PRAM LIBRARY: Counselling Session for Ruchira & Ananya
- JWB Post
- June 7, 2014
The motto of the Pram Library Campaign is to help mothers discover the world of books together with their kids in more interactive way, help them interpret content of a book according to a kid’s psychology, create a correct reading time-table and much more. Also, to make reading an essential part of each child’s upbringing.
We started with the 1st pair of mother-daughter. Meet Mrs. Ruchira Solanki and her 9 year old daughter Ananya. We invited them to the prestigious Jaipur’s Palace School where the Counselor was waiting for them.
Ruchira – Hello, I am Ruchira and this is my little girl, Ananya.
Palace School Counselor – Hello, dear! I am Sakshi Khurana, your counselor for the day from the Palace School.
Ananya – Hi!
Palace School Counselor – So, tell me, Ananya, do you love reading?
Ananya – Yes, a lot!
Palace School Counselor – Wow! What kind of books do you read?
Palace School Counselor – I am impressed. Any other hobby?
Ananya – Oh, I loooove music. I love playing the Keyboard. I have completed 2nd level grade initial.
Palace School Counselor – Ananya, you are so talented. Ruchira, your daughter is very bright, I must say, and friendly too.
Ruchira – Thank you. Yes, it’s an advantage. I don’t need to tell her to read this or that. When we go to the library Crosswords, she knows what she wants. Sometimes she asks me to get her a particular book. Her vocabulary has also increased as she comes across so many new words through these books. She often asks me how to pronounce them. She is also inclined towards ‘Spell Bee’ on television. She wants to know more and more new words.
Palace School Counselor – She reads newspapers?
Ruchira – Now she has started, especially during holidays she flips through the pages. Although, she might not be able to understand completely, but still she is trying to understand the matter written.
Palace School Counselor – It’s not always important that whatever we read, we should understand. You can always read to improve the vocabulary and grasp new words. If you come across something which you do not understand, you tend to ask somebody. Similarly, in case of kids, they ask their teachers or parents. Or better, they look into a dictionary or google!
Palace School Counselor – Ananya, do you read aloud or in your own mind?
Ananya – In mind.
Palace School Counselor – Sometimes you should read aloud too. You know why, it is because that helps you build confidence. When you speak in front of someone, you always speak aloud. And when you speak softly or in your mind, you fail to capture your mistakes, if you make any in pronunciation or grammar.
Sakshi looks at Ruchira and says: “If she is reading aloud like the activity planning, the person who’s next to her is listening and can correct her mistakes. It’s OK if she cannot read novels etc. aloud but every day one paragraph of newspaper must be read. Please encourage her to do so. Or she can stand in front of the mirror and can read aloud for building up the confidence.
Ruchira – Sure. Children also get influenced by peers and want to read what they are reading.
Palace School Counselor – There is no harm in that. Inspiration to read a book can be any. Seems you have interest in reading too. Do you?
Ruchira – A big no. I think my kids picked up this habit from their schools. Ananya completes one book in one year and then moves to the next. In vacations, she becomes an avid reader.
Palace School Counselor – Which is your favourite book that you have read, Ananya?
Palace School Counselor – Did you find it interesting?
Ananya – Yes.
Ruchira – She read it once and then one more time. I asked her about it and she told me how she couldn’t understand it at first but the 2nd reading helped. Then I realized we tend to just read at times and not understand a word. This happens with every age, right? It is very important to understand a book that you are reading, since each one of them has something to teach.
Palace School Counselor (to daughter) – Tell your mom to read few books too. Ok? Why don’t you give her some of your books?
Ananya (giggles) – Ok, I will.
Both the ladies smiled.
Palace School Counselor – Ananya, at what time do you read?
Ananya – Mostly during afternoons.
Ruchira – When she comes back from her school, she is very tired, and rather than opening her textbooks, she goes for reading newspapers etc.
Palace School Counselor – That’s very good. After spending time with your parents and resting, you can read some good books.
Ananya nodded in her innocent conformity.
Ruchira – Sakshi, I want to share something. At times, I really get irritated seeing her collecting new books while the older ones are not even read.
Palace School Counselor – Don’t impose your ideas on her. There are books which may not interest you and this can led to breaking of her interest.
