Friday, August 11, 2017

How to encourage children

A few months ago, my younger son drew a piece of art and handed over to me. He said to me to send his drawing to the Young world to publish the same. I sometimes forget to do that. So he reminded me every now and then to complete the work. Finally one fine day, I sent the artwork through email and I almost forgot the same. Every week he used to check every edition of the young world. He was disappointed to see his art work not being published in the young world. A few weeks later, gradually he lost interest in doing art work and he completely quit the process. If I ask him to start anything new, he would give me hundred different excuses to escape from the request. 

Weeks passed, months passed and one fine day his school correspondent pinged me in WhatsApp indicating that his artwork has been published in the Young World. My son was excited to the core. He never thought it will be out in the world. It was like a miracle and a dream coming true for him. He asked me to show the newspaper to him. He was holding the newspaper and staring at his artwork for zillion seconds. He did not want to come out of the scene so soon. After few weeks, we could see another art work from him getting published in the Young World. This time he was really happy. No words to describe his ecstasy and the feeling. 

A couple of days later, I can see my son sitting on his study table and started doing artwork on his own. Nobody insisted him to do the work. The huge encouragement he got by seeing his name in the newspaper did all the trick. Every time he would like to see his name and his work in the magazine. It is quite natural for any human being and it is a good addiction. We often have so many dreams and goals for our children. However, if we can direct them to pursue in the right direction everything is achievable.

 Every goal of the parent is possible by channelizing their thoughts in the right manner. I don't mean to say we should force them to achieve something. They don't know what is good and what is not. For example, in my case, I was asking him to spend a little time in the art which was not happening for a long time until his work got published. I won't say I forced him towards the target. But there is a way to make them get there. Similar way we think that our children should be great readers, thinkers, and develop their creative analysis. These are great goals. Making them achievable is all in our hands. We need to figure out only the right way to get there. 



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stop

My husband asked me to review one of the documents on his desktop. While editing the same, I accidentally opened my husband's Facebook account. I know what you are thinking. I did it without him noticing me. So I was saved. I was browsing through the page. A video with many shares grabbed my attention. I opened the link and saw the video. At the end of the video, I was disturbed. It showed few people going and thrashing a 12 or 13-year-old boy until he collapses. Even though several videos of this kind is going on in the social media, this particularly disturbed me so much. After the video, I asked myself two questions. Where is the humanity? What are we leading to our younger generation?If a child does something wrong, there are zillion ways to correct it with a human touch. There is no way a child can be changed by beating him or her. 

The aggressive nature of the human mind is caused by building layers of painful memories inflicted from a young age. When a child is growing, it is our responsibility to show them the correct way of preventive measures. If we consider spanking the child as the right method of punishing the child, he or she will grow with a negative attitude towards people. That eventually leads to a spoiled child in the society at the later point of life. If we don't create holistic individuals for the society, there is no credit for our existence in the world. The creator of the universe created all of us to lead a peaceful life. 

I understand, there is so much going on in the world. Even in the middle of a crisis, if we can maintain our credibility and integrity, chances are high that our children will follow our footpath. As a society, if we collectively take a stand to not forward such violent or useless videos in Whatsapp or Facebook, we are at least doing a better role than others. However, if there is an incident to be reported to the government, it can be sent to the concerned person rather than promoting in social media. As children are having the access to smartphones, their minds can be easily corrupted with the spoiled videos. They may end up with the perception that the world outside is dangerous. There may be few who are scared to try anything new even in their friend's circle and there may be few who transform into daredevils. 

There is no percentage of benefit in forwarding such videos or information. It will induce hatred for a particular section of the society without a proper analysis. Before forwarding a video or audio to anyone, please check whether it will be of any benefit to the other person or anyone surrounding them. If not, please stop from your end itself. By doing so, you are evolving as a socially responsible person. We need this kind of messiahs in large number as the number of users using the internet is growing every day. 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hold On

"Amma, I stood among the top 3 list of the 100-meter race" the voice swelled with pride when my 11-year-old entered the home. I was surprised and excited. I have no words to say. Despite they were made to sit in the hot sun for long hours, many children proved their mettle right during the recent sports heat conducted by the school. Even though he says me often, that he is considered one of the best runners in the class, I acknowledge it slightly and move on. We don't indulge in that discussion for hours. However, this time when he conveyed the news everything felt different. I didn't expect this to happen in our life at all.

I remember vividly what happened when he was young. I used to take him to the play ground often. I invariably tried in all the ages, may be 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 years. He would run back home leaving all the friends behind. He didn't show even a single percent interest towards physical activity. I used to contemplate like a worried mother. How do I make his interest towards the ground? What would be the right attempt? Many questions were moving around in my mind, but nothing was fixed in concrete and I dropped the idea finally. 

In the recent past before a year ago, I joined him in a tennis coaching class. Before playing tennis, they are supposed to do a lot of warm ups including running for some time. He was going to the classes consistently by force and at a point, he was a self-starter by himself. The magic happened there and he was falling in love with the workout. It took years of patience and consistent effort. 

