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..

Mindfulness l, Parenting

Gratitude

So humble a word this is.. of late, talks about this being incorporated as a subject in schools/ colleges is doing the rounds and rightfully so. With consumerism on the rise , it’s becoming imperative to teach the generation of tomorrow the value of it today. Not an easy thing to teach kids I would say though! The blurred vision they see this with is heart wrenching at times, but the effort on our part to show them the clear and obvious should always be on. May take time and a regularity of dose but that is how learning has been where values are concerned so why treat this any differently or rather, not pay too much heed to it?

With me starting on their name labelled jars with chits to be filled for things they are thankful for on an everyday basis yielded good bits of laugh at the end of last year ( let’s be honest, just like anything else, this didn’t fill up completely!)  but yes, it did pave the way towards sensitising them on the many taken for granted ideas. It’s easy to sense a feeling of being grateful when one encounters the unpleasantness of life one is not directly involved with and this is very quickly ratified by saying a silent little prayer or rattling out a small mental thank you ! This gratitude need not be felt only upon seeing and overcoming the negative experiences but needs to be taken further when one has possibly everything. Children of today , being born in privileged households don’t feel grateful about anything in particular. Everything is their birthright and so being grateful doesn’t come to them naturally. Now it’s also unfair to show them unpleasantness to inculcate a sense of gratitude! Schools are talking about making them write down daily things which made them happy, experiences which were enjoyed, emotions that were stirred all in the name of sensitising them to their surroundings and being grateful to the bounties they are enjoying. Let’s hope they get this wonderful value through these positive initiatives!

Recently on a holiday, my kids were super excited to drop coins when they saw people on the streets either singing or playing an instrument or the likes of the gold / silver man standing for hours on end on one leg. I could actually sense that they felt nice about helping these folks and maybe somewhere they felt grateful about leading a rather privileged life! Here, I got a chance to give them a dose of gratitude! Everyday simple things like a square meal, a friend coming over unexpectedly, great weather for the day, wonderful health, to be able to do everything one desires etc etc, the list can be endless are the stuff one needs to be grateful for and if these are listed down, better still for the feeling of gratitude to seep in ! Looking back at our penned down thoughts and reading them timely can only heighten this feeling . Each one has to do their part and the sum total would only make for more balanced and sensitive human beings. Kids growing up feeling this from a younger age would certainly be more compassionate in their adult life and is this not what everyone is striving for?

As for me , my list of feeling grateful is largely to be able to lead a balanced life , to feel fulfilled with the daily chores, to be blessed with good health, to be surrounded by a set of wonderful people from family to friends , to be able to take breaks and vacations…the list is endless but everyone and everything adds up to a worthwhile living experience!

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.