Friday, November 4, 2011

Tentative Parenting : Clouds, Storms and Positive Discipline

I picked up three different editions  of "Positive Discipline" this week - (a) Positive Discipline for Pre-Schoolers (b) Positive Discipline for Working Parents and (c) A-Z of Positive Discipline. I don't know how successful I will be in reading and incorporating the principles of the book into my life but as I say to myself everyday  take"baby steps". K2 is mostly a bright, mentally exhausting engaging and precocious precious  little boy BUT even he has his off-days. His school has a reward system : every child starts the day with a sunshine, they can over time either get a rainbow (if they did something extraordinary) or a cloud (if they did something wrong) or a storm (something really wrong and the parent gets summoned)...K2 in 50 days of school has two rainbow and two clouds and multiple off-days. I love the fact that his teacher Mrs.B lets me know of the off-days (K2 not that much)...he does not want me talking to Mrs. B about him because he knows that he "loses" some privilege on the cloud/off-days days. So here is our conversation from yesterday:
Me: So why was yesterday an off-day K2
K2: Ma, I had my listening ears sleeping and so I didn't listen to Mrs. B
Me : You know that is bad right!
K2 : Yes, but my listening ears are all awake now with you Ma (notice the slight-a-bit brown nosing)
Me : Well, I guess then you can hear clearly that you lose TV  privilege today
K2 : What about the computer?
Me : No
K2: ipad?
Me: No
K2: Leapster
Me: No
K2 (in tears) : What can I do then?
Me: Eat your parathas and work on a puzzle and some drawing homework

 K2 eating dosas on the kitchen counter as his Ma makes them for of his favorite foods is dosas.

More tears and negotiations later....K2 did exactly that. But I fear that my tough love might be psychologically impacting the brat...hence the need for positive reinforcement (the eternal Pavlovian dog)with a book like the above mentioned ...what journeys has parenting been taking you in?

There is an incessant cold filling my is the precursor to winter and the chills and I would trade it in any day for the warm sun...I prefer the warmth and sunshine. Both K2 and I are prone to the winter sniffles, so I am trying to bolster the immunity system with a lot of warm foods (kapha alleviating foods) and chyvanprash for K2...we will see how successful I am with this. Anyway, while I was at the library picking up the parenting books, my eyes fell on another book "Sukham Ayu"and I was hooked. According to Ayurveda, Ayu or life is a synthesis of the body,senses, mind and soul. For there to be positive synergy, there needs to be balance. Balance is delicate and comes with moderation and the recognition of what food goes with one's system and what doesn't...For example - I absolutely adore spicy, heavy "goat curry" but don't have it often (think 2-3 times a year)...the reason being that my tongue rejoices at first taste while my body revolts...there is this heavy sense in the stomach followed by severe heartburn. Unfortunately, even though the head says no, there are times when I give into the temptation knowing the repercussions. The first recipe that I tried from this book was a "soopa" or a "soup"....I made the Vegetable and Lentil Soopa today and that will be our dinner with toasted multigrain bread.
 here is a picture of the soopa pre-blending....check out the beautiful orange hue from the pumpkin.

  1. 2 cups cut pumpkin ( Halloween remnants)
  2. 1 cup Lauki/bottlegourd
  3. 1 cup Cabbage
  4. 1 cup Green Beans
  5. 1/2 Cup of Mung Dal
  6. 1/2 cup finely chopped Onions, 4 cloves of garlic
  7. Ghee, Salt, Pepper 
  • Pressure Cook the first five items
  • Now fry the onions and garlic in a tad bit of ghee
  • Now take the veggies and the sauteed onions and garlic and blend in a blender ( I did it in my magic bullet)
  • Add back to the saucepan and simmer for a minute or two. Add salt ( they recommend rock salt, all I had was sea salt) and pepper to taste. I added toasted cumin powder and cinnamon powder too ( this was not recommended in the book but I felt like it).
  • Sprinkled Fresh Cilantro and enjoy with toasted multi grain bread.
Sending this recipe across to Vardhini  @ Vardhini's Kitchen for the Zesty Palettes Series : Halloween Fiesta and Srivalli of Cooking4allSeasons for the Soups and Salads Mela  and I promise there will be more recipes to come from this book.

The truth my friends is the words of a Al Stewart song that someone had once penned for me - "Nothing that's forced can ever be right, if it doesn't come naturally, leave it"...different context but the words still ring true...if the philosophy of Ayurveda and mostly vegetarian eating sound strange just leave it...


  1. Meenakshi, very nice to know you and your son through this post, thanks for sharing..those snippets of life changing statements always ring true!..for a parent every day is an exam, not in sense he/she teaches properly to the kids, rather what he/she learns in the process..

  2. Dear Srivalli, Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Every day does feel like an some, lose some...but it is the sum of the experiences that counts...Meenakshi