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20 Habits of Successful Leaders

What is the difference between a successful leader and someone seemingly lacking the ability to lead? Do you think it’s a tragic flaw in fate, or perhaps, the absence of aptitude? Well, if you asked us our answer would be…neither! Successful leaders aren’t born, they’re created, and what goes behind the results we see and admire, is a lot of discipline and commitment to certain regular habits. 

You see, at the end of the day, we’re all creatures of habit. There isn’t a motivator as powerful in the realm of human behaviour, as established habits. Anybody trying to cut out junk from their usual diet or start consistently exercising would know, falling prey to old habits is a lot more likely than motivational books would lead us to believe. In that sense, habits are like subconscious background elements which, often without our awareness, impact what we do and how we behave. Not to mention, the habits we engage in everyday, compound over time to produce consequences. Whether these consequences add to your success or make achieving your goals all the more challenging, is entirely dependent on the kinds of habits you choose to build. 

So, when it comes to examining what led to someone becoming a successful leader, good habits will always be at the forefront of the answer. Effective leaders don’t transform into high achievers overnight. Instead, they perform a certain behaviour at a certain time every day, and therefore build a foundation of solid beneficial habits. After a point, they don’t even have to muster the motivation to perform these actions regularly. These become so ingrained in their everyday routine, that it feels unnatural to skip a day! 

If you’re looking for ideas to hone your leadership skills and become a highly efficient individual, start by reading about these 20 habits common in the lives of most successful leaders.

1. Wake up at a fixed time 

When you wake up at a particular time every morning, you’re strengthening your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. It leads to both better quality of sleep at night and more wakefulness when you get out of bed. This fixed time sets the stage for a more structured day!
According to a Time profile written by Lev Grossman in 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 AM every single day. Lido’s own CEO Sahil Sheth, wakes up like clockwork sharp at 4 AM every morning!

2. Establish a morning routine

What you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. Successful leaders are well aware of this fact, which is why they establish a sturdy morning routine. Your morning routine can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. But the idea is to control your schedule from the moment you wake up, instead of your schedule assuming control of you. 

Shashank ND, Co-founder and CEO of Practo, follows a productive morning routine to get a headstart on his day’s agenda. He wakes up at 4 AM every morning followed by tackling emails and planning the day ahead, first thing. After this, he heads for his morning workout, which can be a visit to the gym, a run, swimming or a game of squash. After exercise and breakfast, he reaches the office by 9 AM. 

3. Organise the day before it begins  

All successful leaders plan their day before beginning with their tasks. This habit also ties up with the last point we made, about you being in control of your schedule. When you create a blueprint of everything you need to get done in a day, you’re much more likely to stay on track and get around to achieving them, instead of getting distracted and spending time on irrelevant things. 

Leo Babauta, author of the bestselling book Zen Habits, wakes up and drinks water first thing, immediately after which he writes down the 3 most important things (MIT) on his plate in the day. 

4. Prioritise your tasks 

When you write down your plan for the day, you’ll notice that certain tasks are more crucial to be completed than the rest. Prioritise these! Leaders have several things they need to get done in a day, but they manage their time by prioritising the most important and challenging tasks first. This ensures that they don’t spend too much time on insignificant tasks and have pending work pile up! 

5. Clearly define your goals  

Successful leaders set out to achieve certain goals every day. While they certainly have a schedule guiding their behaviour, they tweak this schedule to attain the objectives of the day. For a student, these goals can be reading 2 chapters or solving 2 sets of problems, but identifying the goals you want to work on each day is crucial to make sure you stay on track, AND have a measure to track your progress. 

6. Read a wide range of books 

Reading is always going to be one of the most effective habits for success. Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft, reads 50 books a year. Talking about his habit of reading different kinds of books with Inc media, Gates shared that while he can travel anywhere and meet with anyone, reading is still the main way that he learns new things and tests his understanding. 

7. Move your body

Every successful leader in the world makes it a practice to take diligent care of his or her body. This includes getting as much movement in a day as their schedule allows. In an interview with People magazine, Oprah Winfrey said “I try to do something every day that allows me to feel active,” Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, considers exercise a way to get more out of his already packed schedule.

8. Fuel your body 

Just as important as getting exercise regularly, is giving your body the nutrition it needs to stay charged through the day. John Mackey, Founder & CEO of Whole Foods Market, has maintained a 100% plant based diet for 14 years. He sticks by 2 maxims for his daily nutrition – eat real food instead of processed food, and consume a whole lot of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, and seeds.

9. Keep learning 

Another point of commonality between successful leaders is that they believe in continued regular learning, regardless of the heights they achieve in their lives. Whether it’s from a friend, a tutor, or even the internet, maintaining a learning mindset will help you strengthen existing skills and build a diverse set of abilities. It also expands your knowledge of the world around you!
Laura Roeder, founder of MeetEdgar, begins every day by listening to podcasts on a variety of subjects while preparing her breakfast. This allows her to both tackle an important chore, and learn something new during it!

10. Track your thoughts

Most successful leaders firmly believe in the power of reflecting and writing down their thoughts. And the most commonly used tool for doing so, is maintaining a journal. When you make it a habit to track your thoughts and emotions in a journal or diary, it becomes much easier to keep track of both the progress you’ve made, and the struggles you’ve been through. It helps you strategize, plan ahead, and keep your mind healthy.
In a 2012 interview on his designation as Time’s “Person of the Year” Barack Obama said “In my life, writing has been an important exercise to clarify what I believe, what I see, what I care about, what my deepest values are. The process of converting a jumble of thoughts into coherent sentences makes you ask tougher questions.”

11. Challenge yourself 

Great leaders believe in consistently challenging themselves. That could be by way of taking risks, tackling difficult projects, or trying to learn new skills. But the practice of exercising their brain muscles and broadening their knowledge by taking on new challenges is a must for continued learning.
Michael Clemons, the former football star and current vice-chair of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, talking about his natural drive to continue learning famously quoted “I am my greatest challenge.”. 

12. Limit entertainment and social media

As one can imagine, nearly all successful leaders abstain from activities meant purely for entertainment like watching TV or scrolling through social media, at least until they’ve completed everything they set out to get done in a day. It all ties up with prioritising your activities. If you want to learn from the greatest leaders of the world, limit all forms of entertainment to the end of the day. Otherwise, 20 minutes of social media is quick to turn into 2 hours of scrolling, and the next thing you know, you’re left with a long list of pending tasks fighting for your time and attention!

13. Take initiative AND accountability

Another habit most successful leaders have in common? They tend to take initiative as well as responsibility! They learn what they need to do, come up with innovative ideas, and do things without being asked!
Equally important is taking accountability.

