Over Parenting – Identify and deal with it

As parents, we all have natural instincts to protect our children. And yes, we certainly need to. We definitely need to safeguard our children from running into a busy street or burning their hands on a hot stove. But, as parents what we also need to be aware of is , where and when to stop.

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Today, I am going to write about “Over Parenting”.  Google defines over parenting as “Be excessively involved in the day-to-day life of one’s child, typically in the desire to shield from difficult situations or help them succeed”.

But, in my opinion over parenting is much more than what google defines it to be. Read on.

Do you identify yourself with any of the below traits?

  • Not assigning age specific chores – I am sure it is very satiating to help your kids in their chores. Do you carry their school bags, polish their shoes, select their dress, do their projects? Please restrict it right away.  I identify these skills as life saving skills and we need to enable our kids to make their own basic meal, do their laundry etc etc. 
  • Take decisions on behalf of your kids –  Do you think for your kids and take decisions on their behalf. I am sure the cascading action is to convince them that it is the best decision taken. Children need to be given the room for their thought. Allow them to think for themselves and help themselves. 
  •  Help them before they ask – Do you end up doing their school projects? Do you prepare their bed, pack their school bags, clean their shelves even before they ask your help?  Please stop it right away. Let them be exposed to the need and call out for help.
  • Value of money – This comes into picture as your kids grow into teenagers. Do you allot an amount for pocket money and micromanage the same. Does it sound good when you read it? Let them have their space.
  • Nudging at every step – Do you decide what they wear? What they eat? What skill they should learn?  Stop nudging.  Teach them to think for themselves. 
  • Praising them at every step – There is a thin line of difference between appreciation and praise. Do not praise them for every step they take, this deprives their vision and lowers their expectations for achievement.

If you recognize yourself with any of the above, please stop it right away.  Does it not give goosebumps to visualize your kids growing into a confident, independent human being who can survive in any part of the globe? Trust me, this attitude could be rooted in your kids only when they independently handle their tasks at home.

As they say experience is the best teacher, leave a room for your kids to self-do things. Though it might be soul satisfying to do the tasks for your children, it has an extremely corrosive impact on their overall personality.

Over parenting is over indulgence and that necessarily means disabling your kids. Children with overly involved parents do not grow up with a realistic view to the world. They are in a bubble wrap of security, safety and comfort. They transform into poor decision makers, less confident human beings.

How to deal with it?

Very simple. Better late than never.  I am glad some of you have realized that you are over parenting and want to know how to deal with it. 

  • Realize you are over parenting. Stop it right away. Give them space to grow. 
  • Visualize the moment of how you want your children to handle the situation in your absence. Give them the right and balanced opportunity. 
  • Do not, repeat DO NOT take decisions on their behalf. It is a good practice to discuss pros and cons with them and get them involved in decision making. 
  • For me, personally, the most important task is DO NOT do their chores. Let them handle it themselves. 

Let us build a positive environment for our children to grow into confident independent human beings.

 

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How to raise a shy kid?

“Send him to my home and I will change him like my daughter”

“Your son is absolutely not you!!!!”

“Hey, if he continues to be this, he will get bullied”

“He is not brave enough to come up and talk”

And many more were the remarks that are registered in my mind about my son at many social gatherings.

All throughout my schooling, college I had never feared the stage nor the mike. It just came naturally to me and  I presumed that my son would invariably be like me.

But on the contrary, I have a shy son. As a toddler, he was paranoid of a group meeting, he exhibited extreme shyness in a group and was always unwilling to talk to strangers and the shyness grew along with his age. I, like any other parent,  compelled him to go public, talk loud, make more friends etc etc. Every time I tried enforcing my thoughts onto him, I found him cranky, upset and sluggish.

It  took some time for me to understand the dynamics of a shy kid.

Socially, we are conditioned to believe that loud and clear human beings are leaders. Our minds are in complete acceptance to the fact that extroverts are better performers and they enjoy social life while introverts are not aware of the same joy in life. Shy people are treated as less eligible beings in a group while extroverts enjoy the leader status.

As a mother of a shy kid, I am making my attempt to help him overcome this trait.

