Monday, 22 December 2014

Unfathomable Tragedy!!

Like all moms, my heart mourns over the loss of innocent lives in Peshawar school attack.The sorrow   is deep also because I am a Pakistani. Also being a mother, I can  understand the feelings of a mother who nurtures her child right from the moment she conceives him till the last moment of her life. A mother's worries regarding her kids remain till the last breath of her life and imagine, if that very purpose of a mother's life is snatched from her, then a mother' s life becomes useless for her.
The more we watch the photographs of the beautiful children who were brutally murdered only because they were studying in an army governed institution,the more sorrowful we feel.
16 th Dec will always be remembered as a black day because many mothers lost their precious assets today! May Allah keep all the children of the world safe.Ameen

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Homework!!..A viewpoint of a parent

Lately, I have read and heard a lot about the ongoing homework debate.Some people approve the idea of parents' involvement in homework while others favour the recent research stating that the involvement of parents in homework does no good to the kids. On the other hand, there are also some people who deem this homework discussion as a mere squabble.
I,however, being a parent to a six year old daughter have a different take to all of this.

Homework,itself,is not bad:
Homework,in my opinion, is not bad.However, it depends on
1. What sort of homework is given?
2. How homework is done?
The sort of homework, of course, depends on the teacher. It should be free of restriction. By restriction, I mean, having fixed answers like copying answers from a book.Mere copying does no good except if it's given for ameliorating handwriting.


Home time is Parents' time:
I am a strong advocate of the notion that parents should be allowed to teach whatever they want to when kids come home.Plenty of homework leaves no time for kids to interact with their parents.Homework is imperative but it doesn't have to be a daily homework. There should be weekly homework but that homework should be interesting and creative  both for parents and kids. Children should learn something out of it. It should allow kids to give a free vent to their thoughts. Some schools do ask kids to borrow books for a week and then after a week, submit a one page report on that book. Such sort of homework is less hectic and also beneficial for kids teaching them the significance of reading a book and doing work on time.

Homework : Listen, Praise and Correct
I have never been a strict parent asking my daughter to make sentences of my choice. Instead I believe on making homework an interactive activity. Whenever she has to make sentences in her homework, I first ask her to use the given  words in her sentences and then I praise her for her sentences. After that, I tell her politely to correct her tenses and the sentence structure. Some people oppose this idea of correction, saying that this halts creative ideas but parents are the one who have to make sure that their kids learn the right things.If a kid starts writing the wrong tenses and you don't correct him, he will keep doing it because he doesn't know what is right. That is actually making the kids habitual of using the wrong spellings and wrong tenses.

Homework: Brainstorming of ideas
A weekly homework does kids chance of brainstorming ideas with their parents. Kids' parents might be having some ideas which would even outshine the teachers' ideas. Sometimes a parent's way of teaching might be better than the teacher' s way of teaching because a parent understands the psyche of his kid better than the teacher.
Whenever my daughter does creative writing, I am amazed to see her little mind thinking so much. Little minds are no doubt inundated with imagination. First, we discuss about the topic. She gives me her ideas and I tell her about my ideas. Then I leave her to write whatever she wants to. I do check her work later. First, I praise her. Praise is pivotal for kids if you want them to be confident about their work. Then I tell her that though her work is perfect and it doesn't matter if her spellings are wrong, but as I want her writing to be the best, so I  write the correct spellings  at the top of the words.

In a nutshell, homework shouldn't feel like a burden; infact it should give a chance to parents to get acquainted with about how much children have learned in school.Moreover, parents should not dictate their kids in doing the homework but rather help them to get a wider image to the topics on which they have been given homework.And yes, I agree that the daily homework does no good but a weekly homework allowing kids to be creative does wonders!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Finally an Elsa dress!!!


Since I made my daughter watch Disney's Frozen, she discovered a new character for her to follow. When she was three year old, she adored Dora; then came the stage of impersonating Disney's princesses ; later it was Sophia and now everything we purchase for her must have some link with Elsa or Anna.

Sofia the first's fever is not yet over. She keeps on getting me informed that so and so girl brought a resplendent Sophia the first's school bag and every girl was going ga ga over it. This is actually her way of telling me that now I should also get an amazing school bag for her with a new princess's picture printed on it so that every other girl becomes jealous of her. Such things are actually shaping the mentality of our kids. But the good thing is that these princesses come with a nice message for the little girls to follow. As in each Sophia the first's episode, we get a new moral message; likewise in Frozen:sisterly love, focussing on one's strengths and overpowering one's weaknesses  is depicted in an optimistic manner.