The Chairman of the Godrej Group, Adi Godrej, led the company through the Indian economy before it was liberalized, by taking both initiative and accountability. He has organized and updated the management set-ups in the company and reformed organizational policies to deal with the new challenges.

14. Express gratitude

While successful leaders continue to reach for new heights in their professional journey, they also take the time to reflect and express gratitude for all that they have. Take your cue from Hillel Fuld, Israel’s mega-successful tech blogger and startup advisor. Every day, Fuld lists ten things he is grateful for and publishes this gratitude list on his Facebook profile, to encourage his followers to make their own thankful list!

15. Respond, don’t react

The difference between reacting and responding is crystal clear to great leaders. In any interaction, you have the choice of either instinctively expressing the first thought to pop into your head, or coming up with a reply after thoughtfully considering the outcome of your response. 

In 1997, Starbucks faced a crisis situation when 3 of its employees were killed in a tragic robbery in Washington DC. Instead of reacting to this PR nightmare by distancing himself, CEO Howard Schultz thoughtfully responded by flying straight to D.C. and spending a week with the co-workers and families of these victims. 

16. Listen Actively 

Most of us listen to respond, instead of trying to fully understand what the other person is communicating. But successful leaders are well-aware of the importance of active listening. Which is why, many of them go to great lengths to make those around them feel heard.
Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco, told that he moved his desk to the middle of an office hallway so it’s easy for any employee in the building to talk to him!

17. Meditate

Taking the time each day to connect with your thoughts and stabilise your mind is absolutely essential, especially when you always have your hands full as a leader. Most successful leaders of the world take a few minutes out of their day to introspect and meditate. A regular meditation habit makes you mentally equipped to deal with unexpected challenges and resolve problems. 

Padmasree Warrior, the Chief Technology and Strategy Office of Cicso Systems, blocks 20 minutes every evening to practice meditation. Jack Dorsey, Co-founder & CEO of Twitter has maintained a meditation habit for 20 years! 

18. Summarize the day 

As important as planning your day first thing in the morning, is tracking your progress on everything you’d set out to achieve, at the end of the day. For successful leaders, it’s not sufficient to just list tasks, they need to check-in and keep tabs on the ones completed, the ones done halfway, and the ones to be pushed to tomorrow. 

Before leaving the office each night, Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, takes time to reflect and write down three things that he wants to accomplish the next day.

19. Set aside time for hobbies 

Successful leaders lead well-rounded lives, despite dealing with a busier schedule than most others. They take out the time to engage in an activity they truly enjoy, practice an old hobby or cultivate a new one. This helps them avoid reaching a point of saturation and refuels their energy for the following day! 

Oprah Winfrey enjoys reading, while Bill Gates likes to play Bridge in his free time! 

20. Remember to relax!

Last but by no means the least, most successful leaders accord equal importance to a relaxing wind-down routine, as they do to a productive morning routine. If you want to be as productive as the most successful leaders in the world, remember to give your mind the rest it needs to work. 

Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, sets a hard-limit to working. After arriving home from the office at around 8 PM in the evening, Armstrong spends time reading to his daughters. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director of Paytm, listens to music to relax and mostly falls asleep listening to western classical music.

So, there you have it! These are the 20 habits most successful people have adopted in their lives. Learn from these leaders and their remarkable triumphs, by adopting these habits in your daily routine, one behaviour at a time. And remember, consistency will always be the key! 

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There are many hard things in life and one of them is talking to your pre-teen or adolescent.  Parents with pre-teens and teenagers at home will know exactly what I’m talking about. Hormonal changes are real and boy, do they affect the way pre-teens communicate with their parents. Sometimes, the most genuine questions asked in good interest trigger an explosive response from your child simply because of the way the particular question has been asked. Words matter a lot when communicating and in case of communicating with a pre-teen, they carry more value than you know! 

Pre-teens struggle with a myriad of emotions and navigating through them is hard, with the dynamic changes the world brings today. A strong relationship with their parents provides them the much needed anchoring and support they need in their lives. The key lies in being around them without being overly assertive. Here are five ways in which you can make your everyday communication with your child better:

  • Steer clear of asking them how their day was. This turns them off especially when they’ve had a hard day. Moreover, this question is too predictable for them and they already know what answer to give you, which defeats the purpose of honest communication. Ask open-ended questions and keep the conversation centred around their interests. 
  • Don’t multitask. They hate it as much as we do when somebody is on their phone or isn’t wholeheartedly invested in the communication. 
  • Don’t give standard responses: Bullying and competition between peers gets way more vicious as teenage approaches. Pre-teens often hide such incidents from their parents fearing their involvement and retaliation. If your child comes to you with such instances, don’t give them the standard response of ‘don’t pick fights’ or ‘you should ask them to leave you alone.’ Instead, ask your child what they’d like to do and what kind of guidance they want from you and then offer advice and a safety plan to comfort them.  
  • Sarcasm is best avoided. Hormonal changes are massive in pre-teens and they have a hard time regulating their emotions. Don’t label your child as ‘difficult’ or ‘sensitive’ on the basis of their emotional outbursts. Respect where your child is coming from. Sarcasm and taunts don’t work; they only end up making children more defensive.   
  • Remind them about consequences: Pre-teens and teenagers are impulsive creatures. They often may not know the reasons behind their actions and prodding them with questions only makes it worse. If they make the wrong decision, gently point out the consequences of that decision and ask them what they would do next time.

If you know any other tips on effectively communicating with pre-teens and teenagers, do share them in the comments with our readers.

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How to Tackle Sibling Rivalry

Admit it, we’ve all had those moments where we’ve wanted to punch our siblings in the face or banish them to an island, where they can never come back from. If there’s anyone who can push our buttons and test our limits, it’s our siblings. But hey, remember the moments you stayed up late with them watching movies, sneaking in snacks from the kitchen, playing hide and seek, tickling them until it really hurt or just talking? When they covered up for you in front of your parents and hugged you until it felt better? Nothing can replace those moments either. 

Getting straight to the point, our siblings are people we love and detest in equal measure but we definitely cannot do without them. Building a healthy relationship with one’s siblings is absolutely necessary because they ground us, support us and their love keeps us going. A sibling surely is one of the first few friends you make and also a part of the life-long ones. 

It’s also important to remember that sibling rivalry is inevitable. There’s no way you can get rid of it completely because it’s impossible for two individuals to like each other all the time, especially when they live in the same house. As children grow and evolve, they develop mechanisms to decide what they like and don’t like. Disagreements with one’s siblings is one of the earliest signs of a child taking control and finding their identity. 

