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Archive for the ‘From a Mother to Another’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Time Capsule

If I could record every lovely act or every beautiful story of my children, it would take time, pages, but mostly tears of joy and gratitude. It isn’t that they don’t have their share of tantrums or moments of breakdown. Trust me; we have plenty. They are little people with real emotions and feelings, but maybe I’m the kind of parent who looks at problems as opportunities for character enhancement so I try to focus on them with an open mind and even a challenge to make a better connection with my children.

The bounties, though, are heart-warming. And I collect them in my mental time capsule, relishing each memory and saying a prayer for more blessings.

One day I will be old, and my children will be big people. I’ll shake up my time capsule over a cup of coffee and wait for one of the memories to unfold. I know I will smile, perhaps have a few regrets and maybe even the urge to find a time machine to go back and change a few things. But I won’t be able to, and so I think that today I need to iron my attitude with a spray of stability and the warmth of nurturing, and hope that I won’t have as many what ifs or I wish I hads.

Cheers.

 

PostHeaderIcon Helping your children develop their talents

It’s a privilege to see my children growing each day, physically and emotionally, building their personalities and developing from little people into young ladies. I have also noticed how they each have their set of interests and talents and as a parent, it is my responsibility to help nurture these.

But first, as sometimes children exhibit random interests, it may be confusing to figure out which areas to pursue. I have, therefore, exposed my children to a variety of activities such as sports, the creative arts and technology to help discover where their interests and abilities lie. Once those areas were identified, I engaged my children in acquiring knowledge and skills to further develop those interests.

Many parents force their children to pursue activities that their children may not enjoy, and while to a certain extent, this may be a necessary process in identifying the child’s interests, it may distract the child from what is his or her natural talent. When a child expresses their interest in a particular activity, that is a pathway for the parent to steer them on the right track. And with time, their interests may change and as parents we need to be flexible enough to change with them. This is all part of the learning experience and it really isn’t as daunting as it may seem. It is, in fact, an opportunity for creating memorable bonds between the parent and the child.

Also, it is important to challenge children but while they are busy testing the waters, some parents tend to set very high standards. We have to be careful not to demoralize the child by having unrealistic expectations so we must work on striking a fair balance during the learning process. This where we need to understand the difference between “nurturing” and “pushing.” And if as a parent, we are unable to provide the coaching and mentorship needed, we can check out resources available that can provide the help the child needs.

There is great joy in seeing watching your children’s talents bloom. And there is even greater joy in knowing that you are experiencing the journey with them.

 

PostHeaderIcon 10 Truths Every Mom Should Know

10-truths-every-mom-should-know-by-babysavers.com_

PostHeaderIcon A must-read!

Not Worried About a Little Baby Fat

PostHeaderIcon Know-it-alls? Hardly. (A contribution by my friend, Jasjeet Kaur)

Mothers Day just passed. Mothers are celebrated with enthusiasm. We acknowledge how much our moms did for us.

As kids we look up to our parents as the source of guidance for all matters. They always have all the answers. Even as adults, mom is the first person we think of when we need urgent personal advice. She always says the right thing.

But you know what, as a mom, I now know some things I didn’t know earlier. Your child thinks you already know the answers. But what he doesn’t know is that you didn’t know the answer till the moment he asked the question. A parent learns on the job every second of the day. This is first time for the parents as well. They have never faced the situations that children create everyday. They take new decisions every day. They say things that they have never had a chance to think through. Many a time, they make mistakes. Kids assume the parents have experience in every thing they can imagine. That is a myth that all parents are able to project all their lives :-)

A lot of times, when its the first time for the kid, its also the first time for the parents.

Did I know what to do, when my daughter thought her world was about to end because her friends were so fickle? Hardly. I swung between anger at her friends, compassion for my child and the desire to tell her that this is just a lesson of life. As I stood there, indecisively, my child calmed down, came and hugged me and whispered, “Thanks mom, you are so understanding. I thought you would be angry at me for being immature.”

Got some undeserved credit for parenting.

Did I know what to do when one afternoon, my son turned to me in a state of some agitation and said he needed to confirm something his friend had told him. It disturbed him so much that he couldn’t wait to get home and clarify with me. And then gazing at me with his honest eyes, he asked me to explain a term that made me, a mother of three, blush. No, I had no idea, as a parent, how much to explain and how much to hide so that his innocence was maintained. And the hard part was keeping a straight face while thinking. So while he looked on at his parent for guidance, the parent struggled on the spot. And then making it sound as scientific and as boring as possible, I gave him the correct information with a bland expression.  No big deal for me son.

