FROM 181 lbs to 137 lbs

Life is a journey they say, for me it was a journey from being born ‘FAT’ to staying ‘FAT’ no matter how hard I tried. Whatever I had lost, I had gained it back and even more within a few months or years. My family was super happy to have a chubby 9 lbs baby with white cheeks dangling around as ‘fun’ toy for everyone. L-O-L but did I know then that the weight would become the ‘horror’ of my life, my self-esteem and existence!

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RIMA

Being ‘fat’ in the Indian culture (India, Asia) is totally unacceptable. When we meet family, friends – current, old or new, the first greeting starts with a ‘weight tag’. If you have lost weight you get all the ‘wah-wahs’ (thumbs up), if you have maintained it, you get happily surprised faces gleaming half with praise and burning half with jealousy. But if you are anything like me, all you get is JUDGMENT! Major JUDGMENT, COMMENTS about your hips, thighs, stomach and lots of FREE, UNASKED for A-D-V-I-C-E!  If you think this judgement came only from other women, you are so wrong. It would start with my Father, be extended to uncles, aunts, friends, siblings, everyone. Growing up I began avoiding family and people in my mind just because I was scared of the comment they had to make about my ‘body’, even my TEACHERS!!!!

Honestly, growing up without a mother was anything but fun. I had nobody to guide me to be honest. My aunts would come home, eat food and leave. Some of them were very kind, but no one was there to guide me toward HEALTHY eating, exercising, let alone help me with my DEPRESSION and GAD – Anxiety! While I was praised for my skin color, my sister was praised for her thin body. I was developing an inferiority complex that was only growing with age. My friends and cousins were thin but I could not seem to get over my ‘sugar cravings’. I DID NOT KNOW I was depressed, we could not afford money for FRUITS, I had no idea was an ACTUAL SALAD was. I was busy figuring out how to ‘survive’ amidst major financial situations, emotional starvation, pressure of school grades, lack of friends, major loneliness and a body that felt HORRIBLE. By 5th grade (10 years) I was already 57kgs!!! I had bouts of being slimmer (not slim just slimmer) and being outright ‘fat’ over the years.

I can go on with that story but at some point in 2005 I discovered how much I enjoyed exercising. I was always in to sports and was a tom boy but never had I been to the gym. I had a huge home to show the world but we did not have money anything close to spending on a basic monthly gym membership, buying any exclusive fruits, shoes or gym clothes! I started nevertheless, with some SHAME, some CURIOSITY. I was so lucky to have found an amazing instructor – Imran Sir who showed me how to use weights to tone my body and I became confidence like never before. I dropped from 61 kgs to 56 kgs, looked ravishing and soon got engaged. Life seemed just fine! …

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RIMA 2006

… fast forward couple months. Married in a traditional family in East Africa, I was expected to do all house chores morning to evening and keep exercising or gyming the ‘last’ priority which wasn’t allowed to be checked marked most of the days. Eating sweets was a daily routine and choosing to eat anything beyond what was cooked was almost not an option. That is how most traditional Indian families are or were after all. I began gaining weight quickly. Fast forward… I slowly began to take charge of my life after the unexpected demise of my mother in law. I joined the gym, found another great instructor – JENNI. She was my angel in disguise. I shaped back to 59 kgs. Alas, that was temporary too!

I got pregnant and within a year, post my delivery I was 84 kgs!!! I was back to receiving comments, feeling ashamed, wanting to avoid social situations, unable to stop my sugar cravings no matter how much I tried. Being the person my dad and I have been, we eat more and binge more when depressed. I surely had it in my genes, all my parental aunts and my dad were heavy in their body and turned to sugar for busting stress but I wondered how did so many other Indian girls remain thin even after a baby and I didn’t!

5 years passed and I continued to range from 178 lbs to 181 lbs. I had moved from Africa to USA by then. Then one day, I had a wake-up call, I would say my Twin soul activated that within me. I was done being fat, feeling ashamed, socially awkward, rejected and outcast. For once, I started a weight shedding journey which was ‘SHEDDING’ not ‘LOSS’.

When we seek to ‘lose’ weight, we will ‘find’ it again at some point. When we seek to get done with it, shed it off, it’s gone forever. But what we need to know about that shedding is that more than the physical weight, what needs to go with it is the SHAME, FEELING OF REJECTION, GUILT OF EATING, VOICES OF OTHER PEOPLE, CULTURAL CONDITIONING and all the EMOTIONAL NON-SENSE that was built up and stored in our cells, bone marrow, aura, spirit and more. That was hence, the turning point in my body-weight journey.

By then I had been diagnosed with hypothyroid, the condition where weight shedding is very hard. But I was determined. I gradually cut down on and eventually gave up DAIRY PRODUCTS, DAIRY (except chocolate cravings that I had then), starting JUICING in my regular blender with ANY veggie combinations, re-began exercise becoming my own instructor (I could not afford paying one in USA). I also gave up the need to look good when I enter the gym but more than anything I BEGAN SERIOUS, INTENSE EMOTIONAL WORK. I began taking Guided Meditations, Hypnotherapy, Life-Coaching sessions to work through my FEARS, my SELF-IMAGE, how I related to my body, how I felt about myself and cried out many tears of the PAST NEGATIVE MENTAL SCRIPTS that I had internalized from the voice of other people and cultural expectations.

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That internal, emotional work brought a huge transformation in the way I felt about myself, other women and about my life. I began relating better to my daughter, enjoyed my time with her, dropped my sugar cravings and found more ‘fun’ in life. All of this happened in 2015. Since then, even with major stress in my personal life with major life-changing very stressful events and having an even more complicated thyroid condition, I have managed to maintain that weight +/- 3 lbs.  From 2016, I have stalled in shedding more weight simply because I suddenly had the stress and need to urgently start earning and supporting myself financially but what’s amazing is that despite working very long hours daily, major life-demands I have maintained my weight. The reason I have been able to do so is because I changed my EMOTIONAL STORY. I changed how much I would want to please the world and how much I would want to allow my fears to define my body.

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RIMA DESAI 2017 JAN

I  no more want or wanted to shed weight to ‘FIT INTO’ the world, I wanted to shed what made me feel good about my body. I wanted to do it at my own terms, pace and for myself. It has changed everything for me. I am not burning inside now looking at other women lose weight quickly. I am not wanting to starve myself or tell myself horrible statements for eating a couple chocolate squares. I love myself like never before.

