Sharing pictures on Social Media? Think before you leap.

Social media has become a part of our day to day routine. Everyday millions of people share news updates, pictures and many more things over their private accounts. With the increase of the usage of social media it has come to my attention that there is a whole lot of danger involved as well.

It was difficult to get this topic out of mind for a few days. Mostly because of the things that are being happening on Facebook and other platforms. There are certain Meme groups that goes on harrasing everyone that they can get their hands on and as well as some respective groups hosting competitions without proper guidlines.

Being an active person in all sort of social media platforms, I have seen the violation of privacy and the damage it can cause to a person. I am a mother of a 4 year old boy and I like sharing his pictures on Instagram/ Facebook or maybe among other family members using Viber/ WhatsApp. If I am not careful with the pictures that I choose to publish on these platforms there can be a lot of harmful things happen even without our knowledge. Down the line if we publish anything humiliating for the child which now we think is cute or adorable, it may effect him/her in their future. Competitions for babies are good. You can win prizes and you’ll get many more chances as well. But is it realy worth sharing a naked picture of your baby to win a price?

For example, In a Facebook group that I follow a mother posted a picture of her daughter in the bath tub with a few toys. It was a supporting page for mothers but I personally advised her not to put anything like that because who knows who can access those things. In another group, just to win a price for the “cutest baby” a mother posted a naked picture of her son. Would you show your naked body to win a price?

I am not against posting pictures, infact I do the same. But taking extra methods to protect what’s your is no harm. After all, if something happens will the admins of these groups or the organizers will come for your help?

So, think before you leap!!!

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Let’s say “Please” in a practical way!

It’s been a while, isn’t it? Well, let me get back on track. Since been here in Sydney I have noticed that lot of people have good values. They are not afraid to demand their rights and also not hesitating to say ” sorry” or ” please” where it is necessary. But, this is different with kids. They are bit reluctant to say sorry or please at anytime. One will say this is just kids been kids but we have to teach them to be humble where it is necessary. So here are some practical ways to teach your kids good values.

We are saturated in popular culture.It attacks us where ever we go. It can be through social media, print media or any other form of media. The problem is that we get the good with the bad. And that’s where we, parents come in. What do we want our children to learn? How do we teach them good values when there is so much available to teach them the opposite?

Let’s take this step by step.

Empathy

Children learn a lot from us. They need to see us model empathy to understand how it works. I know doing these things are hard as we have to deal with all day activities. Maybe once week you can try to bring out these topics and talk to them. Talk to them about what it is like to be in another person’s shoes. Talk to them about how someone is going through a hard time might be feeling. Then be intentinal about showing empathy. This could include befriending a lonely person or inviting someone who is alone for a social gathering.

Respect

This is very much lacking in the mordern era. Look for ways to bring respect into daily life. Talk to them about why you should respect people, authorities,property and the environment.

Respecting encironment is as important as respecting people. you can get involved in community projects such as cleaning rubbish from a public area and talk about how littering is not showing respect. ( This however will be difficult to do in Sri Lanka. Maybe you can look for a group of mums who likes to join and make it a small picnic and teach them the good values)

Value- Based Decisions

This you can do almost everyday. For example, you promised your friend a play date on a certain day but another friend calls and ask you to do something more exciting. What whould you do? You can get your children involved in the decition making.

You can make some cards with hypothetical scenarioes that called for value-based decitions and discuss those at mealtimes.

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Wise Money Managemet

Talk to your childrn about the value of money. Even though you are swimming in a pool full with money, you should prepare your kids to manage their money wisely. If you have teenagers at home this is very important.

Pay your children a small amount for doing jobs at home and outside and teach them to budget it. Teach them to save some and to give a little waya to help peolpe in need. This infact I have seen Ausi mums doing a lot.

This is very important as it will build the foundation to good management of money when they grow up.

Service to Others

This ear is more forcused on ” Look out for yourself” rather than helping others. Dicsuss why you do it and why living a life giving is more satisfying than living a self-oriented one. Then make it paractical by volunteering at a kitchen or going and helping an elderly couple to clean their garden.

Kids enjoy the feeling of doing something for someone else, even if they might be initially reluctant.

