Sunday, June 28, 2015

11 Things mentally strong parents don't do

Here's my article as published in (
Mentally strong parents are the most crucial ingredient in raising mentally strong children who have the courage to explore their passions, the ability to lead fulfilling lives and the values to be an exemplary member of the society. By ensuring that you know the do’s and don’ts of parenting with mental strength, you can raise your child to be a bolder, more prepared citizen of our world. So watch out, here are the11 things mentally strong parents don’t do.

1. They don’t preach

Mentally strong parents recognize that facilitating their child’s development by being a good friend to their kids works better most of the time than commanding and forbidding the child to behave in a certain way. They know that there’s a stark difference between simply lecturing/yelling and suggesting opinions to their children like a friend would.

2. They don’t jump to the same impatient conclusion about their children like everyone else

Most of the time, a child’s problems, behaviours, and attitudes seem difficult to control and on a downward spiral because the child can’t find a trustworthy, willing listener to confide in. Naturally, children are born with a trust in parents who nurse them in their very first days and so by default, children more readily confide in parents if they are patient listeners. When kids are unwilling to share their issues with their parents, it is usually because they have been judged or their previous problems have been incompletely and incorrectly understood when they last tried to express themselves. Mentally strong parents take the extra effort to always ensure that they are lending their full attention to listen and to understand their children from an unbiased perspective. They know that when their child is in a mess, it is because he/she has been misunderstood at some point. Great parents are sympathetic; even when they know their child is wrong, they respond to the issue with patience, understanding, and adopt a positive method to help their child overcome the obstacle.

3. They are not adamant about living their own ambitions through their children

My parents have always dreamed that I would become a medical doctor and thus fulfill the ambitions of their own youth. Two years ago, when I told them that I didn’t want to study medicine, they were first shocked, and then saddened. But they quickly moved on after accepting that though I was their dear daughter, I am a different individual from what they are, and that I have different aspirations that ought to be respected and supported.
This is one of the hallmarks of mentally hardy parents. They recognize that their young ones are different individuals and do not push their own dreams on their children. Rather, they encourage their kids to reach their full potential in the fields about which their kids are personally passionate.

4. They don’t forget that ‘unconditional positive regard’ is the best way to parent

According to psychologist Carl Rogers, Unconditional positive regard is the basic acceptance and support of a person regardless of what the person says or does. Unconditional parenting with resilient positive regard is the best means to raise a child with self-esteem, while still instilling the values that you want instilled.
Unconditional parenting can be seen as parenting your children for what they are, not what they do. Even when their child does something unacceptable, mentally strong parents do not turn to negative means of disciplining their child. Rather, they remember who their children really are inside, and positively respond to the situation by offering to listen and showing that they still love their children. Ultimately, the strongest parents are aware that nothing beats the power of being unconditionally loved and positively reinforced regardless of one’s actions. Though it might be challenging to be shower unconditional love all the time, In the long run, they know that positive reinforcement will make their children the best individuals they can become.

5. they don’t force their decisions and viewpoints on their children

Instead, great parents let their children decide for themselves most of the time. Even in the most crucial times, mentally strong parents allow their children the liberty of thinking and speaking out for themselves, because they know that this autonomy to be their own person will tremendously boost the growth of their child’s personality as a confident, independent thinker.

6. They don’t claim to know everything

The wisest parents know that their children have novel, incredible ideas and interesting lives that can teach fascinating lessons which no book or institution possibly can. These parents recognize that learning from children is a fun, rewarding process and that there is much more in life that has to be learnt. Because they are willing to learn, they are also strong enough to let their children know that they don’t know everything.

7. They don’t plan out their children’s entire lives in a neat map

Mentally strong parents let much of their children’s life to be shaped as time passes and things change. Besides saving up for basic essentials like education and medical insurance, they let their children earn for and carve their own adult lives from scratch. They leave their children just enough wealth to start off, but not enough to comfortably live their entire lives with their parent’s neat maps and money. Mentally sturdy parents let their kids build their own lives out of their own hard work and character.

8. They never, ever physically abuse their children

A mentally strong parent is smart enough to know what does the worst job of disciplining their kids: physical harassment. They don’t slap or hit or interact with negative physical contact. Instead, they look out for when their kid is doing a good job, and they reward this desirable behavior and appreciate their kids for what they specifically did well.

9. They don’t measure their kids’ success by the same measure as the rest of the world

Awesome parents know that their child is worth much more than the popular measures of success such as fame, money and an esteemed job title. They don’t raise their children for these superficial goals, but rather raise them in a way that prepares them to meet the challenges of life with a head held high, to live life optimistically, to view happiness as a journey, to find satisfaction in doing what they love and to seek meaning in themselves. Mentally strong parents look deeper into their child than the world does and encourage their kid to find success in his/her own terms, rather than in the terms of the world.

