Posted in Life

corona times : hysterical or well – informed?

This is a New Reality. Like all of you I have been following up and seeing how the world has changed and is changing rapidly in front of our eyes. Some people I felt , minded my breaking the Instagram with Corona posts much earlier than others.

Writing this post to tell you , why I started earlier than many in reading the science and the math behind the Coronavirus Pandemic, which was coined as an epidemic as per WHO just three weeks ago. My daughter studies in Italy ……something which most people felt was the epitome of living your best life as a student. Life has changed since then. We have received calls , messages from friends, relatives, acquaintances to check on her welfare . And also had neighbours peep from safety of their home windows to see our kids return from their colleges.

They say , we understand better when our home and immediate sphere of influence is affected. It’s human psyche and thankfully so be positive and to think that shit happens … yes but to other people, happens at far away places and we are good. Three weeks and we aren’t sure anymore because numbers don’t lie and closing our eyes are not going to take them away.

Do the math- 172 countries out of 195 are infected. Number of infections – Week 1 , Week 2, Week 3 are looking the same all over the world and also the same if you make sure we look at the recoveries too. So what is important Is to stay on the top of it by upping our immunity, washing our hands, social distancing and keeping in. Chinese didn’t take these precautions in the first month, Italians didn’t take it seriously till it hit them bad, Iran was taken by sursprise, US closed it’s eyes thinking, they can’t be hit and starting testing late.Our country is waking up now like UK, Germany, Demark, Sweden, Australia and the many others.

Hysterical or well- informed? What are you ?

Stay Safe. WHO has been continuously saying , it’s better to worry and act even IF you think if it is a hype instead of being under prepared. Treat it like hysteria and then cure your hysteria with facts and read from reliable sources to become well-informed…because this is the only way.

*Do your Math , check the news, read the details on what surfaces remain infected longer and which disinfectants should be used and how, check information about which countries have contained it better and learn from the mistakes of the ones who got it wrong.

*When you follow the news of infections, also follow the number of recoveries. Follow the stories of Hope too as human spirit in China, Italy, Spain and many other countries… has risen to the occasion.

*Share Necessary, Useful and Verified Information. Don’t spread Panic and Rumours.

*When you read the WhatsApp messages of despair and panic , also look for the news about how our Earth is rejoicing. Nature is reclaiming it’s waters and also it’s land . Venice canals have swans fluttering around, Dolphins have come to say hi to us on the coasts, deers are roaming on our roads, the air pollution is on a all time low and our earth is breathing better.

See the links below . These are some Stories of Hope we all need at this time. Do check them out!

This mother and baby group are bringing smiles to faces of elderly residents at a care home in Gloucestershire in the UK.  
The videos replace the usual face-to-face contact the pensioners and toddlers usually have, that’s now restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Via BBC
The Italian Spirit in All It’s Glory , An Italian Freddy Mercury Fan
Spirit Of Italy

Posted in Life, Parenting

are your kids your zen masters?

This pandemic seems to be in no mood to stop but we still wake up with hope everyday , to hear the good news that death didn’t knock on any doors last night. But Alas! The virus is taking it’s time and with it, in it’s stride trying hard to crush our spirits and mental health.

Amidst all this chaos, I am  sitting and reminiscing my children’s childhood today and writing this to make you parents see what simplifying childhood means and how we all need to do it to protect our children’s Mental Health. Now more than ever in these pandemic times.

My kids were my tiny, two-feet-tall Zen Masters when they were young. And I am convinced they were sent to slow me down. To make me appreciate the bugs, the butterflies, look for dinosaur tracks in our garden, counting and observing the fallen leaves and fibonacci patterns in nature, celebrating each festival with vigour with stories and dress ups and performances that came with such celebrations.

My kids used to let me in their imaginary worlds where they sometimes became Thomas the engine, other times little superman and super girl had capes which were towels tied on their backs. Then there were times when they took me to Hogwarts and did many magic tricks on me. AND What a privilege it was to be included in their imaginary world. 

AND NOW YET AGAIN, I seem to have got this privilege back as my college going , living in faraway lands – kids are back here with us having the same sibling squabbles, filling my house with cheer and laughter , they are sitting in nothingness, feeling rested in their souls and my eyes are full of tears & heart full of gratitude!

In a culture that glorifies busyness, it is a radical act to choose less over more, to prioritise slowness over productivity, to surrender to being present for life’s small inconsequential ordinary moments. Slowing down feeds our souls and nurtures our families and no matter what parenting style we choose , this pandemic has brought some huge gains. Its’ connected us more deeply with our kids and family. Protect your children’s Mental Health by taking each day as it is, let their imaginations soar and un busy their minds and let them be your Zen masters who will take into imaginary worlds. Let them take in their stride this new life.

