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Tips for good parenting

vi kam
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 117
Hi all
One of the guys at work had a reason to be happy a couple of weeks ago. His son got 1560 combined SAT score. This discussion came up one day while at lunch (mmmmhhh sushi :-)
Anyways i started thinking about good parenting and stuff. My son is 19 months old and he can talk little words in 3 languages (My mother tongue, we are from india, Indian national language, hindi, our neighbours kid who is 4 and half is from North india and English)
He can make little sentences (2-3words)in English too
Anyways we read to him everyday from various kids books, my wife takes him to the story telling and games stuff in the local library. We give some puzzles to solve like assembling those jumbles and construction sets etc.
I was talking to my coworker and asked him what did he and his wife do that made their son into a good teen. He said that they used to read to them a lot and kept challenging them with interesting puzzles and things like that. Interesting that he mentioned that he is advising his son NOT to go into computer programming, His son also wants to be a Physycist
I want my son to be a good grown up with a well rounded education and values. Suggestions from anyone raising kids is highly appreciated
thanks in advance


Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings -- They did it by killing all those who opposed them
Gail Mikels
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Joined: May 07, 2001
Posts: 634
Sounds like you're on the right track - don't forget the discipline. Even the smartest kid will amount to "nothing" if they grow up thinking the world revolves around them, or that they are entitled to whatever they want without having to work for it.
(My $.02)
PS - This can be especially hard to do with an only child - I speak from experience!!


Gail Mikels
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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A good parent raises healthy, stable kids that share your morals and ethics, who are able to deal with society and become productive contributing members of their society.
Getting good SAT scores is really a small piece of the whole picture. I seriously doubt if that alone is going to make the kid have a happy life. The ONLY thing that it does is open up more possibilities and options. But the kid can still mess those opportunities up just like the rest of them.
You see so many parents that PUSH their kids to excell in school and skip grades and etc. Then they wonder why these kids have a hard time relating to their social peers :roll: .
The school considered having one of my kids skip an grade and we decided NOT to do it. Perhaps her intellect is not a challenged as it could have been, but her social relationships are alot more stable than I believe that they would have been.

All that said - I believe that reading alot and reading a wide variety of stuff and reading with your child (or the same books so that you can discuss them) are all very important to both the kids education and exposing them to a wide variety of social situations for them to learn from without having to learn everything by getting burned themselves.


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Damien Howard
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Joined: Apr 01, 2003
Posts: 456
I don't have a child, but in my opinion the best thing to do is spend a lot of time interacting with your children. This does not mean taking them to the movies and other mindless activities (although it is good to do this once in a while for bonding), but rather doing things that stimulate their mind and their interests. That means the child's interests, not yours as they may differ and you don't want to force things on your child as they may resent you later. This applies to healthy interests, if your child develops unhealthy interests then of course don't incourage those. And as Elaine said, discipline is also needed to prevent the child from being spoiled, but all kids especially during the teenager years can be difficult and may have outside problem they aren't comfortable discussing which can result in discipline problems at home, so it is important to be understanding and to try and figure out why your child is behaving as he or she is.
One last note, it is good for a child to know multiple languages, and much easier for them to learn them when they are young, but you must be careful in these early years that this does not intefere with them learning english (or the primary language where you live) as this can lead to problems in their first years of school as their english skills may not be as developed as fellow classmates. ESL (english as a second language courses) will not help your child catch up, it will keep them behind. The ELS kids in my school never caught up to the rest of us. They never even made it into the mainstream classes. I'm not saying to stop your child from learinng any other languages now or at any time, just make sure that you are doing enough to keep his english skills on par for his age level.
But like I said, I have no kids so you can take all of tihs with a grain of salt. But then you should take all parenting tips this way, no child is the same. It is what makes parenting a challenge. Despite what anyone may tell you there is no one right way to raise your child.
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

which is the third language?


Groovy
Bhau Mhatre
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Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 199
Take your kids to their grandparents often. Learn the art from them as you will need it for your own grandchildren later


-Mumbai cha Bhau
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

Vital kam is very busy guy.
[ July 17, 2003: Message edited by: Pradeep Bhat ]
Anupam Sinha
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Joined: Apr 13, 2003
Posts: 1088
Hi vi
I also don't have kids. Though its nice to know that your colleague's son had a nice SAT score, but just a good SAT score doesn't proves him to be good. Though I wish he surely is good . I think that a child should not always be forced to study or do things that he doesn't really wants to do. But as studies are important what rather can be done is make the study process enjoyable. But a child should not be marked as good or bad just because of the SAT score or for that matter any score.
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Agree with Sinha Saab.
Marks are not only criteria of good parenting.
I think a child should not be stop from doing anything under the parents eyes.
and for truth, punishment should not be given.
And if possible then in the later stage when s/he is almost ready to fly, let him live in hostel/away from you.
PS: I have no experence of parenting
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