10. They don’t suppress a rebellious child

Mentally tough parents don’t rebel against a rebellious child. Instead they are ready to view things from their child’s different perspective. They accept their child for who he/she is and never compare their child with someone else. Ultimately, the strongest parents forgive their children and embrace the uniquely extraordinary strengths of their own child’s character.

11. They don’t expect their child to learn from values that they don’t already represent

The most amazing parents teach their children by example. They understand that they cannot possibly instil values of honesty in their child when they are liars themselves or teach humility if they are pompous braggers pampering their kids. Mentally tough parents are ready to change themselves so that they become positive examples for their child’s growth.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spoken word poetry-rap hybrid on Hope

Here's my poem performed for you under a minute!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

..Too many carbs!

The words have eaten sugar
They dance madly at
The tip of my fingers
Threatening to 
jump out
Before I can write them down

P.S: How so often do I feel this I thought I'd give it to you in poetry!

Monday, March 30, 2015

I will survive

Hey! Here's a poem for you!

They say

Only the fittest survive, sardonically.

The whole enchilada’s pressing on my throbbing 

Head. Like a drained sponge, dehydrated

I can only hear jeers, see mocks, talk

Nothing with my quivering lips, to the

World that says I am drowning to doom in the

Tough Ocean of the world. But they know not 

That I can swim.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bringing about the change that rests on our fingertips

This summer vacation, I decided to help children who never knew their parents, or those who, by a one day freak accident, have lost them. These youngsters, being no different from me, are pushed to the helpless-sounding status of an orphan. In an amazingly unmatchable experience, I served at an orphanage, which was just a simple large hall, with all kitchen materials, including a stove and vessels one side,  a medium sized TV on top, and the daily Tamil newspapers (which I later found, the kids read) stacked outside, where there was a pet-dog, and a washroom. That was all- the home to forty kids, two helping ‘mothers’ and a founder.
You wouldn’t even imagine that such simplicity can produce such happy kids- I didn’t. When I entered the room, to start my program, however, I was overwhelmed by the overflowing fun and life, loud laughter and games of a motley bunch of kids, from three to fourteen, girls and boys, of different looks and origins, all welded into one family by mutual love.

As they saw me, by what told me was instilled discipline, they ordered themselves into neat rows, the little ones and the teens, and all of them wished dad and me as we entered, with a loud, “Vanakkam ayya, Vanakkam amma” (Welcome Sir, Welcome Madam) I was humbled and wonderstruck: I was hardly a year older to some of them, and yet all of them had such respect I was yet to learn from.
When I launched into my talk, they surprised me as very attentive, responsive, agreeable listeners. I could see fire in them; great determination and even greater capacity. I could almost see many as the future leaders they would become. Not one mocked at another for a bad answer to a question I’d ask; they helped and empowered each other, and many of the older ones listened as if they really were impacted. In the course of my volunteering there, I helped them learn Basic English, and update their general knowledge, apart from giving an SS talk and in the end left them with two dictionaries. They didn’t regret their having no parents, in fact I noticed they had everything, and love, so their condition was not shameful.
My other endeavor this year was spreading awareness on environmental issues to at a small school, to gaping kids knowing for the first time the problems facing our planet, but who soon converted wonder to understanding and innovation, coming up with creative solutions in a ‘save environment’ writing contest held following the session.
Every one of these experiences, and every other bit of volunteering I do, makes me feel blessed about what I have. Social service is thrilling. Drawing smiles is a beautiful art that we all ought to try, artists or not. For me, my family has been the greatest support.  I have learnt that middle class students like me are in the best position to uplift others. 
When I told kids “You’ve got it already- food, clothing, love and education. If you make the best use of these precious resources, you can climb to any height. Achieve anything.  You are not alone, never. You’ve got each other, a loving family, and the whole world willing to help. You are the great leaders of tomorrow. Believe in yourself.” It made me believe, too. Change is at the tip of  our fingers.  It is our responsibility to bring it on for the better.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

About me

“Tell me about yourself” he asked.
Ah, if only I knew enough of myself to say that
Or words enough colorful and imaginative
To put into language 
The spirit, character, attitude
(Or those disgusting attributes)
that sustain me.

The universe of memories that sew
Up the fragile, yet powerful sinews of my existence
The uniqueness, the boldness of 
The lattice that forms this confused bundle of cells
Carefully calculated with an ulterior motive;
The tears that heal my invisible scars, 
The warmth that welds the 
Million brittle pieces of my heart intact
The thoughts that wrought my significant position as an
Insignificance among a billion similar, all 
make me too
Complicated to be put in words- After all, My dear,
I’m a being.

Living like bubbles

Struggle, struggle
With toil and trouble
Go through it all, then
Pop like a bubble
(Inspired by Macbeth. Of course