Another surprise test of parenting passed.

I think on children’s day we must thank our kids for their constant trust in us. For forgiving and forgetting easily as we blunder through our job. For being such kind fans and for patiently waiting for us to gain experience so we can do it right. Thanks kids!

PostHeaderIcon The seeds of anger

Parents are human. We are susceptible to anger emotions stemming out of frustrations, struggles, arguments and disagreements or from just having a bad day. Sometimes we are upset with out young children for bad behavior or disobedience which is in order if delivered appropriately. And sometimes, we just have a bad attitude because we carry the weight of unfinished business on our shoulders.

But then there’s a lot of parents who shush every idea or opinion their child has. They allow their negativities to spill on innocent minds. I have seen it all too often and can visualize a heart break happening when a child is treated as an insignificant creature with no feelings.

I believe that there should be method in our madness as parents. Respect is a learned trait and a child can only learn it if they see us exemplifying it. It starts at home, like most character building does and the parent plays the biggest role. Verbal or physical anger towards a child is like planting seeds of disillusionment in their tender minds. When nourished with disrespect, their mind learns that behavior and adapts it. It is easy to be angry but very difficult to straighten the kinks that form in the minds of the children as a consequence. There is a simple rule I try to follow and I’d like to share it here.

When it isn’t the right time to talk to your child, excuse yourself politely, resist the temptation to snap, and get back to them at a later time with a controlled attitude. It’s all about how you carry your words, the tone, the body language and eye contact. A child’s mind is sharper than we know it to be as it isn’t loaded with worldly negatives. It hasn’t been covered with layers of dusty mental pollution or become selfishly consumed in the battle between me and I. They can feel an unillustrated emotion just by our presence and aura. And so keeping these facts in mind, I allow myself a healthy space so I can keep my sensibilities intact and offer to my child a fair discussion.

PostHeaderIcon Side by Side


The kids and I were walking in the cold this evening and though we were wrapped warmly in our winter coats and accessories, the chilling winds urged me to hold one hand of each kid on my either side. The little one overjoyed by mommy’s affection commented that she feels special when she gets to walk — not in front of me, not behind me but by my side.

I agree. When they’re ahead of me, I can watch where they’re going but I can’t hear them or steal a glance at their bright faces. When they are behind me, I need to make sure they’re still there. Right by my side, we’re together, connected, our pace adjusted to conform with each other, which I realized immediately is the way we should live our lives.


PostHeaderIcon Retrospecting…

I was upset with my 10 year old this afternoon for excessive whining over a very trivial issue. It was also real bad timing because I had to leave for school and gather a bunch of things. In a moment of fury, I said a few harsh words which I knew were indeed harsh because as I drove, both my daughters were unusually quiet sitting at the back.

A little later, I called my little 6 year old who had witnessed the fireworks earlier and asked what she thought about my words and if I was right to have taken that route. She thought for a moment and said, “mama, I think you could have been more polite. She was just tired and needed to cry. You should have let her for a minute and hugged her. Yelling at us makes us feel smaller than we are.”

I think I need to apologize, not for what I said but how I said it. I cannot use my position in our household hierarchy as an weapon. I have my place as a mother but must know effective methods of communicating with my children. Yes, every now and then I slip. But I’m not too old to apologize. I hope I can learn from my children as much as I hope they learn from me.

PostHeaderIcon The relationship between will and energy

I’m sure you’ll agree that there are days when you wish you could be left alone on your favorite recliner with just your own thoughts and no other sounds around you. But then your little girl calls you for the 15th time in one hour because she can’t take the bowl of watermelon out of the fridge. You’re about to release a pellet of angry words but you control yourself because you know they won’t take you anywhere.

Kids need attention and care, and some days, a great deal of it. You know what, it’s alright.

Even today I remember when I’d trouble my mother for something at an odd hour and she’d happily (or so it seemed to me) oblige. I cherish the feeling of confidence I had in her. Who else would I ask? I know we have to establish a good balance and not do “everything” for our children, especially the things they can do for themselves. But there shouldn’t be too many black and white rules. I never want my child to feel that she isn’t a priority in my life. And more so, that I lack energy and enthusiasm, because I don’t. I am blessed to have children and I need them to know that. Again, it isn’t always necessary to “do” things for someone to let them know how you feel about them but our attitude transfers the vibes over to the other person.

