’ JAYASHREE SURESH, PRADEEP CHAKRAVARTHY, FATHER MOTHER
  14. 14. P Dharini C S Dhruva My student, P Dharini, studying in 9th Sixteen year old Dhruva standard, is multi-talented. She learnt to epitomises truth and make artificial jewellry when she was in honesty. His journey from the 6th standard and has also learnt childhood to adolescence, tailoring and folk dance. Her aim is his innocent explorations to become an IAS officer. of the environment VATHSALA around him and his  unique PARTHASARATHY, perception of people and TEACHER situations have taught us  lessons in humility and that life is precious. LAKSHMI SATISH, MOTHER Sanjana VinodVinisha Five-year-old Sanjana loves to be withKathiravan children and enjoys outdoor games. Fond of dancing, she also loves doingMy daughter Vinisha, a class IX student, is a gymnastics on the swing. When asked tochild prodigy, who has performed many solo paint, she gets very enthused.classical dances. She has won many SOUMYA VINOD, MOTHER Arvind Srinivasantrophies and performed in variousevents of significance including I am the blessed father of Arvind, 13 years. Through hisPerur Natyanjali Festival - site, which I have created for him, you will see his love forCoimbatore and Dance Festival art.  He has over 300 creations published inat Mamallapuram. She was also the site. I am really proud of my son.conferred the Guru Pandanallur R SRINIVASAN, FATHERT S ShanmugasundaramPillai Award by musicexponent,Dr M Balamuralikrishna.I am very happy andproud of her.JAYASUDHAKATHIRAVAN,MOTHER
  15. 15. coverstory BY V VENKATACHALAM Board level exams. In 1985, in ChennaiCBSE In 1965, the Central Board alone, there were around 237 schools, ofof Secondary Education (CBSE) was which 85 were affiliated to this system.reorganized from the existing Board ofRajputana at Ajmer, which was prevailing The ICSE The Indian Certificatein five states. The board was given of Secondary Education ( ICSE) is aan all-India character under the Christian Minority board, that has beenchairmanship of Zakir Hussain before he given the status of a national board.became President. Handed down from the British, It is relatively less popular in the country. InThe CBSE curriculum was adopted by the terms of syllabus standards, it is close toKendriya Vidyalaya schools – the schools the CBSE.attended by the children of people servingin the armed forces and the government. Other BoardsAt that time, the CBSE was called Higher Across the country there areSecondary. People liked it because there totally 32 boards, excludingwas no requirement of a pre-university the two national boards CBSEcourse (PUC) after this, which amounted and ICSE. Most of the othersto a one year ‘saving’ in education. Later follow state patterns like theafter the 10 plus 2 was introduced, this Manipuri pattern, Punjabadvantage was lost. pattern, West Bengal pattern, Tamil Nadu pattern. Some likeOwing to the huge popularity of the the Anglo Indian Board, theCBSE and the inability of Kendriya Madarasa Board or the OrientalVidyalayas to expand, private schools Schools have community orwere allowed to get affiliated to this Board. religious undertones. The 32Until 1975, all the CBSE schools were boards, instead of tryingfollowing their own curriculum when Dr to complementK Venkatasubramanian, a renowned each othereconomist and eminent educationist to promoteintroduced the Plus 2, standardising the value-based30 Parent Circle / November 2011
  16. 16. destinationsGod’s I t all started with a description of ‘Phoolon Karnaprayag 30km 4 Nandaprayag 11km Ki Ghaati’ to a close friend of mine by 4 Chamoli 58km 4 Joshimath 21km 4 her driver on her way to Badrinath. This Govindghat.Eden information, duly passed on to me, kindled my interest for this mystical destination. He PLANNING TIP: When you plan, do keep told her about a valley, nestled amidst the two buffer days to handle unpredictable majestic Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi, contingencies like landslides/cloudbursts, Rathaban and Nilagiri, a valley covered which are very common in Garhwal region. with flowers of all imaginable shapes, Remember that night travel is not allowedThe sizes, shades and scents, a valley so in the mountains, so break up your beautiful that it is considered an abode of journey accordingly. the fairies by the locals. THE PURSUITValley of After a month of planning, preparation and I wasted no time upon reaching Delhi, as coaxing of my manager to grant me leave, every minute saved, releases more time I finally managed to book tickets to Delhi. for the trek. But, do keep in