Becoming a peaceful parent

‘When you do the right thing, you get the feeling of peace and serenity associated with it. Do it again and again’

As parents, we do feel agitated when we see our kids doing the things they shouldn’t be. We remain worked up because of the daily errands that never end. The outcome of all this is that we get irked at everything they say even if they are milling around us just to hear how much we love them. That’s natural owing to our tied-up routine but it shouldn’t be our excuse for every action.

We can’t go on being rude to our kids or other members of the family and justifying it by saying how stressed we are. Our strenuous routine cannot forever be used in defence for our distemper.

Stop behaving like an overloaded balloon that pops anytime, startling and annoying everyone around. Take things easy and let go off all your worries. You have to do this, for you and everyone around you.

  • Ask for help if you feel overburdened. You are a multitasker, agreed! You are a human too who gets exhausted, isn’t it? Don’t overwork your body to feel stressed out the rest of the day. You are working for your kids but what’s the point of it all if you won’t be in a condition to share their happiness or sorrows!
  • Share all your worries and responsibilties with your spouse. Be equal partners in your mission to raise your kids. If you hold up things, they are only going to choke you. Sharing makes life much more smoother and hassle free.
  • Acknowledge what your partner does for the kids or the family. Appreciation acts as a great source of motivation to keep up the good work.
  • Keep telling your partner that kids are being brought up well and there is nothing wrong with them. Reinforce this statement time and again to let them know they are going in the right direction.
  • Give each other surprise breaks from parenthood once or twice a week when you completely take over the job of your kids so your spouse can have time to themselves. It is such a stress buster!
  • Take your kids out for mini vacations at nearby places. It will not only make the children happy but would do wonders to the both of you mentally!
  • Try to talk to each other about the things other than the kids at least once a day. Discuss life, films, holidays or politics and refrain from topics concerning the children like their school, behaviour etc.
  • Reflect on the good things you’ve done or achieved in a day such as making your child smile, helping him successfully finish his homework or cooking a delicious meal that everyone gorged on. This will make you feel accomplished and positive!
  • Make a connection with your child. Listen to her, appreciate her and then say what you want. Don’t always be in a rush to order them to do something. Connect with them than correcting them at every chance you get. Be one with them and then gradually come to the point. This would not only make you look at things from their point of view but also help them open up.
  • Don’t run after perfections. They make life robotic and monotonous. Leave some room for errors by you or your child. That’s perfectly normal. This is how one learns and grows.

Be at peace with yourself so you can treat everyone around you empathetically. Don’t react as soon as your anger hijacks you. Learn to tame your emotions so you can offer your children a serene atmosphere to grow.

Why can’t you grow up fast?

This question resonates in the minds of almost all the parents each time they find themselves squished under those never ending chores.

In my mind- “When will you grow up dude? So you are trying to put my tolerance to a severe test, aren’t you? Go ahead, I am prepared to rise to your challenge!”

Suddenly the reality stings and I find myself collecting his toys which are all over the place, dragging him towards his study table against all odds, ironing his uniform and like a robot I go on and on till he doesn’t sleep, Phew!

I don’t know what it is with these kids! They will always want you when you don’t want them. Was God really listening when long back, our parents told us that karma would strike us once we have kids to avenge on their behalf?

Each time I am about to read the first page of the book that I bought in the last decade, “Mom, I am hungry!”

As I play my iPod to unwind myself, “Mom, the wheels on the bus go?” “Round and round baby, now let me listen to something.” The first line would not even be completed, “mummy, the baby in the bus goes?” The only thoughts that are running across my mind as I put my iPod back in that drawer where it has been lying untouched since this little Meanie was born, ‘Are you kidding me? Why does this bus always start at the instant I think of stretching a little?”

The moment I pick up my phone to take a friend’s call, here we go, “Mom, assemble my train.” “Give me a moment darling, play with something else.” “Alright mom.” As I am about the take pride in the fact that he obeyed me in the first go, “no, I want my train right now.” It’s as if the avenger inside rose and nudged him to remind him of his mission!

