Thursday, September 24, 2009

How do parents nurture their kids interests

I was reading Tharini's post on her decision to not put her son to Kumon classes and this set off a chain of thoughts in my mind. (the post below may appear random ... but thats just depicting the right state of my mind - Confused)

Cantaloupe is growing and is growing fast. I believe each individual is talented... some of them are lucky to recognise their potential and other's are not so lucky. And as a parent I think it is my responsibility to identify her talent and harness it.

I have always loved music and I wonder when my parents recognised this passion of mine. My mother being a trained classical singer herself taught me the basics of carnatic music until Varna after which I started taking music classes from a renowned teacher in our city. I remember starting my music lessons from my teacher when I was about 10. I started my dance lessons around the same time as well ... I enjoyed learning Bharatnatyam for the next few years and sometime during my board exams I found it difficult to cope with dance / music classes and studies and I quit dance. I continued learning music until I started working in a different city.

What should I do with Cantaloupe? She is just 5 now and I know she cannot tell me with certainty what she likes. She is most likely to be influenced by her friends. If a friend A goes to a certain class ... she for sure wants to go there. Its not the class that draws her interest ... but the friend's company. Cantaloupe has been taking her swim classes for almost 2 years now ... and she seems to enjoy it. Swimming as I see is more a requirement than anything else these days. I regret not learnt swimming for the silly reason of having to put on swimsuit. (I still cannot be persuaded to wear one)
Cantaloupe was enrolled in Ballet classes when she was 3 ... she was very young and we were naive. She didn't enjoy those classes as much and we discontinued and lost the money the we had paid. This summer, Cantaloupe attended Gymnastics. She says she loves it ... she was pretty good in her classes. We sent her to the community class ... but clearly if she wants to pursuit Gymnastics seriously we need to enroll her for some serious classes. But these classes are expensive ... I don't mind spending on these classes if she is really interested and continues to have improvise/ enjoy. But if she doesn't it seems like a total waste of money.

Any academic classes like Kumon I have decided she will not go - I enjoy teaching her. It gives me that extra time with her and I can afford it at this time. When I am not able to provide her the required assistance I may consider these classes later.

BP will be particularly pleased if she is enrolled in Badminton or Tennis classes. Again private lessons are expensive ... and she is not showing any particular inclination to these sports. But then what if she hasn't realised her potential ... I know kids at this age require some nudging before they realise their potential. She may really start enjoying these sports ...

Classical music, I would have loved her to learn ... but she isn't showing much interest in that front. She seems to be more interested in fast paced / rhythmic music be it bollywood, regional folk songs, classical. I know she likes dancing ... but dance lessons are offered for 6+ in some classes that I enquired around. She is interested in coloring ... but she is not very good with paint. (I know I know ... she is only 5) ... would arts and craft classes be good for her - I don't know :(

Some people around tell me, unless parents experiment on various options, there is no way to identify the kids interest ... some others tell me she is too young for anything. May be I should wait for atleast a year or two.

I am confused ... I wish I knew what she is good at so I could nurture her interests.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Doordarshan darshakon Ko Namaskar

Doordarshan completes 50 years of existence on 15th sep, 2009. And the serials I watched growing up on DD are so etched in my memory even today. I perhaps remember these serials better than some of the Survivor episodes I might have seen just few months back.
Recollecting some of my all time favorite serials on DD.

10. Neev (this was a serial about boarding school) - Sunday 12:00 noon
9. Vikram aur Bethaal - Sunday 5:00 pm
8. Showtheme - Saturday 3:30pm
7. Nukkad - Monday 9:00 pm
6. Kashish - Wednesday 9:00 pm
5. Chitrahaar - Wednesday 8:00 pm
4. The World this week - (Was it friday 10:30 ??)
3. Mahabharat - Sunday 9:00am
2. Buniyaad - Tuesday / Saturday - 9:00pm
1. Quiz Time - Sunday 9:00pm

Thanks DD for broadcasting some lovely serials.

