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Parenting

Attention parents! You are under surveillance!

Got baffled by the title?? But yes, this is a fact. Your kids are watching you day and night. You may call your child ten times,  your kid may not respond and may seem engrossed in something. But you start talking with your husband or with your friend and you will find that their antenna is always directed towards you. If you are talking about the kids then they will not miss even a single word.

You try to sit comfortably and discuss something with your husband and I am ready to bet if your kid doesn’t come running towards you and occupy space between you and your husband. 

Once my kid was spending his vacation with his grandparents. After couple of days I received a call from my mother in law (MIL) asking whether we had a fight regarding who should clean the kitchen platform in the night. I was more embarrassed than surprised by this question. She narrated the afternoon’s incident. That day the kids were playing “Mummy Daddy” game. My kid was acting as the Daddy and our neighbour’s daughter was acting as the Mummy. During this role play the Daddy asked Mummy to clean the kitchen platform and the Mummy readily agreed. Now the little Daddy gave instructions to the Mummy, “Hey how come you readily agreed to clean kitchen platform?? You should say that it’s your turn to do it today and fight” My wizened MIL had guessed what must have happened and had called me. Plus I got a free advice that we should not fight in front of the kiddo. All I remember is my kid was engrossed in watching cartoons in other room when we were fighting. I am sure even you would have experienced similar thing.

I remember when I was a kid my mother used to have her college in the early morning (she was a teacher). She used to finish cooking and other chores before her college. She used to be in great hurry. If we sisters wouldn’t follow discipline she used to scold us. She used to get delayed. But I used to feel what’s there to scold us for such a small thing. When I would grow up I wouldn’t lose my temper by such a small thing. But alas! That’s not the case. When placed in similar circumstances unknowingly my reactions are exactly same as my mother and not what I always envisaged.

In my office it was normal for people to distribute chocolates on their birthdays. All the kids love chocolates. So did my kiddo. So used to bring those chocolates home and share with my kiddo. After few days I realised whenever kids used to distribute chocolates in his school he started bringing them home. He used open then only after I came home. Or when he used to fall sick I used to check his temperature after every 2-3 hours. Now when I fall sick he does the same without anyone telling him anything!

Jokes apart, but parents we are seriously being watched 24*7. Our kids are going to immitate us in similar circumstances. Our advices may not work. Actions speak louder than words.  Kids learn more by watching our behavior than what we tell them. We are the role model to our kids. I would like to conclude by saying be the man you want your child to become!

To read my other blogs please visit https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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Parenting

Making kids understand value of money! – Part 3

In earlier blog we read about how my son demanded a Nerf gun and I suggested him to buy it with his hard earn money. He had accepted the challenge, started ironing clothes and was waiting for his first pay.

In his first month he had managed to iron 55 clothes and he had earned Rs 330. He wanted to buy a toy for himself. We went to our usual toy shop. He immediately checked the price of Nerf gun. Its price range was from Rs 800 to Rs 20000. He was little disappointed. Then he started checking some other fancy toys. Alas!! They were very costly.

Finally he told the shopkeeper that his budget was Rs 330 and asked what could be purchased with this amount. The shop keeper started showing some card games, board games etc. When he made his first selection the total cost of the merchandise was Rs 336. He didn’t have sufficient money. I offered to give him extra Rs 6. But he refused. I offered him advance of Rs 6 and asked him to adjust it in next billing cycle. He rejected this proposal either. Finally he selected 2 items – Fletter cards and fidget spinner. This fitted well in his budget. He was very happy with his shopping. He was in euphoria. 

He started ironing his clothes with more gusto in the next month. In the second month his tally was around Rs 650- 700. Still the money was not sufficient to buy Nerf gun. He was little disheartened and asked me way forward. I advised him to save his money and spend it at a later date. It was very difficult for him to exercise control. But the attraction for Nerf gun proved to be stronger. Finally after 3 months of ironing he became proud owner of his Nerf gun!!

Few learnings from this exercise:

1. One has to really put in lot of efforts to earn even a small amount of money.

2. If you want to make big expenditure then you need to plan and save the money.

3. The kid has learnt one essential life skill which will never go waste.

Lastly I would quote 2 incidents which assured me the learning has indeed been etched into my son’s mind:

1. We have been visiting same toy shop in nearby locality for years. One day the owner specifically asked me, “Madam, what have you done? Earlier your son used to look for all costly fancy toys. But these days he has suddenly started asking for cheaper and simple toys. He comes with some budget as well?? Are you paying him any procket money??”

2. My son and his grandfather had been to movie. During break his grandfather thought of buying him popcorn. Dadaji was mentally prepared to spend the extravagant cost of Rs 220 for tub. But when my son noticed this price he flatly refused to buy any snacks as they were not worth the money.

