Well if your child has a perfect handwriting and is superb at what she or he does at school then don’t read further.
This is for those parents who believe that there is a balance between academics and life. That there is more for every kid who goes to school than to max every dictation he or she takes in class.
I firmly believe in the above and not because my son is still learning to master the cursive hand or the fact that one of his teachers felt that he is laid back in class…why because he proactively doesn’t answer questions in class.
Ho hum I wondered..felt extremely angry on hearing that…but then I took a step back and wondered…why does he need to be the first one to raise his hand or be the one to answer every question that comes up in class…is he not competitive enough…should he answer every question or should he know the answer…
Do I want to hear in the next PTM that my son is aggressive and super competitive…at six years maybe no.
I am not interested in hearing either of the two statements, I am more keen for my son to enjoy school, to learn as much as possible and to become a good human being and an all round player.
He has and will get enough opportunities to prove his mettle.
I know some of may not agree with my outlook and counter my point of view by saying that in a dog eat dog world it is important and essential to imbibe competitive qualities at a younger age. I really wonder why?
A lot of us would have heard and seen the picture of a young Sachin Tendulkar holding a cricket bat. What has transpired since then has created history in the cricketing world.
Steffi Graf was given a sawn off tennis racket with which she began hitting tennis balls against the garage wall at the age of four. She went on to win many a grand slam.
The list of sporting and other child prodigies is endless.Today, with the kind of exposure and opportunities available the list is getting longer and is not necessary limited to sports or a few fields.
What is pertinent here to discuss is how to spot or recognize talent at a relatively young age and then how do we channelize and groom that talent.
Frankly I don’t know.
Well genes from both sides of the family will definitely give a foundation to begin from. What is more important as parents is to ensure a well- balanced and good upbringing which allows the child to do the best in his or her own chosen field and leave the rest to destiny or create his or her own?
Sounds melodramatic ? Maybe!
To me ensuring a balanced platform of academics, sports and extracurricular activities without any pressure or expectations will only provide my son new learning’s, a chance to hone his skills, become more confident and a well-rounded individual.
Will he go on to become a master of a particular skill only time will tell.
I think all of us, be it adults or children love to be spoilt, not just by material possessions but by the whole package – physical, emotional and a psychological.
With children it is even that much more difficult not to spoil them and living in a joint family only makes it that much more difficult.
Word ‘ spoilt’ in relation to children according to me can mean a number of things. Besides physical possessions of toys and games, etc it also relates to:
- Respect for the elders
- Neatness and care of possessions
And most importantly do they listen to you
A lot of what I have listed above actually begins and ends with us and that too has to be imbibed in the young impressionable minds at a very young age. The kids pick up the cues very quickly and therefore what they see is what they learn.
So if we are scattering our things don’t be surprised to see them follow suit. If we don’t demonstrate a discipline of conducting ourselves, setting boundaries of expectations why do we expect our kids to behave like robots under our command.
So if we expect them to be well mannered, behaved and listening kids then the onus really lies on us.
This is truly a case of walking the talk.
Let’s dwell on something very important – how to say no to a child?
The easy one’s are situations when you know that the child is being unreasonable and relenting to his or her request is going to do more harm than good particularly in situations or request where there is an element of danger as well.
Tricky ones are situations when you know the child is just being a child and his or her ask with expectations oozing out of their eyes and they waiting with bated breath for your answer are the real killers.
We may relent at times and give in depending upon the nature of the ask / situation.
And at times just to set an example you would deny the request. Now depending upon the desperation level within the child and how seriously he or she takes you - the request is likely to come back through a differentiated pitch with a couple of promises also thrown in just to elicit a yes out of you.
Usually here the no becomes sterner and the arguments and counter arguments continue till such time either party gives in. Reason may or may not work at this stage and at time theatrics and threats are also likely to be thrown in.
While I have elaborated a rather lengthy technique to a simple “no” I believe and I have seen many of us being impatient, shouting, threatening and at time even smacking the child in order to establish supremacy and get order into the situation. Is this really the right technique? I am not convinced.
I am sure there is psychological and emotional damage that we may be causing inadvertently. Not from denying an unnecessary or irrelevant treat but using physical or verbal force.
It is a no brainer – we all pass on some of our genes to our offspring. I am not technically qualified to quantify the above statement with more facts and figures but we all know this universal truth.
The question I want to pose before you all is how to control the bad genes if at all there is such a thing as “controlling genes”
Eyesight, receding hair lines, weight or tendency to gain weight, sugar, hypertension, etc. are some of the genes related concerns which may impact with age.
Eye sight and weight is something which can kick in pretty early in the kids’ life.
So while being aware about family history of ailments is important so as to ensure one keeps a look out for these issues. Other than that is there anything that one can do?
When was the last time you got together as one large extended family for a vacation? Leaving family occasions such as birthdays and marriages, we haven’t really gone for a holiday as one large extended family.
In my own experience the last couple of years have either been holidays with just the immediate family or like minded friends.
My childhood was very different – I’ve spent many a memorable holiday with a bunch of cousins either at an aunt’s place or the erstwhile family home. Those vacations were fun. We would play pranks on each other, go out for outings, movies, cards, carom board, UNO. You name it and we would have done something or the other – not sure what the aunt felt about all of us running amok at her house.
