I was busy staring at my laptop screen and punching in endless words when I stopped to peek at my son sitting on the floor, scraping every shard of chocolate from his bowl. I couldn’t help admire his innocence and wondered how often do I really pay attention to him. Almost at the end of every day, I feel I could have been a better mother to my children. I want to do so much for them but find myself short on resources. ( I often find myself scrambling for patience, no amount ever seems to be enough!)
It’s only when you become a member of the parenting clan do you realize this is far from easy. Nobody does or can ever prepare you for the gusto of lifestyle changes that awaits every new parent. Simply put, parenting is a journey of a lifetime with mind-boggling twists and turns.
Once in a while, we find ourselves admiring a parent who seems to know the way through the parenting maze. This week on Momspiration, we have found our parenting coach. She is a mompreneur who has created products for children and parents and made it her mission to help parents with advice, tips, products, and even preschools.
Dr.Pallavi Rao Chaturvedi has been a speaker at numerous prestigious national and international forums, including the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the World Forum on Early Childhood Best Practices in Macao, World Education Summit at Dubai, and the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Summit in Istanbul. She is also a consulting parenting coach with portals like Firstcry and Momspresso.
During the pandemic, she joined social media, attracted thousands of followers, created unique kids’ products, displayed them on her online store, and hosted one-of-a-kind online kids literature, music, and art festivals. In her interview with Kidskintha, she showed us how she managed to tap into various avenues while sitting at home. Read on to solve these mysteries…
In conversation with the very talented Dr. Pallavi Rao Chaturvedi.
Hi Dr. Pallavi. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. Please tell us how did you get started as a parenting coach?
Over the last ten years, I have been deeply involved in early childhood education. I’ve attended and spoken at various forums worldwide. I am one of the Vice Presidents of the Early Childhood Association of India. I run a chain of preschools called the Brainy Bear. We have about 50 centers across India.
When the pandemic paralyzed the world at large, I reflected on my own skill sets and realized I had a lot of information that I wanted to share—That’s when I geared up for my social media ride and started Get Set Parent. Nobody trains you to become a parent, you just become one, and then the little one’s responsibility falls entirely on you. This platform aims to empower parents in their unique parenthood journey. In a year, I have received a following of two hundred thousand across my social media platforms, and I believe that’s because my content resonates with parents and helps them in one way or the other.
What about parenting resonates with you?
I have always admired the parenting style I was exposed to as a child. My sister and I grew up having open conversations with my parents. Somehow they knew instinctively when to hold back when to let go when to give space etc. I appreciate that a whole lot today!
I have an eight-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy. Right from the beginning, I have been an extremely involved parent. Get Set Parent is a reflection of my own experiences coupled with professional knowledge.
Today’s parents are highly educated, but time is always scarce. Therefore, they do not have time to research and get all the answers they need. As a parenting coach, I share my personal experiences and extensive research through engaging social media content.
According to you, how has parenting evolved over the years?
The competition was intense during my time. It was all about ranking in class and getting into the best college with the highest grades. Our parents were highly competitive, pushing us to enroll in the select few courses we had back then, such as engineering, MBBS, LLB, and enlightening our path to achieve a successful career.
Today the career opportunities are vast. Parents understand this aspect and ask their children about their vested interests and passions. Imagine saying you wanted to be in the media profession when you just had DD1 and DD2!
Today, thanks to the Google University, parents are much more aware. They are loaded with so much information that, at times, they even question the teachers. The millennial parents understand their children’s needs and respond to them with their host of accumulated knowledge.
You have an annual Literature Festival. How and why did you start this initiative?
During the lockdown, we wanted to provide an education and entertainment platform for kids worldwide. So we strung together the first online children’s literature, music, and art festival. We were graced by legendary writers such as Ruskin Bond and Rohini Nilekani. We had puppet shows, art festivals, talk shows for parents, magicians, and storytellers. Amar Chitra Katha conducted a few sessions for us. This week-long festival proved to be a phenomenal success! We had over 2 million views on our youtube channel. I plan to orchestrate this festival every year.
Please tell us about the Brainy Bear store.
Brainy Bear Store started operations two months ago. The learning aids that we have developed and curated are entirely new and are designed keeping in mind the affordability factor. We aimed to create non-toxic, safe, and valuable products for kids, and we have done so by working with surrounding artisans, craftsmen, and tailors. It’s with great pride that we have created products using local resources at a tough time.
