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Archive for May, 2013

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 Lessons from my children

Here’s a collection of nuggets from my children (some sentences have been restructured to summarize the actual conversation):

  1. Respect us. Listen to us so we feel important. We can’t always be wrong.
  2. Please try not to raise your voice when you are trying to tell us we did something wrong. We can’t really hear what you are saying then.
  3. Please don’t tell us not to use “bad” words if you use them in front of us. That makes no sense.
  4. When you tell us about all the poor kids in the world who don’t get to eat all the yummy food we get to eat but don’t, we lose our appetite, so please use another motivational strategy.
  5. We’ve been around long enough to know when you’re being sarcastic so if you just tell us straight, it will be so much cleaner.
  6. We need you very much so please be available for us. We truly love you and even though we’re brats some days, it’s only because we can be comfortable with YOU.

Please add more of what you’ve learned from your children. :)

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parenting-quotes-The-way-we-talk-to-our-children-becomes-their-inner-voice.

PostHeaderIcon Mother’s Day

And so another Mother’s Day comes and goes. My daughters made lovely posters listing reasons why they love me and it wasn’t any surprise that they mentioned the reasons they did. But it feels wonderful to be acknowledged by the most sincere of all people, children. All day, the girls were coming up to me and offering lemonade or chai latte or a shoulder massage or a hug or a kiss just to reiterate their feelings on this special day.

And while I have no problems with today being the special day the world picks out to dedicate to mothers, I like to think my mother deserves much more recognition that just this one day. Perhaps today is meant to be a reminder of the years of love and care our moms have showered on us, or maybe a starting point to give momentum to a lifelong journey of gratitude. For a few, it may be just a formality because they jumped on a bandwagon of  relationship vendors. I can’t say, but I guess it’s best to let some things be as unreasonably significant, especially if they do more good than harm.

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 The power of submission

Growing up, I was under the impression that submission is a weakness where you assume the position of a lesser being. Today, I realize that in submission lies a great power. Submission isn’t being a doormat, but in a way, demonstrating an absence of rebelliousness.

PostHeaderIcon Fragile minds

2 things to never do to your children:
– Never tell them they are worthless even in your most angry state
– Never tell them they are the cause of your worries

What I have learned is to reprimand the act or issue, not the person. It’s hard sometimes because letting go of your inner frustration by using dramatic exclamations can be satisfying, but your satisfaction can bruise a child’s fragile mind in ways you cannot imagine.

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