What mothers can do, in an unsafe country like India

I have been through a roller-coaster of emotions and thoughts since the rape and molestation cases in India have been the buzz. I am not talking about any particular case, all rapes are wrong, there aren’t levels to it. All types of physical molestation are wrong, no matter which part of the body is involved.

I always try to look for solutions and ways of being pro-active. It is important to me that all female  humans of India keep aside their aspirations, and desires and chose to be safe than sorry. Because in the end of the day, it we who are going to be exploited. Till a change comes in this country it’s all about being safe and not raising your voice for small skirts, late nights and drunken nightlife. We have to be educated and practical.

No one is guaranteeing a change right now, not even the women. But as mothers there are several things we can do.

1. Mentor your son– In India women are treated as a liability. This thought process is most commonly seen amongst women, women are the worst enemies of women here. When the women themselves are projecting themselves and their daughters and other women in general as inferior, or as a pain or liability, then the boys/men are sent the message of ‘ go ahead and dominate all you want’. Accept it, we are at fault here. As mothers it’s important to make sure that your sons especially, know that women are human beings just like them, they are important, they are equal, they have feelings and need to be treated with respect NO MATTER WHAT. The reason why men are able to grope, or rape, or tease or molest is because they have been taught from the very beginning that the woman is a slave for the world. And women enticing men on bilboards, and movies isn’t helping either. It sends the message that woman are willing to ‘bear all’ for money and to entertain the men, and let’s not be hypocritical here. Denial isn’t getting us out of rape nation. Raise boys to become men of honour, who can create a safe environment, who respect, value and protect women.

2. Communicate with your schools– Yes!, the school, get involved, ask your school if they’re having any program for students about ‘good touch/bad touch’. Are the boys and girls being educated about basic morals of physical conduct and boundaries. Compel them to conduct such workshops at-least once and year, and have class teachers remind students about these concepts in class regularly.

3. Educate yourself– There are workshops and seminars conducted for school faculties AND parents on this topic. Go with your husband, call your friend mommies, expose yourself to the psychology and thought process behind these happenings. Learn about the symptoms, signs, and experiences of the victims. Learn how to communicate with your children, figure out how you can discuss these issues openly in your circle of family and friends and come up with solutions. Don’t chose to be ignorant about it, don’t blame the victim and think you’re safe. Advice your childs school to actively participate in such workshops, or I would suggest change the school to one that cares about your child!

4. Communicate with your kids– Keep a healthy communication with your children girls AND boys. Make them comfortable enough to be able to tell you anything and everything. Make sure you teach them about  physical boundaries, what is expected out of them in terms of conduct with the opposite gender, at school or otherwise. Build trust, tell them you won’t be judgmental, that you’ll always support them. Make sure you know who they hang out with, monitor their television, cell phone and internet usage. Remember that you’re the adult, and how positively you project adulthood will reflect in your childs enthusiasm in growing up and being one him/herself. Speak to them about good and bad touch, there are books available online to buy, visit a library, ask your school counselor to help you out. There are videos also on YouTube that can be a great aid to this communication. There’s no excuse, your resistance is going to turn into regret, if you don’t take responsibility as the adult.

5. Better safe than sorry– Make this your motto. There are many things in life we want to do, but we don’t because of a variety of reasons. The same goes with your wants to wear certain clothes, speak a certain way, live a certain lifestyle etc. just like the many things you compromise, compromise a little on this for YOUR OWN safety. Reality check: we’re not living in a perfect world. Maybe in the future there will be a time where women will feel safe wearing anything they fancy, doing anything they fancy, at any time of the day. Hopefully that day will come. But till then it’s better to be safe. Carry a can of pepper spray, it’s 100% legal, be ready to knock anyone out, you have all right to protect yourself. Mentally prepare yourself and your daughters to be safe, and this will automatically reduce the fear that we are carrying around on a regular basis. The fear is not only there because men with ugly souls are around us, the fear is also there because we know we aren’t prepared enough. The fear is there because somewhere our poor parenting is resulting in such men also.

Please be proactive, leave comments below, start a discussion, voice your opinions, share your thoughts and knowledge on such issues. Be an educated, proactive and safe mom.

Shopping and book update

I went out, a very deserving outing alone…My friend wasn’t available as well, so I just had to hang out and chill away from the daughter. And well, I ended up spending. Has a few things on the list but got carried away…Lets dig in shall we?

I was at city center, and wanted to get a drum for the little one, she didn’t get the concept of it while doing homework the weekend before, So i thought she needs to experience it, even though it would cause great noise pollution. Picked it up at the toy store there.

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Also picked up two white hair bands, a lunch box she’s broken hers, and also broker her water bottle, that’s second one this school year already!

Next stop Max, the daughter has suddenly grown tall, and needed a little addition to the wardrobe

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The green sleeveless hoodie is reversible! This is her first pair of jeans, loved the tiny print detail and the colour I was crossing my fingers they’d fit and they did, wonderfully…

Dropped by health and glow, had a very strict list on here, but I also sneakily picked up a new body bath/scrub and a bubble bath for Batool from Baby Biotique. Frankly I didn’t know Baby Biotique existed!!The surprise comes from the fact that I do enjoy using the Biotique products myself. I haven’t tried it yet, still have a little bit left from the MEE MEE one. Will do a comparison post on them when I do try.

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The scrub however is phenomenal! Yummy! smells like the first lip gloss I owned when I was in school it was called ‘wet lips’..Yum Yum….

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Got myself a key chain by daffodils from Crosswords, picked up a cheap water bottle for the daughter who is rowdy!