mind that it I could barely wait, it was just a matter of is the journey that makes the destinationFlowers time before I could see the place rumoured more alluring, so do not rush through it. to be ‘God’s Eden’. From Delhi I caught a bus to Haridwar at around 3 p.m (You get buses to Haridwar The Valley of Flowers is a part of the from ISBT Anand Vihar every half an hour. BY ARPAN KANTHAL Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, in the Please avoid private buses as they always Chamoli District in Uttarakhand. The final put money over the safety and comfort lap of the journey involves trekking from of passengers.) I reached Haridwar by Govindghat. The route-map to Govindghat 8.30 p.m. You get numerous shared taxis, by road is given below: buses, autos going towards Rishikesh round the clock. I got down at the Haridwar 25km 4 Hrishikesh 70km 4 Rishikesh Bus Stand at 9.15 p.m where DevPrayag 31km 4 Srinagar 34km 4 the first bus to Joshimath was to leave at Rudraprayag 23km 4 3.30 a.m the next morning. A casual chat with a local tea vendor opened up another
  17. 17. teencircleTalking To Your S leepless nights, temper tantrumsPreteen and force-feeding spinach pales in comparison to the challenge of talking to your child about puberty. This topic leaves most parents feeling awkward About Puberty and inadequate. Though it is a trying time for both parents and children, it can be a positive and enriching experience for both, if there is an open communication. A lack of BY DR LAKSHMI KRISHNAN communication between the parent and the child, particularly when the child is groping for support and security, can lead to anger, frustration, and a lack of self- esteem in the child. Each family and perhaps even each parent may have a different take on how to approach puberty and its changes. It is important for parents to agree on a consistent approach to provide stability for the child during this period of change. They must make an effort to have an open dialogue on the topic, despite taboos and societal pressures. The dialogue must be an ongoing one, so that the child and the parents can work through the different issues that come up, as the child goes through varying stages of puberty and maturity. WHEN TO START Today’s children are exposed to abundant information about sex and relationships through the media. Sometimes they think they know all about puberty and the associated changes! It is important for parents to be aware that the information they receive is not always reliable. Beginning the dialogue before the onset of puberty, prepares a child to face the challenges of an awkward few years. Girls go through puberty between the ages of 9 and 13 while boys experience it from the ages of 11 to 16. An ideal time to start the conversation is around 9 years for the girls and 10 years for the boys.42 Parent Circle / November 2011
  18. 18. roots BY PRADEEP CHAKRAVARTHY C an you take us to a temple up in the US, Bangalore and Delhi - they in Madras?”, asked Sanjay. were city-bred, ensconced in a liberal I said ‘Sure’, but with some environment and were not exactly frequent hesitation. Sanjay is a successful visitors to temples. They were probably leader who has worked in the IT doing their first trip to Chennai. To tip the field and is now doing his own balance were Sanjay’s parents, also from consulting for organizations. I the North. A very different group of people had never associated him as compared to what I was used to. being historically-inclined. The three children I was not sure about their interest in the - Aila, Ayaan history and the mythology that surrounded and nephew temples in Tamil Nadu. Still, I decided that Saket - were it would be a great opportunity to test my all brought own hypothesis that there is much more to ancient Indian temples than just religion; and that history does not have to be a jumble of dates and kings, but could be contextualized and made meaningful for the young generation. The Parthasarathy temple in Triplicane was our destination. As we all got into the vehicle, I thought it was important to get a sense of what the children liked and more importantly, what they did not. “What bores you about temples?” I asked and thankfully (predictably) the answers were quick and candid. The crowds, the dirt, the noise, the ‘why should I go?’ were all negatives and I heartily agreed and congratulated myself for having chosen a weekday morning. What do we like about temple visits? It was the food! Parthasarathy temple has a lovely pillared porch and we spent a few minutes there,46 Parent Circle / November 2011
