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About R and of being a parent

What is it with boys and cars?? R just cannot get enough of cars. Even when he was as young as one and a half yr old, he'd recognize the kind of vehicle (a car, truck, bike or auto) that would pass by below with the kind of noise they generated. The passion for cars has only grown over time and now he can recognize more than a dozen car brands along with the name of the manufacturer and the model. Though, it was me who lead him through the various models at our parking lot, the little student has gone ahead of the teacher. While I still need to look at the model label at the back for certain cars, R, seems to know it from the symbol and the shape of the car! A learning experience for me too, I'd say. 

If earlier, R spent a good deal of time watching the nursery rhymes and ABCs on the computer, now he is pouring it all out as a constant background score. The Wheel on the bus goes round and round is currently the hot favourite and my nerves are under immense pressure with the constant chime of the rhyme at all times of the day. This is besides the 'whats' and 'whys' that are thrown in for good measure.

Resisting for everything and anything has become second nature to R. Looks like it is a part and parcel of the tantrum age. From getting his teeth brushed to bathing to wearing his diaper to even getting ready for play, everything has become a matter of tug-of-war. His favourite word has shifted from "maatain" (No) to "vaendam" (No or don't want). Ask him anything and pat comes this reply. It can be fit into any phrase, any situation. It can sound completely meaningless and out of sync in certain situations. For instance, if he doesn't understand your question or doesn't want to answer, he'd just say "Vaendam". At other times, it simply becomes a chant like "amma vaendam/ appa vaendam/school vaendam/ etc etc".

He's growing up because he is no longer our baby who welcomes kisses and hugs anytime and every time. He's begun to assert himself even in this. I cannot cuddle, kiss or just hold him tight and close without his wish. He'll simply pull out of my embrace and say kisshi vaendam (no kisses) or konja vaendam (don't cuddle). Hmph!
Some amount of aggression (with us parents) is emerging too as is evident when he uses more of his hands and arms to convey his displeasure or discontent. Although he is still careful and reticent with kids outside of his "known circle", he was in particular bossy and boisterous with his cousin (my niece), when she was here. Is it a way of communication or a way to show that he considers you close enough? Either way, we are trying to deal with this behaviour.

Talking of dealing with parenting issues, one thing that bothers me is the way our (cannot generalize but I can talk for myself) parenting techniques reflect our behavioural pattern or temperament. I am a person who is innately reserved and withdraws when confronted with a more dominant or strong personality. Although now, after some conscious effort put in, I've been able to curb my innate tendencies, to be assertive and positive in my approach while dealing with people. But the inherent nature to hold myself back or to be unable to be myself in new surroundings is in some ways being trickled into R's upbringing. This happens more when I am myself at a place where the mother is a mere acquaintance and not a close friend of mine. I feel it is unfair on R and it will confuse him further on the right and wrong way of behaving. The saying, Might is right, cannot be more true for Gen Y and my heart fears for kids who are by nature a little soft and tolerant of others' misbehaviour. Our parents taught us to show restraint even when hit but to impart the same lesson to our kids seems like a crime. They also need to know that it is OK to retaliate in self-defense. And, how then to impart this education without it back-firing?

Comments

  1. Super on the car recognition...thats great for his age rey

    and about the veendams...its still not ended at 4...if not anything, R is getting worse, thanks to the MIL being here to keep supporting her for everything, the brat now takes her grandmom for granted and continues the bad behaviour..thats a post in itself :(

    Our behaviour definitely have an effect on the children, whether we teach it to them, or they just observe...I really cant think of a way of 'not' influencing them!

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    1. you think so?? I've heard some kids do it, though.
      I agree, we don't have an option on that. They observe and learn any way. But sometimes they also inherit certain qualities, no?