Ruchira – I worry how far she will use these books for her own benefit?
Palace School Counselor – She may be just reading the morals of the stories today. But remember, she will apply them in her life tomorrow for sure. Reading is like a jewel investment. It gets better every passing day.
Ruchira – While kids grow up, the kind of books they read changes. So far, Ananya has been reading short stories and really enjoying them. In fact, she has even started writing them herself. But now she is in 5th grade, what should she read now so that she gets exposed to senior kind of literature? And how to make her reading content strong?
Palace School Counselor – You can pick books for her that is for the age-group of 9-12 years. See what kind of fiction or nonfiction she loves to read. Help her explore that. Don’t go for books judging them from colourful pictures in it. Rather look up for reviews. Also, try to pick up a long story book rather than compilation of short stories. You can encourage her to try new authors. At her age, people are not even aware of what books they like or dislike. At least, she is. Don’t think about this much and appreciate this quality in her.
Ruchira – Talking with you is bringing the ‘curious-mom’ in me at peace. Suggest something about balancing her time-table between her story books/novels and the school curriculum.
Palace School Counselor – Ok. Ananya, how long do you study?
Ananya – 4 hours.
Palace School Counselor – All you have to do is to keep a track, Ruchira. When she will attend higher classes, she will have many subjects to study. Since, reading is her passion; she will have to learn how to manage time while giving her board exams! And this age is just the time to learn that. As a parent, help her prioritize. Tell her, she can always take breaks while studying for exams by reading her favourite novel!
Ruchira – Cooking, gardening, painting, music is good way to distress. But kids find their solace in internet. How to handle that?
Ananya – Mom, I love to surf various websites. They make me learn so much.
Palace School Counselor – Haha. Everything helps them. Today, schools judge their technical skills too. Get your child into a habit of time table. I tell everyone that every activity should be given 45 minutes since our brain has an attention span. One cannot sit for two hours doing something; your mind will go haywire. So form a time table of 45 minutes study followed by 15 minutes of exercise/relaxation. Walk, music, reading, splashing water on face, etc help distress.
Ruchira – Do you think that if she gets tired she can meditate?
Palace School Counselor – Meditation is putting your mind in nothing. Kids generally can’t do it, so don’t force them. But they can stretch their legs and back, listen to music, etc. Studying for continuous 2 hours is of no use. What goes in mind is the study of 45 minutes. Give her time table and limit of 45 minutes for sitting. Put a watch in front of her and remind her of the break.
Ruchira – When I try to sit with her and give her question paper to solve in 30 minutes, she deviates from it in between. Very often she starts doing something else. My motto is to prepare her for her exams and make her complete a paper in time duration. How to handle this?
Palace School Counselor – Time is important, Ananya. Once gone, it won’t come back. To sustain her interest, create a reward system. Appreciation always works wonderful for kids.
Ruchira – Also, is sending a kid to a boarding school at younger age harms his/her reading behaviour? I see many parents do that. Though, they have strict schedules there, but do you think this kind of discipline is needed? Is it possible to follow it back home?
Palace School Counselor – Not every age is suitable to send them away. Maybe, at 11 or 12 they can be sent. When a child lives in such environment, he/she automatically becomes strict with the time. To wake up, bathe, eat, sleep, study – everything seems like a task and they finish it off on time. Whereas in a family, a child gets food whenever he/she asks for it. This way a child tends to get spoiled. Everything should have a fixed time to do, that’s how they will learn the importance and value of it.
She looked at Ananya and said: “Beta, the famous actor Sahrukh Khan is doing so many films, shows, holidays – everything together, how is it possible? Hence, he is good with time management. He never asks for extra time to do a task in his hands. That’s why his colleagues respect him. Similarly, you should utilize your time and not waste it Be it eating or completing the test paper mom gives you. Ok?
She then spoke to Ruchira: “Sometimes kids need support of their parents for telling them that they need to do this task by this time. Later when they grow up, they develop self-motivation and know how to regulate themselves. They feel responsible.
Ruchira – I think then they become more independent even when parents are not around.
Palace School Counselor – Exactly. Apart from this, in studies you have to make them responsible for carrying books in bag according to timetable, sharpening their pencils, picking your bag while leaving for school, folding clothes after coming back, etc. Most of the parents are complaining that when their kids come from school, the whole room is in a mess. Make them responsible for their own school items.
Ruchira – Sometimes people say when kids come back from boarding they do not get adjusted in home environment as they want their space.
Palace School Counselor – It depends on their age. Suppose you bring back a child in 9th grade back home, a child is 15 years of age (at puberty) and he/she will need personal space any way. We should not blame them or their schools. It has to happen at one stage.
Ruchira – Yes, even I think giving children their space is not a bad thing.
Palace School Counselor – Not at all, at every age child needs space. We should respect their needs and if a child is upset let it be. Don’t nag him with questions of why, how, what & when. When they fight with siblings, let them resolve the issue. Unless they get physical or abuse verbally, if this happens, explain with calmness and not anger. Become your child’s best friend. It’s not only when you feel the child is going a wrong way that you communicate with him/her. You can always spend quality time and in the meanwhile talk on what is going on in his/her life. Then, you will not have to push yourself upon her. This bond must be developed by both of the parents. A little strictness and lots of friendliness is a need of the hour for this generation. Build a confidence that they come up to you when in trouble.
Ruchira – How to inculcate creativity in Ananya? She does things like decorating pages of her project, so I think she has the creative edge.
Palace School Counselor – Challenge her to think what she can do with a piece of the blank paper or with a waste plastic box. Give her small exercises like this and you can see your daughter growing her creative skills. Talk about shapes, colors and structures with her. When a person describes a common thing like a tree beautifully, people love listening to them. Agree? Anybody can describe it naming trunk and leaves. So to be creative, you have to force yourself to think out of the box, something new. As parents we have to give them simple things which will engage them, and not complex – else they will lose interest. And also Ananya, next time you find something creative, tell mom about it.
Ruchira – And do games like Sudoku really help in brain exercise?
Palace School Counselor – Yes, she can play games while reading English newspaper. You are forcing yourself to sit, give attention, manage or balance and find the word. Also in newspaper, she can pick ideas from new machines, advertisements, cartoon stories, etc.
Ruchira – And lastly, how much TV she should watch?
Palace School Counselor – One hour of TV is enough for her. Choose channels like Discovery, History Channel, TLC (for travel), etc. Make sure she is not glued to TV. Ananya, are you listening?
Ananya – Yes. Hehe.
Ruchira – I am so glad to meet you in person, I have heard a lot about your guidance and the Palace School expertise. Thank you very much.
Palace School Counselor – My pleasure! Feel free to contact me whenever needed. Ananya and me are friends now. Right, Ananya?
Ananya – Yes!!
Soon after this the Principal of the Palace School, Mrs. Urvashi Warman came to meet Ruchira and Ananya. (Do you remember Mrs. Urvashi and her husband have once been guests of Jaipur Women Blog for the campaign “The First Date”. If you have missed that beautiful moment, check here!)
Urvashi Warman – Hello, Ananya! You have a beautiful name. So, Ananya, did Sakshi mam helped you understand few important aspects of reading books?
Ananya – Yes, she speaks very well. I will do what she has guided me for.
Urvashi Warman – Good. Mrs. Ruchira, I hope you are satisfied with the counselling. Sakshi is the gem of a person.
Ruchira – She has given me few very handy tips.
Urvashi Warman – Ananya, see I have something to give to you. Few books of your interest that you might love reading.
Ananya – Oh, wow! Thank you so much. I love reading and I will complete them in no time soon!
In the gift pack there was a set of three gem books telling the history of the City Palace and Jaipur. What a lovely gift!
Ruchira – She is always excited seeing new books to read.
Urvashi Warman – That’s shows her passion for reading. I am impressed to see a girl this young who loves to read. Keep it up, dear.
JWB Journalist Ruby Khan also gifted her interactive book of poems with color pages and fun facts.
Undoubtedly, Ananya’s excitement can be sensed in photos that our photographer Mr. Vinod Singh Gusain had captured. Get ready to meet the 2nd mother-daughter duo counselled by another talented Counselor of the Palace School. And don’t miss the story about Ananya with an intriguing name “Drama Queen” that was visualized with beautiful kids’ wardrobe from Max Fashion, MGF Mall. You will really love it!