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A lot of my friends have already put their kids in extra curricular activities like tennis, music, cricket, drama etc. I am also under pressure now. When is it a right age to introduce the child to such activities?

Most parents try to make their children live their dreams and fulfill their own unfulfilled aspirations.Please expose your child to enough activities;find out what they are interested in,and enroll them in that.It is not necessary to have a race with other parents in this regard.Let your child enjoy his/her childhood!!!

After the arrival of the second one, I often see my first one being more moody, sulking around. Is this common? And is this what is termed as sibling rivalry? How to tackle it?

When a child who’s been the apple of the eye for the parents is suddenly forced to play second fiddle and also “like” the new baby (or the usurper in this case,it is but natural for the child to resort to various means to garner attention.This is Sibling rivalry no doubt!The mother especially should finish feeding the 2nd child and hand it over to an older person .She must try to spend more time with the 1st born,and make her feel that he/she still is the most important person . An extra hug will go a long way in smoothing things out.

TV viewing– how much of it everyday and what kind of programmes?

The child can be allowed to watch TV programmes for a maximum of an hour per day. Physical activity and outdoor play should be encouraged more.

When is the right age for kids to talk on cell phones?

There is no exactly right age for talking on mobile phones. Please remember that they all have varying amounts of radiation, and should not be kept close to their faces and heads while sleeping.

Gadget babies– My son likes to fiddle with the iphone and ipad all the time? How safe is it? Because I have heard about radiation from these devices etc

These devices of course help in learning and are very addictive for children, but must be used within time frames. Constant exposure to a moving screen can cause increasing hyperactivity, temper tantrums, and even delayed speech.

There are too many toys in the toy store these days and some of them are very expensive. Which toy categories are best for a growing child in terms of their brain and physical development?

It is not necessary to provide only expensive toys to children.Children by nature are very curious, and those toys which stimulate the child to either think, or teach the child a new skill can be bought.These must of course be age appropriate. Those toys which are very brightly coloured may have toxic paints with a high lead content, and should be strongly discouraged.

Disclaimer : *The doctor’s advice is of generic nature only. For specific diagnosis and treatment, kindly contact your paediatrician.

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