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PRAM LIBRARY: Counselling Session for Surbhi & Adya

  • JWB Post
  •  June 24, 2014


They are the generation Z. They are not the paper-kids rather the touch screen enthusiasts. We met 3 years old Adya, the daughter of Jaipur mother Surbhi Manocha Choudary. We have fixed the duo’s meeting with Kaashvi Sethi, the Place School Counselor.

In association with and The Palace School, Jaipur; we took the initiative ‘Pram Library’ where we would give counselling to the mothers on how to encourage reading habits of their small ones. After the 1st mother-daughter duo (read what they talked during their counselling session here ), it’s time to meet Adya & her mom Surbhi.

Adya – This is my school!

Surbhi – Yes, yes! We know.

Counselor – Your school is beautiful, Adya. How long have you been coming to school?

Adya – Umm…

Surbhi – It is 14 months back when she attended her 1st class. Is that a right age to go to school?

Counselor – That’s absolutely right age.

Surbhi – Kaashvi, I don’t want Adya to become a mechanical child. I was never robotic in my actions, and I dread if she turns out to be the opposite. At times, she comes to me and asks me to read her a story from her colorful books. Since I am a working woman, I tell her to watch TV instead. Hence, I have developed the guilt inside me. Moreover, she has started loving TV a lot because of this. Have my words made her robotic that she now herself switches on TV whenever she is free? Even when she has to go to school, she quickly gets dressed and eats breakfast while watching TV.


Counselor – Hmm. What else she loves doing?

Surbhi – She takes vocal music lessons and also goes for tennis.

Counselor – Wonderful, she’s a talented girl.

Counselor to Adya – What do you like most?

Adya – Sleeping.

Counselor – Oh, and after sleeping what do you want to do?

Adya –  I watch TV.

Counselor – And what do you watch on TV?

Adya – Doremon

Counselor – What else do you watch besides Doremon?

Adya – Nuby. He does magic. If he wants anything, he takes it by his magic.

Counselor – And what does Doremon do?

Adya – Doremon has a pocket and when Nobita, his friend, cries he gives him a gadget to help.

Counselor – When your friends cry do you help them? Do you share things with your friends?

Adya – Yes. When mummy gives me choco chips, I share them with my friends.

Counselor – Oh, so you share your choco chips with your friends. What are the names of your friends?

Adya – Shaurya and Aditi.

 Counselor – Can you see I’ve put something up here? Tell me what you see.

Adya – Egg, flower, elephant.

Counselor – What else can you see? Mumma is not able to see anything, you tell her.

Adya – She needs glasses?

Counselor Kaashvi & Mother Surbhi, both broke into laughter.

Counselor – Ok, Adya tell me. What is that black formation on top?

Adya – Letters. But I don’t know them

Counselor – Which ever letter you know, you can tell me.

Adya – A & E.

Counselor – Can you see I’ve kept something more for you here.

Kaashvi pointed to a book collection.

Counselor – Open a book you like and see what is in it? 

Adya presses the drawing made on the book that makes a squeaky sound.

Counselor – Does it make a sound? Is it that of an elephant’s?

Adya – But such sound comes from toys!

Adya looks for more books and brings another one to Kaashvi.

Adya – I like this book. I like Panda book.

Counselor – You love Panda?

Adya – I love Panda very much. Rabbit and elephant also. I love all animals.

Counselor – What are the Pandas doing in the picture?

Adya – They are making food.

Counselor (smiling) – They do not make food. They are eating food and what are they eating?

Adya – Apples. Carrot. Bamboos?

Counselor – Yes, bamboo sticks. Can you eat a bamboo stick?

Adya – No.

Counselor – Our teeth are not so strong that we can eat it. But pandas can. Imagine. Isn’t this book interesting?

Surbhi – You remember the sticks that we put on our door and painted silver?

Counselor – You have bamboo sticks in your house? Imagine tomorrow you get a panda in your house then your bamboo sticks will all be gone! Panda will eat your bamboo sticks.

Adya – He will not eat painted Bamboo sticks. Will he?

Counselor – He will eat them too because Bamboo is his food. And what else can you see in the picture?

Adya – Bamboo tree.

Counselor – Yes, it’s a bamboo tree and you can see the panda has a thick coat which keeps them warm in the cool forest. Pandas are very happy when they are in the forest with lots of trees. Now turn the page and what are they doing now?

Adya – They are drinking water and playing with baby pandas.

Counselor – Yes, you know baby pandas stay with mother till they are three years old. And later when they grow up, they live on their own. How old are you?

Adya – I am 3. Oh, I am the same age of Pandas.

Surbhi – Kaashvi, now she will think she can live on her own too! Haha. At times when she doesn’t want to go to her tennis classes, I tell her to relax. And the next day she tells her coach that I asked her to do so.

The ladies laughed.

Counselor – Surbhi, I just now showed a simple example on how I made her develop some interest in the book. I asked her to pick up her favourite book that made her connect to it immediately. I involved myself in the book along with her, that’s how children learn language. I was the one to read out for her since she is too small to read on her own.

Surbhi – Why do you think reading is important at this age?

Counsellor – Doctors say that learning starts from the womb. Don’t think that they start reading once they go to schools, try to connect them to your voice when they are small and stay at home most of the time. When a woman is pregnant, she can make the baby connect to her voice. So she can read a lot and the baby is sure to respond.

