Last post in 2009 – lessons learned

As the year comes to a close, one tends to sit back and reflect on the year gone by (a light work week also helps).

To me, as far as the kids go, there were three big lessons learned this past year.

#1 – Empathy – Our kids lead busy lives: school, homework, activities, play time. What was happening was that our kids were often cranky, whiny, uncooperative and we would come down hard on them. What we were forgetting was that these are still very young kids that get tired easily and hence cranky, like the rest of us. Cutting the kids some slack and empathizing with their situation has paid off handsomely. There are a lot fewer frayed nerves in the house and everyone seems happier.

#2 – Consistency in behavior – I am terrible at this. My wife on the other hand, is exceptionally good. Our kids know what they can expect when she says something. With me on the other hand, thye know that if they whine/cajole/complain enough I will sometimes give in. I need to work on this.

#3 – You can teach all you want but you need to live what you teach – This is a cliche but couldn’t be more true. Things that are important to us : being honest, compassionate, patient human beings are best passed on if we ourselves as parents live that way. This point was brought home to me on more than one occasion by my older daughter when she caught me doing something that I have taught her not to do e.g. yelling when angry or frustrated. A positive example of this in our lives is that our kids seem very comfortable in their dual Indian American identity much as we, their parents, are. There is no discomfort in wearing Indian clothes, taking Indian food to lunch etc.

Anyway, enough pontification. I hope you are enjoying your time with your friends and family. Have a wonderful New Year and I will speak with you in 2010.

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