Saturday, 11 May 2013

A fine balance . . (Attaining Balance between Work & Family Life)

Pallavi Prakash

Life is a “Sea-saw” and it is very rightly observed that the ever balancing act to maintain equilibrium calls for some introspection .The most debatable topic persisting since ages is “which should get more importance ?” Sometimes the extreme misbalance causes lot of anxiety and stress at both the fronts hence it is pertinent to know the “mantra” of successful professional life backed with a healthy and happy personal front!

Family-work balance is a process, not a static achievement. It’s important to make the ‘big decisions’ – selecting careers and jobs, timing children, allocating roles and responsibilities, etc.­ that will provide the opportunity for balance. The real task of balance takes place on a weekly and daily basis, even from hour to hour. Commonly cited pro-work factors include potential income, career continuity and advancement, workplace intellectual and social stimulation, enriched childcare social environment for kids, etc. Adverse factors include reduced time spent with family, fatigue, weekends dominated by domestic chores, chronic crisis coping, etc. Hence one should be very focussed as to achieve a perfect “sea-saw” euphorbia. Few tips which will help reduce this stress!
Key to Attain Balance between Family and Work:

1.    Identify your support system

Find out who can be counted on to help when help is needed? Categorize people and write the names of people who could be counted on if necessary. For example, if daily childcare is needed, who can be relied on to provide it: husband, relative, friend, paid baby-sitter, childcare centre? Who will provide child­care in emergencies, or when the child is ill?

2.    Delegate Tasks

Children develop self-esteem, competence, and responsibil­ity by helping with household tasks and family decision making. Knowing that their contribution is expected and appreciated helps all family members feel valuable. Hold weekly family meetings to review the chores assigned to each family member. Praise for accomplishing tasks for the week. Re-evaluate chores based on the activities for the coming week. Use chore time as family time. Working with the children on family tasks can help them stay focused and complete the project enthusiastically.

3.    Be Realistic.

One should not set expectations that can’t be achieved. For example one should question our mind “Are housekeeping standards realistic?”

“Does the kitchen floor really need to be mopped four times a week?”

“Is laundry a daily necessity?”

“Who cooks and shops?”

“How can chores be shared?”
4.    Plan Ahead for the Next Day.

Spending time working away from home means that there will be fewer hours available in the day to accomplish the same number of jobs around the house.

To make mornings less stressful:

• Take time on the week-end to plan meals, chores, and activities.

• Before bedtime, help youngsters organize themselves for school the next day by setting out their clothes and school items.

• Set out your work items and clothes for the next day.

• Have a morning routine that children can rely on to start the day. If possible, have both parents share in getting through the morning routine.

• To lessen separation anxiety, especially with younger children, tell them who will take them to day-care(if there is nobody at home to care of them after school) and who will pick them up at the end of the day.

• Take time for breakfast. The children can help set the table for breakfast the evening before.

• You (and your partner) can leave work on time and leave your “work life” at work.

• One can use commute time to shift gears and plan activities for the evening.

• You and your family can spend some time re-connecting by shar­ing a snack or meal and talking about the day’s experiences before the tasks of the evening are started. Even 10 minutes spent with the family sitting together and talking about their day can help to set the tone for the rest of the evening and developing that special tie.
5.    Prioritize responsibilities at work

One should make a mental chart of tasks of high importance, medium importance and least importance. This will help cope up with the essentials first as to reduce mental stress of laying off things

 6.    Don’t bring work at home

Unless in extreme cases like board meetings or crisis at work one should never carry work at home. This acts like de-catalysis in family life. Hence one should try best to achieve official goals at work only.

Hence, balance is easier to achieve when your job helps you reach family goals, and family activities help you be successful in your job. Ideally, what you take home from your job helps your family, and what you take to work from your family relationships helps you in your job. Arriving at a balance between family and work will mean different things to differ­ent families. What is important is that you have a balance between these two areas that is comfortable for you and your family. It is a very popular phrase “A happy person is a successful Boss”! Enjoy life!
Published in Times Of India Delhi Edition / Alwar Plus / 29th May'2011 by Pallavi Prakash

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Know your Jack & Jill

Pallavi Prakash

It is a common belief that if you spare the stick your brat will spoil!
But my dear friend gone are the days when children were stereotyped to be perfect. Today’s generation is more designed to redefine levels of perfection. They are called “Neo- generation” and have a certain sense of pride and ownership attached to them from an early age .The way they comprehend things and their thought process is very different from ours.

They would not like to say A for Apple but would rather read A for Alpha. But they are our next generation and our dear children so it is time we took hold of the situation and mould our age old convictions to suit their out of box thinking. As proud parents it becomes impertinent for us to dwell upon the word  "Child psychology  ". It is one of the many branches of psychology and one of the most frequently studied specialty areas. This particular branch focuses on the mind and behavior of children from prenatal development through adolescence. Child psychology deals not only with how children grow physically, but with their mental, emotional and social development as well.
Historically, children were often viewed simply as smaller versions of adults. Today, psychologists recognize that child psychology is unique and complex. Experts also differ in their responses to some of the important questions in child psychology- such as “Whether early experiences matter more than later ones or whether nature or nurture plays a greater role in certain aspects of development?”

Major contexts that we need to consider in our analysis of child psychology include:
·         The Social Context: Relationships with peers and adults have an effect on how children think, learn and develop. Families, schools and peer groups all make up an important part of the social context.

 ·         The Cultural Context: The culture a child lives in contributes a set of values, customs, shared assumptions and ways of living that influence development throughout the lifespan. Culture may play a role in how children relate to their parents, the type of education they receive and the type of child care that is provided.
·         The Socioeconomic Context: Social class can also play a major role in child development. Socioeconomic status (often abbreviated as SES), is based upon a number of different factors including how much education people have, how much money they earn, the job they hold and where they live. Children raised in households with a high socioeconomic status tend to have greater access to opportunities, while those from households with lower socioeconomic status may have less access to such things as health care, quality nutrition and education. Such factors can have a major impact on child psychology.

All three of these contexts are constantly interacting. While a child may have fewer opportunities due to a low socioeconomic status, enriching social relationships and strong cultural ties may help correct this imbalance.

Important tips to build a good relationship with your child:

·         Talk with your child –Find out what’s happening in his life. Be honest and open with him. He should talk about his problems or write them down.

·         Do not burden them your problems. But,tell children about the family goals and discuss difficulties in a friendly manner. Compliment children when they do well and don’t forget hugs and kisses. They go a long way in building trust and security.

·         Use humor to buffer bad feelings and situations. A child who learns to use humor himself will be able to keep things in perspective.

·         Don’t overload your child with too many after-school activities and responsibilities. Let children learn to pace themselves. Don’t enroll them in every class that comes along and please don’s expect them to be best in everything. Remember “Jack of All is Master of None” !

·         Set a good example. Demonstrate self-control and coping skills. He can benefit by seeing how you cope successfully with stress

By understanding their psyche and following these simple tips we can definitely bring that million dollar smile to our precious little ones!!

 Published in Times Of India(Delhi Edition) / 3rd April'2011 by Pallavi Prakash