The Observing Child

Dear Readers,

(We at Magicmindz like to welcome our new contributor Namitha Akshanthalu. Your opinions in the form of likes and comments are valued by us and we always thank you for stopping by our blog. Without much ado…please read on her first blog)

On one of those odd days when I went to pick my daughter from school, I saw another parent of a kindergarten child speaking to the class teacher. I happened to sit close by and overheard their conversation. The teacher went like this “He is very good in his academics (!!!) and I have no complaints but he is very naughty, throws pencils, sharpener and eraser at other children in the class.” The teacher went on and on complaining and in between questioning the boy “why do you do that? Won’t it hurt others?” If only the boy knew that it hurts because he has probably seen Tom and Jerry, run around beating each other and it’s so much fun!! Oggy and the Cockroaches are no less. Why are children made to watch cartoons? Do we know that Cartoons were meant for adults and not for children?

Cartoons have been used to depict a wide range of political, religious and social viewpoints and often touch upon topics that may be sensitive. As social critics, these cartoonists work best in times of social unrest and movements towards reform. It is more challenging for them to maintain their critical wit in times of tragedy, uncertainty or the threat of war when the tendency is to invoke nationalist sentiment and comfort the public.

For children, what they see is what they do. Most children these days spend time playing video games or watching cartoons. When Jerry burns Tom’s tail, the tail is charred and Tom screams but the very next minute, he is chasing Jerry with his all shiny and beautiful tail as ever. A child who sees this does not understand pain. Children easily get tagged as naughty, distractive, hyper, liar, brainless, shameless, attitude and what not. But do we try to understand the reason behind their behavior? Whom are they trying to imitate? From where are they observing these?

Our parents were not addicted to television, computer or mobile phones. We spent a good time with family, friends, and relatives. Our only distraction was physically going out on the streets and playing. Hence we developed better motor skills and other life skills without being explicitly taught. Can we empathize with the current generation and their lack of exposure to beautiful life? We embrace modern lifestyle in the name of comfort and then repent for our children’s behavior.

Something commonly heard of “I have given him all the luxury in life and buy all that he needs and more. All that we expect from him is to study well and he cannot do that. He is so lazy and irresponsible”. The child cannot study, only because of lack of purpose in studying as everything that he needs is already under his feet and a command away.

 

*Images are subjected to Google

 

Is Hitting Your Child the Only Way to Teach Discipline?

respect

It was a Sunday evening and we were returning from the “Forum mall”. My daughter had got new skater shoes as a gift for her birthday this year and she wanted to try them out in the mall. We spent some leisure time of the Sunday noon and were on the way back home. We passed through the “Adigas” restaurant, chit chatting in the car about various things. There was a traffic signal showing red ahead us and hence my husband who was driving the car was going slow. My daughter was facing me and I was looking at her. I also overlooked into the window and could easily watch the passers-by on the other side of the road.

Suddenly from nowhere we all heard a loud sound that felt like a slap “Phat”. I knew it was a slap as I saw through the window that was happening in the middle of the vehicles parking space in front of the restaurant.

hitting-a-child

My daughter, who was talking to me, was shocked hearing the sound and asked what was it? She immediately turned behind and looked out of the window.

What we witnessed was a mother in the parking area slapped her son so hard that the sound was heard miles afar. But the expression of the boy was heartbreaking, which I probably will never forget in my life.

No, am not trying to criticize the mom here, because I have no rights.

My daughter became silent as she remembered one such recent incident that happened between us. A couple of days back, for reason I do not remember now, I was very angry at her and did scold her on the road while I was dropping her to school. Unfortunately, my voice came out a bit harsh and loud. A friend of her was passing by and heard our conversation. After getting into school, this friend particularly came to her to ask as for why my daughter was being scolded in the middle of the road. My daughter felt it very embarrassing and came home in the evening with a sad face. She told me with tears in her eyes that if she is wrong, she will correct it when I tell it at home but not to speak as harshly in front of her friends and in public.

It’s impossible for me to express how sorry I felt then, but I did convey it to her that it will never happen again.

Coming back to the incident what we saw in front of the cafe, my daughter was able to relate to the situation and probably it made her remember her experience. But what I saw on the boy’s face was painful. He was not more than 13 years of age I suppose. Whatever mistake he did, as detrimental it might be, standing in front of a fast food restaurant where so many people are in the open and facing to the main road, hitting your child as hard as it looked was totally wrong. The boy looked scared, and did not move; his eyes had no tears because fear and pride did not let it role down. But I know, he would have shed buckets later.

