Thursday, December 6, 2007

Meeting other parents

Every time I meet parents of children, like aged or older than our own, I think about how important it is to keep meeting them. Each parent has so much to offer in terms of experience in dealing with particular situations, a different perspective to look at things, putting anxieties at rest which I might have, providing creative ideas for little problems we face everyday which make such a huge impact on the temperament of the child and ultimately are the difference between a good smooth day or a tough bumpy one.
A few days ago, we went for a MOMS club activity at a friend's house and another boy whom Vansh doesn't meet very often was playing with a big car. Naturally Vansh wanted to play with the car immediately. He does that many a times and what I tell him is that he has to either wait for his turn or play with another toy depending upon the toy and the situation at that time. What that other boy's mom told both of them was that they had a choice of playing together with the car, demonstrating how they could roll it forwards and backwards to each other OR take turns if they wanted to play alone with it. Showing them what to do together appealed to both of them and they played away happily rolling it to each other. A simple solution, yet so insightful. At times, our own reactions become so mechanical that such incidents help us to get new ideas of tackling everyday situations.
Another platform where I meet parents on a regular basis is ECFE. I am lucky to be in a particularly smart group this year and also to have a great parent educator who facilitates very fruitful discussions. A couple of moms with grown up children (10, 8, and 6 years old) is an added bonus! (Did I tell you I am in awe of moms who have older kids - I believe raising children through the years brings you more wisdom like nothing else can) So yesterday I voiced my concern about how I limit TV time for Vansh as also the content that he watches. And yet many a times when I tell him no more TV, he just sits there and does absolutely nothing, making me wonder won't it make sense if I let him watch that phonics Leap Frog video by way of which, even though not the most appropriate way of learning, he'll learn something and won't really be 'wasting time'. I was glad to get a new dimension, to learn that in those quiet times he was actually figuring out how the world around him works. It was then that I realised that it was indeed true. Every now and then in these quiet moments that he spends, he comes and talk s to me about random things, his friends, how he shared with someone and shouted at someone else, his visit to the doctor for the flu shot, things like "Papa शाम को आते हैं।", "Candy Satday (Saturday) खाते हें।" and the likes. In fact other parents told me I was lucky that he didn't demand to be played with at all times and spent some time quietly thinking. Ahem!! (collar up :) Sure did some good to my spirits.
Hmm ..Indian friends here are going through 'seasonal depression' in the -15 degrees and 2 feet of snow outside. It has been a while since we got together for a playdate and enlightened talks about kids' tantrums and activities and eating battles et al. Am looking forward to that again.

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