New Normal

 Sad or Glad

This summertime, our family reunion was in Bali. It was a reunion of three generations. I find it  quite interesting how different generations have a different perspective on parenting, marriage, life and everything in between.

We had been planning everything for a few months and when it was finally time to board the plane, we were beyond excited.  During our flight, we were reminiscing about my siblings and of course sibling rivalry. As usual, there is always a nostalgia about sibling rivalry. I was also curious to meet my long lost cousins, their families and most importantly,  people from third generations who are equally excited to join in. Throughout, I  kept myself hydrated  so that I look good and  feel good when I get there and frankly, it really worked.

I fully agree with and support my father’s decision. Bali, with its serene natural beauty and pristine beaches  against the backdrop of ancient temples, is the perfect place for family reunions. The locals are really friendly and the food, simply fantastic!  The past and the present blend seamlessly here. Natural attractions, apart, this place will keep everyone engaged with a slew of activities.

 We were the first ones to reach and check in the grand villa. The feeling was simply surreal. Embraced by the charm of the clear sky and the lush green garden, it felt like THE ideal place to be. Not only were the surrounding breathtaking, the amenities in the villa also exceeded our expectations. A 24-hour butler, driver, Balinese massage, swimming pool and (most importantly) good WI-Fi – what else could one need. Bali is the  perfect place to catch up and unwind.

With families arriving every few hours, the place was packed by the evening. A delightful cacophony of shouts of joy could be heard all around and people of all types filled the villa. There were chubby and cute babies; tall and lean to short and stout kids; geeks to jocks; married to unmarried adults and healthy to not so healthy oldies. We talked about the good old days, sibling rivalry and also about how my father  favored me no matter what as I was the youngest in the family.

I was meeting the families of a few distant cousins for the first time. First, I had the impression that it would be awkward to meet them after so many years but I was wrong. They all knew me and  I knew them well. Although, with the passage of time, there was a profound change in all of us. After catching up for a few hours, we all called it a day. Everyone was looking forward to the enjoyment of the next day.

But, the next day, what I noticed left me thinking. Absolute silence had descended into the room. Except for a few, most of the people were busy on their devices. They watched with rapt attention as they updated their status on Facebook, uploaded pictures on Instagram and watched videos on  YouTube.  The little ones were left alone on their own. One thing immediately struck me: are these devices new sibling in the house? Then by all odds, there will be a  sibling rivalry here too. I felt bad for those little ones who were too young to handle themselves, let alone this new sibling and its rivalry. No doubt, the omnipresence of technology is taking us slowly but surely away from the families.  

However, when we all greeted each other and the day really began, the dampening thought slipped from my mind.We took the caravan to the beach with a picnic basket (all credits go to our butler for that fantastic spread).

Bali offers incredible activities for everyone, including both kids and adults. We all tested our courage as we soared through the sky on a parasail and  the others  showed their adventurous side as they snorkeled and surfed. The older people took solace in the traditional Balinese massage. Ladies were busy haggling for sarongs and hats. Making of sand dunes was the favorite of the little ones. As the sun was going down, the blue sky along with the ocean was changing hues. We then witnessed a  picture perfect spectacular sunset.

As the night fell, there was an unbelievable buzz in the air, which was a perfect accompaniment to the booze and the breeze. The place was same, but not the atmosphere. Under the stars, the place was humming with the thumping of drums, tapping of feet and clicking of glasses. We came back recharged and relaxed. It was a  day full of amusement and exhilaration.

I wish we could have had more of this amusement. But, like a whole lot of other things, this fun-filled reunion came to an end. It was time  to pack the suitcases and say goodbye. The bags were  filled with  sand chafed linen and   souvenirs for family and  friends back home. Everyone departed with a heavy heart but  promised to meet again. As always, it was a memorable extravaganza.

 THE PROMISES AND PERILS OF ‘NO RESCUE PARENTING’

Slide1

THE PROMISES AND PERILS OF ‘NO RESCUE PARENTING’

The fears and the aspirations of a parent and the inexperienced fumbling of a child result in a helicopter parent taking charge. result in a helicopter parent taking charge. Slide3

But meet the newbie in the town- The ‘No Rescue Parenting.’Slide2 As the name suggests, these parents do not come to the rescue of their children every now and then. Rather, they are not apprehensive of the failed attempts and allow their children to truly experience disappointments and achievements, success and failure. They take a backseat and let the child be at the helm of his or her affairs. This can rightly be called as the learning with chills and thrills of experience. This will empower the child and will inculcate decision-making power in him or her. It will also introduce a new quality in the children of no rescue parents – one that enables them to effectively organize their affairs and take charge of them.backseat and let the child be at the helm of his or her affairs. This can rightly be called as the learning with chills and thrills of experience. This will empower the child and will inculcate decision-making power in him or her. It will also introduce a new quality in the children of no rescue parents – one that enables them to effectively organize their affairs and take charge of them.

