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The choice is yours?

Maanya was a very delicate child. Being only the child of the parent. She had the attention of parents, grandparents. All her wishes were fulfilled. No one would scold her. She was living in the world with all cushions to keep her away from the reality of life. No doubt Maanya was an intelligent child. In her board exams, she stood merit. This was a time when the family decided to keep her hostel and let her face the world as it comes. From a village, she was shifted to a town.

Parents made her settled in the hostel. As she never stayed alone. She faced many problems. Maanya complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The Maanya moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Maanya, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked Maanya. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

Lessons:

1) In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within
Which one are you?
2) As parents, let our kids choose, how to face and respond to the problem. We can only show the ways.

Story By – Romal Surana
Child and Adolescent counsellor

An eye-opening conversation

Ankush and his family travelled from Delhi to their hometown in Maharastra (Akola) for Diwali. Akola is their hometown where all family members were living from ages. All near and dear ones were staying in Akola. They all reached 4 days prior to Diwali to help Sudha (Ankush mother). All started from cleaning the house, decorations. Making all traditional snacks for Diwali. Finally, Diwali arrived. Bursting crackers, meeting relatives, exchange of gifts. In this whole, there was no time to speak out the heart and do conversation.

A day prior to return, Ankush, Reema (Ankush wife), Naina (Ankush’s 5-year-old daughter), Sudha and Hemant (Ankush’s Father) were all relaxed and finally got the time to converse apart from the festival. While walking down in the memory lane. Sudha started narrating the incidents happened in her life. When she was the same age as Reema. Ankush was just 5 years old at that time.

Sudha started,” As your father has 4 brothers, we all use to live in a joint family with in-laws. Your father used to be on travel every month. I use to take care of the whole family. Your father is the eldest. None of the uncles got married by then. After a year or so your eldest uncle got married. I worked so hard in his marriage. That time there were no caters nor decorators. Everything was done manually by family members. Everywhere I was involved. I didn’t see any of the marriage functions. I was busy in the kitchen. Supervising all the work. After working so hard also. My in-laws were not happy with me. I use to get gifts for them. Yet no satisfaction.

After your uncle’s marriage. Your father got a transfer to Nasik. We were shifted there. There would be a long journey from Nasik to Akola. Every festival I would visit here but I don’t know what was the issue they never loved me. ” Sudha went on and poured her heart out. That had all resentment, anger, guilt, hatred. Today her inlaws are not there. They left their physical boy many years ago. She is still there, with all the burden.

Everyone was listening to her. There were tears in everyone’s eyes. All of a sudden Naina went to Sudha and said,” Dadi, come back to 2019. Let go of the past. Dadi you only said we should forgive people who are not nice to us or hurt us. You forgot that. When I was angry with Nidhi my friend you said to me to forgive and hug her. Then things were fine then. You cannot do with Badi dadi and dadu. They are not there. So just forgive them. Let go your heart garbage out as Diwali is over. Smile dadi “

After listening to her, we all realized that kids can teach us so many important life lessons. We all are ageing. With age, we say we are becoming wiser. We teach kids all the time. We forget the life important lessons in life.

Learning from this:
1) Let nurture the inner child within us.
2) Being kids is easy to forgive and forgot. Tell follows as adults.
3) Keep cleansing and healing the event which gives us pain.
4) Don’t hold the grudge for the ages.
5) Keep alive the innocence in us just like kids
Let us celebrate the child within us.

Happy Children Day
Story by- Romal Surana – 8888014728
Child and Adolescent counsellor

Whom do I choose?

When Neel and Nandini got married, they were at the pinnacle of their career. They both were ambitious and passionate about their work. Not ready for family planning. With time, priorities changed. Baby boy Nikhil came. The family was completed. They were happy. Nikhil was their first priority, so Nandini left the job. Few years it was fine. Later it started pinching her, she left work. Her self- esteem was shattered. Now Nikhil Is 6 years old. He is in grade 1.

As a mother, Nandini was excellent. She has bought up Nikhil very well. Nikhil was a well-behaved child. Independent in nature. Nandini developed an inferiority complex by being a homemaker. Still, the guilt of leaving job hovers her mind. She did try to start again professionally but it seems difficult. To let out guilt, frustration. Husband wife would fight with each other. Initially, it would once in a blue moon. Then the frequency increased. Now every day they would argue.

All these were witnessed by Nikhil. Nikhil was a smart boy. To get his work he would choose accordingly. If Mumma says No, then Papa would say yes or vice a versa. There was a behavioural change in Nikhil. Now both parents were working again. To care of Nikhil, grandparents shited with them. One day this incident happened. Again Nikhil was getting bored so he asked Nandini,” Mumma I want to go down and play. Papa said no”. After listening to this Nandini said,” Go down and play. I will see who stop you”.

This incident was witnessed by grandparents. They realised things are not going in the right direction. They decided to talk Neel and Nandini. They narrated the incident. Today Nandini, you allowed Nikhil to play down in the afternoon. Just because he said papa said no. Before this, you both had some disagreement. I am sure in this high temperature you would not allow him to go down and play. Nikhil knew you will not allow. So he purposefully said that papa said no. To take him on your side, you immediately said YES.

Nikhil has started lying. His tantrum has increased. He knows how to get the work done from you. As a child, he has understood you both don’t agree on one point. As per his whims, he takes his own call. It is fine until he is small. Later handling him, will be a challenge. He will not listen to both of you. Things can be repaired today. What needs to be done.

1) Parent means Mumma AND Papa, not Mumma OR papa.
2) As husband-wife, there can be differences. That should not be demonstrated in front of the kids. This damages the self-esteem in kids. They lose faith in a relationship. They don’t trust parents. They feel a lack of love. They are confused and get irritated fast.
3) Always have one decision or opinion when it comes to kids. Discuss out all small and big things. Even if the kid asks Mumma or Papa answer should be the same. Whether YES or NO.
4) When the kid comes and ask something and you are not sure. Always say, let me discuss with Mumma or Papa. Discuss and then answer.
5) A Lot of mothers sacrifice their career for family. The guilt of choosing to be Homemaker can develop an inferiority complex. Completely enjoy what you are doing.
6) In disagreements between husband and wife, do try to pull kid in your favour. This a common mistake that parents do.

Romal Surana
Child And Adolescent Counsellor
Nanhagyan Foundation

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