If you are a parent and you don’t have help at home, you certainly deserve an award for working your fingers to the bone! I don’t have help either. I’ve taken a break from work because of my son and trust me, working at home is way too tedious. A lot of people think that women who are at home 24/7 have ample time to relax and enjoy themselves. Sorry, you’re highly mistaken! I feel like throwing a punch at every person who asks me about how I pass my time ‘SITTING’ at home all day.

Kids keep us so occupied that we don’t even have time to feel tired. How we crave for their naps more than ours! How I long for him to stay at his karate class for 5 more minutes. How I wish someone to volunteer to take care of him for a couple of hours so I can cherish that freshly brewed cup of coffee with some music and a book in my hand!

How I despise collecting those Lego pieces which pierce the sole of my feet wherever I walk in the house. Why can’t he just play with bigger toys, may be stuffed ones!

Every night I eagerly wait for him to sleep on time so I can watch at least one episode of my favourite show. I pat him on the back, sing lullabies and even recite stories in hushed tones but it’s as if he has forgotten how to sleep!

I do feel the guilt of thinking so but ‘Hey, I am a human being who gets tired, who feels exhausted and who deserves a day off from those robotic chores that never end.

I keep day dreaming about him growing up fast, those days without my home being in a mess and also those days when all I’ll do is what I want to or may be nothing. Such dreams are big time weight lifters!

To add to everything that I said so far, there is one more truth about how I feel and I don’t want to let go off that feeling. Each time he is not around, I miss him as if I’ve not seen him in days. Even if someone else is taking care of him so I can relax a bit, my mind constantly thinks of what he’d be doing or if he has been fed adequately! Even if I get a chance of sneaking out with my husband for a teeny weeny date, both of us can’t get over the guilt of leaving him. Kids are like that, when they are around, you crave for personal space and when they are not, you long to be with them. The need to love them and being loved by them is insatiable.

When he was born, I wanted him to start talking. When he started that, I eagerly waited to see him walk. Now that he walks and runs away from me, all I wish for is to pull him back into my lap and hug him and kiss him till my lips hurt!

The fact is that kids grow up too fast and we don’t realise it because we are over occupied in their errands on a daily basis. Once they’ll be all grown up, there’s no coming back which means no more ‘mummyyyy’ throughout the day, no more tight hugs and those endless chit chat sessions! They will have a life of their own in which we would play a small part. They won’t need us as much as we would want them.

Yes I want him to grow up fast but I don’t want to let go off these memories that I create with him everyday. I don’t want to miss his love 10 years from now, I want to live it!

The New Mom Story

I scream, I shout

I get mad time and again

I may nag, I may frown

Pardon me, I’m just a new mom

I test your patience

I get angry for no reason

Its not me, just the hormone

For a while, can I not be left alone?

I adore you, and the rest

I don’t mean to be mean

There’s so much to do

And for me all is new

I look like a butterball

Not an inkling like me

I can’t help but be grumpy

Mercy! I am a new mummy!

My music is no where around

How it used to calm me down

Those blank pages of my diary

Wait in vain for the next story

It seems I’ve got no life

Clumsy and sleep deprived

All I see are diapers and poop

Jesus! I need time to recoup

Sugar, I love you

Yes, I do and even more

My hysteria won’t last long

Then I’ll be all yours to play along

Stop comparing-start appreciating

The worst kind of damage that you can do to your children is comparing them to others. Your child has been born with a unique individuality. He might possess certain qualities which others don’t. The parents these days are dead set on finding the things that other kids do and theirs don’t that they overlook the good things their kids do.

Give them a chance. Let them be for a while without passing bullheaded judgements. If the parents don’t find someone else to compare their child to, they place themselves at the pedestal. Can we not let our kids grow at their own pace? Don’t they deserve some time to realise their worth and then rise with splendid colours? Till we as parents would continue with our hypercritical behaviour, our kids would never be able to show the world what they are capable of! Let’s not become stumbling blocks in their journey of life.

