Thursday, February 3, 2011

LOL - what does it really mean

This weekend many of us will be helping or running Parent Sanchalak Meetings (PSM) for bal/balika mandal. The theme or simple message is excellent: Children who have a strong family bond tend to do better in all aspects of their life.

Now on to the unexpected. How can we get the idea across that creating a family bond is essential without coming off as preachy or non-practical. Here is an idea. Adam Gopnik gave a wonderful, heartfelt talk about his son and the acronym LOL from the Moth story-telling event. (NB we love The Moth and listen to it whenever we can, so we hope you do as well).

The audio clip is long but thoroughly enjoyable; give it a listen to sport a smile. Now, we want our parents in this meeting to smile the same way. We may not be able to play the entire clip or even part of the clip given the duration and the audience at hand, but we can certainly paraphrase from it and use it as an unexpected way to start. We can also start by empathizing. If we have kids of our own, we can say what Gopnik says that we know we should not do it, but as parents we cannot help ourselves in asking, "What did you do at school today?" If we are presenting this and do not have kids, we can still use this to create a connection with the audience, "My parents used to ask me this everyday, I understand why, but like this boy I never answered." Not only is this unexpected, it is putting everyone at ease that this will not be a lecture on how you should raise your kids but rather a conversation about best practices and Bapa's wishes.

Some other concrete examples can be found through just rummage through this blog. Here are a few for starters.

His father was with him in success and failure. But also after failure. After he got hurt his father stayed and supported Redmond's quest to play basketball and ruby. In the same way things like Ghar Sabha and Bal Sabha are tools to engender this kind of relationship.

Kids with impulse control do better in life. Although the quote about SAT scores is circumstantial, impulse control or executive function is key. How do we engender these qualities? 50% is genetics, what Maharaj has given us, while the rest can be influenced by parents.

Let us know what example you are planning to use.

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