For two months, I have been hearing from my daughter to purchase her an Elsa dress and I kept on wondering that where would I get the best Elsa dress from. Last month, she got Frozen's clips pack from her aunt and now the first thing she wanted was an Elsa dress.Recently, I realized that in my search of the best Elsa dress( in terms of quality, style and comfort), I might disappoint my daughter because she only wanted Elsa dress as soon as possible so as to show her friends that she has got it! So I decided to buy whichever Elsa dress is available online and I am delighted that my daughter really liked it.  I gave her a surprise by hiding from her that I had ordered the dress and the expressions I saw when she saw the dress were unmatchable. She was ecstatic. Such is the effect of princesses on little girls. Now the first thing she wants is to rush to her friend's birthday party and show everyone her dress and the matching clips!!

The beauty of childhood lies in being inspired by such characters and then making efforts to follow these characters by being clad in similar clothes. Likewise,if you are parents to little girls, this surely entertains you as well. A daughter is going to make sure that you have a princess in your home!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Amazing Story books I read with my daughter in her vacations: Playing in the Park

Summer vacations are fun and relaxing not only for kids but also for parents. And this time also we had the auspicious month of Ramadan and then came Eid which made the vacations even more cheerful for everyone.

My daughter loves story books and so there are many stories in her drawers we have not read yet. That's because since she was one year old, we started buying small books for her and by the time, she turned two; the first thing she wants while we go out is a story book.

One of very good story books I read with my daughter in these vacations was : Playing in the Park: Level One , My First Experience by B.Jain Publishers. It has simple one line sentences which make reading very easy for 4-5 year olds. It narrates the first time experience of a kid playing in the park. From swings and slides to butterflies, balloons and ice cream, it delineates everything that attract kids towards a park. The illustrations are also beautiful.Moreover,at the end, there is a list of words from the book which your kid can learn to spell and then to write.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Mother Daughter Relationship...Beautiful aspect of Motherhood!


                                                       Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

A mother daughter relationship starts from the day a mom-to-be starts buying pretty frocks for her baby girl. It takes a new turn when that baby girl actually comes into your life. The whole world turns pink for you especially if you are a first time mom.You promise yourself that you will give her the best of everything and raise like a princess ; infact better than that. You make sure that she gets into the best school and is the best dressed kid in her circle. Brushing aside the sad feeling that when she grows up,she will move to some other place after getting married;you just want to make her a responsible and respectable young woman when she grows up.

I am a staunch believer of the fact that daughters are a blessing and those who have even one daughter are truly blessed as they are the most loveable and caring creatures on the earth. A daughter is her mother's best friend. Daughters have a strange emotional link with their parents. When my daughter hugs me, I feel like I am the  luckiest person to have such an adorable daughter. No matter how angry I am, my heart just melts when I am greeted by the cute smiling face of my daughter.

                                                 Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Becoming a mother makes you super sensitive to things you wouldn't give a damn  before stepping into this world of motherhood. You find yourself shedding tears on the pain of those kids who you have never met but just saw their pics on television. The mere thought of a pain suffered by any kid makes a mother sad. Such is the unique feeling of being a mother.

Motherhood is no doubt the purest relation on this earth. My mother has supported me all my life and continues to do so. She is one relation who doesn't demand sorry from me even if I misbehave as I know she loves me more than I love her. And I hope to do the same for my daughter as we, the moms need to be a strong role models for our little girls so that they can proudly say to their kids that my mom loved me the most and I know that she was and would always be there for me!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Goody Bags!!! Do they have to be necessarily extravagant??


Goody Bags is a term with which I first became acquainted when I was six years old and I attended a birthday party with my parents( when my father was posted abroad) but I understood its real meaning when my daughter started her preschool. When your child is 2-3 years old then she is least bothered about the things that are in birthday goody bags but as soon as she becomes a year or two older, the first thing you listen is that your kid wants gender specific and really nice goody bags for her friends. If Barbie is your girl's favorite cartoon character then you can't give that goody bag to boys in the class and if Ben 10 is your boy's favorite cartoon character, then you have to buy separate goody bags for girls. One thing that excites the children the most while going to any birthday party is no doubt the goody bag that they are going to receive at the party.

Mostly parents especially mothers make sure to make their kids happy by buying things of their kid's choice for the goody bags he has to present to his friends on his birthday. Money is spent frivolously on birthdays these days. Goody bags nowadays mean a status symbol for many parents. Birthdays are considered incomplete without goody bags. Goody bags or Birthday giveaways  are no doubt a source of happiness for kids but I believe that they should be made with love while considering the things that would make the children actually happy without considering their brand value.Saying this, I am also against the useless things which are nothing but only crap or junk. Good things don't necessarily have to be exorbitant. People go over the board to buy expensive items as the birthday giveaways in order to make their kid's birthday the most talked about birthday in their circle.

