Farida Dahee

Certified Image Consultant & Etiquette Expert

Only child is ‘not’ a lonely Child

There is an old saying that ‘only child is a lonely child’  which is not true.    When I had my 1st child we had decided to have only one child boy or girl did not matter. When my daughter was a toddler many people advised us to plan for a 2nd one to give her company, even strangers would give us free advise  “it’s good to have 2 kids”….”they will give one another company”…. “they will be there for one another in times of need” ….blah…blah…blah

Well, we stood our ground & my daughter is the ‘only child’, but by no means, is she lonely.

I’m also the only child but I grew up in a boarding school so I never felt the need for a sibling. I had too many friends who replaced the sibling love & I’m happy that most of them are still my friends. Surprisingly my daughter never asked for a sibling too!!

Most parents feel that two is family, siblings grow up together & later can be of great help, I don’t disagree but in current times having one child is more than enough.

If you are a parent to only one child & you are happy with your decision then give yourself a pat. There will be a few instances when your child will ask “why I don’t have a sibling?” & you may have your own explanation in place, but by and large make sure you make your kid understand the advantages of having just one kid!

Here are a few tips on bringing up your ‘only’ but not a lonely child :-

  • Don’t over pamper your child. Just because they don’t have a sibling does not mean you spoil them. This is the first thing that most  parents succumb to.
  • Allow your child to make as many friends as possible, in school, in the neighbourhood wherever they go encourage them to make friends.
  • Most of us have large families with children of the same age group, cousins are the best replacement of siblings.
  • Don’t give into every demand of your child just because you don’t have to spend for two or more
  • Make your only child emotionally & mentally strong so that they can fight their own battles in life
  • Many times we have to replace their need for a sibling by playing with them, talking to them in their language, competing with them & it’s a     no-brainer, just have to become a child for sometime & believe me it’s fun.
  • Teach them to ‘share’ as this may not come naturally since they don’t have a sibling to share with, so make sure if they are having a chocolate or their favourite food they share it with their parents or any family member.
  • Allow them to go for school trips so that they can become independent and make more friends.
  • Finally if they still wish to have a sibling you can always adopt one or get them a pet.

There are a lot of wonderful things one can do with their only child, make sure as a parent you spend not just quality but quantity time with your kids, be it single or many! Happy Parenting.

Love for Strays

‘A dog is a man’s best friend’. We all know that dog’s are the most common pets that give humans company and unconditional love. Many bring in pets when they are barely a few months especially on the demands of their kids. My daughter loves dog’s & she has been asking for a pet ever since she was 5 years, however we haven’t given into her wish, reasons best known to us. Our denial to get her a pet hasn’t deterred her love for dogs; in fact she has found her way to loving them even more by making the stray dogs her pet. She just has her way with them. Its not just the society dogs even the dogs where she goes for tuition are her friends. Everyday after coming from school she spends 30-40 mins playing with them.

I used to be extremely scared that they will bite her or harm her but she is fearless. I’m not particularly fond of strays, used to be scared too but she made me overcome my fear of strays.

Its so easy to love a pet especially the cute ones we get from the market or as an adoption but very few people truly care for the strays. Some will throw stones or hurl abuses at them to shoo them away . If we are kind to them & don’t hurt them I don’t see why a stray will bite us. After all it’s an animal they have the flight or fight instinct much stronger than humans. If someone tries to harm them they will either run away or defend themselves by biting.  It’s the way we treat them. If one doesn’t love dog’s best is to leave them alone or try to stay away from them.

Loving a stray or a domesticated pet can help one fight depression. It’s simple when we love someone we start taking care of it and when we take care of something our mind is diverted to the good & positive things around us. The companionship of a dog can offers us comfort. It’s a proven fact that dogs have healing powers. They can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve our health. Caring for a dog can help children grow up more secure and active. It even provides valuable companionship for older adults.

A dog can add real joy and unconditional love to our life. So next time you see a stray please don’t hurl abuses or stone them, but try to make friends & you will have a companion for life.

Upcoming Workshop’s

‘Manners cost nothing but mean everything’

This Diwali Vacation let your child have fun while they learn how to be more respectful towards others and themselves.

Enroll your kids for the upcoming etiquette workshop with Kidiquette at Hotel Karl Residency

Topics to be covered are :-

  • The Importance of Manners
  • Social Etiquette
  • Body Language
  • Grooming & Personal Hygiene
  • Telephone Etiquette
  • Thanking & Apologizing
  • Gratitude
  • Accepting & Giving Compliments
  • Say NO to Bullying
  • Table Manners with lunch
  • Eating with chopsticks “a new addition”

 

 

Etiquette in the Indian scenario.

