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..

Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

FOMO’S, JOMO’S and more

Feeding the innocent mind with all and more is the strife of most caring and involved parents. So much to impart, it feels almost insurmountable at times. Still measured doses is what does the wonders. So often, as young parents, the fear is always there that oh my god! am I missing out/ have missed the bus/boat where several activities are concerned! Is it too late, already? The fears are all encompassing more so when the friendly other friend who is your parent peer seems to have done seemingly all the good things. The good part is that when kids get slightly older to have a say and mind in most matters, the fears seem to be gradually tapering off and with that comes a sense of relief when the decision making control buttons are consciously off from the loving parent! It’s only at a later date both the parent and the child begin to see that the FOMO’s have actually turned out to be JOMO’s in some cases !The unnecessary fretting at that earlier point in time seems so very senseless but all this is in hindsight.

There are also the folks I know who justify the non encouragement ( not to be mistaken for discouragement) to their kids in most simple activities veneering towards they being not such important ones. Agreed, these are essays to be written, some insignificant competitions to attend to, some random writing assignments like poems, letters etc. etc. but where the child is concerned, these ARE his very important matters! Purely the convenience of the folks in question comes in the way. Any voluntary activity is sidelined with the yarn of ” I have turned out rather good in my life without these so what is the big deal about them”! Here, it’s the child who misses out on certain learnings not from the point of view of achieving something or getting somewhere at a later date in life but simply the joy of trying out something new. The simple joys and the highs in a child’s life are those instant gratifications from teachers/ peers and to NOT let them experience these is something  really NOT nice. It could be insignificant for the parent in the scheme of things yet to know that you are a part of the sports/dance/debate team is a big high for the kids when well, THEY ARE KIDS! As much exposure that can be given will only result in a more confident and tomorrow ready young adult.

At times, it’s the uncomfortable throws of activities to them earlier on which they are thankful to you later on in their lives. We were all taken to those boring concerts, big people’s parties, no friend for company places etc. etc. but somewhere this sure has enhanced our tolerance level for people and places . Stepping aside, we can also see the merits and JOMOs of certain mundane stuff which felt important at that point in time but somewhere the limited parent wisdom came to the rescue of unnecessarily ferrying kids up and down from one thing to the other.

On that note, as a grown up, let’s also keep our FOMO’s behind us and march forward with renewed vigour and make small investments in ourself with a lot of self belief  that what’s going on is all for our greater good!

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.