Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Parenting a Boy...OhBoy!

Two sentences of this post that made a mark on my mind...

  1. I told him how he needed to grow older so that the world could have a great man in its midst.
  2. Children have always found ways to discover the world on their own, and that's essential - it's important that adults don't interfere with that discovery and self-education. But it's our adult world that is increasingly seeping into their childhood, at the touch of a button.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/the-boy-who-saw-too-much-20130422-2i93y.html#ixzz2SadefAZm

Friday, June 1, 2012

It happened in my life toooooo...yesterday :)))))

Hitesh has been away to US will be arriving tomorrow and Veer's been taken care of by me for more than a month. We had beautiful moments together with each other this summer. Veer being a single child, has been so happy playing his board games with me, cousins coming over for stay-over, spending evenings with building friends, swimming with cousin Karan, Celebrating London with Vedaant. 

Yes, I have noticed his need for a companion has been key factor for happiness this summer. He announced thrice at different times in this month ...."I want somebody to play with!" ....it rings a bell.....ooops! Anticipating this need will arise and grow and will be difficult to support, I had invested in a T-Pad too, and it did come to my rescue I would hand  it to him, well distracted to make the next demand... So the summer month of "May" was well taken care off.

Now the only thing on my mind is good preparation for Veer's third grade homeschooling, so have spent last 2 days cleaning and setting up the 3000 book library for the new school year  and shortlisting books for Veer's homeschooling curriculum

Its the evening of 1st June 2012, I come home from work super-exhausted and physically drained, I serve my dinner and start eating, Veer joins in and exclaims "I want you to change this house, lets shift to some other place"....taken aback..."kya hua???" shocked I had a huge lump in my throat!...He continued.."I am giving you two choices.._~~~~assertingly~~~..either we change home to a new place where i have good friends or~sheepishly ~~ U give me a baby~~~ ":0(( " and the argument continued for some time more, all my friends have a sibling, though i pointed out quite a few friends and cousins who are the only child of their house....but i din't have the energy today to go on with this today.....so my pulled out my ace card that never fails to distract him, ....go get the board game you want to play out ;-))

I treasure this moment for ever and ever, how Veer changed his "tone" and for voicing out his urge for a companion...WOW!!! He has moved ahead in life, I see this as an accomplishment of a milestone and a new path that "We" have to pave....Hitesh is coming home today, we have never been away from each other longer than this time in  12 yrs of marriage....dedicating this blogpost to  his homecoming and the love that brought Veer in our lives and along with it these beautiful moments. And will keep you posted with whatever nxt :)))

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Parent's Beaware!

These days I have been repeatedly been introduced to products that are trying capitalize on your insecurities w.r.t to your child’s scores…..one that I came across recently is a software that churns out MI report of your child by scanning the child’s fingerprints, these vendors are coming to your child’s school on PTA meetings or OH dates.

I’ m not commenting on the authenticity of the TECHNOLOGY. I wish to remind every parent that there is no better report than a parent’s reading of a child.

Give your child your time, listen to them, attend to their need and you will know it all. You will know if your child is inclined to music or sport, why is he writing speed not improving, why is he so talkative in class, all your why’s will be answered if you look for the answers.

The danger of bringing in these reports into your home is ….its human to not look beyond them, you may have created barriers, you would end trusting it beyond your heart and mind…..our kids need open arms, open minds, open hearts….not these parameters and labels.

What is my stand on the product? How did I become so judgmental? 
The answer is : in my personal opinion of years of experience in seeing products designed for kids?

•             It had no testimonials.
•             It had images goggled out from the net.
•             It didn't share the names of people/psychologist or any team member of an educational caliber having contributed in the making of the product.
•             It used statistics with no reference of the source / or company that did the research.

Visit this website and read this article….how UNKNOWINGLY have we got infected with insecurities …and our generation can be only groomed with parents well aware of their OWN parenting styles.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Left Brain Stimulating FREE Android Apps for Kids

I am so very delighted to share this list of android applications that I have compiled for kids to doodle on the t-pad (in my case), and surely spending their time more constructively. Most of them have are logical and left brain stimulation. I am working on my list for Right Brain Stimulating and will be my pleasure to share the same with  you :)

There is so much value in handing over your child with technology devices, provided you choose to lead them, inviting you to give  it a try :). The list below is not to be misunderstood as rank order...please. Also install them when  kids are away (i do it post my child is fast asleep) I play the same before having given  to my child.....

