Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Is your child prepared enough?

Are you a person who hates rain so much? Are you a parent who is dreading the unexpected holidays because of rain? Well, I understand your point. The whole image has been created because of 2015 deluge. So, we are all hooked to our mobiles to check the school WhatsApp group every day to find out whether there is school or not the next day.  The whole process was tiring for us whereas the children get to enjoy the holidays. Initial few days of unexpected holidays felt great and eventually, the children are bored in the subsequent days. 

We always expect the school to send worksheets to keep them occupied. Otherwise, we give them the mobile to play on the laptop or we offer them the generous amount of TV time. Other than this, what are we doing with our children? Are you confused?  Is there anything we could do to utilize the unexpected holidays? Well, I believe the holidays are a good time to teach our children a little bit of cooking. Now, please don't stare at me for saying that. For children who are 10 and above the best time is now. Even though you have a cook at home or you cook for them, the children must know how to switch on and off the stove. Now don't say that it's not safe to teach them. Teach them how to handle those safely. Teach them to prepare coffee or tea in the presence of you so that they can do it even when you are not around. In this rainy days, it would be good to drink warm water. If the water from the flask is empty, they should know how to warm water in quick seconds. We cannot rely on the microwave oven every time and it is not very healthy to do so. 

Before you sit for food during lunch or dinner, ask your son or daughter to arrange the table. We sit on the floor and eat mostly. So I ask my son to keep the food and I ask him to arrange in the right manner. By this way, they know the importance of table manners, the way to handle heavy utensils and the art of carrying soups and gravies without spilling the same. After the food is over ask them to take back everything to the kitchen. This way we can teach them the responsibility of cleaning the dining area. These simple activities help them to respect food even when the plate is empty. It also teaches them to respect the work involved in preparing the food.  

Preparing chappathi dough is a work and it doesn't involve stove too. Give them the ingredients and ask them to prepare it for you.  The way they use the water, oil, and flour help them plan any activity in life too. It is okay if they mess up a couple of times.  They will learn it better the next time. 

There are times when the mother is sick at home, no one will be around to get her even a cup of warm water. Those times, If we have a son or daughter who can offer a cup of warm water or tea she can rest in the bed without any anxiety. There is no age limit to learn all these. Early they learn better will be their life. We spend a good amount of time to hone their academic skills better. It is equally important to teach them life skills. If they have both balanced in their life, we can be happy that they can lead their lives better and can be helpful for others too.  


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What is that noise?

Chennai and rains quite an oxymoron. One of the days from last week broke the stereotyped Chennai. The rain started to drizzle. A moment I was enjoying at 6 AM and I was flying like the passing clouds. A calling bell sound hindered my dream and annoyed my core. I was too lazy to go and open the door. I knew it is our driver. He is always asking for Diwali bonus by this unique way. So I send my husband to have a peek at the door. He was shocked to see our neighbor at the door. Sensing a foreigner,  he came inside to wear a shirt and again he ran back to attend him. We were clueless about the emergency situation. 

I was worried. What could be the reason was running in my mind?  My Neighbour said, "Sir, the rain started to drizzle, your clothes are outside. Go and take it quickly". I am glad that he said it, my husband ran quickly and got everything. Imagine, if I would have said the same, I don't know whether my husband will take immediate action. So I thanked my neighbor from the bottom of my heart. You must be wondering this is a simple act. Anyone will do. What is so great about this? I understand. Are you doing this to your neighbor? Let's stop at this point.

When I look back few years down the lane, my neighbor doesn't behave this way.  He was not a friendly person. He keeps to himself.  If we ask him anything he will answer, otherwise he doesn't bother anyone. An interesting story is behind my neighbor's transformation. Whenever there was rain during the evenings I rush to the common area to take our clothes. My younger son is 6 years old. He usually observes keenly and he comes and intimates me on the rain. His gesture always helped me a lot. Over a period of time, he started exhibiting the same to our neighbors too. As soon as the drizzle starts outside, he goes and knocks the door of my neighbor to inform the same. The early announcement helped them to save their clothes. Since he was continuously exhibiting the behavior every time, my neighbor also changed his thought process and he intimated me this time. It was a great transformation. I am astonished by my neighbor's behavior and action. After I took the dresses I came back home and thanked my little one for his kind act. 

