Food intolerance and behavioural issues

I am sure we all agree that diet and physical development are directly linked. But how many of us have a strong opinion that a child’s behaviour and food are closely linked too?

The discussion about the rise in number of children who are struggling with learning, behaviour or social problems is becoming common these days. Has it crossed your mind that food intolerance could be what these children are suffering from? Well then you are on the right track because food intolerance and a child’s behaviour go hand in hand. Before we deep dive into this discussion let us understand what is meant by food intolerance. To put it in simple words: food intolerance appears because a person is unable to digest that specific food. One of the most common food intolerance is lactose and now known cases of Gluten intolerance are also on the rise.

Such intolerance can cause many unpleasant symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation basically symptoms that everyone would want to avoid. But those are just the physical symptoms other symptoms could include irritability, depression, anxiety, and inability to concentrate. Experts opine that food intolerance tends to appear more when toddlers start their formal school.

Being a teacher as well as a parent of a toddler, I try to figure out how to best navigate this issue in kids so that everyone is able to learn in a safe space. Here I share the result of my experiments with managing food intolerance. Parents and teacher might find these tips handy when they need to support kids with food intolerance/insensitivities.

The rise of awareness:

I have always believed “Knowledge is power”. I prefer to educate my children in the classroom about food intolerance. Identifying and eliminating foods that a child is sensitive to is very important. I read food labels of whatever food item I bring into the classroom and I tell my children to do the same when they bring food items in the classroom. More related seminars, more awareness can help in fixing healthier diets that cater to individual needs. Reading labels and understanding food intolerance risks can help children to understand the significant role diet can play.



A Teacher’s perspective:

As a teacher I make sure that I’m always aware of my students’ medical background. I want my classroom to be a space where everyone can express their ideas and learn in a supportive environment, then it’s essential that I consider my students’ medical needs just as seriously as their academic needs. I always encourage my children to be mindful of each other’s needs and to be careful for themselves as well as for their friends in the classroom.

How can parents help?

By teaching children, the danger of sharing foods and explaining how some foods can be harmful to others. Parents have mastered the conversation about “stranger-danger,” now we can add another social awareness to the list. Secondly, Scheduling time to talk to your child’s teacher about concerns and clearly communicating advice you may have throughout the year, especially if anything changes in your child’s medical history. This will help to provide safe environment not only in the classroom but also in the schools which provide day care facilities.

This quote truly fits in my classroom: “a healthy outside starts from the inside”. What do you think? Following these simple steps, helps me to maintain a safe environment for my children during the school. I hope these steps will help educators and parents to handle such food issues among children so that our children can be healthy and happy.


Critical Thinking – The buzz word in education

We live in a world where technology builds and shapes our present and our future. With Smart- Classrooms in place, teachers and children are working online, making access to the internet routine for children. This free access has made kids dependent on Google for finding answers to all their What, How and why questions, thereby eliminating the process of critical thinking.


Critical thinking is one of the most important skills for modern day learners. Critical thinking is one of the 21st century skills, which can be taught, and kids can be trained to think critically from the initial years itself. Being associated with an institution, which is one of the best project -based learning schools in Gurgaon, I have seen that the school curriculum as well as the teacher play an important role in developing critical thinking in the kids. The kind of questions I put in the class are open-ended questions. The curriculum is designed in such a way that every concept is linked to a project, which tests the understanding of the concept and allows children to draw inferences based on a given information.

I let the children work in groups so that they can understand that there can be multiple ways of approaching a problem. Kids in my class are free to make their choices and evaluate their decisions later. There are no wrong answers and all questions are welcomed. New ideas and new ways of thinking are encouraged and kids are rewarded with extra pocket stars for giving out of the box ideas. Enough opportunities are provided to the children to explore the world around them through various games and activities.


I believe that such an open environment in the class enables kids to become more inquisitive, creative and open-minded making them future ready to solve complex problems and take well- thought out decisions in their lives.

