Friday, 19 August 2016

Boys will be boys

We read a lot about daughters. We praise them from the bottom of our heart and adore them like princesses. Of course, daughters are darlings but sometimes boys seem to be left out and underappreciated; even misunderstood at times.

Boys will be boys and that is what makes them unique. They are different; rather A LOT different. A boy does not come and cuddle or do anything that makes you proud instantly but will surprise you with the most unusual act of intelligence, innocence and generosity. Generally, they don’t do things that you can ‘show off’ to your friends and family but they do shock you by doing something exceptional when you expect the least. That is the way boys are.  They do not win prizes or awards every now and then and you start to feel uncomfortable and worried and suddenly you get invitation to attend award ceremony by the school and they receive awards in the category that you didn’t even know exists!!!

The boys don’t always say “Mom, I love you” or say anything too flattering or pleasing, per se, but they show you most tender loving care if you really are in deep trouble or in pain. They do try to comfort you by in a silent but affirming way.

I remember, once, on Mother’s day, all my friends (with daughters) were discussing how their lovely daughters made them proud by showering them with gifts and drawing cards and I realised my boy has not gifted me anything yet.  I came home and my little boy (aged four year at that time) came to me and handed over a lovely gift box which was already lying around at home and told me “when I will grow up and earn, I will present you nice jewellery but for time being, you can put anything you like in this box”.  I was so touched by his gesture that I felt it was the best day of my life.
Occasionally, when we try to encourage our boys to achieve something in terms of awards or acknowledgement, we often come across most interesting and intelligent answers like “I will get when the time is right” or “I will get when the teacher thinks I am intelligent” or “give me some time”!! Even if you think you were just trying to improve some grades, but you still have to put up with all these clever arguments or may be, get some spiritual insight till you get peace and guidance and once we get accustomed with our boys, there comes a time when we can’t think any other way other than the ‘boyish’ way.  We start to enjoy watching football matches more than tennis matches!!!!

At the end of the day there is always something to learn, something to think, something to change, and something very touching and the days always end with a big hug, cuddles and sweet goodnight kisses. Despite all the challenges they give throughout the day, they are the most wonderful, insightful and adorable little people of our life…

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Tips to reduce exam stress

Exams are very important and crucial time in children’s lives. Here are a few tips that I have tried and worked well for me. Each child is different and these are only guidelines.
1.       Have a schedule. A well-defined schedule reduces stress and helps child feel relaxed.  A well- defined timetable helps him to focus and keep his mind off worry.
2.       Diet.  A nutritionally rich diet always helps the child to keep calm.  Nothing new should be tried at this time. A normal diet that the child is used to is great. Fresh fruits give plenty of energy and make them feel refreshed. My mum used to give me grapes and I loved it.
3.       Hydration. Staying well hydrated is important for children to focus on studies. Make sure they drink enough water.
4.       Keep calm. It is important that you as parent to keep calm. If you get stressed, your child is most likely to get stressed too.  Often parent’s anxiety makes the situation much worse. It affects the child negatively.
5.       Have normalcy. Have regular schedule. Making it look like any other normal day makes child feel relaxed. If you carry on with your normal routine, child feels like it is a normal day. It helps them feel relaxed.
6.       No screen.  I got this very unusual and important advice which I felt was very useful. No screen in the evening the day before exams. It helps the child to stay calm because they don’t get overstimulated by the screen.
7.       Sleep. It is essential to get good night sleep. No use having a sleep deprived child who is unable to focus on the study. Early bedtime helps the child to recover and focus on the exams.
8.       Breakfast. On the day of exam, it is important that the child eats freshly cooked homemade breakfast. It gives them enough strength to cope with the pressure and enough energy to deal with the stress.
9.       Stress relief. Deep breathing or meditation works well if the child feels stressed. Nothing new should be tried at this time. Just do what he is used to. Even playing outside for 30 minutes refreshes the mind and keeps it cool or just play board game or indoor games if he likes.  After play the child is usually more focused and relaxed.

