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Short Take: Don’t mess with kids
April 01, 2017
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Don’t mess with kids

Dealing with today’s kids is not that easy as it is assumed to be. They are ever ready to outwit their elders at the slightest opportunity.

Parents have to be ultra careful while talking with their kids or the little ones can put them in embarrassing situations more often than not.

Recently, after reaching home from the office I casually enquired from my two sons as to what all they did the whole day.

As usual they sugarcoated all the mischief they had done in the day and in a bid to impress me they both showed their notebooks.

In spite of hardly writing one full page, they presented their cases as if they spent almost all day in studying.

As I was just going to say good work, my betterhalf intervened and said they had indulged in so much mischief and the work they were showing had been done just minutes before I arrived.

She said the elder one didn’t listen to her and played almost all day. As I started scolding my elder one, my wife said, “Don’t spare your little son also. He also did the same.”

I turned my eyes on my younger son, who sensing the danger, gave a sly smile and said, “Come on, baba, she is just joking, I was the most obedient all through the day.”

The innocence and the confidence with which he tackled the situation made all of us burst into laughter. And hence he saved himself one more day.
Faisal Siddiqui

Weekend secret

Weekend often leaves some moments to remember. It offers cherishing time to spend with books, computer, mobile, health centre, celebrations and the list goes on.

“But it all depends on the ‘ministry of interior,’” a colleague commented while leaving office.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You know, we call our life partners as ‘ministry of interior,’ as they take care of all in-house requirements, shopping, attending to children, their education and everywhere we find their role is crucial.”

I waited to hear what other extra qualities he would like to add on his family.

“Sometimes the weekend becomes a nightmare.  Some spend a lot leaving the wallet empty by the time the new week starts.”

That reminded me about the words of a university professor while assessing marital qualities of life partners. “I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on their life.”

So, I assume that the key to a quality marital life is to keep the ‘ministry of interior’ happy.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Parenting fees

My friend texted me the other day to say she had to entrust her son with his school fees. She was, in a way, a single mother. And on that particular day, something came up because of which she couldn’t go personally to pay the fees herself but instead had to depend on her young schoolboy to help himself.

I could sense she was feeling sorry, for herself and her son. And I could also detect a hint of guilt in the tone of her message.

Ideally, I should have pitied her. But I didn’t.

I didn’t pity her because in my opinion, pity is a sentiment that only cowards deserve.

What my friend did was not an act of cowardice. She had, in fact, done something brave. It was not just the school fees she had entrusted her son with. She had inculcated in him a sense of responsibility and ownership. It was a give and take of trust as well as telling the boy that he was now grown up.

I wish we had more such mothers, or for that matter, parents like her, parents who allowed their children, be it sons or daughters, to grow up.

Most parents think that when their children “grow up,” their roles as parents cease. They attach themselves to the illusory belief that their child doesn’t know anything, and actually get annoyed when their ward shows signs of “growth.”

Parents don’t want to let go of their roles as caretakers, hence they impose their stagnation upon their “little ones.”

My friend, when she gave that fairly large sum of money to her son, was not just giving him an opportunity to experience independence but was in fact, also allowing herself to move on to a different aspect of parenthood.
Vidya Shankar

Deal of the day

 “Better to buy a spoon for two pence with better quality than three for a penny of inferior quality.” I have often heard people suggesting this to their friends and acquaintances.

Sadly, that’s not how it goes today.

Don’t believe?

Have you ever tried going on a shopping trip with a “deal of the day-obsessed” friend? (No offence intended.)

“Ah, this seems to be the perfect handbag for me. What do you think?” you ask your friend.

And the response you get might dampen your mood.

“Have you ever been shopping before? You know the mall over there,” she would point towards the mall across the road rolling her eyes. “It can provide you with three handbags for the price of one.”

And when you go there, you realise that none of them is worthy enough. You try to point this out to your friend, and the response might be:

“What rubbish! Come on, I will find the best bags for you. Don’t you think three bags are better than one?” Saying so, she would hand over the three worst bags you could have ever seen (no exaggeration).

“This will remind me to never go for shopping with you,” you would mutter indignantly.