 

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Wishing everyone a very Happy & Prosperous New Year!

Writing this blog has been on my mind for a very long time but it took me some courage to publish it, especially when it comes to writing about your own country folks!

Do most of the Indian’s lack basic Etiquette?

If you answered ‘Yes’ then we are on the same page!

If you answered “what do you mean by that?” then you must continue reading this blog!

While most of us learn good manners at home & some at school, very few schools & homes will teach their children Etiquette. The purpose of this blog is not to belittle anyone, it’s my own observation & opinion. I believe that it’s imperative to bring about a change to see a better tomorrow & it has to start with our children.

Here are a few instances where we might wonder if there is anything like ‘Etiquette’

  • Entering a lift/bus/train

If you ever thought education has anything to do with etiquette & manners then you will be in for a rude shock, when you see the way men & women enter a bus or train in Mumbai or for that matter anywhere in India. In the Mumbai locals you have to forget about etiquette!!!

  • Driving Etiquette

Try driving anywhere in India, the traffic, the taxi drivers, the rikshawala’s & some rash drivers will either make you forget your driving etiquette or you will start swearing like you  have had the worst fight in years! Jumping the signal, cutting a lady driver & honking like you switch FM channels is considered a part of everyday driving.

  • Bathroom Etiquette

Using a public toilet is the biggest nightmare!! So if you are doing a long distance travel please avoid having too much of water. Some men were never taught to lift the toilet seat while using an ‘English toilet’ & some women don’t even know how to sit on an ‘English toilet’. “Please flush” has to be written so that people clean up after using!

  • Cell phone Etiquette

Cell phones have just added to the misery, we can hear what will be cooked for dinner to what clothes someone will wear for the party to who has had a break-up & the reason for a fight with dear mom in law….everything which normally is spoken behind closed doors, is all out in the public.  Talking loudly in public places is a thing of pride as people around you need to know how busy you are. If you have a cell phone you might as well use it!

  • Audience Etiquette

Winners have to be applauded, this goes without saying, unfortunately if you watch any award functions our glamorous hosts have to repeatedly ask the audience to “please give a big hand” & I thought it was understood that anyone receiving an award deserves the appreciation & applaud even if he/she is your competitor (this is not just constraint to award functions). Talking loudly or speaking on the cell phone is a right, who cares if others are getting disturbed. As long as someone has paid for the ticket they think they can do whatever they like!

  • Public Etiquette

People have so much money that you will find the best luxury cars on the road from BMW to the Merc  but the driver/owner will still open the door & spit, yes it is ’Ycuk!!’ Please don’t get me wrong it’s not about uneducation it’s about the mindset & ‘Who cares’ attitude.

  • Walking your pet Etiquette.

Walking your pet can be a way to relax or a chore, but in India its full of etiquette faux pas. Walk time means ensuring that your pet empties everything on the road, who cares about training the pet, the roadside is the best place to have your pets pooh. Picking up your own pets pooh is considered dirty & ‘not my job’ so what if people walk over it & get their shoes dirty

  • Punctuality

Making people wait is not just a fashion but a matter of pride. How can the chief guest arrive on time? They have such a busy schedule! The worst are our dear politicians, less said the better. An entire flight can also be held up by them, that is the extent of honour we give them, at the cost of everyone’s  money & time.

  • Dinning Etiquette

Eating with hands (without fork & spoon) is an Indian tradition & it’s also believed to satisfy your hunger. Fair enough but, at least when you are at a restaurant don’t sit on the chair with your legs up & close your mouth when you chew! These are a few things that will make you want to stop eating even if it’s your best dish or you are at one of the best restaurants

  • Parliament Etiquette

The icing on the cake is when you see the members of the parliament. The least said the better. It only shows that the more money you have the more power you have you can just do what you please & get away. Who cares about etiquette & manners (not sure if they were ever taught).

Today India has progressed leaps & bounds, but not in the real sense. According to me we are far behind when it comes to discipline, etiquette & basic manners. It’s easy to become a software engineer in India get a job with a top IT firm & go abroad for a lucrative career opportunity, feel awesome about the foreign countries, their cleanliness, their way of living etc. But these same folks will come back & mess up the country by spitting, smoking & swearing.

Majority  of us are well educated from reputed  schools but unfortunately manners & etiquette has to be taught at home. Indian education is all about rote learning and scoring good in exams. Doesn’t matter if the concepts are not understood!

What needs to change is the mindset & attitude of the people, discipline & good manners have to be ingrained by proper upbringing for which the parents & to some extent even the teachers are responsible

Helping people make an impression from outside will only work when you can compliment it with good manners & etiquette!

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