Feb 27, 2013

On The Railway Budget

Daily News : 67 new trains announced.

Daily Dose : Bansalji has 'religiously' chosen the destinations for new trains. Don't you think?


Feb 26, 2013

10 Tips To Keep Your Child Safe(r)

Today at work, we find out that kids of this generation are too exposed to internet and information that they need to have a class on what to do and what not to do on the new media.
I am not going into the details of what happened but I am sure it might be a common phenomenon.
Recently, a friend of my boyfriend had some complications in her pregnancy and after telling me about it, he asked me if I was scared of pregnancy myself. Now, I love kids and pregnancy is something every woman looks forward to. Even if it means she has to go through a lot of pain for that, herself.

But the incident that happened today, scared me. I am worried this is the kind of world I have to send my kids to-like Phoebe was with her brother's triplets-. Rapists who do not understand the concept of right and wrong, Internet filled with things kids should not be exposed to at such a tender age. I didn't even know such words existed when I was that age. (Of the mischief maker who made all of us go 'ewwwww' at his behaviour)
Why should I say more than the fact that at that age, I used to think kids happened when people kissed or hugged!

May be you would call it ignorance and probably that ignorance kept me innocent for a longer time. But today, I understand kids should be educated about the pitfalls and loopholes in interacting with the outside world. But it is totally a subjective decision of any parent/ guardian on how much the kid should know.
So, what should you do as a parent?

1. The identity of a child has to be secure no matter where it is. Online or offline. Do whatever you have to do for that. It is your duty to keep the child safe.

2. There is a lot of violence in the video games these days. Be sure of what kind of games the child gets into. Since it shapes the way the kid thinks about violence, he might end up believing violent ways of achieving his end goals are fine. Bullies are born out of such kids.

3. Depending on what the kids spend time on, the internet could turn out to be the new era idiot box. 

4. Social interactions online are to be monitored. Online predators and crimes against children through this media are on the rise.

5. Cellphones are a tool for connectivity today. But it also is a platform for unsolicited attention for your child from antisocial predators. Long back, we used to have a mentally disturbed man call our landline and talk crap. We installed a caller id and called him back to find out that it was a public telephone booth. Someone had it all planned out. Although that booth operator took precautions and no more calls came after that, it was disturbing to get such calls. 
Now, why would not your child report such advances? Imagine your child fights with you to get a mobile phone. You give him the phone and then he ends up having this trouble. The child might decide not to speak up about it because he feels it was his fault or decision to have a phone in the first place and mom or dad might take the phone away if this problem is reported or scold him and punish him for it. The child does not realize the gravity of what could happen to him.
So, be friendly while dealing with problems of technology (in general as well). If you are unsure how to deal with it or if you are unfamiliar with the technology yourself, please do not hesitate to take the help of a skilled person. It will save you and your child from grave danger.

6. Never send your child outside alone after it gets dark. I know it sounds all 'conservative' or 'Indian'. Or whatever you tend to call it. But, these days antisocial elements have lost the sense of age or ability or any of the normal senses attributed to humans.
Once the child is emotionally scarred, it is very difficult to bring it back to normal life and mindsets easily. So, better be careful than regret later. These days even neighbors or 'relatives' accompanying the kid is not advisable. It was revealed in the study that most of the time girls are introduced to sex trafficking through relatives and neighbors. There are approximately 2 million child commercial sex workers between the age of 5 and 15 years and about 3.3 million between 15 and 18 years. They form 40% of the total population of commercial sex workers in India. 500,000 children are forced into this trade every year. (ref: smile foundation) Hope this gives you an idea of why this post is 'conservative'. 

7. Educate them to understand that nobody has the right to abuse (define and explain what all consists of abuse - it has a cultural context and hence I dont want to elaborate it here) them. Ask them to raise voice or react when something in the purview of that happens. Most importantly, train them to be assertive about their safety.

8. I remember, when I was in my KG, the first thing they taught me (even before I was taught abcd) was my name and address. I could recite the address any time you asked. This was indeed a good thing if I had gotten lost. Make sure the kid understand about why he is learning it.

Lastly, two things I think are important:
9. Creative safety is an aspect I personally think is important. Lets take the example of Calvin and Hobbes. (The comic strip, for those who are *still* unaware of them.) The child is so creative and imaginative. But finds that the parents are not conducive to his thoughts. May be you feel what he says is rubbish. But your child has equal rights to express his thoughts as you.
Listen to him. Understand what he says, or try to. May be a medium like paint or blogs or pen would bring out a side you might miss out about him otherwise. This is an important part of bringing up your child safely because it encourages him to think freely and out of the box. An essential part of bringing up an independent individual.

10. Emotional security is by far the most important. Let your child know that even if you scold or reprimand the child for something, you are always approachable and that you love him. This will give the child a confidence to approach you when it needs. Many dangers can be averted if the child comes and tells you about things he is not comfortable about in the beginning stage itself.

Feb 11, 2013

On a later date : note to self- atharanavo!

അവള്‍ ഒരു സുന്ദരി ആണ്. വെറും സുന്ദരി അല്ല ഞാന്‍ കണ്ടിട്ടുള്ളതില്‍ വച്ച് ഏറ്റവും സുന്ദരി. ഗ്ലാമര്‍ ഉണ്ട് എന്നല്ല ഉദേശിച്ചേ. ഒരു പാവം കോച്ചാ. പക്ഷെ നല്ല കുട്ടിയാ..
തോട്ടാവാടി പോലെ, നനുത്ത പൂ ആണ് എന്‍റെ കുട്ടി. പണ്ട് മുത്തശ്ശി പറഞ്ഞിട്ടുണ്ട്.. "സ്നേഹിക്കുന്ന ചെക്കന്‍ തൊട്ടാല്‍ പെണ്ണ് ചെമ്പകപൂ പോലെ തുടുക്കും എന്ന്. എന്‍റെ കുട്ടി പിന്നെയും സുന്ദരി ആയിരിക്കുന്നു.
ഒരു മൊട്ടു വിരിയുന്ന പോലെ ഞാന്‍ അവളെ കണ്ടു.. എന്റെ മുന്നില്‍ അവള്‍ വിരിഞ്ഞ റോസാ പൂ പോലെ തുടുത്ത് വന്നു. എന്‍റെ  സുന്ദരികുട്ടി.
വാലെന്റയിനെസ് ഡേയ്ക്ക് ഒന്നും സ്പെഷ്യല്‍ ആയി ചെയ്തില്ല എന്നതിന്ടെ പരിഭവം കഴിഞ്ഞ കൊല്ലം ഞാന്‍ കണ്ടതാ. ദേഷ്യപെടില്ല. വെഷമിച് അങ്ങോട്ട ഇരിക്കും.