Summer’s here: what cha gonna be doing?

Summer’s here: what cha gonna be doing?

The countdown to Summer holidays has started. Although it is for the kids, am sure, parents also wait for them just as eagerly. No school for another 2 months!

Aint that awesome! It’s two months of no studying and lots of play, of vacations and trips, of summer movies, of visiting family in different cities or within the city. Summer is all about being in the sun, hanging with the friends and eating everything cool and chilled!

For those families with both parents working, it’s either leaving the kid at the grandparents or having them attend Fun Summer activities.

And a little search online gives a plethora of options for kids and toddlers aged 2-15. From the basic, general learning, arts and crafts, music and dance, there is enhanced learning with robotics, Vedic maths, learning through experiments, a hands-on approach to science. There are the various sports like football and swimming. Nature and outdoors activities like adventure camps that take kids out for a hike, spending a day or two outdoors observing nature, the animals and also learning photography. Dramatics and theater camps. For all those interested in cooking and helping your budding chef, there are various camps that teach baking cupcakes, fixing little snacks for themselves. Do check out the buzzingbubs site for all the summer camp activities near you.

Although, these camps are good for kids to spend their holidays in constructive ways. They should also be having an unorganised holiday  – hanging with the extended family, bonding with cousins, making new friends through cousins, just hanging around with grandparents in the kitchen, in the garden, spending time with them helping with their activities. To hang with friends, without any agenda as to how the day would go, making up games and activities. Picking up some house chores. Time for self-exploration. And most importantly, learning to deal with boredom.

Boredom, kids need to learn to keep themselves occupied, even if it is just gazing into empty space, throwing a ball at the wall, make-believe play, holidays are the right time to learn that fun can be achieved without spending money!

How many of us lament, that our children don’t enjoy their childhood like we did, How holidays meant being on the streets, playing what-not – chuchand and laggori, playing hide-and-go-seek, statue, hopscotch to name a few, Cycling all day long within a defined perimeter, hopping from one house to another, showing up at home only for meals and if there are generous neighbours, then not even turning up for lunch.  Summer meant just hanging out on someone’s compound wall, talking nonsense and sometime being scared by older kids. Summer meant playing with everyone’s games and toys,  not bothered whether you owned them or not. If someone’s got something new, then everyone is gonna play it all summer long. Summer meant a meet up of all cousins in grandma’s house, sleeping under the stars, eating under the moon, loitering the streets, flying kites, chasing one another all over the place.  Summer meant, mangoes, panagam (musk melon and jaggery juice) and watermelon, everything chilled and cold was allowed, no restrictions.  Summer meant complete abandon. Summer always meant enjoying childhood.

Summer holidays should be best spent having an adventure like the kids in Enid Blyton’s ‘The Famous Five‘. If not, the next best is to have a summer like we did.

Let’s try to give our kids, a Summer that is full of what is now and what was then.

 

 

 

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Boarding school: Parenting Delegated.

Boarding school: Parenting Delegated.

Boarding school- the magical place for all teens to get away from oppressive parents, from only meeting your friends some time to being with them full time. For all Harry potter Fans, the Hogwarts style schooling is a definite yes!

There are some with a different school of thought, who’d vouch for a Boarding school Experience. To enumerate few pros –

  • The kids mostly in their teens learn to adapt to new environs
  • They’ll have time to focus on varied activities within a safe campus
  • The teens would learn to become more self-reliant and decisive.
  • The teachers would be able to give much more individual attention to the teens and help them uncover their potential.

All these points would definitely make the teen much more ready as he/she would step into adulthood and its challenges.

But can this only be achieved in a Boarding School and not in regular schools living with parents?

In my opinion, I’d say, Opting for boarding school is like delegating your parenting work! Teens in their formative age need a safe place to disengage from schools and its activities, even if it for few hours a day. Pre-teens have just grown to start thinking beyond their home and family. They need to have a safe haven when discovering the world outside, and not be thrown into a completely new system, however capable they might be. Pre-teen is the time, parents need to be much more observant of their kids, actions and reactions. Not only to what they are saying but to start reading between lines. To lay a foundation for a healthier communication and trust between them and their kid. The kind of communication that lets them talk about body awareness, puberty and all that it entails.

As it is, kids stay lesser at home with parents, probably until they are 15-18 years, once they step out of home for education, there is no coming back. From education to work and to other pursuits of life. These 5-8 years if spent out of the home, then life is gonna be lived a weekend at a time, through video calls at a stipulated time.

Boarding school elevates certain aspects of living with same aged people to new levels: Peer Pressure. Peer pressure could make or break a person. What if one can’t stand up to the bullies? what if they as an individual is unable to stand out, be heard? to what extent can teachers focus on an individual?

When the responsibilities of the kids are on on teachers. Can one gauge unenthusiastic teachers? Can one limit the academic pressure the school puts on the kid?

Even if, Boarding schools are opted by parents who are always on the move or have demanding careers or by affluent parents who’d rather have the job done by someone else and mostly by parents believing that the boarding school system can give their kid that significant edge to succeed in life.

I believe that no matter what the situation is if it does not demand a boarding school, One shouldn’t opt for it as a choice.

Do you have – the license to parent?

Do you have – the license to parent?

 

A License – a certificate giving the bearer the permission to do something after they have shown enough evidence that they possess the skill to do the said activity. We have to prove our worth to do so many day to day activities. Education certificates to prove our knowledge in the subjects, we have a license to drive, to practice law, medicine. Approvals to build homes, to own businesses. Almost everything needs a certain level of know-how on the subject and some sort of process to assess the knowledge.

Yet, when it comes to being a parent. We have no such system or a process for assessing the level of knowledge and skills that is required to take care of a life. A life that is totally dependent. This is not a complaint about others but rather a musing that I have had for myself.

If the parent , be it the mother or the father, isn’t surrounded by other parents, who have done it and learnt along the way, to teach the first steps. In the absence of such people ,the parent isnt willing to learn from books or look up the internet. In the absence of it all, the willingness to ask and to recieve help. What happens to the child?

It isn’t about the physical health but mental health am gravely concerned.

There are so many kids who grow up, even within a two parent -economically sound home, without physical assurance of love that builds their confidence,  Without appreciation for little “see what I did” . Without a little hug after an angry outburst, who listen to rants and pick up bad language, who in the guise of being independent doesn’t have a parent to correct them , without the teaching of what you ought to do or ought to say to their own friends, to be polite , to be not a bully, to be appreciative of things, to be not opportunistic, to share with others the common resources. To see a parent not condone a bad behaviour in public, but to correct with love.

And we wonder why these bad behaviour permeates through their adolescence into teens.

Every kid has a different personality and behaviour. Am not suggesting we change them, but rather model them to be a good human beings. That is all. To put some effort into Parenting.

PS: I like the concept of a parent workshop. Workshops to check if what you are doing is right and  to give info on how to do better.