Monday, January 26, 2015

Brining up a Strong Willed Child

Written for mycity4kids

I was a strong willed child... Still am :-). I see glimpses of me in Z, definitely, not as strong willed as the mother, but she's catching up for sure. Z is better in many ways.
I read somewhere "You are lucky if you have a strong-willed child. If the child is parented sensitively, they grow into terrific teens and young adults. Self-motivated and inner-directed. They go after what they want and are almost impervious to peer pressure. As long as parents resist the impulse to "break their will", strong willed kids often become leaders.' 

I had a huge smile after reading this. Then all of a sudden it disappeared.

A little flashback - What happened to me as a child? I was forced to adhere to what the society thinks is right.... Of course I didn't and that was a reason for a childhood where I struggled with myself and the people around. Frankly, it wasn't as dramatic as it sounds. I knew I will do what I want to. I just had to convince people around me... Which was a task but I managed. 

I didn’t want Z to go through all this; hence I started reading about bringing up strong willed kids. I don't want Z to be at loggerheads with what she wants and what people around her want. She is strong willed and sensitive as well. We need to make sure we do the best to maintain her 'strong-will' alive.

Image courtesy pumpkinpatchkidsblog

Before you say, why do you want a difficult and a stubborn child. Well, being strong-willed doesn't necessarily mean she is difficult and stubborn. She isn't. Strong willed kids take their own stand and don't believe in following a leader in a herd...not such a bad thing eh? She's independent and she doesn't want to be guided at every step. If she cries she wants to be left alone, when she's done, she comes and hugs me or Faizan and we talk. If she falls, she hates people giving her a helping hand. She wants to get up on her own. She wants to control herself, which is fair. She is open to hear us out because we never expect her to do as we tell her to.

She does argue, I need to be patient. When she's done with her drama. We speak to her... this doesn't mean we do whatever she wants us to.

Giving Z a power to choose makes her more comfortable and confident. Since we decide what her options are, she stays within the range (I won't say boundaries) we want her to and she doesn't realise she has done what we want her to do. She thinks she is in charge when in reality, she isn't exactly taking total control of her life.

If I tell Z not to touch a candle because I say so... she won't listen. If I tell her its hot and take her finger near the wick, without touching it, she knows why I'm telling her not to and she's OK with that.

She wants to decide what she wants to wear specially. If its cold and she doesn't want to wear her sweater or stockings under her dress. I tell her "its cold and you definitely need to keep yourself warm. Suit yourself.... I'm wearing something warm, I'm feeling cold." Just by doing it we're sorted.

The other day I was chopping some onions and she wanted to chop them too. Well all I did was let her, she cut a piece and after a few seconds her eyes started burning, she left the onions there and then (of course you can't do that every time. If the situation allows, try it). So we let her see what she has got herself into, to a certain extent we let her be her own-self and enjoy herself too.

Fizz and me make sure we talk to her and see what she wants. Right now she's young, but once she's older, we believe, the only way to make her listen to what we say is by letting her keep her point forward. This also works at improving our relationship which is crucial.

We discipline her but we try never let that ruin our relationship. Time outs work best for her. For her its 4 minutes of trying to figure out what's wrong. They always results in an apology and a hug.

When we want something to be done we make sure we don't force her into it. We usually say 'how about doing this'

Its crucial to give her space and respect her for who she is. Z will always be strong-willed and we have developed our parenting style based on that and other aspects of her personality. At the end of the day I'm happy with the fact that Z is strong, determined and extremely independent.

During my research on this topic I came across these two images on a blog called pumpkin patch kids
and I had to share them.

Image courtesy pumpkinpatchkidsblog

Image courtesy pumpkinpatchkidsblog

Monday, January 19, 2015

Observation in a Montessori

Observation is an amazing experience a Montessori parent goes through. At least, I can say that for me and the husband. It was our 2nd observation since Z joined Siksha. Just see her and the other kids around work in the environment is amazing. I felt a sense of pride, seeing Z do her work (Masha'Allah). 

Getting a feedback from her teacher was such a relief. I remember, back in our days, we use to be scared before our PTMs. Even parents of the brightest child (academically) had to hear some not so good things. The way Montessori trained teachers are so good. Its not about presenting a huge list of complaints in front of the parents. It is always about how we as parents and the teachers can work together for the child. I did have a problem with Z not showing any interest in writing, and all her 'Aunty' said was, 'She is working hard at it, I know she will get there...'

