General, Mindfulness l

Kids and why?

Cannot blame them for the restlessness and whys if we adults get the home fatigue way too often in these new times. We can at least use our better judgement and more controlled mind in getting used to this way of home arrest but really can’t hold them to ransom so very often, and probably rightfully so! It’s their age to be outdoors, to meet with friends, to engage in game play and beyond a point, no amount of cajoling can get their little minds to accept this harsh reality of measured existence. Even the times they sometimes step for external stimulation for the weather, open air, bigger panorama to watch etc. , it is no cure patch for their fragile minds and at the end of the day it is still a very secluded lifestyle and a very alone kind of eerie feeling.  Their very wry remarks of ” my walls are tired of looking at me” , ” no fun in celebrating birthdays without the missing candies in school “, ” no egging and nudging” etc. etc.paints  a very morose kind of picture…remarkably  still, the way their resilience shows up is amazing, time and again!

Most of us older folks have gotten over the many NO’s with them in this stage. Conscious policing is helping at times, but mostly the reins are let loose..now HOW exactly all of this will pan out is a wait and watch kind of scenario. Maybe the good that might come out of it is a good bit of detachment from the world of see and learn and maybe the other merits kick in, maybe their world and their worldview could take a turn for the better, who knows?? maybe saturation with devices would become a pleasant eye opener for us , everything is rather in the hope and pray department! Till such time, one has no choice but to patiently answer their eternal question of ” when am i getting to meet my friends and play with them?” The teachers in their online school are also putting up quotes for them to visit and revisit the  ” tough times don’t last, tough people do”sorts. This too has a wry outlook for them and a very contrived, make believe sort of reassurance!

Now that some leeway is offered for many of these little prisoners of time, feet are their best bet for a stroll or a leasurely walk around the block with adequate protection. Cycling comes to the rescue for the ones who have it. A neighbourhood friend joining in with them in this pursuit brings about the feeling of remote connectivity. On and all, these little souls are and should be given that extra dose of pamper pills for calming their pent up potential energy and most of us folks are doing that. Technology, we all thought can take over our lives but the extent was never known! The gentle transformation of these waves have almost reached a crescendo way before time where the kids are concerned. Let’s hope Mother Nature restores the balance soon for all of us to step out, meet and greet and eat and play together!

General, Mindfulness l

Bouncing back!

A lot has gone on for the past few week s which has kept me from penning my thoughts, but then I found my balance in all of this so here I go again..

No matter where or how life’s path has put you in, there’s always a way forward. One nasty experience can set you back but rational thinking and sticking to what you believe in can make you bounce back. I very recently went through the torture of being caught, unawares in an unpleasant experience which involved the emotions of both, me and my kid. More so, the mind didn’t wish to accept and believe this learning as something relevant and apt so the revolt was even more. It was a drudge and a drag but no doubt, this uninteresting experience for both of us was for sure, a learning to deal with people and places! Sticking to my self belief was the saving grace to make me pull out from any further drags in this experience. The initial feeling was one of despair and hopelessness but a constant talking to the mind in reiterating my belief in this made me bounce back. The point is, no matter how badly one is stuck in and no matter how much one feels about the chips being down, there is always a way to bounce back and come alive again.

Taking this to the scenario we are in today, the only way to get ourselves up and going is to take all of this as an almost life changing experience and repeatedly tell ourselves and remind ourselves that this too shall pass . The new pace of life has been reset by most of us in our own individual way and it’s heartening to know how well we all have moved from denial to frustration to acceptance. Here again, it’s our mind which has reset itself and found new ways of convincing and believing in it. Yes, it’s a huge solace to know that we are not alone in this so maybe that’s made it more tolerant and accepting.

Let’s hope and pray we all bounce back from this and till such time, make the most of this once -in -a -lifetime experience, call it god sent or man made or any other appropriate label one chooses to.

The resilient ones are already on the other side of this, namely the young ones here who have carefully chalked out all their future plans. Well, the future , in some scenarios looks cancelled for many of us but for these little lots, there’s a lot waiting for them. Just awaiting for the go-ahead signal is all they will need to bounce back. Sometimes, this child like thinking can make us feel more bouncy than we are and who doesn’t need that more NOW ! So while we are all discovering new age living modules and technology has really made it easier for the lot of us who have the access to it, let’s keep the faith going for the many and a speedy recovery from all of this! Slotting the current situation in the HOPE AND PRAY department will keep us all going.  Smile and the world will be a happier place!

Beingmommy, Children, Mindfulness l

Soft skills upgradation

While it is very important to have our hardwares very hard- wired, what makes for an improved version is to invest in good softwares. As rapidly and with the speed with which the programming software is changing, our speed too needs to match up with the changing thoughts of our kids else we too would become redundant in their current existence and no one wishes for that to ever happen.