Play date

Cantaloupe had a play date with friends from her new school on wednesday. I made few interesting observations:
My kid actually listened to what I said to her - there was a huge lawn in the complex and a fountain in the center. All kids love playing with sand and water ...thats a given. But this being a fountain put in for aesthetic purpose, all mommies didn't want their kids to play with it. While most moms struggled to contain their kids ... a simple "talk" was enough with my daughter.
She remembered to ASK : Once we went back to the host's apartment.... the kids attacked the cookies / sweets laid out on the table for them. Cantaloupe asked me if she could have one ... of course I said Yes ... but then she remembered the "No sweets after 6 on weekdays" made me really proud.
She was having a jolly good time when I reminded her that it was time to leave - she put in a small protest saying she wasn't done with her playing ... but gave in. There have been episodes in the past where she has negotiated about staying longer for more than 10 - 15mins. Not this time though :)
She Cleaned: Yes she did ... while other mommies just left with their kids. When I asked her to clean up, she pointed out that others had played but hadn't cleaned up. So I said, never mind what others do .. you do your part. She cleaned up some toys and I didn't insist on cleaning up everything. I had to be fair to her .. afterall I had seen her play with only a guitar and a truck most of the times. But nonetheless, she cleared some of the other toys as well.
She thanked the hostess, put on her shoes / socks and waved bye to her friends in the most dignified manner.

I couldn't possibly ask for a better behaviour :)

On a side note:
Mommy V commented that she is not used to wearing spaghetti tops but her son (5 yr old) may get curious when he sees others wearing it ... so in order to make it a norm, she was planning to start wearing them. - REALLY??
Mommy A1 said her 1.5 yr old son often twists / dislocated his hand bones (carpus ??) ... and she just twists it and brings it back to position. OUCH !
Mommy P said she goes to gym only to relax and re-energise herself. - WOW !
Mommy A2 said the kids bring out the inner devils in their moms - LOL !
Mommy C felt clean up after playing is part of play date and leaving the toys lying all over the place is not a good practice - THATS ME :))

Over all it was a nice time ... and I dont' mind doing this once in a while.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Moderated Words

The other day I was lazing around with my laptop keeping an eye on Cantaloupe who was playing with her toys. Cantaloupe used the word 'F***' and I was startled ... thankfully I didn't react. Then I followed her more closely and understood what she was doing. She was pretending to be a magician and was apparently saying a magic code "Fallammboo ... Footuta ... Filliata ... F***"
She went ahead and pointed each of her doll to be representing each of the magic words.

I somehow felt uncomfortable with her usage of the word and asked her to not use the word. As expected she asked me why she couldn't use it ... I mumbled something on the lines of it being a meaningless word and there were other words famously used by magicians like "Abracadabra Allaka Zoo" and that she could use those. May be she was too involved in her game to question me further and continued with her game.

What do you guys do when you hear your child speaking words not meant for their age? Do you disapprove of the usage immediately or you don't make a big deal out of it and leave it there hoping they will forget the word.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Two kids - One game

How do you balance out the interest of 2 kids of different ages at home ? Thats becoming such a different challenge for me to handle these days.

Anything I start out with Junior is baby game or boring for Cantaloupe and Junior just has her own rules when I attempt playing anything with her sister. Like the other day, I wanted Cantaloupe to not be left out of family fun and introduced her to Carrom, (this was a popular game with us kids while I grew up ... none of us came close to becoming champions, but nonetheless we had so much fun) So I arranged the carrom pawns on the board and stepped out for about 5 secs to fetch the powder and what do I see when I come back ?? Junior in the middle of the board throwing the pawns in all possible direction and thus ended my grand plans of carrom with Cantaloupe.
Also another day, Cantaloupe wanted to play -pretend doctor / patient with me. So I was the patient and she was my doctor. She had her stethoscope and pretended to check me and prescribed me some pills. She was bought to give me a shot / injection when she found the same in Junior's mouth. Apparently it tasted better than a lollipop to Junior who made such a hue and cry before giving up the syringe.
Board games are out of question ... there is no way the pawns will remain on the board ... triominos, snake and ladder - all gone for a toss.
We manage to play pretend games sometimes ... Cantaloupe is irritated when Junior disrupts her game plans, but I try to convince her that Junior is her assistant in the task and is only helping out. But then why would anyone call the idea of pulling out ones' hair helping when she is pretending to be a hair dresser.
I am running out of ideas on how to handle both kids together ... they manage just fine when they play with each other (well . most of the times ... ok sometimes they manage). So far dancing with music in the background or hide and seek have been working fairly well with both kids ... but then there are only so many spots in the house where one can hide :)

Ideas please ....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Television time

Was watching House Hunters last night with Cantaloupe. I was amazed with the kind of observations she made ...
* There wasn't a refrigerator in the house ... we will not buy this house.
* Why do they keep rushing with "Lets move on to the next room" , why don't they allow us to see the rooms.
* Isnt' the paint too pale
* Lets keep looking for the house in our neighborhood and see if we can afford it

ps: These were the exact observations I made :)

My circle of life with BP, Cantaloupe and Junior and much more | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL