Influencing children

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After a long gap, I decided to give the children some Ragi porridge.

My 3 and a half year old refused to eat Ragi porridge saying that he doesn’t like it. I refused to budge and told him that he could have nothing else and the only option he had was to go hungry, which we both knew was a very difficult proposition.

He finally finished his bowl.

The next day too he had the same dish and this time my daughter and I spoke about how strong the ragi makes us and how we can start lifting heavier weights, etc. He finished this time, too.

I continued this for 7 days and with inter spurts of refusing to eat and understanding that his tantrums wont work, my son had pretty much got used to the ragi porridge. In between, one day he flatly refused to touch it because it looked like it was ‘dirty’.

Its been a month now and I wanted to have a small party with the kids at home. I threw open the choice of food to them, and guess what my son came up with – the brown milk he said, referring to the ragi porridge.

I realise that this is exactly what Oreo or Kellogs Chocos has done to them. Influenced them into their way of thought.

And its just not these products alone. Its books and people and floating thoughts and ideas and inventions and places and discoveries. These things influence us. And makes up a good part of all of us.

In that sense, even if you feel that as a parent you don’t have much to say to your child to do anything that will ‘influence’ him, its time to take this thought seriously as the world around him is ‘influencing him’. He takes twists and turns in his life trying to figure out the natural from the cultural. Its time to ‘influence’ children to be careful about potholes and quicksand. Who else better than the parents to do it. Its very important for parents to be the chief ‘influencers’ and guide them through a small part of their life and then empower them with enough ‘experiences’ for them to carry on.

I guess this is the new balance to strike between military-like disciplining and total ‘freedom’.

Hands that work

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Hands that work often help the person ‘see’ better.

That seems quite like a funny thing, but I have seen that theres nothing like a day at work – with your hands/ legs to have a good fulfilling time with your child. Children form many viewpoints through their work and especially for children aged  0-6,  their memories / learning is directly connected to the hands.

Its so funny that those children who are very ‘occupied’ with their hands all the time are also very comfortable in whatever they do, will literally be ‘hands on’ in a given situation when they grow up – and actually even when they are young!

Lets encourage children to be ‘hands on’ in whatever they do. Feel free to let them learn, do, make mistakes and learn from them too!

We at Artogether feel that you can do 1 hand activity a day with your child (choose your activities depending on the age of the child, but most of them listed here make up for a fun activity anyday, any age)

1. Make a fruit salad (with each person / child contributing with a fruit)

2. Work with clay / sand – it sets you free!

3. Have a ‘notice your hands day’ – and watch the way your hands work. Great if you can also involve the kids to do it! You can give it a sense of fun to play some music and get all of you do many activities with your hands – like playing the violin, cutting vegetables, cutting with the scissors, playing the drums, painting, etc..

4.Give a good oil massage to your kids and get them to repeat it on you.

5. Draw a picture.

6. Fold the bedsheet along ith your child

7. Let the children arrange the table, while the adults get the food in place.

8. Try and make instruments out of day – to – day things and have a concert!

9. Sow a seed. Get the children to do the same.

10. For a little older children, stictching their own bag may be a good idea.

This week its raining music

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No, I am not talking about a spectacular music and dance season thats opened almost everywhere in the world. Its not even the much awaited rain thats raining outside.

We have now almost completed doing a bit of an understanding of about 65 different musical instruments from across the globe – across different countries and music types. To begin with, we are comfortable discussing the difference between the Geomungo and the Gayageum (the former is a 6 stringed Korean instrument, and the latter is 12- stringed). To top it all, we went to a few of the Korean music programmes that gave us a ‘complete feel’.

This knowledge will be transferred on to a Personal Diary (with perpetual time) which we hope is a companion to a musician or a student. The diary is interspersed with ideas on music, inspirations and a study of different musical instruments throughout the world.

We will put in pictures some time next week..

How will it be if there was a story book based on me?

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On what I love and What I do…

A book that has peeped into my real desires and imaginations….

A book that can give me a clear road ahead of me

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Adhav loves to swim

Who we are series bookcontdcontd. about Adhav who loves to swim

A book that can make me what I want to be…..

