The role of parents is one that is both fun and challenging. Right from infancy up until adulthood, the love, care, support and guidance that they provide is unparralled, as they would settle for nothing than the best .While most of parenting is guided by the ‘sixth sense’, a few guidelines will help them deliver holistic care. Dr. Bhramara Madduri, Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist at Royal Bahrain Hospital, provides us with a few guidelines that can help parents nurture their young ones and feel good at the end of the day that they have done their bit.
Dr. Bhramara points out that holistic health is important, to let a child grow to his/her full potential. “Firstly, exclusively breast feed the baby for the first six months of life. Secondly, ensure that you schedule regular health visits for development assessment and vaccinations at birth, then once every 2 months until aged 1 year, then once every 6 months until 2 years old, then once every 5 years until aged 15. Visits during the preadolescent and adolescent years should discuss issues related to growth and puberty, psychological needs and such things. Additionally, we encourage pre-school screening for visual and hearing problems.”
In addition to that, Dr. Bhramara advises parents to teach their children to lead healthy lifestyles with healthy eating habits that include fruits, vegetables, nuts and cereals daily while discouraging fast food, packaged food, and sugary food. “Inculcate the habit of drinking ample amount of water.”
A healthy lifestyle also includes adequate physical activity. “Outdoor play, yoga, sports, swimming, dance, cycling and such activities from the very beginning ensure a healthy lifestyle in the future. Also hobbies like reading, music, drawing, painting or some form of creative art, to foster balanced right/left brain development.”
Dr. Bhramara also lists out a few things that parents should avoid. “Avoid letting them spend a lot of time on the TV or internet, limit it to 1 hour a day.” Another practice that is highly discouraged is self-medicating. “When in need seek expert advice. Also, be generous with praises, while reducing the ‘Don’t’s and Nos’ and involve them in decision making.”
Dr. Bhramara sums it up with a last phrase “An age old saying goes ‘Provide loving care for the first 5 years, discipline them for the next 10 years, and befriend them from when they are sixteen onwards’ .”
Dr. Bhramara Madduri, [MD, MRCP (UK)] is a Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist at Royal Bahrain Hospital. For more information or to book your appointment, call 17246800 or (toll free) 8000 1090 or plan your visit at www.royalbahrainhospital.com.