And put your intention in thinking if you are practicing enough gratitude daily and teaching them to do so same . If not do it like me , journal gratitude you feel during this lockdown time. Take pictures, catch the uncut version of this slow life , a life which is happy to be un busy, that isn’t running and is making us revel in human connection, look at our family’s rested spirits….. all the things that matter most in our lives!

Saakshi Singla

Posted in Education, Life, Parenting

let’s not lockdown our minds – corona times

I believe we should raise kids with big caring hearts and strong minds. Corona virus times will be testament of how so many lives changed from running after things, being busy and locking our minds in mindless race to succeed , to be the best , to judge others , to find faults in others and being in a perpetual state of lockdown of things that really don’t matter in the long run. Corana virus has in one jolt made the entire human race to think of their survival something which we have been taking for granted. Mental health is being hit all over the world. To stay in a lockdown can play games with our minds and hence it is important to keep the focus on things that matter – family , love and caring for our mother earth. Below given in the slide show are some ways we can all keep our sanity intact.

Saakshi Kapoor Singla

Scared I am too , but I won’t let that make me let it get me!

I plan make this time count too !

I believe we should raise kids with big caring hearts and strong minds.

What about you?

Posted in Life, Parenting

do you have strong- willed kids?

I have been writing and talking to parents , teachers and children for a long time now. One of the topics I have surprisingly not written about here is about strong- willed children… and this too when I have given brith to two spirited kids myself and when this topic has been really close to my heart. One of the reasons is because I struggled with this one inspite all my knowledge of child development and experience.

Read the following to understand my struggle-

” It’s my life , MY LIFE, you can’t make me eat vegetables because I want to live my life my way”, that’s my son when I think he was 5-6 year old

” Mom, why did you give birth to me, you should have let me be where I was” my son’s answer to my making him do what he didn’t want to when he was 7-8 year old.

“I won’t go for the art class because I have fought with my teacher. She is bossy and doesn’t let me draw what I want and wants me to do a scenery with two trees and clouds and hills. I am quitting” my daughter when she was I think 10 years old.

“I want to wear my favourite pyjama or else I am not going”, my crying three year old daughter while getting ready for her big school interview.

Call them difficult, stubborn, tough, strong- willed or spirited my kids made me revisit all my theoretical knowledge and made a lot of it redundant. I learnt to not get into a power struggle with my kids eventually but I won’t lie as I did try hard to break their will sometimes. Fast forward to many years now…. they managed to keep me from breaking their feisty spirit. And am I proud? Yes Very , because they aren’t followers… they lead, they aren’t meek …..they are strong headed, they aren’t “yes sir yes mam variety ” .. .they question everything, they are cooperative but they don’t compromise their values . They both seem to be leaders of their destiny and are intrinsically motivated to do well for themselves and are on the way to become their best versions.

Strong- willed kids aren’t bad, rather are courageous people of integrity who aren’t easily swayed from their own viewpoints. They want to always learn on their own and feel in charge of their lives …irrespective to their petite little, tween or teenage selves. They live life on their own terms and according to their own time table. They are just more prone to power struggles with their parents. It is very challenging to parent a strong willed child no doubt.

My Take :

Please don’t over hype the value we put on obedience as a must for our kids all the time instead let them build their own inner compass of good or bad -right and wrong. Sharing here some tricks and tips I used to parent my two amazing strong-willed kids. See which ones work for you .

  1. Let your strong- willed be incharge of things. She wants mastery more than anything else. Instead of nagging and ordering her to brush her teeth, tell her to check the list of things she can do herself. Keep guiding for her to remember all that she should do before she goes to bed. DON’T ORDER, DON’T YELL, DON’T EXPECT HER TO DO IT EXACTLY WHEN YOU WANT HER TO.
  2. Give him choices, don’t push him to obey. If you offer a choice, he feels like the master of his own destiny. JUST BE SMART to only offer choices you can live with and don’t let yourself get resentful by handing away your power. 
  3. Use routines and rules.This way you won’t be the bad guy who is bossing her around.
  4. Don’t use force , it always creates a push back irrespective to whatever age your child is. Don’t try and win the power struggle as if you do , you might lose connection. Just stop, take a breath, and remind yourself that winning a battle with your child always sets you up to lose and what’s most important is the relationship.
  5. Alway remember that strong-willed kids like to learn from their own experiences. So unless you’re worried about serious injury, it’s more effective to let them learn through experience, instead of trying to control them.
  6. Expect the constant testing of your limits …….that’s how she learns. If you know that, it is easier for you to remain calm and that will help in avoiding wear and tear on your relationship and also your nerves.
  7. Don’t let the connection break , strong willed kids will get into fights with you for both wrong and right reasons. They will see the light and the right way you are showing irrespective to those fights if they feel the connect and they will do it to save their relationship .
  8. Respect is a big thing for strong-willed children. If you offer it to them, they don’t need to fight to protect their position. If you see her point of view and think it is wrong — for example if she wants to wear the pyjama to a school interview, you can still offer her empathy and meet her half way by telling her she can wear it on her way back home.
  9. Don’t break promises. Own up when you do, apologise.
  10. Learning can’t happen in a fight , it shuts off when the adrenaline is pumping. So instead of trying to correct at those emotional moments, take a deep breath, connect and touch her tenderly or give a hug. Wait for her to cool down to deliver your life lesson.

