For the last few mornings, I have been observing a family as I step out to drop my son at his school bus stop. Dad, mom, and two little daughters, one in Junior KG and the other in Grade1. They are also waiting for their school bus but unlike most of us they are always at least 10 minutes before time! So I get to observe them even on my way back. The girls always have a fruit slice in their hand which they are munching on. But this is not the only thing that I have noticed. In my mind, I have congratulated the parents for getting them to eat right. What strikes me is their happy and cheerful faces. The girls are always so fresh and chirpy as if this is the best morning that could be. They are always engaged in some interesting conversation with their parents and they squeal in delight when any pet dog passes by. They are too excited now and show no signs of fear irrespective of the size of the dog. "See Mumma, he is sniffing you!" Mumma quickly responds and in a short and sweet manner explains the sense of smell in dogs. On another day, I see the entire family playing on the footpath as they wait for their bus. Daddy is acting funny, Mumma is acting as if she is cooking in the kitchen and they are oblivious to the passersby. They are in their own little world, the girls are thrilled and as the bus pulls by, they smilingly enter it waving to their dear parents. Both parents then go for a morning walk after the bus leaves. Never have I seen any of the parents with any gadget at that time. It appears as if those ten minutes are sacrosanct for them. I have to admit that this is the only time that I observe them and I have no idea about their interactions otherwise. But these ten minutes tell me such a lot that I am fairly sure that these parents have just cracked the code for good parenting! There are so many things that their actions tell us:
- Dropping the kids at the bus stop is not just a daily chore.
- It isn't Mumma's or daddy's job alone.
- Each minute with your child can be made pleasurable for both.
- Teaching them about something can be done in such a play way manner.
- Setting right food habits needs to start really early.
- No gadget is as important as your child's smiling face. All messages can be checked later, all calls can be answered later.
- Giving them the right exposure to appropriate stimuli at an early age reduces anxiety. (Friendly pet dogs)
- When you are playing with your children, you don't need to be bothered about what people will think or say.
- Playing with your children by coming to their level is the greatest gift that you could give them and creates a permanent bonding. A family that plays together stays together.
- If your relationship with your spouse is sound, the results are seen on your child's cheerful face.
- Effective time management is the key to effective living!
When most children have to be literally dragged to their school bus and shoved inside it, I am amazed by this family. I am sure that they could also have their share of problems but there is not an inkling of them seen in those morning ten minutes. And I am sure when the day starts on such a positive note for all of them, they derive sufficient energy to deal with all the problems of the day!
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