Things can get worrying if you find your children bickering a lot more than usual or if they can’t bear to be in the same room as each other. But there’s nothing some guidance and  change in attitude cannot solve. Here are some tips to make sure that your children are not at each other’s throats constantly-

  1. KEEP CALM & CARRY ON: Rule of thumb is that children tend to get more aggressive when they grow up in environments where there’s a lot of anger. As your children watch you deal with things patiently, they try to adopt the same pattern. When you’re asked to referee a fight, don’t lose your cool instantly. Instead, monitor the situation patiently at first and then give your inputs. 
  1. TREAT YOUR CHILDREN FAIRLY, NOT EQUALLY: Read on before you roll your eyes. Not all siblings have the same age gap or function the same way. Some siblings are separated from each by quite some years and expecting them to have the same level of maturity and understanding might not be right. Siblings also behave differently which often can lead to one sibling getting the unfair advantage. Try to help them understand each other and set rules accordingly. 
  1. DON’T ENTERTAIN COMPLAINTS: Unless, one of your children sets the kitchen on fire or does something really nasty to the other, don’t engage in hearing complaints. Teach your children to reach resolutions amiably by guiding them on what’s right and what not. If at all one of them ends up repeating the same pattern, then intervention is required. 
  1. CELEBRATE THEIR INDIVIDUALITY: No child is the same as another child. Instead of comparing your children to each other, acknowledge their individual qualities and celebrate their wins. If one likes reading and the other likes dancing, be happy for both of them and try to be a part of their activities. This teaches children a valuable lifelong lesson; co-existence.
  1. NON-NEGOTIABLE FAMILY TIME:  No matter how busy you get, try to squeeze in some minutes with your children together. This teaches them the importance of family. Family dinners, board-game nights and movie marathons are highly underrated but they end up being some of the precious memories your children have of each other and as a family together. 
  1. LISTEN: Listening can be the most therapeutic tools you offer your child. Next time they try to tell you about how something made them feel, tune into their words without judgement. This allows space for their emotions and avoids fights caused due to pent-up frustration. 

With all of us staying indoors, we hope that these tips will be helpful for you in navigating some silly fights and lots of witty banter. 

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Celebrating Mothers Day at Home This Year

For most of 2020, most of us stayed indoors. 2021 was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be the year we reclaimed our festivals. But with the second wave of the coronavirus upon us, it looks like the reclaiming will have to wait a bit longer. For now, we will have to make do with staying home and staying safe. 

Why are celebrations important?

We might be tempted to just chuck it all, and decide not to have any celebrations, and that’s okay too if you want to take it easy this year. But studies have shown that the celebratory attitude works really well to keep your spirits up. It also breaks the monotony of the day for you and the family! 

One day where most mothers feel loved (maybe a bit more than the rest of the year) is Mother’s Day. And it’s a wonderful occasion to practice gratitude, togetherness and of course, have fun. Mother’s Day this year is going to be celebrated indoors for most of us but there’s no reason it can’t be just as special as the other years. Here are a few ideas to celebrate Mother’s Day, indoors:

Making the kitchen a Mum-free zone:

Mothers can’t seem to break away from the kitchen, especially during a lockdown. With help missing and everyone getting hunger pangs at odd hours. So, for a change, make sure the family steps up! From making tea in the morning to breakfast and lunch, the children can be in charge- with a watchful eye from dad. Granted, lunch may be sandwiches. Breakfast may just be toast with bread and butter. But it’s a great way to teach independence to the children, while they gain a healthy appreciation of just how much effort mothers put in for every meal. 

Movie marathons at home:

With the OTT platforms offering up a whole host of options, the need to go to a movie theatre has become quite redundant. To complete the movie-theatre experience, let mummy choose the movie. Pop some popcorn in the microwave, throw a few cushions, draw the curtains and Voila! Your movie -theatre experience just came home!

Art/Photography workshop for mum:

Mothers become our default family photographers and home decorators! They love nothing better than clicking pictures of the family on vacations, during festivals, on special occasions, you name it. Wouldn’t it be great to let them indulge in their hobby and book them for an art or photography class? There are plenty of classes available online – and some of them even focus on mobile phone photography. An ideal gift for a snap-happy mum!

Mother’s Day goodies:

It’s never been easier to create personalised gifts for mother’s day. From photo mugs to t-shirts with cheeky messages, it’s all there at the click of a button. Just a couple of things to remember: if you’re selecting a picture, pick one that mum loves (not one where you’ve caught her mid-sneeze), if you’re picking a gift, pick one she’ll use (don’t look at tea-pots for a coffee-lover) and check the delivery timelines (make sure they arrive before d-day!)

The way to a mum’s heart…

…Is definitely through baked goods- especially if her children are baking! Look up a simple cake/ cookie recipe on the internet and watch her melt into a mushy puddle when the children bake it for her. It doesn’t need to be perfect. I’m sure the fact that her children have made it will make it ‘the best cake in the world’!  

Quick art cards:

Use your child’s palm prints or footprints to make a very personalised, quick no-fuss Mother’s Day Card. If the children are old enough, they can write on the card, if not, daddy can write what they want to say on the card. Guaranteed to make every mother go, ‘Aww’!

Mother’s Day coupons:

Make a series of small coupons for things you think she will enjoy. For example, “good for one hug from any member of the family” or “good for taking charge of the TV remote” or even “good for one hour of me-time”. Mummy can then choose to use these coupons throughout the year, when she chooses (or use it all up in one day, depending on her mood). It’s also a great way to let her know that she’s appreciated throughout the year!

Whatever you decide to do on Mother’s Day, do remember that the little things count as much as the grand gestures. Helping out with chores, spending time together as a family and bonding over shared memories will carry far more value than buying a really expensive gift on that one day, but ignoring her needs and feelings for the rest of the year. Here’s wishing all Mothers a day full of happiness and love. 

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Mother’s Day is special for a variety of reasons; the most important one being that we get to celebrate the most important woman in our lives. Though I’m a firm believer in celebrating people special to us everyday, Mother’s Day is a day exclusively dedicated to cherishing moms, which makes it unique. Given the current circumstances, all of us have become acutely aware of our privileges and blessings; one of the greatest ones being around our mothers. For those of us who’re not around our mothers at this point of time, I know it’s hard but we can always make her feel special even when we’re not around. 

Over the years, Mother’s Day celebrations have changed drastically. Before the internet took over our lives, we’d dutifully make cards for our mommies. The nicer ones of us went an extra mile and even baked a cake. Then, happened the rise of Facebook , Instagram and eventually, Snapchat and our physical gestures took a backseat. Mother’s Day became an online event with many of us creating posts specially dedicated to our mothers, telling the world how much we love and appreciate our mothers.

We’re creatures driven by capitalism and that became evident in our celebrations as well. Archie’s cards and gifts became the standard way of telling someone how much they mean to us. Gone were handmade cards and cakes and the small gestures that made Mother’s Day what it was. A meaningful holiday was hijacked by modern corporatisation.

The sentiment behind Mother’s Day lost its real value.  While everyone likes a little indulgence, it’s a universally known fact that giving someone your time and undivided attention is everyone’s favourite love language. Specially when it comes to Indian mothers, nothing makes them happier than their children saving money.

We must pause and reflect on how and why Mother’s Day originated and it’s significant impact on highlighting reproductive labour and community care. Anna Jarvis can be credited for campaigning for celebrating motherhood. Jarvis started this in 1905 after the death of her own mother, an activist and community leader who cared for wounded soldiers during the U.S. Civil War. Jarvis constantly strived for US to recognise Mother’s Day as a national holiday to provide dignity to the labour undertaken by caretakers, which were primarily mothers.

The real idea behind Mother’s day is dignifying the effort and labour that a mother puts into taking care of her children and her home, instead of dismissing it as her ‘duty‘.

Here are some ways in which you can actually create a difference in your mother’s life:

  1. SPEND TIME TOGETHER: It’s easy to get carried away by life and the innumerable responsibilities it brings us but we must consciously make an effort to put a stop to the madness at times, take a step back and simply go back to where we came from. Spend time with your mother, ask her how her day was, listen to her and tell her something about your life. Conversations like these count the most not just on Mother’s Day but everyday. 
  1. PREPARE MEALS FOR HER: Though one can never beat their mom’s cooking, our mothers love a break from their kitchen and own cooking. With the lockdown turning many of us into chefs in our own right, prepare a meal that you think she’d love. Try something different; something that she doesn’t know how to cook or makes on the regular. Make this a weekly activity. 
  1. HAVE A  VIRTUAL GAME NIGHTS RITUAL: Yes, yes, we know that you’d kill if you had to spend an extra hour on Zoom. But for those who are away from their mothers this is a perfect idea. Rope in your family members and play a quiz on ‘Who- Knows-Mom-the-Best’ this Mother’s Day. To keep things fun, you can switch the games every week.  Mothers sure will love the attention and get a bit teary-eyed even on how much we remember about her in detail. For those of you who are with their mothers currently, bring out the good old board games and have a family night. 
  1. TAKE AN ONLINE COOKING CLASS: With a virtual cooking class, the entire family can pitch in for her Mother’s Day brunch or dinner. If your mother enjoys these, take these classes every once in a while, so that both of you can learn something new. 
  1. MAKE HER TRY SOMETHING NEW: Chances are your mom has always wanted to do something but is probably too shy to try it out or has put it off for for the longest while due to work and responsibilities. It might be dance, music, an art form, cooking or something else. Help her get over that shyness and embrace learning. 
  1. BE HER TECH GURU: Mothers get lonelier as we get more and more involved in our lives. Don’t lose patience with them as they struggle with their phones and figuring out the internet. Just as we maintain most of our connections through the virtual world, our parents also seek comfort through technology. 
  1. TELL HER HOW MUCH YOU LOVE HER: Expressing emotions can be a battle for a lot of us. Even though we love people, we find it hard to just say it. But this Mother’s Day, break this pattern. Go hug your mom and actually tell her how much she means to you. It might get awkward, it will also lead to a few tears surely but it’ll be worth it. 

As we grow and become older, life takes over and we slowly get lost in the great scheme of things. But, we mustn’t forget that for our mothers and even for our children, we’re the most important people. Celebrating and cherishing these relationships is not just necessary but a lot of fun, as we discover something new each time, not just in them but also in us. 

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5 Times Children Said the Wrong Things at the Wrong Time

If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve experienced this- when your children have no filter and go about happily saying the absolute wrong thing at the wrong time. It is a time when you wish the ground would just swallow you up! So here are some of the times when mums have implored mother earth to just take them into her fold! (*all names have been changed to protect further embarrassment of a mother, who has possibly never lived these down!)

When we had the talk about the birds and the bees

So, I was giving the little one, all of 3, a shower, and of course, we just had to play the body parts game. And being the worrywart that I am, I decided to have the Safe-unsafe; touch conversation with him. Which included telling him the names of all his body parts, including the private ones. That evening, an elderly relative of the husband’s visited us, and our wonderfully chatty boy decided to introduce himself – and his body parts to her. Imagine my mortification when I return with the chai and find the boy engrossed in telling her all about his ‘Pee-niss’ (because it’s where we pee from, apparently). Sigh. I don’t think I’ve seen that aunty visit our house again.
– *Neha

When they heard the one word in the movie they’re not supposed to

You know, how in the old day, before Netflix and Hotstar, we used to have movie channels? (yes, my children think it very quaint now.) well, when the younger one was learning to talk,
I just happened to put on a movie. It was a very funny movie, with a very ironic scene (you’ll know why in a bit), where the baby learns a very naughty word that they’re not supposed to. I chuckle. The husband and mother-in-law walk in. ‘What are you watching?’ they ask. ‘Meet the…’ I say. “Faulker’. Baby completes. Grinning. And just in case we didn’t hear it the first times, repeats it in increasingly loud volumes: ‘Faulker! Faulker!! FAULKER!!!’.
– *Bidya

When they had a fashion show for our guests

My son and his cousin are quite close in age and love playing together. So, at a rather large family gathering at ours, it wasn’t a surprise to see them running around, playing, plotting and conspiring. After dinner, as we were settling down rather comfortably in the living room, the boy and his cousin declare that they will now entertain us with a ‘fashion show’. Of course, we love the idea and clapped very enthusiastically. The kids disappear ‘Backstage’ – which was my bedroom, with instructions to their dad to play a particular song. As the beat of the song picks up, with all of us clapping, my son and his cousin re-appear. Dressed in my raciest lingerie. Leopard print thongs, cut-out bras… the works! And strut about with it in from of all the relatives. There was shocked silence for a second… followed by peals and peals of laughter. This is now part of family legend, retold to every new daughter-in-law joining the family!
– *Fariya

Also look up: Teaching Children Discipline in a Joint Family

When we were nearly arrested for child trafficking

We were on our annual trip to visit my in-laws. And my son loves his grandparents. After spending two whole wonderful weeks with them, it was time to head back home. But our son wouldn’t hear of it. So we booked a late-night flight. We put him to bed and picked up the sleeping child and headed to the flight. We knew that he’d throw a fit if he was awake and wouldn’t come. It was all great until we reached the immigration counter. My son woke up with all the noise and saw that we were leaving. He immediate started wailing – and screamed out in English ‘You’re NOT MY MUMMA AND DADDA. Help! I want to go back!’ We were immediately surrounded by a lot of officious looking people, who wanted to question us, and take my boy away from his ‘kidnappers’. It took us a good half an hour to convince them that we really were his parents, and we almost missed our flight!
– *Rosalind

When death threats were issued to my boss!

I’m a working mom. So after I put my daughter to bed, I usually check my emails and messages and respond to them on the phone. One evening, after my daughter fell asleep, I went to the bathroom leaving my phone by the bedside. When I return, to my horror, my daughter was awake and was busy pressing buttons on my phone! I quickly look at the messages and thanks to autocorrect and predictive text, she’s sent this to my boss: Ha. Die. With kiss.
Thankfully, my boss has children too, and took it in the right spirit! But I’m taking my phone to the bathroom with me the next time!
– *Sunanda

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Are You Raising Your Child In A Sexist Household?

We spot various forms of sexism in our everyday lives. We’re quick to roll our eyes at the prejudiced comments made by politicians on national television or by well-meaning relatives and friends at social gatherings. We blame the government for pink tax and express our concern over the rising cases of domestic violence and sexual assault against women. We complain how men dominate professional spaces and the pay disparity between men and women. Sexism makes its presence clearly visible in the way society perceives females. They’re labelled as the weaker sex, who are in constant need of protection and this protection comes at the cost of submission.

But, have we taken a moment to reflect on where sexism begins? Where are roles and responsibilities for men and women demarcated? Where are we taught what is okay for a boy or for a girl? And, who ever decided what was masculine and feminine? The answer is simple; at home. 

What are we teaching them?

From the very beginning of our lives, right from childhood, we experience sexism through the manner in which we’re raised. A girl and a boy might have the same set of parents, but the treatment they receive from those parents can drastically differ from each other. From restrictions on clothing to different curfews, it is evident that what is okay for a boy can never be okay for a girl. Sexism plants its roots through the most subtle manner; we’re taught to use gender as an insult.

Restrictions are set on our emotional outlets because it’s not fine to ‘cry like a girl’ or ‘be rowdy like a boy’. Sexism decides which activities one can enjoy – girls cannot play cricket or football like boys to reduce the risks of injuries or getting tanned under the sun. And, boys definitely cannot enjoy cooking or dancing or playing dress-up! If the boys miss a shot, the standard rebuke is to ‘not play like a girl’. Girls are taught to smile because they’ll look prettier. An while boys get away with anger, they’re are not allowed to show empathy and sensitivity. 

Also read: Quick Breakfast Recipes you can make with your Child

We decide the clothes, books and movies children should enjoy.  Right from the start, boys and girls are taught that the worst thing they can do is act like the gender opposite to them. This begets the toxic cycle of disrespect and contempt for the other gender. 

Children learn best through examples and they’re quick to adapt to the pattern around them. A boy who is raised in a household where only the mother manages all the chores will assume that it is normal for households to function solely on a woman’s effort. A girl might worry that this could be the future she’s in store for. Similarly, a household where the needs of the patriarch are prioritised might indicate to children that the needs of a man are more important than the needs of a woman. Even the ways in which parents interact at home sets the tone for future relationships that their children build. 

What can parents do?  
  • Communication is key to change. Having frank, open communication will lead to your children unlearning stereotypes and will feel comfortable enough to share their views with you. It’s always a good idea to learn something new.  
  • Encourage your children to follow their passion, whether or not it fits the boundaries of gender. Join them in activities that bring them fun. This will lead to a stronger bond between you and your children. 
  • Set an example. If it’s possible, try dividing the workload between you and your spouse to show your child that household chores are not just a woman’s job. 
  • Do not engage in regressive content on social media or on television. Stop laughing at sexist jokes. These things have a significant impression on the child’s mind. 

In our attempt to raise our children in the norms that are acceptable by society, we stifle the growth of our children. Allow them to explore beyond the stereotypical gender preferences that are set for them. Our role as parents is to inspire and encourage children to be who they want to be. It may take a lot of time to unlearn the narrative that has been fed to us over and over, but through simple changes, the society can be made a safer space for women. We can create a future where it is okay for individuals to be who they want to be without the fear of crossing the boundaries of being masculine and feminine. 

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In the recent years, traditional Indian foods have taken a backseat with fast foods, fad diets and fusion cuisines. However, Indian food is not just rich in diversity but also in nutrition.  With a wide variety of grains, oils, vegetables , spices and nuts, Indian foods are a powerhouse of essential nutrients that support immunity, brain function, gut health and reduce inflammation.It’s important for children to imbibe the values of eating local and seasonal and appreciate one of the key extensions of their culture i.e. food.

Include these six traditional Indian foods in your child’s diet to make their meals a lot more nutritious, wholesome and healthy-

  1. Buttermilk: There is a popular misconception that buttermilk is high in fat but buttermilk is actually very low in calories. Buttermilk prevents dehydration, reduces acidity and prevents indigestion. It is rich in calcium and reduces blood pressure. 
  1. Idli: Easily one of the healthiest Indian snacks at just 39 calories per piece, idli contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Being a fermented food, it supports gut health. It will also help your child stay full for longer as it is rich in fibre and protein. 
  1. Cheelas (Savoury Indian pancakes):  Mad out of chickpea flour and various lentils, cheelas gluten free and a good source of protein. An excellent source of complex carbohydrates accompanied with a low glycemic index, these savoury pancakes help in maintaining a healthy metabolism. 
  1. Khichdi: Made with rice and lentils, this traditional Indian dish is packed with dietary fibre, antioxidants and protein. It’s gluten free and easy on the digestive system.
  1. Poha: An Indian breakfast favourite, poha makes for a gluten-free meal option. Loaded with iron and fibre, it is low in calories and regulates blood sugar levels. 
  1. Upma: Prepared using semolina (sooji), a  bowl of upma has fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats. It is low in cholesterol and calories, while being high in iron. 

It’s time we bid goodbye to myths suggesting Indian food is only limited to deep fried, fattening food and appreciate the innumerable healthy options our cuisine offers us by introducing them in our daily meals. 

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How to Have An Argument With Your Child – And Still Win at Parenting!

Let’s be honest – before we had children, we all had this idea of how they’d be perfect angels. And of course, not one of those ideas included you getting into daily arguments with your child. Never did you anticipate that asking your child to do something as simple as brushing their teeth could devolve into World War 3. Parent-child arguments are one of the biggest causes of stress for both you and your child, and often sets the tone of your relationship with your child in the future.

Strong-willed children are great!

