Posted in fatherhood, relationships

From a father to his son

Dear son,

You will be turning 11 next month. And then your phase of adolescence will start. So, before you embark on your journey from a teen to an adult, I would like to tell you a few things. I know I can tell these things to you personally, but chances are that you may not sit for a long time to hear them or even if you do, you may not remember most of it. So, I’ve decided that I’ll write you a letter which you can read again and again and at your own time.

The first thing that I want you to learn is the value of money. I know that until now, your mom and myself have looked after all your needs and given you things accordingly. We have started giving you pocket money from this year onwards. So, anything else that you need other than school related things, you’ll be using your pocket money. And how and where you want to use it is entirely your decision. Whether you want the latest Xbox or the latest smartphone or you want to eat out with friends or go to the movies; you save from the pocket money and use it. You may feel that your parents are very strict, but believe me it will help you in the long run. And consider yourself very lucky that you have that privilege of getting pocket money, because when we were teens we never had that privilege. Our parents have struggled a lot to make us what we are today.

Secondly, I want to tell you something about being independent. In the coming years, you will keep demanding us to give you independence to do what you want. And we surely will. You don’t have to demand it. It’s your right. But, if you want to be independent in the real sense then you should also learn to do your things on your own. Learn to iron your clothes, pack your lunch box, keep your dirty clothes in the laundry bag, learn to cook. You should know atleast a few basic things like making tea/coffee, noodles and deep frying those ready to eat stuff. If you do your things on your own, we too, wouldn’t mind giving you a bit of freedom. It’s a two way thing; you give and you get.

Thirdly, follow your dreams, son. You will realize in the upcoming years, where your heart lies, what your passion is. Feel free to follow your passion. You just need to reach out to us. We will help you and guide you in achieving your dreams. Sometimes, things may not go your way, but don’t worry. Don’t give up. Remember, you just need to reach out to us.

And last but not the least; you will undergo a lot of physical, emotional and hormonal changes. One day you will feel absolutely useless, on the second day you may feel fine. Sometimes you may feel rebellious, sometimes your friends may be more important to you than us. You will want your privacy. We understand that. You will experience different changes in your early, mid and late adolescent years. All this is normal. As much as these teen years are new to you, they are for us too. We too, will be parents to a teen for the first time. We will be trying our best to make this phase easy for you. You need to give it your best too. Remember to reach out always.

Looking forward to meeting a charming and mature young adult.

Your best friend,

Dad.

 

Pic courtesy: Google images

Author’s note: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.

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Posted in mom's life, Parenting

When ‘NO’ was the only word in my son’s vocabulary 

 As my son started talking his first words, we were all very excited. In fact we were so excited that we wanted him to talk like us from the very beginning. Everyday we would wait to hear some new word from him. As the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months; new words were added into his vocabulary every single day.

 So by the age of 2, he knew his full name, his parents’ names, names of his maternal and paternal grandparents, and names of the maids too. He also knew the days of the week! He knew the names of various modes of transport too. And he could say a few rhymes, though not very clearly. It was absolutely amazing.

But, by the time he was about 2 and half years old, there was the word ‘no’ that kept popping in every now and then from him. But, I ignored it thinking the phase will pass. Then, a few days later, our conversation would be something like this:

“Do you want to go the bathroom?”

“No”

“Come, let’s have lunch.”

“No.”

“OK then, come we’ll read a story book.”

“No.”

Then I asked him to do all the things that he enjoys doing.

“Come, let’s go down to play.”

“No.”

“Do you want to have icecream or chocolates?”

“No.”

“Come, let’s watch your favourite cartoon..”

“No.”

A string of ‘nos’.. I was getting very worried. It was like he had forgotten all other words and the only word he knew was ‘no’. What happened to him suddenly? I kept asking myself.

Then, on deep introspection, I realised that all this was my doing only. I realised that a few days back when I wasn’t quite in the mood to do anything, I had refused him everything that he had asked me to do. And now, these were are the consequences of my refusal.

This ‘no’ phase lasted for exactly 2 days. In fact, after the first day, I stopped asking him anything. He would come on his own and tell me what he wanted. Then, after this phase was over, I was waiting with baited breath for him to ask me any thing; any damn thing. I had decided I would say a ‘yes’ to whatever it was! Even if is the thing that I do not like; I would say yes. If he will ask me to go to the beach with him at 12 noon or if he would make me ring the doorbells of the neighbours for no specific reason or if he wants to use the walls for painting his creations; whatever he would ask me; I would say a loud and clear ‘Yes’!

So I waited.

Guess what he asked me?

“Mummy, do you want to say No to me??”

I was speechless. I kept opening and closing my mouth like a fish, but no words were ready to come out. I told him, “Seriously? Of all the things in the world, you had to ask me this?” He gave a nod and went about doing his shenanigans.

How smart these little ones can get? I realised that we have to be so careful with them. Our actions, our words have such immense effects on them. It’s like they are little monkeys waiting to imitate each and everything we do!

So, I wish you all lovely parents a very good luck in raising these little monkeys!!

Pic courtesy : Google images 

Author’s note : This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform. 

Posted in mom's life

Sleep: A luxury

“When was the last time I slept 8 hours straight?” I keep asking myself.

And I can’t even remember! Maybe before I got married..

When I was at mom’s place, all of us strictly followed the idiom,” Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” So after an early dinner, everyone would sleep by 10 and would be awake by 6 in the morning!

But after marriage, no one would sleep by even 12am. Dinners were late, followed by family time. I found it very difficult initially to adjust to the different times. I felt ‘jet lagged’ even without travelling. But still I would manage to sleep for 5-6 hours.

All this was very difficult for a sleep lover like me. I could not sacrifice my sleep for any damn thing. 8 hours were compulsory. Even during exams, I needed atleast 7 hours of sleep; whether I finished revising or no din’t matter. And if there was some interruption to the routine, I would be dozing during lectures! Even on the first bench I would sleep! ‘Sleeping beauty’ was my pet name in college!

But, after my son was born, it was a reality check! Sleep was a luxury for a new mom like me with a baby who was also new in the world. And  add to it the feeding, diaper changing, bathing, and the hormonal woes. It was like I would be longing for those 2 hours when he would sleep after feeds. But that was in no way satisfying. Then as time passed, those day time naps reduced and even when he slept in the day, I had hundreds of chores to attend to! Then, during the night, gradually four hours became six. He would sleep for 6 hours at a stretch and I would too! Finally, I was getting six hours of sleep, but considering the amount of work that I was doing in the remaining 18 hours; it was not at all satisfying.

As my body had started adjusting to the 6 hour sleeping schedule, I was blessed with another boy! And I was back to square one. But this time, it was comparatively easy as I knew what to expect. I was better prepared.

So, now until the younger one becomes old again, sleep is going to be a luxury!

 

Pic courtesy: Google images

Author’s note: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.