Watch and Learn

 

First, let us all do a happy dance because Parentous is back and is looking fab. While I write almost all the time about other stuff, I really missed writing about my motherhood escapades and about Baby G – something that I only did on Parentous. I don’t know, I just felt it was the place. So yeah, I’m glad we’re back together, Parentous and I.

It has been a while since you read about me and Baby G, so you should know that she is 2.5 years old now and is talking nonstop. Remember how I was dying for her to start speaking? Yeah, I want to take it back. She is now talking so much, even thinking aloud, that I sometimes reminisce about the golden times when she just said a few words and was done for the day. Ah, good times! Now, she repeats everything we say. Everything. It’s damn cute though, so I’m not always complaining.

Another thing is – she picks up the things we do, really fast. Like, I will tell her to put her cap back on because it’s cold, and she’ll immediately ask, ‘But you are not wearing a cap! Mommies don’t get cold?’ The husband will ask her to stop playing with her toys during a meal and she’ll point out that ‘Papa talks on the phone at lunch, why?’ When I wipe my hands on my jeans, she does too. Yesterday I dressed her up and said ‘You look pretty.” She turned around, deadpan, and said, ‘No. Fat.’

I was shocked. I had no clue what this was all about until the husband pointed it out.
Yes, it is exactly the dialogue exchange that happens between us whenever we go out. He will say I look good and I’ll pull a face and say nope, I’m fat. The fact that she picked up on this broke my heart.

Never before in our two and a half years of parenthood, have we understood the true meaning of this phrase like we do now:
“Don’t tell kids what to do, show them.”
So true.

Kids are observant. They watch and learn. Telling them to do one thing and showing them by actions, are two totally different things. And guess which has a bigger impact on them? Yes, showing. Actions do speak louder than words, and when there are children involved, I hope we mind our actions even more.

So, we have decided to show her what to do, instead of telling her. There are so many things she is already picking up, which are nice. Like, whenever I read a book, she picks one out of her shelf (yes, she is two and a half and she already has a book shelf!) and reads too. When the husband holds the door open for me, she attempts to do the same. When she accidentally drops a toy on the floor, she shrieks Oh My Godddd! because that’s what I do whenever I drop my phone. Learning by watching is what kids do, so let’s make sure we give them all the good lessons as practicals, as opposed to just theory.

Here are a few things that we’ve decided to do more of, and I’m sharing these with you too.

  • Reading is a habit kids develop early in life. Almost every reader you meet will tell you they started young. So read to your kids. Read with them. Read more. Read.
  • Sorry, Thank you, Please. Using these golden words will teach them more than just reminding them every time. ‘Thank you so much for this, I’m sure she’ll love it!’ is much better than ‘Honey, say thank you to Aunty, she gave you a gift! Say it. No! Say it now!’ While talking to your husband, saying ‘Please change the channel.’ Is better than ‘Give me the bloody remote.’ Right? Haha.
  • Eating well. You cannot be telling your child to finish up her carrots while stuffing yourself with fries now, can you? It’s just not fair. Healthy eating should be inculcated by example.
  • Manners. Baby G is already insisting on eating with a fork, thanks to her fauji father. Manners are important. Show it to your kids by practice.
  • Sense of self. I see a lot of mothers do all the thinking on their kid’s behalf. It is just not right. Don’t force your decisions on the kids, instead, encourage them to think and decide. Tell your kid to pick out her dress for an outing. Let her colour out of the lines. Let her talk backwards for a week. Let her name her doll Rabbit instead of Cinderella. I mean, what’s the issue in all this? As long as it’s not a negative thing, let kids make up their own mind because this is how they learn who they are, and the sooner, the better.
  • Compassion. If you are passionate towards your work, your kids will learn. If you show compassion towards a cause – be it world peace or organic gardening – it will seep in to your kid’s behaviour. Teach them to care about others by caring for people in your life. Give them compassion; God knows the world needs more of it.
  • Tolerance. In a world where people are killing and dying in the name of religion, it is very important to teach the lesson of tolerance to kids. What is this world without acceptance, without the appreciation of a different school of thought? Coexisting is becoming tougher day by day and it will only stop when the coming generations aren’t biased, but self assured and tolerant.
  • Positivity. Last, and most important on my list is being positive. This something you can NEVER teach kids by plain words. I mean, what will you even say – be positive? How does that even work? No. To teach your kids positivity, you have to be positive people. In order to instill positivity in kids, you have to practice positivity every day of your life. And it is so important that I insist you start today.

I can go on a add a lot more pints to this list, but these are the most important ones and also, Baby G wants to sing a song she just made with two words – 1. Blue 2. Fish, and the performance awaits. I’ll see you soon, and meanwhile, you tell me what you think of the list. Am I right or am I right? Haha, I’m so damn positive, see? Hee hee. Okay bye.
*shows herself out*
*Blue fish. Bluefishfishfish. Bluuuueeee Fisssshhhhh. Blueblueblue Fissssshhhhh. La la la Fish.*

Aditi Mathur Kumar is the author of Westland’s celebrated book on the Army Wife life, Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s Life. Aditi was born on Feb the 14th and since then it has all been awkward for her. An ex-advertising girl, an irregular blogger, a fanatic Army Wife and a real-life social person, and a wannabe-supermom to Gauri, Aditi has now decided to write more. So far, so good. Stalk her at Monologue or @adicrazy on Twitter.