Board Exams are not scary..

With my daughter’s 10th board exam, this was the third board exam that I and my husband handled as parents as our son has already appeared for his 10th and 12th boards before. Both the kids have done well in their boards.

One thing that we as parents never did was make the kids feel that the board exams are something to be scared of. No unnecessary pressure from our end. Kids continued with their sports, meeting friends, outings, leisure time, we as family went out for trips. The kids and we lived our lives “normally”. The kids themselves know that board exams are important. They studied hard, they know that marks are important for admission; of course marks are not measure of their intelligence.

Pressure is lethal. Eventually the kids themselves are under pressure to secure seats in good colleges, to get a good job; why do we have to add to that pressure? Silent and calm support is more effective than constant nagging and tension at home. There are days of de-motivation, frustration, stress, worry as such; just give them the assurance that life always gives chances.

Handling young adults needs empathy, patience. Children are precious..


The New Mom isn’t a failure..

I feel it every time a new struggling mother calls herself a failed mom. She wouldn’t be feeling this way unless the people around her make feel the same. C’mon..she has just given birth and new to this challenging journey. If you can’t help her in any other way, just keep your mouth shut. Stop shaming her, stop blaming her. She is struggling with her body, hormones, sleeplessness, expectations, her life coming to a standstill. The once carefree girl is suddenly overwhelmed. The least the world can do is encourage her, support her, rather than judging her or lecturing her. She is young, naive, learning.

Ten or 20 years down the line the same mom becomes a little cold and indifferent towards the world, is confident and pro at her parenting job, but the scars of the initial days aren’t forgotten.

Be kind to that struggling soul, make her feel better rather than making her feel like a failure..

Virtual Warmth

All of us at some point or the other have come across situations where a person when chatting over WhatsApp or making a phone call has sounded extremely warm and keen on meeting you, but when you meet that person in flesh and blood he/she turns out to be a totally different person. You cannot relate to that actual person with the virtual person!

This can be any old friend, classmate, relative, social media friend..anyone! You cannot match the eager and friendly virtual person with the disinterested and cold person whom you meet. Yes, putting on a mask is something that we all do, but some people do it more than the others.

With social media being a part of everyone’s life, this aspect is more prominent now. “Virtual warmth” is a reality!

Encourage the children to speak up..

There was this very rude teacher in my school who would not think twice before speaking rudely to a student. I remember how once he had humiliated a very brilliant boy in my class and for no rhyme or reason dragged his father in between. As was in our times, the boy kept quiet and the teacher kept on insulting him and his father.

Today when a boy took a stand and questioned a professor when he called the student a terrorist for being a Muslim in front of the entire class, it made me happy. Children should be taught to question any kind of uncalled for remark or behavior, be it anyone. We were taught to keep quiet, not question or answer back the elders, and that didn’t help in life. You need to take a stand for yourself, your self-respect, and let’s not equate that to being selfish or ill mannered always.

Along with academics, teach your children to be strong, to question, and to speak up. Self-respect is precious.

Respect the reader..

While reading out a chapter in her tuition class, my daughter noticed that few of the students were talking loudly, laughing and in general disturbing the class. My daughter stopped reading, allowing them to continue or to stop their conversation, and after they stopped she resumed the reading. My daughter said, “These kids don’t know how to respect the reader.”

Yes..many of the adults even don’t know how to respect the readers, speakers, performers. It’s a common sight when we see an artist performing on stage or some orator putting forth his/her points, audience chatting loudly, talking on their mobiles, laughing. That’s really disrespectful. Yes..people might get bored at a point but there’s a decorum that needs to be maintained at all places, a basic respect.

Similarly, most people are not good listeners. When someone is speaking, they cut the conversation in between and start talking about something else without bothering to let the person finish his/her conversation!

Respecting is not just talking politely, its also about listening politely. That’s also an art!

Appreciating the teenager..

Just went and gave a peck to my nearing 20-year-old son for being such a good teenager throughout his teen years. Yes..we have had our share of difference of opinions, but never has he banged the door on me, yelled and shouted at me, spent money unnecessarily or without informing me or his dad, has gone out or stayed long without informing us.

