05 December 2019

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 9 (Nurturing reading habit)

In my last blog we just saw how my kiddo started handling encyclepedia since the age of 2 years and how reading hour became our favorite pastime.

Slowly this picture watching game converted into question answer sessions. Now instead of merely reciting captions of the pictures my kiddo started asking "Mamma, what is nebula??" "What do you mean by tornado" "what does this train do?" 

Being a commerce student I didn't know answers to many of his questions. But I would typically read the information from the encyclepedia and tell the same to my kiddo in easy language. If that was not sufficient I would google or would ask someone.

Gradually my kiddo started telling stories of nebulas, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, solar system, trains to all of us. 

Me and my kiddo were regular visitors to the books fairs and book shops. In one of such fairs I found one more trove of treasure - it was a set of books with names "From oil to petrol", "From milk to cheese" "From shoot to apple" and "From wheat to bread". They were very small books of around 25 pages consisting of good illustrations and short description in 1-2 sentences about the process. These books were the turning point. The teacher had just started teaching different types of words with phonetics in school. But my kiddo had enjoyed these books so much that he attempted to read these books on his own. From Oil to Petrol was the first ever book my kiddo read independently. Wherever he would stumble he would ask "how to read this word Mamma?" Eventually he started reading even complicated words. Soon he started reading all the books.

Considering his liking we amassed encyclopedia on various topics like Mighty machines, Space, Mother Earth, Oceans, Human Body, Explorers tales, Backyard Scientist over a period of time. He was crazy about Titanic. So we collected many books and stories on Titanic. 1001 days which changed the history of the world was his another favorite. In school he came across Gerenimo Stilton. This is the only fiction where my kiddo was attracted. So we had Gerenimo Stilton series books as well.

From our journey all I am trying to suggest is try to judge the inclination of your kid and try to collect books accordingly. Your kid may like fiction or fairy tales or comics or superheroes or adventures. Give them what they like. It is just possible that your kid may not like reading at all. But what's the harm in trying??

In my previous blog we read the first mantra that was to start early and spend quality time with your kid. My second mantra is judge the inclination of your kid and try to collect books on topics your kid enjoys the most. Do not rely entirely on the typical books available books meant for kids. My third mantra is when we are starting the books from early age concentrate on attractiveness of illustrations rather than written content. Correctness of written content needs to be ensured. But little kids get attracted by attractive pictures rather than written content. Initially books with attractive illustrations and brief information are sufficient.

Today is a digital age and mobiles and internet videos are in vogue. Read my next blog to find out whether invasions by mobiles and internet on books were successful.

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27 November 2019

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 8 (Inculcating reading habit in kids)

Many times we hear parents complaining to each other that their kids do not read books. They have got so many books but their kids are not ready to look at them. Here I have one question for parents - do you read books?? Do you read with your kid??

Today I will share with you how our journey of reading began. Our kiddo was around 1.5- 2 years old. We had typical picture books of animals, vehicles, vegetables etc. My kiddo used to enjoy vehicle pictures the most. 

One afternoon one salesman rang the bell. He was selling encyclepedia named "Ask Me Anything" The book had very nice, colorful and attractive illustrations and brief description. I liked the encyclepedia very much and purchased the same thinking that one day my kiddo would grow and read the same!

All my family members thought that the kiddo  was too young to read the book. Even I agreed with him. Anyways I kept the book on the center table in hall and went inside for my work. 

After some time my kiddo went into the hall. Something red and silver on the center table caught his attention. He tried to lift it but it was too heavy for him. He opened the red and silver book and started turning pages. Ohh!! There were lots of pictures in this book. When I came into the hall my little one was already engrossed in turning the pages and watching new pictures. When he saw me he came running to me and dragged me near the book. He told me to show the pictures in this new book.

I sat cross legged on the floor and he sat comfortably in my lap spreading the new picture book. We started flipping pages of encyclepedia. When he used to find something interesting he would simply ask "what is this?" I used to tell him the name of the object.

Slowly Helix nebula, cartwheel nebula, tornado, hurricane, volcanoes, maglev and fernicular trains, solar system, milky way and Andromeda galaxies became our favorite pictures. The ease with which other children could narrate names of various fruits, vegetables, animals my kiddo would recite the names of various nebulas, stars, planets, trains.

