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.

Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Mantra for mammas!

Mommies, time out for yourself to stop and smell the roses!! A direction which would translate into beautiful blossoms where the kids are concerned. The mantra which we all know works for SURE!! It’s our confidence in this truth which needs to be reinforced time and again.

A good degree of self – neglect on our part has an affect not just on our own well -being but this sure comes in the way of raising children, specifically when the onus is , for most parts, on an individual called mommy. The routine is by and large a great leveller for getting past the dailies. In this, what I have experienced gets forgotten is to pause in the midst of the daily chores and take some time out. Here, merely taking time out in spending time outside the house only does the trick partly. Much rather , at times, it seems all too contrived! It’s a temporary feeling of well being, at least for me. Also, leafing through the daily papers/ current read or engaging in wholesome entertainment provided by the media giants is again time involvement. For the mind to generally reflect on one’s behaviour and to make timely necessary changes ,what has really rejuvenated is pondering amidst the chaos, self – checks on repeated patterns and constantly working ways in the mind to plug the gaps. Kids are high demand material and they are capable of sapping a good bit of our physical as well as mental energies. What balances the equation is self reflection with a generous dose of self kindness. Somehow, if this becomes a way of life, as routine as unconscious breathing, we truly can feel good about life. Difficult but possible.

Much has been written about this in the Zen Buddhism, Sufi teachings, daily gratitude tips, kind words/ thoughts first thing in the mornings etc. etc. If reflected upon them with a thoughtful mind, these sure add flavour to our days and hence our childrens’. I am trying to teach my two the path to this in my own ways . Sometimes it pays, more often I hear rants like ” I will wreck so and so ” dating back to a grimace of yesterday, day before yesterday, day day before yesterday and more such back dated issues. Moving and marching on with self -reflection is sure not a cake- walk but a gentle one, it sure can be!!

Children, General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Verdict- guilty!

Guilt pangs is all but natural in this exciting journey of raising kids. It manifests itself in many ways, both for us parents as well as our kids. Whilst guilt can be a part in the repertoire of my many feelings , something which has to be stuck with and fully endorsed is not losing my faith in motherhood. That’s certainly not nice!

The rules are all well known, implementation and that too timely is what the challenge is. It’s well documented not to raise your voice in front of their peers, not to spank them in public, not to yell our lungs out for personal inability to cope with situations and the many other not to’s. I have failed in all and more of these mentioned, not once, but several times and have slept with that very painfully nagging feeling. My counts are surely going south and this is where my faith stands strong!

The other day, my son very enthusiastically palmed of a currency bill in my hand. Without my questioning, I was told that this is the money he accidentally took from my wallet. I sense a good bit of guilt from him on this one but am also pleased at his self realisation. We really haven’t got deep in this ( the mother -son owe one another some notes here and there) and my benefit of doubt has kicked in this first time. It shall be duly addressed should I see a repeated pattern but as of now happy to note that the guilt has registered in a positive manner. Then again, when sibling rivalry kicks in my abode, I hear guilty pleas from either- or after the matter has been quelled. This sure doesn’t come instantly but hindsight thinking brings it out and that too endorses my faith.

We all mere mortals experience this guilt feeling in our daily existence right from binging on that extra slice of pizza or, in my case sneakily stealing the rightful owners’ chocolate. One way to look at this is feel guilty and do nothing about it, yet another one is to realise this and try and plug the pattern. The only feeling that pushes us to move on is the one of self realisation and as long as this value is in our kids, we are home!

Beingmommy, Children, Parenting

The many questions and answers!

Now I actually see it coming !! Can sense it and feel it with my older one..a natural progression from a little boy to a little grown up boy! And here is when all the questioning begins!

Schools are doing their bit in sensitising them to the imminent changes; what is really interesting, is to see how this is lapped up by them and how it is verbally transmitted. For the start, when these obvious changes were brought to their understanding, it was , I would say, the ease of expressing the terminology that caught me in a bit of a ” oh really!? ” kind of situation. It’s not that I was not expecting it, but when when the spoken sounds rather outspoken, it jolts you for a bit. The ease with the flow of many medical terms at dinner table conversations had to be explained explicitly for appropriate usage , both in time and context. My 8 year old was lapping all the information prematurely and the so called healthy exchange of crucial information quite turned out to be a tad bit too outspoken! I had to intervene, not to curb their curiosity, but to highlight the timely and measured usage of certain anatomies. It’s quite a queer feeling to hear, Are my testicles hurting or is my penis behaving???!!!

