Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It develops character

I took out my hibernating-since-the-last-two-years jootis this morning and the little shadow decided to try them on at once.

Quite nice, mother, though I think I would have preferred blue.

Bad joke for today: This picture is literally unsuitable for High Heel Confidential. Hehe. No? Alright, let's move on.

My mom was a great one about letting her quarter-dozen daughters (her words, not mine) play with her things. Saris, make-up, jewellery, nothing was taboo. I remember spending hours with the sisters and cousins, dressing up and playing all sorts of make-believe games. I think part of Mom's Grand Plan (all parents have a Grand Plan, yes, you do too, you just don't know it yet) was to inspire confidence in her kids. She was pretty big on inspiring confidence. Giving kids freedom to mess around with grown-up stuff was part of this plan. Also, I think she may have felt that not making a big deal of things helps kids not give undue attention to them. Now I know why I never did learn to put on make-up.

Other parts of the character development plan included Encouraging Children to Play Sports and Public Speaking. Oh, and Motivating Them to Drive A Vehicle. We will not talk inappropriately about how I crashed my father's car at eighteen.

Music and Sports were the guiding lights of the parenting programme run by M's folks. Apart from sundry sporting activities, they made him learn how to play the violin for eight years.

So my question is this - did your parents propel you towards Personality Enhancement thus? How much of it do you plan to pass on to your kids (current or planned)?

I know Adi can play all he likes with my make-up, clothes and jewellery.


Mama - Mia said...

my parents didnt do nothing for my charachter building! but then calling meself charachterless tho would be unfair to them! :p

M on the other hand went to all sorts of hobby classes and jazz! can draw real well and plays the keyboard (even toy one called CUTIE keyboard!) pretty decently!

Cubby has already mastered the art of asking for lipstick to close the dhakkan and putting it in my purse! sometimes, the finished ones are used as toys and he pretends to apply or throws it depending on his mood! :p

oh and i totally liked HHC joke! :p

Adi man walks in your shoes regularly?!

Anuradha said...

I was pushed into learning carnatic music, and was introduced to watching lots of sports!! The former interest lasted 3 years, and the other continues to this day! :)

As for me, when I have a kid, the plan is to introduce sports (hopefully playing them!), reading, and how to be independent (in thinking and otherwise)!

Goofy Mumma said...

Wow, thanks for the tip. Letting the child playing with anything he wants actually helps, I have been following that based on instinct so far!

Mampi said...

Oh yes, my parents were always like-officers dont walk like that, officers dont behave like that, and look at the officer-she became a bhenji in a college.
My kids will grow up Bindaas ! THATS MY PLEDGE

kbpm said...

How about Sanskrit, and simultaneous mosquito killing sessions?
(the husband is hell bent on passing both on to the child; i am hell bent on avoiding that eventuality, and, while at it, ensuring that no one 'celebrates' her first period by putting jasmines in her hair and inviting the world for a banana leaf meal at Pizza Hut and such other twenty first century atrocities).

tearsndreams said...

I was never pushed into anything or criticized for anything. I wish they had pushed me into sports and public speaking though.
I was such a shy teenager :-(
My grand plans include:
1) Reading- working so far because my 2 and a half year olds daycare teacher asked my husband very seriously if she knows how to read. I don't what made her think that. but she does like to pretend to read to us
2)Public speaking
she will be pushed and brain washed into the above two and encouraged to participate in all sorts of sports

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah...being of an older generation than you, the school took care of sports education, at home activities were restricted to Carnatic music and Bharatnatyam. The dance I stuck at for 10 years as it was my mom's dream (but I hated it! no rigorous practice for me thanks!). Music was stopped only in 12th grade when exam pressure took over...but music was something that was taught almost by osmosis - with various singers in the house, we just picked it up. Other things I swore I would not do, such as embroidery and general stitchery, I now love - go Figure!

With the kids, we started them on music - it will continue as long as it isn't a chore for them - hopefully by then they will have learnt enough to appreciate good music when they hear it :)

The husband plays several sports and introduced the kids to them as he plays (takes them with him to the golf course, for example) - they picked up some, and go to lessons in a sport each (picked by themselves).

As for makeup - daughter hates it, and I am clueless, so it works for us!


cluelessness said...