3 Reasons why I suggest Parents play with the apps first is...
  1. Always introduce the game to your child with its protocols and control. Sit with your child and share the gist of what is the game expecting  of the player. And play a game/ level or two.
  2. Your intuitive sense is enhanced, as to what kind of apps does your child enjoy / not enjoy / needs a companion for.
  3. Lead your kids-  and for ever they will count on your leadership for Technology and its Tools, they are too young ( 6-12yrs) to be allowed to pave their own  paths with this subject.
 Music: I have loaded my tab with good instrumental music, hence all day the music runs in the background, definatley has a calming effect on the worked up logical mind

Religion: a prayer audio file is the first thing that is played when my child starts his dedicated hour with the pad

Math: Between me and my son ( just two of us now) we are maintaining a comparative score chart, we calculate the speed of performance / graduating level / difference between scores....

type the following applname in the google play store

A DOZEN ....Logic / Straegy Games

Monday, May 28, 2012

When the Heart Cried and the Lips Smiled

A nature loving and green teacher that I am. I love to take my the nephew's and nieces coming over for summer vacation to a beautiful trek to SGNP. Its also one of the trips that kids of my family "Lovingly Demand" from me, and I undoubtedly oblige.

I choose to go on a weekday morning with them, only because I want them to connect with the natural landscape  (minus) the tourist crowd, the plastic toy vendors, the unbranded and questionable food vendors....

So excitedly, I packed badminton rackets/ football/ Frisbee. Home made food in  recyclable container/ fruits and green habits reinforced on the way to SGNP for a morning full of fun...just the right kind for raising environmental sensitive children, one would think.

We had a good time at the Play Area, for the kids played badminton, drew cartoons in the thin layer of soil, collected leaves of differnt shapes all so perfect until we decided to head  to Gandhi Tekri.

Twenty footsteps up the Tekri, the kids who were racing ahead came running back, overjoyed at the "cinematic arrangement and presence of a shooting crew"....yes, just like many of us who love the idea of getting to experience a Bollywood shoot in action...the kids and I were ecstatic. We hurried our footsteps to be able to catch the glimpse of the "stars, if any around".

We were not only disappointed with the absences of the stars but from there I was very present to the withdrawal symptoms on witnessing the presence of artificial (plastic) foliage that was used to embellish, bushes, trees and  the stone steps for cinematic effect for Autumn.

It was one of the most difficult moment to smile along with kids as they drooled over the cinematic effect, pointing out to various new things they could see...the wooden benches, the beautiful lampost, the side artist

WHAT THE FXXX, heard that in Mind over and over again!!! Yes, I too lost it but din't say it :(......there was no way I would now be able to move on with the fun I had planned for my day out with kids. I was present to the dormant activist in me. I wanted to scream out loud at each one of them, I wanted to question them, I wanted to run to the authorities of  SGNP, I wanted to question this one, that one, every one....SUPER UPSET I AM even a week later today.

I very recently read this wonderful quote, "What is Measurable is Manageable!"
So I decide to measure this...
Quite a cinematic effect was already created by the time I reached at 9 am.
Saw the crew boys busy embellishing the pathway on my descend at 11am.
So all in all 3 hrs of 6 crew at work
on a pathway of approximately minimum 20 mts.
considering what we see in the picture on the left there are approximatley more than 100 pcs of plastic foilage,
which i think wld be approximately 500 gms of weight
multiply this by 10 steps = 2.5 kg of non-degradable waste spread out intentionally
i think that the wind would have surely blow away 50% in an hour
so to hold on the cinematic effect the crew wld have added more 2.5 kg more every hour.......the thought itself is so very suffocating,
presuming the crew must have been  around until 5pm ( park closing time) that is 9 am to 5 pm = 8 hrs X 2.5 kgs = 24 kgs of plastic foilage  blew down on to the forest floor/ valley.....