I do have lot more weight to shed off and there is scope for me to do more EMOTIONAL WORK and PHYSICAL WORK on my body and spirit, yet it is not coming from a place of SHAME, GUILT or SELF-HATRED like before. My body does not define my emotions, life or self-acceptance. I accept my body and am okay if I don’t ‘fit’ into the society as per their expectations.

  THIS IS ME 2 WEEKS AGO :)

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RIMA DESAI DEC 2017

Do you relate to this story? Does it move you or inspire you to DISCOVER YOURSELF, YOUR POWER and RECLAIM YOUR LIFE? Allow me to show you the GUIDED MEDITATIONS that you can do to shed that weight off your SUBCONSCIOUS MIND. You can never maintain your weight if you have a negative emotional story attached to yourself, your past or your body. BOOK YOUR FREE PHONE SESSION WITH ME HERE

BORN AGAIN

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. The breath of a child softly pouring on my shoulder as my arms harness it with immeasurable love, was a fancy imagination. I remember being 15, holding an infant for the 1st time in my life who fell asleep from his cries in my cuddles. 13 years later when Pregnancy found its way to me, I was so ‘out there’ with my imagination of how great motherhood will be.

Blessed with a caring, pleasant girl, motherhood has been anything but a smooth ride. It is fun, it is fulfilling, it is breathtaking. It is also challenging, sometimes ugly, sometimes skirmish.

By the 1st few months after birth, I had forgotten my heels, small fancy purses, lovely hair styles, bright clothes and well done nails. I had in fact even forgotten myself. And it left like, just a few more days until 5 years flew by with a blink and suddenly it dawned to me “why is the mirror no more my friend?” “Why does my body and mind feel so tired?” “Where is the ambitious, driven Rima?”

I had done great as a mom, great as a wife and daughter in law as well but I had traded all that for ‘myself’. And so slow and steady re-began a journey of self-discovery. A journey of ‘life’ where now my child was my mentor and I was taking ‘birth’. She was here to teach me to love myself, remember myself, care for myself while also loving her, remembering her and caring for her.

How many of you MOMs have walked this path of OVERWHELM, FEELING LOST, FEELING BURNT while also enjoying the loving arms, the gentle kiss and huge smile from your little angel?

“~ I think tons, I think tons.. I feel the wave of the new breeze, it is calling you if you wish to touch it once, it is time to be born once again ~ ”

– An inspirational message to all moms by Rima Chheda – Desai @ Theguidingstar.org

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR PARENTING LIFE EASY

It is no surprise that parenting comes with huge lessons of ‘overwhelm’ – the common feeling shared by almost all parents if not all. Life feels like an overflowing fountain of ‘demands’ – not demands from children all the time but demands from life. Come to think of it, parenting is a wonderful SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. Many people do not completely understand the word spiritual. ‘Spiritual’ is anything that forces your ‘spirit’ to grow by having to go outside its comfort zone. Spiritual is anything that teaches us better values or to be a better version of ourselves. Having walked a wonderful parenting journey for 7 years and mentoring many parents through articles and direct conversation, I will like to share 5 simple ways to lessen that ‘overwhelming’ feeling and reduce your frustrations.

  1. Organize your home and learn management skills
  2. Prioritize social life
  3. Plan your career life
  4. Realistic expectations from your child
  5. Realistic expectations from yourself

  1. Organize your home and learn management skills – Organization is the master of leadership skills. A great leader is the one who has the skills to multi-task, prioritize, put things in order, stay focused and organized. Remember that being a parent is a lot about being a LEADER.

    What happens if your supervisor at work reaches work late, leaves work even later, doesn’t eat on time, has no proper places to file his work and has no idea what the day and week ahead will look like? Same is with you as a parent.

    One part of organization is your physical space: how well are your things and your kid/s things kept? Can you tell me in your sleep, where ANYTHING is kept without having to get up – whether it is anything in your kitchen, bedroom, dining, etc. Use organizing bins, trays, holders to make sorting easier. E.g. I place puzzles in zip lock bags, her stationery in a heavy-duty organizer on her table, soft toys in a laundry basket, all bed sheets in one drawer, a drawer for art work, one for miscellaneous items, one for puzzles, etc. My bedroom and kitchen is super organized too.

    Another part of organization is time management. How well are you with your routines? If you sleep and wake up more or less the same time daily, your life will be 80% better with your kids than you ever estimated. Your sleep-rest and body cycle has a huge impact on your mood, on your health and amount of energy you feel. Same is with your kids. Do not let them rule your routines, take charge, set time boundaries for them with T.V., eating, sleep, etc.

    What you feel, you transfer to your kids. Mentally plan your meals for the next day rather than having to wake up with a huge frustration question mark of – “Now what to cook today?” Standing in front of the kitchen cabinets, scratching your head over breakfast and lunch deals for the day is poor management. Think of every minute of your life as a great investment towards your kids. How many minutes do you want to waste and how many do you want to multiply?

  2. Prioritize your social life – Yes, we love to party and meet, greet and laugh. But Parenting is a lot about learning to make adjustments, compromises and changes in one’s life. Before my child, I would be out every Saturday and Sunday with husband and his group of friends. Once my child was born, not only did I have to change my routines for the 1st few months, but I made permanent changes to my social life.

    I don’t mean to say stop having fun but the AMOUNT and DURATION of your outings can be reconsidered. How much do you want to cook for your guests? Is it important to ‘impress’ them or to spend time with your children? Each day as a trade. When I plan a day in my mind, I ask myself- how many hours do I want to spend today with my child, based on that I make my other decisions. I may not be able to deny guests from coming home or having to attend parties but I surely DEFINE how much energy I want to put into preparations or having to stay at a party. My time with my child is not the time that is LEFT OVER after everything is taken care of, my time with my child is the 1ST thing I set aside or plan for the day and then everything else revolves around it.

  3. Plan your career life – Once again it is about need vs. demand. What do I demand from my life vs. what I need. For 6 years I dedicated my life, time, energy to my child because I CAREFULLY CALCULATED it this way – once she starts full time school at age 5, she will NEVER EVER AGAIN IN HER LIFE have a FULL WEEK with me at home. She will be spending more time at school than home and never again will I get to PLAN or SPEND 40 hours in a week with her. Hence, I rather set my career aside for those 5 years, even if there were financial challenges, I rather save money and my time with my child than give away that time to a stranger in a day care for whom she will be ‘one of the 20 kids’. That was my choice, you must make yours to what suits you bets. Do understand that time with your kids will never return and make a wise choice based on that along with all the other needs of yourself and your family.
  4. Realistic Expectations from your child – Would you rather have a ‘smart’ child who attends 5 or 7 different classes and tops in math, academics, dance, etc. or would you rather have a child who tops in ‘the language of love’. While classes can teach your child ‘skills’, sharing valuable time with the parent teaches the child invaluable lessons of love and self-growth. Exploratory play at home can be nurtured by the parent which teaches many skills to the child along with learning to build a bond, show and receive care, feel secure and important.  Also, not all kids are made for the ‘A+’ game. Grades is not everything and success is not correlated to grades alone.

    Don’t overburden them with expectations that their body or mind is not made for. Focus on their strengths, explore their talents and be realistic about their limitations. A rational and loving approach will make your parenting life easier, simpler and more successful.

  5. Realistic expectations from yourself – Now tell me that you do this – take over way too much than you can handle. You invite guests today and then accept the birthday invitation for tomorrow, then realize you had bought tickets to a party, then have groceries left to do, wish to be a super mom but also need to be super sexy, want a super skin, miss watching the latest movies and can’t stop browsing the entire world’s Facebook! P-R-I-O-T-I-Z-E !!!

Your kids do not need a super mom. Just be a M-O-M, that itself is great. Chose the top 5 important things in your life. E.g. here is my list:

  1. Spend at least an hour with my daughter on weekday and 5 total hours with her on weekend.
  2. Health – exercise 4 days a week, eat healthy 5 days a week, care for skin / hair twice a month (not the priority right now).
  3. Career – Advance in one’s career at a steady pace and build business slowly on the side.
  4. Socialize – Have an enjoyable outing 2ce a month if not more and call any close friends and family members every 2 weeks. (No receiving calls on weekdays or times when I spend with her).
  5. Learn – learn something new every month either from book, training, observation, etc. (No reading news or news channel, Facebook only to learn new skills).

I hope this article helps you settle down some of your frustrations and overwhelming feelings of parent-hood.

It is nice to be hopeful that life will continue well and it is wise to be realistic that life can change anytime! Make the most of today. Investment in your kids is the greatest investment you can ever make and that is not about how much money you invest in them or their future, it is about how much QUALITY INTERACTION you live with them in this very moment, HERE and NOW.

NO MORE TIME-OUTS @ mindful parenting

ow do some parents get it ‘right’, their kids don’t throw tantrums and they seem to have the best bond, is it just about having an easy kid or good luck? I want to share MY RECIPE OF SUCCESS which involves ZERO TIME-OUTS. Put in simple words it is called MINDFUL DISCIPLINE. I want you to know that this works with difficult kids, special needs’ kids, bad kids and easy kids. It is applicable to EVERY and ANY situation in your life with your child. It will MASSIVELY improve your relationship with your child, reduce your stress and improve your health all at the same time. It is easy and doesn’t require you to have any special training besides the WILLINGNESS to do it. It depends on how badly you want your relationship with your child to improve.

SUCCESS 1: No Time-Outs. You might think I am crazy, the whole world uses Time out! But that’s why the whole world is stressed and enrolled in Parenting groups ;) I want you to introspect. What is the purpose of punishment, disciplining or time outs? You want your child to learn something and stop repeating mistakes or wrong behaviour. Have your time outs done that so far? Time outs only  make children more ignored and more angry. The aim of a discipline is to calm a child and teach them a good lesson, time outs just don’t do that! How would we feel if our family members told us to sit away for 10 mins while either one or many people know that we are in time out. The emotion associated with it is feeling ignored, left out or ashamed. We want to teach kids in a POSITIVE way, not with NEGATIVE or ANY FORCEFUL FEELINGS.

SUCCESS 2: Acknowledge the child’s feelings before you do anything else. “I see how upset you are, how angry you feel. I am feeling angry too”. It is wonderful to show children that it is okay to feel negative emotions and that doesn’t make them negative. Emotions are not negative, actions are. Hence, if you want your child to regulate their anger, 1st teach them to RECOGNIZE those emotions at a go! It is almost like teaching a child to tell you when they are hungry. We are creating AWARENESS here and helping them connect to their inner self.

SUCCESS 3: Model. You cannot teach a child to calm down by screaming at them. They learn more by seeing than by hearing you. If you are pointing fingers and blazing eyes at them, you are TRIGGERING them more and more. If on the opposite you come from a NON-THREATENING STANCE – looking into their eyes with care and just silence and patience, you will get immediate positive results because that breaks down their WALL OF DEFENSE in an instant!

SUCCESS 4: DON’T RAISE YOUR VOICE if you don’t want them to. DON’T Threaten, judge, criticize or reject. Instead, CLEARLY TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO- “I want you to pick up your shoes and put them where they belong. I want you to do that every day on your own as soon as you come home from school. I may remind me once or twice until it becomes your habit. If I continue to see you ignore this, you may help me clean all of our shoes”. Did you see how simple this is. Instead of saying “How many times have I told you to keep your shoes in your spot, you just increase my work and are lazy!”If you were a child, which one will make you want to co-operate and change your behavior?

SUCCESS 5: Create productive solutions before hand for the child. May be a chart to remember that when we get angry, our body feels charged up, our hands feel more pressure and heart feels more aggression. To remove that aggression or to calm it down we can either punch pillows, go to our silent, safe spot, talk to our soft toy or use a stress ball. There are tons of wonderful instruments one can use like STRESS BALLS, SOFT TOY PUPPETS, PILLOWS, PUNCHING BAGS, SOOTHING PLANTS, etc to calm one down. Again, if you model that, they will pick it up without you having to TRY TRY and TRY.

SUCCESS 6: Stop judging and blaming your child and even yourself. Saying that “You are doing this wrong and you always do it and blah blah…” doesn’t help anyone. It only makes the child feel horrible, more angry, more defensive and it makes you more and more distant from your child. Creating a BOND IS SO CRUCIAL because in moments of distress, the bond that was built in good times will keep you and your child united. How much does your child trust you, how connected are you with your kids, is there an unshakable bond where NO ONE FEELS CRITICIZED, REJECTED and JUDGED. If so, you have learnt the most important lesson of parenting and life!

SUCCESS 7: Stop reading more and more articles and start applying the basic rules: SHOW LOVE, SHOW CARE and APPRECIATION with words, quality time, not with toys and expensive holidays. LOOK INTO THEIR EYES with genuine support at their physical level instead of standing tall and threatening them. Find solutions, not a way to blame and remove your frustration in some other healthy ways.There is a lot more I can talk about but I want to keep it as short and as simple as possible. Hope this helps. Please share your views and feel free to write me your troubles in parenting. What bothers you, what is hard about your parenting journey, how can I help you make it easier?#LoveHeals

THE TEMPER TANTRUM MYSTERY SOLVED

When parents come to me frustrated – having ‘tried’ everything they could for their child’s TEMPER TANTRUMS, my heart goes out to them. Parents are innocent to the extent they do not know what is really happening. After knowing if parents do not take appropriate action then we can call it irresponsible behavior on the parent.

UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM BEFORE JUMPING TO THE SOLUTION

The reason why nothing works is because we have not understood the problem correctly or completely. Jumping to a solution without knowing the actual problem never brings results. So what is the actual problem when a child shouts, screams, stomps, acts stubborn? The problem is in the way we perceive the child’s behaviour. We believe the child WANTS to be difficult, needs that cookie or TV time and that’s why the child is wrong.

NO. 1

The truth is that the child is looking to fulfill another EMOTIONAL NEED through this behaviour. Not all children throw temper tantrums and anyone who sells you into the TERRIBLE TWOs idea is not completely right. Tantrums are a way for kids to express EMOTIONAL PAIN. It is an emotional wound. What would you do when your child had physically hurt, really badly? Would you not rush to soothe your child and do a remedy with ‘LOVE’ vs. criticizing?

NO. 2

Our children scream and shout because and only because they see OTHER ADULTS scream and shout, most likely one or more of their immediate care givers. We have taught our children that ‘shouting and screaming is THE WAY to solve problems’. It is not their fault. They are only imitating us! Think again before you show them CARTOONS, NEWS, TV SHOWS that portray VIOLENCE and POWER as a means of problem solving or ‘winning’ over the good or the bad.

NO. 3

It is human nature to scream or shout when one feels overwhelmed from the situation. It is the ultimate height of frustration.

Children get frustrated because they feel misunderstood. They do not have words in their mental dictionary to recognize and say – “I am stubborn for the cookie because IN REALITY I am feeling LONELY or UNWANTED…” It is for US to understand what the underlying emotional need is. Maybe they were ill-treated in school or they feel criticized by other adults. Maybe they feel rejected or simply miss spending time with us and our personal attention. Have you been way too B-U-S-Y lately?Maybe they are being ‘abused’ in some way. We are their only support. Please let us understand our children. A child who regularly or often throws temper tantrums is in IMMEDIATE and URGENT EMOTIONAL NEED.

NO. 4

We must accept that we throw tantrums as well! If we don’t accept our mistakes and improve, neither will our children. We shout, scream, get angry at our children and others. Even if we don’t anger our kids, they watch us communicate with others. They learn by seeing us with others as well.It could be that you are facing tough situations at home, at work or through your in-laws. That is understandable and yet, it is our duty to get support for ourselves so that we can raise children in a stable manner. Some ways to VENT out our frustrations and anger are: Pen it down on paper, talk to a friend who will be non-judgmental, take coaching or counseling sessions (very helpful), play sports and exercise, improve eating and sleeping habits, discuss with your family members how they can improve and support you, move out of highly stressful situations or jobs, etc.

Going to counselor or a coach does not mean something is wrong with you or that you will be ‘CORRECTED’. It means that you deserve UNCONDITIONAL and NON-JUDGEMENTAL SUPPORT and CARE along with expert advice.

 

 

No. 5

Take time out. Understand yourself. Be observant. When your pressures are rising and you are about to hit the frustration mark, let your kid/s know that you are feeling ‘OVERWHELMED’ and need to calm down before you continue the conversation (no matter how imp., take a break!). Tell them that you will come back to them once you are able to calmly talk to them.

Same for your kids. Encourage your kids to take time off saying that it will help YOU understand THEM better when they are calmer. They can choose their CALM SPOT in the house beforehand and a favorite soft toy or God to talk to. Allow them that silence and even privacy if needed (Make sure they don’t lock rooms or other adults don’t go after them).

 

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No. 6

Attending to our kids doesn’t mean bowing down to all their needs. And an angry child doesn’t mean a child who wants to be DIFFICULT or MEAN.

Do you shout at your child because you enjoy being difficult, mean or harsh? If your answer is NO, same applies to your child. Children don’t want to ‘get into trouble’. Nobody likes being criticized. They are in serious emotional help and if their IMMEDIATE care givers cannot give them the sense of security, who will? As parents, we are the epitome of a SECURE WORLD FOR THEM. If they don’t get it from home, they will never get from anywhere!

On the other hand, let’s say your child is truly ‘out-of-hand’. That your child truly wants to manipulate and ‘get things out of you’. Yet, once again here you the parent have set that behavioural theme at some point. The child has LEARNT that I can get things out of my parent/s if I cry, throw fits, etc. Once again the problem is not with the child but with the parent who thinks “Jaane dete hai. Bechara bahut ro raha hai”. This is the ‘Easy way out approach’.

In reality, often times you don’t want to give in to the child but it is easier than dealing with the drama. If you could stay firm yet polite means clearly state, repeat and then stay silent with the same ‘mantra’, it would help you send the right message to your child.

E.g. – “No matter how you show me your anger, it is not T.V. day today.. However, I would love to spend 10 mins. (or more) of hide and seek (or anything you like) with you. I miss it so much. Tell me when you are ready for it. I will wait for you in my room until then”.

No. 7

In our original Hindu Scriptures it is clearly written that not only should children respect elders but elders must ALSO respect those younger to them. It is also stated that when an elder person is wrong, a child has the right to correct them. These shlokas are said out during pujas like Satyanarayan puja and if the pujari is wise, he explains it too!