Strong- Willed Kids aren’t bad, they are originals, they live passionate lives, they when parented sensitively learn to keep the fire in their belly burning and go ahead to change the world wherever and however they can.

I am lucky to have two fire balls who have grown and flown to find their passions and live life on their own terms.

You are lucky too … if you have strong-willed kids.

Posted in Life, Parenting

Australia 🇦🇺 😢😢

The world isn’t in a good shape right now. Everyday we wake up to problems which are ready to explode. Problems we didn’t bother to solve in time and now it seems disasters have no stopping signs anywhere. Such times of adversity bring anxiety for the future of our children. The new generation has to inherit a world which seems to be going towards the so called doomsday faster than ever before.

Australia is burning and to wake up to the pictures of growing number of animals dying and so much destruction is heartbreaking. The internet is full news of infernos, forests, homes and animals burning , pictures of koalas and kangaroos( who me a wild life enthusiast has been forever dreaming of meeting in real life someday ), running for their lives. As fires continue to rip through Australia, some devastating numbers are emerging: At least 24 people killed. More than 15 millions hectares torched. Over 1400 homes destroyed and around billion animals killed .

The news has shocking images of destruction which our kids are also consuming. We don’t want them to see adversity or lose hope at such young age, The life has just begin for them, hasn’t it?

What do you think, should we keep such news and images away from kids?

My take : I think we should talk about adversity and global issues, problems and destruction that our world is facing. Tell our kids that it’s the climate change that is making it worse and each one of us are to be blamed somewhere too.Our children need to understand how we and them are stakeholders. The destruction in Australia have also brought in stories of courage, compassion , love and spirit of giving. So when we talk to kids about adversity, when we talk about destruction, we should also to talk about all those stories of hope. Keeping either from our children is not okay as they need to know of the world they will be inheriting. And this is our chance for them to stop making the environmental mistakes our generation and the ones before us have made. The stories of love and hope can be told to young kids and inspire them to be more compassionate.

Let’s tell our kids how their world is changing.

Let’s show them what’s wrong about living selfishly without caring enough for our environment.

Let’s also show how many people still care about animals dying and trying their best to extend help however they can.

Let’s show them hope isn’t all lost.Let’s show how the fire fighters and the common people endangering their own lives to save others.

Let’s give them hope but not by lying about the reality. Instead let’s equip them with a conscious and loads of courage to make things better so that doomsday story remains just a fragment of our imagination!
( The following snapshots are all from Facebook, Getty Images and various news channels reporting the Australian Nightmare )

(Google Steve Irvin to know more about his family and how committed they are to help save our wildlife), credit for the picture – Getty Images )

Posted in Education

Terrible Twos Or Terrific Twos?

Toddlers are the most unfiltered and authentic people  who are small , dependent and forever exploring new things . Cute little small people who don’t yet have the tools to regulate their emotions and who also have the most rapid  brain development in progress. 

 But we adults see their trying to find sense of this world as toddlers throwing tantrums, pushing our buttons . Being difficult to trouble us, messy, always trying to test our limits. forever clingy and a little impolite.

I go back in time many times … when I see parents with their kids today. Reminiscing the same stage of my kids. Hated the word terrible twos even then. Wondering if they were really amazing years for me or I have forgotten the tough times But no I don’t remember going crazy pulling my kids out of the power plugs or running after them endlessly . Rather I remember the block towers they made . The butterflies 🦋 they chased , rolling down from park small hilltops, collecting leaves 🍁 of different kinds from the garden and matching them, counting the stars 🌟 in the sky , running after the moon 🌒 to catch it, jump from the small sofas in our house ,  playing hide and seek etc etc . Okay some days might have been difficult but what worked was my being hands on , consistent routines of play, meal times, nap times and keeping them constructively busy.

Recounting here what did I do differently to now have memories of my two awesome beings they were then. I guess being a professional who understood child development and accepting the changes that toddler stage brings in and trying the best to make the most of them. Sharing here the understanding of the developmental milestones expected during the 2-3 years stage.

( These milestones are for 2-3 year olds. 3-4 year olds will be covered in the next blog post. Remember that milestones  have a similar progression occurrence is most kids but exact time might vary from child to child )