Nothing brings families closer than a little extra effort put in by parents to spend time doing things their children love. Lorraine Parakel meets a group of dedicated parents
Shanti Nadar has a six-year-old son named Pratish. Shanti resigned from her job to spend quality and quantity time with her son. Shanti says, "I have always wanted my child to share everything with me. I support and protect him in every way, hence I don't mind sacrificing anything for him."
Shanti teaches her son by giving him examples and feels that helps him understand better and make a better impression. She adds, "We usually go for a stroll in the evening, where we have undivided attention for each other and can share the events of the day. On weekends we visit a book shop or a museum where we both learn something new."
Every parent's experience with a child is beautiful in its own way. For Shanti, the most special thing is that she gets to learn a lot from her child. Her behaviour and attitude towards other people has changed because of her son as she has begun to imitate his innocent actions.
Juliet Pereira is the mother of 10-year-old Belita. She also makes it a point to interact with her daughter on a regular basis. She says, "Though I work through the day, I ensure I have time to speak to my daughter and get to know about the events of the day, both in school and out of school."
To make the bond even stronger Juliet's family often travels to Goa as Belita enjoys the journey by train. "We also pursue hobbies like singing, dancing and drawing together. On weekends we sit together and draw. Spending time with my child is the best part of my entire life. I always look forward to coming home and spending time with her. I feel her actions and emotions are so pure and innocent. So every moment spent with her is always cherished."
Juliet adds, "Having a friendly atmosphere at home is very important as the child enjoys living in such an atmosphere. I explain things to my daughter in a very friendly manner. As a parent, I always have to be calm and composed in whatever I say to make my daughter understand things the right way. Even when she has made a mistake!"
Carl Mascarenhas is the proud parent of a 10-year-old son, Jordan. Carl claims his son understands the sense of belonging by just a touch. He says, "From the time Jordan was born, the one very important sense that has helped us bond with each other is the sense of touch. In the most tense and tough situations, I can calm him down by simply holding his hand or keeping my hand on his shoulder. That's all a child needs to feel comfortable and relaxed." Carl and Jordan go out two to three times a week. Says Carl, "We either go to play games or visit a friend. We love fishing together. Goa is our favourite spot. We drive there twice or thrice a year."
Carl continues saying, "The entire experience of spending time with my child has been amazing! It has and will be the best experience of my life." Carl believes that being friends with your child's friends makes you the best parent. "I grow with my child's games and with his friends as well as with his foes. I always encourage him to tell me the truth. Whenever he does so I always compliment him saying, I love you even more now because you told me the truth."
According to Shanti, the secret to building a strong bond with your child is, "Sharing. Don't expect the child to share things with you if you don't share things with the child. This not only helps the parents, but also helps children mature and understand humanity." Shanti says she can never forget the day when Pratish made his first card for her on her birthday with words saying, "You are as sweet as chocolate, I love you mummy."
ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN AND PARENTS
Hiking: This is a fun outdoor activity and can be designed to suit the families fitness and experience levels.
Backpacking: Also known as trekking, this outdoor activity is more intensive than hiking.
Dog Walking: Taking the family pet for a walk is a great way to get some exercise and also spend time with the family.
Swimming: This low impact exercise routine will help your family keep in shape.
Kayaking: India now has a lot of water sports arenas where your family can pursue this hobby.
Photography: This is an extremely creative way to spend time together. Families can take pictures at any location and appreciate the scenery while enjoying the outdoors.