21 February 2020

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 20 (Mamma, why you use sanitary napkin) - Part 1

When I was kid and I used to ask any awkward questions to my mother I used to get only one answer, " You will get to know automatically when you grow." No persuasion would work on her. Perhaps we had very limited exposure and she was not too much worried that we would turn elsewhere to get information. This "elsewhere" was limited to books or friends.

Now time has changed. Kids are too much exposed to media and internet. So the kind of answers my mother used to give me are not sufficient. Modern mothers are constantly under pressure of information explosion.

When my son was very young, one day after watching the advertisement he had asked me what sanitary napkins were. I had told him then that they are special kind of diapers meant for ladies. He was ok with this answer for many years.

Then he entered in 4th standard. One day he saw me going into the bathroom with sanitary napkins in my hands. When I came back from bathroom he had scandalized look on his face. He asked me, "Why you need to use these  napkins??"

Me: Sometimes I simply need them..

Son: But why?? Who uses diapers?? Either babies or old people, right??

Me: Yes.

Son: Babies do not understand when they get potty. They cannot control. So they use diapers.. But you are grown up. You do understand when you want go to bathroom or when you get potty. You have control. Then why need to use these napkins.

Me (still avoiding to answer the question): Sometimes ladies need to use them.

Son: How come you have control sometimes and sometimes you don't??

Me: My dear boy, you need to wait to get this answer for couple of years. You are too young.

Son: No, you have to answer today only. 

Me: I still feel I should answer this question after 1-2 years. The time will probably be right then.

Son: But why I need to wait?? You have always been answering all sorts of questions all these years. This is not the first time I have asked you difficult or awkward question. Then why suddenly you are telling me to wait??

Me: Because I still feel you are young my boy. These things are anyways covered in your syllabus when you enter 8th standard. You are only in 4th standard. So why hurry??

Son: No, no, no. You will have to tell me just now. Why don't you try me...

These arguments went on for some time. I was slowly running out of all the excuses. My son was not ready to back off at any rate. 

Stay tuned to find out the result of our tussle. Finally who won.. Mamma or son....

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 19 (Mamma what is sex??)

My son was in 4th standard. Once me, my husband and our son were going out in an auto. Suddenly my son asked me, "Mamma what do you mean by sex??" This was a bouncer for me though I knew what had prompted this question. 

This was his daily route to school. There was a clinic on this road with big board "SEX PROBLEMS ā¤¸ā¤­ी ā¤˛ैंā¤—िā¤• ā¤¸ā¤Žā¤¸्ā¤¯ाā¤“ ā¤•ा ā¤¸ā¤Žाā¤§ाā¤¨" Considering the fact that he is so inquisitive and he is using the same road since last 7 years I will say that he took a long time to ask this question. May be whenever he had this question his Mamma and Daddy were not around. Today there was a board and there were his parents. Ideal situation to ask question. And yes, he fired the question at us, "Mamma, what do you mean by sex?" What a question to discuss in an auto riksha! I am sure though the auto driver's eyes were on the road his ears were turned to us.

I was thinking and thinking. I was trying to find the words. How can one discuss such topic in auto? Suddenly it was my husband who took charge of the situation. He said, "Oh! It's quite simple" I was impressed by my husband's quick wit. Normally it was my department to dwelve into such awkward questions. He continued, "It simply means male or female. Means you are a boy. I am boy. So we are male. Mamma is a girl or a woman. So she is a female" 

I thought it was brilliant. My husband had not told anything wrong. He had told one of the meanings. My son thought for a moment and said, "But Daddy, is gender not more appropriate word for it??" My husband's face was worth seeing. Now it was his turn to become speechless. But I had picked up the thread. I said, "You are quite right dear. The word sex is used synonymously for word gender. In few of the registration forms people write sex instead of gender" Thankfully my son was satisfied and he turned attention elsewhere. Me and my husband looked at each other and  heaved a sign of relief.

This satisfaction remained only for some time. After couple of months again we happened to take the same route. Again my son asked the same question. This time I was prepared. I immediately started giving the same explanation which his Daddy had given last time. My son said, "I know all this Mamma. But what's the problem about it? On the board it is written 'sex problems'. If I am a boy and Mamma is a girl what's the problem about it?"  I could clearly see that the auto driver was trying to listen our explanation. I was feeling very awkward. I finally told my son that we cannot have this kind of discussion in auto riksha or in public place and he would have to wait till we reach home. He seemed ok with that. He had not remembered the question after reaching home. 

I am still keeping my fingers crossed when my son would ask me the other meanings of the word!

05 February 2020

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 18 (Does your kid have access to adult content - Part 4 last)

In last 2 blogs we learnt the reasons behind my son's acts in the school which made teacher believe that he had access to adult content. I had started breathing easy as my son had been innocent in two out of three incidents. The third incident where my son had licked other boy's hands was little worrisome. We were not able to understand the logic behind it. And this is where even we had doubts. So we continued with our conversation.

