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9 April 2024 - Story

Parents in Village of Dailekh are Aware of Child’s Developmental Needs

Many parents and caregivers in a small village in Dailekh are aware of the importance of positive parenting practices, which they have adopted in their daily lives.  They belong to the local Janachetana Caregiver Group formed under the Early Start project. They were provided with positive parenting classes by the project.

“The parenting education sessions have brought behavioral change in the participants.  They enjoy playing with their babies and listening to their babbling. They are aware of the importance of early stimulation for development of their children. They make sure their children’s growth is regularly monitored. They prioritize the health and wellbeing of their children,” says Janaki, the president of Jana Chetana Caretaker Group, which was formed under Early Start project, in December 2022. The group holds positive parenting education sessions for local parents and caregivers.

In this community, fathers are equally committed to raising their children. “Unlike before, fathers happily feed and bathe their children,” she says, “Previously, burdened with housework, mothers did not have much time to look after their children. But now, with support from their husbands and family members, they make sure that their children are eating nutritious food and growing healthy.” 

“Through the sessions, I have come to understand that games not only strengthen parent-child bonding but also contribute to the physical and mental development of children as games involve muscle movement and stimulation for children,” says Kamala, a regular attendee of the group sessions. The caregivers are conscious of potential impact of their behavior on children, which is why they refrain from corporal punishment of children.”

Before the parenting sessions, misconceptions around pregnancy were rife. People falsely believed that pregnant women should not eat lentils, salt, green vegetables, or meat. This left many young mothers and their newborns malnourished. The women would also toss away iron pills because they believed that the supplements did not have health benefits. “Through orientation and reinforcement, the project has been able to change the people’s wrong perceptions. Now pregnant women and children are fed protein- and mineral-rich foods like lentils, meat, fruits, and vegetables,” says Janaki.