Recently I have been reading a lot about brash and rude teenagers and most of the times people put the blame on mobile or gadgets. My son, like most of the teens, has mobile and has his earphones glued to his ears. But one thing must have helped, that I assume, is communication. Communication means talking it out and not nagging, ordering, judging or yelling. With the change in generations, as parents we have also adapted to it. What seemed taboo or a strict no-no during our times might not be so today. Sometimes it has been difficult to adapt to the change as we are from a different generation, but evolving is growing.

This was not bragging about my son, rather appreciating him. Sometimes we forget to appreciate what we have and expect more.

All studies, no sports, makes the children dull..

My daughter is in 10th this year, and just like the 2 board exams prior to this that my son had given, both I and my husband are chilled out. Yesterday, I saw a video and excitedly called my daughter to watch it. It was a video where some football team showed a great team work and was a magnificent video to watch. My daughter plays football and I knew she would enjoy the video.

In our country, still sports is not given its due or the kids encouraged to pursue it, especially once they are in the higher classes. All they are asked to do is “study all the time”, which I believe is humanly impossible. I myself was never into any sports and hence wanted both my kids to play any sport. My daughter manages her athletics, football, tuition, studies, gets tired, sometimes gets rebuked by the teachers for playing sports in class 10, yet I always tend to support her passion.

As such, girls sports is still neglected, not just in our country but all over the world. Still the privileges and expectations are with the boys. My girl is saddened by this bias many a times, but still wants to pursue it, loves it, fights for it. Just like my son, I know she will also do good in her life in terms of career and so I want her to enjoy the sport till the time she can.

I so wish our country also encouraged sports, arts, just as they encourage studies. It’s hard work for the youngsters, but can be managed. Sports teach team work, resilience, hard work, being healthy…


Appreciate and acknowledge the silent support..

It’s good to see Virat Kohli acknowledging the silent support of his wife and dedicating her his victory. When you are down and out, even that support makes you strong. I don’t understand why people have problem with men praising and acknowledging their wife, but despite all the backlash he continues to acknowledge her.

Even in the normal scenario, including me, when the husband goes out or travels for his work; he is at peace because he know the wife is handling the home, children, her work seamlessly. There are many days when the wife is not well, may be having a bad day, exhausted handling the children (of various stages), had an awful day at work but she handles it all with elan. When someone, including the husband, calls her up, she simply states, “I am fine. All good.”

Support is highly underappreciated and underrated, and given our patriarchal setup husband appreciating the wife is a matter of ridicule or criticism. When the entire world is against you and criticizing you, on your good and bad days when the silent support gives you the strength to fight again, you should always appreciate and acknowledge that support.

Kudos to the teens and their parents..

Today was an overwhelming day as many of my friends’ kids and my nephew cleared their 10th, 12th and some other entrance exams with flying colors. By flying colors, I don’t mean above 95% or so; I mean that the efforts of these kids have been fruitful.

I have seen these children grow in front of my eyes and seen them shape up. Most importantly, I know the parents, especially the moms, of these children very closely. I have seen these parents encouraging and supporting their kids with their choices among all adversities and difficulties. They had their share of emotional, financial, and other struggles, yet I have seen them help and support their kids with a smile on their face. A big kudos to these parents.

As for the children, most of them would label them as nonchalant, mobile scrolling, earphone wearing, careless teenagers. But all these teenagers have shown that they were/are not careless and are serious about their future because they know that they belong to the middle-class parents who can provide education as “property or heirloom”. These kids include my both children too.

I wish these kids all the best for their future, but mostly I wish them to be happy in life because happiness is grossly underrated.

Self-love is important..

Yesterday my daughter’s teacher asked them write down the names of 5 persons whom they loved. When the teacher asked who had written their names in that list, more than half of the class didn’t raise their hand.

This is not surprising as we are not taught to love ourselves. This holds even more true for women. Sacrificing is applauded while self-love or self-indulgence is being shamed. When one doesn’t love oneself, somewhere there is constant seeking of validation from others, the feeling of being guilty, the need to prioritize only others. People who are self-assured and love and prioritize themselves are confident people.

We are taught to love, respect and prioritize others; that “we” should include oneself too..