In my opinion, for making an ideal goody bag (which is also economical) for kids 3-6 years old , you can put the following things:

  • A small pack of color pencils and a small coloring book
  • Chips and a small pack of biscuits/ a chocolate/ a lolly pop
  • Eraser and a Sharpener or a small writing pad
  • Two or three writing pencils

I haven't included juices in the above list as you would obviously be serving juices to kids at the party. Though many people put chewing gums and candies in the goody bags,I  wouldn't recommend them as they won't be suitable for small kids. Some people do include items like whistles, small toys and balloons : it all depends on your and your kid's choice ( because it's her birthday!). Another option for goody bags is buying money boxes for kids which can then be filled with eatable items like a small pack of biscuits , a chocolate and any other item you wish. In this way, children would also be having useful things apart from the eatable items.
And you can always  put a thank-you note  showing your appreciation for the kids and their parents who came to attend your kid's birthday party.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Thinking of redecorating your kid's room?


                 
                                         
The first thing you hear when your preschooler makes fast friends at school and goes to her friend's house is the comparison between her room and her friend's room. You get to hear that your daughter's friend's room is a paradise consisting of everything while your daughter's room despite containing every luxurious toy is empty and looks tasteless. Now here is where we, moms get to play an important role. Five six year olds are innocent little beings and obviously you can't force them to understand that their room looks the best. Here are some things which we, the moms can do to bring a smile on our kid's face.
  • One thing to always remember is that a clutter free room will always look good and make the kids automatically  calm so make sure that all the tiny toys are packed in a toy box or are placed in some wall hanging.
  • Painting the room is an essential aspect especially when the walls are not as clean as they should be. I love feature walls and you can have them according to your and your kid's choice. You should always ask you kid when choosing the colour as the room is her place and also because such tiny things make your kid confident from the start and help in making her decisive.
  • There is no need to bring new toys for a new look of the room. Yes, occasionally you can buy your kids toys but not necessarily for revamping the room. Make sure to place the big toys your kid have in a good manner. You can place them near a rug so your kid can sit comfortably and play with them whenever he wants.
  • There should be always a study table and a chair in the room. You can liven it up with some nice mug with colourful pencils in it so that the child is automatically drawn towards it. I prefer study table with at least one drawer in it so that your little girl can place her pencil cases and art boxes in it.
  • A well organised closet is essential especially for hyper kids. They are always on the move and the least thing they want is their clothes scattered in the cupboard. This makes them cringy. I arrange my daughter's clothes  in hangers and her socks in the zipped plastic bags (these bags are the one in which kids' night suits are packed especially at next outlets) or in the bags in which bedsheets are packed.
  • A bed-sheet of kid's favourite character with a good comforter is a must for any kid's room. You can even have curtains of your daughter's favourite cartoon character in her room. Plain curtains of colour of your choice also look good considering that the room is already too full to have cartoons or prints on your curtains.
  • Walls can be adorned by hanging things like umbrella,bags and family photographs.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Spring and it's festivals!



                                                              Image credit: dawn.com

It's spring time and the advent of spring season brings many things along with it especially in Pakistan. There are spring festivals all around. End of February and March is inundated with invitations of spring festivals from different places. Few years back, spring was synonymous with Basant festival in Lahore but now spring festivals and more importantly, the sports day in your kids' schools act as an announcement of spring season  and that's why as soon as February comes to an end, you know that your kid's sports day is about to come. Recently, there was Sindh Festival in Mohenjodaro and now in Lahore, youth festival along with Jashan-e- Baharan is taking place. So spring is the most desirable season for all the outdoor and sports related activities.


The Spring festivals generally have many things in common: jumping castles, face painting, food stalls and games for kids. They are more of kids' festivals than spring festivals but as long as kids stay happy, parents are contented. Food stalls offer various items for food junkies. But more importantly, these festivals spread happiness and give a chance to people to enjoy outdoor with their families while enjoying the pretty sunshine of spring. Then there are beautiful flower exhibitions and flower competitions in which you get to see beautiful flowers all around.

