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The first thing that strikes you about Ms Girija Rao is a sense of calm, and a smile that reaches her eyes. She is a passionate freelance consultant in child development, having a rich experience in teaching and mentoring young parents. Her strong belief that it is possible to raise wonderful human beings by good nurturing techniques led her to conduct numerous parenting sessions, and now, she has captured her rich experience of these sessions in a book “The Magic Of Parenting”. Being a teacher and a mother of two daughters, she empathizes with the childhood concerns vividly from educators’s perspective as well as parents’. She is also a prolific blogger of very useful ideas for parents.
Team KidEngage met up with her to discuss more about her book and her approach to parenting. Here are a few excerpts:
What inspired you to pen a book on parenting, in an age where people usually want to Google everything?
If you believe very strongly in a way that is the best and most effective, if you think it must be marketed and positioned specially, if you believe it must have a place in the time and belongings of a parent, a book is the only way. This is such a concept that it has to be understood and applied. It can be referred to, whenever we like to, which is possible through a book. The learning is possible without any other deviation or distraction through a book, which is small enough to fit any bag that you carry.
You talk about Goal Oriented Communication in your book – what exactly is it, and how does it help a parent and a child?
We convert a problem into goal, while speaking! This is what is goal oriented communication.
Goal oriented communication is a communication that is exact and precise of what we should be doing while talking to a child, during an interaction, with any purpose.
It helps a parent and child in connecting well mentally and thus bonding well.The interaction while speaking or guiding a child in any matter should be with suitable words, directed towards the purpose and supportive to the matter that we are talking about.
Many a time, usage of do’s and don’ts, ordering or questioning and commenting are very commonly heard of. Of all the various ways that we interact through verbal communication, I believe the goal oriented approach to be the most effective .
You’ve also spoken about ‘The 4-circle tool’. It sounds very interesting. How does it work?
Yes. It is very interesting to realize that the whole lot of talking/ communication/ dialogues etc fit into these 4 circles. Specially the educating, guiding matters of day to day life as well as the general intelligence that we like to help the children with. The first circle has “I” sentences which connect well with the child. The next 3 circles are explained in the book, and are very simple to understand and apply.
A teacher plays a role that’s almost as important in a child’s life as that of a parent. How does this tool work in a formal environment of a classroom?
Whatever may be the goals the educators got to help the children to reach, especially behavioral, they can follow the 4 circles while speaking with children according to their age.
The very style of speaking is goal directed. It is goal specific, behavior specific and purpose specific. This holds good whether it is the formal environment of a classroom, or a small informal group or one to one situation. Whether it is one child or one group, what is explained is to speak in a conducive manner which is positively motivating.
You do take a lot of parenting sessions – what’s the one problem you see most of the parents struggling with?
As young children, slow or uninterested eating habits and being non-communicative about the school matters are the most common complaints among parents. All the parents expressed that they found the 4 circles tool very successful in handling these problems after the sessions.
What is your most memorable point in the journey of writing this book?
The testimonials, which are the real life experiences of parents, some of which are listed in the book. Each experience that resulted in the success of the goal, was so magical and exciting for me, because it helps in solving real life problems!
What message would you like to give to the young, digital age parents?
1. As young busy parents, the foremost need is to have a quality bonding time with the kids. Which means the parents forget the world outside, leave behind any other distractions and give complete attention to the kids.Select your goal -place- time!
2. Promise the kids with a time. Tell them this is the time I am completely with you. Let’s see what fun we can have/ how the studies are going on/ what’s happening/ what are the interesting goings on….what ever it may be based upon the child’s age and grade and school and other life style matters.
3. Kids easily understand about every minute details of parents. Avoid attending to even phone calls.
4.If kids are sick I need not mention that comforting them as a matter of passing away stage of childhood.
Last but not least, we all know that parents love their kids and would like to give their best to them. Yet, what is essential is the expression and parenting style !
An empowering parenting style results in an empowered child ! Good parenting knowledge helps in rearing a happy,confident child !
Team KidEngage recommends all young parents and teachers to get the book, pronto!