It is sad that our culture today only teaches and even FORCES kids to RESPECT adults and by respect they mean – “Never correct your adults”. On Janmashtami Day I want to spread this message. Lord Krishna is our perfect example who has taught us that wisdom does not come with age in one birth, it comes with the age of the Soul which can be way wiser than any adult and that one must also stop adults with wrongful behaviour/s.

I hope this helps! There is a lot more about Anger Management and Tantrums but this is the basic, most important foundation to it!

Image Courtesy: Google images

The Biography of a Fearless Parent

~ Copyrights reserved.

Parent of the Month (July 2015): Deepak Chheda: aka ‘BHAISHREE’

“The waves of the sea tide high and low to test the strengths within you. They rise up high to see if you can fly when you cannot swim. They bow down low when they know that you shall glow even through a whole bunch of grey clouds!” ~ Dedicated to Dad by Rima D.

It is tough enough to be a Parent, think of being a Single Parent to two young girls with no real career or earning to begin with. In a NEED TO GET INSPIRED?! Read how this parent fearlessly faced all the challenges that life hunted him with…

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Dad was just about to be 34 years when Mom’s sudden demise struck him with immense shock and grief. Then, he had an older daughter at 9 years and me at 6 years. Call it trauma or chaos, he not only had two daughters to care for but also an immense financial burden.

I still remember the day when I was wondering why people all around me are all dressed in white and why they are all crying. What would I understand at 6 years of age? One of the following day, there was an exaggerated silence in our extended living room. Dad was sitting quiet on the 2-3 seater sofa we had – the only furniture that accompanied the long room. Everything seemed empty, not only our hearts, but also our home, and it felt like even the dead living room was crying to be more ‘busy’. I was wearing my white and red two-piece night dress with red hearts on the pockets, beautiful frills. It was my favorite dress. I asked dad – “Where is mom?” He sat there with no response. I can only imagine, how life’s painful demands must have blown upon dad like a loud, commanding trumpet that shakes us from our dearest dream. But he made it through…!

I have seen Dad take heavy loans in an attempt to give us just basic living. We lived in a huge home which was granted by grandpa but besides of that, we literally struggled for even basic clothes or good food. People judged us from the home we had and thought we were rich. We also lived in a suburb that belonged to the elite class since grandpa built his home there and we had cousins that were truly very well off. Our family was socially knit and religiously driven. Hence we had several rituals to attend many times in a month and when all of this is put together, dad had a lot to keep up to: The worry of building his business from scratch, educating his daughters while on a heavy loan, having someone take care of us after school (since school ended by 1pm);  get us enough clothes to keep up with the family and religious rituals, have maids to help us with house work – which was always a huge challenge, and a lot more… I remember his tears and worry when his very own close family members wanted to snatch our home and have us come on the streets. Dad had a legal battle to win to save his two daughters from being homeless, I remember that day when, the little child became his parent and said – “It will be okay dad” but inside my heart, I was hurt, scared, in anger. I remember tons of days of darkness, sadness, struggles in our lives where dad had to fight many social, emotional and financial battles…

I don’t think even a 100 pages can suffice for what I would want to express or vent you may say. I can say that no matter what faults others find, I can vouch for what he did right! In spite of massive financial burden and almost no support from outside, he gave us the best education. He put us in the most competitive and expensive school in one of the most elite areas of the prestigious Mumbai City!

That education has today led me to be this person who is writing on this blog, serving the community, and build a personality that can adapt to any cultural backdrop across the world. I haven’t had a problem conversing in English and interacting with the general public across different countries. My School played big role in it!
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I am honored to have learnt some amazing things from dad:

  1. Excellent Organizational Skills: Until date, I haven’t met anyone who can beat dad in his organizational skills.

  2. Social Skills: Over the years, I saw dad as very sociable. He was friendly, helpful and was quick to make them feel comfortable and good about themselves.

  3. Hard work and the value of being Responsible: Maybe there are people more hardworking than my dad or maybe there aren’t! I cannot owe him enough to teach me this important value. Dad gave his best swim across the tough tides of life. He never backed from his responsibilities even when he had several strong enemies in his business and life. I witnessed him face them all with great courage.

  4. God-fearing and religious – Dad exposed us to deep religious knowledge of Jainism and its rituals. Sometimes it felt like it was too much for a child but today I cherish those experiences and knowledge. It has imparted great wisdom and strength into me. He believed in God and taught us values like being kind, never eat animals, etc.. By belief in God and by modelling courage, he taught us to be Brave and Optimistic in life.

  5. Skills with Kids: Dad is just super with kids. He did great in having cousins stay overnight, arranging games and activities with them, teaching us in fun yet educational ways, entertaining the younger tots, etc. I subconsciously learnt a lot about playing with kids by watching dad over the years.

  6. Have the Faith: Dad taught without the use of words, that having faith and having an optimistic ‘expectation’ out of Life, always leads us to a ‘good’ place. He always taught me – “Never fear”.

  7. Strong cultural roots: I learnt to interact with elders, be courteous, be rooted to my homeland, to my religion, culture, be curious of other cultures, etc all from dad through his wise advices and by observing him.

  8. Business Skills: I have observed him to be an honest, fierce and powerful businessman.

I have learnt a lot from him and still continue to. No parent is perfect and no parent should be, because all that matters if we are bonded with ‘Love’. Love makes it Perfect.

“Dad I am Honored for all that I have learnt from you. You deserve all the success that is coming to You for Jee and me know how much you have invested into us and into life! We love You Unconditionally and so do your Grand-children”. Also, a Big Thank You to Jinal di for participating in this and for being a great sister through and through all the years till now”.

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Elder Daughter: JINAL

“Whatever I am today is only and only because of my Father. A highly organized person and extremely dedicated to his duties he has brought us up in a very cultured and disciplined environment. Playing the role of a mother and father is not easy. We have seen hardships he has faced in order to raise us so diligently. Spiritual and honest in his ways, he has given us a strong base to face the outside world. He always wears a smile and his simplicity adds a charm to his personality.

He can be like a child with his grandchildren and mold himself easily to his surroundings. Words are not enough to say or justify what I owe to him. Also Dad, Sarthak receives so much joy learning and playing with you”.

