Friday, June 29, 2012

Children & Following Through...

This post is in reference to Danielle's post.

Children do not get enough credit for how truly intelligent they are. They speak the truth (mostly) and listen for the truth. Throughout most of my undergraduate education, I spent my time volunteering and interacting with children of all ages (infants - young adults). One of the most important jobs as a parent is to gain your child's respect. Yes, it's important for your children to feel that they can trust your decisions and what you tell them. This trust/respect starts from the very beginning, and it is hard to ever gain that trust once it's lost.

A child looks onto their parents for comfort and security. And it all starts from the very first day. For example, the first time you take your child to a birthday party and they won't socialize with anyone, without having their parents by their side. It's important at this stage of their life to understand their parents are within reach and will always be there for them. Security. It's also important that the parents do not force their child to play with the other children, but encourage it whilst letting them take their time. Comfort. 

In terms of more conflict situations, it's important that parents actually mean what they say. If a child has to get a shot, it is wrong for the parents/doctors/nurses to ever tell the child "this is not going to hurt." Instead, let them know the truth along with encouraging words, "You're a big boy, I know you can handle it" or "[the parent] is going to be right here with you." This will give them your trust and also let them know you sympathize with them.

In response to Danielle's post, it is VERY important to follow up with your kids. "You can't play outside until you clean your room." Yes, it's very important to say strong to your words. They will kick, scream, through a tantrum the first day. But all days following this episode, they will learn that it's the only way out. And it doesn't always refer to punishment. "If you get an A on your next test, we'll go out for ice cream." Follow through with your words. If they get an A - take them out to their favorite ice cream parlor. (In this particular example, encourage them to do better next time without being too upset if they don't make the mark.)

Following up with your kids can be a challenge, but if you form these acts of trust and respect in their early childhood, they will reciprocate (hopefully) as they grow older and into their more difficult teen years.

EDIT: I originally wrote this post in my previous blog, but just copied it over.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

First World Problems

For those of you know that know me, know that my favorite color is red. For those that know me well, know I'm obsessed with red! And if either of this is news to you, I give you Exhibit A.

See my point? =)

So when I upgraded to an iPhone last year, it's only natural that I would want to find a similar color case to join my red-collection. And if you notice, it's a specific type of red that I like am obsessed with; it's a deep, chrome-finish red, but not quite as dark as maroon. I was also quite adamant that I wanted a gel-case. So, I went out to search for that perfect, deep, chrome-red gel case. I found one that I liked on Amazon, and it had a neat design on the back. Win-win situation, right? Wrong. When I received the case, it wasn't the deep, chrome-red color that I deeply loved, but a light red, almost orange - tomato color! YUCK! But since it wasn't free, I felt a strong obligation to use it.

But now, more than a year of using that yucky color on my beautiful iPhone, I felt it was time for an upgrade. While complaining about this case-fiasco, Jill ordered a red case for me. And, surprise-surprise, the case turned out to be more of an orange color. Argh.

I searched in the malls and on Amazon for a good week, hoping a case would just catch my eye. I know it sounds really extremely silly, but I couldn't find one that I really liked. I was even compromising the red-color for just a simple case. Finally, I found these gel-cases with circle designs on the back. It came in 9 colors - so no more wining of color preferences!
Also, while I was on Amazon, I decided it was time to go LEGIT. I deleted all my FRIENDS that I had on my computer, got rid of all my CDs, and ordered the official, Complete Series of Friends. It was time. 
P.S. The didya notice FRIENDS cover is red? Good Choice =)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Our most recent 'family extracurricular' involvement was The Ekatva Tour, a dance drama show performed by 16 children from Manav Sadhna.
Manav Sadhna, an NGO based in the Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad, is dedicated to the upliftment of the underprivileged through love.
They were truly a blast! It was a great opportunity to practice my Gujarati and Hindi speaking skills, and because they're young & innocent, they didn't make fun of us if we said something incorrectly or searched for the correct words! Their show was amazing! It was series of 10-minute episodes of Gandhiji's life, and the way these kids acted and performed was truly inspiring. We hosted a couple kids at our house and they had a blast playing our instruments with my brother. They were extremely talented and gave my brother a few pointers. Another day, ALL the kids were over and they had a complete musical party -- sooo much fun (and loud)! 

