TUNING INTO YOUR CHILD

My daughter was a very tough baby. She was colicky and used to cry for hours. She wanted to be held all the time and for pretty much the first three years of her life, she was within six inches of me almost all the time.  That was exhausting on many days, and soon became part of life. My son, on the other, hand was an easy baby. He would sleep in his bed and I had a much easier time with him as a baby. And then they grew up. Now the roles are reversed.

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We had decided with my daughter that she would pick Hindi as a second language. We were very particular that she should learn it and she has to deal with it no matter how hard it is, no matter how tough to score, no matter the fact that we don’t speak Hindi at home and we cannot teach her ANYTHING. She struggles through it. We wanted the same for our son. My husband and I feel handicapped not knowing Hindi and we thought our kids WILL learn Hindi till 10th grade.

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 My son, hates Hindi and it is not a casual Hindi-is-my-least-favourite-subject kind of a hate. It is a crying to study, rolling on the floor that it is ‘unfair that he has to study Hindi’ type of resistance. I had to engage a tuition teacher for him because he was scoring so poorly in school. To get him to go to those tuition classes was like getting a tiger to eat a carrot. He would feign stomach pain, a leg injury, fever, sore throat or hope for an outside chance that I have forgotten that it is tuition class that day. He would do anything to get out of that class. He hated it with a passion. I never had this issue with my poor daughter who would go to any class that I enrol her in whether she liked it or not. She is also not a fan of Hindi, but she has a sense of resignation about it. My son does not believe in the policy “What cannot be cured, has to be endured”.  He believes in “What cannot be endured, has to be resisted until a cure is found”.  “YOUR son is so stubborn”, I complained to my husband and in his characteristic way he replied “Think how awesome a trait this would be, when his peer group is trying to get him to smoke!!”

It is hard when kids don’t do what we want them to do. We BELIEVE they should go for certain classes. We BELIEVE they should eat certain kinds of food. We BELIEVE THAT they should possess certain traits and when they don’t, we are so disappointed and crushed.  It is hard for us to let go of our beliefs and principles when the child that we have been blessed with simply refuses to conform to any of the ideas that we pride ourselves in.

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I have enrolled my daughter in a dozen classes of varying kinds. She would quietly go for everything.  When I told my son that I wanted to enrol him in classical singing he said “I am doing cricket coaching now. I don’t want to do anything else. I can only do one thing at a time”. He was 7 years old when he said that. Today he is 9 and has requested me to send him for guitar lessons. That is the only way that will work with THIS child. HE has to request. I cannot MAKE HIM do ANYTHING. I can either pride myself on what a clear headed kid he is, or bang my head against the wall and make every day a battle. So finally we decided to pick FRENCH as the second language and Hindi as the third language for my son. My ideals are awesome, but I value my peace more!

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