As written and spoken everywhere about change being the only constant, I see myself changing my optics of reality ever so often. The basic core values remain the rock solid hardware in my system; what changes and will continue to do so is the software. I feel the constant rewiring required at my end to ensure the talk -machine in an always ON mode else the OFF button would be pushed very quickly and I really wouldn’t like that. It will , though, someday , sometime and I  will deal with that then! So for now, daily small sessions on the so-called gossip in school is very attentively heard. So also the absolute drivel talk at times but great nonetheless as it gives me cues on the changing thought process of the pre teens/ beginning teen sagas. Amidst all those small white lies emerges a lot of new feelings and emotions. Some  stuff in my list of total unmentionables earlier have now moved to the mentionable list and this just brings out a smirky reaction from my end as I can see the intent behind this. Some eye opening , jaw dropping , but least bit mouth watering stuff are all but taken in good stride!

Talking about the change /appropriateness of the language used as kids begin to rise to the occasion of being ordained as teenagers! Another soft skill which has to be timely upgraded to the beta, theta ..stage. The basics from their end that are , at times, pushed beneath the carpet in the yarn of cool dude attitudes need to be ever so often unearthed. I hear the derided talk in my household from the big sibling to the small one and my alert ears and antenna grab them, then a long tirade begins and it all ends on a soft note. If not, newer methods are adopted for a more effective hearing! And, am sure, this is different and ever changing in all households!

All in all, it’s this core called VALUES like respect, regard and the likes which has made all of us and our reactions and our outcomes are all testimony to that, both in our eyes and also to the external lot of eyes that meet us daily . Here, some reactions  of course are shifted  in the big box of circumstances and surroundings and tick ✅ marked  thereof but most tick -offs are a result of what has been inputted, upgraded and kept up with the changing times as we grow. After all, studies and researches have shown and of course we all have heard and read that it’s not the great infrastructure only that produces great athletes, it’s the investment on the part of the coaches, it’s not the so called big and great schools and education institutions only that produce good students, it’s the teachers who are the enablers to make good human beings out of simple innocent minds, no good is the basic hardware without the upgraded software and it’s the development thereof.

On the macro level too, we see that the great framework of a government doesn’t necessarily generate a good governance, it’s the drivers of this that makes or breaks a country.

Good idea to update and upgrade our thoughts and ideas on this.

General, Mindfulness l

Honestly, HONESTY it is!

Best policy awards for years together and more to come! This wonderful trait is what really sets a person apart. A mere glimpse is enough to judge one on this quality. Of course, hugely substantiated by patterns of behaviour across a broad spectrum. And this pattern stays for most parts of a beings existence and living.

So much of this is inculcated by us to our young ones at a very young age. Very very clearly seen in the little ones who do justice to this. Huge importance ought to be given to value this trait as being one of the greatest reward for a decent tomorrow. The honest intention is but honestly seen in an eye to eye encounter with the lot. Kids who are really honest take this, at times, to an altogether different plane and even sometimes white lies with them becomes difficult to pull off!

There’s no better friend who doesn’t beat around the bush but says it clearly and honestly about you. When a casual meeting or a coffee outing is cancelled with an honesty factor thrown in, the bonds only grow stronger. There could be nice people who one is surrounded with but the ones who stay true to you are the ones whose eyes reflect an honest yes or no in situations. This is very clearly seen!

Honest feedback from well meaning folk is needed time and again for a reality check. Very recently, I almost sensed a sense of resentment towards me when I spoke honesty about what I felt when children are being coached/ trained by a professional and when the well meaning parent is in the sidelines throws their inputs unabashedly and very non- chalantly. My honest take on this was to back off from the core and be a bystander and to see how young ones blossom and learn on their own. It did meet glaring eyes at me but then , be it, my honestly really can’t be judged and if it is, I will be there to see the outcome on the kids at a later date. Yet again, I am almost losing my equation with an aquaintance turned friend in yet another situation where an outright honest answer to a rather personal query evoked another not called for situation! Am honestly ok at both the instances as it didn’t come as a contrived and thought of response; much rather it was my ingrained sense of being true that spelled out!

If you feel lousy, be honest about it, if the chips are down, honesty will bring them up again, if you don’t want to go out for dinner, speak the truth without mincing words, if kids have erred, no point in basking in false pride, if you don’t feel up to something, speak honestly, if the pudding is miserable say it! If all else fails, honesty will surely go out a long way and for the longest time! Come winter, even the tress shed their leaves honestly to pave way for new beginnings! So, stay true, stay honest and all else is really not worth it!

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 !

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, 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.

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!