Monthly Archives: March 2012

Your child and you II

A small recap

In the last article titled ‘your child and you-I’ I spoke of ISP and the best you can do with your baby, the toddler. I will move to the next age group in this part, the 5-12 years age group and what may be in store for the parents during these years of parenting. For the pregnant moms, who have read the article and enrolled for the ISP classes; good luck to all of you and I can assure you that you will be immensely benefitted. You are already on the road to joyous parenting. For those who are already in the ‘old’ category like I was when I joined the program, no harm done. We simply must practice honesty with our children and love them to their fullest. Children are unique and incomparable; all formulae need not bring the same results for every child.

A small note before I go to the next age group: I deliberately left the food part out for the toddlers. India is such a blend of diversity that it is next to impossible to pin down on anything common for a child to eat and drink and say , ‘Give this only, the child will be healthy!’ The culture and food habits are related and then the geographic location and food availability define the culture of the place. For north Indians wheat is a must for the southerners rice is a must. My mother used to insist on garlic, excellent for lactating mothers, my in-laws house is garlic –banned place! My chances at ‘good lactating’ were squashed the day I married this family! So, my only suggestion is mum’s milk of course, till it lasts. Introduce fresh home- made stuff and stay away from canned food as much as possible, especially the first 3 years. Now, to continue with toddlers…

The busiest 7 years

Toddlers are biggest mischief mongers and by the time they turn 5 all the tricks in their book are out in the open and they have very few in their kitty. So the parents also breathe easier and have a little free time on hands, with the children going to pre-school and beginning formal school. The days of being at their wits end and hair rising din are thankfully out of the way and very little shocks these well trained parents anymore. The parents get a good chance to have the upper hand with this age group , in the sense they can introduce rules , give instructions to get a few things done independently, set a time table for the them, some activities to be done on their own, some family time, some play and friends time etc. Instead, the parents begin to get used to this little free time, and the full night’s rest as they are out of the ‘staying up through the night phase’, enjoying a little freedom and have a few hours when the toddler is at school, so it is very luring, to grab another few hours of peace or freedom or sleep, if you can get the child to do what you want. They innocently begin the blackmail game of, ‘do this or eat this, you will get to watch your show or you will be given an extra chocolate’. I notice most parents with children in this age group are either shouting, ‘No, no, no don’t do this, don’t go there, don’t run, don’t touch….’ A string of ‘No’s’ or trying to cajole the child with, ‘I will give you this, buy you that, take you there, do this…’. Already the children are grooved into a life of blackmail and bribery, right at home. I know it is very tempting for the tired parent, but it is strictly taboo. This is exactly the kind of long casino online run harmful habits that I wish to warn the parents against. Most of my counseling cases deal with this issue and I am tired of telling each parent, individually, you brought this on yourself! You thought you were in control and you could get the child to do things your way, but in no time the tables turned and you end up doing everything to the child’s bidding, yielding to every whim and fancy. So, please parents, hold on to your temptation a little longer; that is all. By the time the time the child is 7-8 they are very independent and have 10000 things to do. They will have no time to bother you because you would have occupied them with so many other educational distractions! Play the smart parent. Let them walk into the trap rather than vice versa.

Begin with learning from the child than teaching the child. Reason being, the more you are with your children the more you really get to know them. The longer you black mail them, you will remain in the dark about what they really want. One by one they will explore, it takes patience, but the result of patience is always sweet, yes? So play along peacefully please. Remember the brain cells they have and their count; think of what slim chances we have, at our age, of out smarting them! So, smartly learn from them instead. Then the parent has the advantage of knowing the child inside outside and everything about the child’s world is like an open book to the parent. Now you can start the extra-curricular classes, based on the interest of the child. I found the ‘Multiple –Intelligences Test by Howard Gardner’ very helpful in this case. It narrows down the options effectively and you can start moving on the right track from this tender age itself. No time is wasted and the child ends up with a career of choice and liking too.

Secondly, a suggestion, please enroll your child to any one creative class, it may be drawing, dance, music- instrumental or vocal, anything on the fine arts side. Nothing else inculcates discipline in the child in a natural way. Dance music and arts still the child, rather force the child to sit and a gradual sense of calm and composure comes to the child. Most of the children with attention problems are only begging to be put into something like this; and this is the perfect age. The academic pressure is nil and they have too much time to kill with too little to occupy them! Even if this is not a career option for them, no harm will come. This paves the way for everything else that they will want to do in future. Many parents enroll them into karate classes to bring in some self confidence etc, I am not their mom and they do know the best for their child, but as a counselor, I wish they wait till the child crosses 12 years at least before putting them into such classes.

A smart parent need not be a house wife or a full time mom, a smart parent simply needs to know the child and be with the child when with the child. As for the rest, time flies and you will be enjoying every minute of parenting, re-growing, re-learning and bonding with the child.

