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!

Children, General, Just for laughs

IDOL worship and musically yours!

Teens, pre/almost teens and their idols!

I do know that repeated doings are common to kids but when I hear my almost pre teen collating his play list and my under-10 daughter adding her two pennies worth to it, I am reminded of my days how when I developed a liking for a certain artist, the tracks would be a part of my wake up routine. I would go all out with the music till the lyrics were learnt by heart and my pride in this almost swelled! The music would resonate in everyone ‘s ears much to their angst.

Now, when it’s time for our kids to engage in similar doings, the constant noise of popular tracks today almost deafens me! More so the loop playing! The peers too contribute to all and more and the spread deepens and broadens with every new track added to the playlists. Of course,silently it does feel nice that one is clued in to the new and trendy , but…! Here, the one happy positive is that the mutual relationship between the young ones and me surging northwards when we are in sync! It’s actually fun, at times, to be with the joneses and hum the tunes with them!!

Another seemingly topical craze amongst kids is to have their IDOLS!The hero worship is absolutely amazing! We’ve all had our walls adorned with WHAMS and Springsteens so now it’s their turn to be seeing their Ronaldos and Messis first thing as their eyes open up to a new day. Today, it’s crazy how this is supplemented by so much and chokingly more feed on these names, some ugly truths and some secrets which ought to be in closets! My two almost see stars and moons in their current idols – football stars and ponies ( my little pony series of toys) respectively. The holiday haircuts boast of this craze and it’s actually quite a task to keep up with their spirits and many a time, I know and they know it too , when this spirit veneers towards a fake and pretentious adherence to their soaring craze!

This age of innocence will soon give way to teenage angst and more challenging experiences.Till such time, am happy to visit HAVANA ( it’s actually the next destination in my mind) and listen to the new – age bands while watching RONALDO gulping his power drink in the huge blow up adorning my son’s cupboard!

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.

General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Shhh…observe silently..

I am not very sure about dads but I believe somewhere mums do learn a thing or two from other mums..while the different strokes for different folks application holds true largely, observing and making necessary modifications is not a bad thing after all . The best is not always the best if we were to step aside and see the situation from a third angle perspective. In doing things real time, very often for me, time pressures and the idea to get done with it takes the better off the matter / issue at hand!

A lot can be learnt by mere observations and the responses thereof. I very often find myself telling the kids to find solutions by sheer observations. Of course, it’s not something they connect to immediately, but I feel in repeatedly talking about it, somewhere sometime soon, I may see the results. My pottering about in the house, tending to the greens, going about with stuff around the kitchen etc. is silently but surely setting the precedent for a certain behaviour or a certain expectation. From reading and largely by observing child behaviour, a lot of thoughtful insights can be gained.

Now that spring is almost in the air, and the trees around are awaiting the blooms, the sightings of pretty colourful birds on the barren branches are rather clearly visible. My 8 year old has been observing them at closer range and trying to see a certain pattern. It’s fascinating to note that in quiet observations, kids can learn a thing or two from nature.

As in various yogic and meditative practices, it is taught to be mindful about situations, it may be a great idea to teach the young minds the power of observation from a young age. They may just be more responsive than react to the many challenges that life will throw at them.

 

Parenting

YOUR FACE says it all!

Children, besides having their own identity, are most often reflecting their parents actions, words, thoughts etc. and this is not something that we are not aware of.Yes, we consciously try to be at our best when they are around, but the times when we slip can be quite alarming. How non- chalantly we pass on our dislikes and our fears and honestly, we are rather oblivious about it at that point in time. Of course, in hindsight, the rationale is all there..

Now, I particularly don’t like reptiles as a species..so the other day, when Ms. Lizzy, a house lizard decided to show up, my spat of words ranged from yuck, creepy, and even more choicest adjectives just spew out! The emotions just poured freely and my face said it all. At another time, a dislike for a particular food presentation came out rather strongly. It is my way of looking at these things , but now my kids have started parroting my words whenever they see one of those harmless beings or that food served somewhere ! Completely not called for! Yet again, a learning for me to not pass on my biases to the kids. The strong emotions which we all carry have to really not show their faces to the fresh minds. It does require a good bit of mind control at the right time and the right place ; difficult, but totally worth it! Very recently, I had to witness an unpleasant experience concerning my child ( a pet dog gave a serious dig into her pink lips, a feature quite becoming of a young lady!) but somewhere my mettle took over and it really helped in controlling the trauma for my little one! GOOD ME!! Am now secretly wishing the scar to fade away and gradually in time go away completely.

Consciously trying to control my angsts and my prejudices for things. Don’t want the kids to grow up disliking certain foods, places, spaces, experiences because of me. Will be happy to see them use all their sensory organs and make their own sound judgements.

Parenting

ONE on ONE LEARNINGS

Collective learning is a great tool in building the social quotient of the kids. However, the one – on – one learning brings in different elements. My experience with the kids in mindful engagement and new learnings has thrown in new lights! As parents, we always try and make lives easy and entertaining most times for our little ones. Always try and go to places which has some excitement for them and most important, company of other kids. So, whilst this serves very well for a rolling fun time, in terms of understandings of any new concept like an art pop -up, a cultural tour, a visit to a museum or even a zoo , somewhere, friends and company takes over! We have travelled to far off places with and without company and the children have absorbed a great deal under ONLY  the parents for company. It’s not like the little know-how’s has not been with pals around, but the degree varies significantly.The times they were with friends, it really didn’t matter to them whether they were in Paris, in Spain or any other place..the place ceased to exist in their minds and the play with friends took over! What is that that you remember of your trip to BALI and its ” awesome volleyball ” in the awesome pool! What about SPAIN? Its the many crosses and knots played at the biggg palace! The recalls from those trips written very sweetly in their diaries is where my belief that the “best teachings under forced and sometimes boring situations ” comes forth strongly.

So, for them to know the significant difference between a book reading or a literature fest or even a visit to the football stadium of their favoured club, an outing with NO friends may be a good idea  till they are of age to absorb stuff  even in distracting company. With same -age company, it would reduce almost to a sort of play date at anyone’s house or in a backyard. Anything more will seem a far cry! Of course, a few recalls will always be there to please you, but the larger picture is rather diluted!

On that renewed lesson, we are going to open our good deed jar which started filling up in the beginning of the year gone by and to look at all those colourful memo notes with the deeds the kids have felt were good in their understandings!! Cheers to newness and all things bright and beautiful in the year of the DOG!