Another thing which one finds on the beautiful roads of Lahore are the amazing billboards promoting different lawn brands. Lawn business has just got viral and I guess, that's very good. Now you find so many good lawn brands having superior quality that you feel confused while choosing few lawn suits among plethora of lawn brands available in the market. Then there are lawn exhibitions and ladies are super busy during this period as everyone wants to grab the best lawn dress available in the market before it gets short.Many ladies nowadays do online research for the prints available in the market before finally deciding which one to buy. Stitched lawn suits are as popular as the unstitched lawn suits. My top favourites are Sana Safinaz, Junaid Jamshed , Khaadi, Nishat Linen and Kayseria. The most interesting and beautiful advertising campaign is by J. Junaid Jamshed in which without a single model, the Ghalib's beautiful lines do all the magic

Lahore canal mela is also another amazing celebration of spring in which Lahore canal is beautifully decorated with mobile floats It is good to see people all around enjoying the festivity as then we all have to endure the long scorching summers which now continue almost till mid November.

                                     

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sofia the first: A royal mess...morality lesson taught through fun





As your kids grow up, they teach you those things which you are oblivious of. Few days back while I was downloading my songs, my daughter asked me to download Sofia the first's song and I obviously having no clue of it asked her, " Who is Sofia the first?"Then she told me that Sofia is a princess who was first an ordinary girl but then her life changed and she became a princess. My daughter saw one of the episodes of it on Disney Channel with her cousins so that is how she became acquainted with Sofia.

I thought of watching one of the episodes with my five year old daughter so bought DVD of one of its episodes ,"A Royal Mess" . The whole concept of this animated series is so cute that I at once fell in love with it. The title song is so pleasing that you find yourself trying to catch the tune. Sofia is a pleasant seven year old girl who is princess yet a girl with all the qualities you want in your child.

" A Royal Mess "is a fun- filled musical episode with a pivotal lesson of honesty. Children are taught that how a simple lie can trap them in an endless series of problems. The lesson of honesty is beautifully conveyed in the episode. James, Sofia's step-brother, accidentally breaks a glass window having a beautiful family portrait on it which his father had to show to her mother to surprise her. All three of the siblings want to go the Golden Wing Circus but now their chance of going is endangered and so they try to hide James' mistake by lying.    

I would definitely recommend it for 4- 7 year old kids. Animation, beautiful castle with beautiful characters, songs and above all a morality lesson...a must watch for your kid!


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Monsters University...A Perfect Movie for You and Your Kids!



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                               Photo courtesy: Walt Disney


Recently my daughter complained to me that I seldom watch cartoons or any children movies with her. So I took her to a dvd shop and bought some children movies keeping in mind her choice and age. Though Disney's Monsters University is a 2013 release yet I hadn't watched it so I bought the dvd and decided to watch it with my preschooler.



I inserted the disc in my laptop; my daughter of course was very excited as we were going to watch first movie together and I was happy to see my daughter happy. As it is an animated comedy movie so I expected it to be exhilarating. But little did I know that it was a real fun movie with all the important lessons you want your children to learn. Moreover, the way my daughter was keen to grasp the lessons and to understand what the characters were saying really amazed me.


  • Mike Wazowski (the main character)'s urge to become one of the best scarers depicts that one should never lose hope no matter what happens. 
  • Sullivan 's (the monster whose father was a well-known scarer ) character communicates the fact that one has to work hard irrespective of his roots to make his mark.
  • Competing with a positive will, determination and through honest means is shown beautifully in the movie.
  • The power of good friendship and team work is also one of the pivotal messages conveyed in the movie. 
There are so many lessons to learn which are so close to real life. The whole focus of the movie is on hard work which can change anything. Moreover, the fact that knowledge never goes wasted is also another strong point of the movie.






Most importantly, my daughter  loved the movie and I loved it too!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year and its Resolutions!!


 


So the first day of year 2014 has passed with huge celebrations around the world. Unlike the past years, my first day of year was passed without the start of a new diary. For many years, I had been writing diary not continuously but every first month of the new year, I always promised myself new resolutions. Some were met and some not.
 

But time teaches us many things. One is that we must be thankful to God Almighty for whatever we are getting. Always whining of the things we are not getting not only make us sad but also set our loved ones in a pensive mood.Setting resolutions is good but considering them to be your sole purpose is wrong. Secondly, we must take things as they come. Dreaming big and doing nothing don't guarantee the fulfillment of your resolutions.

One thing which I like about the new  year festivities is that everybody gets excited to be given another opportunity to make their dreams come true. A new year symbolize a new beginning. Cakes, fireworks and happiness all around welcome the new year.

This year I hope to become a better person in terms of wife, mother, daughter and be respectful to all the lovely relations I have around me. Moreover, I hope I can implement the
"Who moved my cheese? " philosophy in my life and be happy with whatever blessings I have!