'90s popstar Raageshwari Loomba has some parenting tips
In a new book, she says it's not just the child who needs direction, but parents too
When we tell Raageshwari Loomba that as a '90s kid, we remember her from the video, Pyar Ka Rang, where she wears a bandhini top with jeans, she laughs warmly. "I had wanted to dress up all cool like a pop star. But my brother had got a dupatta, and said let's use this as a top, and it worked so well. It became a style statement."
She is talking to us from London, where she now lives with her lawyer husband and four-year-old daughter. It's 10 am there, and Samaya is knocking on the door, asking mama why has she locked her in. "Look at her perspective. I have locked myself in, so I can talk to you, but she thinks I have locked her out," says Loomba, 42, who has turned author with Building a Happy Family (Penguin India). The book is a continuation of her inward journey, which was nudged by a debilitating condition she faced years ago. Bell's Palsy is a rare condition that causes temporary partial facial paralysis. Loomba turned to meditation, yoga and collaborated with motivational guru Jack Canfield. She now heads what she calls a mindfulness company, Unicorn World Events, out of London, and tours the world to give motivational talks that hinge on the power of the mind. "The roots of the book were sown then. I was reading about how we manifest what we think about. You have to start visualising the life you want, and start seeing it. I asked myself if we are training our kids to do this." And out of that thought came Building a Happy Family, which focuses on the impact that positive reinforcement has on children.
Loomba has relied on personal experiences as well as scientific research to talk about how young minds develop, and why early influences impact behaviour well into adulthood. As she says, it's all about using art and literature as well as positive reinforcement to open a child's imagination, "which is key to a good life, right? Even if they are not reading books, indulge them with storytelling. Anything that lets them imagine. Pass on values through a story. Cinderella is about her finding a prince, but it could also hold a message about her being kind, and connected to nature," Loomba says, suggesting that bonds be built by participating in shared activities.
Loomba clarifies that the book goes beyond helping parents deal with their kids. It's about how parents deal with themselves as well. "I think we all become trapped in the idea of success, and then over time, we feel disillusioned. If we are stressed, we vent around the children. We need to reparent ourselves, accept our personal mistakes and move on without bitterness. I think we can use this lockdown fruitfully to introspect."
Loomba believes it's quite easy to find the change within, however old one may be. "We are dealing with our children, but the current circumstances demand that we become children as well. We need to see things in a different light now. Feeling and expressing gratitude is one way of doing it. But what's vital is to redefine our relationship with ourselves. That's how we are able to build whole, happy families."
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