Your child and you-1

Your child and you-1

About ISP

The following is a continuation of the series your child and you, enabling the parent to understand their children and groom them effectively. My learning from Siddha Samadhi Yoga says that the child is like sponge from the age 0- 5, and then the phase for showing what has been grasped during these crucial five years is noticed. I attended this Infant Siddha program with my first born very meticulously. My son though, was already 2years + by the time I got to know of this program and they said I was late, a little too late! My son was old already. I was taken aback to hear my baby being called ‘old’ , but the verity has begun to sink now, with all these cases that come to me.

Infants and toddlers see and learn during formative years, soaking it all up, the good and bad alike. We parents are too busy feeding, cleaning, putting them to bed, catching forty winks ourselves if possible, then again the baby is up so feed, clean and it is like an endless loop. The first three years of most parents are is a small circle dotted with stops at the clinic, crèche, home and maybe one two other places like relatives and playschool. We forget that the child is happily soaking it all up, the hustle bustle and the scenery, the people, the learning from every person the child is interacting with too! So every relationship is a learning experience for the baby. What is a rushed routine, waiting for the child to grow up is the learning period for the child. Imagine the magnitude of what we have lost in our ignorance and what the child has inadvertently learnt again because of our innocence (I dare not use the word ‘ignorance’ too many times, touches the wrong nerve of the parents.)

The child first learns to see, observe, then listen, talk and the last in the line of education is writing. Whereas parents wait for the child to talk first, then we assume that it makes sense to make the child reason or understand, the child will begin to listen. The child has been hearing for the last 1 year or so, not to forget the + nine month’s conception to delivery time! So we have actually waited almost 2years more than the needed time. Meanwhile, the child has already heard a lot, made many impressions, images in his or her mind, some alterable, some indelible, some good and some bad of course.

This Infant Siddha program has done extensive research and experiments too. According to them a new born has about 100 billion active brain cells with 50 trillion brain connections and by the time the child is 10years old half of these connections would have died off! That still leaves half alive for us to wake up late and yet achieve a few milestones. They have created magic children and child prodigies, trained mothers from the day they conceived and set many examples of miraculous babies. The site has extensive information for any parent who wants a miracle child. The site is www.liyaisp.org and the mail id if the person managing and conducting these classes is manjo@vsnl.com . Here I will talk of on behalf of every child, with without the program and trying to understand these children better to enjoy parenting to its fullest best. Getting discouraged that we have lost so much already is a defeatist attitude, let us pull up socks and say, “I will learn to and make up for the lost time and reach the finishing line in the same time”.

My semi ISP trained kids

Parenting ‘knack’

So, parenting is really a knack, it nine out of ten it comes naturally to the parent. The whole disadvantage begins with this line itself, because now most families have both working parents and the influence they leave on their children is very piecemeal and disintegrating. The nuclear family structure which is most prevalent these days is also a big hurdle. This ‘knack’ is being in tune with the child, to a degree where the parent perceives thought of the child with the very expression or every look of the child. The verbalization of that look and expression on the child’s face must come naturally to the parent and spontaneously and immediately! Now how many of us can say yes to all of these? At least earlier the grandparents used to have time and enjoyed grand parenting and imparted a lot of wisdom, now with this nuclear family convenience and nuisance, we have lost out on that advantage too. For all you know, maybe our parents also felt that they lacked the knack of parenting then and now wish to enjoy their grand children to their fullest. Whatever maybe the reason my point is why can’t we parents really enjoy parenting?

It is never too late to begin, because your child is your guru. All the parents need to do is a role reversal! Observe the child and start learning from the child. Without holding back, bias and with complete enthusiasm and spontaneity if any parent can be with their child, that parent has the knack of parenting is also on the correct road to perfect joyous parenting. The parent should allow the child to decide and stay away from imposing decisions on the child. You then give room for the child to listen, think, assimilate and then make decisions; decisions which have come from him/her and which are meant for him/her. We parents must know what we want to imbibe in the child? The values we wish to impart must be crystal clear and we need to do a repeated refresher course with these values and guidelines ourselves.

Are we allowing the child to discover him or herself, giving an exposure or an outlet to explore his/ her unique talents and foolish wishes too? Allow them to dream, because every dream precedes a goal, and dreamers are usually more successful than the non- dreamers. We are too focused on academics alone, but think a step ahead please, is academics the sole determinant for an intelligent or successful child? Who are we to rob the children of their dreams, to thrust some certificates down their throat? We are robbing the child of his/ her childhood and ingenuity! We need to ask ourselves these simple questions. It is the parent’s hands to give the child the vision of become a dwarf or a giant, emotionally. What we show them to see is what they believe and grow up to be.

