Children, General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Respect for all

Give and get is what comes to one’s mind the minute this word is uttered! In the process of raising socially and emotionally balanced children, we start our explanations, reasonings, sometimes longest tirades with kids at an appropriate age..in this , respect is one value which mostly is inculcated as an obvious but sometimes somewhere this needs to be reinforced..examples-

Respect for someone’s efforts – an emphasis on the effort a parent or caretaker takes in assembling and putting together a meal..I have noticed that kids always almost seem to either linger on the morsels in their mouths or on the flip side, swallow it down their throats! For something which has been at times, painstakingly put together, to see it go down the slide in seconds feels that whoops! What happened, how could my efforts be swallowed, not savoured!? If only it had been relished or chewed delicately, wouldn’t it have been better? The wondrous feeling is that at least the stuff is gone but alongside the gentle explanation ought to be rendered. Maybe at a later time and date, it’s value would be appreciated!

Respect for privacy – here the challenge is to expect privacy in the presence of little nosey pokers! We can always get that little space in their absence but the idea here is to respect the privacy of the grown ups in their presence, much like how the moms and dads respect their space with their friends and peers.

Respect for grandparents – this swings from overt love and sentiments bursting out when their object of desire is met to a total 360 degree turn should the case be otherwise, maybe in not so harsh a manner, but it’s rather obvious . Here, respecting the intentions and motives of the adults who are rather oblivious most times to the current fads of kids would be appreciated.

Respect time – many a times the parent or the care giver is so very taken for granted where time is concerned; to have all their stuff dealt with, all their time bound activities slotted perfectly etc.etc. Here,  again to respect the fact that all this takes a good bit of time – management on the part of the people doing it.

Last but not the least, teaching  kids to respect the similarities and differences between the many lot of people they will meet in the journey called LIFE is of utmost importance in my mind.

Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Confidence and complexes

Self doubt is such a kill joy in so many areas of our lives. Yet , somehow, this doesn’t seem to get out of our systems . Maybe it’s lack of effort on our part, maybe it’s complacency set it, maybe it’s accepting that this is it, or maybe the complexes play a great role! No two DNA’s are the same , yet knowing this well, somewhere the hidden complexes show their ugly faces and we do get trapped at one point or the other! These need to be clipped or unnecessary our burdens are passed on unknowingly and unconsciously to our children.

Kids are kids and they all have their very own innate and unique abilities. In the yarn of emulating their peers in areas of interest completely different than theirs, there is grave injustice done on our parts. For one, we could be doubting ourselves in recognising their individuality and this then slowly eats into their self confidence. I have known someone who for the longest time doubted her kid’s capability where academics was concerned and this self doubt manifested in a rather negative manner, completely uncalled for and completely out of self control mode. In this the kid too sensed the ” my mom doesn’t really expect anything from me” kind of attitude and his confidence/ competency was surely affected. So not required! As they say, NO ONE CAN MAKE You Feel INFERIOR WITHOUT Your PERMISSION! Why give this in the first place? After much sitting down and talking to sessions with her, the matter was salvaged though only partly still.

The performance pressure is truly a big load for all in all areas and when it comes to academics for kids, it seems to be THE talking point. So much has been written about this , if only we all sit back and assess our own kids INDEPENDENTLY without the aids of what’s app pressures and other comparisons. The theory of multiple intelligence is well proven, it’s only the implementation that remains. In playing along with their own distinctive style of learning, am sure I will see wonders , if otherwise, it may be a learning curve for me which also could be interesting and challenging in its own way. Here, the moot point is in recognition in the way ones own child learns and then building on this. I have felt the absolute need to empower self before I can think of empowering my two. Competency and confidence are quite closely linked and this awareness sure comes both with time as well as time spent with the child. No other parallel truly exists!

A sincere attempt ought to be made to drive away our complexes and give our self confidence a boost! A confident appearing parent sure raises a confident child in what I have seen so far.

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!!

Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Measured entertainment and self discipline

Netflix and other such entertainment giants have so become a part of our daily lifestyle.The addiction beats all and the joy of uninterrupted supply of content is all so satisfying (experts have been given this vast area to research on and they are loving it!). The kids are not left behind in this media galore and their cup of joy is overflowing! Their eyes and ears are all over whenever a discussion on this comes up. Here, my point is in exercising major self discipline first on our parts before expecting anything otherwise from the kids. This measured entertainment and self discipline has to be taken forward  in all other areas pertaining to kids.

Dining out/in is so very easy that seeing the easy – breezy – cheesy access to all the favoured food places is slowly becoming more than I expect it to! Here , a lot of self restraining qualities have to come to good use, else I see myself giving in to all and sundry demands. ” Can we have waffles or butter chicken , like NOW !?” kind of requests have to be politely yet firmly quelled with a straight face if they seem to be spiralling. It’s all so very tempting to give in! Yet again a case of disciplining self comes in.

A very common request from our little ones is a quick hop to a friends place. Starting out at a relatively young age with the premise of making friends, today, this play date has taken the shape of a ” what do I do ” kind of situation on free days and free time and free available friends. It’s an engagement of sorts for them but again here , it’s nice to exercise restraint! Good for the child definitely but absolutely wondrous for the mother ferrying them up and down! Measured time with friends gives them more time for self and hence more self exploring possibilities.

Easier to keep up with promises to self on this rather important aspect of discipline but ought to be done! Tuning our own minds to like and enjoy the big spread that life has to offer may only add to our very own experiential learning rather than deriving them from unlimited views from the outside world. This learning and experience can then be very easily transferred on to our young ones. As they say, mind control is all we need to exercise! This might be the essence of self discipline.