vi kam
I guess you have displayed only a part of your name. Am I right?
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Your children are hardwired to learn from what you do, not from what you say. If you want them to learn how to read, read to them, yes, but read for yourself as well. If you want them to learn how to swim, swim where they can see you.
Children are predisposed to imitate. Do as you would have them do.
vi kam
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 117
First off, thanks for all the people who came forward to share their opinions, those who have kids and mostly those who dont
Alright, Let me see if i got things straight
Elaine : Discipline
We have to work on it, I am just starting to see the tendencies where some discipline is needed, I must admit, till now a cute boy that he is he got away with way too much. But you are right, it has to be done, Discipline is needed starting now.
Cindy :Health, Stability, Morals and Ethics
You are ofcourse right. I understand that SAT is not the complete picture, and yes we are reading story books to him which deals with all these Morality issues, religious stories etc. Point taken about not PUSHING too hard.
Damien: Bonding, Multiple languages
Tell me about this, we stopped watching TV from 8-10pm, This used to be our favourite spot, now its replaced by walking and just listening to him, Its cute when he can not express himself, but is just excited about watching a duck coming out of the lake and tries to communicate with you. The joy of parenting i guess. It helps that we live in Florida though, the weather here is just great. Some of our friends who live up north dont have this luxury
I have noticed this multiple language problem, Actually one of my main concerns with which i started this thread is this. We are still debating, ESL is just not an option for us. we totally ruled that out upfront. Although my concern, as i have seen my friends kids over the last 7-8 years is this. Kids grow up in US with English as primary language, go to India for vacation, can not interact with any other kids of same age or even with elders such as our parents etc, feel lonely during the vacation, dont want to go to India the next time round.
A first hand little example here
My Uncle's son born and brought up in UK (uncle is a doctor there) came to India in early 90's when the kid was 7 yrs. He did not drink milk in India for 4 days, it turns out his class mates and friends told him that things in India are contaminated and he might die if he has that. So we all staged a drama oneday. We got to the dining table for breakfast, made sure this kid is coming down (he just woke up) and pretended that we are talking among us without noticing him, My uncle said somethign like since the kid is not eating / drinking anything, he got Milk from UK express delivered and he wanted to tell the kid that its safe to drink as this milk was made in UK. I was so surprised, when the 7 yr old kid ran down the stairs came and took that cold milk and drank the entire 1 liter of cold mild, Imagine how hungry the poor kid must have been.
Anyways he never came back to India after that, He is now 20 yrs old, not capable of communicating in any language except English, still doesnt want to visit India. He has not seen his Grandmother in his life but for the brief visit in early 90's. There is no place for his Grandparents, or any relatives from his Father's side of the family except his father in his life. I myself have not seen him since 1991.
I DONOT want to raise my son like that. As i see this, the root of the problem here is communication, If he can talk to his relatives, now that could be the incentive for him to go and visit them from time to time.
Pradeep :
The Third language is Telugu & yes I am pretty busy now a days & yes my last name is pretty big so i took the first 3 letters of it here. btw my first name is Vithal not vital . I mean i am vital man for almost anything but thats just not my name
Mumbai cha bhau :
I try to do that as much as possible, They (Grandparents) see him by web cam every day, for about 1 hr, and he talks to them about 4 times a week. In their wisdom, i suspect, they (our parents) dont force things on us such as things like this is a right way, or this is a wrong way. They do suggest things which we are following, I got some Amar Chitra Katha books etc from India recently , which my son loves.

Anupam & Ravish
Far from it, My collegue's kid had a well rounded education, FYI, he is American, not that it matters, but he is well read, classics like Dickens, Shakesphere, Tolstoy among others. Very good in Verbal and grammer. I met him and found him ot be very intelligent for a 17 yr old with a perspective on all things.
You are right that a child is more than a SAT score. I understand that a child should not be forced to do things against his will, but i think until he can think for his own, it is my responsibility to make him think. to challenge his every move , so that he can start thinking, and i think more than money, if i can give him that ability to think, to be motivated, to be able to challenge things and try to think creatively, that i would have been a good parent.
Michael :
Thats a new point you are making, I dont read much for myself at home, atleast not when my son is around, I try to read when he is asleep, for obvious reasons. He likes to tear paper . When he is awake, I am either in front of the computer or watching TV or spending time with him, such as playing, or reading to him. He is a very active boy, in that some one needs to be with him and doing things along with him. If not he gets cranky. Thats another aspect that i need to work on.
Any more tips. I appreciate the time that all you are taking to respond.
Timothy Chen Allen
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Joined: Mar 16, 2003
Posts: 161
Originally posted by vi kam:
Hi all
Anyways we read to him everyday from various kids books, my wife takes him to the story telling and games stuff in the local library. We give some puzzles to solve like assembling those jumbles and construction sets etc.
...
I want my son to be a good grown up with a well rounded education and values. Suggestions from anyone raising kids is highly appreciated
thanks in advance

