Ma's way, or the highway! Bollywood mothers Maanayata, Sunny, Konkona reveal how they keep the kids engaged

Updated: May 27, 2020, 08:21 IST | The Hitlist Team | Mumbai

Maanayata Dutt, Sunny Leone and Konkona Sensharma on ensuring their kids stay physically and mentally engaged, amid the lockdown.

Maanayata Dutt, mother to twins Shahraan and Iqra, 9

Maanayata Dutt, mother to twins Shahraan and Iqra, 9
Maanayata's son Shahraan enjoys taking to a string of outdoor workouts

Keeping them active:
Both my kids were active, and engaged in all kinds of outdoor activities. They are athletes, and have won several medals in school. They enjoy sports like football, running, swimming, and Taekwondo. Hence, they became restless when the lockdown started, but have now got accustomed to it. We train together, and may take to dance sessions to keep workouts fun and engaging. We also meditate, and they have online yoga classes. They also help me with daily household chores.

Maanayata Dutt, mother to twins Shahraan and Iqra, 9

As for their meals, I have always ensured the family has a balanced diet. They have milk, consume eggs for protein, and have fruits, as one meal. Similarly, my protein intake, in the form of shakes, is integral. I maintain a timetable and occasionally allow them to binge and have cheat days, when they indulge in chocolates and chips. Since I cook every day, they no longer complain about missing their weekend-dinners at restaurants.

Maanayata Dutt, mother to twins Shahraan and Iqra, 9
Maanayata teaches Iqra knitting

Keeping them engaged:
There were a few crazy days, but they understood the situation. The best part is that the online schooling classes occupy five to six hours of the day. Since we were in UAE when the lockdown was imposed, and are hence stationed here, they get on a video call with Sanjay [Dutt, husband] who is in Mumbai, and that keeps them entertained. [Shahraan and Sanjay] do masti. I also make Iqra knit with me.

Sporting gloves
Sporting gloves, the family stationed in UAE, prepares a meal.

How I stay active:
I used to enjoy training in the gym. Now, I juggle yoga with some abdominal and thigh exercises. Also, the daily chores [suffice] as a workout too.

Like cycling
Shahraan Dutt cycling

The biggest struggle today:
I wish the family wasn't living in different countries at this time. Things would have been easier [if we were together] and the lockdown wouldn't have seemed like a task. This could have also been the perfect opportunity for Sanjay to spend time with the children.

Sunny Leone, mother to Nisha, 4, and twins Noah and Asher, 2

Sunny Leone, mother to Nisha, 4, and twins Noah and Asher, 2

Keeping them active:
Before the lockdown, the children would head for a swim, once a week, and take to zumba, art, and story-time classes. We would also go for long walks in the park. Now, [we make them] run around in the parking lot, without touching anything. Their diet remains unchanged, except that now, it is Daniel [Weber, husband] and I who do the cooking. We give them a well-balanced diet, and may indulge in pizzas, for a change. Otherwise, we have healthy meals.

The family takes to activities like painting to keep themselves engaged. Pics/Instagram
The family takes to activities like painting to keep themselves engaged. Pics/Instagram

Keeping them engaged:
Nisha still has school, so she has a lot of homework to do every day. The boys colour, paint, and build things. We keep them busy with activities.

How I stay active:
My workout has been contained to a 30-minute walk or jog in the building. I take the kids along in their strollers so that they can get fresh air. Running around them all day [is a workout too]. I ensure that I clock in 20,000 steps on my Fitbit each day. I am not someone who can sit at home and do [home-workouts] because I get bored.

On the biggest challenges in this scenario:
I've taught the kids to use sanitisers, and not touch anything. We are essentially de-socialising them from people. It will be a huge task [to undo this] once we can be around others again. Parents teach children how to be around other children, and act, share and behave with them. We will have to start that process anew. As human beings, we learn a lot in a new environment. But they are so young that they won't remember this period, even though we will.

Konkona Sensharma, mother to Haroon Shorey, 9

Konkona Sensharma, mother to Haroon Shorey, 9

Keeping him active:
It is challenging. In the past, we would go out because he would [enjoy] cycling in the society [compound]. Now, we can no longer do that. He would practice skipping in school. So, I make him skip at home too so that he can stay physically active. Apart from that, I also make him perform household chores, like washing vegetables, grating cheese, and collecting the laundry, so that he can stay active.

Keeping him engaged:
On the suggestion of a friend, I began playing snakes and ladders with him, but, in this case, whoever is [bitten by the snake] must say the tables. Apart from that, I have been teaching him about countries and their capitals. He enjoys that. I also make him watch interesting films, like Mausam, which he liked. I don't know how much of this time is being utilised [appropriately] but, it is a struggle, because children tend to get restless.

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