Every day when I used to come back from office first we would have our dinner and then he would sit in my lap and we would see various pictures in encyclepedia. My kiddo was immensely enjoying this new picture book. When I used to go to office kiddo would show various pictures to his Dada and Dadi. Even they were amazed by how easily the kiddo had grasped knowledge about so many things. 

You may wonder being a working mother how did I manage to spend so much of time with kiddo. Where there is will there is a way. I will share my secret with you. Firstly I appointed maids for cooking, cleaning etc. So very little was left for me to do. Plus my support system consisting of in laws was very strong.

Secondly for me it was strict "No No to TV" Others would watch TV. But me and kiddo would occupy our bedroom typically he sitting in my lap and having "Ask me anything" as our constant companion. I believe that this is the age when the kids require parents the most. Once they grow up the nest would be empty. Sometimes I used to be tired after busy day. But I rarely said "No" to our reading time. Spending this quality time had done all the wonders. It may not be possible for all to implement same ideas. Have it your own way.. but spending quality time with kids is very important.

The book which I had purchased with assumption that one day my kiddo will read this book had become hit on day one itself. My unintentional shopping had done wonders!!

Friends, "start early and spend quality time free from any kind of gadgets" is my mantra. We have seen the beginning of the reading hobby in this part. In next blog we will see how this hobby was further nurtured. Stay tuned!!

You can read all the blogs on https://kinfolkclub.com or

 https://motherlab.blogspot.com

20 November 2019

Curious kids or parents at test😲- Part 7 (Sun doesn't rise, but earth rotates!)

I many times hear people say that this is not the right age to tell kids about this.. he is too small... I wonder is there really anything called as right age? Kids have amazing grasping powers and for that matter much better than adults. Kids are very receptive. They do understand. Why not try them?? I will quote one such incident.
My kid was in Junior KG. It was Saturday afternoon. It was lunch time. I was feeding my kid. He was feeling very lazy and he was trying to lie down while having his lunch. I was tired of telling him to sit straight.
I was racking my brain to engage him in some interesting conversation so that he would sit straight. I just asked him conversationally, "Just tell me what time of the day is it?? Morning, afternoon, evening??"
Kiddo: afternoon...
Me: Correct!! Now tell me what people do at this time??
Kiddo: I am having lunch. Then Nani is serving the food. Aunty is cleaning utensils (He answered looking around the room)
Me: So tell me during day do people sleep or they do work??
Kiddo: Work
Me: Should I tell you something funny?? At this very hour Dada, Dadi and Bua are sleeping.
Kiddo: (Now sitting straight and with a look of wonder in his eyes) how come??
Me: Do tell me where are Dada, Dadi and Bua these days?
Kiddo: U-S-A ( he answered stressing on each syllable)
Me: And all of them are sleeping right now because it's night in USA at the moment.
Kiddo: (with disbelief) but we have a day here.
Me: Absolutely right!! We have day here in India and they have night in USA.
Kiddo: How is it possible Mamma?
Me: it's quite simple actually. What is the shape of the earth??
(My kiddo already had encyclepedia with very nice illustrations. So Pat came the answer)
Kiddo: it looks round like a ball.
Me: Do you know the Sun remains constant and our earth rotates around itself. How you turn around yourself while playing Ring-a-ring-a roses. Earth also rotates around itself.
Suddenly my Kiddo's football became the earth. And the torch became the sun. I switched on the torch which was now Sun and the football earth started rotating. Then I showed him the portion of the earth which was facing the Sun. There it was a day. Then I showed him the portion of the earth which was away from the Sun and where light could not reach. There they had night. My kiddo was totally entrapped in this demonstration. Later on we purchased the globe. And my kiddo showed me India which was facing the Sun had day and USA which was exactly behind India had night. After this demonstration my Kiddo's face was shining with excitement.
After few days I had been to my Kiddo's school for parent teacher meeting. His teacher informed that she was teaching children about how sky appears during day and night. After she had finished teaching my kiddo had exclaimed, "Teacher, actually sun does not rise. But our earth rotates." My kiddo had explained full day night cycle to his teacher in his Hinglish. The teacher had recorded the full explanation on her mobile phone and showed the recording during teachers meeting. The teachers were deliberating on whether to introduce the concept of solar system in Seniors KG. My kiddo's teacher told them that if a Junior KG student can explain full day night cycle then why can't we just introduce the kids with solar system.
What more satisfaction a mother could get than her kid's appreciation for such good reason. Mother's efforts had shown fruits!
In formal curriculum the kids learn about day night cycle in third or fourth standard. But I just tried to explain it to Junior KG kid with the resources easily available at home. He understood. If we parents take little efforts the kids can do wonders.
Explaining day-night cycle was only a small portion!! Encyclepedia has played a major role in building and increasing a knowledge bank of my kiddo. In next blog I will take you through our favorite pastime - reading hour!!
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13 November 2019