The victory made me think that nothing is impossible. A boy whom I thought will never get to the ground and do running or anything in life gradually developed an interest for the same and excelling in the same become unimaginable. If you have started a business and nothing is working out at the present, hold on, you will see the magic within some time. If you are a mother, who is worried about the future of your child, hold on, you will see the magic after some years. If you are working in an IT sector, but not happy about the achievement for this year, hold on, you will see the magic in the coming year. All this can happen, only when you are consistent and work towards the right path. When your mind peeps out to you and says, "Hey, it's enough, I am done with it,", stop that inner voice and say, "Hold on, there is a magic brewing in God's factory".

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Handwritten letter

During the last academic year, my son came back from school and was very excited. I didn't know the reason for the excitement. I was thinking the next day may be a holiday. But when I enquired him, that was not the reason. Once he settled down, I asked him the reason. He said he is attempting ASSET exam for the first time and he is very excited to take the online exam. My goodness! that was the first time I saw a kid jumping in joy for an exam. We were discussing several ways to excel in the exam. I thought to give him a mock test at home which he agreed. We worked very hard before the exam. As the exam date was coming near, the preparation became much severe.  However, within few days the school has sent a mail asking us to be present for a program in the morning the same day of ASSET exam.

We were not in a mood to quit the program. So we agreed to attend the same and I also checked with his teacher on the possibility of conducting the exam a little prior to the timeline mentioned as there was a huge interval between the morning program and the online exam timing.  She agreed and asked us to come in the morning. The D-Day arrived. We reached the venue on time, attended the parent's program and I went with my son to the Maths Teacher's room. She was conversing busy with all the children. I intruded her asking an excuse and informed the exam. She immediately went and checked the seats left for doing the online exam. Unfortunately, there was no space left and she asked me to stay for few minutes.
After few minutes, she went and checked. The status was the same. Almost, I waited for an hour. The place wasn't vacant yet. So I informed the teacher that I am leaving for the day. I will not be coming to attend the exam as my home was very far away from school. She did not let me go. She was persuading me so much to stay and complete the exam. After a long discussion, I left the place without attending the exam. Later when I met her in one of the PTM sessions, she was worried about the incident. 

The way she took the time to explain the benefits of attending the exam and the way she was worried by looking at me leaving the place without attending the exam surprised me. I was totally taken aback. I came back home and I wrote an appreciation letter to the teacher.  I send the same addressed to her the next day. She felt really happy. We tend to go to school often either to complain something or to listen a teacher or principal as part of the schedule. Most often we give feedback for improvement. What if we appreciate teachers when they least expect the same from us? Do you think they tend to take care a little more than normal?  Our children spent most of the day with them. It is very necessary to say our token of appreciation once in a while to acknowledge their hard work and support. They are the ones who sow the seeds of wisdom from a young age. So take some time to write a letter to the teachers and see the response.  More than the teachers, you will feel good for writing a letter. Happy Letter writing.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Make a Difference (MAD)

  Around 4 PM, I received a call from my husband. He conveyed that I should be ready for the annual health check-up the next day. I wasn't in a great mood to go as going to the hospital is not a pleasant experience for me. The staunch odor of medicines and the lotions make you feel nauseating sometimes. Since it's the annual health check up there is no way of escape mechanism from my husband. 

The next day morning I got readied myself and was on time to get inside the car. My husband was surprised. He recalled and said, "I hope you know the destination". I smiled and said yes. We arrived the Fortis hospital on time and were waiting for our turn to be called. The first was the blood check up and the one I hate the most always. How much ever I tell the lab assistant to prick slowly he takes great care to use the needle in the hardest way. Somehow I completed the process. The whole day until the afternoon we were there in the hospital. 

We were back home after all the procedures. They called and asked us to come back in another two days to get the results. During the previous health checkups, I used to be worried about the results. This time I had no qualms. 

As suggested, we went back to the hospital after 2 days and the doctor with gobbled eyes said that my hemoglobin level is very low and I had to intake a lot of iron-rich content. I usually hear this a lot from the doctor during every visit. So, I didn't bother much to listen to her words. 
After coming back home, I showed the report to my husband. He saw the level was really low from the normal level. We discussed certain ways of improving the same by in taking iron-rich natural sources like dried black grapes, spinach, dates and so on. During the course of our discussion, I was telling him that my co-sister suggested drinking boiled water of hibiscus every day. I told him that getting a hibiscus flower is a challenging task. I don't think I can find one every day. 

