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!

General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Sequencing and logic

The many patterns which the little ones are asked to observe and then recreate at a relatively young age has a great bearing as they get older . Very clearly telltale signs are visible and as they grow older, these only build up more and more .We used to love following a sequence of hearts, spades, clubs, then again heart , spades,…and while this was used as a fun play way method sort of exercise, our logical sense was expanding. This almost became a sort of an important building block as we grew. The ones who showed sharpness in this gradually took a liking to this sequencing logic in their lives and the results are but evident in those adults.

Amongst us who have adopted this in their lifestyle and general thought process are a distinct breed well spotted from a distance. Their every action and reaction thereof reeks of this trait and all this is in a positive manner.Talk about any area of their lives and these people are literally a step ahead. The mind forms a pattern of one thing leading to the other and the rest follows in order. Simple everyday tasks like making tea, putting things away, leaving the house etc. etc. is all done so very logically. Here basic intellect and the right usage of it play an important role in channelising this trait to their advantage. It’s an absolute delight if we were to deal with this lot more often! Even in chaos they set a pattern for logic. Take this further to a work space and your co worker who follows this will be one cherry picked for assignments which require significant doses of this trait.Their anticipation to the next course of action is quite explicit. Even the creative souls who sometimes seem to be in defiance of this trait can actually apply this for their own good.

Meet someone in the sports arena and the way their logical brain conducts itself is worth a medal! Their every move is almost measured it feels. This does come from a good bit of training etc. but at the heart of it is the sequencing pattern which would have been absorbed rather well when they were kids. Just observing people in their kitchens, work places, garages, malls , airports, parks, child management, public places etc etc. is almost a dead giveaway to their minds! Basically their conduct, reactions to situations etc. all breathes logic and more!

So if in the process of raising young adults, trying to incorporate this wonderful trait may not be a bad investment. Educationalists and parents do spend time in this but regular monitoring and challenges make this trait go northwards! Of course , each ones own wiring and tuning is different and in some it comes naturally but very worthwhile if in daily living this can be instilled in them. For the start, it benefits if this is a caregivers trait  for it to get transmitted down the line smoothly but I strongly feel, a little bit of conscious effort can get us there. At a later date and age, when wisdom breathes more, the benefits breathe even more !

General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Competition

This word is so commonly heard in almost every stage of our lives,  right when we were kids to progressing to being a student to going on till work life and thereafter manifesting itself in different ways as years add up. The telltale signs are visible each time, sometimes clearly and sometimes in an oblique and obscure manner.  Many interpretations/ misinterpretations are associated with this word and it’s usage is in both, appreciation as well as sounding scornful at different times and in different measures .It’s also how it is projected by one and perceived by the other! Can be healthy as well as cancerous; the way the pendulum swings is rather judgemental, though shouldn’t be ! But it is at many a times!

Competition in reference to kids when they are small is mostly amongst their folks which is gradually layered on to them unconsciously or even intentionally .As they start developing their own minds, I have seen this sense of competition stemming from within. Thats rather healthy, and I like it that way as it’s outdoing and bettering one self ONLY . Here, the only piece of advice given is to deliver your best and up the ante in your and only your eyes. Sometimes, a close associate or even a friend views this in a strong worded  tone reeking of accusation but then it’s only us we have a control on and not the people surrounding us! In not using this word directly but communicating in a subtle manner is what brings out the best in kids. This has to be very carefully handled lest it becomes an issue later on in their lives .Young adults decide for themselves how competitive they wish to be but the seeds have to be sown at an early age, gently and softly, both, in words and in actions.

Adult work life has its own share and take on this and this is different for each soul. What feels like, “he is utterly competitive” for one rings a tune of ” it’s nice to be like that ” for another. It’s only the perceptions that vary and they are rather personal to either of them. Nothing really right or wrong, just how one looks at growing up and growth is what it is all about! It’s also passion to a large extent which makes people competitive in their own eyes as well as the eyes of others. One actually is driven by a passion to either excel/ grow/ outpace or maximise ones potential. It is all good as long as it’s not coming in anyone’s way or disturbing the rhythm of living and life.

Competition with self and known only to self is wonderful and in my mind should be a driver in most areas of our lives from the mundane to the ordinary. Raising  the bar in our own eyes to levels which improve our own self worth and thereby makes us more charged to take on yet another day of our living, not mere existence , is what it is all about!

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.

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!!