Curious kids or parents at test😲-Part 6 (Rendezvous with the Thalaiva)

Read Part 5

In last blog we read about how my kiddo witnessed baby delivery scene in the "Robot" movie accidentally and how the little one asked questions on delivery.

My little question bank was of course not done with what he had witnessed on the TV. Pat came the next question.

Kiddo: Mamma, do women die while giving birth to the baby??

Me (emphatically): Of course not.

Kiddo: Then why did she say - she is dying??

Me: Women do not die while delivering babies. In some very very rare case due to some complications a woman may die.

Kiddo: But that woman on the TV died...

Me: Not at all dear. On the contrary that woman was saved. 

Kiddo: Then why did she say she is dying??

Me: That doctor thought that if the complications were not solved immediately the woman's life was in danger. But that woman was saved. Plus, this is movie. So people don't really die in movie. They just act like that.

Kiddo: Act means??

Me: Nattak...(Drama)! They just pretend to die.

Kiddo: But why did she say she is dying even in drama??

It was clear that he was very much shaken by that scene and he was not able to take this question out of his head whatever I answered. So I tried to give him some real life examples.

Me: Look I gave you birth and I am still there. Right??

Kiddo: Yes, but she said..

I cut him short and said

Me: Look at Dadi. She gave birth to Bua and Daddy. Both were normal deliveries. She is still there and she adores you. Doesn't she?

Kiddo: Yes, but...

Me: Look at Nani.. she gave birth to Mamma and Mausi. She is still alive and gets lots of toys for you.

I had to give him many such examples of Buas, Mausis, Mamis, grannies... Finally the truth dawned on him and he got convinced. The Thalaiva Rajanikant has inspired many people in many ways but he has inspired my kiddo to ask endless questions!!

You may also feel why am I entertaining my kid so much?? Is it really necessary to discuss these things in this much detail?? I feel that these days the kids have a lot of exposure compared to what we had in our time. In the given instance itself my kid had accidentally stumbled across this delivery scene and was shaken. It was very much necessary to remove his anxiety. With this kind of exposure I think these kinds of conversations are unavoidable.

Secondly these days they have lot of avenues of getting information like Internet, encyclepedia, books. If we do not satisfy their curiosity then there are high chances that they will turn to these other media. Imagine what sort of material will be available to them!! Instead it's better we give them sensored information. Let them hear what you want them to hear.

Lastly let them build confidence that they get right answers to all sort of questions from their parents. Let them turn to you instead of their friends or seniors. Curiosity is not a sin. Then why kill it? Try them with correct information and you will be surprised by their amazing capacity. 

Friends, let's meet again next week with story about amazing grasping power of kids. Sometimes when we say he is just a kid and avoid anwer his questions probably we are underestimating them. Stay tuned!!

You can read all the blogs by the author on 

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06 November 2019

Curious kids or parents at test 😲- Part 5 (Rendezvous with the Thalaiva)

It was lazy Sunday afternoon. We were having lunch. My kiddo finished his lunch and asked me "Mamma can I watch cartoon?" I said "Yes" He ran into the other room. By now my kiddo had learnt to switch the channels on his own. So me and my husband continued with our lunch. He was allowed to watch specific cartoons and selected channels like National Geographic, Discovery etc. 