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  2. Oh yes! What is it with boys and cars? My nephew is already talking about driving the car with the rest of us sitting as passengers :) He would sit on his dad's lap for the first few minutes of every drive, holding the steering ..
    Or even men and automobiles for that matter .. That gender seems to automatically take to anything that runs on wheels or anything that has wires .. Weird I tell you ..
    That I paint my nails carefully even though it takes half an hour and have paranoia over my skin and hair is not to quoted here :)
    (Psst .. In a hushed tone into your ears .. We are weird in our own way aren't we? ;))

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    1. what you say is true. In some aspects, the gender does take over..
      psst..am paranoid about my skin and jair too..;-) :-)))

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  3. Oh! Uma, the last paragraph is so true for me! I too think a bit before I speak up in such situations.... And I see both my kids are very different, while my elder one is a bit soft and non-aggressive and would not fight back, I insist she tells so and so not to play roughly or play fair, basically be more vocal and assertive. And so far, I have not had to worry about my younger one who will go right up to the face of the bully, never mind his/her size, and make her indignation clear in no uncertain terms, till they back off! But kids are always learning from us......though it may not be obvious......so do say/teach them stuff, it will be retained somewhere!

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    1. LOL @ lil'G..guess she made up for her big sis. Kids learn from us..that's why am scared all the more ;-) :-)))

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  4. This post brought a smile to my face :) :)
    As far as the concern for parenting styles and what to teach your children, trust me, kids are smart! They can figure out things for themselves - none of us were born with a manual...we figured out the exceptions and the generalizations as we grew up - R will do that too :) :)

    And if you don't want your child to hit others just make a rule applicable for everyone in the house "We will not hit each other." This rule is not special just for your child - you and your husband will be following it too :) Similarly if you want your child to eat what is on his plate, ensure everyone else in the house is doing the same thing...If you are making him drink milk, take a cup of chai and say "We will finish whatever is in that cup." I can go on and on but you get the gist :) :) Once he has mastered these, then you can move down to exceptions and specifics - take the aid of stories :) :) They go a long way in imparting social skills and life lessons :D

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    1. I know Divya, they are actually quite smart these days and will figure out things on their own.
      I guess there is no trouble establishing rules. It is the exceptions that cause some hiccups :-))

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  5. Am sure you must be a proud mom of a prodigy at home, Uma:)

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    1. err...prodigy??? am not so sure, though it sounds very nice to the mother's ears :-)))

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  6. Whatever we do consciously or unconsciously, ultimately our basic values and insights will reflect on our kids and they will imbibe it unknowingly. When we think of how much of our parents we have in us and increasingly so as we grow older, isn't this true?
    Just let him be and nudge him in the right direction and the rest will be taken care of. End of the day, that's all we can do as parents :-)

    Btw, even I am not getting email updates on your new posts, wonder what's wrong :-(

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    1. "Just let him be and nudge him in the right direction and the rest will be taken care of. End of the day, that's all we can do as parents"

      words of wisdom, Bindu!
      Looks like Blogger and Wordpress are trying to outdo each other ;-)

      Delete
  7. Enjoy the fun.R seems smart and has his way.Forget about parenting.He is too young to be controlled.Make sure he eats well andtell him stories if he can follow.He is a blessing to you.

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    1. Wow..I loved your advice. While I do have fun with him mostly, there are times when I self-doubt and worry if am in the right direction :-)

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  8. You know Uma the best thing about your posts is the simplictity and honesty which reflects in each and every word. It is such a heart warming post. R seems to growing now screaming vendam at the top of his voice for everything under the sun..!!

    Have fun... :)

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    1. awww..Me, thanks for the kind words.
      yes, vendam is the current key word :-)))

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  9. hmmm... R reminds me of a child who used to come to my mom for baby sitting. That guy was shy and we had to do a lot to make him befriend us. One day we just took him to the balcony since we had exhausted all our ways to make him smile/ talk. and as soon as he saw cars pass by, how animated he became!!!!

    R is smart... I think all these kids are smarter in this age than we were. probably all the prenatal vitamins we took? anyway, i think as R learns new ways in life, you too will learn how to be a parent. No amount of theory gyaan from people helps. its out n out hands on experience. Advice can just be used as a reference tool. Each kid is unique, so is each parent. :)

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    1. Actually R is a very social and friendly guy. It takes me little time to mingle with new people.
      you guys are right. I should just let him be. He'll figure out everything by himself. Kids are really smarter these days.
      And each child is unique and so each experience unique..:-)
      thanks, Purnima...so, when's the blogathon?????

