Paw Things#4 – A blog by a Dog (cute pics included)

 

Hi, there! I am Happy. It has been long since someone wrote something about me. Hmmm…so, I took the liberty to post my own Paw Things with many selfies and pics.

I am all grown up now, but still have that cute puppy face. Don’t you think so?

In January, I was unwell for about a week and there seemed to be a major health issue. It scared my family. But all turned out well in the end.

I am all hale and hearty now. I love to run in the snow and sniff around. I probably scare off the hibernating rabbits and squirrels. But what the heck, Spring is coming…they should gear up!

No, snow does not bother me at all. I love to eat a mouthful every now and then, when no one is watching.

There is something about the lake. I love to meditate near it.

This is my favorite spot. And my favorite thing in the world? Sleep Yoga!

I always wait for the boys to come from school. It is super exciting when they get down from the bus and run towards home.

I had fun sledding with the boys!

Yesterday, the boys enjoyed adding effects to my pic. Hmmm…do I look grumpy? Grumpy-Happy Dog!

Hope you enjoyed my pictures. I think Spring is around the corner and we will have more outdoor activities. I will share more pics soon. Till then, bye from Happy! Love Bark!

Validation vs Coddling – Did you know the difference?

 

coddling

Your child is crying due to a conflict with kids in his school. What would you say?

Option 1 – Get over it! It happens to everyone; you don’t need to cry about it. (Denial)

Option 2 – Poor thing, you’ve had such a hard day at school. I will talk to your teacher about it. (Coddling)

Option 3 – It was a hard day for you. It is normal to feel this way. Tell me more about it. (Validation)

Which option seems best to you? Using option 1 was the most-used method by adults in the past. A child was expected to be small, insignificant and behave in a certain way. But joint families and strong social structure helped in well-rounded growth of kids despite lack of empathetic attitudes of some of our parents.

But times have changed since. Only mom and dad (or sometimes single parent) have stayed as solid family structures have collapsed around us. And option 2 popularly name as Coddling and option 3 or Validation have mostly stayed. In both cases, a child’s feelings are acknowledged. But option 2 indulges a child while option 3 makes him strong and confident.

Now Coddling and Validation seem very similar. There is just a thin line in between! Validation is a balanced approach while you go overboard with coddling. The trick is to identify the boundary.

spoilt boy

Parents who coddle offer to intervene on behalf of the kids, signalling thereby the child is incapable of handling his problems.

Coddling makes a child feel manipulative, helpless, victimized and entitled. The child feels controlled and babied.

Coddling parents indulge in helicopter parenting – a phrase coined for those who hover over their child’s every move in an effort to protect them from pain, disappointment, and failure. When kids are over-praised, they start feeling entitled and reduce their efforts to do something and be challenged.

And if kids are overprotected, they feel restricted, socially inferior and inadequate.

We all are guilty of doing this, aren’t we? The thing is keeping a child’s self-esteem intact while challenging them to rise and shine, is a hard task and it comes with practice.

validating

On the other hand, parents who validate empower the kid to make his own decision and find a way out of challenging situations in his life. Parents kind of mirror back his emotions and show their trust in his ability to deal with it.

Parents who validate do not overindulge or offer to make things right for their kid (unless it is some serious problem that requires intervention of adults). Also, they do not deny their kid’s feelings but show warmth and understanding. It is a kind of midway between denial and coddling.

Validation creates independence, emotional intelligence, better social skills and strengthens parent-kid bonding.

The book the ‘Power of Validation’ talks about it at great length.

The authors define validation as “the recognition and acceptance that your child has feelings and thoughts that are true and real to him regardless of logic or whether it makes sense to anyone else.”

Validating means acknowledging thoughts and feelings of your child without judging, ridiculing or abandoning them. It means listening and making him or her feel ‘heard’ – this conveys that you love and accept your kid unconditionally.

Hall and Cook, explain that validation is not the same as comforting, praising or encouraging your child. For instance, telling your child that they played great in their soccer game isn’t validating. What is validating is saying the truth, such as “It’s hard when you don’t play as well as you would like.”

“Validation is acknowledging the truth of your child’s internal experience, that it’s normal and okay to not always play your best, be the best player, or do all things perfectly or even well,” they write. So, just validating,  just listening, just understanding …works wonder.

Parenting is hard and identifying those fine psychological lines that can straighten or bend our kids is even harder. It is difficult to be understanding when we have so much going on in our lives. But then it is not impossible! And this balanced approach comes with commitment and practice. We owe that to our kids, don’t we? Happy parenting!

(Images courtesy Google)

 

 

Small Things #25 – What is the last name of Krishna?

While my older one is excited about the wider acceptance and appreciation of our eBook ‘The Boy Named Joy’ (running in Amazon’s bestseller list of top 100 free books), the little one is exploring spirituality. Yesterday, he asked a question I had never thought of! “Krishna has so many names but what is the last name?” Baffling, isn’t it? Did you know?

Well, I threw the question back at him. “What do you think?”.

“Hmm…well Jesus has Christ as his last name. I don’t know why Krishna did not have a last name.”

So, I had to take help from Mr. Google and this is what I found. It seems that during Krishna’s age, the people had titles rather than surnames.

Krishna has been called by different names throughout Mahabharata – Yashodanandan (son of Yashoda), Giridhar (one who lifted a hill), Gopala (one who takes care of cows), Dwarikadheesh (King of Dwarika) and so on. But no surnames.

I guess, last names did not exist at that time. And since every name was based on the personal attribute of the individual, it was different. For example, Krishna was called Krishna (dark one) because he was dark in color.