It seems ironic that sales promotions often end with worthy products remaining on shelves. And worthless ones are easily sold out.

This response from shoppers, however, isn’t new. People often spend money and time on such useless things without realising that it is sheer wastage of resources.

What amazes me more are shoppers like my friends. Recently, I saw one of them sitting on the couch, with a pen in hand, and looking most resolutely into some sort of colourful papers.

“It’s good you came! Now, come on, be a good friend and assist me in comparing the prices of items from these pamphlets. Help me decide which product to buy from where,” she said.

It would have been, perhaps the first time I saw any promotion-lover doing so. But I soon realised, she wasn’t the only one.

“Hey,” I said a while later, “look the prices are almost same in these two stores. I don’t understand how you are going to decide where to buy it from?”

“Almost same! ALMOST SAME!” She exclaimed horrified, as if I had just joined Voldemort. “You, my dear friend, need to be more of a shopper. I could save 50fils by buying from this shop!”

I gave up. The promotions have affected the human brain with a syndrome that is out of my comprehension. I fail to realise why promotions are so necessary if they could help you save only 50fils, or if they meant giving up on something better! Perhaps that’s the reason I take off to the book section as soon as I step into the store!
Saamia Mujeeb
(Student, The Indian high School, Dubai)

Pizza effect

It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon and I was feeling lazy, though chatting with friends and responding to Facebook likes, dislikes and comments.

I have been thinking for over a year about having a blog with my own collection of articles.

An idea flashed through my mind: I will write something creative and entirely different. Armed with a laptop, coffee and snacks, I started.

Now the million-dollar question arose. What to write about? Should I write on love, romance as the topic is evergreen? No, I am not a lover boy.

I gave up that idea and thought of writing on good values and moral teachings.

Then I chose politics. It will work. Everybody seems to be interested in politics.

Somehow, again I changed my mind.

At last, I started writing on health tips – aka to avoid junk food and go for a  diet to avoid serious health issues, besides exercise tips. This topic looked perfect with the highest probability of many likes and sharing. I have so many ideas on my personal favourite topic “Health.”

I drafted an article in my mind when I heard the sound of the doorbell.

As I opened the door, all my thoughts, irritation, ideas of likes, dislikes, sharing and popularity vanished.

A smiling boy delivered a pizza that I had earlier ordered.

What can stand before a sizzling, tasty pizza waiting to whet one’s appetite!

Next week, while glancing at the points I had drafted, I remembered the previous week’s experience. Result: I dropped the plan to write a good article worth thousands of Facebook likes and at least a hundred shares.
Zakir Jawed

‘Thank You’ note

This generation now is entirely different from the generation that I belong to. I am surprised by the ease with which they adapt to modern technology. For everything there is a solution that they can come out with.

Talk about the art of reading, and the situation is very different. Now, children are well aware of everything. They have an easy and always reachable guru in terms of Google search.

The art of reading from the books and gaining knowledge and engaging oneself is slowly dying down. Children reading newspapers have become a rarity.

It was, therefore, a surprise to notice a young graduate UAE national girl who joined me at office recently, keenly reading books and newspapers both in print and online. Curious, I told her she seemed a different kind.

She replied: “When I was a child, I used to have a nanny from the Philippines. Rosie was a teacher before she came to work with us. When we children used to get bored, she would tell us and teach us how to read from story books. At first, it was difficult and out of compulsion we followed. “Later on, when the words and photos got into our minds and thoughts connected with us in various ways, it became a natural process to reach out to story books, novels and newspapers. It is now part of our life.”

This being the Year of Giving, she expressed her thanks to her nanny Rosie, who is now settled in the US, through this short note.
Ramesh Menon

Abs made in the kitchen

When it comes to diet, we hear it all the time that 20 per cent workout and 80 per cent diet is ideal. Or, wait...is it 30 per cent exercise and 70 per cent diet? Are abs made in the kitchen? Yes, if you ask me, abs are absolutely made in the kitchen.

Most professional athletes consume a good amount of meals with healthier nutrients and work out hard. Yes, you can lose weight with a healthy diet alone, but workout is an important component.

You look smaller and your clothes fit better.

I follow this strictly and can assure that the results have been great.
Adnan Mehmood

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