I know I’m guilty sometimes for letting my tired emotions come in the way of my happy spirit, but I choose to correct myself. I need to set the right example, the right atmosphere in my home and always be the “go-to” person for my children. I feel the energy we have as parents comes from within us and emanates from our will to perform as parents. It’s a joyous journey and while there will always be those moments where you want total seclusion, it does get lonely after a while.

 

PostHeaderIcon Strength in Separation

I was gone for 5 days a couple of weeks ago on a work trip. That’s the longest I’ve been away from my children. But they were in safe hands with their father so I shook my hesitation and put on a brave front. I know trips like these are going to happen often in the future and it is best to tackle them from a position of strength and courage.

I wasn’t really sure how my little one, who just turned 6, would handle this brief separation. The older girl has always been an overcomer, and as long as her needs are met, she can talk herself into coping with anxieties. She is also more open in expressing her feelings so she can communicate her emotions and receive timely suggestions. The little one is a happy camper for the most part but incredibly attached to me in more than one way. Of both parents, she picks me to discuss her deepest and darkest fears, lay out her botherations neatly on mama’s table and sits patiently for me to iron out all her kinks. But I was going to be gone for 5 days and while I was excited about my trip, a nagging discomfort had planted foot in my heart.

But life goes on and we must all go about our business, isn’t it? A child must be taught that there is strength in separation. Every step out of our comfort zone means there will be a struggle within us, that the pains of adjustment will eliminate fear and instill confidence that we so need.

So the 5 days pass and I return to a happy child that welcomes me with her usual giggles and tons and questions about my trip and flight…who I met and what I did, what I ate and what I liked best. So I’m relaxed and feel like I’ve won a new battle within my heart. However the following week had some nasty surprises for me. Every single day, my little kid would wake up crying and ask if she could skip school so she could spend the day with me. Then she’d come up with the strangest reasons why she didn’t want to go to school…reasons ranging from how she has very little time at lunch to eat her entire sandwich to how children bug her for spelling help. At first I was concerned, and even more so when she’d cling to my legs at the bus stop and just wouldn’t budge. A couple of days I’d drive her to school and wait with her until the bell rang, and then just watch her crying her way into the classroom. It would just break my heart to see that my little child was so bothered by something and that I couldn’t fix it.

I tried everything from helping her logically overcome the stress, explaining that it’s almost the end of school year, to comforting her in my arms and reassuring her that everything in her life is in order and that mama was with her now. But the week passed and it was getting even worse because she’d come up to me after school, in the evening, and go over reasons why she didn’t want to go to school the next day. Her teacher suggested that every child this age goes through these insecurities and while something may seem like a small reason for worry to me, I must remember that it is a big reason for her. Her teacher also mentioned that while I was on my trip, my kid brought up my not being home every single day at school and wanted to discuss that with everyone. It almost seemed like she had built up the sadness in her heart and this was her way of releasing it…perhaps a way of getting my attention in addition to slowing letting out her pent up feelings.

The next week, I realized that I had to tackle her with a dose of tough love. While I understood her situation, I also knew that she had started to enjoy all the attention her behavior was attracting. Even the neighborhood moms were calling to find out what was happening to this otherwise lively child and why there was a little drama at the bus top every morning. So as the new week started, I told her that she had to change her attitude because this wasn’t going to work. I was firm in my tone and I made sure my eyes met hers. I could hear her heart racing and as much as I did not want to add to her stress, I was sure that this had to be the approach. That night as I tucked her in and read her a story, I told her that I needed her to sleep with a happy heart and that when she woke up, she had to be a strong 6 year old who thinks and speaks right.

It worked. She lost the clinginess at the bus stop. Though she was working hard to control her tears, I know she was working hard. When she returned that afternoon, she told me proudly that she did not cry in the bus or at school and has decided that it is better this way.

Today I have a victorious child who feels proud to have gotten over a bothersome phase. I, however, can not let her know that even today, my heart hurts when I think of how she cried those few days. I reassure myself that the lesson is not just for her but for me as well for unless I become strong, I cannot pour any strength into her cup.


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