Author: obsessivemom

Thank you for not walking in my shoes

Thank you for not walking in my shoes

Come walk a mile in my shoes, see what I see, feel what I feel, live what I live, share with me my worries and my fears. Isn’t that what makes us human? The ability to be someone else for just a little while?

But then not everyone does that. Not everyone should do that. We need these people in our lives, the ones who refuse to walk in our shoes. Oh they may annoy us and frustrate us and make us really angry but we need them. I know I do. This post today is a Thank You to all my friends who refuse to walk in my shoes.

Thank you dear friend for not walking in my shoes; for making light of my worries when I am down and out. You make me see that life could have been worse.

Thank you for laughing at me when I am afraid. It is the sunshine of that laughter that melts away the mist of my fear.

Thank you for not being ‘understanding’ and leaving me alone even when I beg you to, because you know your presence is what I need though I may not admit it, even to myself.

Thank you for not holding my hand, for not walking with me into that pit of self-pity, the one I dig for myself, for pulling me out with a no-nonsense tug.

Thank you for keeping your head when I am losing mine, for doing for me what you think best, because sometimes you know me better than me.

Thank you dear friend for thrusting at me a delightful pair of stilettos when all I would have were my worn old sneakers. At some point in our lives all we need is a different pair of shoes.

 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda for the prompt ‘Walk a Mile in my Shoes’.

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

Parents’ guide to basic vocabulary

Parents’ guide to basic vocabulary

Dear parents,

The other day I was at a programme put up by the children in school. By the end of it I found just three or four parents watching it with me. The rest had either walked out already or were milling around near the exit.

For some reason that got me all worked up. I thought it was rude and impertinent. This one is for the ‘walkouters’ – a basic vocabulary guide.

To begin with, there’s this word in the English Dictionary – ETIQUETTE. Here’s what it means, and I quote: the customary code of polite behaviour in society.

You understand that? Obviously not. Had you understood even the E of Etiquette you would have known that it is rude to get up and leave in the middle of a performance, however small, however informal, however inconsequential.

You might of course have urgent business to attend to, you’re an uber busy person I know, and you have the right to leave. However, in such a case you might want to sit at the back so you can leave UNOBTRUSIVELY – you do know what that means, right? Leave in a way that is not conspicuous. Got it?

So as I was saying, you might want to leave without disturbing the tiny handful who do know what etiquette is. It is only polite to show some CONSIDERATION, another word that’s strange to you I presume. It means kindness and thoughtful regard for others. You might like to exhibit some kindness towards this tiny lot by not stepping on their toes as you walk out gushing over the performance of the apple of your eye.

There does exist, of course, the possibility of sudden unforeseen and urgent business coming up. However, chances of such business cropping up right after your own child’s two bits are done is rather remote.

There’s another word that might interest you, called DECORUM. It means behaviour in keeping with good taste and propriety. You might want to understand that word because chances are the D word is among one of the things you hope your ward will learn at school. Well how about practicing it yourself first? Or is it, that once you’ve written out that fat fee cheque you think you are absolved of all responsibility of teaching anything at all to your child? Least of all by example?

He is watching you, and learning from you remember that. So, I suggest, when you set out from home bring along with you a bagfull of PATIENCE, that’s the capacity to accept or tolerate because, the thing is, when you are invited to watch a show at the children’s school, you are invited to watch the ENTIRE show – the complete show, you understand?

Oh we know you are busy people, the rest of us of course have nothing to do but if we sat through your child’s performance it is only fair, that you sit through that of ours, that’s called RECIPROCITYthe practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. (Oh and by the way let me clarify that one of my child wasn’t in the show at all while the other one was done way before the end.)

If you cannot spare that one hour how about letting your ward perform exclusively for you right at home? That way there’s no trouble for anyone. Brilliant idea, eh? I knew you’d agree.

Lastly, you do have the option to simply BEG OFF the occasion which means to gain permission to be excused from. Do that. Don’t come. So that the rest of us can enjoy the programme in its entirety.

Thank you,

A jobless watcher of school programmes and maker of unnecessary lists.

 

Although its parents I’ve spoken of, we stumble upon such people almost every day. So tell me which are the ones that get your blood boiling?

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

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Linking up with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

Life is a box of ‘Every Flavour Beans’

Life is a box of ‘Every Flavour Beans’

This is a Blogadda Wow Post.