In fact, all the people in the holy books ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’ are referred to by their first names, which indicates their personalities. Yudhisthira (one who is steady in war), Bhima (one who is formidable), Arjun (One who is pure and white), Nakula (most handsome), Sehdeva (with gods) and so on… Usually, no two people had the same name.

Last names began to be taken when the British came to India.

So, by today’s context, Krishna’s last name would be Vrishni. According the Google – “Krishna is referred to in the Mahabharata as a Vrishni during Arjuna’s war with Karna; the Vrishnis are a clan under the umbrella of Yadavas; Satyaki is also a Vrishni. So, by today’s human standards, Krishna’s last name would be Vrishni.”

It was a great question and looking for the answer was equally interesting. Kids really see things differently and that is why they ask the best questions.

(P.S.- Last day to buy ‘The Boy Named Joy’ for free. So, do download here. Thank You.)

(image- Google)

 

 

My book made it to Amazon’s Bestseller List, Thank You.

My book, The Boy Named Joy, has made it to the Amazon’s bestseller list in the U.S. and India. It is much more than what I had expected. All thanks to you dear readers! If you haven’t already, do buy the eBook for free now:(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DMGH8J for US and https://www.amazon.in/dp/B084DMGH8J for India.

Do read about the book here. The promotion will get over by February 5, U.S. time. The Boy Named Joy is for little kids as well as adults. It tells us how simple it is to be happy!

I am grateful that this joint effort got some recognition. I collaborated with my son to create this book that talks about the power of choice. My other family members supported it, then my small group of book launch team (Husband, sisters, brothers, family and dear friends) did there magic to bring it into the bestseller list of free books. And then there is Krishna always!

This has been my maiden effort on Amazon KDP. My  two eBooks have been sold on other platforms but not exclusively here. And I am loving it. Do download, read it and review it and it will greatly help a humble beginner like me.

Thank you my reading and blogging community for your support always. You help me create! Thank You!

Bedtime Book – The Boy Named Joy on Amazon!

Children’s bedtime book, The Boy Named Joy is now available on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DMGH8J). Download your eBook copies on Amazon.com or Amazon.in (if you are in India).
Here is the preview:

About the Book: Why is King Boo-Hoo always sad although he has everything? And why is the boy named Joy always happy although he has nothing. What is the secret? The magic painting or something else… Read this endearing tale to know all about JOY!
 
The Making: The story was written quickly but the illustrations were a problem. Then, my eight-year-old, Adiraj stepped in and created the characters. He was enthusiastically encouraged by my little kindergartner, Aviraj. And after the characters were drawn on paper, I digitized the pictures and put it all together. This is how we created the book.

Message: The Boy Named Joy has a message for school children and adults as well! This Children’s eBook tells us that happiness does not really depend on cool gadgets, apps, video games or fancy clothes. That kind of happiness is momentary. True happiness comes by choosing to be happy irrespective of what we have and what we don’t have.

The eBook will help raise, good, happy kids who would learn to make wise choices in life. It is my sincere hope that this special tale will entertain as well as teach the kids to stay positive despite challenges in life just like the main character Joy.

Our kids face many challenges in life and this simple book might help.

Your feedback is extremely important and very welcome. Don’t forget to write a review on Amazon if you like it. Thanks again for being a great support!
– Shivangi
 

Meet the characters of ‘The Boy Named Joy’!

Meet Joy – The boy named Joy is always happy no matter what! No mom and dad, no money, not even a decent dress to wear or meal to eat…forget about fancy toys or gadgets, but strangely, he is always happy. WHY IS THE BOY NAMED JOY ALWAYS HAPPY??? Everyone wants to know. Is it because of some secret treasure?

Meet King Boo-Hoo – The child king Boo-Hoo is always sad no matter what! He lives in luxury in a magical fun palace surrounded by amazing gadgets. He has adoring parents as well as caring staff. They dare not make him cry or else he has the power to drown the kingdom.  BUT WHY IS KING BOO-HOO ALWAYS SAD? Everyone wants to know.

Do you want to know too…? Do you want your kids to learn about a secret power that Joy has? 

Find your answers in the upcoming picture eBook – The Boy Named Joy, illustrated by my 8-year-old. Coming soon on Amazon.com. Follow this blog for updates.

Blog Birthday – 5 years of blogging and a surprise!

My Dear,

I have a very special surprise (#blogiversary special) for you on this special day that marks 5 years of blogging on Stories by Shivangi. I have blogged almost every week, shared my meditative thoughts, updates on life and random observations with pictures and quotes. It has been terrific journey so far!

You have been a great companion to me all this while. You did not stop reading and I did not stop writing, it has been a lovely relationship!  This blog has grown beyond my expectations and page views everyday are really motivating.

There is some good news – my two picture eBooks ‘The Princess with Brown Teeth‘ and ‘Who Ate the Moon?‘ are now available on Amazon.com as Kindle purchase. The princess book is sure to motivate picky eaters and help them in making good food choices and the moon book talks about the various phases of the moon. Kids who have read it on iTunes have loved them.

But wait, here is the surprise  – my third picture eBook would be coming out very soon!!! Before the Valentine’s Day, for sure! It could make a lovely gift for your loved one. Here is a quick look at what is to come. The illustrations are by my 8 year old, who stepped in to create the characters from my story about ‘The Boy Named Joy’! (I would love to know what do you think). More exciting stuff to come in my next post…

I am grateful to god and you for keeping me inspired!

Love,

Shivangi

P.S – Thank You Sneha, my little sister and loved ones on Facebook for being my champion promoters. I need your support always.