When you start grading your child’s behaviour and actions as compared to other children, at that very instant, the downfall begins. He starts underestimating himself, becomes detached, loses all the confidence he has and develops an enmity for all those who he is being compared to. Don’t let your child experience such a demoralizing phase in his life.

The words like, “look at him, he works so well,” or “look at her, why can’t you be like her?” flow out of our mouths so effortlessly without bothering about their repercussions . Comparisons are only going to develop inferiority complex and self doubting in our kids. They would keep wondering whether they are capable of doing anything in life? As parents we must encourage the children to keep trying and evolve as better performers rather than telling them who all are ahead of him!

Focus on their weak areas and help them improve. Your children should try to surpass their previous attempts instead of constantly being tied up within the shackles of comparisons. Kids are not mature enough to understand the bigger picture in your mind when you keep giving examples of other kids. They will eventually start despising you for your unfair attitude. Don’t let your remarks destroy the bond between you and your child.

If you are unknowingly ignoring his achievements and concentrating more on his friends or cousins, he would gradually stop pleasing you and might even stop doing what he is good at! If you constantly ridicule him in public, he’d stop interacting with people. You surely don’t want your child to become antisocial in this competitive era.

Appreciate their efforts, encourage them to do well and guide them wherever they go wrong instead of telling them how they let you down or embarrassed you just because they scored less. Their benchmark shouldn’t be other kids rather their previous performances which they should strive to outdo.

As a parent, you can build or break your child’s confidence, the choice is yours!

Is she pampered or spoilt?

There is a very close difference between pampering your child and spoiling him. The latter of course you’d not nod at without realising that an overflow of the former would eventually result in the latter! Confused? I loved the way my line was getting framed with a rhythm so went on! 😂

Coming back to what I intend to say, don’t go overboard with your mollycoddling that you forget that the child needs to learn to fend for himself. Love them but don’t let your love become an obstacle in their journey towards growth and self sufficiency. Give them a good night peck, hug them when they need you and a pat on the back when they make you proud. Avoid unnecessary compliments or praises where they are not required.

Tell your children that beauty lies in the inside of every individual so that they strive to become good human beings rather than beauties with no brains. I personally have come across plenty of kids who live in their own world that revolves around them and their beauty which certainly isn’t skin deep. Their mothers call them around 20 times every day asking them if they’ve had food, if they’d drunk enough water, applied sunscreen before moving out! I mean really??? It is extremely easy to find such a lot in the crowd. They’d be the ones who’d be constantly setting their hair, would have an air of arrogance- one of those armchair critiques!

If you want to give them a good life, then instead of showering money on them, give them the wisdom and the wings to fly on their own. Don’t behave like a genie who has come right out of the bottle to fulfil every demand that comes out of their mouth. It’s not about the amount of money you have but about the strengthening of your child’s character and the development of his personality.

Overpampered children remain dependent, stubborn, uncooperative and insecure throughout their lives. They fail to see things beyond themselves. They can’t accept failure and lack sportsmanship. They start considering the privileges given to them as their birth right! Remember that no one is going to pamper your child the way you do. So once your child moves out of your zone, he would feel heartbroken when people won’t pay heed to his whims and fancies. Would you like your child to have an identity crisis? Such children, when they become adults and get married, are unable to keep their partners happy since they refuse to even pick up a glass of water, forget the bigger chores. It’s either their way or the highway! Relationships don’t bloom in such an atmosphere.

Don’t just dive in with help at their first signs of struggle. Let them try and weigh the pros and cons of a situation. Give them an opportunity to decide for themselves. You are required when they step towards the wrong direction. Escort them till they reach at the righteous path and then step back so they can embark on their journey confidently. Our kids should know that their parents would be there at their backs, not to walk them through but to guide them.

