October 23, 2015

Best or worst moment, realise your love.

It is not rare for parents to pose all mushy mushy with their new born. It is a moment of celebration that has to be shared as well. Parents simply love their babies and also pose and post a lot of pics with their infants who are months old.

But, does the smile on their face stay there even when the kid reaches toddler hood and throws a tantrum? Does the parent still love the kid when he is rolling on the floor as he was upset with something? Here, I am not talking about loving as a whole but loving every moment of life. Some may say, about the 2.5 yr old that, he was cranky today and I yelled at him, still, I love him. All those words used in that statement just do not go together. When there is love within you and your baby is upset, you ' DO NOT YELL' for goodness' sake neither you 'SPANK' and then simply end off with the line  'I still love you'.

No, It doesn't work that way. When your child is upset and cannot communicate to share his feelings with you just as we adults do, he takes to some unacceptable behaviour - like, rolling on the floor, crying out loud, throwing away stuff, etc. Problem is not with his behaviour, problem lies in your understanding of child's behaviour. He behaves so, because he is experiencing something and wants to convey the same.

Starting from approximately 11 months, children exhibit their likes and dislikes. They start to yell to catch attention. They yell when they want something. They yell when they like something. And this is when I also hear many parents judging their little one. To quote an example, parents feel that their child does that specific thing that was told not to do. And, the fight begins, between two people, one grown up and another still growing up. Why can't the grown up understand that it is the curiosity that leads the child to do a specific thing. They are more curious to experience it when they are placed with restrictions.

Let them explore, when you notice they are doing something that is really inappropriate, quickly think of a similar replacement activity that you can offer and they will learn something out of it. As an example, seeing us clean up the floor, 13 month A wanted to do the same. She took a wiping cloth that was very untidy and wasn't the right one to pick for her and started wiping the floor. Instead of saying 'No, don't do that', I bent down to her ear, showed how dirty the cloth is, gave her another clean cloth and asked her to continue with whatever she wanted to do. She loved the idea of encouraging her. Now, let's analyse the negative response. If I had said 'No, Don't do that, pull the cloth from her hand, throw it in balcony and close the door hard, she, obviously wouldn't like it. She would have immediately taken a high pitch cry and rolled over the floor. Why would she? Because she was stopped from exploring something! She was dictated rules. Her mental growth due to this negative response is different from the positive one. Her mentality of exploring things was hindered. Her still growing brain cannot take so much restrictions. Children need to explore things. Let them get messy, let them spill some water and wipe it off with a cloth. Let them play. Let them learn.

You cannot expect a toddler to act, behave, talk and share his emotions just like how the adults do. He is still growing, his mind has not yet developed all the zones required for emotional and behavioural control. He is learning every moment. And, do not forget that he is learning something out of your response towards his tantrum as well! Do you want to aid in his positive learning that will eventually lead to his positive behaviour? Or do you want to portray your negative self when he is upset that will eventually hamper his mental and emotional growth?

You will have to get down to the child's frequency of listening, speak softly, empathize with him, share his emotions, suggest an idea that will cheer him up. You can do all this - speaking softly, empathizing sharing etc, only if you realise your love for him even in his tantrum time. That is when the importance of loving every moment takes its place. Direct your love towards something productive. Do not go by momentary negative feelings and then end the day by saying 'I love you'.

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Love the moment. Live the moment.

Are you living your life? Or do you feel, life just goes by?

Are you loving your life? Or do you constantly feel about changing things/people around you so that you can start loving them?

Do you have thoughts like - If it would have been that way, it would be better. If it didn't rain today, I would have done better. If my parents weren't so, I would have been better. And this list can go on.

For once, stop all those thoughts running in your mind and just start loving the moment. Realise every moment in your life. Be conscious of what you are doing and how you are feeling. Love every moment in your life and it is when you start living your life.

Sure, most of us have goals in mind, are constantly striving to earn more, save more, do more, but, are you living enough? Remember, life is more about the journey than the destination. It is the journey that shapes us, it is the journey that has to be lived, not destination. Whatever be the material goals in life, late or early, everyone dies and life in this particular physical body comes to a stall. What has grown, what stays here, and what inspires others is your personality that has taken shape until then. Focus on loving life, loving what comes by, loving the moment, do whatever you love to do, consciously, and you will realise you are being driven to your goal. When there is love in you, love comes back to you. Circumstances fall in the right place, everything comes right in front of you. You can see your goal taking shape.