What else one mother could want!!

For reading my other blogs please visit  https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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Parenting

Making kids understand value of money! – Part 2

Read Part 1

In last blog we read that my son wanted a Nerf gun. Giving Nerf gun was not a big deal for me but making my kid understand the value of money was very important. I had found the solution to this problem. I had suggested my son to buy the gun with his hard earned money. Read on to know how.

Me: That’s easy enough. I will give you a deal. If you like it then you can accept it. Why don’t you iron your own clothes? I pay outside laundry-man at the rate of Rs 6 per cloth. I will pay you at the same rate for the clothes you have ironed during the month. We can maintain a diary and note number clothes ironed on each day.

Son: But I don’t know how to iron clothes. 

Me: Oh! It’s not at all difficult dear. Me and your father would teach you how to iron.

Son: But what if I iron the clothes, earn the money and you refuse to buy whatever I say. 

Me: That’s a promise. I will not refuse or detain you from buying whatever you like. If I feel something is not appropriate as a mother I will tell you my opinion. But the final decision will be yours and it will be binding on me and as well as on your father.

I interlocked little finger of my right hand into little finger of his right hand. That was a gesture of promise which cannot be broken by either of the parties. This was sufficient to convince my son. But I was not done yet. I also told him one more condition that I would not hand over the cash to him. We would accompany him wherever he wanted to go for shopping and we would pay directly to shopkeeper. I had put this condition for 2 reasons. First, he shouldn’t carry money in school for showing off among his friends and fall victim to some untoward incident. Second to maintain transperancy. It shouldn’t so happen that we have disallowed something and he spends money on such things without our knowledge. We had full trust in our son but at such young age taking due precaution was our responsibility as parents. Let the kids venture far but not too far.

My son understood the full scheme. He was not too sure about whether he should go for it or not. Next 2-3 weeks went by without mentioning either of the Nerf gun or ironing. One Saturday my son declared that he was ok with my proposal and wanted to learn ironing. We immediately got a brand new Murphy Richards iron. My husband taught him how to lay table for ironing, how to adjust the temperature of the iron depending on material of the cloth and finally how to iron different types of clothes. We advised him to iron his clothes under our supervision only. We had to help him initially in turning the clothes and folding them. But in short time he mastered the art. He was now eagerly waiting for first pay day.

Follow my blog to know whether my son would be able to buy his beloved the Nerf gun with his hard earned money. (To be continued..)

Categories
Parenting

Making kids understand value of money ! – Part 1

When we were kids we didn’t have so many toys and resources and yet we were so happy. Today’s kids have plenty many toys and still they always look dissatisfied with their lot. They always keep on demanding something more.

My son had turned 11. He had many toy guns. But now he wanted to own a Nerf gun. I knew that his enthusiasm for any new toy including this Nerf gun would remain for 2-3 days and then the toy would lie in some forgotten corner of the house for ages. So I was not very keen on buying the same. My past experience had taught me that outright denial leads to lot of dissatisfaction and opens up endless string of arguments. I wanted to avoid this scene but at the same time I wanted my son to understand the value money. 

But how to do it?? It was easily said than done.  I wanted some time to think. So when my son demanded Nerf gun I just gave him non-committal answer, “Let’s see”. Thereafter I was thinking on it for couple of days. One really does not appreciate the efforts required for earning money unless he himself has earned money. Oh yes! Eureka!! I found the solution. Now I needed to talk to my son. I called him and told him.

Me: You wanted a Nerf gun right?

Son: Yes.

Me: See you already have 2-3 guns. So I don’t feel like buying another gun for you. But still if you really want Nerf gun then you can purchase it with your own hard earned money.

Son: Hard earned money? What do you mean by hard earned money?? 

I had to be very careful while defining this term because my son had earned decent amount of prize money. Plus he was favorite of all and used to get gift money from family and friends on various occasions. 
Me: It means money earned by doing some real work. It will not include prize money or gift money that you have received.

Son: It will not include prize money or gift money?? Then how am I supposed to earn money Mamma? It’s impossible. (He looked little disheartened)

Me: That’s easy enough. I will give you a deal. If you like it then you can accept it. 

My son was listening with all attention. If I had proposed something then I had to show him practical way of achieving the same also. I had found out a solution which was “Win Win” situation for me. If he would accept my proposal he would learn a new life skill which would be useful to him throughout his life and plus learn the value of money. If he would not  accept my solution I would not purchase this Nerf gun also.