We give love they learn to love, we cuddle they cuddle, we are cold and stiff they grow up self conscious and stiff. The source or the root is us, on which these tender buds with the potential to bloom grow. Respect your child, if you are away most of the time, work constraints; then sleep talk to them. They understand and sense that little bit too. They are so receptive. My husband is practically a guest daddy, but this one habit of his, to come back home at some god forsaken 11 or 12 in the night, yet go and sing a lullaby to my daughter and smother my adolescent son with his kisses has made a big impact on the children. They barely exchange any notes during the week but the weekends, they lap up all his attention and dote on him and pamper him! They remember all hugs, songs and smothering they received when they were asleep. It surprises me, but they have a lovely relationship and it works wonders for my family.

I thoroughly enjoyed and lived every moment with both my children. It is honestly a boon to see them flourish and grow up into content and complete kids, adolescents and able adults too (I still have to wait for the last part). Up until now, I am happy I have given them my time, we have had our own share of ups and downs, but till date the ride has always been exhilarating and full of sweetness. So it is love, love and more love, the trick or the knack of parenting.

Anger – Render it powerless

Anger- Your enemy

Anger is the single most dreadful disease a human being can suffer from. This leaves the person totally incapacitated and helpless, more like an invalid. Anger robs the person of discretion, reasoning, sanity and love. It breeds hatred, guilt and fear in the person. An angry person is afraid from within and feared by the outside world too. It is a double loss to the individual. The reasons for anger are many but the result is the same always; it gets a hold over our reasoning and wisdom. For any personal progress getting a grip over this vicious vice is imperative.

If we can fathom the reason for our anger; it is half the battle won. Each one has their own unique triggers and we get an intuition even before we are actually in the situation. Anger gives a premonition and tells the person that we are walking into the red alert zone. All we need to be is awake, alert and read the signs correctly. We can avoid the traps and move away from that place till the storm subsides and re-enter with a sane frame of mind. So you are proactively addressing the crisis and the chances of a positive result are enhanced instantaneously. The individual triggers need to be addressed first as compared to the events on the outside, which arouse anger in the individual. Unmet expectations is the most predominant and common cause of anger and very controllable too. Start keeping a lower bench mark and try and make it negligible over a period of time. The normal or calm state of mind stays with such people and one rarely encounters them in a ruffled state.

Get a hold please!

Managing anger

The few tips to managing anger:

Learn to be forgiving: I am mentioning this first because this is the most difficult part. Anger makes us do and say things we regret later and it becomes very tough to forgive and forget. It may be possible to forget the other person but the real test and challenge is to forgive oneself. If we are able to recall the pain of forgiving oneself then getting a hold over that anger trigger will seem an easier hurdle to overcome. Personally, this has been my toughest battle. I am totally unforgiving and very vengeful by nature. Getting angry was equivalent to raising hell and severing ties with the person totally. Am a better and more self forgiving person now, anger still comes but goes away real quick.

Find an acceptable outlet for yourself: Getting angry is not so abnormal, but getting out of control when you are angry is the worrisome part. If we have a reasonable, more acceptable channel to release our steam it is a safe bet to go for it. This activity or outlet must be easy and something that comes spontaneously to the person concerned. If the person has to seek an outlet which is not very close to the heart then it never pops to the mind when the person is getting angry. My counselor used to tell me to drink water, count to 10 or switch off mentally. All the three were not my cup of tea! I could never think of water or even casino manage counting and switching off was impossible when I was so boiling with rage! I decided what worked for me was, leave that place. Just get away and revisit it when you are calmer. So, seek your own individual outlet, please. Else you will get angrier at not being able to control your anger!

Go out for walks: This is the most therapeutic way of getting off the steam, and least harmful. Walking takes the person away from the place of action and also gives the person time to think, come back to a calm state, start thinking reasonably and do some introspection. This and what I am about to write further worked wonders for me.

Regular dairy writing, prayer and meditation proved to be my panacea. I did this with dedication; in fact I am still doing all the three, for 3 months and I could see a change in myself. I would sit and write about the situation, and what exactly caused the anger to surge in me. I realized that none out of ten, it was something very frivolous and easily ignorable. All I had to do initially was move away, and with time I could mentally switch off myself. At times I still used to get angry, react, and then write about it in my dairy. This worked as an introspective tool for me. I would read it through and promise to myself to put an end to this. It took me 3 months of sustained efforts and a conscious deliberate determination on my part to overcome my anger. I am not saying I have conquered this vice but I am on track and continuing to do so.

Despite these individual differences we all are not so different really, because in the end we do get angry and are afraid of losing control. So, see what works for you and walk on the right path right away. Letting go of anger gives us courage unknown and we feel less burdened and light enough to be able to fly. Good luck and new beginnings to all of us.