Take heart, having a strong-willed child may seem like a lot of work – but with the right kind of nurturing they turn out to be grounded, not swayed by peer pressure and possess great leadership skills. Strong-willed children don’t accept the status quo and want to try things out for themselves. That’s why they are constantly testing their boundaries by questioning you. So how can you set boundaries for your child without coming off as authoritarian? How can an argument with your child turn into a life lesson that they take to heart?

Common argumentative fallacies

When we argue, we let emotions get the better of us – that’s natural. Everything about our children tends to make us emotional. But when we want to make our point, let’s watch out for and steer clear of these common fallacies:

Attacking the person, rather and the idea

Often, when we’re asking our children to do something, it sounds like we’re finding faults. Let’s identify the behaviour that we have an issue with, rather than the person. For example, if you walk into your child’s room and it looks like a bomb went off in there, instead of saying ‘You’re always so messy’, we could try, ‘This room looks quite messy, how about you tidy it up a bit?’. Not calling the child messy, or disobedient, or lazy, but calling out the act, or behaviour will help you get your message across, without it becoming an argument because your child doesn’t feel like it’s a personal attack!

Exaggerating the problem and attacking it

We’ve all been guilty of it. ‘You’re on the screen forever!’ ‘You never want to eat what I make.’ ‘You’re always playing, you need to be serious about your exams.’ Well, that’s not really true, is it? Children need you to break down the issue to a more immediate timeline. So if screen time is an issue today, or now, just state that ‘You’ve been playing for a long time on the screen today. I think that’s enough.’ 

Building improbable consequences to a small action

Let’s not kid ourselves – not eating vegetables for a meal is not going to give us debilitating conditions. Not doing the homework today is not going to make your child drop out of university. So we stick to the facts when stating our point – ‘If you’re going to continue not doing your homework, chances are, you’re not going to be prepared when they test you on this. That’s not what we want, is it?’ This stop is from becoming an argument where your child fails to see the point of what you’re asking them to do.

The either-or situation

‘You’re not sharing your chocolate with your brother. Do you not love him?’ This tells the child that there are only two options – either love my brother and share or hate my brother and not share. But in reality, she may love her brother very dearly, but just not want to share. Just, ‘I would like it very much if you shared that with your brother.’ is enough. If she’s still unwilling to share, maybe explaining how sharing helps strengthen bonds.

Because I said so

Sometimes we do tire of arguing with our pint-sized humans and resort to this. And yes, as adults, we would know more and are able to judge a situation better. But that’s why it is important to explain to them why your viewpoint isn’t just because you’re the adult, and they are the children. Back it up with rationale – it’s also a great way to build the logical reasoning of your child. 

What you can say so the children listen
  • Acknowledge their feelings: Children like us will have their own likes and dislikes. It’s okay to occasionally indulge in fantasies with them. ‘You really don’t like this daal, huh? I wish we would eat ice cream for every meal, and still be super-healthy! *sigh*’  (you might like to read: What is Journaling and how can it help? )
  • Engage cooperation: give factual information, without exaggeration ‘We need to brush our teeth because…’, rather than ‘All our teeth will fall out and the dentist will drill painful holes!’
  • Express your feelings without attacking your child’s character: ‘I felt really upset when you said that’ or ‘It makes me really sad to see both of you fighting’. 
  • Explain the consequences: Every action will have consequences. Calmly explaining the consequences, and following through on them, without anger or annoyance will help your child understand boundaries. ‘If you keep running over your tv time, we will have to reduce it by 10 minutes tomorrow. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.’
  • Sit with your child and figure out a solution together: If you’re unhappy with a situation, it’s fairly certain that your child isn’t too thrilled either. Sit together and jot down all the ideas you can come up with (yes, even the silly ones) and decide the best way forward together. 

Your child will feel empowered to take control of their actions, especially if they know that they have your love. Even though you may disagree, you can air your differences, talk through your problems and figure out a way together. These skills of negotiation, reasoning and emotional intelligence will build on their ability to navigate the world confidently as adults with you as their role models for conflict resolution

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Today marks the fourteenth annual World Autism Awareness Day, that is April 2, 2021.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.It is estimated that worldwide one in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder. 

Recognized internationally, the World Autism Day began as a movement to spread awareness about the autism spectrum disorder. Autism-Friendly events and educational activities take place throughout April, aiming to increase understanding of autism.

While there is still a great need to inform people about autism, the focus has shifted away from simply making people aware that the disorder exists  towards the world coming together to offer love, acceptance, support and inclusivity to children and adults with autism.  A day alone isn’t enough to extend our compassion and support. 

Here are five ways in which you can support your child with autism and make their life easier:

  1. RECOGNIZING THE SIGNS:  early detection and intervention with treatment and services are essential to improve a child’s development and functionality for a lifetime. This can be done with the help of identifying common signs and symptoms of Autism, which include:
  • Persistent repetition of words or actions
  • Difficulty in social interaction
  • Low attention span 
  • Poor eye contact 
  • Delayed speech  
  • Intense interest in a limited number of things 
  • Not responding to their name

It is also important to remember that autism does not present itself in the same manner in every child. 

  1. COMMUNICATION IS KEY: Children with autism tend to communicate differently as they often get fixated on certain phrases and keep repeating them. Gently redirecting them to the next topic might work. They also avoid eye contact.  Patience is a must to build a bond. Talking about things they like can help the conversation move along smoothly. Children with autism can also be quite literal when expressing their needs. These need to be addressed politely. 
  1. BEING AWARE OF THE CHALLENGES:  Children with ASD are highly sensitive to touch, sound, light, taste, and smell. Steering clear of noise and bright colours can help create a soothing environment for them  and avoid sensory overload. They are also not comfortable with the concept of physical affection and like to maintain personal boundaries. Creating healthy space and distance while communicating with a child with autism can help create a positive environment.
  1. CELEBRATING YOUR CHILD’S STRENGTHS: Celebrating the strengths of your children can instill confidence in them and help them face their challenges without feeling low. These may include exceptional honesty, punctuality, attention to detail, ability to remember things in a precise manner. Some children may excel in academics and be able to learn through visual memory. 
  1. DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING: Children with autism possess an excellent memory and respond better to visual learning aids rather than plain text. It is important to include a lot of pictures while helping them learn. It is also important to find an environment or school that is best suited for your child’s needs. Look for a school that is inclusive and has the required support staff to help your child thrive. 

Given the prevalence and complexity of autism, it’s important to be aware of ways you can support children that are dealing with the condition; to help them overcome obstacles. Don’t be shy about seeking the right kind of support for your child – and yourself. It is important to understand that although autistic children may have a different way of perceiving the world, the more we accept the differences, the easier it is for them to integrate into society. 

Also read: Dyscalculia – Does your child have it? Signs to look out for

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5 Simple Changes for a Sustainable Future

Today, over half a billion children live in extremely high flood & drought occurrence zones. Research has shown that climate change will increase the frequency of droughts, floods and severe weather events. Severe weather events can disrupt infrastructure critical to children’s well-being, including schools, health facilities and transport. Droughts and flooding destroy crops, disrupt water systems and contaminate water reserves.

Despite having gained substantial importance over the recent years, the concept of sustainability isn’t as widely implemented as it is discussed. Sustainable living is nothing but reducing one’s use of Earth’s natural resources to maintain ecological balance. It advocates not creating excessive waste and prioritizing the use of natural resources.  Sustainable living is crucial to our future generations so that they can live comfortably without being subjected to ecological and economic problems. If we do not limit our consumption patterns, our children might face increased pollution levels and remain bereft of a healthy standard of living. 

Change starts at home, no matter how small it is. Our children are the future and to make the world a healthier, happier place to live in, we must educate our children on the significance of sustainable living. Here are five easy ways in which you and your children can start your journey to a sustainable future:

Reusable over Disposable

Instead of buying plastic water bottles or using paper cups every time you travel or go out for a movie, ask your children to carry their own metallic water bottles or sippers. This greatly reduces their consumption of plastic and paper. What’s more, you won’t have to constantly keep worrying about water hygiene. Being sustainable in this case also turns out to be far more economical.

Every drop counts

Encourage your children to switch off the tap while brushing their teeth or washing their hands. Have them switch to using a bucket for having a bath, or, if using a shower, time yourself, so you’re not spending too much time under it. Reuse the water from your RO filters for mopping the floor or watering your plants or washing your clothes. Water scarcity is going to be a very real problem that our children might face in the not-too-distant future.

Waste not, want not.

Serve small portions of food on plates. This helps children gauge if they’re truly hungry before serving themselves a second portion, and we can avoid food wastage. This is also a wonderful way to introduce our children to where we source our food from, and the many advantages of going local. A sustainable future is one were we try and reduce our carbon footprint!

Conserving Energy

Right from an early age, instil the habit of switching off the lights and fans when not in use. Open the blinds in your own room to let natural light in the morning instead of switching on electric lights. Your children will follow suit. Look up sustainable and renewable sources of energy to switch to, where you can. 

Grow a green thumb

Children love watching things grow and the sense of accomplishment they feel when they’re the reason behind it is unbeatable! If you have the space to maintain a small vegetable garden, why don’t you give it a go? It also works as a fun activity to bond with your children while caring for the environment

Less is more

This one can be slightly tricky as who doesn’t want everything? But, encouraging your children to use resources that they have judiciously is the way to be. Have them use their art supplies, stationery and clothes responsibly. We can set examples ourselves by buying the things that we truly need, rather than those we truly want. Even small changes, like waiting until an occasion, or until your old phone breaks down to buy that new gadget you’ve been eyeing, will make a positive difference. Teaching your children about delayed gratification has proven to have many benefits as well. 

With minor lifestyle changes, we can create a major difference in the health of our planet and the quality of lives of our future generations. Are there any changes that you’ve made to your lifestyle that we can all incorporate? Tell us in the comments below!

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Let’s Make Holi the Festival of Consent This Year!

The weather in the country is slowly but surely turning hotter. The last of the winter chill has disappeared. It can only mean one thing – Holi is around the corner! The festival of colour, of joy, signalling the start of the spring-summer season in our country.

My children love this festival – it allows them to run around gleefully in the society compound throwing colour and be as messy as possible. Sounds like fun, right? But there’s a worrying side to Holi that I’m becoming increasingly aware of, especially as the children grow older. The matter of consent. 

Why does this bother me?

Perhaps it’s because I am a mother to both, a son and a daughter, that I feel it very keenly when every year I read painful newspaper stories about children, women, and men having their consent violated when people around them forcibly apply colour or throw water on them. I’m sure you recall having read them too. I worry about my daughter (and even my son) being touched without her permission. To those who call it ‘harmless fun’ and ‘bura na maano holi hai, I ask you this: Don’t we teach our children about boundaries the rest of the year? Do we not insist that their body is their own and should be respected? So, what message are we sending to the children when we deliberately violate someone’s consent so we can have fun? 

There’s another group of innocent, voiceless victims who suffer the most during our festivities: It’s the poor street animals. It’s not uncommon at all to spot a helpless, scared-looking blue-and-pink dog streaking past you the day after Holi. These colours, laden with chemicals, were not meant to be used on animal fur or even human skin. But unlike us, these animals can’t hop into a shower and scrub themselves clean. So it’s our job to protect them and keep them safe! 

My kind of Holi

So what does it mean for us to celebrate a Holi that’s both fun and respectful? Here are a few things I’m going to ask my children to follow. I hope they help you set fun, respectful boundaries for your own family too! 

Always ask!

It takes literally just a couple of seconds to ask for permission, but just think of how respected and valued it will make the person feel! It doesn’t matter who it is — children, friends, elders, or family members. Always ask for consent before pulling someone into your celebrations. Learning about consent and agency starts in small ways right from childhood, after all! 

Learn to accept ‘no’ gracefully

It’s our turn to ‘bura na maano’ when someone doesn’t feel comfortable with having colour, water, or anything else applied to them. If they say colour is okay, but water isn’t, do as they ask. If they want to play with only organic colours, respect their wishes, the way you would want someone to respect yours. Let’s learn to live and let live.

Ask if they’re okay with you applying colour

Just because someone is okay with your friend or relative (or a total stranger) applying colour to them, does not mean they’re giving blanket consent to everyone to come into physical contact. So permission needs to be asked, even if they’ve said yes to someone else already. Think of it like this- just because you’ve said okay to go out for coffee with a friend, does not mean you’re okay to go out for coffee with your friend’s friend, or their cousin. 

Watch out for the animals!

Make sure you’re playing in a place that is away from animals: and if they do wander in, immediately move away so they do not get drenched in colour. It can be very harmful for them, and it’s our job to protect them! 

Make your festivities inclusive

Holi is meant to be a festival that includes everyone of all abilities and from all backgrounds. Let’s get our community involved in making sure we create a safe space for all. 

Let’s be eco-friendly

Only about 3% of the earth’s water is freshwater. Out of which 2% is locked up in ice and glaciers. Having a water-free Holi only seems logical in the face of these statistics. 