Me: By the way tell me why you were licking hands of Ajay??

Son: Daddy taught me.

Me: Daddy taught you?? (My eyes widened in a shock.) Now from where Daddy has come into the picture??

Son: I learnt it from Daddy and I was trying to teach Ajay..

I was aghast to hear this. I almost shouted

Me: What?? Daddy taught you to lick the hands of other people?? 

Son: Yes. Arre Mamma, that day Daddy was teaching me the trick. He said it was kind of defense technique. If someone grabs you from behind and puts his hands on your mouth so that you cannot shout then Daddy told me to use this trick. You have to simply stick out your tongue. The other person holding you will immediately remove his hand from your mouth or loosen the grip. I showed Ajay the trick. He wanted to learn it. He wanted to use it on me.

My goodness!! I could never have imagined this. So this was the licking business! I heaved a big sigh. Suddenly the world looked brighter.

Thank God!! We bothered to talk to our son calmly rather than shouting. It was most comforting to know that afterall our son didn't have access to adult content. Finally we were ready for the meeting with teacher. 

When our meeting began the tone of the teacher was little accusatory. She asked us did we really know what our son was doing behind our back. Indeed we did know. We appraised her about the background of all incidents one by one. Now it was her turn to get flabbergasted. She was speechless for some time. She couldn't believe that there was such simple reasoning possible apart from access to adult content. 

At the end the teacher apologized. We appreciated the fact that his teacher was vigilant about the behavioral aspect of kids along with curriculum. However, she had tried to link non related incidents, she had thought like an adult and drawn conclusions. The kid had thought like a kid and acted like one. I wouldn't blame her.  Now she knew the truth.

In my earlier blogs also I tried to stress on aspects about difference in the way adults think and children think. We need to recognize this difference. By the time we become parents our mind is already conditioned by society, social norms and adult behavior. Whereas the kids behavior is impulsive and free from social dogma.

Friends, when dealing with kids try to step into the shoes of kids and then try to analyze the situation.  Most importantly have faith in your kid but be cautious at the same time!! Try to have meaningful dialogue. Majority of the problems can be solved by assertive and positive conversations. That's the secret of having healthy relationship with the ultra modern kids!!

For reading my other blogs please visit 

https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogapot.com

29 January 2020

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

For reading earlier blogs please click on the following links: 

Part 1
Part 2
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. So Amit told her I was trying to hug him. I tried to tell teacher that he was lying. But teacher didn't listen to me.

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.

22 January 2020

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 16 (Does your kid have access to adult content?? - Part 2)

In my last blog we read about my son's teacher expressing her doubts regarding my son having access to adult content. We decided to have a dialogue with our son. Read on to know what happened next. We started with episode of my son shouting "I love you" in the class.

Me: Do you know dear today I received a phone call from your teacher.

Son: How come Mamma? Today I really behaved well. I didn't trouble any of the teachers.

Me: Yes, I know that. Today she had called for something else. She mentioned that you shouted "I love you Kiyara" in front of whole class.

Son: Yes. But that was not today. 

Me: May be. But why did you shout like that in the first place?

Son: Because she is a nice girl and I like to play with her. Why what happened?

Clearly my son had not understood the gravity of this issue. He was talking very innocetly.

Me: You like to play with her. But it doesn't mean that you can shout "I love you"

Son: Why not?? If Nobita can tell Shizuka then I can also tell Kiyara...

Clearly we could see that all this shouting business was inspired by his favorite cartoon "Doremon". Normally before allowing my son to watch any program I used the watch couple of episodes along with him and used to permit him if and only if that show was appropriate. I had already banned couple of cartoons. But I had never imagined that apparently harmless cartoon could inspire such an action in my son. We had found the source of first complaint at least.

We had to tell our son that even if he liked playing with some girl shouting "I love you" in the class is not considered good and advised him not to repeat this behavior. 

We also told him that there is difference in Indian culture and Western culture. So even if it ok in Western culture it is not really ok in our culture. God knows how much he understood but he was at least receptive when we were taking. Thankfully he has not repeated this stunt till date. 

Banning the cartoon completely was not option. Post this fiasco we encouraged him more to watch channels like National Geographic, BBC Earth etc. Sometimes we used to watch cartoons along with him and tell him what was appropriate and what was not!!

We were relieved that at least the first incident had absolutely nothing to do with the adult content. But what about the second incident??