Let your child dream, imagine and believe in himself. Don’t let your money or fame crush his chances of growth. Parents should give their children a simple and innocent childhood, untouched by their wealth. Money corrodes the moral fabric of your child. Teach your child to value money rather than swelling up over its abundance in the family.

Let them do their chores since early stages. Educate them to spread love and happiness.

So this Diwali (a highly celebrated and revered Indian festival), light up the hearts of your children with good values. Burst your urge to coddle them even when it is uncalled for. Let your kids illuminate the lives of everyone around them by saying a sorry to someone they hurt or bringing a smile on the face of someone who is in pain! Love your babies but don’t overplay!

Inculcating English speaking skills

Start early! That’s the first rule to be followed if you want your children to have excellent communication skills. Times have changed. There is a lot more that’s expected out of kids than their academic grades. It is extremely essential to develop them holistically which includes their academics, health, extracurricular activities and their overall personality.

If we want our kids to excel in their lives, we have to make them communicate well so that they can smoothly express their thoughts where ever they go. It is more about your articulatory skills that leave an indelible mark on the listeners and help you carve a niche for yourself. Teaching your kids to speak English doesn’t mean that you are expunging them from their mother tongue. That is something which will come naturally to them since everyone around them speaks that language but a foreign language has to be taught.

During their early years, it should be considered mandatory to teach them one language-English, since it is the language used in schools. Try to speak to your kids in English at home. Start with one language at a time. Two languages will only baffle them. Once their base is formed, then start with the next one. Don’t be in a rush to make them multilingual. You should, but gradually.

Importance of English language has grown exponentially over the years. It is considered as one of the most powerful languages in the world. Parents and teachers should encourage English speaking so that there is no gap between the language spoken at home and the school. It is required at almost every step in our day to day life.

The first and the foremost suggestion I’d give you is to learn English yourself. If you are not good at it, take help from an expert or the internet. Learn the language so that you don’t sound like a bumbling amateur in front of your kids.

Speak to your child in English even if he doesn’t understand. He will gradually learn to grasp the words because of constant repetition. Make sure you use short sentences and lots of English words in your day to day activities even when you are not directly talking to them. Give orders and instructions using the language like ‘pick up your shoes,’ ‘put your books in the bag,’ ‘Bring me a glass of water,’. It would help them more if you keep translating your English sentences into your mother tongue. Speak a sentence in English》mother tongue》English, so that they learn to relate the words.

Use good vocabulary related to the chores you are doing. If you are helping them tidy their room, use words related to their toys, clothes or linen. If they are around you in the kitchen, use words related to cooking like ‘spatula,’ ‘sieve,’ ‘cinnamon,’. The use of everyday situations and real objects to teach kids the language is a classic way to enroot it within them.

Use different types of grammatical structures when you speak for example ‘I am going to the market,’ ‘he has gone to the market,’ ‘I will go to the market,’. This will make your child speak grammatically correct sentences and it would come naturally to him without cramming the tenses. So start early to see positive results.

Play their cartoon channels in English mode without letting them know. If you do it in front of them then they’d insist you play their show in the mother tongue so change the settings before their arrive. Tell them that the channel only plays English shows. Kids learn best from their friends or their favourite characters. Use this opportunity.

Read English stories to them at bedtime. Make it a ritual. Visual memory remains intact for years so if you read to them in English while pointing at the pictures, they’d relate images to the spoken words and pick up on the language at the drop of a hat!

Play English songs on your music player or television and leave them on in the background. When a child is exposed to the language from all the corners he would catch on fast. Listening plays a very important role in learning a language. During early stages, what is essential is exposure not instructions. Once their mind gets conditioned to hearing the language, they would eventually learn it faster when formal instructions would be given at school.

Watch English news on television. Read aloud from english newspapers or books when they are around.

Try to speak to your spouse in English. I understand you can’t make everyone in the house do it so why not take the lead as parents!