Whether you know it or not, life is never random. There is a reason behind everything that happens. You don't do things randomly. If you feel you act random and things always happen in unpredictable way, it is only that you do not spend enough time in your conscious self. You do not probe for the reason behind every action. You do not spend time in knowing yourself. And hence, attribute the unknowing self as 'random'.

Knowing one's self is the first step in starting to love one's self. Realising every action that you do is the starting point in loving every moment. You wake up every morning, freshen up, pull yourself in car and drive to school/office. Your mind doesn't wake up from sleep just randomly. Your self has woken up, because, the love within drives your self  to wake up and go to certain place for doing certain thing. There is love within the self that drives every act of ours. We just need to realise that love, realise what we are doing.

Did you just complain about the rain? Well, there was someone who was praying for rains very badly. Did you just complain about the potholes while driving? There were people who fell into some of them and lost their lives. Did you just complain of the heat and turned on AC? There are people who work directly under sun for hours together. Did you complain that you are not being understood by your family members? There are few who do not have a family.
Always remember to remind yourself that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, it is definitely a better position as long as you love the moment. When there is love, you always look at the positive side of any situation, positivity comes back to you and you love your self and your life even more.

For once, stop complaining and start living.

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October 22, 2015

Aim it - Throw it

Kids love throwing things, this way, that way, all around, randomly. Basically, kids have lot of energy to play and explore in their play. Try directing the energy in a helpful way that satisfies both their play and some learning together.

Things needed: bucket, hanging clips

I asked A to stand at some distance away from the bucket and throw each clip into the bucket.

As she was getting closer to the bucket unknowingly, I was pulling her back to adjust the distance.

The distance can be gradually increased with kid's age. Whatever be the age, your kid is sure going to have fun by throwing things. Ask them to direct the same to a specific goal.

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October 16, 2015

Move it - Count it

I must say, A loved this activity to the core.

Materials needed: Rope, coloured balls, wall hooks.

I pierced the rope through each of the balls and hooked the ends to a wall. The game was just to keep moving the balls from one end to another while counting. The balls being colourful, it immediately caught A's attention and kept her busy talking numbers for quite some time.

Also, she takes turns in calling out the colour of each ball as well as she moves them.

This one is actually similar to my earlier posted activity Moving beads, but for colourful balls and a little grown up A playing this time,  who can tell out the numbers/colours clearly while moving. 

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Kids love pushing objects.  Why not show them an item and get it pushed? Fun, for sure.

Again, this is good physical activity, they learn the concept of pushing and taking the object past any obstacle lying on the floor. Gives enough muscle movement in body.

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In - Out

Again, yet another simple activity from which there is scope of learning multiple concepts.

Things needed: Floor and Chalk piece

Draw a big circle and ask the child to step in and come out of it. My A just loves playing this as she shouts out loud 'IN - OUT - IN - OUT - YAY!!'.

Take away for the child:

  • Learning concept of boundary
  • Good physical activity 
  • Knowing the shape - Round or Circle
  • Lastly, the concept of In and Out

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Screw - Unscrew

This one is a very simple activity to keep your child engaged. This can be done with an empty water bottle or any other container that has a screw-able lid.

Take away points for the child:

  • Having grip in holding a cylindrical shape
  • Learning which way to turn for open and close

My A keeps exclaiming 'Open!' 'Close!' as she repeatedly does the screw-unscrew action.

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October 14, 2015

Dealing with a stressed out toddler

It was one of the tiring days when my A turned out to be another challenge for me to handle at the end of a tiring day. It took some good amount of deep breathe for me to stay intact and deal with her. It is often very tending to get frustrated and show it on people around you.

It was dinner time. First, she refused to eat, then she had some, then she played with the rice, then she transferred the rice between two bowls. Yelling and crying in bits. Clearly, it is understood that she is not very keen on eating the remaining portion. I bent down to her ear and asked her if she wanted to try eating with her hand or a spoon when she picked up the spoon and had yet some amount of rice. Then, reverted to play. Again, whispered to her, saying if she doesn't want to eat it, she could tell me and I would clean her. I asked her if she wanted to eat or not. A got back to eating with her hand now. During this time, I cleaned up a bit of mess she had made by then. When she told me she was done eating, I finally cleaned her up and the messy floor.