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    2. sorry the second sentence should read "him"
      instead of "me"...sheesh :-)

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  10. Ah, finally figured out the problem! Seems to be an issue with Chrome. Now I'm using IE :)
    Nice post, Uma. R seems to be taking the trajectory of the typical boy. I highly recommend Richard Scarry's books for him - in case he doesn't have them already. I think there is a title called "all about cars and trucks". Sometimes you have to fuel the obsession in order to get rid of it :)

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    1. Glad, the issue got resolved :-) Firefox is good too.
      oh, we don't have any Richard Scarry..thanks for the suggestion. Will look out for these the next time.
      I see, fueling obsession, huh? of course who'll know better ;-):-))

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  11. Hi Uma

    Very true, Parenting can be confusing and Same Pinch for Wheels on the Bus!

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    1. welcome here, Jayashree!
      Oh The wheel there too??..!!! :-)))
      hope to see you around, Jayashree..:-)

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  12. I am with you on this Uma. I think these days it is all about fighting for your own self. You got to match up to others' potential if not win over and unfortunately the children are exposed to competition way sooner these days. You know, all these emotional challenges, they rise taller whenever we identify our own and have to hide in front of kids. I think they can sense.

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    1. We try to be fair but when others are not, it is frustrating to educate your kid to be fair. I wish street-smartness were a lesson in school :-0

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  13. I really didn't know what to comment/advice. I myself am a struggling mom of two. But, it's true. We are the reflection of our parents. And our kids will be the reflection of us. The cycle never stops. Only that we have to realise what's the bad impact on them and try to rectify..:)
    And I agree about fighting back. These days, if your kid does not retaliate, he's stamped with some problem. Well, even if he does, he's stamped with a disorder.(That's an altogether diff. story).
    And the car thing, it's in their genes. Boys, cars, nuts, bolts, guns, gadgets is all they can think of. :)

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    1. I hear you FiF! Whatever you do these days as a parent comes back to you *times. It is tough! :-)

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  14. OMG Uma, reading the first paragraph reminded me of something nearly similar I wrote about S :). Boys!!

    Don't worry about the parentint stuff much Uma, we just do the best we can. Just like we learnt along with life, they will too ;). Atleast this is what I tell myself every time I have such thoughts.

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    1. that reminds me about the post you wrote where S slept with guns and swords under his pillow! looks like those days are nearing with R :-0 :-))
      yeah, Aparna..I guess I should stop analyzing myself and just let it be. We can only do as much :-)

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  15. A cute boy you have got there Uma :) i agree with you.. it is a confusing state.

    -Jas

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    1. hey Jas, Thanks a lot :-)
      welcome here. Hope to see you around..:-)

      Delete
  16. My daughter too recognizes cars, though she doesn't know the brands, but she can identify cars that are similar to Papa's car, Dada's car, Aaja's car, Didi's car. So whenever she sees a similar car (even in different colour) she starts saying the name :)
    You know what, Zini to sometimes gets angry, throws tantrum and in process throws things...I don't how this started, she has not started her school and none of us do that..But probably as you said, this a phase, i hope that it passes soon....
    Oh and "No" is a favorite word in our household also :(

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    1. Hey techie2mom, your comment went into the spam for some reason :-(
      gr8 to know that your girl too recognizes the cars.How old is she?
      The throwing things is definitely a phase although it takes a lot on our part to show restraint and calm while handling the child at that time. Even I hope the tougher phases ease out soon and smoothly :-)
      Welcome here, techie2mom! hope to see you around :-)

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  17. My daughter is 2 years old....Sure will stick around :)

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    1. thanks, ZM!
      btw, I think you need to remove the (http://techie2mom.wordpress.com/)link against your name while commenting. I think this is the reason your comment keeps going into the spam.

      Delete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Training little humans for life is one big task. A very daunting one at that. You have to make sure he or she neither becomes the bullied nor the bully. I find myself thinking a lot about all this. You have company, Uma. :)

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    1. hey Divya, sorry for the late response. I somehow missed replying to your comment :-(
      Exactly my concern, Divya. and thanks for the company :-)

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  20. It is indeed a daunting task to bring up a child well... to ensure he turns into a well-rounded, straightforward, yet confident human being. Loved your post! Following your blog now :)

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    1. Thanks Ash for being here :-). Indeed it is a tough (er) job for parents today.

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