Children, General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Independent wirings for better connections

We really are taken back to our own childhood when we see our little ones sharing and exchanging information with us! Nothing has changed, nothing will change, nothing is expected to change and THAT is the good part. The only change we see is the way things are expressed. We too had stuff for mum and stuff for dad and liked the privacy in each case. Shared stuff was meant for sharing but the sanctity of individual relationships was equally, rather more important.

For kids, this weighty issue of “who reigns in my household ” is different at different stages of their growing up! Firstly there is no direct reign but prominence of one over the other still remains. Currently, in my set up , the quotients are handled jointly depending on the simplicity or complexity as the case may be. Being around most times, I have very conveniently taken the emotional hinging part along with the other procedurals. Not to say this is entirely my domain though and would prefer it that way!

The sensitivity required to manage kids when they are saturated with current favourites and can’t seem to figure out what next is very challenging! It’s a very helpless situation that the child gets into and it requires more than once talking to in trying to get them out from the cesspool of their own thoughts! Mom here comes to the rescue in handling some part, dad is also been spoken to separately.

My elder one is presenting into “I have my own pocket money, now where do I spend it”? The mother in me thrashes most of the ideas their brains generate for spending the monies..it all seems too wasteful, too extravagant and too not needed( typical mom and I am no different !) but to drill this into their minds requires yet again deftness of words and choicest of carefully put sentences .Here mostly dads come to the rescue of handling the matter more practically. Sometimes I really wish I had the dad temperament! It so settles most matters with absolutely authority and minimal intervention. It also settles fast, faster than fastest. The yes and the no is so crystal clear in their case; I, at times, question my own abilities and my confidence in them! (I still like the negotiations with me sometimes though, more so when they swerve and sway for interesting takes! I step out the minute the matter starts spiralling for a dose of quiet and step right back in to do my bit.)

On and all , I can say that the different personalities bring out the different elements of questioning, reasoning and solutions and this cements the bonds more. The idea is to bring out the best in our kids and actually it’s nice in ways that the mom – dad twain doesn’t meet!! Familiarity does breed contempt but here familiarity also brings proximity. Moms and dads don such different roles!!

Children, Parenting

Oh! Those siblings!

Having a sibling is wonderful for most parts, and this bit is well researched in many ways by the experts in the field. My two, as of now, can’t do without one another but the flash second where this beautiful bonding turns ugly is rather unpredictable! A function of many’s is what my current experience suggests.

Since I handle only two, my understanding is limited to this number.Much has been written about the combination, boy -boy, boy- girl, age difference, the older of the two etc etc. The moms age has also to be taken into context cause I feel that too is critical in sibling handling! Not to forget the environment which plays a big part and the stage of life we folks are in.

In my case, while it is established that the interests vary significantly, it all gets forgotten and diluted for want of a play pal. Here is when the sparks start and culminates into an almost burning down situation! The older one doesn’t hesitate or flinch for a second before berating the younger one, all for non adherence to the big sibling ego! The other day, completely non chalant were the two of them about each other’s respective days and the energies expended thereof. The common time engagement activity got out of control as the fatigue took over. The tiredness almost never registers in their minds and the disagreement clause kicked in. I quickly had to salvage the situation by cooking up an independent game play for both of them. The balls were changed quickly and the game of table tennis was quickly converted to a game of squash challenging them independently. My younger one was whisked with the lure of “who finishes first” kind of play.

Siblings will be the way they are! Revelries are a great part of this special bond! A mini joint committee also mutually solves most issues. It’s nice to see the different energies emanating and on and all, it’s a delight to see the inter dependencies! The wars are also historical so that too adds to the growing up years. It’s quite an experience in handling more than one child at any given point in time. Here the more than one clause kicks in, it really may not matter on the number but the equation changes completely when it is a 1 plus clause! Even more so when they are on the cusp of teenage/ pre teen.They are growing fast and we have to grow faster!

Children, General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Thrust on TRUST

“I am letting you take my lovely back pack only because you insist, but if you ruin it, you watch out!”. Of course, said in a mild jestful tone, but somewhere after saying this, I started doubting my own trust in my kid! At most, my child ruining/ losing/ misplacing my bag is what it could be, but not trusting him enough surely is not getting anywhere either! I have sometimes felt the the lack of this word is not so much in their minds as much as it’s in us grown – ups!

Trust developed early on sure has its benefits! Their minds are a blank slate when they enter schools . As far as the school system is concerned, their first words/ instructions given to them have to be trusted else very soon dependency kicks in. All but is not known about situations panning out, systems working the way we wish to, behaviours we expect and more of these; what really keeps it going is our trust in all of this! Our sixth sense is rather strong on many things, the rest can be safely tucked away in a neat packet called TRUST. If it’s otherwise, it’s only really causing us displeasure.

When my kids embarked on their little hobby journeys, I started off by trusting their instincts and taking it further to the hands who were involved with them, namely their teachers. Not every story is a happy one but by and large, it does pay off in the larger scheme. When trust was entrusted on them, their confidence too showed an upward trend. As tomorrow is not known ,moving on with the utmost confidence and trust in the way things are, of course exercising caution when need be ( trust in God but lock your car!) is the way I make peace with myself.

I may be foolhardy in trusting them with careful handling of precious bric-a-bracs and letting them play around with objects like balls, racquets etc. in the house but then so far, it has been rather ok I guess . Sometime , someday, I may get ugly on this! It’s rather important to let them know about you trusting them! Giving them the responsibility with many first- time experiences, complete faith in their understanding of situations in their own limited ways, letting them resolve their own issues etc. can be a good trustworthy way forward for them to face the world.