If she starts reading from this age, she is going to have a fabulous vocabulary, pronunciation, fluency, and also eye-hand coordination. Now tell me, what are your basic concerns as I’m sure you want your child to be a good reader and to connect to good books.


Surbhi – Basically, I’m not much into reading but my husband is an avid reader. He has a small personal library. If you talk of genes then she has the genes of her dad. Still, I want her to read something constructive other than watching TV. I want her to read one book at a time. She promises me to finish one book but every time she reaches home from school, she forgets her promise and the book is still where it was. How to generate this habit in her?

Counselor – From the session I just had with her, I think she likes colorful books. She likes to watch pictures and then read about them. Usually you have to make a child speak about it. So she’s already speaking about it. She knows what she wants and wants to further discuss about it. It’s just that you need to develop a habit where she would develop a routine to  just pick up something, go through it, associate it with real lives, talk about it and understand it.

Even 10 minutes daily are enough to do so. Best time is the bed time where she can listen and talk about some fairy tales. This would also help her to distract attention from TV, computers etc. Bring few colourful books and story puzzles that might interest her. Also, about the games – building blocks and puzzles for 3 years old is a good choice.

Give her interesting character descriptions. Did you see how I described Panda to her, in the same way describe the living and non-living things to her. It can be a bean bag, an animal, a cartoon character, etc.

(To Adya) Do you remember any story?

Adya – Yes, the panda one.

Counselor – It’s very important to relate the story to the outside world and it’s even more important is the time duration. As I said 5-10 minutes a day are enough. If she’s fond of audio stories, bring home few stories & nursery rhymes CDs. After listening, she will definitely do the talking. If there are no CDs, read the story loudly to her. You voice will become the medium then!

Surbhi – Even I remember listening to such stories in childhood. I still remember them! Also, these are your introduction to English.

Counselor – So you know what an impact listening had on you since you were a kid. So if now that same story is given to you to read, you can immediately connect to it. That’s why listening and talking is important at this tender age. 


Surbhi – I’m going to note down the names of the CDs which she likes. I’m not into reading but I want her to develop reading habit. Kaashvi, some time back we went for a vacation with a group of friends with kids of her age. The parents shouted at their kids and threatened them of locking in dark room or beating. This is not the right parenting style and I’m not that type of person who’s going to force a child to read. I want to know if strictness is right for kids.

Counselor – No. If you feel the child is not listening to you and is out of control, then rather than applying the method of punishment, try the method of reward! As a mother you know what she likes best. So make that something her motivation! If she wants a new book, tell her to 1st finish the previous one and then she can get the new one as her gift.

Surbhi –  Right.

Counselor – There are a lot of problems between kids and parents that arise such situations where the kids go out of control. Everything starts from home at this tender age. Rewards train them and bring more patience. When you yourself know she doesn’t have a choice then explain it to her rather than threatening. Explaining a child the difference between right and wrong in this age makes him/her smart enough to take their own decisions.

(To Adya) See, Adya. I have something for you. The Flash Cards.

Surbhi – Wow, they are interesting. Where do you get them from?

Counselor – They are available for the 3 years old in the market.

Surbhi – What other things you suggest for a good reading habit?

Counselor – Well, start from home. Give her a pleasant environment where she is free to talk and describe things that may not make any sense. Sit with her as much as you can and you will see how she will lessen watching TV. For musical rhymes, I suggest go for Baby MacDonald on the farm. It’s a really good video/audio rhyme and most of the kids love it.

Take a look at JWB pick of the best books for 3-5 year old kids from the last 100 years. Click here.

 Surbhi – Thank you, Kaashvi, you have been fabulous. My doubts are gone and I feel like a perfect parent. I am going to share these tricks with my husband and also my girlfriends who have kids.

Counselor – And feel free to talk to me when the little Adya behaves like a naughty child.

Adya – I won’t.

Now it was time the honourable Principal of the Palace School, Mrs. Urvashi Warman, to meet our little Adya. She came in with a surprise for her.

Urvashi Warman – Hello, little doll. How are you?

Adya – I am fine, mam. Hope, you are good too.

Urvashi Warman – Yes, I am very well. What story did you read today?

Adya – Panda’s. There is a Panda family and they went to eat bamboo, and they drank water and after that they played together. I love Pandas.

Urvashi Warman – That sounds nice. I want to hear more stories from you. Will you tell me new stories when we will meet next time?

Adya – Yes.

Urvashi Warman – Adya, here are 3 books for you. They have so many colourful pictures and stories for you to read.

Mrs. Urvashi handed the books gift to Adya. The books contained fairytales, short stories and vocabulary stories. Adya seemed happy and asked innocently – “Thank you mam. Do they have animal stories?”

Urvashi Warman – Yes, lots of. Do you like animals?

Adya – Yes, I like them. I will read these books with mummy.

JWB Journalist Ruby Khan also gifted her interactive book of poems with color pages and fun facts.

Kaashvi hugged Adya and bid them goodbye. This session was very enriching especially for a mom who has such a small kid. Are the tips helpful for you?

Special thanks to Mr. Vinod Singh Gusain for clicking the perfect moments of this session. And now, get ready to see the unlimited fun we had with 3 years old Adya during photoshoot with  Adya will enact the heroine of a book titled by her Mom – The Girl Who Will Whirl The World.

P.S. The Pram Library has already presented the poetry book ‘Drama Queen’ by little Ananya and her mom Dr. Ruchira. See here!

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