Another reason why I love the Montessori environment. I wish there were Montessori schools in India when I was younger. Anyway, I'm happy I'm getting this experience through my daughter.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Charlie and Lola Series

Yay! Our first Book Review of 2015

Book: Charlie and Lola Series
Created by: Lauren Child
For ages: 4+ years 

Books Z has and she wants more!

I was never a fan of a series when it came to reading, till I was about 8 years.Z definitely beat me hands down. 

She loves Peppa Pig series (which I'm not a great fan of, I mean its just like the television series). Charlie and Lola (C&L) is such a TV series which has amazing books. I definitely love the books more and so does Z. Actually, Z hasn't seen much of C&L baring one episode. 

Why I chose the book? The first I picked was for the Reading Room and when I read it to Z in Crosswords she was in splits... So was I, because Z is so Lola. She is Lola personified. We have around 6 of the books from the series and man... does she love it or what.

Z's take: She has been hooked on to C&L for quite sometime now. She loves the book. 

What it is about: It is a series about Lola (who is pretty Z-like) and her older brother Charlie. Their relationship, their antiques, Lola's drama and Charlie tackling the situation in his own style. 

How We Read it: Nothing much, the content is hilarious and keeps mum-Z engaged.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Z at #ZohaKiShaadi

When we left for Kanpur, I didn't know how would Z react seeing so many people around her. How would she be able to cope up with the cold, especially when most of the functions were outdoors. Her schedule would go for a toss completely, wedding functions obviously meant late night.

Keeping our fears aside ... or shall I say, taking them along we left on our journey. When we reached Kanpur finally, Z was a little apprehensive. She had seen everyone a few times but, did she remember them all? No. She only recognized my elder sister and her cousin brother Z. Well, that was a decent start. At least, she didn't cry like she did in the past. She was just a little uncomfortable, that is it. As days past, Z not only started recognizing people, she enjoyed with them as well. She also loved spending time with them without me or Fizz, this, was a huge achievement.

Talking of the marriage functions, well I did get a little irritated by the time the Walima (reception) was over. So many functions, and getting ready for all of them was not child's play. Z did not mind getting all decked up and she did attend all the functions, she loved staying at the venue till all of us were ready to leave. She enjoyed the food, the attention that she was getting and she learned how to pout for selfies as well.

She got mehndi applied for the first time, and she patiently sat for an hour till the mehndi was dry. I didn't expect that happening for sure. She was also the star dancer, she has snatched my title from right under my nose.

All her Khas (Khaalas/Aunts....well that is what she calls them) loved to pamper her... be it Aanie, Nookha, Bushkha, Peekha, ZoKha, ZeeKha, FuKha, ShuKha (funny names ... yeah?). Z misses all of you. Yes, and she keeps talking about Sartaj Mamoo, Jaan, Ahm and MaazMoo as well. How can I forget all the Ammoos she met there... but she talks about Rayef Baby and Zeffy Bhai the most. All in all she LOVED the attention she was getting. 

The day we were leaving Kanpur, all she said was 'Mumsy, I will go to Delhi in April. Get the tickets.' We sure will Sweety!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Piyo glass full doodh...

Doodh... Doodh... Doodh... Wonderful doodh. Pheeeeew! I used to love this song but not from the past couple of days. 

Z is a picky eater and she can't be forced/cajoled into eating. The good thing is she doesn't like anything junk except chips which she has a few pieces of once a fortnight or a month. She gets an occasional treat (once in 5-6 months) and she's happy... Touchwood.

Here I want to talk about milk. Z used to love milk and it was the one thing she never fussed about. Unfortunately, Pediasure decided to make its 'Chocolate' flavour more Chocolatey and Miss Z refused to have it. She wants the old Pediasure. She didn't have a drop of milk for a week ... Finally she settled in for Horlicks. She still is extremely fussy... At times she just refuses to have a single drop. I showed her the 'Amul wonderful doodh' song and she hates the song as well. Sigh!

And yes! We've tried milkshakes, home made ice cream, et al.

Will keep you updated on Mission 'glass full doodh'. We're getting there, don't know how long it'll take.

Enjoy the song till I make her finish her Glass Full Doodh