We grew up in times where this transition was understood in each ones’ own personal capacity. In that, half baked and piecemeal bits were gathered from here and there. As the advice from experts in this field today strongly suggests addressing the child’s curiosity as and when it’s aroused , the right and probably the only way to address this is with complete preciseness.  Most of us are in sync with this and also act in accordance with this norm, which in my mind should be the ideal case scenario.The openness today sure gets one to hear things more and, at times, its actually quite hilarious to hear the once little mouths speaking as a matter of fact! My two got into an exchange of choicest words amidst general banter and my role as a moderator ( as always!) kicked in sooner than otherwise!

The many hats one needs to wear to raise kids! Also, changing with changing times is the only option to get past one phase from the other. On and all, growing times for us folks too, and now the challenge for us is not just keep pace with them but exercise our minds more and faster to keep up with the demands of growing up!

Howgrowingupmatters as a name sure seems befitting for all of us there!

Beingmommy, Children, Parenting

One or two at a time

The rush for teaching all and more to the kids while they are small is all so very etched in possibly every parents’ grain. Demand overshoots supply for the lot out there who have made a brilliant business model out of kids ! The newer and ” first time ever” ideas in the name of empowering children is almost the norm for the so called hobby centres. In some cases, there sure is novelty in the concepts, but largely it is all designed to keep the kids busy and away from home.

I have consciously missed the bus rush where my children are concerned. My ride has been very slow! In my humble opinion, a good start is to channelise your kid into something he or she enjoys and this has to be largely gauged by folks at home. A moot question here is if the waters have not been tested , how does one know this? A chicken and egg story is but evident, at the same time, small doses of the spread available can be administered to them. It’s natural for them not to like all that is offered but over a few trials, somewhere the gut comes into force for all of us to steer our own buses! It’s only fair to keep it going but not overdoing the part in “too much too soon“!The journey has to be made more exciting than the final destination. Almost each time, the formula for success is slow but hopefully will come through eventually.

My formula, rather the mix for my two , has been a combination of a sport and a culture dose introduced in tandem. They have been consistent in their endeavours so far. I can also label this as lazy bodies slow to try out all that is out there , but I prefer this route over rushed and busy schedules. It’s nice to let them go at their pace. My only steady and rather constant feed are encouraging words! So far the journey has been good and we will explore new domains with age and time.

Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Mum, not NOW! LATER please!

Hear these words ever so often!!

The thought to push away things for tomorrow is such a tempting option. I do this many a times in various contexts. To expect kids to act promptly and on time is a struggling battle, definitely to be won some day, some time, though there is this hidden wish that the sooner the better! At this stage, I feel I still have some more travel left on this particular journey !!

There is this strong urge to resist work, be it of the household nature or even the small expectation from their revered teachers at school. The last minute jerk is what is liked, like it or not! Disciplining them with the benefits of NOW to get to a better tomorrow is my best bet. I know and we all know that. Work at school assigned with a longer shelf life is almost  consumed on the last day before expiry! All days prior to that resonates with , not now, later! Small tasks like putting away the scattered mess is deferred very politely and conveniently. My experiments with certain foods also gets similar response! Here, it’s slightly different in the sense that mom’ s efforts in the kitchen and refusal to sample is handled a bit more gently ! ( at least the guilt bit is learnt by now!). Sometimes, my two speak and justify the later bit so convincingly, I almost feel wrapped deep inside multi layers of sweet talk!!

Till such time we take the uncalled for mommy stress upon us for them doing their work on time, this fight and long tirades with them would continue. Having said that, the control we exercise today slipping away sooner than we think is also not a happy thought! Therefore, the continuos fight! In most cases, eventually the work , be it school assignments, cupboard clearing, sorting papers and the likes does get through, the wish of them acting when we have commanded is what the strive is all about!

The NOW teaching has to be now! else as years are added, complexities also multiply and the reasonings for deference will only go up. Small but meaningful learnings at pre – teen stage will hopefully go a long way. Very soon, I see myself developing an all- together different approach to get my point across. They too are plotting plans similarly so it will be fun to see who wins or much rather am  hoping for a win- win situation for all, lest the losers ego takes a hit, something deeply avoidable!!