Minds blossom with communication, not with fear

Life is busy! Between work and life responsibilities, the days pass us by in the blink of an eye. Many parents worry and complain that their kids don’t listen to them. Well yelling, nagging or punishing are no alternative. It only harms them and we also lose your peace of mind. Look at it like this- If we are on phone and the other person can’t hear us- don’t we try at our end so that the other person can hear us? This is exactly what we need to do when it comes to our kids; we need to know how to talk to make them listen.

  • Don’t use authoritative tone- How do we feel with bossy manager or colleague? the same applies with children. If there is anger on our face when we speak to our child, there is a possibility that we will get a negative reaction. We can always ask them to clean the room or to set the study table but in a neutral tone without any force or statements like ‘You never listen to me!’ or ‘How many times do I have to tell you the same things!’. Some days you might have to clean your room or set your study table and tell him with love once in a few days.
  • Use logical reasons to convince:  Instead of using anger and authority we can ask ourselves if what we want our child to do is necessary. Do we have a valid reason to insist on our child’s passivity, besides “because I said so”? Is it a “need” or a “want” (our want)? If it is not a real need find an agreeable alternative. Your force may work immediately, but soon they start arguing back.
  • Stop finding faults:It will worsen the situation instead of improving, so always speak positive and encouraging words. The words we speak, last for a lifetime and install beliefs. Always encourage the positive side of a child and ignore the negative side. When they make mistakes, guide them in a positive, supportive way just like when they fell as toddlers and we supported them
  • Respect: It’s not only for grownups, always speak with respect about your child in front of her friend or any third person. Respect your child as an individual, she has her own likings and choice. If in any case you need to scold, scold without spoiling your facial expression, keep it pleasant and scold.
  • Encourage them to talk about their feelings freely with you Conversation is very important; it helps the child to blossom. Like when they say ‘My friend teased me today’, don’t jump to a conclusion of whether the other person was wrong, nor start giving advice like ‘Those who get teased easily people tease them only’. Rather make a sad face and try to find details by asking questions in calm voice. Avoid giving any solution or conclusion, let him derive one. It will help them grow into confident people and establish a bond too.
  • Let them decide, but guide them through questions: Give them the freedom to make as many decisions as   reasonably   possible. There is a possibility that you won’t agree with their decisions, but instead of saying they’re wrong, ask them questions. Ask your child why they want to do things this way or what they feel about the outcome. Help them identify possible negative results, and ask them if they can change their decisions to prevent them. Always give them reasons, not commands, when you want something to be done.

 My goal is to raise independent and well-adjusted children. I believe that for a strong relationship there has to be a strong bond of understanding. If we can bear these simple but key factors in mind, we will raise children who are self-reliant and possesses sound judgment. Plus, we will be able to enjoy a lifetime of closeness with them.

What Makes a 21st Century Teacher?

Henry B Adams has rightly said, “A teacher affects eternity; one can never tell where his influence stops.” The quote brings to light a pertinent question;How can a teacher become the best influence in her pupil’s life?

I have been teaching for the past 4 years and during this short term I have had the opportunity to serve one of the best schools in Gurgaon with the best pre- primary section and the best day- care facility.Surrounded by the continuous urge to innovate and to teach the way students learn I find myself hounded by the quest for what it takes to be an impactful teacher. Cana degree in Education equip me with the skill set required to be a good teacher?Or is there something else I must have to be a good teacher? Something defined? Something unknown? Perhaps something ignored by all of us?

In my constant search for a satisfactory answer, I have come to the realization that teachers are engaged in the most complicated job of recent time.The world of 21st century education places upon teachers the obligation to prepare students to master content of extensive array of subjects and sources with an understanding and deference for diverse ethnicities. It also requires a metamorphosis of the age- old teacher who teaches, to a facilitator who facilitates the learning process. The role of the teacher has indeed evolved with the needs of the learners.

