Monthly Archives: March 2011

The 21 day challenge.

Akank has a sharp temper and a short fuse. She realizes too that she needs to do something about it. As long as things go her way, she will be the sweetest kid on this side of town. But things don’t always go her way and we have situations that make her angry and furious.

For one it is her hair. A year back she was fine with braiding, oiling, brushing it twice and letting me handle it for her. Now, she wants to brush it on her own, wear it her way, don’t even mention oiling. She still wants to grow her hair long but she won’t braid it and has these side flicks that she calls ‘bangs’ that has to fall in a particular way over her forehead, not higher, not lower but somewhere in the middle. So you will often see her adjusting her bangs. I worry that she gives a lot of attention to her hair and when I tell her about it we have a situation.

Then it is the music. No, it is not the choice of music. I have in fact caught up on all the new stars in her generation starting from Bieber to Kesha to Fifie Dobson. It’s the volume with which we have a problem. She is smart enough to close the door to her room when she is listening to music on her iPod dock. However, she gets into trouble with us every time when she is out with us. She almost always never leaves for a dinner, shopping or anywhere we go without her gadget. If we point out to her that she plays her music louder than required, she will show you the volume dial to prove it to us how it is still at 50% and there you have a situation.

Sometimes it is Maxx. Maxx’s exuberance knows no bounds. As long as she is in the mood, Akank will play along. Maxx on the other hand, is always in the mood to play. When Akank is sulking (which would be because we talked to her about her schedules, music or hair), she expects Maxx to understand that it is not the right time to pounce or play tag with her. He continues to do that and there you have a situation.

We have situations during home work. If I observe that her handwriting needs improvement she says ‘ everybody writes like this’. If I observe that her class work looks incomplete, she says ‘ No one was able to complete it’. Her lunch comes back unfinished because ‘ there was no time to eat’. Her home assignments can be done later because ‘ it is not due till next week’. She won’t revise her lessons because ‘ I have already done it in class’. When she is made to do stuff against her will, we have multiple situations.

When Akank is angry, she does not talk back nor slam doors. She sulks and goes to bed in that mood. This week Akank has taken on a 21 day challenge. Robin Sharma says Follow a new habit religiously for 21 days to make it a permanent habit. It works with me and I am hopeful that it will with Akank. Akank has just completed her 5th night of going to bed a happy person, without sulking, without anger. It hasn’t stopped her from sulking or being angry but we make sure we resolve the situation before she retires for the night.

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Emotions, Trouble


Learning by doing

I love the learning methodologies that Akank is being exposed to in the new school system.  In Humanities, they took the lesson on development a few steps ahead. Akank was asked to read a book by an author who wrote on the subject and she chose Minfong Ho’s “Rice without Rain“. I can tell you with conviction that Akank would never have ventured into reading books like those if it had not been for the school. The best part of the deal was that she loved the book and reviewed it on Shelfari.  At school, Akank is learning to write book reviews in the format followed world wide.  The Grade 6 students were invited by the tutor to open accounts at Shelfari to review books that they have read and share it with the others. The Humanities lesson on development began with the hunger banquet, the role playing of families from different parts of West Africa and it progressed to building shanties with recycled material. Akank took rags, shoe boxes, milk cartons and everything she could find her hands on that qualified as scrap to contribute to building material for the shanty that her group had to build. Last week, they were taught to make envelopes from newspapers using home made glue, that they could trade off to the teachers to break away from the poverty cycle. It is as real as it gets. I think this methodology of learning the concept of what it means to have less makes a huge impact on learning and retaining what is learnt.

I wish more schools in India could teach subjects like Social studies with more creative approaches that will change the way our children comprehend social studies instead of regarding it as just another subject one has to learn till Grade 10.

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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in School, updates