Beingmommy, General, Parenting

Handy lists with kids around

Many a times, when our child is sick 😷/ unwell 🤒  and ends up showing the same / somewhat similar symptoms as the previous time, one somehow has a memory lapse on the magic ” last time it worked ” medicines to be given, and this is rather annoying! Why does my memory not jog faster, so I start to think! Here , I am referring to ailments like a sudden nasty cold, cold with cough/headache, fever with chills, harsh sore throat, stomach pains with spasms, frequency of loo trips and the many other dealable ones. Not for anything else, one just gets so caught up in dealing with the ailing kid that the mind goes numb ! In this, a ready list can be referred to before calling the medical help. Most cases and most times, the list will pop out the relevant medication along with the dosage and the doctor intervention is avoided. Its just that this list should be handy , somewhere on the fridge or pasted inside their cupboards or wherever one feels appropriate! I have found this to be really helpful and useful!

Another list where medicals are concerned is the listing of all future time bound vaccinations to be administered ! We come back from one and since the next one is like 6 months away, it promptly goes out of mind!! I have been in this situation way many times which is what prompted me to list them down and put it in their medical files. It’s another thing of how does one remind oneself in looking at those files!! Well, this can be marked on the general household kitchen calendar which is used for other such similar listings..it has worked for me..

Yet another interesting  listing has been very handy in case of last minute ” mom, I need to dress up/ enact  a hunter/ monkey for school tomorrow ” type of times. This list essentially has the ready information about those hallowe’en masks, those pirate patches, the master chef aprons, the clown noses, the hunter hats, those odd coloured yarns, the many different animal masks amongst many others similar stuff. If one is lucky or if the discretion to be the character for the talent show or the school performance is in your hands, then, VOILA ! you are more than done!

Good idea to put down ” kids’ list to be made” in our everyday to-do lists if it isn’t already there!

General, Parenting

Food habits start young!

Fad foods, comfort foods, healthy foods, easy to assemble, easy to make, easy to feed…what all we try when it comes to food for the kids. So far, my experience with kids and food has been rather good if I may say so, and it’s satisfying to see them not culling peas, cumin seeds or tiny bits of beans from their plates!

We all have gone with the cycle of fret, fume, give up , however , what has worked for me is to again, take it easy with food. Where my toddler or my young kid has refused morsels, I have gone with the expert advice that no child will collapse if one or two meals are skipped and with the adage of ” This too shall pass” . We might feel restless and uneasy as a “mum failing on this very crucial chapter ” of their growth cycle and quickly try and rustle up this or that or whatever works at that point, BUT I have felt it’s nice to stick to foods that are a part of your regular palate and that you feel will sustain over time. I would be lying if I have not given in at times, but somehow by and large have succeeded in maintaining regularity with the food style and taste.

Succumbing to fancy and quick comfort foods will become their habit if YOU wish it so. It’s nice to be a little firm with yourself even at the cost of feeling a little harsh at times. Kids need to see more disciplined folks for them to emulate! Try and not feel helpless as kids pick up this cue very quickly and then they start their, “NOT THIS BUT THAT ” attitude towards foods.

From the cosy comforts of their dining table, the kids will move on to other tables at their friends houses, school halls and other social dos’s . What we can truly call our achievement is when we don’t have a picky eater amongst us with embarrassing moments and unpleasant situations we wish we could have controlled at the right time ! In saying this, I really wouldn’t rule a lot of good LUCK and maybe PATIENCE!!!

I am still dealing with trials which go as NOT NOW , LATER ! with many foods I would like them to sample! These are not the core food groups but the other extras so am not too fussed at this point, however, my attempts continue…

Beingmommy, Mindfulness l, Parenting

LET THEM BE

I wish I can let this “mommy holiday attitude and temperament ” become my permanent trait! There is a sense of calm and easy living when the kids are on their term/ summer/winter break.Everything that has to, moves on , rest waits! The sometimes subtle but rather constant rants and nags are also on a break! Basically children are just left to BE. I know this has a lot to do with no set timelines and no routines to be followed , still, walking with this attitude for the rest of the year is something I would simply love. REALLY.

While they are still young and the pressures of higher classes has not yet kicked in, it’s nice to let them be, spend their time in a care free manner and let their minds wander. The free time they have heightens their imagination , some crazy, some rational but on the whole, interesting and NICE. In any case, before we know , time just flies!

Just as our greens are watered only as much and then are left on their own, likewise, for the children as well. Just nurturing them appropriately, not less, not more and then waiting for them to grow and blossom would be more joyous than anything else. Giving them the space they need to grow into mature adults is something that we should give and hopefully tomorrow they will not disappoint us.

With relationships in the adult world becoming more and more fragile, it will be the kids who have been given this non nagging and free space and timely detachment /disentangling from our apron springs , eventually grow into people who can manage their future relationships better.

BE FOR THEM BUT LET THEM BE!!