Based on my personal experience,I must add that a good teacher must have the competence to modify the learners’ life and kindlein them the spirit of humanity and creation. Teachers must develop qualities which are closely related to the teaching of individual, societal and professional characteristics. Teachers must be ready to adapt to the futuristic changes in the field of education so that they are future ready to imbibe the futuristic approach and become pioneers of change and innovation. Futuristic and technological advancement need to be embraced without apprehensions about job security. Technology, or even the use of robots cannot replace the teacher in fact technology can help ascertain the constant learning and continuous professional development of teachers and thus add value to the impact of the teacher fraternity on the society as a whole.

I would like to conclude by asserting that a teacher is in the modern education system a facilitator looking forward to new opportunities to add innovation to her role to provide the world leaders of tomorrow.  The 21stcentury facilitators must evolve with the learners.

How to Make Your Child Independent

‘Mom! You have forgotten the water bottle again.

‘Why don’t you fill it on your own before leaving the house?’

An automated response settles the matter for him. ‘Because I spill the water and the whole shelf gets wet and then you scold me for making a mess.’

Sounds routine enough to a parent, doesn’t it? But it got me to think. Have I been doing something terribly wrong all these years? I help him to wear his clothes because he takes a bit too long to do the buttons and we miss the bus because of that, I feed him his food because he takes too long to eat and sometimes spills it on his clothes.

In fact honestly speaking there is a long list of things that I do for my nine year old which he is perfectly capable of doing.I am not going to be there for him all his life. So why am I making him dependent on me? More importantly what do I need to do?

I’d love to share the resolution which I must warn my readers is simple but like most simple things a tad hard to do. Begin early in life; give age appropriate responsibilities to the child as soon as he starts school. Start with getting ready for school. Apart from the time you will save you will have also taught the value of time which I think is a great bonus.

Next step- Appreciate the smallest effort to clean up the house or to set the table for meals. Remember, encouragement not judgement is the key.

Provide guidance but make a conscious effort not to control actions. Let the child know that work needs to be done, but the choice of method is free.

Freedom and responsibility need to go together so you can for example make vegetables a mandatory part of meals and make allowance by  giving a choice of evening snack from a mixed list of healthy and junk food items . You can also have a discussion over snack choices made.

Believe me, it gives immense happiness and satisfaction to see your child growing up to be a responsible and independent adult. And it makes childhood more enjoyable for him and for you.

Reading is Fun – Best CBSE School Gurgaon

‘It felt really awful being at the table by myself.  I felt like everyone was watching me. I decided to skip lunch and go read in the library.’

It was the unwelcome end of another reading session with my ten-year old but bed time has always been as sacred to us as reading to each other. These days we are reading a book about a child who has a facial deformity. At first, I was a bit sceptical about buying the book because I thought that the emotions captured in the book might be a little too much for him.I still took the risk and we started reading. We read about the initial challenges the child faced when he started his school. One of his friends back stabbed him just a month after his joining the school. The child was treated as an untouchable or an outcast by other children. “How mean and rude, how can someone behave like this with other human beings?” said my son. I was moved by his young ability to empathize. The comment opened the door for more heart to heart.We have read a good number of books together and the journey has brought us together as more aware people.

When I was young, my father would tell me that reading was imperative for academic excellence but all that we were provided to read apart from the school text books was newspaper. To be very honest I never had an aversion to reading but that small font and those long columns of the newspaper never fascinated me. Moreover, all those horrific incidents of killings, murders and politics, kind of made me put down the paper as soon as I started. And not to forget the editorial section of the newspaper which I used to read just because my father wanted, it was incomprehensible for me! There wasn’t much available to me to read, when I was young as there were no libraries in my city. But deep inside, I had always known, that I loved books.

I was determined to develop my son’s reading so I started reading a lot about the do’s, don’ts and how’s about it. I read all the articles I came across and visited a lot of websites. I already knew that making the books available to him was the pre-requisite. But what kind of books? I wanted him to fall in love with reading and not read because his mother wanted him to. So, I started to buy a variety of books for him, ranging from story books, picture books, story cum activity books. I wanted to know the area of his interest. As a young child, all these books seemed interesting to him. And we spent a good amount of time together. We drew illustrations, read aloud, talked about the story, imitated the characters by making funny sounds and had a lot of fun. I still remember a book named “Monkey Me” which he read again and again and jumped around in the house like a monkey. I could see the naughtiest monkey in him when he imitated the monkey/child from the book. I felt so relieved to see that he had enjoyed reading another title.