Our children are smart. They can quickly pick someone genuine from a hypocrite and they alo know the difference between right and wrong. By practicing what we peach we can rest assured that we have done everything we can to teach them good values. And it’s rewarding to see them carrying on the legacy and choosing good values for themselves.

To The Moon And Back – Jill Mansell

goodread rating : 4.0

I haven’t read a Jill Mansell book in like ages. Mostly because I couldn’t find where they were. The libraries here in Australia are very neat and well organized. Took sometime for me to adjust to the lableling of books and finding this.

So, here is what I think about this book. firstly I think jill has covered most of the areas of a womans life. Love, marraige, children, loosing a husband, cheating on another woman with her husband, having strong minds, finding your hidden talents and so on. Did i give away anything?

Frackly I can’t even imagine what Ellie went through after loosing her husband. It’s not the same without a beloved one near you. Some how she overcome that but she has a secret too. There, I got you excited right? Then comes the interesting part. Zack!!! Her new boss who was having butterflies in his belly everytime he sees Ellie. He has to control himself around her and it’s giving him nightmares.

Then there is Ellie’s friend Roo. Her stroy is also very much interesting and this all comes out very nicey to build a stroy that will keep you hooked on the book for few hours. I will stop giving away the tle now. Go see if you can find it and give it a go.

Happy reading folks. 🙂

Motherhood – The crown that has scars

Since waking up today all i did was go through so many posts about being a mother. How it changes you,your body or your mind. Well all that is true but why don’t we look at the bright side of it or read about how I feel about it. 😀

For a start being a mother is the greatest gift of being a woman (apart from having handbags and shoes of course).From the very first second you get to know that you are pregnant, you change. Mentally and physically even though the significant changes are yet to come. You try to dress comfortably and wear flats and walk slowly. And through out the pregnancy you plan how you are going to handle the baby and the work and everything. You look forward to hold the baby for the first time. When you get to hold your bundle of joy for the first time, the world stops and it’s you and him/her there. (And husband :D) Even though you have gone through a lot of pain and you can barely get up, you want to hold him/her and do everything by yourself. After going through a lot of not sleeping nights, food tantrums, anger issues and all that is there with a toddler you might again consider having another baby. Well, that is the motherhood for me. You never give up or had enough of it.

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It’s okay to let go once in a while. We are humans after all. Being a mother gives you some kind of super powers but it doesn’t contain the package of being sain at the same time. So take some time. Adjust yourself to let go of somethings. You don’t have to be that mother who neglect herself for the sake of her children. Do some exercise at home, eat healthy or whatever that you like. You don’t have to eat the leftover meals of your children. Have a drink with your husband and believe me that’s the best way to pour your heart out. 😀

Recently my husband told me that I need to spend more time with my son. I have my moments with him but yes I have not being spending much time but I watch how my husband and son bonds together. They play together, study together and fight together. He is almost 4 years now and the relationship he has with his dad is amazing. He doesn’t hesitate to tell anyone that his mother and dad are his best friends and what else can you ask from a 4 year old. This is motherhood for me.

There is no perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique and each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities and certainly different children. But what really matters is that a mother loves her children deeply enough.

Stay blessed everyone!

Traveling and Moving with Kids!

Hola Mommies!

It’s been a while, isn’t it? I have moved to Sydney, Australia with my family now and the transition period was bit tough as we have a naughty person on board with us. The good part is he was super supportive all the time and was less fussy during the flight. (Phew)

So I thought of telling you what I did to make him and our travelling and transition pleasant for the three of us. This may not be a big article but you’ll get the basic idea of what and what not to do while traveling and moving with kids.

Hokay so first of all, pick your travelling method. Since we had to come to Australia we had no other option (obviously) but to go with an airline. Choosing an airline is also bit tricky. There are so many with discounts and all but try to choose something that is reasonable yet comfortable for you and the kids. The time of the flight depends on the day that you book it and in our case we left Sri Lanka around 11.30 in the morning and from Singapore we had a night flight so the baby was sleeping most of the time.

If you are traveling in your own vehicle make sure you check all the tires and fill the fuel tank and keep. I don’t have much experience in traveling in our own vehicle but my dad make sure there is an extra bottle of fuel in the vehicle in case of emergency . If you have a booster seat that will be ideal ( In Australia you cant travel without a booster seat).

