Archive | January, 2008

Small children ?

29 Jan

Today the fourth standard kids and I  went to a nearby shopping area to use skills of money transactions .I had requested kids to bring Rs. 5 or Rs. 10 if permitted so as to help them in this activity.Those who didnt bring could borrow from me.

I took them around 7-8 shops selling groceries, fancy items, stationery, vegetables, tailoring  and craft -work items, bakery…

Most kids bought grapes, sugar candies, pens, shampoo sachets, detergent sachets….

Most kids were impulsive in their purchases.Some showed  a great sense of premeditation, planning, vision. Aishwarya bought a small packet of cardamoms and two lemons.Aman kept going up and down ..taking his time in searching for something suitable.He finally bought lemons and radishes for his home. Jenisha bought two packets of wafers and decided to go home to share it with her parents and sister.In  a class of 40, while most kids  ate atleast one of their purchases , I was surprised to see such children..their self control and the degree of maturity.

The other surprising thing I observed was that they  cajoled the 10 senior citizens sitting in the park to taste their tiffins.They chatted happily to them, shared jokes and puzzles.They cleaned the park after their snack time without being told to.

They are just 8 year olds!

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Tax(ing) calculations …? Not now

18 Jan

Each year  when the school office gives deadlines for our tax calculations many of us find it cumbersome to calculate on our own and most of us find it too funny to go to a tax consultant with such a meagre annual income 😉

 Actually tax calculations are not tough, saving to escape the dragnet is also not difficult for people with two incomes at homes .But the ever changing calculations are a big burden to some of us.

I found this file and I wanted to share it here.

http://www.planmytax.com/

This has a ready reckoner which can be downloaded to do various calculations with regard to tax and savings.

An auditor comes calling at night.

4 Jan

As a parent I am restless. I keep auditing myself and my skills of parenting. And like all auditors , I keep finding glaring errors. Was I too soft in allowing him to  play computer games for  60 minutes this week ? Was I too harsh  when i refused to allow him to read the third story book this week ??   Was I barbaric when I forced down the badam milk down his gullet ? Was I  hitlersque in not allowing noodles more than once a month ?

Was I ?

Wasn’t I ? 

What would his reaction be ? What would I have done in his place ?

Whay? Why?

Could I have done this /that in a better way? WAS there a better way?

I was an auditor as a child too. I would point out how better I could have been brought up,That is in MY view ( highly prejudiced  ;)My mother would console me by telling that iItoo qwould get my chance and I could do it the right way then.Now I have  my son saying that i am not an ideal mom !

His ideas  of parenting are quite well thought out-even as a  12 year old.

I am not worried. I am more worried about his ideas of  ‘sonning’

More on that soon .

Most often my  auditing is done at night. If I am  tired sleep takes over otherwise auditing takes over the sleep.Many a times my son would have found it amusing that I would be extra careful on some mornings in handing out decisions /orders.He would have expected  the usual  military general barking orders….and he is stunned to see a liberal, ‘cool’ mom accepting his verdicts without a syllable of dissent. Mornings such as these must be  a kid’s dream beginning of a new day.

Where are we heading ?

2 Jan

This morning  I was conducting an activity in which the kids had to  jointly ‘write’ an article to a newspaper . The second standard kids were shown newspaper articles and stories. I suggested that they choose an incident that had occurred that afternoon in the class.. a quarrel between two kids as an incident to be ‘written’.They were very interested.

They  ‘reminded ‘me to write the date, place, day etc..

I began writing on the blackboard all that the little ones narrated in sequence.Suddenly a girl said, ”  pahele ladke ne doosare ki khoon kar di..(the first boy killed the second..).  ” This stumped me for a fraction of a second. I quickly reacted by saying , ” We are newspaper reporters, we write only what has really happened.” I was shocked by the extent of their involvement in the gory details of the fight and also about their awareness levels  wrt recent happenings in the country and their ideas of how a fight could end!! Fortunately we were  alluding to the kids as pahele ladke ne and doosare ladke ne…otherwise  things would have gone a bit too far.

Quickly I managed to bring the story to a conclusion . The kids ended up by saying, ..” tabhee ghanti baji aur teacher ko dekhte hi bachche apni-apni jagah par baith gaye…(the bell rang and the kids went back to their places on seeing the teacher. )

The story had  other surprises too.  One of the kids who really fought is Ahil who doesn’t speak much. The other ‘fighter’ is Sahil who loves to describe things graphically.The narration of Ahil stunned me because he took active part in narrating his side of the duel very well. And Sahil was too  stunned to  counter /react /defend effectively !!Luckily for him I was busy writing.

The titles they suggested were:

Do ladkon ki ladai,

bachchon ma maraamaari,

school me ladai,

____ me ladai  ( the name of the school.. )

They even suggested that a snap should be put. I drew a rectangle and some stick figures in it.

Tomorrow ‘we’  report on a wedding. Looking forward to it.