You do know what they are, don’t you? The jelly beans Harry and his friends bought off the lunch trolley on the Hogwarts Express, the ones available in every conceivable flavour –  Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans – those are the ones I’m talking of.

“…. you get all the ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and marmalade, but then you can get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a bogey-flavoured one once,” Ron had told Harry.

Life’s a box of Every Flavoured Beans - A risk with every mouthful. Click To Tweet

Each time you dip your hand into that striped little box you never know what you will draw.

Oh you can try and guess the flavour as you unwrap each one. However, you’ll find the wrappings are misleading. A rich golden one might enclose within it the darkest flavours while a simple unpretentious one might hold the very happiness your heart desires.

No matter how wise you get or how experienced, no matter how hard you try to pick and choose to get just the good ones, bad ones will find their way from your hand, to your mouth, into your life.

No one, not even the greatest magician, gets it right all the time. Remember how Dumbledore chanced upon a vomit flavoured one? So then what chance do mere muggles, stand?

However, does that mean you stop dipping into the box?

Not at all.

You try. And you try again, for these jelly beans are addictive, just as life. As did Dumbledore. He made a second attempt, remember? Only to end up with an ear-wax flavoured one! You’d think it would put him off for ever and yet I’m certain, when the box is passed around again, he’d be game for another try.

That’s just how it should be. You learn to enjoy the good ones and spit out the bad ones, as in life – you revel in the good days, tread carefully on the bad ones. No matter how Life treats you, you go on living, go on picking, go on sampling it, jelly bean by jelly bean, one experience after another, savouring each one, enjoying the unpredictability for that’s what makes it fun.

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda for the prompt ‘Life is a box of …’.

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

Ensuring Your Child’s Safety in School

Ensuring Your Child’s Safety in School

Today I host a special guest on my blog. She’s an author, a blogger and a mom. We first connected through her book We Will Meet Again, which I read and loved. We went on to bond over more books and of course parenting. Meet Tarang Sinha.
 
Tarang is a freelance writer and author of We Will Meet Again, a mature love story. Her writing has appeared in magazines like Good Housekeeping India, Child India, Woman’s Era, New Woman and Alive. Her short story, Dilemma, has been published in a bestselling anthology, Uff Ye Emotions 2Her supernatural short story, It Rained That Night, is available on Juggernaut Books. She is an avid reader and blogs @tarangsinha.blogspot.in.
The last few years have seen an alarming number of incidents where the safety of children in schools has been compromised. While the onus of ensuring that the school is a safe haven for each child remains on the authorities, Tarang here, talks about what we can do as parents to keep our child safe.

 

That day I wasn’t feeling well, so my husband went to pick our toddler from the play school. The school was within walking distance  – purposefully chosen. It was I who (dropped/) picked our child from the school every day. The teachers had never met my husband.

Although it was his father who was going to fetch our child, I was feeling jittery. How would the teacher’s react? Would they refuse to hand him over to my husband? They would definitely make a call to confirm. I thought.

After a few minutes, my husband got back with our happy child. I was disappointed and displeased. It was irresponsible of them! The next day I broached the question. The answer I received left me dumbfounded.

‘He looked like S’s father,’ the teacher said sheepishly.

I mean, really?

I changed the school.

The recent incident at Ryan International School is scary, heart-wrenching and infuriating! It seems there’s no order and security. A similar case was reported (in a different wing of the same school) last year too.

School is a place where children spend a large part of their day, so it is very important to ensure that they’re in safe and responsible hands. Apart from government initiatives and efforts by schools, we, parents, need to be alert and aware about our child’s safety.

Tight security

It’s important to check if the school has a good level of security system. The current school my son goes to, issues two guardian’s identity cards and it is mandatory to show up with that card at the time of dispersal.

Observe if the security guard questions strangers entering the premises.

Verified Staff

Security guards and ayahs should be skilled, caring and verified. Check if your school gets their police verification done.

Safe transport service

This is a thing I dread the most, sending children to school in the school bus. It is convenient, I know, but parents should keep a few things in mind when using school bus for transportation:

  • Trained (and at least one female) attendants on the bus.
  • You must have the name and phone number of the driver/conductor
  • The driver/attendant must have parent’s record with phone numbers
  • You must have the number of the vehicle

Making Your Child Aware

‘He who knows others is wise; who knows himself is enlightened: Lao Tzu’ Click To Tweet

Your child stays away from your doting arms and anxious eyes for a long time. It is important for him to be independent and aware.

