“What gift do you want from Santa?” I asked my 11 year old. “There is no Santa ma”…she says! Of course there is! I remember the days when she was younger. I remember how I and her father used to wrap her Christmas gifts, and leave it near the pillow to surprise her on Christmas morning. Our baby girl used to imagine Santa in his sleigh along with his reindeer delivering gifts to good kids.
Our daughter has grown, she understands that Santa is not real. But to me Santa is someone who surprises us, who makes us feel excited and happy. Santa are the people who love us. I start my conversation again with my daughter. “Sometimes when you miss school, and ask for the notes, don’t your friends volunteer to share their notes? Don’t you receive unexpected gifts sometimes? Or chocolates from guests who visit us? The people who shower us with unexpected acts of kindness are Santa. Santa is there within us, and around us. We remember him during Christmas to thank the people who make us feel special”.
This afternoon my daughter came to me with a big smile. She was holding a box of chocolates! “Uncle has sent this for me as a Christmas gift. What a surprise!”, she says excitedly…..Her father had gone to meet a friend….
Came across the poem “Little eyes”. It goes like this:
There are little eyes upon you, and they are watching night and day
There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager, to do everything you do
And a little boy who’s dreaming of the day he’ll be like you
Parents are a child’s first teachers and role models. Children imitate their parents’ behavior and follow their example. When my daughter was a toddler, she used to imitate me and call her grandmother as “ma”. She used to pretend to be a little doctor and put my stethoscope around her neck. I needed to learn to say “sorry” and “thank you” and she picked up these habits.
Being watched all the time can get a little unnerving. We do lose our tempers at times, and say things we are not terribly proud of. That is OK as long as we own up our mistakes. In the end, it is about being a positive role model, not necessarily perfect, but someone who is consistent with words and actions.
Dolly: Ma we had a session with BloomBrite team on the topic ‘Good touch and bad touch’. I got to learn about the swim-suit rule. Also, I figured out about my trusted adults.
Ma: Really! Who are your trusted adults?
Dolly: Of course, you and dad, and grandpa. That’s why I always tell you what I did in school.
Dolly: “I have something for you ma”
Mother: “Dolly, you are just back from school, go and wash up first”
Dolly leaves the kitchen where ma was busy preparing a sandwich for her. She goes to her room, washes her hands and feet with soap and water, dresses up, unpacks her school bag, and walks towards the dinning table. “So many rules she to follow!” Immersed in her thoughts, Dolly forgets to share the “something for you ma”. After snacks, she spends some time with her gadgets, then plays badminton with Niki, finishes her homework, and retires to bed after dinner.
Ma comes to Dolly’s room and finds a painting lying on the study table….a picture of an women and written “best ma ever” on that. She remembered Dolly mentioning “I have something for you ma”. Ma feels sad! Has she become a drill sergeant mamma? The thought made her sad…she wants to be a mom who listens to her child actively, and pays attention to her details. Ma takes a paper, writes a big ‘Love You’, and pastes it on Dolly’s drawing board. She wants Dolly to see it the first thing in the morning…
Dolly: “Ma, why does the earth go around the sun?”
Ma: “So that we can have a merry-go-round ride ”
Dolly: “Teacher told it is because of gravity. What is gravity ma? Who discovered gravity, and how?”
And the conversation continued……
I am a firm believer of Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy of questions. According to this, we can improve our understanding of any topic by asking the 6-Bloom questions – What, Why, Where, Which, When, and How. Brings me back to my conversation with my 8 year-old daughter, Dolly. She had heard about gravity in school, and was very excited about the concept. We brainstormed on the topic for a long time. Finally, Dolly left to get paperclips, threads, and a magnet for an experiment to defy gravity. I felt happy that Dolly was starting to think independently, solve problems, evaluate alternatives, and generate new ideas. As Benjamin Bloom had described, successful learning follows a pyramidal pattern starting with remembering and reaching its peak with creating.