Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l

Experiential learning

Now that my kids have reached the pre teen/ teen stage, the ride hereon is on rather potholed roads with many bumps but yes, the trip is on! It’s so much easier to pen a book or advice or rethink or reevaluate etc. when the learning is all mostly done on our part! It all wouldn’t have been possible had we not faced the many roadblocks in our way. So much simpler to suggest to the younger ones, yes suggest and not command or order, on the do’s and don’t of the impressionable teens. I have paused here and let the experience do the talking where they are concerned. Yes, no better way to learn than going through the loop, trial and error and hit and miss targets! It’s actually fun to see the kids raging and charging or recoiling, all of different temperaments, different temperatures and fluctuating moods and let them go with the flow and alongside be with them by the sidelines and watch the show! No fun in policing ever so often. We all know that somewhere it would all pan out ok. It’s this belief that should be reinforced , not the power of motherly negation. So much fun would be lost if I don’t see them sneaking on devices, checking out people, stomping and stroking and the likes!

Most , rather ALL of us have the hindsight theory to set things right, but this has come only much later. Nothing can come close to real life experiences. My two are trying out different stuff and more or less some mind map is on in their heads. Without an inclination to relevant subjects, their talks speak of a tomorrow where they see themselves as specialists in the ignored subjects of today! Am playing along with them lest I become the no-go – to mom which I shudder. So without the slightest admiration for the gorgeous structures and buildings amidst all our travels so far, am absolutely with them seeing them as the perfect eye for detail architects amidst kicking the football..who knows , their mind could be seeing a trajectory that I am blind to today or tomorrow when they themselves see the fallacy of their thoughts and become an accountancy specialist , we all could be sitting and having a nice recall over drinks! Cheers to that!

It feels nice when the kids want to know my experience when I was growing up. My experiences are my memories today and when they stir up those memories, the whole panorama of days gone by begins to unfurl, some surreal, some vague but most rather clear. Nice to know some patterns working in their minds when they kind of address my weaknesses in certain subjects when I was their age and how I dealt with them. Maybe my not so crafted but honest answers is building certain expectations in their minds and as long as they work on their weaknesses and build on their strengths, all my work should be done largely. Were you good in this subject or that ? and were you an all rounder ? or a nerd ? or even a failure in certain things ? is all getting stored in their rather impressionable minds. Together with their experiences in sneaking through back doors, casually glancing over uncharted territories, making those many dime a dozen has – been excuses, going through those crushes etc. etc. ( am sure I will have enough to share as they grow up) will be their hindsight theory tomorrow.

So much to look forward to!!

Beingmommy, Children, Parenting

The magic pill

Festivals bring with them splurging and indulging and if they didn’t, they won’t be what they are! Then again their departure is painful as me and my kids get used to that sweet bite ever so often in a day. This time around, I experienced chunky bars/ cubes/ bite sized treats by way of bars filled with the goodness of nuts, figs and dates. Now, this is what will stay with me and become a staple in their diet! Difficult at times to push in the many dry fruits but if they are conveniently rolled into a sort of wrapper opening candy, chances of they being consumed is far more!

My thoughts are taking me forward in this trip. If an all energy and goodness generating bite can be pushed in at he start of the day, I can very well push a little capsule in their diet! I am thinking of the good old cod liver oil which we all have intaken at some point or the other or have at least tried to. It has stayed with some of us and others have made it optional in their diet plans.The cognitive power of that little pill stays the same even today and who is not looking at enhancing their child’s brain! What that little pill is capable of doing is absolutely wondrous ! The cranial boost the Omega 3 in it provides far outweighs many other food groups. If given to the kids from the very start, this can pave the way for a genius mind!Of course, there are many other physical ways to grow your brain, like my kids play the piano and that is an absolutely amazing tool for left brain- right brain coordination and development thereof. Am thinking it’s not a bad idea to start them on the pill( pun intended) and see their addiction growing once the benefits are noticeable. It would be a wait for the parents to start seeing the tell tale signs of memory and brain development but trust me, no other brand has stood the test of time better than the magic of the cod liver oil. So go on, go ahead and start this addiction. Am headed straight to the chemist/ general store/ Amazon pantry to stock up on these wondrous pills!

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On that note, happy raising brainy, intelligent, fun loving and well developed individuals.( think about how an oil massage was delicately given to our babies when they were born with the old lady’s tales of them becoming physically strong..why then, leave out the menatally strong angle!) So, get going and am sure, the mothers out there will thank the manufacturers ( SEVEN SEAS) for making this!

