Learners Collective Newsletter 35: Yr 21-22
25 Jun 2021
Hope all is well at your end. We want to share with you some thoughts on parenting this week. Personally, I am an aspiring gardener and have been practicing for some time. Though I still think I am only aspiring, and haven't gotten it quite right yet.
What has caught my attention is how similar this is to parenting. The striking resemblance between them. Lots of similarities and also glaring contradictions. As a person who practices both of these, I thought I had some advantage. Only until cold water fell on my face last week. To begin with, we understand that both plants and children need shelter, food and care when they grow. We also know that they will ultimately fend for themselves when they grow up. This is what the similarities are, but the contradictions lie in our expectations from them. We know how demanding we become. For example we never blame the plant if its not bearing fruits or wilting suddenly. We evaluate what went wrong in its surrounding circumstances. Is it getting proper nutrition or getting overwatered? Is the sunlight adequate? We take care that the plants are getting an adequate environment for growth and even if they don’t grow according to our wishes. We don’t hold them responsible for the so-called failure.
I expect my children to be compassionate to others, especially to those whom we care about. Otherwise it's always the closest ones who bear the brunt of our unpleasantries. Later I evaluated if I provide such an environment to them and quickly realised its work at my end that needs to be done. Is there compassion in my voice, while I make requests? Even if I glance at them silently does that signal authoritativeness? This made me reflect and I iterated my favourite quote, "the only journey is the one within".
Feel free to share some revelations of these kinds from your end.
Enough of my story and here now are the updates:
Every morning we start our day with something called affirmations. These are positive thoughts and oftentimes they are lines of appreciation towards people we know. Sometimes it also turns goofy when few kids share honestly. Last week we also sang a song, which has ultimately got stuck in my head. :)
We made Oreo milkshakes and a few kids who didn’t have Oreo biscuits made mango/banana milkshakes. We hope kids are getting comfortable with cutting, chopping and grinding things.
This time we saw clippings of the movie “Lage Raho Munnabhai'. Especially those scenes which share the feeling of “Vinamrata”, meaning compassion. It was fun to watch and children got quickly talking about what if they were the ones who were at the receiving end of such behaviours and then what they will do.
We are chugging along with our sessions. This week there were some drop outs from sessions. We were wondering if the charm of online and its tools is wearing off. Some young ones were also getting bored. Kids are glad to know that we will start LC next week. Needless to say that there are many who are more participative in sessions now than they were last year. We definitely see an advantage in taking sessions online especially for kids who are older, granted there is sufficient interest. Somehow the efficiency seems to have increased with them.
That's all for now. Until next week, stay safe and see you all on 1st of July.