With this blog post, I am bringing up some of facts on how to raise a shy kid purely based out of my experiences as a mother:

  • It is okay to be shy: Firstly, you need to embrace the fact that it is okay if your kid is shy. Many a time, I face situations where family members, close friends remark about my son’s shy behavior and I learnt to give a deaf ear to the same. Not all kids can be the show stoppers at a birthday party, some find solace in playing with their own group of 2-3 close friends and as a parent you need to be okay with it.  Do not compel your kid to participate in the group he/she is not comfortable with. We need to be aware of the amount of anxiety the poor kids go through to make themselves comfortable in the group.
  • Shyness is biological: As I started reading more about the root causes of this behavior, I came across many facts which substantiated that shyness is biological. Yes, it is biological and that means it’s all about the brain and it’s wires. It’s an innate nature of your kid and you need to give it time and situations to overcome the same. I notice that the kids who are shy are generally great self critics and judge themselves before they express themselves in public. So, we need to give enough room for the kids to understand the fact that it is normal to express themselves in public and they need not be self critical about it.
  • Slow introduction: Whenever there was a social gathering, be it a birthday party with classmates or a family lunch with close relatives, my son took ample time to get adjusted to the environment and be himself. It is always a good thought to prep him/her  a day or two earlier and talk about the event. Initially, during his first to fifth year, my son immensely shied away from a group of people and panicked to be part of the group.  Though he wanted to be a part of the group, he restrained himself and preferred to be with mommy than in the group. But, slowly I notice that he is able to outgrow the behavior and trying to make himself comfortable in public. We need to make attempts to introduce new friends / new environments at a slow pace and do not rush them into anxious situations.
  • Help him get away with it: In most of my school meetings, I consistently had a conversation with his class teacher only about his social skills. Academically, I was happy with his performance but I was always despondent about his social behavior. I was curious to know if he answered in public, if he was able to talk in-front of a group. Steadily, I acknowledged the fact that for certain kids it is a slow progression to get away with shyness. I plan to get him enrolled in skills like  theater workshop, dance class, story telling to help him express himself without fear of judgement. We need to create environments that help them get away with shyness and slowly out grow it.
  • Stand up for themselves: There were many instances, when my son faced uncomfortable situations with his friends but he did not express himself. I assume it is due to fear of being confrontational . He feared to express his disagreement though the environment is not to his liking. I preach on a regular basis that he needs to stand up for himself, express his discomfort. This is a slow progression for shy kids as they tend to be fearing judgement. Give a good listening ear to your kids and insist the need of being assertive. It might take two to three situations for them to realize the need to express themselves. Do not involve and advocate for them, teach them to self express their needs.

Over the past few years, I could see a considerable change in the behavior of my son and expect him to outgrow his shyness in an year or two. For whatever reasons, being shy is an innate nature of the kid and either they will outgrow it or learn to live with it. Let’s give them a non-comparative, neutral, healthy environment to grow up and let’s raise responsible citizens.

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I am a selfish mom!!! Ooo yeah I am…..

I don’t help my son in

Washing his dirty shoes

Packing his school bags

Cleaning his plates and spoons

Arranging his Toys

I don’t mind being selfish!!! Yes, you read it right, I am a selfish mom and I don’t mind being one.

Quite often, I have seen many mommies who give up living for themselves after kids. They forgo their me time and their solo motto in life turns to be running errands for their family and losing themselves in the run.

I feel it is absolutely okay for a mom to go out on a lunch date with her friends over the weekend or to spend an extra hour at the gym or get relaxed with a pedicure at the parlor.

The world is not going to end if you finish the last few pages of the book you have been reading for a while, if you take long showers you are longing for, if you want to make the most awaited phone call to your BFF, while your kid gloriously surpass his father  sitting in the couch and come bang on your face to open the snacks box for him.

Yes, the world is not going to end!!!!

As mothers we are born compassionate, naturally caring, genetically multi tasking. But, as time passes, we moms tend to forget that we were once chirpy young girls aspiring high, socializing and living our dreams. We tend to forget ourselves and run the rat race of DO-EVERYTHING-ASK-NOTHING mode.

I strongly advocate the thought that Mommies need to live for themselves. We need to escape the insanity of the daily lives and define our dreams, make our hobbies and place ourselves ahead of others.

At my home, I ensure my son

Grates the cheese for the omelettes

Arranges his books after being back from school

Cleans the place if it is messed up

Helps in laundry

And couple of more duties.

Yes, I do this purposefully. I don’t want my son to be deprived of being a capable man. I want to enable him to be a good cook, good home maker and a good human being. Many of our Indian men are not enabled to run the errands at home, to help their wives in kitchen or to buy good groceries, ours being no exception. So, I fancy my son to be a man who is able to handle both his professional and person life perfectly.