  19. 19. rootsTheRevival ofTraditionalGames BY SHASHWATHI SANDEEP TRADITIONAL GA MES still flourish in the temples of IndiaE ven today, when our grandparents terraces of temple gopurams, walls, pillars strategy. Dayakattam for instance, talk to us about their more and even floors! has been in existence from the days of youthful days, the joint family the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas system and the rituals they Not just in Karnataka, but the well-known lost their kingdom and their wife Draupadi followed, we enjoy the Kapaleeshwar temple in Chennai has such to the Kauravas; King Nala too lost hisconversation. An interesting conversation evidence of people amusing themselves kingdom similarly, to a cousin.would perhaps centre around how they in its precincts. “Dayakattam, Dahdi, Ashtaspent their free time in those days when Chemma and many more games can be Ever heard of the name Parampadathere was no entertainment. found in just this one temple, though others Sopanam? This is the traditional version of like the Marundeeshwarar Temple and Sri ‘Snakes and Ladders’, played by the kingsThere were no video games or television. Dhenupureeswarar Temple also have such in the olden days. Parampada SopanamThere was no Cricket, but Gilli Danda and ‘exhibits’,” says Vinitha Siddharth, who means ‘Steps to the Highest Place’. “It wasthere was no Ludo, but Dayakattam. These runs Kreeda. Kreeda is an organization believed to be symbolic of a mans attemptare games that teach us something about in Chennai, which is working towards to reach God,” says Kamala Gopalan, aour culture and traditions, and sharpen our popularizing traditional games among traditional games expert. “There are littleobservation skills. students and corporates. known games like Pandi (hopscotch) we used to love playing. Another gameWhen we visit temples, how many of us Some of the games have also spread I fondly remember is the Puliamkottainotice these games etched on the to other countries. “In those days, Aattam where we would blow a group oftemple walls? considerable exchange happened through tamarind seeds in such a way that one trading routes. People used to travel seed would not touch the other,” she adds.“I had been to a temple in Belur for our for years together. They lived and evenresearch. We discovered a stone block married while travelling. That is how Childspeakon the inside of the well which had the people from other countries started playing I have been playing traditionalgame of Aadu Puli Attam etched on it! The these games and have adapted some games since I was five years old, with myworkers must have played the game on it of them into their own culture,” explains mother and grandmother. My favouriteand used the stone later for the well,” says Vinitha. one, is the shell sandal game. In this, youRaghu Dharmendra from Mysore, who has tie two dry coconut shells together withbeen researching traditional games for It is difficult to date the origin of these a rope, place your feet on them and try toover a decade. Many games have been games, many of which were devised by walk. It is real fun. SHREYAfound scratched/etched on the ceiling, and combining the elements of chance and THOMAS, 10 YEARS OLD.48 Parent Circle / November 2011
  20. 20. checkit outBoard AADU PULI AATAMGames This game requires two players. A rectangle passes under a triangle, and there are intersecting points. There are three tigers and 15 goats.of Yore “The three tigers were represented by bigger stones and the 15 goats by smaller ones. The tigers are initially placed on the apex and in the 2 inner places near the apex, while the goats appear one by one on the board at the intersecting points,” explained Kamala Gopalan, a traditional games expert. Both players alternate in turns.T raditional games are a way of learning about A tiger can capture a goat by jumping over it to an adjacent free the past and they also enhance the overall position whereas the goats cannot move until all of them are on development of the people who play them. These the board. The goats have to be placed in such a way that theygames, though almost forgotten, are still available in immobilize the movement of the tigers. The tiger wins if it captures atsome places. Here is a brief on some of these games least five goats and the goats win if they are successful in blocking and where these are available… the tigers’ movement. This game is one of strategy and quick thinking. PALLANGUZHI Available at Kreeda, Chennai `250 Kreeda Kaushalya, Mysore `695 This game was born in the villages of