Did you receive medals for being a mediocre student?

Did you receive medals for being a mediocre student?

The trend of awarding kids with trophies or medals for their outstanding achievement in academics and co-scholastic areas started in 1970s. This came to be known as ‘self-esteem movement’. Idea was to boost the child’s self-image.

Parents would soon join the race to appreciate their talented child. Relatives in blood relation or otherwise would also be a part of appreciating the child for a unique talent seen during the formative years of life. This would be more so in collectivistic cultures like India. It would be an ulterior motive of these important stakeholders in the child’s life to fulfil the prophecy of making him/her an engineer or a doctor or a footballer or an artist…

Well, life always has something else to offer. How often were we surrounded by a bed of roses?

The child is going to have a stress-free life and the accolades earned during the school would really secure him/her. Who can guarantee? Apparently, no one! Even a genius like Albert Einstein had to experience his share of hardship. He died being a Nobel laureate but not for his contribution of theory of relativity.

The harder truth is that no amount of accolades, achievement certificates or trophies or verbal praise would develop a child as a ‘resilient’ being.

I wonder if the self-esteem movement churned out people with really high self-esteem? How about those performers who never managed to bag trophies and they were to be identified in the ‘average cadre’?

The self-esteem movement has creeped in institutes of higher education and not only kindergarten. I am confident to say this for my subcontinent India.

In our lifetime, sometimes we have all been appreciated for our efforts and sometimes rejected or criticised. Sometimes, we didn’t really deserve an appreciation but still received it and sometimes we deserved to be appreciated but someone else bagged it.

We had all such experiences as a child. Wouldn’t you agree? It all seems to be a muddled approach to boost our self-esteem as a child.

Don’t you think it is time to re-evaluate our approach? Pour-in your ideas readers..

Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.

― Anne Frank

Why school trips are a must for students?

Why school trips are a must for students?

Children have a different level of excitement and physical energy that we adults can’t match. Trips are a good way to channelise the same energy the right way. 

Children also get used to routine life and enjoy their comfort zone of family, friends and teachers. Short trips with peers gives them an opportunity to leave their comfort zone. The usual and the routine conversation change during the trips.

 More or less students engage bathing, eating, sleeping without an adult supervision. Just that they have to be on time to get started for the day. 

Children may just talk and just talk during trips. But, it does indicate a continuous practice of one or the other social skill. A shy student may ask you to pass salt and pepper on the table. A shy one may also find another lost soul on the trip and thus make a friend. 
The attention of the students goes to the trees, huts, farms, a fox and so many other objects and thus beginning a conversation with the peers and teachers. The discourse of these conversations can be very short lived but they are worth initiating and listening.

 I witnessed one student of grade 9 to be taking pictures of plums growing in the vicinity and taking few solitude minutes to do the same. The same kid spotted a scorpion hiding under a table. Now, doesn’t this tell me something about the student’s inclination inclination towards nature? 
Readers, do share your insights related to the topic. I will soon be sharing sequence to the blog post. Happy reading!

Parenting and Pets

Parenting and Pets

My uncle was getting transferred abroad and his pet was now going to live with us. This was a female pomeranian adult, Terry. Beautiful, healthy with apparently no behavioral issues. Terry ate well, slept well and loved her walks. She formed a bond with dad and she had no hassle while adapting to a new home. Terry was a family for good seven years and she was truly a darling!

Seven years are no less to have an experience of a pet. However, bringing up a pup from its early days could be contrasting experience. I and my family are bringing up a German Shepherd, Loki. Parenting a human baby or a pup has its own share of happiness and hassles. Pet parents would agree with me… Right?

Loki was barely 40 days old playful pup who just loved to eat, sleep, pee, crap and chew furniture sides. He is on a search mission with mobile nostrils ever since he came to live with us.  Loki created a record of passing stools and urinating in every corner of the house. His favourites being his own mattress, carpets and doormats. Since he was a tiny-miny-cute-little pup we pardoned him. He just appeared to show this juvenile behavior for good two months. Loki just seemed to be an incarnation of a devil with some sort of sadistic intent.

Gradually, Loki stopped peeing in the bed room where he always slept. Thereafter, he stopped peeing in the living room where he met all the family members. There seems to be some pattern to this.

Loki is five months old now and he has spotted a corner in the balcony for his bio-breaks. And he has learned that it is ‘his home too’. It’s truly a good feel for a pet parent.

Well, there has been a blind spot. Loki urinated on one spot in the drawing room. This behavior occurred when he found the doors to the balcony closed. Also, this was an untouched area of the house. I mean, less used by his human friends.

This is my first ever book on animal behavior that I started reading after Loki came home. Patricia B. McConnell, an animal behaviorist in her book ‘The Other End of the Leash’ has given a beautiful chapter on olfactory sense of dogs. And I seemed to have been on the right chapter!

According to Patricia B. McConnell, “We define ‘house’ as bordered by walls, but most dogs seem to define ‘house’ where you spend your time and therefore where the pack’s scent is the strongest. Many of my client’s dogs only went in the back guest room, a place with none of the familiar odors of the family. In most of the cases, simply eliminating the odor of urine and then marking the area with a different scent can get the dog going in the right rest room again. Once the area if odor-free and clean, sit down with your dog and a paperback and spend a little time each day there. In just a few days, that place will smell like a living room instead of a toilet to your pup”.

I tried the trick mentioned by the author and it seems to have work wonders. Six days have gone past and there has been just two episodes when he crapped  in the drawing room. This is a good success rate!

Enjoying the book and so much so growing up with the pup.

I would share more of my experience that relate or unrelate with this beautiful work of Patricia B. McConnell.