The first year after the baby’s birth, parents are preoccupied with feeding, nursing, and diaper issues. We know 90% of brain growth happens before Kindergarten. Keeping this in mind, we have put together an infant stimulation box that provides tactile, visual, and auditory stimuli.
Parents want their children to learn to write at the earliest. Kids need to develop pre-writing skills to master writing. So we have created a pre-writing readiness box for children between 2 and 4 years of age.
Focusing on such needs and milestones, we launched the Brainy Bear Store. We have over 60 products across different categories. They are available on Amazon and our Brainy Bear store as well. We have lots of ideas brewing… and we are very excited about them too.
Please tell us about the beginning of Brainy Bear Preschool and the activity club. How did you start this initiative, and how has it grown over the years?
I live in Bhopal. Around the time I had my first child, I started enquiring about preschools. I wanted my child to experience so much more than what a traditional preschool had to offer. The big cities have so many different ideologies of preschools. Parents can take their pick, but this isn’t the case in tier two and tier three towns. There is affordability in tier two and tier three towns as well. People want English schools but not necessarily government preschools.
I am an entrepreneur, and I fuel new initiatives. I hired experts and created the Brainy Bear preschool. Through this platform, we built a model that doesn’t compromise on learning and is affordable as well. We got into small towns in Chattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Patna, etc.
When did you start your social media journey as a parenting coach? How has this medium helped you advertise your expertise?
I started Get Set Parent as a parenting coach with the intent to share my parenting tips and experiences. Had it not been for the lockdown, I wouldn’t have been so active on social media platforms. The pre-pandemic era was very hectic for me. As a result, I never had the time to indulge in social media.
Over the last year, I’ve realized that social media is a fantastic medium of communication. I am a real parent, and for me to rally two hundred thousand followers in a year has been overwhelming. I believe the value is purely in the content and how helpful it is for people. As a parent, I invest a lot of time in research on books, toys, etc., for my kids. I am extending that research to my followers and creating content as a parenting coach.
Please shed some light on your other initiatives and collaborations.
I am on the verge of starting my workshops and parenting courses for expecting moms and parents who have kids under one year of age. I will be conducting two training sessions a month. In addition, I plan to send an infant stimulation kit to registered parents and do a training session with them.
How do you balance your family life and your business endeavors?
My four-year-old is sitting beside me as we speak. Lockdown has taught everyone how to integrate work into family and family into work. Unfortunately, we don’t have a choice. I like to spend quality time with my kids. I try to catch up on work early in the morning when they are still asleep and schedule works during their play or nap time. Usually, when I am in a meeting, I disappear into a corner room.
Time blocking is vital. Adjusting your schedule with the kids’ schedule is very important.
Women who have very young children and successful careers treat it all at par. I don’t choose one over the other. You don’t have to make your work a compromisable item. There are days when I work more, and some days I play more with the kids. It’s all okay. Most importantly, we need to bid farewell to guilt.
The pandemic has led to online homeschooling for many. How do you see this experience panning out for these children?
Today, the school works as a guide and sets the pace for learning. It isn’t possible if parents don’t sit beside their kids. Parent’s involvement in education has become significant because children are fatigued and are tuning off online education. This is especially true for kids who are under six years old.
This online schooling experience is identical for every child. No one has an advantage over the other.
Please share your views on online homeschooling.
We don’t have a choice, so we have to do it. We have to make the best of this situation. There are specific skills the kids can pick up right now which they wouldn’t have in a regular routine. Kids are getting a lot of unstructured free time. They can dabble in art, read books, etc. Generally, kids spend a lot of time on the road traveling for various classes.
They are missing out on the school environment, their teachers, socializing, outdoor activities, etc.
For parents, what is the ideal way to maneuver through this worldwide crisis?
This is not the year to push your children to do extraordinary things. There is already a lot of anxiety. They cannot verbalize it, but you can see them in spurts of tantrums, crankiness, and emotional issues. The mental burden is weighing down on them. This is the time to understand your child. Don’t stress about your child’s studies, especially if they are in the lower grades.
One word for Kidskintha
Devishobha and her team address various issues innovatively. In addition, the team reaches out to parents and the community at large. I always love being associated with Kidskintha.
Follow Dr. Pallavi-the parenting coach on Instagram @GetSetParent.
Shop for innovative and engaging products at the Brainy Bear Store