Friends please stay tuned to my next blog to know more about the truth behind remaining 2 incidents. (To be continued)

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

15 January 2020

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 15 ( Does your kid have access to adult content??-Part 1)

Since my son had entered primary school, I had started dreading the calls from his school. Typically I used to get complaints from various teachers that he disturbs the class. One day when I saw a call from his school number I wondered what he had done that day. His class teacher had called and asked me, "Ma'am, you are working mother right?" I answered affirmatively. She said, "Do you know probably your son has access to adult content?" I was mentally prepared to hear any complaint but this. How could it be? I was speechless for few moments. If it was really true it was definitely a matter of concern for us. My son was only 6 years old. Finally I mustered the courage and asked her, "Could you please tell me exactly what makes you think that he access to adult content?" She narrated the following 3 incidents which had taken place in last couple of months:  

  1. He had shouted "I love you" in the class to one girl
  2. One boy had complained that my son was trying to kiss him
  3. One boy had complained that my son had licked his hand and he was not letting that other boy to lick his own hands.

The teacher had sought face to face meeting with both the parents. I was flabbergasted to hear all these incidents. I was very restless. I called up my husband and informed him about the whole thing. Even he was clueless. We had to talk to our son. It was a delicate job. We needed to get the answers but at the same time it was necessary to remain neutral and understand our son's take on it. Afterall he was our son and we didn't want him to lose his faith in his own parents.

I was not able to imagine if at all he was getting access to adult content then how and where he was getting it. He was not in a professional day care where there would be other kids and seniors. He was in charge of elderly couple and their daughter in law. We had known them for years. They had never given him access to computer or mobile. They were very vigilant. At home he had access to laptop as well as mobile. But it was under our supervision only. We didn't have any books or CDs or anything with adult content.

Then how was he getting access?? How indeed?? My head had started spinning and I was not able to concentrate on anything in office. All these years when my kiddo was asking me all awkward questions I had never felt restless like this. For the first time I was dreading conversation with my own kid. I was really afraid of what answers I would receive. 

Me and my husband were quite  sure that our son was not having access to adult content. But then what about those incidents which his teacher had reported. Follow my next blog to get answers to the above riddles. (To be continued)

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

08 January 2020

Curious kids Or parents at test 😲 -Part 14 (Social acceptance norms & Measurements on Daru ki bottle)

Now my son had entered preliminary school. He was known to be very talkative and naughty kid. One day I received a call from his school. His teacher told me that he disturbed the class. He intentially gives attention seeking answers. I aksed her what was the matter. She narrated the following incident.

She was  a Maths teacher. She was teaching the class about units of measurement. While teaching she had asked the class if they had ever noticed the measurements like 1 kg, 500 grams or 1 litre written on certain packed items. My son had promptly replied, "Yes, on "Daru ki bottle". After this answer there was ruckus in the class. Kids started laughing, clapping and lot of time had lost in bringing the class under control. I assured the teacher that I would speak to my son.

I was also surprised by this answer. Of all things "Daru ki bottle" was a bit too much. All of us are teetotalers.  Even most of our acquaintances are likewise. I don't even remember going to any party with my kid where alcohol was served. I spoke to my husband. Even he seemed clueless. It appeared that we would have to speak to our son directly to know the secret. We had to be very careful. In the evening I asked him casually.

Me: These days whats up at school? What new topic are they teaching these days?

After couple of other topics he reached "Units of Measurement" I immediately caught the thread. And asked him where all he had seen measurements written?? He mentioned couple of items and then mentioned "Daru ki bottle"

Me: Daru ki bottle? Where have you seen "Daru ki bottle"? We don't consume it.

Son: Arre Mamma, yesterday I was coming home with Daddy from day care. On the road I stumbled upon Daru ki bottle. So when teacher asked where you had seen measurements before I remembered that bottle.

Me: Oh! It's ok. But how did you know that it was indeed a "Daru ki bottle"?

Son: Because of it's shape.

He traced the peculiar shape of liquor bottles in the air.

Me: How do you know that Daru ki bottle has this peculiar shape??

Son: Teachers!

Me: Teachers?? What do you mean by teachers?? Teacher told you it is liquor bottle??

Son: No Mamma, hoarding! It's the hoarding!!

Me: Will you please tell me what are you blabbering??

Son: There is that big hoarding on way to school, you remember?

Me: Yes, what of that?

Son: Mamma, that hoarding has big ad of Teacher's!!

Finally it dawned on me. The hoarding had big advertisement of famous liquor brand - Teacher's Highland Cream. 

This is how my son had deduced bottle he had stumbled upon was "Daru ki bottle". I was aghast.  After listening to this I had no heart of telling off my kid about the teacher's complaint. I just decided to let go off the incident. When he will grow he will automatically understand the difference between what is socially acceptable and what is not!! Till then the answer that the measurement is written on "Daru ki bottle" holds good for me. What about you??

My limited point in this incident is don't just get panicked by complaints from school. Nor scold the child without having meaningful dialogue. Have faith in your upbringing as well as have faith in your kid. Give him opportunity to explain himself. 

For reading other blogs please click on https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com