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Alright now you have to tell your little bundle all about your trip. Get them excited about the traveling. Let them pick their own cloths and get them to help you with packing.  Take plenty of diapers if you have a infant or a toddler who is using diapers. A water bottle or two and some snacks also will be ideal if you are going on a long distance trip. If you are taking a flight MAKE SURE you buy some ear plugs for you and your children. It helps a lot.there were a few children crying when taking off and landing because they didn’t have ear plugs.It really hurts.(Believe me it hurts a lot) .

During the travel time you have to keep yourself and the children happy. Once you get in to a mood or a bad situation your whole trip will be a disaster. If you are traveling in an aircraft they will provide the children with some interesting activity books and also there is plenty of movies to watch. (Oh phew) If you are traveling in a car or a van, you should try sing along games or guessing games or something like that which the whole family can join.

This part will be important for the mummies and daddies who are planning to migrate. Make sure you take your children most precious toys and books with you in the check in luggage.Or maybe you give them a small backpack and tell them to take their IMPORTANT things in that. Why I highlighted the word “important” is, when you say it like that it gives them responsibility. ( I packed my sons hot wheels toys in his backpack and told him to take it with him, he didn’t want the immigration officers to open it even saying that it’s his important stuff)

So these are the basic things you need to consider before traveling with kids. If you have any questions to ask don’t hesitate. Comment below or drop a test on the Facebook page and i’ll b glad to help you out.

Happy traveling ladies!!!

 

Things for you to do around Colombo!

Hola mummies/ladies!

Hope all the festival vibe has gone by now and you all are on the lookout for a few adventures. Being part of a few groups I thought i would enlighten you with what you can do around Colombo.

Book Swap Colombo 

This is where all the book lovers meet up to exchange the books or maybe sniff the books because you know each book has a unique smell. We ( I can say “We” because i have been a part of this for sometime now) just want whoever is happy with letting go of their books, to be happy with getting more books in a similar way to be there and share your time.

What happens here is we meet once a month ( Create an event on the Book Swap Colombo Facebook page)and we exchange books.Just think that you have a book that u read but you really don’t want it to be with you, you can bring it along to the book swap and let someone else read it. In exchange you can find something that you like from there and take it with you. ( Believe me there is a biiiiggg box of books, so you will not get disappointed)Even if you don’t have a book to exchange you can come and take a book. 🙂

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People who come there love books.There are all kind of writers, poets, singers, lawyers, doctors, Engineers and what not. We don’t judge people even if you are covered with tattoos or body paint or anything. Only thing is you should love the books and you will fit in the crowd.

Apart from the book swapping, most of us hang out there with weird talks and coffee. ( Not very very weird) Most of the peeps know each other because they have been coming there for a long time.

There are a few plans in progress and very recently we did a wonderful job by collecting more than 250 books fro a donation to a library in Galle. This happened within a week and we are so grateful for all the donations. Not every person can have a heart to donate books.

Facebook link : https://www.facebook.com/groups/colombobook/

Letter Earthlings

Even though we live in this all electronic century there is a sentimental value of writing letters. I love to read letters or write in that case. You may think this is old fashion but you will be surprised to see so many young people gathering to spread love in an old fashion way through Letter Earthlings.

The founder of LE is Nivendra Uduman! This is what the Facebook description about us. ( Safe to call “Us” because I have been a part of this as well)

“We are a group of people who love writing letters, receiving letters, and most importantly spreading happiness and love through the power of letter writing. It is a safe and positive way of empathizing with another human-being and also showing support and care. We are always happy to spread the joy of reading and writing letters to others we know and we do not know. So, come be a part of a love revolution with us, just by writing letters.

You can request letters for those who you care about, for yourself or for a stranger. It may be for someone who is going through a rough patch or just to empower and encourage someone further. This could be done on our page by just clicking on the ‘contact us’ button. These requests will be made available at our letter writing gatherings so that people can write letters for those you’ve requested letter for.

We accept requests from anywhere in the world. No boundaries, no international borders. But, universal love.”