After some time we finished our lunch and I went into the other room where my kiddo was supposedly watching cartoons. When I entered the room I saw awestruck look on my Kiddo's face and some Hindi movie playing on TV instead of cartoon.

When I entered the room my kiddo asked me in the shocked tone, "Mamma how baby comes out?"

Me: Had I not told you earlier that Doctor performs a small operation and takes out the baby?? (I had told him only about Ceaserian delivery. Had never dared to tell him about normal delivery)

Kiddo: But they didn't do any operation at all. Then how did the baby come?

Me: Who didn't do any operation??

My kiddo pointed at the man on the TV.

My kiddo had switched on the TV. He was about to switch the channel when he saw some scene in the hospital. Assuming it's kind of documentary he continued watching the program. Was it really some documentary?

Actually Rajanikant, the original Thalaiva's famous movie "Robot" was showcased and my kiddo had just witnessed a scene where the robot performs a very complicated delivery of a woman. It is shown in movie that the robot disentagles the umbilical cord around baby's neck and slowly pushes the baby down for normal delivery. In the process the health of the woman gets critical and some doctor in the room shouted "she is dying" 

Me (Alas!): The baby can come out in another way also. There is a special way between Mamma's legs. 

Kiddo (with crinkled nose): Between Mamma's legs??

Me: Yes, and that is called as normal delivery and when the baby comes out by doing operation it is called as Ceaserian delivery.

Kiddo: Mamma, how did I come out??

Me: It was a normal delivery.

Kiddo: Does it hurt??

Me: Yes, little. But it's worth it. Is it not?? Because after delivery I had you...

Was my little question bank done with his questions?? I bet you have already guessed the answer. 

Readers may also feel whether such elaborate discussions were really necessary. Stay tuned to find out what more questions the Thalaiva had instigated in my young one's mind and my take as a mother on these questions. (To be continued)

04 November 2019

Curious Kids Or Parents At Test 😲- Part 4 (How Baby Goes In?)

My kiddo was around three and half year old. My sister in law (SIL)’s was pregnant and her delivery was due in December sometime. So she had come to Mumbai for her delivery. It was my Kiddo’s first encounter with the pregnancy. He saw all preparations in full swing for arrival of new guest- clothes, craddle, special food items. He saw the big baby bump his Bua was sporting. One evening his Bua called him and put his small hands on her belly. He could feel tiny movements from within. He was all excited. He was telling one and all about baby in Bua’s belly.

In couple of hours the excitement waned and curiosity peeped in. At sleeping time he came closer to me and called me in a confidential tone, “Mammaaaa….” By now I had learnt to distinguish this special tone. Immediately my mind went into “attention” mode. I tried to keep my tone casual and said, “yes beta??”

Kiddo: Mammaaaa how did the baby go into Bua’s belly??

I was dumbstruck. Now how to answer him?? I had dreaded this question since arrival of my SIL and that dreaded moment had now arrived. Still I had not reached the solution. I thought for a while and finally said-
Me: Beta the baby did not go in but it was formed there.

I could see that he was not really convinced by my answer but he didn’t ask anything further. I also maintained the silence.

Since he had not received satisfactory answer he started thinking on his own. Next night when we were alone he asked me, “Mammaaaa, did Bua swallow the baby??” (He seemed disgusted with his own idea)

Me (shocked): Nooo!!!

He seemed relieved. At least Bua had not swallowed the baby.

Kiddo: Then did the baby enter inside through Bua’s nose??

Me (helpless): Nooo Beta.

Kiddo: Then the baby must have entered through Bua’s belly button for sure..

Me (exasperated): No, no, no Beta. The baby was formed inside mother’s womb.

He was exploring all holes in the body and trying to figure out whether the baby had entered Bua’s belly through that route.

His eyes were still telling me that he was not convinced with the answer. For the first time his Mamma had failed him!

Next day when I got back from office my kiddo came to me bursting with excitement. I finally found out how baby got inside. Now it was my turn to ask him.

Me: how??

Kiddo: Dadi told me that when all of us were sleeping the God placed the baby inside Bua by magic. She had prayed for the baby.

Me: Is it??

