One of the most important and delicate decisions parents have to make after ‘becoming parents’ is to cautiously tread through those initial years of parenting, especially the first five years in the life of a child. These are the early developmental years, and are more crucial to his mental and emotional blossoming from a new-born to an infant-toddler stage. After all, the cardinal factor in a child’s growth is the ambiance of his or her home life.

 

 

Vasavvi Acharya Bora, an educationist, who brings along with her 18 enriching years of association with children, especially ‘pre-school children’, has come out with a brilliant and well-researched book titled The First 5 YearsDemystifying the crucial period of parenting based on the subtle nuances of parenting during the early childhood years, pre-school dynamics as well as its trials and tribulations. According to Vasavvi, “I have used most anecdotes from real life incidences and have chosen the topics that are most pertinent to today’s parents. The nuclear family setup, inability to spend quality time with children or to stop them from the gadget addiction, et.al. Though parenthood is the most natural thing to happen, it is quite difficult to do justice to the roles.”

This book is a quick guide to some relevant issues that parents face in their day to day lives while handling children. The book, the author believes, can help parents to understand their child better and would also enable them to be more nurturing parents, in spite of the multiple roles they play in their lives. “Parenthood is a blessing and should never be taken for granted,” says Vasavvi, who is also associated with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati as a faculty.

 

The book consists of 123 pages and is sectioned into four parts. There are a few illustrations in the book which are drawn by Agnivh Prakash Bora, a Class IV of Sanaskriti – The Gurukul. The cover design and layout of the book is done by Jyotirmoy Chakraborty. The book starts with the poem A Seed and as well as an Introduction, Children and their World: An overview. The first part deals with psycho-social development, brain development, socio-emotional development, emotional intelligence and basic characteristics of toddlers and ways to deal with them. The second section focuses on how to shape children the right way, need to talk, being a role model for the child, instilling values, impact of storytelling, importance of fairy tales, teaching children empathy and spending quality time with the child. The Third section highlights the way to deal with a child’s curiosity, creativity, handling disobedience and lying, how much stress a toddler can handle and above all addresses the most important issue that most modern- age parents have to deal with is how to deal with screen addiction. The final section has some very interesting subjects like finding the right preschool for a child, what to look for in a preschool facilitator, the child’s first day at school and classification of parents in different categories, like the over involved, uninvolved, difficult, over sensitive and the unaccommodating parent.

Perhaps the ‘real feel’ of the book stems from the fact that each and every word inscribed in it has emanated from real life experiences, and that in itself is so heartening about this lovely little book.

THE FIRST 5 YEARS
Vasavvi Acharya Bora
VA Publications
Price: Rs 185/-