‘Who we are’ Series of books aims to touch something in an individual that’s so deep within, and yet, sometimes – out of reach.

More about the ‘Who we are series’ – write in to artogetheralways@gmail.com and see below in other posts for more info on our work in the area.

The world of mainstream and alternative

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Some definitions really are so confusing………..

Fats have become the new carbohydrates. Healthy food devoid of preservative / pesticide has become ‘alternative’.

Art, painting, music, dance – what was once core activities to human kind have become ‘alternative’.

To study is in. But children enjoying themselves while doing what they love best – ‘learning’, has become alternative.

Going by the beach in an evening just to be by the waves for half an hour now takes about 3 hours of preparation time, and that too if you get to reach the beach from the centre of the city without the hassle of traffic jams.

Using steroids to treat simple ailments in children has become ‘ mainstream’. Native medicine which relies on the power of the body to heal itself has become alternative.

Physical activities have become ‘alternative’. Sleeping in afternoons after a late night has become a norm.

Knowledge has become alternative, education has become mainstream.

Some times we wonder what the urban seeker is looking for, having lost all kinds of relevant tools necessary for happiness.

Mainstream and alternative are simply relative. The larger the number of people in each stream, anything can shift to become mainstream. The so-called alternatives too….

Having said these, here is our wish – that as we all swim in the currents of time, let the mainstream, alternatives all become one with nature. And let them sweep us all into our personal and societal discovery.

Artogether wishes to be that little stick that we can hold on to in these troubled waters. A small tool to help us understand our core and direction. A reason to pause, look at the world and move on……………

‘Who we are’ series of books

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This series of books aims to directly touch upon the ‘spark’ in a person and get them to connect with something they ‘love’ to do. In the process, we believe that the person who gets the book always has a reference point of their own to go back to any point of time in their lives.

We are open to making a ‘special story’ for your child or whoever you think needs it.

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Write to us with the name of the person and a little on what they ‘love’ to do. We’d love to make a story on the person to help discover ‘who they are’.

Should you be interested in this work and you want us to work on something like this for you, do write to us at artogetheralways@gmail.com.

Arya loves to climb

Arya loves to climb

She wanted to catch the round moon

She wanted to catch the round moon

She climbed up the rectangular cave

She climbed up the rectangular cave

she climbed on the straight rope

she climbed on the straight rope

saw triangular trees

saw triangular trees

went over rocks of squares

went over rocks of squares

looked over a zig zag town

looked over a zig zag town

And then she came circling down

And then she came circling down

We delved deep into who we are

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This week at Artogether, we took up the theme of delving deep into ourselves to find a spark.

We realised that some of us ‘are’ what we always wanted to be.

One of the people we know is a dancer and she discovered that she would be a dancer all her life – to herself and to the world around her. Dance would give her all the means to live – the material, spiritual, learning, companionship – everything. She has found her space and time in this world to do something she loves best. Meanwhile she also does many other things, perhaps those she likes second best – like brushing her teeth, traveling to different places around the world, and doing some cooking.

Some of us are yet to figure out a way of life, amongst many activities that are happening. Sometimes we feel that we live just like you put your feet beneath the waves in a beach. The drifts are so regularly spaced, and we find our feet drenched and buried below the ground. And by the time we lift up one of our feet, the next wave beckons…. Inspite of that, the joy of the sea and its currents keep the flow going and except for some ‘stuck’ feeling once in a while, we are not complaining.

Some of us have started discovering a new world of people and conversations and learning, that we never believed was in our grasp, yet we find ourselves in the company of others who inspire us, and we in turn inspire them.

Some of us have discovered that we are nomads – drifting in a world full of ideas that there is no ‘one way’ to discover it. We take it as it comes, and aspire to give it our best shot.

However, we all agree with one thing – that every human being – rich or poor, sick or stubborn, black or white, thin or fat – we all have a spark. And its important to acknowledge that.

That spark needs to be nurtured in children and the fact that you can have many skills should be open as a possibility to them.

This has inspired us in our book – in the ‘Who we are’ Series. The book takes children through many dimensions of what they are and what they can do.

With such a personal book, an adult can help a child understand that its important to give an opening to your skills for you to explore the world better. An art could do that to you. Today.

Explore an art. Today.