Friday, March 18, 2011

Help, It's Exam Time Again!

Tense, moody, irritable? And that's just the parents. Exams can feel like torture for everyone in the family. So, if your little darlings are about to sit exams, you'll need buckets of sympathy...

Winter's on the way, the birds are twittering - - and guess where your offspring is? Up in his/her room, of course, swotting for exams. They are the worst sort. The end of year assessments. The tests that sort out the wheat from the chaff. The ones their futures are built on. Yikes! Can't you just feel the tension and resentment pulsing through the floor, beaming down on you as you attempt to relax in front of the TV after a hard day?

How dare you enjoy yourself, they're thinking, while I am chained to my desk! And don't imagine for one second they will let you take it easy for long while they're sweating themselves into a frenzy. You've got to suffer, too.

When you were revising for exams, chances are you locked yourself away for a fortnight and got on with it. But today's kids are different. They're the 'because I am worth it' generation. They stomp around, slam doors and make you feel terrible for trying to have a like while they can't.

Your children will respond to your moods and attitudes. Be calm when needs be, enthusiastic when it's called for. Observe their moods and keep the lines of communication open. Easier said than done, particularly if your offspring seems to be doing everything in their power to shove you away.

How Can You Help

Don't Panic, There Are Ways To Survive The Stress...

* Offer moral support and discuss general issues - - but only help if specifically asked to.
* Never hover over their shoulder to check things are being done right.
* Hold on to your sense of humor. Well, at least try to! If there is an upbeat atmosphere in the home, it will filter down.
* Dish up three square meals a day to keep up energy levels. Supplement with vitamin pills if needed. (You might want them, too!)
* Lower your expectations if they are unfeasibly high. Their results aren't a reflection of your parenting skills.
* Forget bribery. It just heaps on more pressure. And finding them for failure? Don't even go there!

If in doubt, read a poem...

This is an unusual but a highly effective way of helping a teen with exams - - read a poem to her!

Words to calm

Your teen might give you a funny look if you start reciting a poem, but who knows? You - - and they - - might learn to like it. And let's face it, anything's worth a try!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Is Humanity Dead or Alive?

It took me a while to muster up courage and write about the so talked-about topic prevailing all over the media and the cyber world today. Yes, you got that right! I am referring to the Sialkot incident – the most horrific example of barbarism and cruelty - an incident which will take eons to oust from our minds. We have all seen those images and videos and I am sure none of us could endure watching them at a stretch.

I am here, not to advocate the kids or to condemn the action of the animals. I know that everyone of you condemn it and you know what happened has no justification whatsoever. So what am I here for? I am here to discuss the repercussion of this shock on every individual soul. Everywhere on the electronic media there is an outburst of articles and discussions regarding this - statements declaring the entire Pakistani nation and the society uncivilized and barbaric is the crux of most of them. I do agree that the mob that killed the kids is vicious, brutal and cold-hearted and whatever punishment they may be given is sure to be nothing as compared to the pain that the brothers and the WHOLE nation had to go through after their much aggrieved death. But the question is that why are we generalizing Pakistanis to be cruel and barbaric? We are also Pakistanis; we as a nation castigate the actions of the mob - we are holding rallies, we are creating protest pages of Facebook, we couldn’t repose ever since we watched the filthy video, and we are the ones who are asking for justice! How does a mob of 100 represent the 17 crore of the population?

After this incident, people have very firmly reached to an illation that humanity is dead in this society. If humanity is dead then what is it that lives in the form of you and me, and everyone among us who knock the actions of those barbaric people? Nowhere could I find a single statement by any Pakistani who cheered up the killings. Isn’t this enough to show that we are not among them? It is unfortunate that they are a part of our society and our religion - but they are not us and we are not them. America’s attack on Afghanistan and Iraq or India’s forcible occupation of Kashmir does not make the entire America or India cruel. Thus, we too better come out of the stage of blaming and cursing ourselves for being Pakistanis.

15th August 2010 marks the bleakest moment in the history of Pakistan – not just because the innocent kids were beaten to death but also because the incident killed the slightest rays of hope that lived in the hearts of many Pakistanis, despite of the floods and the poor leadership. The incident has given rise to a negative force – it has increased frustration and has pushed us all in the darkness of despair. But I still assert that humanity is not dead, it is still peeping out of the inks of those writers who are writing in condemnation of this incident, it is still holding its head high in form of those youngsters who are holding rallies against the killings, it is still visible from the eyes of the mother who had to suffer the real lose. Humanity is still alive!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Childhood Recollections

It was in the 6th grade that we had a side course Urdu book entitled as ‘Muni aur (and) Nomi’; it was a story encircling the lives of two little girls. Muni; the poverty-stricken labor girl and Nomi; the girl belonging to the elite class. It was a thin book with smooth pages and wonderful illustrations. Being fond of smelling the books, I still have its fragrance fresh in my mind. I didn’t take much notice of its content until we finally started reading it in the class. The book hit me really hard. Never before had I been shown so clearly the realities of the difficult world where so many inner-city kids like Muni grow up. And never before had I been shown my own affluent suburban world as clearly as it looked against the backdrop of hers.

I began to realize that I had privileges I never knew were privileges: getting a solid education, never having to be concerned about the violence in my town or in my house hold, never worrying about parents who could not promise me food, or about sleeping without AC in the hot sweltering summers.

I started to wonder why these two worlds were so isolated from one another and how I could cross that divide. And I began to think about the possibility of transforming THEIR world into ours – a much convenient life for everyone on earth. As I grew up, with this in my mind, I realized at every step that it wasn’t as easy as it seemed under my childhood delusion. A phase came, where I completely lost the intense desire of joining the two disparate worlds. The feeling has somehow come back to me during the recent years. I have begun to think that though I could not play any part in bridging the two worlds but at least somebody has – although the transformation has been quite contrary to my reflection of thoughts. The transformation has occurred to bridge the gap by making life inconvenient for everyone on earth. If seen from a different perspective, the bridge has also immensely increased. Today, instead of creating a secure world we have created a world based on ruction and violence.

I may be as small to this world as a single drop to the ocean, but I guess if I want, I can and I will make a difference - that may not promise a better WORLD but at least a better CORNER for a few. Now that I have grown up, I realize I should not have given up my dream of changing the world and transforming it into something better. I realize that those who did not have a dream like mine, succeeded. I realize that even today I can make a difference but I am procrastinating – waiting for a revolution to hit the world and anchor the things on its own. Today, I see many Munis calling out for help – so I will use my writing to bring a little difference to the world.

Notes:

Dear Readers

I thank you all for reading my blog. I am not sure if it was something you enjoyed or not but I thought it was the best way to start it – by stating my ambition and my aim to bring a little difference through my writing. Thanks!