 

General, Parenting

TALKING TOMS

I am my childrens’ biggest sounding board for every minute detail of their lives so far! Maybe the age of innocence is still on or maybe I am an always available mum to them! Also, my two talk nineteen to a dozen! Yes , we all are aware that one has to be physically present when there is a need to communicate but I would like to believe that strong emotional ties would do the work just as well in their limited presence. It’s the feeling with which we reciprocate their banter that sets the wheel of communication in motion. This ” coming out of heart and honest ” feeling is very quickly sensed by the kids and the gates open up.

In this healthy exchange of words, their inappropriate language can be corrected, the usage of unnecessary words can be thwarted, the origin of their fears can be understood and so many other patterns of growing up can be sensed . The key here is to simply LISTEN and do so honesty and with all ears..anything less and their mouths will shut.

Some kids yes, are quiet and not so communicative by nature but they do send enough cues for you to pick up. Here, a good deal of patience is needed to extract those words from their mouths but it’s a given that they will pour out as long as the receptiveness is sensed by them.

So in an age where technology has consumed us in ways beyond our boundaries, may be worthwhile to rejoin the living rather than living in whatsapp and start to build strong communication channels for our kids and us to sail smoothly.

General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

LAUGHTER is infectious!

Laugh and let laughter flow amidst the chaos of life! There are various mood uplifters like retail therapy,coffee with friends, longish walks, soaking in nature, pretty flowers, and the likes..however, one which is an instant one is to laugh out loud!

My 2 conspired amongst themselves that should they hear an unnecessary rant from my end, they would immediately try and dissolve it by going through a big bout of laughing..yes, when they did it initially,it did get to me but very soon I too joined in and in a minute, the infectious laughter became all consumed and the rants were forgotten.

The silliness of kid talk is all very well known. A silly limerick made by them, some words twisted and repeated ever so often, a jig or funny movements by them can be all ridiculous; however, laughing it out when they expect this of you is a small indulgence which can be offered . This might also become your instant mood booster and may brighten your hour! Of course, if this comes in the way of your important and serious chores, it can be rather annoying but then that’s what children excel at! To talk about the most irrelevant thing when you are in the midst of your bath routine , to grab your attention when you are attending to a supposedly important call, to make the most of the situation at hand when you have guests over and likewise.

In all of this, the one thing that keeps you going is a good laugh..so, lets make a good attempt to smile more often and try and get that funny bone tickled by the ones we care for and love! While they are small and the seriousness of life has yet not got to the kids, let’s make the most of the carefree, happy, childlike days spent in many happy laughs!! It sure will loosen up all those stressful bouts and negative emotions!!

 

General, Parenting

Disappointments are perfectly OK!

Perception not equal to reality equals to much disappointment. The feeling is disturbing in some measure, dealing with it takes time and like it or not , this IS the hard fact of our day to day existence with people, places and things.

The good in your eyes is not so good when the better is expected from an outside evaluation standpoint. In one instance, it was a rude shock to the concerned teacher when there was a disconnect between his expectation of the student and the final outcome on the report card. In another one, the coach was sure to have this kid in the basketball team but the substitute coach felt the very opposite. Both these experiences naturally left the kids rather disturbed , but somewhere my heart too bled as a parent.The mismatch between perception and reality really DID disappoint me!

Disappointments are very much a part of a child’s growing up , be it as simple as not being elected the monitor, ( much rather cannot boss around!!) , exempted from the coveted school club ( here you get to go out of school and that fun is missed out!!) standing nowhere in an event for which they have felt there couldn’t have been any better prepared , complete failure in an activity in which they consider themselves as good as good can be! and many others currently in their limited scope of exposure.

We all adults who live in the adage of “been there done that” , CAN ONLY emphasise and highlight to them the importance of carrying on , not giving up easily and to strive for continued improvement. A good practice on our part could also be to NOT go overboard over small achievements every single time,  NOT to indulge in repeated treats for doing their obvious work well and in time, to be level headed and casual about daily happenings and to teach them as and when that disappointments are perfectly OK and they must be dealt !It will only help them become stronger and better.

Beingmommy, Parenting

GREAT EXPECTATIONS!!

Human nature is one of expectations ( though many would beg to differ) about many things – looks , weight, wants, desires, friends, family etc. etc. SO!  why leave the kids alone from this enormous burden we all take upon ourselves ? Great to look at the picture down here and have that gentle smirk or even that subtle smile about it but am sure all parents out there are guilty of this little talk at some point or the other.

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So many expectations we all have of our kids. As much as I would like to think otherwise, in my own little way, I too fall in this trap! See them doing something nice and worthwhile and there goes the mind in telling me that this is it! This is my child’s calling! Then a few days on and this is dumped right under my nose! There goes my expectations on this front..why, just why did I think a MASTER will emerge from this new found and new loved activity or a passion?

A positive way is to ask our kids to raise the bar and their expectations of their doings in THEIR OWN EYES. The ball is thus in their court and lets allow them to serve an ace at their own pace. This may also bring in a sense of elevated self belief and confidence in them. We all would be happy too!!

