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Last weekend was again that very special day in my son, Soham’s and my life – Parent Teacher Meeting aka PTM. I refer to it as very special because it has some really special and fond meaning and moments for both of us. And it has always been so for the last 5 years ever since he was in Grade I. I still remember my first every structured PTM with his Grade I teacher, Sapna maam. I must take this opportunity to declare that Soham has been very lucky to have some amazing and good natured (good looking too) teachers who have played a big role in making sure that he loves going to school and also ends up loving them even more Well, that also partially explains why my hubby, Vishal is equally enthusiastic about attending Soham’s PTMs, but that’s for another story altogether
So back to my first PTM meeting. I vividly remember how I had jotted down my 3 key questions that I was keen to know about him. First and most important, is he a happy and cheerful child when he enters his class? The next, does he mingle with other kids and knows how to share and care (keeping in mind the myths of SCS- Single Child Syndrome) and third was whether he understands the fundas being taught. All this was done in less than 10 mins flat and I was on cloud nine that I have produced the best child ever. Atta girl! But I distinctly remember the perplexed look on Sapna maam’s face which clearly read out ‘are you sure this is all you wanna know’? There is a 20 mins slot allotted to your child and we haven’t even touched upon how he is doing in his academics? But I was so confident and sure that this is IT ! I don’t know whether this is right or wrong and don’t even want to get into that. To each his own !But, I do know that Vishal and I are happy seeking answers and solutions to those 3 fundamental questions that I consider as my personal secret of being happy parents and an even happier child.
But, life is tough!! I realized that very soon, with every passing PTM. I was looked at with even more astonishment on being one of the most ‘complacent’ (which means ‘chilled out’ in my terms) mothers and the result of that was the constant ranting and rattling by his teachers on how he was such a hyper-active, distracted (thankfully never destructive), mischievous boy who loves to play and loves writing love-letters to his favorite teachers!! I have tears of joy writing all this but honestly at that point of time , I freaked out at how reality was almost screaming out to me that I needed to do some course correction and how badly I needed my dose of wine that very moment .Actually, two doses ..One for the teacher who needs to chill and one for me who needs to maintain my chill
As the Grades get higher, the PTM’s are getting even more interesting for me. But what pains me is to see how these PTM’s are no longer what they are supposed to be for our children. They have grossly transformed into Phir Tamasha Meetings especially for the little kids, who are first hand witnessing a mixed range of emotions across the room. Right from anger, anguish, very high levels of competitiveness, embarrassment and sometimes even insult. I recollect taking Soham once along with me for the PTM and after that 10 min discussion, all I remember is he asking me ‘ Mom, are you angry with me for what my teacher said ? Will you shout at me? ‘I hugged him the tightest that very moment that clearly made him understand that ‘We are in this together’, just like all other things and for us what matters is he needs to be a happy, healthy and hyper child, brimming with energy and ideas with a glint of mischief in those lovely eyes that shall go out and conquer the world someday.
I am not commenting on any style of parenting here, nor am I any expert on child psychology or education. This is purely my take on my special day every quarter in Soham’s school and all Vishal and I are always working to crack the ‘happiness’ code with Soham. Studies and grades are also very important and that’s the beauty of the way our left and right brain cortexes integrate naturally with the right stimuli to produce happy and successful (and not the other way round) people…!
And happy to share that Soham received the ‘happiest child’ certificate in his class last week .I am a happily proud mother and this only reinforces my confidence and belief in my personal quest to be a ‘happiness coach’ and am sure all of us, as adults are constantly looking at being happy for no reason
Am off now for some happy hours with my boys !