I am going again tomorrow morning to check the place out again and I will not be surprised to find reminiscent of an environment destruction that happened a week ago.

With all this thoughts surging in my head, I continued to smile and enjoy with the kids at the Mango my son found on the forest floor, at the delight the water lilies, fishes and frog tadpoles found in the water body at Gandhi Tekri. I wanted to tell them I was upset, but I chose to hide my tears. If this was not all,  even more painful was that the kids spend much less time at the Tekri as the wanted to go back to shooting site and enjoy the artificial world that the relate to more than the natural world......a very wrong connection got established, just what I din't want for the young minds.

My nieces recognized the star lady, Ms Shweta Tiwari, she was surely beautiful and the girls did get enchanted. They have went home with a memory of meeting her along  with a photograph of them with the beauty. I chose to do it their way, they were my guest. The hopped back home elated of having met her, they drooled about her over the phone to their parents, forgotten to mention the lilles, mango, machan and all the other fun we had. I got credits from their parents for how happy the girls have come home meeting the Tinseltown star, the photo which is now a prized possession, ............AWW that was truly & deeply painful!

I know the honest truth, that I am too weak when I am alone and upset. I need to collaborate with Friends of SGNP, team up and get proactive. I believe that the PEN is mightier than the SWORD...so here is my Post.....for you all Borivalites to read, who are surely much lesser affected by pollution
with the presence of SGNP...the breathing lungs of our Mumbai City. Its 
time for us to huddle together and protect "OUR PARK"

Friday, May 25, 2012

How do I dare to teach? Its my turn to learn!

                ----Rs 50 a dozen V/s Rs 500 a dozen------
Lychee is one of our favorite fruit, for the whole family. And it's arrived in the market at a steep price of Rs 50 per dozen. Today as Veer and I took our daily walk to the market, he wanted me to buy them and I obviously refused saying its too expensive we need to wait for the prices to come down. Pat comes another question....Is the price Rs 500/- a dozen? That's the price mangoes have come home this season. Now I new that this was going  to be a long conversation back and forth...

While I suggested,to Veer that he go the the stall and find out the price, the talkative me could immediately see...
1) a discussion on ...expensive with relative to size of the fruit
2) a discussion on .... expensive with relative to beginning of the season
3) a discussion on ...expensive with relative to monthly budget on fruits
and so on...thoughts started converging in my mind to the answers that i should provide for his question.

Veer said Rs 50 a dozen, that is Rs 25 for 6 and Rs 12.50 ps of 3 and appox 4 rs for 1, that's a lot of money. For that kind of price we get our 1 kg of grains grounded at the mill. This is super expensive! I was SUPER AMUSED and smiling :)))))!
Phew the number crunching had sorted it out for me and I was super happy to be spared of an elaborate "boring" conversation that I had weaved in my head. What I learned today is catch-up few breaths before you answer your child's question, surely you will be surprised that he/she is much more capable to work out the answer and in turn teach you a thing or too!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Walks to Sanjay Gandhi National Park

My Darling father took me for long walks during the vacations to SGNP every vacation mornings. He actually did go there everyday. Yes! Lucky me, we lived across this park. But as a child I clearly remember wondering "how come he doesn't get bored of walking the same mundane path, every morning". When I took those summer walk, I would have countless questions and he Din't Answer them EVER! "grr >:-( !"....but he did tell me something that I din't understand until a decade ago.....he said, "WALK QUIETLY, THE BIRDS WILL TELL YOU ALL THE ANSWER, HEAR THEM KEENLY"....boo hooo :-| ! So the little restless me did give up those summer walk feeling dejected :-(

Life moved On....and 2  decades later I feel this strong urge to conserve nature, I found my guild and initiated load of project on environment education :o). Few yrs later I found myself travelling all around INDIA with a a new-found hobby of "Bird-watching". Maybe I am seeking those answers even today. But I have surely found my religion and its Nature. This discovery itself is immensely satisfying and empowering. Is there more to find.... i still wonder and i continue my walks now with my father and son.

The above shot was taken on my Son's 7th birthday. I take him to SGNP at every opportunity possible. He's super curious boy of mine, and do I answer his questions....NOPE!