We finished the discussion and we moved to each other's work spaces. The next day morning, I could see a hibiscus flower on the dining table. I wondered where is this coming from. Then I realized my husband has plucked it fresh from the plant outside the apartment. I had goosebumps seeing the red flower. From that day onwards, I am seeing a hibiscus flower every day in the table. I boil the same and drink the water. I am truly mesmerized by the thoughtful reminder of my husband. Every day is a busy day. We can say hundred different excuses to say that we forget to take care of the small little things of our loved ones. A small initiative at the right time can bring a lot more benefits in relationships. It is the way we care each other make a lot of difference in the way we see the world and our life. Are we ready to say an excuse and escape from the situation or let loose ourselves in a relationship? The choice is ours. Make a difference in your life by creating extraordinary relationships.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Spinach Leaves

I never really annoyed by the weather this much like before in Chennai. Summer is extending its presence for a longer period than usual months. Chennai loves summer that it never allows the clouds to pour on it whole heartedly. It was one of those hot summer evenings I was engaged with preparing the essentials for cooking spinach. Being the weather so hot, I switched on the AC and decided to work. Within few minutes, I had a phone call and I was supposed to complete few tasks intended for the day. Now the question is, who will spend the time to remove the spinach leaves from the stem.(Is there one word for related to the task, just curious). I was little frustrated as I had to finish everything for the cooking in the morning. It was getting late. Suddenly there came an idea.

My elder son finished all his HW and he was sitting in sofa relaxing in the cool AC. I thought he can be the right choice. After a lot of coaxing, he was ready to work. Soon, he was working with a bundle of drumstick leaves. He was slowly removing the leaves from the stem and put in the box. I was happy seeing the work and I headed back to my priorities. After a good amount of time, I completed all the work and came to the hall once again. I was a little irritated to see the removed stems and yet to be removed stems being together creating confusion. It was difficult for me to put my hands on and help him to complete. In few other bunches, he didn't completely remove the leaves thereby leaving them for the trash. 

I called him and started talking with him. "Honey,  I understand I gave you this work and I know that you are doing this for the first time. But what you should remember and take care is that you should remove all the leaves from all the little stems and also you should know how to segregate the completed and the non-completed ones. The way you handle the spinach leaves explains the kind of person who you are and the kind of attitude you have and I continued, by keeping them separately you also emerge as a good leader to keep the priority and the non-priority items in your control and also removing all the leaves from the stem teaches you that you should have a great attitude to finish the goal. He was listening patiently and nodded his head as a gesture of agreeing on the point. 

So, when you do work, if you do for the sake of doing, it will evolve as into a different person, say a person with a lethargic attitude, but when you do work with wholeheartedly that's when the person of great commitment evolves in his zone and he or she can definitely inspire and transform others. I believe even a small household work can transform your child work on their attitude. Teach them as easy as possible. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Fasting

Can you imagine yourselves without food and water for few hours? The mere thought itself is daunting right. During the end of the summer vacation in the hot summer month, we knew that the month of Ramadan was coming. When we think about Ramadan, the only one thing to remember is fasting. We need to get up in the early morning around 3.15 AM for a light breakfast. The deadline time to eat and drink will end by 4 to 4.15 AM. The whole day we need to fast till 6.40 PM with no intake of food and water. The fasting period is challenging even for adults. But the essence of the fasting teaches everyone patience and endurance. When millions of people go hungry every day because of their economy, war and other reasons, this is a period to fast by purpose and expressing our solidarity with the people around the world. 

So as expected the fasting period arrived with a great beginning. Since we have to eat the pre-dawn meal before we begin the fasting I asked my elder son who is around 11 yrs to join us. He woke up with great difficulty and on top of that asking him to eat anything in the morning was really challenging. The very first day, he did the fasting for us and with a little frustration. Few days passed and he was continuing the same but with less interest. Because, when he sees any yummy food in the day time he will think to himself, "Why did I, do the fast man"?. He carried on for the next few days. 

His school reopened for the next academic year. As he is entering the 6th grade, his school timings have got changed and he had to get up early in the morning. It was a difficult phase for him and the whole family. We were slowly transitioning to the new schedule. I told him, "Honey since the schedule is so early if you like to leave the fasting, you can quit and focus on the studies". He said, "Maybe, let's see".  So the first day of school he was on fasting. In the evening I was expecting a frustrated son. To my surprise, he came with a broad smile and said, "I did it successfully". He came to the home with no fuss. Next day, again I reiterated on the decision to fast. He stood strong and said that he wanted to continue the same. I was a little surprised. He continued relentlessly with no further frustration or funny faces. When I counted the number of days he fasted, it stood for 29 days out of 30 which is a huge leap from the last year. 



It was a great moment to cherish as I could see a great difference from last year to this year. His sheer determination and a little encouragement from us helped him to accomplish the goal. What I initially thought was not possible was made possible by him. As parents, we may think too much from the children's perspective on anything related to their goals and their ability to attempt certain attributes of life. I realized a little motivation and patience can bring our children up to the speed of our expectation without harming their innate freedom. It may be fasting for my son, but it may be a different scenario for your son or daughter. All we need to do is holding on their energy levels in their peak performance which is possible in all aspects of life. It is all in our hands to make anything from impossible to possible. All excuses from our end can be wrapped up and put in a corner and let that sleep forever.