Further more, I also do not mind if my MIL controls my son’s screen time, if my MIL serves him lunches and dinners, my husband helps him to get ready to school, my husband attends the school meetings, owns paying bills, as that leaves a little room for me to be myself and I find it utterly perfect to use this time to concentrate better on my work  or finish a blog post I have been writing for long or go out to shop the outfit I have been eyeing for long or just take the lazy afternoon sleep.

So,next time you need to cut down your shower time because your toddler is waiting at the door, the next time you want to give up your favorite movie to watch an animation movie, next time you want to give up your pedicure time for a park visit of your kid, think again. It is absolutely normal to place yourself ahead of your kids and have your own me time and the world is not going to end only because of this act of yours.

After all, at the end of the day, a happy mom is a happy family and I am sure a good spa would definitely make you happy. Go get done one now!!

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My Kindergartener son

Your little toes, your chubby cheeks, your tummy kicks,trust me, I am fond of these as ever and pretty sure I would not get enough of the memories.

As I fondly reminisce the baby you were once, today I am proud to be the mommy of a grownup Kindergartener.

Time just flies by and I can’t agree more. This year had been brilliant for us. The first day of your school is still a wink away for me, your excitement for new shoes, your like for the new snacks box, how could I forget it?

Though we started on a giddy feeling of reading difficulties, we coped it up well as time progressed.

By the time, you finished your kindergarten:

  • You empathize with mommy the way I would expect you to be.
  • You have gratitude for little things.
  • You are a disciplined student.
  • You are responsible in finishing your assignments on time.
  • You appreciate mommy’s efforts for your tasty lunch box.
  • You respect the time fixed for cartoons and video games.

In terms of academics too, this year had been incredible.

  • You learnt to say one to hundred without a number skipped and you realize there are numbers beyond hundred too.
  • You now know to add and subtract single digit numbers.
  • You write your name far better than what you were doing it last year and I don’t have to look for the letters forming your name all over the page now.
  • You can write small sentences with proper grammar.
  • You enjoy writing small picture comprehension passages all by yourself.
  • You are good in skip counts, though you sometimes challenge that skip count after 15 is 25.
  • You know vowels and their usage.

I must take this moment to profusely thank your Class teacher Mrs.Divyatha for having been one-of-her own kind. She was the one who inculcated the thoughts that values are much more important than grades in the class. She had been an awesome teacher I must say!!

So, as we progress to the next class ( Grade 1), you now know more than I do about how to book a train ticket through reservation form, what a ticket conductor does in a train, the precautions we need to take when there is a fire or what  is a good touch and a bad touch and I am certainly proud of it my little boy.

I love the way you exhibit empathy and compassion at every possible juncture and I am happy your school has inculcated many life lessons to follow. Overall, kindergarten has made you a more resilient, empathetic, competitive personality.

As you sleep and dip into your dreams, this mommy sits beside you savouring your tummy kicks, your first steps, your innocent words, your intelligent explanations. Very soon, you will be grown into a handsome young boy aspiring bigger, chasing your dreams. Here is wishing you a great life ahead filled with compassion, love, empathy all around you!!! Being an empathetic, socially responsible human being is equally important as being educated and well-earned.

God bless you with a life of your choice.

My attempt to capture the memories of your upper Kindergarten are here in this video.

 

 

Why did I grow?

Me:  “Son!! There is a good book and bad book!! When you do good deeds, God gives you a good point and vice-versa”

One evening, as he tries to finish his dinner, Dheer says “Mom!! I am feeling sleepy, I don’t want to eat any more.”

Me: “Dheer!! You know what happens, God is going to give a bad point if you waste food. Think about it”

Dheer: “But Mom, God is the one who is making me sleepy, how can he give bad point at the same time? “

Innocence?? or Intelligence ?? Either-ways, mommy is happy listening to Dheer.

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I am participating in BarAthon. Today is Day 5

Today’s prompt: Tiny Shoes

What you don’t know?

What you don’t know?
My son, is that behind…
Every cuddle, there is an irrevocable experience
Every smile, there is a  jubilant energy
Every scream, there is a conscious mom
Every timeout, there is guilt
Every hug, there is a prayer for your well being
Every bye, there is a positive prayer
Every meal, there is a healthy vibe
Every good wish, there is strong hope

Every good night, there is a gratitude to nature

My son, as I see you grow, my gratitude prayers to the nature are more persistent. God bless you with good health, immense opportunity and a good nature to be a nice human being, rest of the things will fall in place!!!