P.S. Maybe a good idea if , other than the kids, moms and dads too start on this..

Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l

And they grow up faster than you think!

Nostalgia..aah! It’s that word that takes us all the way back to memories, those experiences, those aah moments and the fleeting flashes of days gone by. As the children somehow are fast tracking in their growth in almost all aspects, even more relevant to enjoy their childlike presence and shenanigans before time runs out!

With those memories of mine in the form of browsable material, I find myself going through them in a then and now kind of situation! It feels like eons have passed since they were in the toddler stage, touching and feeling all that comes in their way. Whilst it also feels rather relieving to now being done with all mash and pulp, it’s a gentle reminder to savour all their current ride-ons. Very soon these too shall pass as I see children of many acquaintances/ friends sailing on their current grown -up boats. With more than one child, it’s always a pleasure to see the second one growing on an auto mode BUT somehow I have felt more aware of the happenings! With our first borns, in dealing with them real time, the perspective is very different. It’s one of those am in a new kind of role and very often am in a fix kind of situation!With the second one, you actually actually observe the growing patterns. All of this will be rolled very soon into mode nostalgia so i am beginning to see the absolute necessity of being here and now, no matter how time consuming it may seem.

Nostalgia is all good and bad, in the way it is looked at. To be given a quick pass when it comes to going through our good old days, right from school to college to work life to current ( by giving it a pass I mean seeing them in the light of then and leaving it there). Where kids are concerned, it brings forth many joyous thoughts and a sense of heightened achievement in a very responsible role. To also laugh at all those many blunders but all at a good cost in hindsight, to improve our feeling of self worth in having gone through those years. The kids are still quite kids  I would say, so it gives me the positive push to look and only look ahead with my brightest eyes.

While I may be living, breathing and believing in the now, nostalgia wrt kids is all so very lovely!!

Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Mantra for mammas!

Mommies, time out for yourself to stop and smell the roses!! A direction which would translate into beautiful blossoms where the kids are concerned. The mantra which we all know works for SURE!! It’s our confidence in this truth which needs to be reinforced time and again.

A good degree of self – neglect on our part has an affect not just on our own well -being but this sure comes in the way of raising children, specifically when the onus is , for most parts, on an individual called mommy. The routine is by and large a great leveller for getting past the dailies. In this, what I have experienced gets forgotten is to pause in the midst of the daily chores and take some time out. Here, merely taking time out in spending time outside the house only does the trick partly. Much rather , at times, it seems all too contrived! It’s a temporary feeling of well being, at least for me. Also, leafing through the daily papers/ current read or engaging in wholesome entertainment provided by the media giants is again time involvement. For the mind to generally reflect on one’s behaviour and to make timely necessary changes ,what has really rejuvenated is pondering amidst the chaos, self – checks on repeated patterns and constantly working ways in the mind to plug the gaps. Kids are high demand material and they are capable of sapping a good bit of our physical as well as mental energies. What balances the equation is self reflection with a generous dose of self kindness. Somehow, if this becomes a way of life, as routine as unconscious breathing, we truly can feel good about life. Difficult but possible.

Much has been written about this in the Zen Buddhism, Sufi teachings, daily gratitude tips, kind words/ thoughts first thing in the mornings etc. etc. If reflected upon them with a thoughtful mind, these sure add flavour to our days and hence our childrens’. I am trying to teach my two the path to this in my own ways . Sometimes it pays, more often I hear rants like ” I will wreck so and so ” dating back to a grimace of yesterday, day before yesterday, day day before yesterday and more such back dated issues. Moving and marching on with self -reflection is sure not a cake- walk but a gentle one, it sure can be!!

Beingmommy, Children, Parenting

The many questions and answers!

Now I actually see it coming !! Can sense it and feel it with my older one..a natural progression from a little boy to a little grown up boy! And here is when all the questioning begins!

Schools are doing their bit in sensitising them to the imminent changes; what is really interesting, is to see how this is lapped up by them and how it is verbally transmitted. For the start, when these obvious changes were brought to their understanding, it was , I would say, the ease of expressing the terminology that caught me in a bit of a ” oh really!? ” kind of situation. It’s not that I was not expecting it, but when when the spoken sounds rather outspoken, it jolts you for a bit. The ease with the flow of many medical terms at dinner table conversations had to be explained explicitly for appropriate usage , both in time and context. My 8 year old was lapping all the information prematurely and the so called healthy exchange of crucial information quite turned out to be a tad bit too outspoken! I had to intervene, not to curb their curiosity, but to highlight the timely and measured usage of certain anatomies. It’s quite a queer feeling to hear, Are my testicles hurting or is my penis behaving???!!!