He made me realize that It doesn't  matter whether your act is small or big, if it is good please continue doing the same. Please don't stop because someone is not reciprocating the same to you. Eventually, they will transform and that moment is not so far. We usually expect a lot from our close relationships. When the expectation doesn't match with the reality, we get disturbed so much. Then there is a break or a big hole in the relationship. Even though we say expectation ruin everything, we continue expecting for reciprocation in the first instance itself.  If I do something he should do the same back to me will not make a perfectly cordial relationship but it's like an ATM transaction.  Then we become machines, not human beings. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

What are you doing?

I am always excited to travel even to a known destination and if it is a place that I haven't visited before gives me a double thrill. Getting on a train to get the right seat has always been an enticing experience for me. As soon as the train arrived, like a child, I wait for the coach to stop in front of me. If my allotted coach is far away I always make sure to walk to that distance to get inside rather than boarding any other coach. It was one such eventful journey I boarded the train. I got a right seat to sit down and read the lovely book which I was waiting to read with no disturbance. Train journeys meant for reading good books. I opened the book which I was dying to read for a long time. The initial pages were interesting and I was flowing with the life of the personality in the book. While I was reading the book, I was distracted by a lovely little child who was sitting on the other side of the aisle with her mother. As I was reading, I was also fascinated to watch their life story. As per my observations then and there the child was clinging to her mother and was in a mood to explore like any other child.

From the beginning of the journey,  I saw the mother was hooked to her smartphone than spending time with her child. She was browsing the phone by not giving any rest and relaxation to the phone. Her child was very adorable and she didn't even bother to ask for the phone nor in a position to disturb her. The child was in her own mood to talk something by herself and spent the rest of the time by watching the neighbors. To continue with the smartphone usage the mother continued to order chickpeas, biscuits, snacks, tea, and coffee whenever anyone comes to the compartment to sell their product. All the snacks have been gently passed on to her daughter and the mother conveniently spent her time on the phone. I was surprised to see the little girl having that much amount of patience. 

Few hours passed, the mother became so much tired of watching Whatsapp and she slept. The girl after having all the snacks and playing by herself all alone has got bored. While her mother was sleeping, she was sneaking from her seat and wanted to socialize with everybody in the compartment. She stood in her seat and told me "Don't wake up my mother. I am going to play" and she was walking down in the train coach. After some time  I asked her, "Why are you going outside. Please stay in your seat". Hearing those words her mother woke up and asked her to stay in the same seat with her. Just because I noticed the incident, the mother spent some more time with her and she continued going back to her mobile. 

The whole incident bothered me a lot. The smartphone captured most of us inside the four corners of the screen and made everyone as prisoners. None of us are spared from the evil devil. Only a few conscious human souls know the limitation of using it in the right way and at the right time. Train journeys are worth to remember and it's even worth when you are alone traveling with only your daughter or son. Because you have got the undivided time to spend a lot with your children. At home, mothers are always multitasking the work at most of the times. In a travel, there is nothing to take care except your family, belongings and the memories. Travelling itself is a wonderful phenomenon. There is always a lot to learn every time you travel whatever the mode of the transport. During the course of travel, be kind to your eyes, your family and look everything around you. Make memories and learn something and more importantly spend time with your family. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Swap

I was traveling to Madurai for a conference. Our group had few adults with a lot of children. Everyone got a seat scattered in different coaches. Since we wanted all the children seated together, few adults went hunting for adjacent seats together by pleading and pleasing grown-ups.  None of them were in a mood to adjust to their nearby seats. I wondered the tolerance level of people even after explaining the situation about children. This attitude requires a serious thought provoking for all of us. We didn't ask families to separate and sit, either we asked a couple itself to move to the next place or singletons to move. But none of them heard our voice. They wanted to sit and not willing to move as that was the seat they occupied in the first hand. You may ask, they paid money and got tickets, so it belongs to them. Of course, Yes,  I don't deny that. All we said is the same comfort can be shifted to the other seat. Not even a single leg could move and offer a seat for the children. 

I am writing this because I am the victim of this incident.  When I get denied something which I strongly crave for any human being will be disappointed. That's the normal human psychology. We are also travelers in many occasions in trains. Imagine how would you react when someone asks for a seat-swap? Do you get angry or will you be considerate enough to consider the situation? The reply is totally ours and we are the ones to choose the best. Also, we can't-do that for each and every individual. It depends on the situation and the necessity. I am talking only during the times of necessity. A little bit of flexibility and tolerance level for the fellow travelers can help them and in turn that can mold us into better individuals for ourselves. Indeed these tiny qualities in life can help us sort many problems in the family. If there is a tiff between husband and wife it always matters to who makes it up first and rush towards harmony. This quality brings a better relationship in lending a helping hand to a friend who is struggling to find that one last code to finish the project. This little tolerance level can help a mother wait patiently until the tantrums from the child get over. 

