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Category Archives: Trouble

Say no to giggle attacks

Being giggly has never been something that anyone worried about. Not when you were a girl. Girls outgrew their giggly selves around high school or about the time when they find out that being giggly was not lady like. A few weeks back, I found out that like everything else that changes, giggles from girls who hadn’t yet become lady like, has become unacceptable. Especially when they were on the way to school in the school bus.

Akank had warned me about a proverbial storm brewing between the bus aunty and two of them (her friend and herself). I discouraged Akank from challenging the lady in charge of the discipline en route to school. Yet, a few days later, I did come to hear of it from the management of the school transport.The message was – ” The girls are allowed to whisper. But thëy ought to realize that there are other children in the bus and their loud giggles disturb the driver and the other children”.

Much to Akank’s indignant surprise, we took the side of the school transport management. A few more weeks went by smoothly. When I went back one morning to check on the status with the bus driver, he whispered – As long as one of them is not on the bus, there is no trouble. But the moment they get together, they are back at it again. And just to make it sound less unfair, he added – It is not your daughter, maám. It is the other girl! ( at that instant I knew he had said the same thing to the other parent)

I don’t want to admonish Akank for giggling in the bus with a dear friend that she loves spending time with.

I don’t want to call the transport management to request them to change the preassigned seat for Akank to some place closer to the front of the bus so that she will never giggle again.

I don’t want to blame the bus authorities for being non indulgent to giggly girls.

Instead I have asked Akank to cheerfully greet the bus aunty and the driver in the mornings when she boards the bus.

Instead I have made Akank realize that they wake earlier than she does in the mornings, just to make sure she reaches school on time

Instead I have asked Akank to respect the authority that their jobs give them to make sure everyone is safe in the bus until they reach the destination.

I know Akank thinks I am  ‘totally unfair’ yet I hope that she never gives up giggling. Not until she becomes a lady 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Growing up, Trouble

 

Being 12 is not easy.

Another school year has begun. Akank turned a year older too. So we have a 12 year old in Grade 7 at home now. Not any 12 year old, please be assured. An assertive, confident, knows what she wants 12 year old. I wonder if it is the entire generation that is like this or it is the environment and the peers that make them the way they are. Gone are the days when what we said was irrevocably accepted as rules. Now everything we say is challenged, questioned and scientifically examined. Unless we can back up anything we say with a plausible explanation, the idea is not considered. Not much works because ‘I said so’ anymore.

For a long time now, our conversations have bordered on the lines of yelling. Another reason why I have not enthusiastically updated my blog. What do I tell my blog? That I have issues with my 12 year old? I am not able to make her see reason anymore? She is grown up now and does not have to listen to reason anymore? But memories of her growing up has to be recorded somewhere for posterity. So that someday when she has her own children to bring up, this could serve as a guide. To show her that she was not easy at 12 either.

What are the things we argue about, you may ask. Well, where do I begin? You don’t remain a favorite parent when you repeatedly refuse to allow her to take her iPod classic to school. Listen to this –

Akank -Everyone has an iPod.

Me – So do you Akank.

Akank – What is the point of owning one when you cannot take it to school?

Me – Word. But when you are sending a $400 dollar worth gizmo to school with a 12 yo, one is not too sure you will see it again.

Akank- Oh come on ma, no one is interested in my iPod Classic. They all have an iPod touch!

And so it goes on.

She has been wanting an iPod touch ever since her last want was met. She wanted a Yamaha digital piano instead of her PSR keyboard which “didn’t do any justice to her maturing music skills”. “I need higher octaves to practice my music and my hand span can accommodate more keys now. I won’t ask for anything more if you buy me a digital piano!” What we missed was the I won’t need anything more…. ‘for a few months’.

Then began the request for an iPod touch. “I am not asking for an iPad ma. Everyone has an iPod touch! It is so cool to be able to download apps and play games when I am on the bus. It gets really boring on the way to school”. She managed without the iPod touch for a few months with the iPad I own. She downloaded about fifty games among which I kept losing sight of the few apps I downloaded.

On her 12th birthday, her dad indulged her with the gizmo of her dreams- a snazzy smart iPod touch. We even let her take it to school on her birthday. That evening she came back home to tell us  that her ‘social life rocked’. However, it did not take too long for her to go from ” You guys are the best “to “You are so mean” when we refused her the permission to carry it to school everyday. Now it is back to “Can I take my iPod classic at least?”

The latest quest is for an account on Facebook. I have denied her an account for a year now and she was alright with the rule that she had to be 13 to have an account. Now that she is in her 13th year, she has stopped seeing reason. So it goes –

Akank -When can I have a Facebook account, ma?

Me -Not until you are 13, love. You know the rules?

Akank – All my friends are on FB. They are all bonding and sharing and doing fun stuff there.

Ma -There is nothing special happening on FB plus you meet your friends at school everyday. Bond with them there.

Yesterday when she got back from school she had this to say to me – ‘I have a message from my friends for you ma. They asked me to tell you to hurry up with the decision to allow me to have an account on Facebook’.

Sigh. I am giving up fighting. I don’t want to be thought of as mean because I didn’t allow my daughter on Facebook. I have agreed to allow her to open an account with a few plausible conditions.

I will soon have a 12 yo as friend on my Facebook list of friends.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Conversations, Emotions, Growing up, Trouble

 

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

 

Great expectations?

I need a reality check. Is it unrealistic to expect 11 year olds to be organized? I am only talking about organization skills related to time tables. Every evening I remind Akank to check her time table for the next day so that she can pack her school bag overnight. When we were kids, our dad would be a dictator when it came to packing our school bags. We couldn’t retire for the night until we kept our school bags all packed and ready for the next day however exhausted we were after home work and revisions.

I am not even close to being autocratic with my daughter. She does not even carry any books to school. This school she attends believes in working online and whatever books she is given is over the weekend or once a fortnight to revise. So all she needs to check every night is whether her pencil pouch, her school organizer and sun hat is packed along with whatever school assignment that she had for the day. Invariably, I always find either the pencil pouch or the organizer or the sun hat left behind after she leaves. Some days, like today, I find all three stacked on the dining table , near where her bag was, and left behind.  Today she also left her log book from camp that she diligently wrote everything in last evening,  back with the rest of the stuff.

I have two choices. Feel bad for her that she was going to have to explain to her class teacher about her forgetfulness ( and which class teacher of which 11 yo is going to be happy about that?) or cab it to school that is 20kms away and hand it to the school office and request them to send it to her. I am voting for the first option with my mind and the second with my heart. Looks like my heart will win over this time.

But do you think that will send the wrong message to Akank that she can be saved even when she is in definite trouble- both at home and at school?

I am a mom in dilemma today.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2010 in Emotions, Trouble