Another experience I have had is that while it’s great to talk aloud about the many happy doings on their part , it’s equally beneficial to keep them to one’s mind only , to smile about the repeated successes or to quietly deal with the unexpected outcome.

So let’s just once again, breathe ( it’s become almost my go to word of late) , enjoy and savour the moments, take it easy, realistically EXPECT good behaviour and manners from them and for the rest, remind and affirm ourselves that nature will take its course! As long as we are honest about our behaviour worthy expectations ( and they CAN see them rather clearly) the battle is won! Let’s wait for time to unfold the many small joys and surprises. Till such time, as their custodians, let’s practice to say what we mean and mean what we say!!

General, Parenting

Less is more!

How often we find ourselves reminiscing our growing up with our kids!! We talk to them about the way we grew up, the little things we did, the objects we aspired, the limited but cherished toys we had , and the likes. While our minds wander in the distant past, we try to bring it in real time and explain the joys of even LESS IS GOOD ! Sadly, somewhere it all doesn’t feel too very good when the context is not picked up by the kids in the manner one would like it to!

The lot of today are growing up in an era of plenty. Even if one consciously tries to limit the object intake of today’s generation, the surroundings don’t comply most times. I may be judicious in my buys but the many weekend birthday favours, the many little things given by visiting friends and extended family add up a lot, whether I like it or not! Here, my take is to take the current context in reference and try and gently explain the materialism of it all to the children. Very difficult though, but somewhere again, I feel a constant reminder of the idea of plenty and wastages thereof may somehow seep in their minds. Talking about my growing up with 2 party frocks and 2 dolls just doesn’t ring a bell..if at all any reaction is given, it is one of TOO BAD FOR YOU!

In all of us dealing with the big material world, as long as we are home in imparting the right values, we are there.  Gently trying and blending our own experiences with monetary matters with the present context may be an idea worth experimenting with. In small measures, I have been successful but otherwise it’s a constant reminder to their ears to be grateful and more grateful to the world they are born into!

General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

B A L A N C E

Some days I start my days by taking the customary yogic breathe – ins and breathe – outs to the count of 8 ..it’s somewhere a wonderful start for me. The day goes on peacefully without me raising my whisper forget my voice. Then there are days I find myself pigging on the leftover cake over the kitchen sink first thing in the morning and how the day goes with the kids , is well, the less said the better! I call this BALANCE!

It’s rather easy to see and know the dictionary meaning of the word but to practice it in real time, well , that’s the challenge! There is complete awareness of how the scales need to be balanced while dealing with kids but if only it can be done everyday! Certain ground rules are a must and adherence to the same is the key. Kids are very savvy to wrangle out an extra hour for TV watching on school days or randomly listening to a so-called  THE  song when it’s completely out of turn and tune! A good balance of temperament is what is needed most to handle such situations. This , for me, really comes from a firm affirmation to begin the day on a positive note. Honestly , as most mindful living books preach and teach – meditation , chants for some, first positive thoughts etc.sets the precedent for the day and once this is done, the day with kids is a cakewalk! It’s so very nice to close the day with the feel good feeling! There are days where I end them with perfect rants and feel good with that too but then as I say, that’s MY balance!

To try and maintain harmony in a household with school going children around, my experience is to plan out my days’ chores in a physically and mentally dealable manner, to try and not pack too much in those awake hours if they are really not time pressing urgencies. Of course, exceptions are there to this ideal mix but on a larger scale if a sort of doable list is maintained, the day seems sorted in most aspects and the smoothness of ones dealings with the children is for all to see! On that note, let’s try and figure out our own individual wheels to move on smoothly.

General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

CHILDREN DO LISTEN

” I feel I talk to the wall most times”, ” My child doesn’t seem to listen to me”, etc etc. These are commonly heard outside school gates or amidst parents interaction with one another.Well, my understanding in this matter is that children DO listen. It may seem, at times, it’s a failing battle, but all words of importance do get absorbed in their minds if it is communicated in a simple and effective manner. It may not seem so at times, but the fact is when it matters, the words would play their role!

In some cases and situations where frustration takes the better of you, the key is TO NOT GIVE UP. It is only the parent who can impart the values at this young tender age. At times, if one feels that the communication is not going in the direction you wish it to, a change of style, tone or rephrasing certain words may do the trick. Sometimes, a serious introspection and careful thinking as to why is it not going right may be required by the caregiver. If there is enough time spent with the child, there is no reason, other than a disorder of some nature, that your words are not soaked by them. If you can’t make him or her listen to you, step back, analyse the why’s and most important, BE PATIENT. The message will get through!

Getting the child’s attention when he’s most receptive is the way , in my mind, to go forward. Simple and short , terse , interesting, play way methods can go a long way in smooth flow of words and listening thereof. Once this ease of communication is established, the joys of exchange of thoughts and ideas will become very meaningful. My personal experience is to adopt a soft approach when you need to get your voice heard. So, stay there, measure your words, be at it , most importantly, be around and there’s no real reason why your child would not really listen to you!