It was a tough time, not as easy as using some words and writing my experience. Much more than it.

(Image Source: gettyimages.in)

During all this struggle, there were two moments, when I was already tired and thought the mess was a bit too much to handle. It is human tendency to immediately react with a raised voice or slight spank. Thanks to my conscience for pulling me back and asking me to rethink the reason for my child's behaviour. I was silent for a moment and got back talking to my daughter in a curious way to catch her attention towards the food.

Key points to note when the child shows irritation in her actions:
  1. It is you who has to stay in control, forget about controlling your child. 
  2. Your child is an independent being and has feelings. 
  3. Just because she cannot express them verbally, her tiredness impacts her behaviour and it is the way she conveys that she is stressed.
  4. The child learns a lot of behavioural aspects from a self-controlled parent.
  5. It is easy to get your voice out and give a big shout at your child's behaviour, but, is there anything that she learns out of this?
  6. It is even more easy to get that hand go spanking on a spur of the moment. Again, will she immediately calm down due to this? Does she learn something out of this? In fact, she tries to desert herself from the person who's violently troubling her!!
The child becomes even more frustrated. Because, her sole source of comfort from the moment her soul entered the mother's womb, seized to provide support in the time of need. This is something similar to betrayal.

Though the child is not aware of all the feelings and terms that are given to the feelings, all that she has realised out of this scenario is:

  • I am tired. 
  • I need some warmth from my primary care-taker. 
  • And here she is, yelling at me for sharing my distress with her instead of acknowledging my stress and soothing me. 
  • And lo! Your child has lost her trust on you during a dire situation.

The important point I would like to convey out of this experience is that, dear mom, when the child is stressed and her behaviour stresses you even more, please don't lose your self control. Take a deep breathe. Give it a thought. Come up with something quirky to cheer up your little hero.

Your child's nervous system is still developing. She behaves in a specific manner only because her nervous system has developed only to a specific stage. What goes on in the nervous system is displayed as behaviour to the physical world around. So, who is at fault? No one!!

There is a beautiful soul residing within your little child that has to be nurtured lovingly. Children are wonderful creatures. It requires a warm heart to deal with those growing up little beings.

(Image Source: gettyimages.in)

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October 07, 2015

QOTD - Oct 7, 2015


October 01, 2015

Just let them be

Children are meant to be messy. Let them mess around.
Children are meant to move about. Just let them be.
Children are meant to learn from free play. Do not restrict.
Children have the right to say 'No, not now'. Let them say.
Children are individuals with their own unique preferences. Let them have.
Children have the right to choose what they want to do. We should only guide them and not rule them.

(Image Source: Google)

Children, specially of age 0-6 years are constantly developing - physically, mentally, emotionally and in any other aspect that is not mentioned here. Every behaviour of a child has a reason. Parents need to invest time and energy in understanding why the behaviour is such rather than focussing on the reason for 'why doesn't my child behave as per my say?'.

Always remember to get down to your child's level of perceiving things and talk to them gently. Yelling only conveys the feeling that the parent is yelling like crazy but does not convey the reason behind it. Instead, talk softly, gently and you will actually be surprised that you are being heard as well!!

Do not always try to impose rules and worry that the child does not adhere to your say. Let go off the feeling that you are someone superior to the child and it should be your say. It is only that children are tiny and cannot actually express all that they feel, but, they are individuals too!! They have a unique personality of their own. Help them develop, guide them in the right path, but, do not dictate rules.

Let them be curious. Let them experiment things. Let them make mistakes. Let them learn from them. Let them become untidy during play. Let them play with water and wet themselves.

Exposure, only opens up their mind and increases their thoughts. It is a very easy task to clean up a messy child or the spilled over water or the child greased with paint or the one who played in mud. The experience that the child had gained during the process is very important in development of his thinking. A messy child who is received lovingly after his play and cleaned up gently would be emotionally better developed than the one who is yelled at for any of his messy play.

Parents need to perceive things as the child does and they are sure to experience the joy of bringing up children.

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