Stay tuned to find out what this solution was and whether my son accepted my proposal. (To be continued…)

To read my other blogs please click on https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 17 (Does your kid have access to adult content?- Part 3)

In last blog we saw that how the cartoon had inspired the act of shouting “I love you” rather than any kind of adult content.  Now we wanted to find out more about why he was trying to hug the other boy. So we continued with our dialogue..

Me: Your teacher also told me that you were trying to hug Amit.

Son: What?? I was trying to hug? And that too Amit??

Me: Yes, precisely that’s what teacher said.

Son: No Mamma it was not me. In fact Amit was trying to hug me.

Me: Then why teacher said that you were trying to hug him?

Son: I don’t know. That day the teacher caught us running in the corridor. He was trying to hug me. So I was running.

Me: But why Amit was trying to hug you?

Son: How do I know Mamma? The teacher caught us running in the corridor and she was angry. She was about to scold us. Suddenly Amit told her that I was trying to hug him. I tried to tell teacher that he was lying. But teacher didn’t listen to me.

I tried to probe further in different ways but got the same answers. From whatever conversation we had I was quite convinced that my son was not trying to hug the other boy. Normally parents know when their kids are lying. This was probably one such incident where he was speaking truth. Probably the other kid thought that offence is the best defense. So when teacher found the kids running down the corridor the kid complained to teacher about my son. Since my son was already known to be naughty the teacher didn’t bother to check the truth.

By now I had started breathing little easily. Two out of three instances were down and both the incidents had nothing to do with access to adult content. But what about the third?? First two incidents had sounded little lame from the beginning. Still I didn’t wish to leave anything un-explored. I wanted to be 100% sure that my son was not seeing something he ought not to. The third incident was climax. It had really put me into jitters. This part of the conversation was what I had dreaded the most.

Why was my son licking hands of the other boy? Why indeed?? Please follow my next blog to find the answers.

Categories
Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 11 (When curious kid tells a story..)

In my last blog we read about how my kiddo started handling encyclepedia since the age of 2. Encyclopedia was his most favorite book. Just imagine a kind of story he would narrate.

Once we were going out with our kiddo in our car. One of our acquaintances joined us. My kiddo was very talkative. So he was very happy to have new company and insisted on sitting with this new aunty. They started chitchatting. Suddenly he said, “Aunty I will tell you a story” Aunty was very delighted. Normally small kids demand stories from elders. But here the kid was volunteering to narrate a story. She happily consented. My kiddo started, “I will tell you a story of carnivorous plant”

Aunty: Wh…what?

Kiddo: Carnivorous plant aunty. Carnivorous plant…

Aunty (exasperated): What is this carni… thing??

Kiddo: Carnivorous plant aunty. It means meat eating plant.

Aunty: Meat eating plant?? (Making disgusting face)

Kiddo: Yes aunty. But I am telling you full story. Please listen…

Aunty: Ok ok.. tell me.

Kiddo: There are carnivorous plants. They eat flies, insects. They have bright, nice colors. The insects get attracted by these colors. There is one plant called sundew plant. When insect sits on that plant it’s hair curl. The insect sticks and is not able to go away. Slowly the plant curls around insect and absorbs nutrients. The other parts of the insect just stay outside.

Aunty: Where do you find these horrible plants??

Kiddo: They are found where the soil is thin or it is poor in nutrients..

Kiddo had finished telling his story and he was now busy looking outside the car window.

The aunty was still quiet with shock. She had expected any story but this. Finally she said, “What kind of story is this? Can’t he talk normal?” I laughed my heart out. I told her that the kiddo keeps reading encyclopedia and this was one of his favorite stories. She just said something “umm..ok alright”

Now whenever my kiddo is around she goes in attention mode and proceeds cautiously!! Because if she is not cautious he has huge stock of stories ready ranging from nebula, tornadoes, volcanoes, dinosaurs, Titanic to penguins and Mangalyan!!

All this was there when he was a small kiddo. As the kids start growing the difficulty and awkwardness level of questions starts increasing. Their self body awareness starts developing. Let’s try to tackle one of such questions in the next blog.

To read my other blogs please click on the following links https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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General Topic

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 9 (Nurturing reading habit)

In my last blog we just saw how my kiddo started handling encyclepedia since the age of 2 years and how reading hour became our favorite pastime.

Slowly this picture watching game converted into question answer sessions. Now instead of merely reciting captions of the pictures my kiddo started asking “Mamma, what is nebula??” “What do you mean by tornado” “what does this train do?” 

Being a commerce student I didn’t know answers to many of his questions. But I would typically read the information from the encyclepedia and tell the same to my kiddo in easy language. If that was not sufficient I would google or would ask someone.

Gradually my kiddo started telling stories of nebulas, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, solar system, trains to all of us. 