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A sincere and heartfelt ‘THANK YOU’ to you Dad for all that you have done for us. Love You!

        HBDD

BHAISHREE’S PARENTS – My Grandparents :))

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BHAISHREE’S ACTIVITIES

Dad continues to live independently by himself since 9 years now. He is as active as before but is living a simpler and a much more religious life now. He is now fiercely active in the Jain religious spectrum with his organization https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Jain-Foundation-IJF-Mumbai/

He is working towards creating more awareness of and support for the Jain Sect. His recent, Jain event in Mumbai was embraced with a huge sucess. He is commonly and respectfully referred to as ‘Bhaishree’ by all who know him in recognition of the work he is doing for the Jain Community. This name has been ‘gifted’ to him by a Jain Monk.

 
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Sagar Yerunkar – May 2015

This article is brought to you by Rima Desai ~ Copyrights reserved. It aims to appreciate young dads for their contribution in caring for their kid/s. You may also read it here: https://www.facebook.com/parentingbooth

SAGAR YERUNKAR – MAY 2015

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At 13 years (sometimes I read numbers backwards), my dad is super supportive! There isn’t much of an age gap between  dad and me. I turned 1 few days ago and daddy turned 31 on May 16th.  See, we are only 3 apart ;)

One thing is definite – my dad has mastery over story-telling.


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When he narrates me a story, he captures our attention. I may be distracted but yet, I get engulfed in his stories; mom too! You can see mom’s palm on her chin, eyes and ears in deep attention. And even if I hear less than half the story, dad continues it with a lot of enthusiasm. Love it dad! Now I can tell how dad charmed mommy. How many stories did you make up dad to impress mom?!

My dad is fun! Papa ensures he gets home on time to enjoy with me before I zzzz.

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 Mom says Dad’s face is a lantern of happiness when he makes me laugh. He does it every day and it is priceless to watch! Dad doesn’t know I just laugh because I don’t want to disappoint him. ;) (Just kiddin’!)

 

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Mom is pretty smart too. She knows how to put dad to work. She uses her leadership skills with him too. Guess, that (shhh… mom shouldn’t hear), mom has stringed dad into feeding me breakfast, dinner, and cleaning my dirty diapers on the weekends. Pee yu! :p

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Plus he does many more things to give her time. But I see why dad does it – he loves mom (nobody should know he is a little scared of mom too, like half a chocolate piece scared). Dad don’t worry, I didn’t tell mom how you sneak into the chocolate box.

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There are 3 things that dad barely does half as good as mom (sorry dad, mom told me to write this ;))

  1.  Tear free bathing
  2. Getting me to close my eyes for sweet dreams
  3. Keeping me still while changing my diaper

 But then Dad has his strengths too! Here is my SD – SUPER DAD

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Dad is Super good at

  1. Dressing me
  2.  Taking me to car rides

3. And playing Peek-a-Boo with me!

 Mom says: “Sagar is a super protective dad. Seeing them play together makes me wonder if boys will always be boys”.

HB DADDY!
Happy B’day DADDY!

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Also read: Young dad for April – https://mystyrimz.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/aprildad2-com/

 

The Biography of a Gracious Mother

This post is brought to you by Rima Desai

Parent of the Month (May 2015): MRS. PUJA RAMCHANDANI

Today on May 13th, I am fortunate to celebrate the most memorable birthday – The Birthday of my ‘Adopted Mother’! Haha, yes! I call her my adopted mother. Well ideally, she adopted me as a child just a heart-to-heart connection, no official adoption, etc. She my best friend’s mom whom I found in my college years when I was lost, depressed, missing a mom figure in my life. My biological mother died when I was 6 and (Puja Ramchandani) Mom came to my life as an Angel!

This is the bio of a Parent who has faced numerous challenges in life with the best of courage and smiles. Even though she lost her mom at a crucial age of 17 years, she turned that difficult phase of life into a powerful journey. She has taught many of us to LOVE unconditionally, and to pass through the fogs with might. She epitomizes the word ‘Mother’ esp. for me as I call her ‘Mom’. Welcome our Parent for May 2015 – MRS. PUJA RAMCHANDANI.

Dedicated to You Mom, from all of us!

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As a child, she was reserved, shy, and could not speak openly with her parents. After losing her mom, her elder sisters were there with her only for a few years. (In India, girls got married very early in those times). Her dad was strict and disciplinary. She learnt important values from him but it also created fear within her. Losing a mom at teenage feels like losing one’s spine. Not having guidance, and support, she turned out to be an innocent person. When she got married, she was scared to travel by the local trains. She would want to visit her sisters who lived in town, far from her home. Her husband helped her a few times but eventually she gathered the courage to go by herself.

She steered through the challenges of her newly married life and built great relations with everyone within the immediate and extended family. After finishing house work, in the afternoon, she would find time to experiment with new recipes and soon her recipes were the ‘talk of the town’. She was always identified as a person who took great care of everyone in the family, her in laws, her children, and many others.

Mrs. Ramchandani’s life called for sudden and heavy adjustments. Often the dynamics altered between joint and nuclear family. Both of the family systems have their grave challenges and imagine having to make arrangements in the home according to how the family structure changes. Over and again, she took care of extended family members who lived with her for several months and being a mother, I can understand how that impacts one’s daily family life. The beauty is that she embraced each situation and ‘change’ with grace! Each time it was a different type of adjustment required and she stayed up to it powerfully.

Personally speaking, I have seen the small house they lived in. Having two young children, the way in which she adjusted in that short space and yet made it into a beautiful home is admirable! Even though she had a lot of family responsibilities, she ensured her children grew up with fun. She encouraged them to participate in activities, competitions, sports, and academics while also caring for all the other family members. She has always been very involved in her children at all stages and given them all that she has missed in life. I have also witnessed the dedication with which she cared for her ailing, bed-ridden father-in-law for more than 8 years. I am in awe of her!

In her mid-life, her husband and son relocated to a new country in their need to support the family and take the upcoming opportunity. It was a massive change. The responsibility of finances, caring for the home, in-laws, and getting her daughter through with her education, all fell on her shoulders. At this juncture Mrs. Ramchandani came out even stronger than before. Like the saying goes – The difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary is the ‘extra’.

We have a lot to write about Mrs. Puja, but we have more to hear: heart-warming words from all of her children. Her son recently got married and now her family feels complete!