All of us as parents need a little shove to start focusing on the bigger picture. Yes, we don’t have to be totally indifferent ruthless per se but we must surely let the younger ones take charge. We just have to admit that they will gradually learn and can eventually do just as well without us. And anyways, we will always be there to guide, support and motivate them so that they make the right choices. Hence, stop just raising your kids start empowering them.Slide4

No rescue parents play a big part in helping their children in framing their questions properly and help them understand that considering a plethora of options before reaching a conclusion is necessary. The future of the next generation depends on the hunger and willingness to take the risk.

I am sure many of the parents will not find this concept appropriate or suitable for them. Perhaps having grown up in different and more prevalent style of parenting they cannot even think of considering such a seemingly absurd new concept but they must  broaden their horizons to truly see that this new style of parenting  will ensure that their children are the ‘fittest’ in this race of ‘survival of the fittest.’

Let’s do the right thing now! Happy parenting!!output_soInuc

Moving in the Right Directionoutput_3quHVO

The news of the launch of  Apple’s smart watch took me to the days of yore. Well,  not to be a  braggart, but my parents mentioned me frequently, as a kid, I was  smart. Oh yes, on my 10th birthday, my loving parents decided to gift me a wristwatch. It was a prized possession and  a thoughtful gift, an essential device to see and tell time. It was the apple of my eyes. Back then, they were available in all sorts of vibrant colors in all  shapes,  sizes and brands.  Little did I know, one day that humble wristwatch will become smart too. There was a natural curiosity to trace the history of  the wristwatch. It is evolved from a piece of jewelry worn only by women to a wristlet to quartz to the smart watch. But, one thing I can say  for sure, I have become smarter with the arrival of the smart watch, but this watch needs many upgrades to stay smart.

w3w1w2w4wa1

wa2wa3wa4wa5wa6wa7wa8

 

The only concern I have: technology connects us and isolates us at the same time.

 Seriously…...Kidding……

 

The other day after work I was going back home  on a train. A train ride for me  is normally time to retrospect  about work, pending work, why and where I went wrong. I would  grimace over my lack of patience, my  lack of tactfulness and my burst of anger. Despite the fact that I was so  engrossed in the deliberation, periodic giggle of  a bevy of teens caught my attention. There were giggles and then a burst of laughter. Oh! What a life, huh? That’s what I thought with a smile on my face. Leaving behind my thought process, I started to catch their cheerful conversation. They were babbling about something bizarre and confusing: Default Meals. I did not even know what is that- is it some new term of the wired world? Or are they really referring to meals? I was taken aback by what I overheard.

Basically, it was like this- most of the times, they do not eat unless and until their body shows signs of low energy and dizziness among other things. Moreover, when stomach is growling loud enough to be heard by another person, they go and grab a quick meal. Default Meal is what they chose to name it. I was shocked to death.

I was like, oh my god! In the craze of size zero these furtive teens cannot even call their meal a meal? Like many other things it has  become the default too. Like it or not, we are going to see more teenagers- boys and girls who will follow the suit. However, the issue needs to be addressed in a deeper and more holistic manner beyond just eating default meals. I am/was dead right- What a life?  Only with a scowl this time.

Many weeks have passed by but, I am still thinking seriously were they kidding? or……

 

 Honey, I need ‘worry breaks’

After the usual long, exhausting day, there is nothing quite like  reading  a  great book by none other than Robin Sharma. As I was reading, I came across the term ‘worry breaks.

The idea of worry breaks sounds like the perfect escape from the constant worry, but its application and practicality left me a little dubious. Does it really work? Can I really do it? But then I thought that we do worry all day long.  We worry about our relationships, we worry about our  kids and their studies, their jobs, our dreams and our aspirations. The list is endless.  We are trapped in the vicious circle of fretting, worrying and  feeling agonized.  In this fast paced worrysome world, we have lost the time  to sit back, relax, laugh and enjoy.

This essentially means limiting our ‘worry time’ to perhaps 30 minutes an evening or an hour a day. In this scheduled worry session, we may feel exasperated just thinking about the senseless delays or be overcome with annoyance, but it’s important to remember that once this period ends, we must stop. We must stop worrying, train ourselves to leave our worries in the past and engage ourselves in something productive – maybe cook a fantastic meal or just have a meaningful conversation with the ones we love. If we feel worried or anxious during any other times of our day, we must jot it down and fret over it during our next worry break!

This may sound a little absurd at first, but we must admit, we’ve lost ourselves. We’ve lost ourselves in this spiral of constant distress and fretting over things that don’t matter. It’s about time we pause and reflect.  We need to take worry breaks. We  need to unplug from the  chaos and reconnect.

Worry or ‘worry breaks’- The choice is yours.

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