Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mommy's guide to happy mornings

Have people ever doubted your parenting capabilities? I get it all the time and honestly I don’t mind it at all. I usually get tons of advice on how to raise my child, while I do listen to them, I do not guarantee to follow them. While I cannot claim to be best at the task, but I do try to give my best shot at it.

Just recently my interaction with another newbie parents got me some eye rolling and this made me wonder if I was really being tough on Smera. I mostly get in trouble for being a bit too strict with my daughter. But I believe toddlerhood is just the best time to learn all about discipline.

The newbie parents were appalled to hear that Smera’s sleep time on school days is 7pm. They felt it was an absolute injustice to the little one. I was asked questions like then when does she get time to play? My response to them was – “She perfectly manages to do everything a child needs to do before 7pm”. I might have sounded a little rude but this was the truth!
Smera is a morning person, loves to get up at 6am (even on holidays). Her biological clock is tuned to it waking up early in the morning. Nothing is more special than seeing her get up with a smile every morning. The reason being she had a good night’s sleep – just a  simple logic. Morning’s are never a struggle with Smera and on most days she is extremely happy to be going to school. I never have to scold her to get out of bed.

As an infant too Smera had this habit of waking up real early, though I did have to put her into an early sleeping habit but that too wasn't a big task with her. And this good habit has helped her to settle into school routine. 

Smera leaves for school at 7am and unfortunately her school finishes at 3pm – a real long day. After school the little one loves to come back and unwind at home, colour a bit, play with her friends, dawdle around the kitchen to find her snack, have a bath, eat dinner and listen to stories just like any 4 year old child. The only difference might be that she skips her afternoon nap.

There is another reason why I chose early to bed routine for her that is because I have never been a morning person for most part of my life. My dad has had some real tough days to get me out of bed. Most days I have spent my time in classroom dreaming of sleep. And that is the reason why I want to put in good habits right from the beginning for her.

I have learnt from confirmed sources the ultimate mommy fact – most children are the happiest when they have slept well and their tummies are full.  As they grow up with they would need to focus more on studies and that’s when sleep will become even more crucial. Then why not practice good sleeping habits from the beginning itself.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Parenting trap #1 - Perfection

What is with parents wanting nothing but the best for their children? Is good not good enough anymore? Why suddenly there is a desire for everything to be perfect? Either it’s the best school, best pediatrician, best tutor to even best prospective life partner. Does good not satiate our desires? The world around me is split into two the one with that have the best and the other striving for the best.

Competition is great and in any form would be healthy not only for the mind but also for the soul. But the question that has been going on in my head is if excellence too has the same effect? The idea of perfection is not frightening, while the idea of desiring perfection for others is asking a bit too much I guess.

We as parents want to give our children the best school, but are they worthy of it? Why not let the child prove his or her caliber in academics. We would buy the best of the branded clothes, take them best vacations or dine in the at best restaurants. But are telling them how much it costs to afford this best lifestyle?

I grew up in an environment where my parents tried their best to give me a good opportunity in everything and expected me to excel in studies. This I felt was reasonable, but somewhere from then to now things have changed and the reason being our aspirations.
This new age parenting is a bit scary for me, we are training our children to be the best. But what are not teaching is how to get there and also understand the value of ones failures, that too many positives.  How else would the youngsters understand what it takes to be best at something, if we don’t guide them towards the right path.

I don't know why are putting ourselves and our loved ones through this pressure. We parents love to celebrate the A grades. If the child didn't win, then we wouldn't tell that child had even competed to save ourselves of the embarrassment of acknowledging that someone else was better. It is as if we are telling our children, there is no point participating if you cannot win it.

Now more than ever the youngsters must understand the concept of discipline, dedication, practice, punctuality, consistency and teach them to find positives from a failure. It is important to help them understand that we are not perfect. Even if we make mistakes, we have a share in everything that's happens to us, good and bad.

The journey of our life may not be perfect, but we will eventually reach where we want to be. We have to be careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence is what we should aim for and teach our children, perfection will follow us with persistence, patience, and by prioritising our passion.
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