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Coming to my book I placed an order on flipkart for few things, and one of them was my book!! ‘On Dublin street’ by Samantha Young…It’s an adult romance novel, but with a proper story, and an ending, 300 odd pages finished it in 2 nights….Great read, easy, refreshing, nice. I would love to see it as a movie, with the right screenplay and cast this movie will be a great one for sure.

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I’ve decided to try out Indian authors, and hence I have ordered ‘Sorry, you’re not my type‘ by Sudeep Nagarkar, it’s cheap 150 but Flipkarts having a discount on it (Unlike Dublin street which costed 950 nucks!!) and sounds like a fine book. I’ve per-ordered Chetan Bhagats new book ‘Half girlfriend’ as well.

I also ordered a reference book, I am having a growing inclination toward learning disabilities even though I wouldn’t dare tread that path as career, it would help me understand it better, explain it better to parents/caregivers/teachers/students etc. and also for my present diploma.

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It’s by Meenakshi Dave and I highly recommend it to Indian parents.

Also on the flipkart order was my daughter book ‘Bruno put your toys away’, already have the rest of the books from the series, she desperately wanted it, asked me several times and I couldn’t find it at crosswords, so paid double the price because of shipping and bought it.

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I am trying to get her TV time limited, even though she doesn’t watch any cartoons, we don’t have cable, we just download selected rhymes and make CDs for her. I have to get it down to 1 hour a day with a min half gap in between. So inorder to do that I have increased book time, now we have two sessions and we go through the charts I had blogged about previously. She’s enjoying the attention too, in the spirit of entertainment sans TV I ordered a finger painting set in the flipkart order…It arrived today evening, and well she enjoyed a lot and it got messy but it took a good 45 mins off the day, and the paints almost are over, Im going to buy more paint….

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As you can see, it comes with shaped sponges, tiniest pots of paint, few plain white sheets and few images to paint. For 210 plus 40 shipping I don’t recommend it, you can just buy a box of paint and give them to your child to finger paint. Nothing special in the box, a great gift though, if you have a birthday to attend want to budget it under 500! It’s not worth it otherwise.

Well that’s about it….purchased two pairs of shoes online as well…

 

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Haven t taken a pic of the other one 😉 oops! Will note it in an outfit post….Need to get those done more often….What have you been upto?

 

 

Understanding your child.

Perception plays a key role in our lives, more so when you’re a parent. Once you have a little one of your own in the world you become Imagethe most protective person ever, you will find in you power like never before, there’s more fight in you, you are more spirited than ever. All this reaches it’s peak when your child is sent into a new world- the school.

Parents are concerned about so many things, it’s almost like our kids are not human. What has come into the world is another unique being, with unique talents, a unique personality, comparison kills this child. This is exactly what I want to discuss today, it’s not all black and white, and it will never be. When in school the child experiences things he never has, a lot affects his thoughts and actions. Every parent will experience the complaints from school, and while some of it may appear absurd and may very well be, it’s no reason to lose your sanity. Stressing too much, or too less is bad. With every issue or probable issue it’s good to seek help, there’s nothing wrong with it. Seek advice from the school counselor, always be open to figuring out solutions instead of quarreling with a teacher, in the end the aim is your childs happiness. Now I know not all schools are this altruistic, and while some teachers appear meaner than others, they’re all human!

Point number one; research online, pick the school that best suits your childs personality not your expectations or idea of “good”. If you’ve realised that your child is not in the right school, don’t hesitate to take him out, trust me even a year at the right school can do wonders for your childs self-esteem. The right school will bring out the childs talents, and help in his overall development. Emotional health plays a crucial role in development, especially in adolescent children. Make sure your child makes plenty of good friends whom he can share life with not just a few hours each day at school.

Point number two; if there are constant complaints regarding your childs scholastic performance, or beahaviour go for a simple educational assessment, DAAP has a good one. This assessment will help everyone including the school understand exactly what the issue is (if there is any), and once that’s discovered everyone can work on a proper plan. Some schools have an educational psychologist or counselor who takes care of such students, build a good rapport with the school counselor they can be great assistance in helping you parent better and know how good you do your job. We all could use some counseling once in a while.

Point number three, don’t worry if your child “only” scores 98/100 when he’s in 4th grade!. Children are only children when they play and explore their surroundings. What childhood stories will they have if they never had fun, never enjoyed school, seldom played out in the sand, never spent endless hours with friends, never got called out for pranks?! All these experiences will mold the child into a strong individual who will learn from his mistakes, and be clear of his boundaries.

Point number four, Don’t fret going to offices of psychiatrists, making your child pop pills because he’s “hyperactive”, Hyperactivity is a term being used very loosely these days, ADHD is a disorder of a severe caliber, every child who jumps and is active is NOT hyper. Be very educated about these things before you self-diagnose your child, and don’t let anyone but a certified experienced psychiatrist do that. Be very clear about who has the authority to prescribe medicines, and how much experience they each have in their field. NEVER hesitate for more explanations, if the concerned counselor/psychologist/psychiatrist truly understand the child they will be able to prescribe less aggressive methods of dealing with the childs problems.

A child behaves a certain way due to a zillion reasons, you will surprised what these turn out to be, sometimes it’s a very petty misunderstanding or could be a severe emotional trauma from the past no one knew about. These and many other phenomenon effect the childs performance and behaviour at school, putting a label of a disease on a child is a big deal, it will scar him for life. Counseling helps the child to unveil these hidden feelings and everything can be taken from there.

Parenting is not easy, no one prepares you for it, no one will every be able to. At the same time it doesn’t have to be a pain you regret! Do your best, hope for the best and be positive! All children are special, all are beautiful beings including yours!