My dad's dream was that, one day, one of his daughters will take the stage and give a full fledged kutcheri (carnatic music concert). And this is what happened:

Teacher no 1: Very bluntly told my dad that I cannot sing to save my life and sent me home.

Teacher no 2: Taught me for a year, and then got divorced and moved out of town.

Teacher no 3: Wife had a heart attack and he decided to stop teaching music.

After that, my dad just gave up to avoid further calamities.

PS: All the above teacher stories are 100% true and yes, I am that bad at singing.

Vidya said...

aww!That pic was soo cute! My mom forced music on me as a kid,and although I hated it then,glad about it now! I can appreciate music and use it as a stress buster. Singing in front of large crowds used to make me cringe then,but built confidence.

Shobana said...

I don't remember my parents ever doing anything of that sort, except that one time, when they allowed me to tag along with my sis to the typewriting and sewing classes, more as a guardian than anything else.

How much I am willing to allow access to my kid? Anything he wants to explore as long as I can afford it!

Cornycopious said...

Awww, I think Adi is just trying to see how it feels to be in your shoes. Free rein with mommy's stuff = very empathetic kids

Aneela Z said...

learning to play the piano...i broke her heart when i succumbed to peer pressure and gave up. regret that immensely as i play the same three pieces on our piano. fingers crossed the bub and me will take classes the moment he can sit on that stool ( and hopefully he will learn from my mistake).

languages: which im sure she regrets now considering i could be obnoxious in more than three languages!

but what i will always treasure is her "training" of always having THE LIST....of avoiding sentimentality ( difficult for me but at least she inspires me)...and for learning a practical skill like cooking rather than embroidery (aneela you will go blind in your eyes and when you go hungry you cant eat that embroidered napkin runner set)..debatable for some.

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

My parents introduced me to books. That was that. The love affair still continues...

Oh, there was ballet and tap dance, both of which I loved, but which I had to give up since we moved to India.

I feel like I have missed out on a lot by not going for any after school classes. The EO is already learning karate and goes for jr. music classes. And books are a part of his diet as well! Let's see where this goes...

Divs said...

My parents never forced me into anything but my school highly encouraged a LOT of extracurricular activities. So I was the type of child who wanted to do everything and be everywhere.

But I remember I was such a water baby...I always used to push them to take me swimming. Which in those days wasn't easy as you had to go to the only hotel in town which had a pool and pay per hour. So I fulfilled my love for swimming when I went to college and took lessons. That is the one thing I am teaching my 1.5 year old these days...she too, like me, is a water baby. Loves it when she is in the pool. Other than that, I'll let her explore whatever she feels like picking up - just like my parents did.

Parul said...

This was fun! Looks like my theory about the Grand Plan stands proven!

Vidooshak said...

He looks so much like the Cub and does the same things too!!!

Dreading to read the post when he tries on your jewellery. Yeow!

mindspace said...

hey Parul, who is anonymous signed as M?
I have few questions abt carnatic music n bharatnatyam and maybe that person can help...

can u pls chk if u can send me the id at tarabhatt @ gmail dot com

NainaAshley said...

My parents did not encourage us to take up any extracurricular activities for lack of time and money. I hated sports but loved music and dance, always wanted to pursue it but was not allowed. I wonder if it would have helped my confidence levels.(I had pretty low confidence for years... still do t some extent... the only thing that helped it from being at negative levels was the fact that I was good at studies ). So it is my determination to introduce apple to various activities (music, dance, sports) and strongly encourage her to pursue the ones she likes.

Good luck for your exam.

Anonymous said...


I'm M :-) Ask away...Be happy to help, if I can. Parul said once, that she didnt mind her comment space used as a chat board! :-)


Parul said...

mindspace and M - yes, yes, absolutely. Type away.

mindspace said...

Hey Thanks M & P :)

so here me goes-
since you, M spoke about Carnatic music and Bharatnatyam, and at the same time when i read this post n ur comment, i was chatting with a friend of mine who is a german girl interested in learning BN in germany who wanted me to give her an idea if the dresses listed in the link above are priced okay etc.

I am in no position to guide her obviously coz i know nothing abt it. could you by any chance be interested in helping her in this? she is a sweet girl never failing to amuse me by her love for Indian language, culture and everything. I dont want her to be cheated and would want her to get a nice deal.

Its ok if you say u have no idea.. I just thought i would ask u.

Thanks both of you :)