Me and my kiddo were regular visitors to the books fairs and book shops. In one of such fairs I found one more trove of treasure – it was a set of books with names “From oil to petrol”, “From milk to cheese” “From shoot to apple” and “From wheat to bread”. They were very small books of around 25 pages consisting of good illustrations and short description in 1-2 sentences about the process. These books were the turning point. The teacher had just started teaching different types of words with phonetics in school. But my kiddo had enjoyed these books so much that he attempted to read these books on his own. From Oil to Petrol was the first ever book my kiddo read independently. Wherever he would stumble he would ask “how to read this word Mamma?” Eventually he started reading even complicated words. Soon he started reading all the books.

Considering his liking we amassed encyclopedia on various topics like Mighty machines, Space, Mother Earth, Oceans, Human Body, Explorers tales, Backyard Scientist over a period of time. He was crazy about Titanic. So we collected many books and stories on Titanic. 1001 days which changed the history of the world was his another favorite. In school he came across Gerenimo Stilton. This is the only fiction where my kiddo was attracted. So we had Gerenimo Stilton series books as well.

From our journey all I am trying to suggest is try to judge the inclination of your kid and try to collect books accordingly. Your kid may like fiction or fairy tales or comics or superheroes or adventures. Give them what they like. It is just possible that your kid may not like reading at all. But what’s the harm in trying??

In my previous blog we read the first mantra that was to start early and spend quality time with your kid. My second mantra is judge the inclination of your kid and try to collect books on topics your kid enjoys the most. Do not rely entirely on the typical books available books meant for kids. My third mantra is when we are starting the books from early age concentrate on attractiveness of illustrations rather than written content. Correctness of written content needs to be ensured. But little kids get attracted by attractive pictures rather than written content. Initially books with attractive illustrations and brief information are sufficient.

Today is a digital age and mobiles and internet videos are in vogue. Read my next blog to find out whether invasions by mobiles and internet on books were successful.

To read my other blogs visit www.kinfolkclub.com or

https://motherlab.blogspot.com

Categories
General Topic Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 2 (Dadi wouldn’t let me put ink on stickers)

Once I was bathing my toddler. My toddler was enjoying playing in water. Suddenly he asked, “Mamma where does this water go?” Tell me the story of this flowing water. He was pointing at the flowing water on the ground.(Story…not again pleaaaase… But did I really have any choice?? I had already resigned to my fate and continued…

Me: It goes down the drain.

Toddler: How?

Me: Through drainage pipes.

Toddler:Mamma, where drainage pipes go??

(Later in the evening I had to show him duct area where the drainage pipes were seen)

Me: They are connected to sewers beta.

Toddler: where are sewers?? I wanna see them..

Me: We cannot see sewers. They are under ground.

Toddler: Then what happens?

Me: Then the dirty used water is sent to water treatment plant.

Toddler: Then??

Me: Then it is sort of cleaned. Somethings are not good for our health. Such things are taken out of that water and such cleaned water is released in the river or ocean.

The bath was thankfully over.. otherwise he would have continued asking “then what happens Mamma?” What I would have told him further?? Come to think of it probably I would have continued with water cycle😂.What say??

Illustrations by: Amruta Kulkarni

He would pester us continually with “what will happen next??” It was so much so that sometime me and his Dadi used to call him crow. The pestilential bird who continues forever with his crowing and would not fly away how much so ever you try to shoo him away.

I am a working mother. His Dada and Dadi used to look after the kiddo. Sometimes they would tell him stories, sometimes they used play. Sometimes he used to watch TV along with them. One day I got back from office. The moment I stepped into the house my kiddo had a complaint about Dadi “Mamma, please tell Dadi. She wouldn’t let me put ink on stickers” “What??” “Dadi is not letting me put ink on the stickers.” Frankly speaking I didn’t understand even a word. But I was in a hurry as our dinner was waiting for us. I consoled him, “Don’t worry. I will speak to Dadi about it” He was pacified and ran away.

We had dinner, cleaned table and finished other cores. As I entered the bedroom, my Mother In Law (in current lingo MIL) followed me inside. She ensured that our kiddo was out of earshot playing with his father and asked me, “Where do you keep your sanitary napkins?” I was totally non-plussed by this opening question.

Me: I keep it in my cupboard Mother. Why what happened??

MIL: You shouldn’t leave such things in open in your cupboard.I was simply surprised. I was just not able to understand why my ever courteous MIL is asking me such questions all of a sudden. She had never bothered me with such questions Weever before in earlier 4 years.Watch this space to find out the secret of weird questions of my MIL and Dadi’s complaint by my kiddo. (TO BE CONTINUED)