You may also like: Tips to Raise an Environment-Loving Child

Holi may have many mythological stories attached to it – but the predominant feeling through it all is one of joy and celebration. I’m going to make sure my celebrations don’t dampen anyone else’s joy. Have a happy, safe, and consent-ful Holi! 

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LIDO TV | Say hello to our Lido-er, Divyanshu who is here to show off his photography skills!

Say hello to our Grade 8 Coding Lido-er, Divyanshu Dayal who is here to show off his photography skills to his academic mentor Pratik Tiwari! Don’t you think he’s taking some really good steps towards achieving his goals?

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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LIDO TV | Let’s talk coding with 9th Grader Sathya V today!

Sathya’s quite keen to be an entrepreneur, don’t you think?

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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LIDO TV | We’re meeting the very cool, very creative Riya today!

Riya, who is our Grade 9 Coder, is not only super impressive with her creative skills, but she can also solve Rubik’s cube at warp speed! What is your time at solving the cube?

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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LIDO TV | Let’s welcome budding artist Kiara, who maintains such a balanced schedule for her age!

Kiara Ghosh, Grade 8 Lido-er, is a budding artist, and under the guidance of her Academic Mentor Pratik Tiwari, we know she’s capable of doing so much more!

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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LIDO TV Episode 70 | We’re meeting a true-blue dilliwallah today, meet Lido-er Geet Hans, Grade 8!

When we met Geet, we heard violins. We heard mandolins. We heard pianos. And we saw some fabulous Coding skills along with it. From Captain Cool to Cool Coder, Geet has come so far!

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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LIDO TV Episode 69| We’re heading to the hills today to meet Lido-er Yash Sharma!

Where do we begin to talk about Yash Sharma? He has international aspirations. He is funny. He makes everyone laugh. He’s a fabulous 4th grader. Be like Yash.

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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LIDO TV Episode 68 | Today we travelled to Hyderabad to meet our Grade 4 Lido-er Akshaj GVN!

Today we travelled to Hyderabad to meet our Lido-er Akshaj and we’re so happy we did! There was oh-so-much to learn from Akshraj and we’re so happy to meet him. He also gave us some uber cool insights that we think you should totally check out.

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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LIDO TV Episode 67| Say hello to our Lido-er Yukta Kale, who is about to give Picasso a run for his money!

Yukta Kale, our Grade 4 Lido-er, is about to give Picasso a run for his money with her art. Don’t believe us? See for yourself! And her sketching, her passion for the arts, and her hobbies are leaving us perplexed and so so impressed!

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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LIDO TV Episode 66| Let’s get to know our Lido-er Siddhi, who is brilliant at giving movie recommendations!

Our Lido-er Siddhi Sharma, Grade 6, is an expert movie watcher and recommended us some super flicks! What do you think Siddhi’s favourite subject is? Let’s find out!

You & Your BFF can be the next Lido TV Stars!

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Lido Learning wishes everyone a very Happy Republic Day! Let us promise to always fight for the honour of our tricolour.

It is never too early for our children to understand the importance of India’s political, economic and social structure. Elections, our Constitution, Fundamental Rights and Duties and so on are important to be understood at an early age so that our little ones can start thinking for themselves, making calculated decisions, without being influenced by outside sources.

And as we get ready to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of India legally adopting its constitution, we’re giving you ideas for a few quick conversations you can have with your child to help them understand why this holiday is so important!

Let’s go!

What does “Republic” in Republic Day stand for?
A Republic by definition means a country or a state which is ruled by representatives of the citizen body, by election and not by a monarchy.
And India got the status of being a Republic on the 26th of January, 1950.
It was at this time that citizens became entitled to their fundamental rights after the Constitution of India was implemented in the country.

How do we choose a Prime Minister? Does every country get to choose?
A democracy entails us to elect our leaders through a voting process, and gives us, the people of the country, control of choosing the majority of its members.
Least to say, elections seem like a very long, complicated process. But they’re not.
We have three levels of government in India: central government, state government, local government.
Simply put, citizens (above 18 years of age) elect the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of the Parliament (MPs), MLAs elect the CM of a state, MLAs and MPs elect the President, and the President selects the Prime Minister who is, in turn, the leader of winning party in Lok Sabha.
And no, not every country in the world chooses its leader by election.
Countries like the UAE, Nepal, Thailand, Qatar, Maldives, Lebanon, etc. don’t have a functioning electoral system.

Why does a democracy need a constitution?
The Constitution is important because is the supreme law of India. Fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens are all mentioned in the Constitution, and we, as citizens, must abide by it, no matter what.

Who are the soldiers who defend our borders?
We have the Indian Armed Force, which contains the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Next come the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), which handle the internal security in India.

The CAPF is divided into 7 sections — Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guards (NSG), and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

What does The Constitution do for us, the common people?
We as citizens of India have 6 Fundamental Rights and 11 Fundamental Duties.

Mentioned below are our 6 important Fundamental Rights –
Article 14 – 18: Right to Equality
Article 19 – 22: Right to Freedom
Article 23 – 24: Right Against Exploitation
Article 25 – 28: Right to Freedom of Religion
Article 29 – 30: Cultural and Educational Rights
Article 30: 35 Right to Constitutional Remedies

What are our Fundamental Duties?
Here they are:

  1. Abide by the Indian Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Anthem and the National Flag
  2. One must cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired the national struggle for freedom
  3. Uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India
  4. Defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
  5. Promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities and renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women
  6. Value and preserve the rich heritage of the country’s composite culture
  7. Protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes rivers, and wildlife and have compassion for living creatures
  8. Develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform
  9. Safeguard public property and abjure violence
  10. Strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement
  11. Provide opportunities for education of his child or ward between the age of six and fourteen years

Isn’t that so interesting to read?

Does India celebrate its Republic day alone?
No! Countries like China, the UK, Japan, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Greece, Brazil, France, Vietnam and Thailand (to name a few) have been invited in the past to witness the grand occasion of India’s Republic Day at Rajpath, New Delhi.

How does the country celebrate it?
India celebrates its Republic Day with splendour and grandiose over 3 days!
Yes, you read that right. It’s not just a 1-day event!
It begins on the 26th, with the tableaus of all states showing their valour, and ends on the 29th with the Beating Retreat.
This takes place on Raisina Hill (Delhi) where the Air Force, Army, and the Navy display their individual bands in splendour.
The flag is then brought down while the hymn, “Abide with me” is played. The celebration comes to an end with a bugle call, after which all the bands retreat to the tunes of “Sare Jahan Se Accha”.

There you go, folks! Happy Republic Day to you!
Isn’t there just so much to learn about India and its Republic Day?
We hope you enjoyed reading about what makes this auspicious so special and will continue to carry on its legacy in the best way possible.
See you soon!