10.   Reassurance. Before the child goes for exam, reassure him that no matter what the outcome may be, he will still be loved. It works like magic. It relieves pressure and makes them calm.

10 Life lessons for happpiness

As we grow older we become more aware about our life and there comes the important life lessons.  Here are a few that I learnt in order to be more happy and content.

  1. Accept yourself. It is very important to accept yourself because by accepting yourself you can slowly learn to accept the whole world and life becomes quite easy. We must accept our uniqueness with all the weakness and strength.  It will attract the right kind of people around you and you will not be in people-pleasing mode all the time which will save you a lot of mental energy. Just be yourself and explore your uniqueness and enjoy your life.

  1. Accept everything. Once you master the skill of accepting yourself, next step is to accept everything around you; each person, situation and everything around it. No matter how much you want your boss to be nice to you or you want your in-laws to be kind to you, or you want your partner to understand you or your children to listen to you, there will be time when they won't. So instead of whining and wasting time and energy you can focus on managing the problem and move on just by accepting the situation.  As time goes by people change but in the meantime, just hold on and stay calm.

  1. Respect, value and take care of yourself. It is very important to take care of yourself in today's world. If you can't take care of yourself you will never be able to help anyone else. By taking care of yourself you save lots of problems later in life and also set a good example for children. By putting yourself first by taking care of yourself you can help other people because they don't have to take care of you and they can focus on their life without worries. If you are struggling with your own health, you cannot help your family when they need you. Also have a ground for your belief, principles and values, no matter how hard the situations are. It gives you firm ground for yourself and makes you confident. Patience and perseverance always pays.

  1. Value relationships. Always acknowledge random act of kindness. It improves relations dramatically. Say thank you to your spouse when he accompanies you in a doctor's visit or say thank you to your child when he gets you a glass of water after a hard long day. Tell them how much you love them. You will thank yourself in future that you did it because life is too fast to realise that in no time your toddler is going to leave the house for university or spouse having health problems or parents ageing and leaving us forever.

  1. Have a purpose in life. Life without purpose is like road without direction. You can go on and on without reaching anywhere. People who have purpose in life are always motivated, happy and energetic. Always find your purpose in life and enjoy it. It gives immense satisfaction and fulfilment.

  1. Have faith or belief. Having belief or faith makes you stronger and gives you power to withstand difficulties in life and keeps you firm on the ground. Faith in either God, supreme power or higher power gives you directions in the event of disaster. Even a small ritual or simple meditation is all that takes to change life forever.

  1. Listen to your soul. Always listen to your soul for purpose or direction in life. It also guides you in many other ways when mind is not able to decide properly. The deep, sometimes weak, sound always tells you what is right and what is wrong. You just have to tune into it. Meditation is the best way to listen to your soul. All your answers are within so meditate and get all your questions answered.

  1. Say NO to abuse. This is a bit serious but very important point. Always identify, understand, protest and stop abuse. It is quite surprising to find that abuse is far too common in this world. We may be putting up with decades of abuse and manipulations that we don’t even realise so it is vital that you understand and protect yourself against abuse. The modern life can get the worst out of people so it is important to stop because a bullied becomes a bully and the saga continues and you don’t want to continue the saga.  Abuse depletes your soul’s energy and makes you weak so you must stop it.

  1. Forgive. It is very important to forgive people whoever has done any damage to your mind, body or soul. It is very hard to do because their actions made you very bitter but the only way to move ahead in life is to forgive. It liberates you. It also does not mean that you have to take them back in your life and get betrayed again. It just means that they can’t harm you anymore.

  1. Gratitude. No matter what happens in life there is always something to cherish and celebrate. Gratitude helps to calm down the nerves and enhance our ability to think clearly when everything seems very difficult. Simple act of writing down all positive experience calms down the mind immediately and makes us feel positive. It also attracts abundance in life because you are focusing on positive aspects and your mind is calm.

As life goes on, I am still learning and I am quite surprised how much more is still to be discovered.