  • Make her/him aware of good touch and bad touch
  • Encourage him to share. Talk. Ask about his day in school every single day, no matter how busy you are.
  • Teach him how to behave; how arrogance and violence are unbecoming.

For Child’s Mental and Emotional Well Being

There are several cases where children experience mental/emotional torture in schools but they hesitate to share it, maybe because of fear or shame, or lack of openness from parents. Keep a watchful eye for any striking changes (they may turn into a recluse or may behave aggressively) in your child’s behavior.

If you notice any sudden change in his behaviour, talk to him/her. Do not hesitate to discuss your concern with your child’s class teacher or even the principal. Notice if they’re friendly and approachable.

Possible causes for mental trauma

  • Abusive behaviour of teachers or any other school staff
  • Sexual harassment
  • Bullying

Communicate with you child

  • Never avoid if he says something objectionable about the school/staff/schoolmates.
  • In the parent-teacher meeting don’t just talk about your child’s academic improvement. Mention if you have any concern regarding school management.
  • Show your interest in your child’s friends. Talk to them when they visit. It’s not just about courtesy. You must know who your child’s friends are.

Tips to make your child comfortable so that he/she doesn’t hesitate to share his/her feelings

  • Don’t pester him with your urgency. Give him some time but watch him silently.
  • Keep your tone and approach friendly. Being stern would create a distance.
  • Share your own childhood stories and tell him how you made some silly mistakes. It will encourage him to open up.
  • Agree with his thoughts for now. Make him understand later.

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Have you ever faced issues with security at your child’s school? What did you do? Share with us.

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

When learning is a new adventure everyday

When learning is a new adventure everyday

Somedays I wish the twins were toddlers again and it’s not only because their tweens are proving to be tougher than their toddler days ever were. This feeling was brought on the other day when I was at the inauguration of a play school, Safari Kid at Koregaon park, Pune.

The thought that has gone into making the play school not just child friendly but mom friendly as well, is amazing. As I went from room to room, (I cannot call them ‘classrooms’ at all because they just aren’t that, not in the traditional sense at least) I found myself going from ‘aww’ and ‘how cute’ to being seriously impressed.

Safari Kid is a chain of play schools that has made its way all the way from Silicon Valley to Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune in India. This is its second centre in the city. There’s lots to like here and you can go to their website for more on it.

A Glocal approach to learning

What I liked best is the principle of bringing in global ideas and modifying them to suit local culture. For instance along with Hindi and English children are given an exposure to languages like Spanish and our good old Marathi. The idea is not to drown them in coursework, they’re just 2 to 5 years old, remember? However, children pick up way more in their earlier years, simply by being exposed to new experiences – and that’s the idea Safari Kid is working with.

Because each child is different

As a mom to twins I know how very different two children can be. I’ve written about it often enough. That’s why, when I was looking for a school for the twins one of the major criteria was the number of children in their class. That’s another thing I loved about Safari Kid. They have not more than 16 children in each class with the teacher-student ratio at 1:2 for the infants (under 1), 1: 6 for children under two years old and 1:8 for the 2-6yrs age group. This allows them to work with each child as an individual, tailoring the teaching to each little one’s pace and style.

Building potential leaders

A lot of play schools these days serve as mere preparatory classes for when the children move on to the ‘big’ school. At Safari Kid, that happens automatically while the focus remains on his long term personality enhancement. For instance there’s a little podium where children learn to make presentations. Standing up there and talking about something as simple as ‘my favourite colour’ or ‘my favourite toy’ helps rid them of self-consciousness and makes them comfortable with public speaking, encouraging potential leaders.

For the Creative Child

Oh and if you thought it was all about reading and languages and presentations, you must visit the Art Room. I fell in love with the tiny easels and the colourful array of paints. I can completely imagine children spending hours messing about and refusing to come out of there.

And there’s more..

There’s a delightful indoor play area where children can climb and slide when they feel like a break. Take a look.

There’s space for the very tiniest ones – a Sensory Room where they can touch and feel and play along with their mums.

I got talking to some of the moms and they seemed to trust Safari Kid implicitly with their children. That’s should be enough recommendation for any parent.

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. The views, however, are my own.

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

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