So a seat swap for someone is not just a swap but it defines you, your character, your patience, your tolerance level with all the fellow passengers of this world. To co-exist in this planet with everyone, it is great to be a flexible passenger thereby bringing peace and harmony to the society and the world. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Who are you?

          A few days back I received a call from my friend. I realized the call was not a casual talk like the other days. She was fuming in frustration and agony. After the cajoling and listening to all her confused talk, she felt like opening up and talking. It seems they had a wedding ceremony in the family for one of the close cousins. It was the time of excitement and joy for the whole family and my friend was also looking forward to the same. As like any other family, the relatives gathered well in advance to celebrate the occasion. Since everyone cannot stay in one house all of them spread evenly in many houses and one of them was my friend’s house. 
      
           The joy, excitement and the celebration were in peak as the D-day arrived. The wedding ceremony went well. Everyone enjoyed the festivities and the spirit of the occasion. All the proceedings related to the event were coming close in the next day. Each and every family member was heading towards their hometown. People were coming back to the routine life. My friend was working in a corporate sector and she had to head back to the office.  However, there was this particular gentleman who did not move out from her house.

            He said to my friend that he has a pending activity in the town. Once it is over he will be going back to his home. My friend agreed to the same. So every day she has to make some extra effort to make a little special breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the guest. This was going for another few days. She thought he will head back after the work. All of his work was done and he was not in a mood to go back. He did not plan his journey to his home.

            He was staying in the house as like his own house. He occupied the best room in the house, ate good food and he didn’t even think getting something for the children. This really frustrated and annoyed her to the core as she was working and managing the entire house. Hence the reason she called me to vent out her frustration. 

Sometimes in life, we don’t even realize our deadlines. It is amazing to have great relationships. But that should not go overboard in any place. The more we intrude in others privacy we end up in others mode of mental agony and hatred. Wherever we go and stay however close the relationship is the best time period is for few days. We should not leave from any place having a cluster of ice in the host’s mind and heart. A relationship is a continuous process, never make it short by our negligence to adhere to the norms of life. We need to have adorable relationships with everyone, however, there is a boundary for everything. Make sure that we stay within the circle of good terms. Never be the subject of talking behind your back. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blue Whale

For quite some time, this phrase is common in the social media. Can you guess the famous phrase?. It is "Blue Whale" online game. No matter the age of children, everyone is aware of this term. Thanks to the social media for playing their part so well. Even though I have been reading the news regarding the same, one recent incident shocked me to the core.  It was a boy from a very rural background who attempted suicide and ended his life. I had an impression that the children from the urban city are only aware of this game. That incident destroyed my perception. It is clear that the excessive use of gadgets can bring you down and take your life too. Even though we are all proud that the internet has conquered the world, incidents like these make us realize when to use and not to use the internet. 

So, do we need to be bothered about the Blue whale game? Yes, if your child is using your mobile or laptop without your permission or supervision. One more Yes, if you don't know about your child's routine every day. As a parent, I believe you should have an understanding of the mental health of the child. When I say understanding the child, it doesn't mean that we should do micromanagement for each activity. For example, when the word "blue whale" is discussed so much at school, it is natural for anyone to attempt and see what is it all about by browsing in the google. It happened with my son too. He was browsing through the same, discussed the various steps and so on. Now, at this point, I can't be a rude mother and say, "Please stop talking about blue whale and there is a zillion thing to do for us". If I say this, I am suppressing his free voice and that lead to the desire of finding or digging the game a little further. 

Instead, if I involve in the healthy discussion of all about it, they understand the whole thing and drift away to normalcy.  Children who don't have a good reputation with the family members will indulge in this game. The children who are always subject to complaints from parents and teachers will have a low self-esteem and to have that attention craving, they divert and immerse into this kind of activities without knowing the impact.  As educators, parents and teachers if we can work together towards the holistic being of the child right from morning hugs before they leave to school, listening to them after they are back from school,  nourish them with healthy food, clearing or speaking about any taboo topics which they feel to discuss, a family dinner together and a warm goodnight hug before going to bed are all necessary for a holistic well-being. In addition to all this, please make sure that you activated the parental controls ON in your mobile or laptop. However, If the children are confident and outspoken, not only blue whale or red whale but any whale will not harm them from falling prey to anything in the world.