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I am participating in Bar-A-Thon challenge. This is Day 2 of the #BarAThon Challenge
Today’s prompt: What you don’t know?
 
 
 


The tender wings

“Radha was an intelligent girl who was consistently good at her scores in the school. Since childhood, she had high aspirations to pursue her Phd in space technology and earn a name as a scientist.  She finished her schooling and got admission in a meritorious college for her graduation and topped the ranks. It was the time for her to study her dream degree.

As she started her preparations in identifying a good college, she was bombarded with exorbitant tuition fees. It was not too late before she realized that they belonged to a middle class family and her parents could not have a substantial saving for her to pursue her dreams. Her dream castle bundled down and she had to settle for a mediocre job.”

As I read this story in a novel, many thoughts triggered in my mind. When I was a kid, I was questioned “What do you want to become when you grow up?? An Engineer? Or a Doctor??” Back then, there were not too many options one could choose.

In today’s framework , the situation essentially is unconventional. The kids of this generation have umpteen options to choose from. My thoughts took a projectile motion and made me realize that by the time my son finishes his schooling and ready to set his wings in the dream field he wants, we must be equipped enough to provide him with the required support. We must be financially, emotionally ready to let him allow to chase his dream career be it being a service man or  a scientist or a radio jockey. We need to be open to accept his choice and support him financially and emotionally.

It so happened that once when I introduced my son to a DIY kit with nuts and bolts to fix a machine up, I inferred that the toy will help him to grow up to become a scientist who invents new machines but not a mechanic who fixes the things up. Yes, we insist this at every step and teach them to think big, develop passions, have goals and run after them.Don’t we? Now, this makes me think how prepared am I to face the D-day.

As in the story narrated in the beginning, many of the today’s middle class families end up in compromising the children’s aspirations  due to lack of proper financial planning.Apparently, I also find out from a google search that in a recent more than 3/4th parents are of the view that education costs are going to rise significantly over the next few years and not surprisingly, most of them do not have an exact view of how much it would cost It was also observed that many parents are not fully prepared to handle the high fees. And in case of foreign education, it becomes all the more difficult since one has to take into account living expenses in addition to tuition fees.

I also happen to incidentally land at  the home work site and  ‘The Homework app’ .Through the Homework app, parents can find out the costs of education across a multitude of courses in various countries at their finger tips. The app not only gives info on the future value of the course which their children want to pursue , but also the estimated amount to invest to reach that goal.

For all of us parents, google is the master guru and the  scores of information available not only for us to analyze but also for us to perplex with the options available. I preferred to read through a reliable source of information which states that recently, an earlier investor education campaign was conducted to educate people of right method of saving for us to understand the right way of investments.

Iterating the fact that small drops make an ocean, our small little savings today build for the child’s future. Today’s small investment in the right way takes us to the right goal at the right time. Imagine the proud moment when your child comes home fulfilling his dream education with an elite career. I am sure that is moment we all are waiting to see, aren’t we?

With the skyrocketing inflation and innumerable options and our children’s aspirations, it is right time we pledge to save in a systematic way and support the tender wings growing into stronger ones to see them fly high above reaching their aspirations.

My big boy!! You are now Five!!

Time flew by in a blink,

Was it yesterday?? I still think…

My big boy, You are now five!!

Those tummy kicks,

Your naughty winks

My big boy, you are now five!!

You are growing quick

Selfies we click

My big boy, you are now five!!

Dheer, time flies so fast!!! It still feels like yesterday that I had severe contractions that night while watching a TV show, when you decided to pop out, to today,when you have grown up to be Mommy’s big boy making your choices to what you want to wear!!

I am grateful to the nature for having blessed me with a wonderful son like you, you made me rediscover myself, change myself from the days I refused to grow up to today when I am an obsessive mother, I just can’t remember a bit of what I was before you.

This year had been a fabulous journey for us and capturing some of our memories :

  • This year you have debuted watching television and also you have fallen in love with Octonauts, Mickey Mouse, Pirates and the list goes on.
  • You have mastered the art of selfies. We are up and ready for a selfie any day, perhaps every day.
  • You have been generous enough to choose your dad over me to dress you up for school.
  • You have been a stickler with the tastes. You  know how exactly a dish should appeal and taste.
  • You started helping mommy in daily chores.
  • You have graduated from the basic rides in a fun zone to the 3D car races and bike races.
  • You have learnt that you should not disturb mommy when she is down with migraine, and so you ensure to switch off lights and move away.
  • You have been kind enough to give me a break from reading innumerable number of stories to two per day before we sleep.
  • At school, you have been an obedient student and your grades have been proving the same.
  • This year, you know to identify A-Z and to write 1-10, you also have picked up amazing English vocabulary and you enjoy speaking in English.

and I can write a zillion more….

