Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Thursday, May 17, 2007

baby blues

visited my cousin sisters today. my dad’s younger sister’s girls. after quite some time, like 3 years. The elder sister (still younger to me…bah… doesn’t matter) just had her second child, a very minute boy of barely 10 days.
her daughter is around 4 years old and like most of her current generation, quite a pocket dynamo.

which brings me to the subject of this post. why are current 2-6 year olds all pocket dynamos?
this term is loosely used to denote hyperactive, smart, tantrum throwing and tough to handle kids. all this is in comparison to what we remember of ourselves (which should not be too much) and closer, kids of the 90s.
some of the obvious facts are:
1. lot of television, especially the hyper violet cartoon networks
2. sugar dosage through colas and candies
3. peer group influence (neighbour-has-birthday-party-and-so-I-need-one-too type)
4. super indulgent parents and grandparents

some of the other insights from my experience and ‘expertise’
1. little to negligent ‘alone’ time. too much accompanied child-rearing by the parents is killing the concept of unsupervised learning. this is the building block of curiosity and trying to figure out for oneself.
2. fear of hurt. This is a tough challenge for anyone. Letting kids rough it out and get knocked and bruised a bit is essential for building general body immunity as well as a healthy respect for things that inflict such hurt (like fire, ground, iron, wood, etc)
3. uniformity of rules. Since there are multiple care givers, it is imperative to have a set of rules formed which is then uniformly applied. Kids are always able to identify the weakest link and keep attacking there (remember jurassic park 1 when the raptors are checking out the electric fence).
4. ignoring hypersonic screams. with their powerful vocal chords and abilities to move into 'bat' sonic frequencies, kids hold auditorily unchallenged (those 'sound' of hearing) adults to ransom. for them this is the astra (weapon) for getting things their way. i have not managed to try this effectively, but ignoring is the best tactic for parents. not always, mind you, but when the parents recognises that the scream is a scare tactic and not a real call for help.
5. no reprisals. i do see kids who thrash (rapid limb movement with little to nil aim) around a lot really trying to hit the other person. while tv plays a role in moulding this kind of response, adults also inadvertently inculcate the concept of revenge. say when kid fall down and starts bawling. most responses i have seen, the adult inflicts a beating on the 'hurter' (namely floor, desk etc) to assuage the crying kid. bad move. technically, the 'hurter' is not at all at fault. and hence 'punishing' them totally gives the kids the wrong ideas.
i say, use 'both-are-hurt' funda and hence both need to be treated.

the perfect parent is one who has all the theoretical knowledge and has no kids of his/her own. – a quote from readers digest.

i qualify. this is post no. 101. so that way at least :-)


Vanessa said...

Good. Some Indian is scoring a century on some pitch.

Really, i had superb fundas about child-care 3 years back. And now, i have struggle to keep my temper, whatever happens.
The only advantage is i simply adore my mother now. I was just the pocket dynamo u mention, even though none of the reasons u mention were valid in my case. Naturally my daughter has to be a step ahead....

Wd said...

Haha! Loved the last Line!