Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Brand Craze among Teens

Dealing with the craze of brands among kids is a major worry of many parents.
I received many queries in response to my previous article on the same subject.
Let us consider one fairly common concern, see how many of us can connect
with it and try to see a way around it.

“My worry is that youth around 17-18 years have problems like if you wear
something exclusive then only friends acknowledge you or they get closer to you...
We try to explain, that it is all temporary... Your inner things help you a lot, but ,
difficult for him to swallow it... He got lot of acknowledgement being a sportsperson,
good behaved person and equally higher side bright student (not 90, but we r fine)
in the school... We try to explain.. the same.. but.. still not succeed.. we will keep
trying.... But need more light on it”

Well that is what 17 years of age is. It wants to confirm and be accepted and
applauded. Is it bad? No. It just is. That is the age around which we start to
explore ourselves. Before that the sense of self had not developed much.
Individuality is not always appreciated as our education system is all about
conformity - in uniform dress code and behavioral patterns. Now when they
can move around in casual wear they see a chance to see and exhibit
their individuality. Wanting to be different and the best seems to obvious.

So,,, no, they are not wrong. Most youngsters at that age have not been able
to make their mark so again clothes seem to be an easier way to impress.
But even in cases like the one example above, we need to understand that
we have different facets to our personality and even if we are doing good
in some, that doesn’t take away the need to excel or at least be special in
other ways too.  

Your argument as an adult is also right that “It is what is inside that really
matters”, but please consider their age. Think of ourselves at that age.
Most of us did not have access to money and brands while growing up so
we could not indulge, but didn’t we indulge in whatever way was possible?
We wanted to be special too. We would borrow sarees and shirts from friends
and family to look our best wherever possible. The only difference is that
they are surrounded by options from across the globe on just one click.
If we have expressed our ability to pay for expensive things around
them then they cannot understand why not to indulge in the best.

So firstly, we need to understand that they are just teenagers
and it is not their age to understand philosophy. Then what should be
our approach?

I believe moderation is the way. According to your affordability indulge
them sometimes and refuse the other. Especially if the children are internally
motivated and responsible towards their duty and students, we can definitely
indulge them once in a while. But what if they want it every time?

Children develop the habit of pressurizing and emotionally blackmailing the
parents when they learn that parents always say ‘no’ to everything to begin
with but turn around after they throw some tantrums. Also when there is
a lot of display of money around them they believe that they can and should easily have
what they demand. Here is when the role of parenting comes in.
1. Husband and wife should always decide what they are going to agree on and what not.
Once one parent has said ‘no’ the other should not overrule it.
2. Once you have said a reasonable ‘no’, stick to it.
3. If later you feel that you wish to change your ‘no’ to a ‘yes’ don’t do it immediately.
Wait for an opportunity where the child can be told that as a reward for his hard work in
studies or anything else, they can have the branded ware they were asking for.
4. If there are financial problems in the family, share them with children occasionally.
They need to know. Many parents do not want to share such details with the children
because they don’t want to ‘burden’ them. Eventually when the unsuspecting children
put forth their demands these same parents blame the child for not being understanding.
5. Also get in to the habit of offering genuine praise whenever your children are dressed to
go out, especially when they wear something non- branded but elegant and fitting. Occasionally
when they wear the brand also let them know that they make the brands look better because
of their personality. Of course all this has to be genuine and not obvious or frequent enough for
the child to suspect foul play.
6. Let them know they are unique at every possible occasion.

Remember, children are not ready for philosophy of life. They may actually detest it.
We have to do it their way. Understand that a lot of branded high end stuff is really good.
Our aim is not to stop our children from dreaming of and wanting to be seen in brands only,
the aim is that they can value money and value brands for their quality and not just the
brand logo.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Children & their Demands for Branded Things

Recently on one of my videos on parenting, I received question from a mother that said,
“Children know more about brand than parents.... because of the influence of the outside
world parents do not to teach them as many a times parents wear simple things through
out their lives but children need branded wares.... That is also other side of the coin...
Suggest how parents can deal with this situation.”

I think almost all the parents today are facing the same situation so wanted to share this
with you.

I believe children are attracted to what the world shows them, There is nothing wrong
with asking for the brands, the problem is when they do not value the money that is spent
for the same and when they are seeking the particular brand not for its inherent value or
goodness but for competing with their peers. A few things if followed in the house hold
right from beginning can bring some monetary discipline in children:
1. Never try to show that we can buy anything they ask for even when they are 2 years
old cute and they ask for not so expensive things. The awareness among parents has to
be right from the birth of the child. The child does not understand the cost or value, for
him it is just a fact that my parents can get me anything that i ask for. 
2. If children ask for something specific let them know that it will be given to them against
their next good results (Unless it is too expensive for you). This is to let them know that they
have to earn their luxuries just like the rest of us and for them the responsibility is studying
3. Ensure that whenever the children get money as gifts it is to be deposited with the parent
till at least they finish class 10th. The parents have to be accountable to gain the children's
trust by putting away the money in a separate envelope marked with the child's name and not
using it for any other purpose. Occasionally when the parents feel right the children can be
allowed to use the money out of their savings after discussing the need. 
4. Let children take up odd jobs around the house so that they can earn. This teaches them the
hard work that goes into earning each penny. Also if it is a regular job that the child takes up
like dusting every day etc, ensure that you deduct the day’s pay from their salary if they miss
out even one day. (Except when sick or out on school project )
5. After around the age of 10 take them with you for grocery and vegetable shopping and make
them calculate and pay for what is bought so they know how expensive it is to run a normal
household which they normally take for granted.
6. In this series then let them know the difference between necessities and luxuries. Tell them
your responsibility is to ensure that their needs are taken care of .For their wants, like the
brands. They have to earn and save.

So many other ways can be added to this depending upon the household members, income and the personality of the child. However it is very important that ONCE YOU SAY NO TO SOMETHING- STICK TO IT, even if they throw bad tantrums.  Remember children will demand, that is their nature, but if you keep giving them just to free yourself of their tantrums, they will never learn the value. Rather what they will learn is, the price of everything is a good tantrum.

Whatever you do, the keyword is CONSISTENCY. Eventually they learn.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

GUYS... ARE YOU REALLY MODERN? by Dr.sapna Sharma

Okay, I am not a feminist, but here’s one for the husbands and boyfriends.
DO you GIVE freedom to your partner?
Wait, I have another question - What is the need for you to GIVE her freedom? Is she not free herself?
We confidently claim to be the ‘modern’ generation. Our clothes and language and material choices do scream of modernity but, are we really modern? I mean in our thinking and approach towards life?
So if you are an exception, don’t take this personally.
When you fall for a girl, you have certain parameters in your mind. Interestingly most men wish for a modern woman. You wish for a wife whom you can proudly present to the society, with whom you can talk, who should be very attractive to you, she should be game for your definition of parties, and her attractive dressing sense is an added magnet for you to begin with. Her being educated is of course so very important for you.
Often once this alliance is formalized your vocabulary changes. What she should not wear, whom she should not talk to, how she should take care of the entire household whether she works equal hours as you or not. I often witness guys also telling their partner things like, “why did you laugh so much?” “How can you dance in front of so many?” “Sit down everyone if looking at you” “Why can't you dress up like everyone else?”
Then there are those “ultra modern” ones who believe it is their right to marry a girl of their choice in the modern world, but when their parents discuss dowry and huge expenses with the bride's family they simply back of saying, “I can't hurt my parents!!”
You like to decide what kind of place she should work in, that she should not be casual with her work colleagues, that she should have outings only with your friends, and then when she fights you say, “I GIVE you so much freedom to work and you don’t value that”.
Really? Can you imagine she saying this to you? Obviously not, because deep down the garb of modernity we are still the same. A man is FREE but a woman needs to be GIVEN FREEDOM.
Reality check guys: What is your normal vocabulary:
1. I let her work OR It is her choice whether to work or not
2. I let her follow her passion OR She is very passionate about her hobby
3. Our family gives her full freedom OR In our family, we all have a right to choose
4. I give her permission to be with her friends till late OR She loves to have a great time with her friend.
5. She works but kitchen is her domain OR We share housework too.
No need to share your answers with anyone, but certainly time to think.
Till the time your vocabulary is not free of: I GIVE HER FREEDOM, you are not modernized yet- Look for a partner who can match your thinking and can be the obedient wife you actually need. Believe me, life would be so much simpler.
(Another one would follow for the girls soon)

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Lets Dr.Sapna Sharma

We want to be happy and we want to live in peace but we keep holding on to the very things and people that are causing us the pain and hurt. Learning to identify those things that bind us to our pain and letting them go is the spiritual and practical way of living a happy and peaceful life.
Watch this...

Monday, 15 August 2016


We all siblings would create some issue or other for our parents to handle. Of course, we didn’t mean it that way. We just thought we were very smart!! To our parents, that would simply spell as Trouble with a capital ‘T’. But my father would often discuss those issues with people around- friends, family, colleagues. Frankly to me it simply meant embarrassment. “Why can’t he keep the family matters to the family?” but he grew stronger every day.

Years later as I sit in my office counselling distressed families and couples and parents, one thing that strikes me is that they all want their troubles and problems to be buried inside my chamber. Often I hear this, “We don’t share our problems with anyone. They would only make fun of my child… anyway my brother in law thinks very high of himself”

 No wonder we are stressed and under tremendous pressure to appear good and ideal in every way. We can’t share. As a generation, we are obsessed with creating an ideal pictures of us and our families. A task that is almost next to impossible. We would have flaws till such time that we are still humans. But we do not wish to accept that.

 I meet beautiful looking people, some with wealth overflowing and others with degrees and certificates that cannot be accommodated on one wall. And they are stressed. Almost breaking inside every moment in a desperate attempt to hold their masks of ‘perfection’ in place. They fight among themselves and abuse their challenging children but then they put on their masks with wide smiles to the outside world. We show this photo-shopped picture to not just the random world but to our closest family and friends. We cannot accept that things can be wrong with us.

 We as a generation are expending huge energy on hiding our pain and trying to prove to the world that there is nothing wrong with us. Hence we can’t even ask for solutions. Try sharing for once. Try asking for help. You may not get an immediate solution but the moment you share half your burden is taken care of. You may cry while sharing and that takes care of some more of your stress. And now you have one more head and 2 more hands to help sort out your troubles. If not anything there is one place you can be yourself, not pretend to be perfect and enjoy a genuine smile or tear.

Life would continue to offer challenges, children would fall in love and spouses would cheat. Bosses may be partial and we might be cheated on. But that is life. Why feel ashamed? You are not the only on in this world to face it. Try sharing and you would be better equipped to face it without unnecessary stress of pretending to be perfect.

Friday, 12 August 2016


People are very interesting in the sense that they are each very unique and have a strong individuality in their personality. However, they gather under the umbrella of an organization that caters to some of their needs. Initially the focus is on the fulfillment of those outer worldly needs. In time those aims of joining the organization or cause come to be a routine and that is when the unrest peeks up its head.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

where to find peace

Often we tend to blame the circumstances and people for our stress, disturbed mind and life. However, inner peace and happiness has nothing to do with what is happening in the world or what others are doing.