Episodes

  • S01E02 - Keeping Our Kids Safe

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    Episode Details: Season 1 Episode 2
    Topic: Keeping Our Kids Safe
    Duration: 29 minutes


    EPISODE SUMMARY
    In  this episode, moms discuss how they talk about body safety and abuse  with their children, why it’s so important, and what other measures they  take to safeguard their children in an increasingly complicated world.


    SHOW NOTES

    By now, you must have heard of the Me Too movement which swept across India recently. As stories of abuse in different forms began to be told, we, as parents, no doubt started to wonder about our own children and their safety. The Me Too movement shone a spotlight on the fact that abuse could happen to both sexes, that it could come from people we knew and trusted, including relatives or teachers. Whom, then, can we trust? While the obvious reaction is to get scared and try to protect children by keeping them close, the truth is, our children are going to go out into the world someday. So what's the best way to overcome our fears and know that we've done everything in our power to keep them safe? How do we educate and empower ourselves as well as our children to deal with a world which has its dark side?


    Coming from a country where sex is rarely spoken about, especially with parents, we are in unchartered, unfamiliar territory when it comes to initiating these conversations with our children. Our parents probably didn't even discuss puberty, let alone abuse! So initiating these conversations requires us to do our share of research, and sometimes fight our own conditioning and awkwardness. Given that, is there merit in talking about this? If so, at what age do you talk about this to your children? What do you even say? We hope that you will find it useful to hear other moms' perspectives, and some of the things they tell their children.


    THE PANEL

    For this panel, we invited mothers with varying experiences. A mother of twin boys who conducts sex education workshops at schools, Namrata Sadhvani is vocal about the need to embrace feminism and fight stereotypes. According to her, objectification of women and messaging to girls that they may need protection, or be more fragile, forms part of the problem. She talks about the responsibility involved in parenting boys to believe in equality and respect, and shares some of the messaging they use at home and in her workshops.


    Shalu 'The Dreamer Mum' also has twins... girls! As someone who has always been very vocal about her support for the Me Too movement, she talks about the importance of speaking freely and giving our children the vocabulary with which to know what is normal and what isn't. Her straightforward take on what she herself says to her girls and how it's necessary to do so will no doubt help in forming your own conversations with your children.


    Since both Namrata and Shalu have older children who are capable of understanding these conversations, we also invited a different take from Disha who has a just-turned-two year old. What can you do to keep a child who's so much younger safe? Is there a way to start messaging about consent and unsafe touches? These are some of the topics she explores with Namrata and Shalu using their experience to guide her.


    This is raw territory for so many of us, and we’re all learning. If there’s anything you’d like to ask our panelists, or any tips/experiences of your own that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. Or, if you’d like to remain anonymous, you can email us at lifeofrealmoms@gmail.com.

  • S01E01 - Religion, Culture, and Kids

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    SUMMARY
    In this episode, moms discuss how they introduced religion and the concept of God to their children, how they incorporate culture into their daily lives, and how they make all of it fun and interesting for the kids.

    SHOW NOTES
    All over the world as technology advances, mankind struggles to balance generations of faith in God with modern life which is grounded in science and convenience. How do we introduce the next generation to the values we grew up with? Should we even try? Are they still relevant today? And if we choose to, how do we develop their relationship with God in today’s world?

    These are some of the questions that a panel of five moms from different religious backgrounds ponder as they discuss approaching the subject of religion and culture with their kids.

    THE PANEL

    Akshaya (@andhowdoyoudo) talks about her family's aim to introduce stories and traditions from multiple cultures so that her daughter can grow up to choose what she finds most applicable.

    * Grace (@thegracelog), who comes from a traditional Christian household, talks about reinventing some things for her son as he grows up, while keeping a sense of community and joy intact.

    * Nisha (@lovelaughmirch) is a Hindu-Punjabi settled in New Jersey, and she speaks about bringing religion and culture alive for her daughter, despite being far away from home.

    * Ravijot (@shiningshower) whose daughter's first word was 'Vaheguru' speaks about bringing up a Sikh child in India, where many festivals are celebrated in ways which don't align with prescribed Sikh norms.

    * Rooshna (@myrainbowquill) talks about moving her Islamic family from the Middle East to India and its ramifications on how they perceive and practice religion.

    As is apparent from just this small panel, India is a melting pot for a wide variety of cultures and religions which peacefully coexist. It is vital that we pass on this sense of harmony to our children even as we teach them about our own. Within a religion as well, there is so much scope to adapt traditions to what works best for each family. For instance, how two families follow Hindu rituals is very different. Or, how a Sikh or Muslim family choose to slightly alter the messages their parents had adopted for them, growing up. Each panelist speaks about the ways in which they've made traditions meaningful and true to their individual circumstances.

    Needless to say, it does upset status quo when traditions passed down over generations are altered, even slightly. Discussions about faith are rarely easy, since people feel very strongly about what they’ve grown up believing. Spouses or extended family may often feel very differently about religion, and the panelists cover how they approached the topic of religion within their own families, as they decided what to pass on to their children. 

    Religion, for many, is about finding a place of calm within themselves. How do you translate that for children who are often little bundles of energy? At what age can they begin to understand it? While this is a very personal choice, the panel weighs in with how they introduced religion themselves, and how their children are processing it.

    Tune in for some heart-melting nuggets which show that children may often understand the core of faith better than adults! From cutting a cake on ‘Babaji’s birthday’, to saying ‘Salam Alaikum’ to Ganesha as they pass a temple, this appears to be a generation which truly understands that they do, rather than parroting what they’re asked to do blindly. There is a lot of joy and trust as the panel openly discuss how the idea of faith works as a centering force for both

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