He is ten now and reading time still does not mean ‘me’ time. It means ‘we’ time for him. He has chosen bed time for reading because he knows that he will get undivided attention from me at that time, which I think every child on the Earth yearns for these days. I have known him much better as an individual because of this shared time, we share a special bond with each other.

I have been buying a book as a birthday present for him ever since we have developed the love for reading. In this way we are reading together, learning together and growing together. It has become a part of our daily routine and in turn it has been developing my child for the future. And apart from sharing a mother – son relationship we share a Best Book Buddies relationship. We take turns to read to each other, share a laugh together, and look out for meanings of new words/phrases together. We travel the whole world together and sometimes even the worlds that don’t even exist! Reading has given a whole new joy and meaning to our lives and we look forward to our shared reading time daily.

Catching the Eye

The first few lines I am told are very important but as I begin to write, the first few lines decide to
play truant and I find myself at the mercy of the capricious eye of the reader who admittedly must
feed the beguiling media mammoth with its attention. Without a doubt the written word turns pale
as it makes inane attempts by advocating vocabulary development and the ability to impress future
employers to grab its previously monopolized arena. The eye is the king if you can rule the eye you
can rule the guy. It is for the king I write for he the mighty one listens to all and reserves judgement
until all the cards are on the table.
The word I speak of is not the impostors we meet every time we look at mushrooming screens that
have become the death bed of many well -loved words. I speak for the word that draws its breath
from the state of humanity. The word that lives in dusty collections, that feeds on the musty smell of
brittle yellow paper with dog ears and most of all I speak for the word that can start a journey into
uncharted waters -to places no one has gone before. Sounds like a trick? Even if it is, falling for it is
recommended or how else do you plan to shape your humanity without Scheherazade – the story
teller of One Thousand and One Nights, without the anguish of little Pip or the giddy pastoral
adventures of Tom Sawyer, without the loss and gain of Saleem Sinai? Pick up that book find the
field of golden daffodils open your inward eye and lead a new life every minute, experience a new
emotion, peep into yourself and discover new crevices to fill and most importantly find a way to
know yourself.
I believe my cards are on the table it is time for the eye to speak or should I say read?

At the Millennium School, we are committed to nurture the inherent talent and potential of each and every child. Being The Best schools in Gurgaon 2020 we want to shape the leaders of tomorrow by creating lifelong learners, who have a strong sense of values.

How to select a good school?

‘The educational system and schools in particular have a responsibility to individual children and the society at large to prepare future ready learners for the world.’

While choosing the right school, the parents should make sure that the school is not just bound to the academics but also lays importance towards the extracurricular wing.

A school must be committed to build the child’s confidence and self-esteem by offering strong developmental program me where integrated studies and hands on participation inspire a love of learning and accomplishment. An innovative school also encourages self-discipline, creativity, independence of thought and tenacity of purpose with the understanding that both success and failure are necessary for learning. A unique, forward-thinking school, which uses inquiry-based teaching methodologies, creates success stories.

The small class size of the school not only helps students learn more but they also learn faster.

A school should always aims to instill strong will power in every child through 7C’s of life: Confidence, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Curiosity, Creativity, Compassion and Commitment to overcome every hurdle in life with joy and togetherness. Every child is unique and schools must nurture that uniqueness – through a stimulating environment that breeds curiosity, freedom and encouragement. The classrooms and activity rooms should be colorfully designed to create a pleasant atmosphere and a sense of comfort.

At the Millennium School, we are committed to nurture the inherent talent and potential of each and every child. Being the most innovative school in Gurgaon, we want to shape the leaders of tomorrow by creating lifelong learners, who have a strong sense of values.