Tamil Nadu where it was a favourite pastime for the bored housewives. Two players are needed. Boards, made out of wood, contain 14 cups and each player gets seven cups. Women used DAAYAM either Cowries (Sea Shells) or tamarind seeds, (Ashta Chemma in Telegu, six of which were placed in each hole. The Chowkabara in Kannada) player who starts first, picks up the seeds from any one of the holes on her side and proceeds The object of the game is to move all your in a clockwise direction, placing one seed in pawns from the starting point to the centre each hole. When she drops her last seed, she ‘home’. But watch out as your opponent can send your pawn back picks up the seeds from the next hole and to start by landing on the same space. Earlier, either a 5x5 grid or continues in the same way. This goes on till the 7x7 grid was drawn on the floor with a chalk. Each player takes turns last seed falls into a hole with an empty hole by throwing 6 cowrie shells (sea shells). A pawn can be moved onto next to it. The seeds in the hole adjacent to the board only by getting the number 1 (Daayam). Dice can be used the empty hole belong to her. The next player instead of cowries. continues play in the same way. The game ends when a player has no more seeds left on This is a game of both luck and strategy that increases critical her side to play with, on her turn. thinking and mathematical skills. In the past, children and grandparents spent quality time and bonded together playing The game increases the motor skills of the this game. players and also their mathematical ability. Kreeda, Chennai `350 Kreeda, Chennai `760 Kreeda Kaushalya, Mysore `55050 Parent Circle / November 2011
  21. 21. PARAMPADA FOUR-HANDED SOPANAM CHADURANGA The ladders represented The four-handed Chaduranga the virtues and the snakes is what is called Chess in represented the vices. If any the present days. Except that player reached the highest point there are four players in this game instead of two players. in the game, it was believed that This game also involves the use of dice. Each player gets it assured a place for him an opponent where player 1 would play with player 3 and in heaven. player 2 would play with player 4. Each player gets eight chessmen in the form of a Raja, an Elephant, a Horse, a Kreeda, Chennai `760 Ship and a Pawn. The throw of the dice decides which coin Kreeda Kaushalya, Mysore `625 has to be moved. The team that captures both the opponent Rajas wins the game. Kreeda Kaushalya, Mysore `2850CHATURVIMSHATHI KOSHTAKA An old Sanskrit book written in Sanskrit by Harikrishna, son of DAYAKATTAM Venkatram, is the inspiration (Pagade, Chaupad) for this simple strategy game, Dayakattam is an Indian dice game developed and promoted by played by two or four people. Players Krishnaraja Wodeyar of Mysore have six coins each. The ‘dayam’ or ‘1’ in the nineteenth century. is needed for the coin to start moving forward. Players getChathurvimshathi Koshtaka simply means 24 boxes or another chance to roll the dice if they get ‘1’, ‘5’, ‘6’ or ‘12’ andsquares in Sanskrit. This is a battlefield game where two they can move different coins during such sequential throws.players with eight coins each, literally battle it out to gain Coins can cut opposing coins by landing on the same square,control of enemy territory. The coins can move only in unless it is in a safe zone.specific directions. Another variant of this game requires 8 coins for each player.Kreeda, Chennai `120 The coins move forward in pairs only upon and ‘even’ number throw of the dice. The coins are moved forward by half the number indicated by the dice throw.VIMANAM Kreeda, Chennai `600This is a game played by two players. Eachplayer gets 6 coins each of the same colourand starts from a point called ‘Home’. There DAHDIare darker squares and lighter squares. The game board is in (Navakankari in Sanskrit, Saalu Manethe form of an aero plane and that is why the game is named Aata in Kannada)the Vimanam. Both the players throw the cowrie shells and Two players are given 9 coins each. Players havemove forward in different directions. If one player lands on to collect as many points as possible by liningthe same square as the other player, then the latter has to up 3 coins in a row. Although the game is similar to the gametake the pawn back ‘home’ and start the game again. But, if of noughts and crosses, it is far more complex as coins can bethe pawn is in a darker square, the other pawn cannot be cut. moved and the opponent’s coins can be removed.Kreeda Kaushalya, Mysore `1075 Kreeda, Chennai `250 51