Son: NILESH (NEEL)

“Mom, you know I do not express much with words but you mean the world to me. You are the most amazing person I know. The things you do, not just for our family, but for everyone are greatly appreciated… You have given me strength, values, and love. You are the best chef of the world. Your food has healing powers! You are the Angel of our family Mom, Thank You for everything you do!”

Daughter: SARITA (HANISHA)

Mom has given me so many gifts by just being the person she is. She has given me ‘LIFE’ and an opportunity to be a part of GOD’S Manifestation and a bond which is going to last forever. I cannot thank her enough for all the lessons and values she has given me as a priceless treasure.

“Mom you lift me up and never let me fall. You see me through and you see the best in me. You inspire me to be a better mom. Most of all, I cherish your hugs. Even when you scold me, when we argue, I am learning something from you. I am grateful for all your teachings. You are the Miracle of my World. You have Shaped me to the best of me and You are the reason, I am me. I am blessed that God chose me to be your child, my love for you is infinite!”.

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Memories with You MOM:

  • Story time with you as a child; esp. the bedtime spiritual Gurbani was just so relaxing and every night you gracefully taught me to face life with courage and moral values.
  • You stayed up with us for studies and exams like it was your test. I still remember how you stayed up praying and studying with us in our crucial years. You made us coffee / milk to keep us awake. You were so involved with Neel and I that we felt our classes and projects were as much yours and our competitions were incomplete without you.
  • After Neel and Dad relocated, I saw a stronger, different person in you. Those days are memorial to me as we shared our tough times together adjusting and making sacrifices.
  • You spend an awesome time with Nishika; you make a wonderful grandmother!

5 Special qualities of Mom:

  • Very helpful: You go out of her way to help others
  • Compassionate
  • Multi-tasking
  • Active and energetic
  • Quick and spontaneous on any task
  • Forgiving – even when people do bad things to you, you move on without grudges
  • You create happy surroundings wherever you go
  • I appreciate your chirpy, jolly, and hard-working nature

Daughter-in-law: PRIYANKA (SIMRAN)

“Mom, I am lucky to be your daughter-in-law. You give me the strength and power to adjust in a new place and you also make me feel comfortable. Even though I am away from home, I feel at home :) You are a special person because of the priceless heart you have. You are so loving and affectionate!”

My special memory with you is our welcome dinner dance on the song – “Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi”.

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Son-in-law: AMITH MELVANI

When I came to India before marriage, mom made me feel extremely comfortable and because of that I enjoyed my wedding shopping with them.

“Mom, this is the perfect platform to share that when Sarita and me needed you the most during my challenging times, you were super supportive; you helped us immensely even with relocating our store. I was very moved by that. Mom I have known you as someone with a heart filled with so much love for everyone. You go out of your way to be of help without bias, even if that person hasn’t been nice to you. I am fortunate to have your daughter as my wife because she has imbibed your forgiving and caring nature. By law you may be called my Mother-in-law but I relate to You as my Mother!”.

from all of us :)
from all of us :)

 Notes from me: RIMA


 Writing my heart out to ‘Mom’ can be the toughest thing for me because there is so much for me to express that a sea of emotions explode. I am grateful, I have received this opportunity from the Universe to write about Mom. After God sent her down to earth, he listed – “No more in production”. Sounds hilarious but she is the Only one of her kind. ‘Grateful’ is a very small gesture I can say to her.

When I lost my mom at 6 years of age, I grew up feeling ‘greatly deprived’. I had a lot of internal pain from hearing other children use the word MOM. I had no one whom I could call Mom and as simple as that sounds, it is extremely painful for a child. Many people would SYMPATHIZE with me but mom was the the only one who went a step further. I was a complete stranger to her. She didn’t know my family, had never come to my home, and knew nothing else about me besides that I was her son’s classmate in school. Our religions were very different too. In those times, not many would openly embrace a person from a totally different religion.

Unlike all others, Mom made me her ‘Daughter’ and allowed me, in fact, declared that I refer to her as ‘MOM’. There is no other gift I can receive that can be more PRECIOUS. After so many years of lull, it was hard for me to even speak out the word ‘MOM’.

Year 2005, India
Year 2005, India

For several years, I had nobody to talk to, nobody who loved me unconditionally, no one who cooked food of my liking. I craved all of this deeply and often cried several hours at night. From all the friends and family – tons of cousins I knew, I was the ONLY one who belonged to a Single Parent family. This feeling slowly got healed as Mrs. Puja (Mom) made for me a place of great love in her heart and home.

Mom would invite me at her home and hear all that I had to say. She would go out of her way to cook food of my liking, food that she hadn’t cooked before. Being a Jain by religion, I wouldn’t eat onions, potatoes, carrots, and garlic at all. Cooking food without these ingredients was a challenge because it was totally new and unknown to her. But she LEARNT to make my favorite vegetables EXACTLY the way I liked them. She made the most delicious BHINDI (OKRA) veggies – the taste of which from the year 1999 is still in my mouth! Who would do all this for a stranger?

The way she has brought up her two kids speaks volumes of her character, her courage, her strength and her love. I will fall short on words and space to write for her.

“Mom you are way too special to me and I there is no way I can repay You for all the love you have given me. In cold, screeching blizzards of my life, you covered me with a warm blanket that kept me going safe and strong! You came specially to my engagement ceremony, that meant a lot to me. Thank You Mom.

I am more than grateful and I sincerely hope God will give me a chance to SERVE YOU, to CARE FOR YOU in return. Your love, comes out in your food and in your talks. You are so much fun, so loving, spiritual, courageous, and such a sweetheart. I know it is not only me, you have opened your heart to many children, many people, and helped many more than we all even know. I am far from you since several years but yet, I haven’t felt that distance. Even if we talk once in several months, you are there, just the same.

I was happily surprised to know how much Simran knew about me even before I spoke to her. Thank You for introducing me to her, even in my absence… what more should I say?… My eyes are full with emotion. I am sure there is a great reason why my Mom’s bday and your bday are next to each other and why I met you in this life-time! Over the years, you have allowed me to be myself and loved me unconditionally. I remember how I used to save money and call you from phone booths to talk to you. I LOVE YOU MOM”.