Set a time at home which is meant for complete English speaking with the kids if it isn’t possible throughout the day. Talk about their favourite things, not academics during that hour. It can be a plan that you are making for the weekend or their loved cartoon series. This way kids would know what is expected out of them and would look forward to that time.

As far as teachers are concerned, English teachers should only be using English whether in the class or outside if kids are around. Model the correct behaviour. Use playful methods to teach. Dictating answers, writing things on the board and asking the students to copy won’t do good to anyone. All you are leading to is rote learning which can prove detrimental for the students. Make English fun. Use flash cards, quizzes, debates, spell bees or oral tests in between your regular teaching. This keeps the students aware and alert throughout the class. If you are planning to teach a simple present tense, use that tense in almost all the sentences you speak that day during the class and encourage them to do so. Don’t just make them cram the rules. Think of a new playway strategy everyday! Be an innovator.

Don’t panic if your kids don’t speak English as fluently as their friends. Every child takes his own time since their brains function differently. Let them take their time but you keep up with your duty of exposing them to the language time and again.

Start working on building up their communication skills from today to watch them shine tomorrow!

A pat on the back for all the full time mothers!

So what if you’ve decided to give up your job for your baby. You give birth so that you can raise a child by nurturing him with care and your time. It’s your baby so you get to decide what is the best for him. It should be entirely your prerogative since you’ll have to carry the ball for bringing him up.

Don’t get shell shocked if people point at your being jobless. They will be the ones who’d denounce you for not raising your child well some years later if they don’t find him groomed upto their parameters. Do what you consider good for his over all development and turn a deaf ear towards those judgemental fools.

I personally feel that no woman wants to feel less empowered. We all wish to be self sufficient and economically independent. If a woman decides to take a break from work so that she can experience every moment of her baby growing up, she doesn’t deserve to be subjected to cynical remarks for the rest of her life. Support such females and commend them for not being selfish and setting their priorities in life straight.

No job is bigger than raising a child into an individual who is productive to the society. Everyone can bring up kids, sounds like an easy job right? There is no point in giving up your job and stop earning for such an effortless thing that is being done since the beginning of time! This is exactly what the society tells you when you decide to stay at home and take care of your child during his initial years. It is not possible to rear your child in a walk. It requires time, discipline as a parent and unparalleled conviction to inculcate in him the right values and wisdom. So if a woman decides to become a stay-at-home mother, that doesn’t mean she is burning daylight or isn’t well educated. It’s not that their urge to work has disappeared, it just becomes secondary the moment they hold their baby in their arms.

Staying at home doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman is not working professionally. The new age moms are working as efficiently from home than the ones outside. There are a million things that one can do from home without compromising on your child. You can become a blogger, content writer, run a home based business like social media handling, web development, be an online tutor for countless companies that hire freelancers or a radio jockey for radio stations that are open to work from home option. The list of such opportunities is endless from being a home tutor to running cookery classes. This helps women to be present for their child’s firsts along with possessing an identity other than being a mom! It also helps mothers in becoming good role models for their children when they see them juggling successfully between work and the house.

The truth is that stay-at-home mothers are way more stonger than the rest. They cook, look after the house and the baby while working from home which makes the routine extremely strenuous. The best part is that they enjoy such a rush because at the end of the day they know their baby was well taken care off. It’s one of the hardest decisions to make when you leave your job for your child. There are times when women fear the fact that they’d not be able to respect who they had become more than others treating them differently. This whole process can get undoubtedly frustrating for a person whose only crime is that she decided to put her child first than the rest. The more time you spend raising your kids, better it would be for them, the society and humanity in longer run.

The kids are growing every second and once they are all grown up, you won’t be able to put them in a time machine to revisit their childhood. Such moments are best experienced by mothers at home! Respect them rather than condemning them for not using their qualifications adequately or not earning at all! You won’t know how arduous it is to stay at home and wear multiple hats yet carry a smile all day long, till you walk in the shoes of such a mom. Appreciate them now and forever!