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Undivided attention


I always found it hard to teach my younger daughter. It has been easy teaching the elder one. The elder likes being surrounded by people while studying and enjoys group studying. It did not bother her if I stole a little time out of her study time and used it for the younger’s query answering. She obliged. If I used the same with younger, it never worked. I was going nuts. 

One day out of frustration I blurted at my younger “Why do you two behave and respond so differently? I am unable to handle it.” 

She responded with her bubbly smile “Simple, we are two different people.” 

The answer was indeed simple. It took some time and pondering over the matter for me to understand. ‘One instruction fit all’ does not work in a one-to-one learning.

Teaching is an art and I have always loved teaching kids. It’s a different story when we are doing a class room teaching or teaching someone else’s kid. In a class room teaching it’s always, one instruction and the kids adjust themselves to fit to it. With others’ kids, they never take you for granted, never throw tantrums while being taught and moreover, advises are mostly taken seriously with no back answers. All these are not applicable when its your own kids. It’s a completely different game all together.

I was dealing with my kids. I had my problems teaching them. In my case I realized the elder had humongous portions to be covered and it demanded more time and attention from me; while the younger could manage with little time but just stretched her studies for she needed my complete involvement with her. I had to manage their studies between 5 and 7. 7 to 8 was our dinner time. 8 to 9 was their play time. 9 to 10, the elder learnt Socials and Kannada from her Granny while the younger indulged in stories from me (mostly mythological). Now I knew the problem but I needed a solution.

I was thinking on ways to effectively put my time to use so that both my daughters reaped maximum benefit. I knew that the approach I used with elder was in right direction, it just needed some tweaks for optimization. I was thinking more on the approach I should take for the younger one. I tried a few things but failed. I was out of ideas to test on her.

So, one day I asked her “Shall I put you to private tuitions? Maybe you will find it much interesting to learn with someone else.”

She replied “I am not going to any tuitions. If you want you only go.”

Then I asked “Then why is that you don’t pay attention when I teach you? How do you want me to teach you?”

She replied “I do not pay attention because you do not pay attention. You often keep attending the elder while you are in the process of teaching me.”

She had a point. But how do I solve or avoid interference. I had no idea.

Next day while going to school, my younger pointed at the small temple area (photo below) in our apartment where some plants are grown and few benches are placed and said “Amma can I do my studies here?”
Photo shot on my phone @ temple area  


I replied “Ok, lets see that in the evening.”

That evening I decided to give it a try. As soon as she came from school and took her break for the snack and relaxation, we packed some necessary books and stationary of hers and left to the temple area. I ensured I neither took my elder not my niece with us. I was wonder stuck at the result. She not only had finished her homework but also her studies in one hour. I thought it could be due to excitement of newness. I was wrong, it has been more than a week, she just loves the approach and she has been great all days. I realized she loved undivided attention with in-between pampering and cuddling. She also loved taking small breaks to nature watch or to play hopping on one leg. I was happy having found a way to get maximum out of less time.  I could go back home and finish with elder’s study after hers with ease.

Here are a few snaps of her study time. She, meditating before sitting for study, (meditation for a minute before studies is an instruction from her class teacher. And she religiously follows it.) nature watching, hopping.

Photo shot on my phone @ temple area (hopping, meditating, flower gathering, meditating, bird watching)

I have started to love this portion of my day. Being out in open for my younger’s studies. My undivided attention was playing wonders on her. Every time I see her enjoying during her study time, I feel there is a child in every one of us that seeks undivided attention at times.

Now let me waken the curious child in you. Can you figure the parrot in the photo that we captured amidst the greens?

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