Husband: VIDU RAMCHANDANI

Puja is a very cordial, loving, and caring wife. I credit her for raising mature, wonderful kids and adjusting gracefully when both of us had to be away. She is very affectionate and very well organized in caring for the home and entire family. I am lucky to have such a loving and caring spouse who has blessed my family with her presence.

“Puja, you are the perfect wife and the perfect mother. I admire you for who you are!”

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This post is brought to you by Rima Desai Copyrights reserved ~  Will love to have your comments and likes to this post. https://rimadesai.org/

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Also read: https://theguidingstar.org/2015/05/14/www-lettertomymom-com/

Fun with Phonics: Teach Phonics in a Fun Way (Re-post from ParentEdge)

This is a RE-POST of my article from The Indian Magazine: ParentEdge: http://parentedge.in/fun-with-phonics-teach-phonics-in-a-fun-way/

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Ideal Age: 3.5 years – 6.5 years

It is fascinating to see our children grow through their different phases and one such thrilling phase is when they begin to put words together into sentences. Next, they begin picking up sounds of letters to make more sense out of them.

In simple words, learning Phonics is about learning the sounds of each letter so that they can be put together to make a word. This means that instead of rote learning CAT with the letter C, A, T, the child would learn to ‘develop’ the word CAT by saying the sound of each letter as in C-A-T. Today we will learn simple exercises to boost your child’s phonic awareness in powerful ways.

I want you all to know that the activities I list here are the activities I do with my daughter sincerely and many of the activities in my articles are MY OWN ORIGINAL ACTIVITIES which came about with the need for ‘creative play’ with my daughter to teach her more by spending less!

Magnetic lettersACTIVITY ONE: The first step is to get your child interested in the alphabet per se. We need a magnetic surface and magnetic letters. Place toy letters on the fridge top or a magnetic surface to attract your child’s attention. Playing A-B-C nursery rhymes and showing them letters in their environment makes them more aware that letters give meaning to our world. When we are waiting for our train ride, or parking at the airport, my daughter and I have fun playing I Spy and spotting letters.

ACTIVITY TWO: We need lots of blank white paper, a dark color marker, and some cello tape. We are going to write names of simple objects around the home and then stick the paper on that object. E.g. Write DOOR in big bold letters and tape the paper on any door. Same with Fridge, Wall, Chair, Table, and so on; this helps your child associate words and letters to objects in their environment and learn spellings at a later stage.

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ACTIVITY THREE: We need some wooden plain blocks, (preferably rectangular) and a marker. Along with your child, write the name of each of your family members on a block. Encourage your child to place that name block on the dining table assigning each family member a place to sit. This way the child learns to spell names and gets more involved in mealtime preparation.

Another alternative: take more blocks and write one letter on one block to spell out names of all family members. This is an advanced version in name spelling and can create a lot of fun for your child especially if s/he likes challenges.

Below you can see I have used the same block to write both words on opposite sides. This way my daughter learns the spelling of and associates both the words. Similarly, you can take 3 cubes and write M on one, O on the other and M on the 3rd one to help them spell it out literally by themselves.

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ACTIVITY FOUR: This is my daughter’s favorite activity. We began it when she was 4.5 years and now 7 months later she enjoys it just as much.

We need – pencil, paper, eraser, you and your child in a place comfortable enough to write.

Pre-requisite: Child must know sounds of each or at least some letters and must know how to write them.

Aim: To help your child spell a word, write it, and then draw a picture of it.

How to: You will begin by thinking of a word, let’s say STAR. You will now tell your child that you are going to spell out the word for him / her by saying the sounds of each letter in your word. Begin with ‘S’ (just make the sound of S, don’t say S). Your child has to guess which letter it is and write that letter on the paper. Next letter is ‘T’ (Just the Tah sound) and so the child guesses and writes T. In this way, you finish S-T-A-R and then allow your child to guess what the word if. If s/he cannot get the word, you say it for them by putting the sounds together like ‘St’ ‘ar’  = Star. Now s/he must draw a star in any way s/he can.

Remember, it is ok if the word letters and pictures are not aligned or in order. The presentation is not important here, the learning is!

Below is my daughter’s paper at age 4.7 years. She spelled and guessed all of the words below and drew pictures. Mostly we do this when I am cooking in the kitchen, she sits nearby, and we enjoy the game together. spell testMy other articles from ParentEdge magazine:

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Anthony Nguyen – April 2015

This article is brought to you by Rima Desai ~ Copyrights reserved. It aims to appreciate young dads for their contribution in caring for their kid/s. 

ANTHONY NGUYEN – April 2015

Anthony Nguyen is our 2nd dad today for Young Dad’s Appreciation for this month. His toddler son is telling us a fun story about how Fantabulous his Dad is. He is celebrating his Dad’s 30th B’day on April 4th!

a 2 Congratulations Daddy! You have been selected as Month April’s Super Hero. You must show the world your extra-ordinary tricks. All the other boys keep saying that their dad is a Super Hero – Super man, Spider Man, Flying Man ;) but I can tell you my dad is truly a Ninja!

 Ninja Dad

Okay you guys think I am kidding right? Alright I’ll tell you what.

I know all the things that makes my Dad great. At least once every day he changes my

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and often he lets me roam in it too… because he knows that it unleashes my power within – ‘Freedom from Pants Power Roooarrr’. He has changed more than

365diapers in the last one year! And while changing my diaper, he wont mind if I shower him with my love. He is ‘Cool’

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Dad also knows how to change my

clothes without even holding them. He makes them fly! You must watch him do it: One kick and my shirt is off, another kick and my shirt is on… yesterday he even cut his cake like that (Umm… I mean the shoe hit the table and the cake sliced with the table earthquake… something like that… haha)

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Do you know why I am not the Dentist’s best friend? Because my dad tooth brush my teeth, at least 5 times in a day. No, really! and if they still look not as white, he takes a few drops of paint and ….. O I was supposed to Shh that. O boy..

Thanx to dad I smell so good – he remembers to shower me at least once a week + he can give me a bath almost anywhere. He says it is ‘TRUE CREATIVITY’

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He remembers to trim my nails when they begin looking like Dragon paws

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Now did you say my dad is not a Ninja?!

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Anthony Nguyen
Anthony Nguyen

Dad You are so Awesome, I decided to write you a message in the Sky for everyone to see

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