There are a lot of colorful stationary and all sort of things to make your letter interesting. Each month we get about 10-15 letter requests if I am correct. What all you have to do is, Sit – relax and keep on writing.

Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/letterearthlings/timeline

There are a few more events that happen each month. But I haven’t had the opportunity to attend those and have a look. Colombo is an interesting place if you can find the best thing that suits you to do. If you need any details on the above events, drop a message on their Facebook page/group and they will love to get you on-board!

Autism – Warning signs and symptoms

Before writing this article I should state the fact that I have no Medical background. This is a simple attempt to put together the scattered data on the web to make it easy for parents to get an idea about Autism. I went through medical journals and papers and articles on the web to get all the facts correct and please do not hesitate to correct me if there is any mistake.

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As parents, we never want to believe that our precious bundle has a problem. But when it comes to Autism it’s better to identify it at an early stage. Treatments can reduce the disorder’s effects and help your child learn, grow and thrive.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of development disabilities that can cause considerable social communication and behavioral challenges. Some children might repeat certain behaviors and might not be comfortable with change occurring in their daily activities. The ways of learning, paying attention or reacting to things is different with each ASD child. However there is no cure for ASD so far but research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child’s development.

The signs and symptoms of autism vary widely. Some autism children only have mild impairments while others have more to overcome. However every child with autism have problems a least to some degree in the following three areas.

  1. Communication
  2. Relating
  3. Thinking and Behaving

Parents are in the best position of identifying the symptoms because you know your child better than anyone.The pediatrician can be a valuable asset but he/she might not have the chance to identify anything during your 15 mins visit.

  • Monitor your child’s development

I know this is no easy task. We need to get out sometimes and relax and enjoy. But keeping an closer eye on when your child is hitting the key milestones is an effective way to spot the problems early.

  • Take actions if you are concerned

Every Child’s development is different. So you don’t need to worry or panic. ( Believe me I know how we panic). But if the child is not meeting the milestones for his/her age or you suspect a problem go meet your doctor.

  • Don’t accept a Wait- and – see approach

I know,we all say this. “Lets wait and see” But in this case it’s the worst. You are risking valuable time at an age where your child has the best chance of improvement.

  • Trust your instincts

Well. you are the best. You know how to react. Sometimes even the best doctors will miss red flags or underestimate problems. Listen to your gut. If it tells you that there is something wrong seek for second opinion or go meet a child development specialist.

Some children with autism start to develop communication skills and them regress, usually between 12-24 months. For Example ; a child who was communication with words such as “mommy”. “up” may stop using the language entirely. ( Any loss of speech, babbling, gestures or social skills should be taken very seriously as regression is a major red flag for autism)

The earliest signs of autism involve the absence of normal behavior not the presence of abnormal ones. So they can be tough to spot. In some cases, quiet, independent and undemanding babies can be autism victims (Don’t panic now, keep a track on their Milestones and you are good to go)

Early sings of Autism in babies/toddlers

  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Doesn’t smile when smiled at
  • Doesn’t respond to his or her name or to the sound of familiar voice
  • Doesn’t follow objects visually
  • Doesn’t point or wave goodbye
  • Doesn’t follow the gesture when you point things out
  • Doesn’t make noise to get your attention
  • Doesn’t initiate or respond to cuddling
  • Doesn’t initiate your facial expressions
  • Doesn’t reach out to be picked up
  • Doesn’t play with other people or share interest and enjoyment
  • Doesn’t ask for help or make basic requests.

The following delays warrant an immediate evaluation by your child’s pediatrician.

  • By 6 months: No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions
  • By 9 months: No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions
  • By 12 months: Lack of response to name
  • By 12 months: No babbling or “baby talk”
  • By 12 months: No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving
  • By 16 months: No spoken words
  • By 24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating

Autism children are not any different than any of our children. They deserve to be treated the same way and also should be privileged to have the same education as every child. Think differently and you will be able to ease a mothers worry thinking her child won’t fit into the society.

The above fact were taken from various web article and medical journals just to make it easy for the mothers to get an idea about autism. However if you find any of the details here are incorrect or misleading, feel free to let me know.

Next article will be on Autism symptoms on Older children!