Hi vi,
I also have a son who is about your son's age (21 months). First off, let me say that Daniel is absolutely the most beautiful thing on Earth. I bet you think the same thing about your kid (oddly enough, somehow we can both be right).
Daniel is tri-lingual, too. My wife S´┐Żnia is Catalan (we live in Barcelona), so Daniel is learning Spanish from her, Catalan from everyone else, and English from me (I'm Texan).
Anyway, I obviously have no more experience than you. Here are a few ideas I have:
1) First off, I'd bet money that the most important variable in the good kid equation is time dedicated to parenting. I read a statistic once that said that the average father spends something like 45 minutes a week with his kid. That's not gonna be me.
Even if I'm making mistakes parenting, and I know I am, the time I spend with Daniel is helping him be a better person, I think.
I talk to Daniel a lot. I take him running with me every morning in the baby jogger. We read to him in all three languages every day. Though I'm not especially religeous, we pray with him every night in English and in Spanish.
Without even trying, I spend at least an hour and a half with him every morning and two hours with him at night, and I'm all over him on the weekend.
2) I touch Daniel a lot. I think a lot of fathers are squeamish about this, but I want the little guy to remember that Dad is always gonna be there just in case he needs me, and I think hugging him is about the best way to tell him that now. I don't leave the house without telling him I love him and giving him a kiss, because when he's 15, that probably won't be possible anymore.
3) I think the other big variable in the equation is example. We read a lot. I gave up smoking a while back (we smoke a lot here in Spain), partially because Daniel was entering the phase where everthing that Dad did was cool. I spend a lot of time studying, even though I'm almost 40 years old (the SCJP of course).
I run a lot, and I take Dan with me. Afterwards he grabs his mom's hand and says "run!" and then he runs around the living room. Then he gets on the floor and grunts, just like Dad doing his abs.
He thinks everything I do is fascinating, and I'm taking advantage of that to try to teach him some of my values.
4) I try to give him structure. He's a curious kid and wants to try everything. That's great, but he also needs to learn what he can't do as well. He's gotten to where he understands "no" and that is usually sufficient. I'm still a little clueless as to what to do when "no" isn't enough.
I can't think of many reasons it would ever be justifiable to hit him (if he was about to do himself physical harm, maybe). I really can't imagine doing it-- my dad used to hit me in the head a lot, and I can't imagine how he allowed himself to do it. In any case, I try to remember that discipline is there to teach the kid, and when it starts to turn into personal gratification for the parent, that is abuse. The other thing I try to remember is that it is important for him to learn to follow rules.
Well, that's about it. I wrote a lot more than I planned on, but this is a really important topic for me. Hope everything goes well for you, vi, and for us as well.
[ July 18, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Allen ]

Timothy Chen Allen
Learn Spanish in Washington, DC
Bhau Mhatre
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Joined: Jun 11, 2003
Posts: 199
From vi kam ---------
I try to do that as much as possible, They (Grandparents) see him by web cam every day, for about 1 hr, and he talks to them about 4 times a week.
---------------------------
Webcam?? Sorry, I didn't realize that you are oceans apart from your parents. I was implying more like physically staying with your parents, if possible. IMO, presence of elderly people at home provides a different and a very cozy environment for the kids all day long. But in your case, may be once a year when you are on vacation?
vi kam
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 117
But in your case, may be once a year when you are on vacation?

Yeah thats what we do, generally i take 4-5 weeks off sometime between Thanksgiving (Late November) and Sankranthi (Mid January) to visit parents and relatives in India.
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by vi kam:
Thanksgiving (Late November) and Makar Sankranthi (Mid January) to visit parents and relatives in India.

What a sweet Sangam[meeting] of east and west ..
vi kam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 117
I read a statistic once that said that the average father spends something like 45 minutes a week with his kid


Though I'm not especially religeous, we pray with him every night in English and in Spanish.

We are not very religious either. What we do is, read stories, sort of moral stories from Hindu scriptures, which basically teach morals, ethics etc besides being extremely funny. The illustrations have all sorts of creatures / weapons that are really cool and imho will get him started on the right and wrong , good and bad, honesty and pride aspects of life
I gave up smoking a while back


Me too
I can't think of many reasons it would ever be justifiable to hit him

Me neither. My dad hit me only once in my life ( I trashed the s**t out of my younger brother once, I was 12 and he was 9. I thought we were playing Karate at that time, My dad did not find that funny for some reason, come to think of it neither did my brother . Hitting kids is considered part of disciplining them in India, most parents did that at the time we were growing up, but my dad never did that. And i fully intend to follow his lead here
The other thing I try to remember is that it is important for him to learn to follow rules

This is a very good point, and we try to illustrate this to our son in way of made up stories etc, some times the stories are so lame
Hope everything goes well for you, vi, and for us as well.

Thanks Tim, I wish you all the best too. I read in the other post that you are planning on coming back to US, and I wish you all the best in that too. AFAIK Business Intelligence field is doing good here. I know a guy who works on Cognos in Chicago. He says he is getting calls from recruiters after a long time. Think the market is getting back slowly
vi kam
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 117
What a sweet Sangam[meeting] of east and west

Well Said
 
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