Priyanka Chaturvedi

It's all about me!!My people, my favourite things, my raving and my ranting too!

To think before you do

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(From my column in DNA dated 10th April, 2011)

The biggest challenge any mom-to-be with a full-time job faces is how, after the baby arrives, will she balance her career, her child and her family. Should she continue working or quit her job? I faced a similar dilemma when I had my son eight years back.I had a full-time job then, but I chose to quit and become a stay-at-home mom.
Once I decided to quit, all my attention went in bringing him up. I promised myself that I would put my heart and soul in nourishing and nurturing my new born to be a success story! I started dreaming IIT/ IIM dreams on his behalf.
And of course he wouldn’t be just good at studies, but he also had to be a good sportsperson, fabulous dancer, good musician, and a good artist. Basically, everything rolled into one.
So as soon as he turned a year old I started looking for some age appropriate classes. With each passing day he was getting naughtier, but there were no relevant classes at that point of time where I could send him, to keep him occupied and busy. So by the time he was two I was almost drowning in self-created miseries of not being able to provide him with the right training and losing out on time to achieve perfection. I was almost obsessed with getting him to learn everything before other kids his age could do.
I started him off with tennis lessons at a club close to home. While I always went excitedly, my son kept crying that he didn’t enjoy tennis one bit. So this struggle continued before the coach intervened and told me that ‘I should give my son more time as he was not ready for tennis.’ I took that as a personal slight and in a huff got him to quit. My next attempt was to get him to learn art.
So I enrolled him for art classes, and yet again, I realised what was of interest to me was not for him. I did not stop at that. My other failed attempts were to send him to learn football, dance, skating, kick boxing, kung fu and swimming, besides other academic related classes.Mind you, all this I introduced in his life before he turned six. Exasperated at my failure and his stubborn refusal to learn, I gave up.
When he was six he asked me if I would enroll him for karate classes after school. Though I wanted him to take up basketball, I decided to go with his choice and see his commitment for an activity he had chosen.
I was surprised to see his passion for martial arts and how he took to it. There has been no stopping him after that. He has participated in many inter-school championships and has won some medals too. He doesn’t miss a single day of his coaching. He is willing to travel to far-off places to take part in tournaments.
What this decision managed to do was instill a sense of confidence and responsibility in him. I also realised that he took up the activities he had failed to show an interest in at the initial stage — such as skating, swimming and basketball — with renewed interest. He is doing well in these but his passion clearly lies in karate.
What I have realised is that if you make the child feel competent and capable of taking part in the decision making process, they usually start seeing themselves that way. They end up gaining self-confidence, become slightly more independent and most importantly become thinkers before doers.
I am still trying to get him to take up any one activity of my choosing and still secretly nurse the all-rounder No 1 dream. Come on, as a mom I am allowed to do that! No, I shall not give up, nor will I give in to every random choice he chooses to make.

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Written by Priyanka Chaturvedi

April 13, 2011 at 11:48 am

Posted in Column, DNA

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