There's an amazing, indescribable aspect about the innocence of kids. The week-ish with the kids was a memorable time. I'm not sure if they'll remember us, but we'll definitely remember them. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Embrace the Familiar

During my final weeks of college, my schedule was quite the contrary of being relaxed. I'm not sure if it was senioritis, the shear amount of deadlines that comes with 22 credit hours, or a combination of both, but I could not have been more excited to reach the finish line after that semester. One thing I found myself doing was having Wake Up Sid playing in the background with no explanation whatsoever. I really enjoyed the movie; it was cute, casual, and simple. I also wouldn't necessarily be actively watching it, but I'd just keep it playing as I completed lab reports, homework, or just general house dorm-keeping. And nights that I took off, I chose to Wake Up Sid, despite the hundreds of times it's been playing in the background.

I'll occasionally watch Wake Up Sid, even today. And every time I do, college memories transpire before me. Grade-school memories surface when I hear "Graduation," and yet those forms of media never get old. Why do we enjoy watching movies, TV Shows, and listening to the same song on repeat replay? True, there is a certain aura that appears. But, I think there's something more than nostalgia. What caused me to watch the same movie after a stressful day?

I believe there's a concept of familiarity that soothes us. The idea of watching a television show and not having to worry if it will be a good/bad episode, if it will make us happy/sad/frustrated/motivated is alleviating. By watching/hearing something you're familiar with, there's no element of surprise. And at the end of a stressful/long day, I think we could all enjoy some time to ourselves where we know what will happen and exactly how it will happen.

How ever choreographed we would like certain situations to be, life is full of surprises. Despite how hard we try to control situations, life has a way of working out that's beyond our control. And sometimes, it's the mystery under the tree that prompts us to keep unwrapping the presents, no matter how much tape or how strongly it is attached. So the rare moments when situations are choreographed, it's okay to embrace them.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The "Gray" Shades

Intuitively or not, whether we decide to press the snooze button one more time to staying up an extra five-minutes to watch a YouTube video, we are constantly making choices. Despite all promises made the previous night of waking up early to exercise, the only exercise I get in the morning is via my fingers... hitting the snooze button numerous times. I then take a relaxing, hot shower followed by a ritual ten-minute stare of my closet before ultimately wearing a college shirt and track pants. Everyday. True story. 

Some days I get lucky and the aforementioned decisions only affect me. But everyday is a new day, and I'm not so lucky. Without even realizing it, some of our everyday choices affect those around us. My mom and I recently spent some time at IKEA. When we first moved to Katy, my parents decided the best way to spend weekends were at furniture stores. My brother and I could run around, jump on beds, what more could a kid (or two) ask for :P! Some stores even had a kid-watch station so we wouldn't cause trouble stay occupied. Anyways, we loved going to IKEA, not just because of all their awesomeness, but also because they had amazing vegetarian lasagnas! And I truly mean amazing! So mommy and I were really excited about the amazing lunch we were about to have. However, we were dismayed to learn that they no longer served the lasagnas. And while we were trying to understand the vegetarian options, the servers had a horrible attitude. Ugh! Their unnecessary attitude completely ruined my excitement about lunch. Right as we were about to finish our meal, one of the IKEA workers was in such a positive mood, he instilled some of that positive energy into me, and I was a changed person. Just like that! 

Something as simple as smiling at a stranger or cutting an individual off on the road could drastically change someone's mood. In medicine, our choices hold ever more weight. A simple decision can lead to bring in a new life or ending one prematurely. Our words can tear a family apart or bring tears of joy. Our actions truly impact the life of our patient and everyone involved, whether we like it or not. Another important aspect is no matter how many books we read, how many years of experience we gain, there is no escaping the reality that we will not always be correct. Most of the time, there is no such thing as black and white - it's ALL GRAY. And I think that's why it's important to embrace each new day with a smile and positive attitude. It gives us the courage to move on, and influences others to do the same.