How To Talk So Kids Will Listen

This is going into the category of a bloglet viz it’ll be brief.

There’s a book my husband bought me once the brat started pre-primary…it’s called How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk. Since the book did not mention anything about how to talk so husbands will listen and stop leaving wet towels all over the place; I decided not to do much about this book reco.

I already knew then and still know how to talk so my kid would listen- dress like a giant lollipop, have Play-Doh in one hand, the t.v. remote in the other and preferably enter riding on a dinosaur!

Maybe then….and maybe Utopia is just around the corner! Pshaw!!

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Oh Snap!

The brat has his little friends. They can be quite a handful from time to time.

One of them came over a little while ago and was practically nose-to-nose with the not-small t.v set. When I asked her to move back a bit, she scooched back barely half an inch. So I asked her to move back a little more and pat came the reply along with little arms akimbo, “if you don’t let me watch t.v. from here, why did you keep the sofa so close to the t.v.?”

After I did my goldfish impression viz mouth opening and closing my mouth wordlessly a few times, I remembered that I was in the role of the responsible parent and told her that it might spoil her eyes if she kept watching television like that, she again answered with a, “no! and glared at the t.v to come and spoil her eyes if it dared!

I don’t think the television will be taking up the dare.

 

Learning Apps: A Busy Mom’s Reco

Are you a busy mom? Scratch that. You’re a mom. Ergo super-duper busy! Whether you have the added responsibility of having a career outside your home and hearth, you will eventually end up wishing like there were more number of hours in a day and believing that the octopus has it pretty good with all 8 of its functional arms.

While we multitask, in comes our handy helper- the tablet, the mobile phone or some form of digital media. Keeping it firmly in the realm of edutainment so there’s less guilt about handing the kid a nice digital lollipop and also letting the little critters learn something at the same time is what ends up being a challenge.

Enter fun apps which amuse and educate all at once. From the company Originator, comes an Endless series of Alphabets, Numbers and Readers et al- each one designed to target learning and assimilation in children from the pre-primary level up till grade school.

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Depicting tons of funny and interesting looking monsters who dance their way through numbers, letters and words; this series will interest your kids from the first monster onwards.

Available for Android and iOS.

 

What I Learnt From My Kid’s School

Courtesy Facebook’s memories I get to know about how and what I was thinking not only on a time a specific time in the past but also how I was feeling. And when I wrote this post I was a bit more of an anxious mother, fretting about my kid’s school, academic “career” as it were and basically uncomfortable about not knowing what lay ahead. Fast Forward two years I’m still sipping at the font of wisdom that is Life and learning loads while my kid goes to school. Here’s how it is…

  • A child will learn at their own pace no matter what!
  • A teacher who loves kids (genuinely) will probably be able to teach more through affection and warmth rather than another more knowledgeable individual who is distant or doesn’t form relationships with the kids.
  • Digital media, chalkboard, flashcards are all props…native intellect needs to be stirred and awake for learning to occur.
  • Making things interesting is all fine and good but it helps that the biological age increases and life experiences help kids understand why they need to learn.
  • Getting a good night’s sleep and cutting off from anything academic goes a long way in learning taking place.
  • Physical activity- silly and unstructured or properly regimented aids in learning as well.
  • Learning can come from various sources provided it’s pitched at the right time and the right way.
  • Parents need the teachers’ presence more than the kids…just to be assured that all’s going as it should.
  • Taking a small step back from policing the child (even with all the best intents in the world) is a fantastic thing to do while they’re below the tweens.
  • Reflecting on what were turn-offs and stumbling blocks while we were students helps empathize and give the child space to assimilate their learning material.
  • Accepting that there’s a Bell Curve and your child will grow into a more permanent place in it, helps be good parents as well.
  • Trusting the people you entrust your kid’s physical, emotional and overall well-being to and yet realizing our role is constant in the whole scope of things.
  • Acknowledging that improvements- slight, steady or sporadic; are still a step in the right direction give you a good night’s sleep.

Long story short? The AC bus and the pool helps because trappings are important. But a teacher who makes sure your kid has a balanced meal daily and who can come back and share positive and negative feedback with indemnity goes a long, long way in knowing how to be supportive while your child learns about life. Be it from a tablet, a workbook or just from a walk in the park. Because a big part of being a parent is taking a backseat while your kid gets the controls of life just right. You have to deal with not always being able to call ‘shotgun’.