So, as you turn five, it is the time for us to express the gratitude to having got this wonderful life. As I always teach you, live simple, spread love, be kind and have gratitude for every little thing we have in our lives.

Have a healthy, happy life. God bless you!!

Me and my son Dheer have recently fallen in love with this song from a book by Ryan Huston. Here it is  for you all

“Love you forever

Like you for always

As long as I am living

My baby you will be!!”

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Struggle with the Shoes

We all love to be those “Movie families” who peacefully sit at the breakfast table discussing the agenda of the day. Don’t we?

But in reality, I am sure, in most of the households, mornings are flocked with innumerable number of responsibilities. For me personally, breakfast, lunch to be prepared, boxes to be packed and unlimited number of reminders to Dheer (and his dad)  to be on time to school and me rushing to be on time to work.

Luckily, my husband takes the onus of getting Dheer dressed up to the school, but how can a chance to spruce up my adrenaline be missed?? Dheer chose me to help him with his shoes.

Shoes!! The word gives me ghostly vibes. Reason, my every day battle with Dheer to get an okay nod for the shoes. No, no!! He does not hate wearing shoes but he is just NOT satisfied with the way the laces are tied.

Usually, we need to start at home by 8:45 A.M. The school is about 5 min from our home and it is mandatory for us to be at the school by 8:50 A.M

8:30 A.M: After about close to an hour’s struggle by his dad to wake him up, brushing, poop, milk, bath etc ( This surely deserves a separate post), Dheer is ready to be dressed up for the school.

8:35 A.M: He is dressed in his uniform waiting for me to help him with the shoes

Attempt 1:

8:36 A.M : I put on the shoes, tie his lace

8:38 A.M: “Amma, you put on the shoes in the wrong way!!! I don’t like them”

Attempt 2:

8:40 A.M : I remove the shoes and help him wear it again, this time tying it more affirmed.

8:42 A.M: “No, these lace are hanging out. I can’t walk if the lace is placed wrongly. Please remove the shoes”

Attempt 3:

8:45 A.M: I remove the shoes again, try to divert his concentration by telling stories and put back the shoes, this time doing a double knot

8:46A.M: “Amma!!!!! I like the story but not the shoes….You always put it lose… How can I run if it is like this?”

Attempt 4:

8:47 A.M: I untie the lace, tie it back and ensure no portion of the lace is left hanging

8:50 A.M: Dheer crying out loud : “Amma, when will you learn how to put on shoes??? My toe is coming out of the shoe and I am not able to walk”

Attempt 5:

8:55 A.M: Do the complete cycle of putting on the shoes, tying the lace yet again. (Patience at the lowest ebb)

After about 15 minutes of struggle, though he is still unhappy with the shoes, he gives me an OKAY nod. I feel as though I won the “ Best Blogger award for a cash prize of rupees one crore” for a moment and try to hold his hand and walk fast towards the main door.( See the time is already 8:55 A.M)

He pushes, pulls, toggles. stomps with the shoes. He decides that only walking like a rabbit is the right way to walk in the freshly tied lace so that it does not come out and we both walk like rabbit till he is comfortable in the shoes and generously waste about 5 minutes in this activity and end up going late to the school.

This has been the story every day ever since uniform and shoes has been introduced to him about 2 months back. Though I try to explain to him in various degrees of patience (and impatience) depending on how late we are running, it just does not stick.

Now, topping on the toast for today:

Today, Dheer felt his granny was good at tying the lace and so I get a sigh of relief. After dressing up, he approached his granny to tie the lace and it took exactly 10 minutes 23 seconds for them (Yeah, both grandparents included) to get an Okay nod!! Haa…they fare better than me.

Now, I want to know who invented this laces for the shoes???

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Memories Reservoir

Some quirky conversations between Dheer and me:

One evening I was teaching Dheer opposites and my question to him:

Amma: “What is the opposite of light?” (Expecting him to say heavy)

Dheer:  “Opposite of light is fan, because both of them have different switches”

Proud mommy!!! I could not stop but give him a tight hug for his lateral thinking. (At least I assumed so)

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Another such conversation: Continue reading