Is that right from the mother part? I don’t know what the experts say or the mother’s of grown up kids say for something like this. Am sure given the chance, the mother who slapped the boy will have multiple reasons to justify her actions. For me whatever it is, is not reason enough. Simply because I saw the boy’s face when my mind was calm and could able to feel the pain he must have felt at the moment. No, not the pain of the slap. But the slap, seen by hundreds. For a child, it does not matter that everyone who saw the slap is a stranger and will be forgotten within minutes or maybe in a day or two.

I was not as harsh on my daughter, but I think it’s still not a way to behave as a mother. I owe it to this mother in the parking space we saw who opened my eyes and taught me a lesson. I hope even that was just a first and the mother did realize her behavior too.

We parents, stand as the protectors of our children emotionally and physically both. If we become a reason for our children to feel let down, then there will be no meaning in being a parent. Most often than not, we mothers do lose our calm with the hundred and one things our children do wrong or irritate us in all possible way. But, aren’t they are called children for a reason?

child-needs-you

It is illegal to hit children in many countries. Hitting a child may control his or her behavior for the moment, but it can damage them and your relationship. There are many other ways to discipline our children and hitting is not one of them. I am no novice and I do make mistakes as well. But like our children, we too have some limits. Crossing our limits can harm our own children.

So, be careful and be responsible.

PS: The boy and the mother resembled strongly with their looks which made me believe their relationship as the mother and son!

A Pre-school Teacher

It’s been a long time, I blogged. I apologize for that. My exams were up and lots of preparation went by.  After encountering a few issues with my little one at school, I am here today, to pen down my thoughts.

My two-year-old boy is still unable to speak well. Though he speaks a few words, it cannot be completely said that he talks well. We got him admitted into well established pre-school and hoped, he would pick up speech and communicate effectively after going to school. Our hopes failed. I believe for any student of any age, getting a good teacher who can bring the best in his/her student life is really important. We were not so lucky with my little one in finding a dutiful and inspiring teacher. Every child is different. Each child’s development or achieving the milestones cannot be compared with one another. If a teacher is well-trained, it becomes easy for him/her to understand the psychology of a toddler mind.

When compared to other children in the class, my son was different (according to the teacher). He would not sit in one place. He always keeps roaming in the class; he wants to explore the class all the while. These were the kind of complaints we got from the teacher. He never cries when we drop him at the school. I have seen several kids who still cry, after two months into school. We were initially happy about this behavior of our child. We were happy that he loves going to school. He never cried, unlike some other kids. This happiness did not last long.

His class teacher found it difficult to manage him. She started to make him sit alone on a bench throughout the class as a punishment for his behavior. Every day we would get complaints regarding his behavior in class. Of late, he does not want to go to school and cries each day.  We got worried. We were given a picture as if our child was not normal and was asked to go for a behavioral evaluation.

Likewise, we went for an evaluation to a well-known child psychologist. The doctor, after observing our child gave a report saying that he was perfectly normal. There is a slight delay in speech and nothing unusual was observed. The doctor also advised that our child is an active kid and we are blessed in having him.

Now, the question is why is the teacher always finding fault with my child? There may be several reasons for it.

  • The teacher is not well-trained.
  • The teacher may not be patient enough to control about 20 toddlers at once in a class.
  • The teacher may not like my child.
  • The teacher’s expectation from the child may not be met.

I am not entirely blaming the teacher for whatever turmoil we underwent. I would like to state that, if the teacher is able to understand a child and its behavior, without resorting to time outs and punishments, the child may open up to the teacher. Once the child is comfortable with the teacher, the relationship and bonding they share will be beneficial.

I am a teacher too. I feel teaching the pre-schooler is the most difficult task. I am comfortable in teaching the higher classes. I always take time to appreciate my pre-school teacher colleagues for their efforts in honing the skills of tiny tots.

The basic foundation of a child growth is very important and a teacher at that age plays a huge role. Teaching is a profession that requires a lot of patience. A teacher might be many things, a father or mother, a grandparent, etc but when they enter into their education institute they are just a teacher. It is a bigger responsibility to forget what you are outside the institute and become and do only that what you have come for.

This is my personal experience with my child and his teacher. Kindly share your experience or advice that would help me in managing my child and develop his relationship with school and teacher. Thanks for stopping by.

Experiences Teaches the Life Best Lessons – Parenting At Its Best

I am sure you must be thinking here comes another to do lists of ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ in parenting. If am right, then you can relax, because this article is definitely not a free advice or tips on parenting which we could find plenty in many websites all over the internet. While we all agree that parenting is the toughest job, doing it right and being an ideal parent is a dream come true because we see results of what we do or did for our children when they grow up.