Here endeth the lesson.

The Mine Field That Is My House

Many moons ago I had spewed a bit via this post but last night I realized that my modest home is quite fraught with stuff that’s likely to blow up (figuratively) or cause me to blow up (literally).

Case in point- My kid and his quest for building a dino army keeps showing up (read under) all foreseeable and some not so foreseeable places. Last night’s trip to the bedroom was an obstacle course par excellence!

This is how it went down- focus on the word down. Now the charming child I’ve brought into this world, had locked Red and I out of our bedroom? Did I mention we’ve been co-sleeping, exclusively? It’s not fun. But since his room and ours has a connecting window that opens up from his room, I thought I’d sorted things out quite alright. Erm…not quite.

So just on the other side of MLM’s window is a futon and ahead of the futon is a few open feet of room followed by the bed. I always keep a bit of a gap between the window and the futon for these reasons and also to make it easier to sweep and mop but that was to be my downfall in every sense of the word.

So the space behind the futon was littered with dinos. The pointy kinds. I think the beak of a Quetzalcoatlus (pronounced as  /ˌkwɛts(ə)lkəʊˈatləs/ for those who give a damn) or a Pteranodon (drop the P while saying it and you’re gravy) poked me in my foot leading me to leapfrog over the entire width of the futon and step on a Hotwheels car that effectively got me half airborne till I broke my fall on the futon. And being the superb athelete that I am, I was suprised that nothing was broken…bones and futon included.

So up I get, seething in anger and ready to grab the kid by the scruff of his neck and dump him in his room and his quite comfortable bed when I stepped on a marble and hopped on one foot to go and sit on the air conditioner’s remote which was parked right where I would normally sleep!

A lopsided, ballet through the air to land in a graceless manner in a bed where a rapidly growing child was sleeping diagonally across. Naturally.

Oh by the way, did I mention it was rather dark in the room just the LED glow from the AC spread a dim light over a negligible part of the room? Nevermind…that’s usually a given.

 

Reblogged: Marking Territory

Everywhere I look, I sit the offspring’s presence prevails.

The jar of Gummybears are usually within hand’s reach although with the child-proof caps it’s still a bit in our control when we want to hand the bears over.

There are clothes clips on the futon, tigers and lions (figures) under the sofa cushions and Play Doh and khakhra crumbs all along the path he’s taken through the house. Very Hansel and Gretel and one can guess who the witch in this story is too 🙂

Point is- kids take over your life in toto! And when they sleep you reclaim it and the house which has their artwork all over the walls instead of the nice designs you and your husband picked out as newlyweds.

But then again they surprise you in the MOST UNEXPECTED manner. After a terribly taxing day when you’ve restrained yourself from leaving them on some unsuspecting person’s doorstep they turn to you and execute a deep bow and say Thank You Very Much Ayu in the cutest manner ever and all’s forgiven till the next transgression.

Damn! Check and mate to the offspring. Mommy’s still figuring out her opening gambit!

The Universe Strikes Back

If you believe in karma that is. Else you can just believe in bad luck or stoically soldier through life’s tough spots. A specific group of people across the world, who are strangers to each other but actually united in their erm…”difficulties” are the parents to preschoolers. I believe they cease to be group members when the child turns 6 and then come together again during the teenage years.

Anyhow, during one of my imploding moments (a have a few throughout the week) I was trying to understand, WHY ME? And I realized that the only answer that made sense was that the universe was screwing with me. Why else would I be doubly blessed with a hybrid of a monkey and a parrot for a child?

From the spilt chocolate milk to the clothes he dumped into the washing machine (without separating the colored from the whites) just to help me out or the bodywash he emptied by putting it in his tub to make MORE BUBBLES (in his words)…it all seems like the cosmos conspiring against me time and again.

But I have news for you universe…he’ll eventually move out and I’ll retire from active parenting and become gaga (with happiness or old age is yet to be determined) and then he’ll be your problem!

What goes around. Comes around.

Author’s Note: This blog post was written as a means of blowing of tension which normally would have been accomplished with an alcoholic beverage and vocabulary normally frowned upon by childhood experts and shrinks (and my husband). But I still do blame the universe.

The Child Wranglers

Last night Red and I were watching Outback Wrangler on t.v last night and thinking how tough they had it out there; herding their cattle, their wild horses and what not.