These holidays were great for all of us as they gave us an opportunity to come together as a family, get to know each other that much better, create long lasting relationships and bonds. Another highlight was the length of these vacations always very long but time when you are having fun always slips away faster.
A long holiday in today’s day and age is a luxury which is practically non-existing irrespective of whether you are self-employed, business or service. But that is not the point – I am being nostalgic about what the vacations meant back then and how different they have come to be. The agenda for today’s generation is ‘exotic destination’ or something different experience. This is also possible on account of travel and holidays becoming affordable. But talk about spending 2-3 weeks in a relative’s house for a holiday and both your own and their families would want to have you certified!
Patience is a virtue in any situation in life. However, when it comes to dealing with young ones it is at times required in over abundance.
From my experience and observations around me, I find the fathers outscoring the mother on this virtue by miles together.
Demonstration of patience in the initial years is the same for both the parents as the kid is too small. However, as the child grows there is a decline in the patience levels of mothers. This may come across as a generalized biased statement but when I look around including my wife, I feel that the tipping point to start scolding kids at the slightest misdemeanor is extremely low with mothers. I have seen enough cases within family, friends and in public spaces to stand by my statement.
I did speak to a few mothers to understand the rationale behind it and the retort I got was “try spending the whole day with the kids, manage the house and the numerous other chores with it and then we’ll talk”. So going by this logic working mothers should not be falling in the short of patience category then?
While weekends and holidays are completely devoted to my son and other household chores (I am sure a lot of the fathers do as well) – I am never short of patience. I don’t mean to come across as superman, but the point I am trying to raise is – is there any long term psychological damage which may be happening inadvertently? Are the mothers lending themselves to becoming ineffective over a period of time with the constant (nearly) shouting?
Living close to the school has a lot of advantages and one of them being the ability to choose to drop and pick the kids up from school.
So when it was time to enroll for the school bus we too had our share of discussions J around the pros and the cons. A lot of it emotional but finally the bus prevailed.
It provides independence to the kids, exposes them to different age groups, increases confidence and is an opportunity for them to have an adventure to and fro from school. Most importantly for a lot of us I think freeing the parent (read mothers) from yet another responsibility.
So thankfully we’ve had a great run so far. Infact, my son gets very upset if he misses the bus and hates being dropped to school. He insists that we try and catch it en-route -which incidentally becomes another adventure for him.
Ask any voracious reader and you can expect a disdainful look as an answer.
But if you look around people of all ages particularly the youngsters (may be generalizing here) are shying away from the good old habit of picking up a book and immersing themselves in the book
My wife is an avid and fast reader. She has a mountain of books besides her at all times. I am the occasional reader and will pick up a fiction writer during a vacation, (if i’m taking one that is ). My folks too read quite a bit our little friend (son) unfortunately has not got my wife’s genes for reading for sure.
We too like good parents read out to him from an early age. Leafed through books together, showed him books with big pictures, books with sounds and every other possible trick of the tradeJ unfortunately didn’t have the desired effect
While some of my peers believe that book reading is not important and is a waste of time, as everything is available on www, ipad, tablet or the laptop. I certainly don’t think so for me reading is very essential unfortunately in my son’s current scheme of things reading is not a priority at best 15 minutes in a sitting. Any advice?
One fine evening I get a call from my wife who informs me that the mother of my son’s bus mate had called politely accusing our son of shoving her kids finger in the fan in the bus.
While thankfully there was no real damage which had been done the mother had continued to berate the seriousness of what my son had done and how she and her husband had discussed it at length and since we were friends they were just highlighting it to us. We absolutely agreed with her what had happened should not have happened if it really was the case.
While we were obviously worried post the call. Our first reaction was wow was this our son she was talking about can’t be right. We know our baby and the level of mischief he can engage in my wife duly apologized to the mother and assured her that we would take it up with our son.
Our approach with him was not a confrontational approach but rather a casual conversation on the dinner table about his day and the journey back home in the bus. Luckily for us not sensing any danger he didn’t clamp up but happily told us the entire incident which had transpired in the bus. His friend on his own had decided to put his finger in the fan and test the results luckily for him the blades were of plastic and that too were running at a slow speed so not much damage was done
We double checked in a roundabout manner that could someone have put his finger in the fan but the story did not change. In fact on being questioned whether he unknowingly would have done such a think pat came the response why would he do such a silly and dangerous thing.
Convinced of his innocence we decided to investigate on our own on what had happened this was an obvious reaction to deal with the unnecessary accusation being levied against my son. So the approach decided upon was to check with the conductor and or with the maid in the bus, who would be privy to the shenanigans the boys did in the bus.
So I decided to go to bus stop next afternoon which also meant that I too would get a low down from the mother on the perceived actions of my son. I did apologize on his behalf but also hinted that the accusation could be wrong.
Sorry if I am boring you but too cut a long story short we stood vindicated in our belief the conductor and the maid both confirmed that the boy, on his own, had put his finger in the fan none of the other kids in the bus had encouraged or instigated him to do so. In fact they also said that he was one of the naughty ones in the bus etc.
Now I was smiling as the tables were turned and the flow of apologies had changed.
The point in all this being how do we tackle such situations without getting defensive. The boy obviously scared of the consequences of his actions decided to pass the buck on to the others in the bus but ended up being in the wrong. Similar fights / issue will continue to be a part of his growing up what is important is how do we deal with it?