Hmm.. since his Mamma had failed to answer his query he had naturally turned to his next best resource Dadi for answers.

I was not happy the way this quest had ended. But all the same I felt relieved that now I need not answer this question for some time.

Finally after few months I found a book named “Where do babies come from?” The book is specially meant for quenching thirst of small ones. Nice illustrations, to the point information and absolutely decent language. It explains general reproduction cycle first for plants, then for birds, then for cats and finally for humans. Must have book! I showed the book to my kiddo. 

In nutshell I told him Daddy has a sperm and Mamma has an egg (no, this is not like chicken egg we eat!! Mamma cannot take out her egg. It’s there in her ovaries. I had to show my kiddo the position of ovaries..phew..) The egg joins the sperm to make a tiny baby inside Mamma’s womb. Slowly tiny legs grow, tiny hands grow, head and eyes grow. Simultaneously other organs like heart, lungs are formed. It takes around 9 months for a baby to grow. When baby grows fully the Doctor takes out the baby by doing small operation (I didn’t dare mention normal delivery yet). 

Though Kiddo’s quest had ended with Dadi’s simple explanation Mamma’s urge to give correct information had not ended. Mamma’s quest ended only when she gave correct explanation to the kiddo.

As a mother I always believed that we should try to give factually correct answers to our kids. We need not elaborate on not-so-required details. But try to stick to the facts. At least do not give incorrect explanations. At times I prefer to tell my kid that Mamma does not know the answer. But she will find it and come back. And yes majority of the times it works. It works because Mamma comes back with the answers!!

Friends how did you like today’s blog?? Let’s meet again and explore my kiddo’s first rendezvous with the original “Thalaiva” Rajanikant.

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Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 3 (Dadi wouldn't let me put ink on stickers)

For reading part 2 please click othe link: https://motherlab.blogspot.com/2019/11/curious-kids-or-parents-at-test-part-2.html?m=1
 In previous part we read about my Kiddo’s complaint about Dadi that she was not letting him put ink on the stickers and my mother in law’s (MIL) odd questions about place of keeping sanitary napkins. I was still trying to keep my patience and tried to assure my MIL that I don’t leave such things in open in my cupboard. She sat quietly on the edge of the bed. Finally I opened my cupboard and showed her that the packet was nicely kept in embroidered pink bag and the bag was placed safely in upper drawer.She heaved a sigh and started narrating the events of the afternoon. She was in the kitchen preparing tea. Kiddo managed to escape Dadi’s attention and went into the bedroom. I don’t know why but my kiddo had always found Mamma’s cupboard to be a trove of treasure. Not only then but even now also he doesn’t miss opportunity to peep into Mamma’s cupboard.So he managed to open my cupboard. Lower shelves were packed with clothes. He climbed on the second shelf by resting his feet on the lower shelves and caught hold of embroidered pink purse. He found some napkins exactly similar to those he had seen in the advertisement. By Jove! They were not just napkins but they were stickers!! He removed the adhesive papers in hurry and stuck 5-6 stickers on our bed. He was really pleased with his own act. But he was not satisfied with this. He wanted something more.He was trying to find something in Daddy’s study when my MIL realised that all was quiet and she had not heard my kiddo for some time. Silence is always sign of danger when you have small kids in the house. She rushed out of kitchen and saw my kiddo struggling to remove something from his father’s cabinet. It was the ink bottle! My kiddo demanded the ink bottle when he saw Dadi around. She asked him, “But why you need ink bottle??” My kiddo dragged his Dadi to our bedroom excitedly. He pointed at our bed and said excitedly, “Dadi look. I have got stickers and I want to pour ink on these stickers exactly the way they show on TV” My MIL was aghast looking at the sight in my bedroom. The kiddo had spread his stickers aka sanitary napkins across the bed and affixed them to the bedsheet.My MIL was in a fix. She refused to give him ink bottle point blank. Dadi had removed his precious stickers and had thrown them in the dustbin. What else my poor darling could have done other than complaining to his Mamma, “Dadi wouldn’t let me put ink on the stickers”Friends how did you like my blog?? Follow my blog to know about what happens when my Kiddo met his pregnant Bua!!