Blog Archives

Are you growing up with your child? Or are you getting left behind?

Just the other day, a close friend of mine called up. “Sunita,” she  said  hesitantly, “ I want to talk to you about my son, Rohit. He has suddenly changed so much. I don’t know what to do.”  I calmed her down and told her this is something I often hear from parents of adolescents

It is not easy being a parent. And the challenge is much more when our babies turn into teenagers. It seems just yesterday they were holding your hand and learning to walk, and now it seems as if they are challenging every word you say.

You hear things like , “Why do you want me to make my bed? I’ll just sleep in it again tonight.” “MOM! Please don’t embarrass me!”

Your little baby girl is suddenly more interested in chatting with her friends and worrying about nonexistent pimples on her face. Your son is more interested in his friends’ opinion than yours. And don’t talk about mood swings. One day they do not want to talk to you at all and the next they want to tell you every single thing that is happening in their lives.  If you hug them, you will be pushed away and the very next day you will be engulfed in the biggest bear hug in the world.

Yes, being a parent is tough and in today’s environment it is even worse. As parents we are not only responsible to see that our kids grow up with the right values, but we also need to equip them with  the skills that will help them withstand negative influences and keep them safe.

In such a scenario, maybe it is a good idea to learn from the experts as well. People who have been parents, who have been teachers and who have been teachers to parents. That is why, through practise with my own daughters, through a lot of reading, through courses, I have learnt a lot and over a lot of years, what it takes to be a good parent. I have realised through the years that parents of teenagers face some unique challenges.

That is how and why I created my Teenology course. Ping me here or on 9892939062/ 8080825785 to know more about it. You can send me a mail on sunita@shikshapower.com as well. https://www.facebook.com/events/531112666958273/

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Where fountains sneeze and watches snore

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I just love my Sunday mornings, especially the ones when I have my Poetry Sundays, where I meet about a dozen kids between the age group eight to 14 at “Just Book clc” at Hiranandani Meadows, Thane every fortnight.

These Poetry Sundays are special because they are such fun! There is so much learning and there is a lot of joy! Here the children learn to express their feelings, thoughts and ideas through the medium of poetry and then gain the confidence to share these ideas and emotions when they read out their poems to others.

This week we were looking at personification as a tool to enhance our poems. As part of the exercises, we got the kids to match nouns with words that were randomly picked from a box. The results were hilarious and laughter filled the library as children looked at combinations like waves sleeping and the sun crying.

What was amazing is that not one of the kids questioned how clocks could snore or fountains would sneeze. Instead the conversations went something like this.

Yash: How and why will dragons run?

Shrushti: Maybe they are baby dragons and they are running to the edge of the cliff in a race and they will go whoooosh off the edge and fly.

Sunil: What could make the sun stand in one place?

Srikant: Because it was noon and he had already reached the top of the sky. He was tired and wanted to rest?

Shrushti: Okay, then why would the sun cry?

Janice: Because he was eclipsed

And thus did mini stories emerge about how the clock was so tired of waking up the child in the morning, that it too went back to sleep and snored and how it was so cold that the chilled water made the fountain sneeze.

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Out of the mouths of babes

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I love the summer holidays! I absolutely love them! This is the time when I have my holiday camps for the kids. Every year the kids amaze me! Every year I feel that there is still so much we can do for our kids who have the most amazing minds. There has been so much potential just waiting to be used.

This year, the theme for our Chutti Power Summer fun was “Expressions”. This was especially for kids between the ages of 5 to 11. We encouraged the kids to express themselves through art, dance, drama and creative writing.

Yesterday, we were creating characters in our creative writing session.

I introduced the children to the words “protagonist” and “antagonist”. Before telling them what it meant, I asked them what they thought it meant. The answers were varied.

“It means a person who eats a lot of protein!” Said a little 5 year old.

“I think it means someone who is powerful, like Iron Man,” said another.

“I think it sounds like a mixture of a protractor and an injection” said a third.

It was amazing how they all seemed to link the “P” in the spelling of protagonist to something that started with a “P” – protein, power, protractor.

After explaining who a protagonist is, I asked them to think of someone they would like to create as a protagonist in their story.

The questions were immediate. “Does it have to be a human being?” “Can it be an alien?” “Can it be a monster?” “Can it be an animal?” “Can it be an imaginary creature?”

But the best question was from a little boy named Armesh. He asked, “Don’t you think we should create the antagonist first?”

“Why?” I asked him.

“Because the antagonist causes the problem and the protagonist supplies the solution. The antagonist is the fever and the protagonist is the medicine, the Crocin.”

Oh how I love my summer camps!