Fast forward to this morning. MLM discovered the swimming pool in our complex that had been unused during the winter months was being used by some kids and raced upstairs to get his gear and jump in. We both had a good time splashing about but when it came time to head out it was an epic meltdown. You could call it a Fukushima for parents. Red was heading him off from  out of the water and I was flanking him in the water and between the two of us we captured the wild beast…erm…beautiful child we are obligated to love and witness tantrums from occasionally.

I’m sure the thought in both our heads was that the wrangler on the t.v. show we’d watched didn’t know of the dangers that lurk in the urban jungles populated by little beasties with the power to shatter the eardrums with their shrieks and seemingly relentless crying over not being able to doggy paddle.

Gimme a wild horse or a bull any day. These mini humans are lethal!

Which Mythical Monster Are You?

Since my posts end up being about the (crab) apple of my eye I thought why not ask around and see if I’m the only nutcase attempting to raise a child or if there are others out there who see themselves as being demonized by their children in the sanity-ebbing job known as parenting.

Here we go! Please take a few seconds (because am sure that’s all it’ll take for you to identify your very own style of dealing with your child) and go through the questions.

P.S: Why a poll and why monsters? Well…we are the bad guys when we get in their way of what they want to be doing or when we enforce things on them- like nasal aspirations, medicines, food et al.

Thought I’d find out which monsters are keeping me company out there in the parenting world. And who am I? I am a dastardly combination of a harpy and a lamia which either makes me a hamia or a larpy. Take your pick.

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When My Mom Learnt To Rock

My parents are fairly cool. I say fairly because given the fluidity of our lives during my childhood and adolescence they were usually ok with most of the things they came across when dealing with me.

One of the biggest changes came when we relocated to US for a few years while I was still in elementary school. Flinstones gave way to VHI and MTV and that change too they took in their stride as well as they could.

I remember that ours is a home always filled with music of some kind. My mother sings while she cooks, we ask my father NOT to sing at all and the record player was on during the weekends and used to stay on for a good, long, while.

Stuff from my parents’ youth like The Ventures, some Joan Baez along with classical Indian music is what was around. 

Then came the Era of Music Videos. And that was “interesting” for them because the videos aren’t always just freaks of nature depicting their freakiness, sometimes I guess it was tough for them to let their young and impressionable daughter watch videos of Kiss and Billy Idol’s Cradle of Love (to name a few that rattled my mom up). My father’s all time favorites feature We Didn’t Start The Fire, Unchained Melody, some Bryan Adams and nothing of rap or rock. 

But the audio is what they always liked, thank goodness. So I could get away with listening to stuff if they found the video unsuitable for some reason.

I remember one morning my mother heard me watching Enter Sandman while doing something in the kitchen and somehow she thought it was “nice” and am quite sure she hadn’t heard the chorus 🙂 she came out of the kitchen and was confronted with Hetfield’s face and saw the video (which is quite tame by most standards) and got a frown on her face. Am sure over the years she would come across videos which would make parents run for the child lock on television as well. Rap too didn’t fare too well. I guess she wasn’t able to connect with it or find melody in it. The only rap song I know she remembers is House of Pain’s Jump Around for the distinctive shrill sounds through the track

She also used to get mucho annoyed by the smashing of music instruments on stage and the lack of clothes by many- another reason why I wasn’t allowed to watch the full Blonde Ambition Tour being aired on tv. Madonna started her presence on screen with the F words and my mother got irritated, “she’s there to sing, why does she have to use bad words?”. Although watching movies like Good Fellas or for that matter ANY Joe Pesci movie was ok for her because the curses were in context to the situation and therefore acceptable.

Over the years Ma’s liked MLTR (such clean looking boys with no holes in their clothes and no screaming), Scatman (just because he could scat!) and of course Elton John’s songs along with the stuff she grew with- Engelbert Humperdink, Cliff Richards, Elvis and the other oldies. She enjoyed the 3 Tenors and Barbra Streisand and of course Celine Dion. But she also tolerated me blasting Def Lep’s Vault when the album came out among others but was also quite happy with I started watching more things on Youtube or listening to stuff on the iPod.

I want to show her how innocuous my selections were back then and have her see some of Miley Cyrus’ videos and antics on Youtube and see what the now-grandmother has to say!

This should certainly be worth a watch 🙂

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