Name of storyteller: Tika Devi
Project and location: Prescription to Play (P2P) Phuentenchhu Primary Health Center, Tsirang District
We call the parenting program at the BHU as “C4CD class” and I first came to know about this from HA sir who invited me to a community meeting especially asking mothers of young children like me where we got the information about the parenting class and the importance of caring for young children. During the meeting, we were told about the importance of taking care of children like talking, playing and protecting babies when they are very young and I knew more about the program when I attended the first class. So far, I have attended four classes (sessions) which are for children under three years of age. The class has songs, activities for different age groups, and how to read with young children. I come here for the session with my child and my neighbour and do the regular check-up (MCH clinic) after which we together go to the class. I learn about the day’s class, practice the activities with my child, and look at the picture books.
After the community meeting, I attended the first class and since this was my first child I did not know anything about children growing up and I had no understanding of how to take care of children at a young age like how to take care, how to play, how to feed, how to talk and bring up our children as nobody told me and I had the feeling that children will grow up like that (naturally). My parents and other people around me had the same feeling. The first class changed my thinking because I learned from HA sir that if we provide support to children at a young age like mine by talking, and playing they can learn through our words, body and hand gestures. The more we do such things our child will learn and will do good in future and become intelligent. As a mother I feel I am the bridge between my child and me because I spend most of my time with her and I learned that I can do simple things like talking to her, singing to her, at any time like bathing, breastfeeding, dressing, cooking etc. Also, we have the screening as per child’s age where we are asked by HA sir whether my child can do things or not at different times and this allows me to know about my child’s development as she grows. We can help a child if a child does not talk we can talk, and sing, through which we try to help a child to talk.
Being a mother for the first time I am thankful to have got this opportunity and through the class, I have learned a lot about child development, and it is interesting and important to know that we can start talking to children at a very young age. I feel everything is important to me but besides getting knowledge about games, and reading what I value most is that we can play and talk to our child at any time, be it bathing, cooking or doing work. We need not find additional time to do this. This is an important lesson for me. I am practising this regularly and I feel connected, and belonging to my child. Also, it is important to involve everyone in the house, father, mother, siblings, grandfather, and grandmother. Everyone has a role in C4CD not just the mother.
Definitely HA sir community meeting has helped us to know about the c4cd class. Had he not called for the community meeting we would have not known about such an important program/class and we are grateful to receive materials and other things. And also my household members for supporting me to attend the class and my classmates with whom we share time.