We grew up in times where this transition was understood in each ones’ own personal capacity. In that, half baked and piecemeal bits were gathered from here and there. As the advice from experts in this field today strongly suggests addressing the child’s curiosity as and when it’s aroused , the right and probably the only way to address this is with complete preciseness.  Most of us are in sync with this and also act in accordance with this norm, which in my mind should be the ideal case scenario.The openness today sure gets one to hear things more and, at times, its actually quite hilarious to hear the once little mouths speaking as a matter of fact! My two got into an exchange of choicest words amidst general banter and my role as a moderator ( as always!) kicked in sooner than otherwise!

The many hats one needs to wear to raise kids! Also, changing with changing times is the only option to get past one phase from the other. On and all, growing times for us folks too, and now the challenge for us is not just keep pace with them but exercise our minds more and faster to keep up with the demands of growing up!

Howgrowingupmatters as a name sure seems befitting for all of us there!

Beingmommy, Children, Parenting

One or two at a time

The rush for teaching all and more to the kids while they are small is all so very etched in possibly every parents’ grain. Demand overshoots supply for the lot out there who have made a brilliant business model out of kids ! The newer and ” first time ever” ideas in the name of empowering children is almost the norm for the so called hobby centres. In some cases, there sure is novelty in the concepts, but largely it is all designed to keep the kids busy and away from home.

I have consciously missed the bus rush where my children are concerned. My ride has been very slow! In my humble opinion, a good start is to channelise your kid into something he or she enjoys and this has to be largely gauged by folks at home. A moot question here is if the waters have not been tested , how does one know this? A chicken and egg story is but evident, at the same time, small doses of the spread available can be administered to them. It’s natural for them not to like all that is offered but over a few trials, somewhere the gut comes into force for all of us to steer our own buses! It’s only fair to keep it going but not overdoing the part in “too much too soon“!The journey has to be made more exciting than the final destination. Almost each time, the formula for success is slow but hopefully will come through eventually.

My formula, rather the mix for my two , has been a combination of a sport and a culture dose introduced in tandem. They have been consistent in their endeavours so far. I can also label this as lazy bodies slow to try out all that is out there , but I prefer this route over rushed and busy schedules. It’s nice to let them go at their pace. My only steady and rather constant feed are encouraging words! So far the journey has been good and we will explore new domains with age and time.

Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Mum, not NOW! LATER please!

Hear these words ever so often!!

The thought to push away things for tomorrow is such a tempting option. I do this many a times in various contexts. To expect kids to act promptly and on time is a struggling battle, definitely to be won some day, some time, though there is this hidden wish that the sooner the better! At this stage, I feel I still have some more travel left on this particular journey !!

There is this strong urge to resist work, be it of the household nature or even the small expectation from their revered teachers at school. The last minute jerk is what is liked, like it or not! Disciplining them with the benefits of NOW to get to a better tomorrow is my best bet. I know and we all know that. Work at school assigned with a longer shelf life is almost  consumed on the last day before expiry! All days prior to that resonates with , not now, later! Small tasks like putting away the scattered mess is deferred very politely and conveniently. My experiments with certain foods also gets similar response! Here, it’s slightly different in the sense that mom’ s efforts in the kitchen and refusal to sample is handled a bit more gently ! ( at least the guilt bit is learnt by now!). Sometimes, my two speak and justify the later bit so convincingly, I almost feel wrapped deep inside multi layers of sweet talk!!

Till such time we take the uncalled for mommy stress upon us for them doing their work on time, this fight and long tirades with them would continue. Having said that, the control we exercise today slipping away sooner than we think is also not a happy thought! Therefore, the continuos fight! In most cases, eventually the work , be it school assignments, cupboard clearing, sorting papers and the likes does get through, the wish of them acting when we have commanded is what the strive is all about!

The NOW teaching has to be now! else as years are added, complexities also multiply and the reasonings for deference will only go up. Small but meaningful learnings at pre – teen stage will hopefully go a long way. Very soon, I see myself developing an all- together different approach to get my point across. They too are plotting plans similarly so it will be fun to see who wins or much rather am  hoping for a win- win situation for all, lest the losers ego takes a hit, something deeply avoidable!!