I, on the other hand, find it so difficult sometimes wondering what is the right way in everything we do? When I became a mother, I never knew how things would be. I thought the baby stage will pass and it will be easier when my child starts to walk and talk. When that time came I thought, it might be better once my daughter starts going to school and I will get some ‘me’ time. Now, am thinking that probably it might be bit easier when she grows to an age where she will be able to take her own responsibilities. Because this phase of school going age seems the toughest of all or so it seems yet! Am hoping mothers out there with more experience than me to assure it’s not tough as they grow. (Something tells me that’s not the case because we mothers cannot stop worrying at any age, yeah?)

Here is one such scenario between me and my daughter a few days back.

The school reopened after a lengthy (although it was the usual summer vacations, it did feel too long) holidays and my daughter had a lot of stories to tell me the first day when she was back home from school. While I kept listening to her, I noticed that in two months of not going to school, she lost the habit of putting her uniform neatly to a cloth hanger and instead she threw it on her bed. I pointed it out to her. Immediately, her reply was “you do it all the time and why was it wrong for me to do the same”. While I did ask her to do what is right then, I did realize my mistake too. Alright! I’m not a shabby person as it sounds here, but we mothers do have moments where it feels good to just be that careless and enjoy some me time. Sigh! But sometimes that might be a mistake around a growing child.

Someone said it right, “children do learn from us”. There were occasions when I did the same mistake and like any other child who are most observant especially about what their parents do and act, my daughter too has picked up on this habit within no time at all. As I said, you must have noticed children are fast in picking that one single bad habit in us which, we don’t want them to learn. Alas! If only we can change.

Correction – I decided to be careful in keeping my closets neat and not get careless so that my daughter makes it a habit of keeping her things in order.

Similarly, there are many such situations that we find our kids pointing out our mistakes when we ask them to do things right. I do understand that none of us can be a perfect person with all saint like habit’s but it is important to teach values to our children and make them learn good habits at a young age by simply we doing them in a right way.

Sometimes there are certain situations for we elders can learn from our kids who unknowingly might teach us many things with their innocent minds and thoughts. While I teach to my daughter, there are moments I learn too and everyday its a new learning. Hence, there is not a single moment I regret.

Each of you might have different experiences, not just as a mother, but also being a father. Let’s hear some of it in the comments section just so I can be reassured that am not the only fish in the pond.

Little things does matter

I was very confident, I would be able to manage my second child with ease. Believe me, it is not the same as it is with the first child. Each child is different in their own way. I realized this recently. My little one was in a hospital for a week. Doctors were unable to figure out the reason for his high fever followed by chills. It was nightmare for the both of us. For three days, various tests were done to find out the reason. The fever would not subside, in spite of tepid sponging and oral paracetamol. My husband and I had a tough time managing both kids. The elder ones’ final exams were going on and we had to stay in hospital for the sake of the little one. As they say, “There is light at the end of tunnel”…a doctor on rounds visited us one afternoon. He observed the our son was snoring. I had initially ignored as he had little cold and cough. I believed it is natural for kids to snore. He told us to get an x-ray done, as he thinks there must be an obstruction for air passage in nasal cavity. As told by him, we got an x-ray done, and to our shock, the doctor told us that his adenoids had inflammation. He immediately called for an ENT specialist. Once an ENT visited us, she examined the child and told us that his tonsils had infection and he also has adenoid inflammation.

I had ignored one major activity of my child. He would not eat anything or rather like to eat anything in the past few weeks. I somehow managed to feed him though he was reluctant to eat. It never seemed to me that he must be having any difficulty in chewing or swallowing the food. It had never happened this way with my elder one. I always take her as an example and unable to figure out the problem with my little one.

Thus, little things do matter in parenting. Everything comes by experience. I am just sharing my experience. It keeps reminding me not to ignore slight changes in the daily routine of our kids.

Every day is a learning

As a parent, everyday is a learning. I am a mother of two. Raising my first kid was easy. I had lot of help at that time, however, when it was turn of the second one, I was alone. It is just me and my husband. The only advantage we had as parents was, we were not as panicky as we were towards our first born. A small sneeze and a cough, we would rush to the doctor. Now, with the second one we are assured that it is “just a sneeze and a cough”. Each day I figure out new things about this little one. I am glad the elder one is able to help me out now. We both share the diaper changes, and taking the little one out for a stroll. Believe me it is an absolute stress buster to be with small kids. You may not have smiled the entire day, the time spent at your work or else where. The moment we look at the kids’ face, a smile is seen on your face. That is the best part of being parents. I am glad and proud to be a mom of two. Being a mother requires lot of patience, perseverance and a little bit of sacrifice, here and there. Every thing pays off once the kids are raised and we can age gracefully.