Category: Ramblings

Parental Involvement: Impact on a Child’s Education

Providing for a family is a challenging task in today’s world. Parents work long hours to pay bills and ensure that their children live a comfortable life. As a result, most parents return home tired and with little energy or time to follow up on their children’s educational progress. Some parents delegate all educational responsibilities to teachers. However, a child whose parents are supportive and involved in his or her education has a better chance of succeeding in school.

Firstly, children whose parents play a critical role in their education score higher grades than those whose parents play a passive role or are absent altogether. This is because active parents encourage their children to succeed in school. They aid their children to do their homework and help teachers to identify and solve difficulties encountered in their children’s education. They also help their children choose subjects and courses they can pursue with passion and excellence. The involvement of parents in the education of their child also influences teachers (Jeynes, 2011). Since instructors play a significant role in rating and grading a child, “a high degree of parental involvement likely influences how the teacher perceives and even grades the child” (Jeynes, 2011, p. 55). According to Chance (1997), providing teachers with feedback about a child’s attitude and well being can help the child achieve higher scores in IQ tests and vocabulary competence.

Secondly, children with supportive parents are more disciplined than those with unsupported parents.  It is easy for parents who follow up on their children’s school activities to identify weaknesses that may lead to indiscipline. They can then discuss such weaknesses with teachers and develop strategies and mechanisms to rectify the weaknesses. As a result, children with such parents are less likely to develop disorderly behaviors. Children with supportive parents are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol or to be suspended from school (Feuerstein, 2000). A study by Sui-Chu and Willms (1996) concluded that eighth graders whose parents were keen on their child’s schoolwork had reduced absenteeism and were less likely to drop out of school. Schools with many activities that require parental involvement report fewer incidences of violent or antisocial behavior (Connor, 2012).

Thirdly, the involvement of a parent in a child’s education increases the child’s self-esteem. A high self-esteem, in turn, improves the child’s general well being and their success in education (Feuerstein, 2000). Amsel (2013), who holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in sociology, wrote that limited parental involvement makes children feel unappreciated because there is no one to remind them that they are admirable, valuable and exciting. Children who feel unappreciated have negative thoughts and feelings about themselves (Amsel, 2013). This hampers the development of the children’s self-confidence and compromises their self-esteem (Amsel, 2013). Parents who want to improve their child’s esteem should not restrict their involvement to activities at school. Rather, “parental involvement in the education of children encompasses education-related activities both at home and school” (Onwughalu, 2011, p. 5). However, Amsel (2013) also warned parents that overindulgence in their child’s life may give the child little room to self-reflect and develop self-esteem.

In conclusion, involvement of parents in their children’s education improves the children’s chances of succeeding in school. Children with caring and involved parents score higher grades in school. This is evident from various studies that show students with supportive parents scoring high marks in tests. Such children have an elevated level of discipline and are less likely to engage in antisocial activities. Finally, the esteem of a child is dependent on his or her parent’s involvement in his or her life and education. This, in turn, affects the child’s performance in school. Thus, parents should strive to find time to follow up on their children’s education and collaborate with teachers to support and encourage their children.

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Travel Pros And Cons(Part 1)

We have all encountered numerous problems while planning a trip, be it domestic or international.Right from finances, budget planning to unseen hitches that come our way, it has always been a stressful journey before a journey.

In today`s world, with over exposure to information, and access to a wide array of opportunities, things have become far too difficult for us.Things were simpler in the earlier days, before technology hit the travel boom.Agreed, there were always problems to be resolved, and things to be fixed, arranged and set, however all these were within our control, as it was always humans we had to deal with.Now, we have to cross the barrier of machines and technology.Although we have information to a variety of options, this at the click of a button,our mind has to disseminate the information, filter out the not so necessary information, go through reviews, and arrive at a decision.All this takes up a lot of our time, gives a lot of mental stress,and beats the whole purpose of enjoying travel, especially if it’s a vacation.Lots of efforts are put into arriving at a decision, resulting in mental stress.

Think of the scenario, 10 years back.You decide to go on a vacation,as against browsing through various websites today, all you did at the time was  visit a travel agent, he would give some tried and tested options,you would collect all brochures, take a day or two to think it over, come to your office, discuss with your colleagues, all would eagerly share their woes and experiences, and by the end of the day, while you are travelling back home, you would be clear in your head, as to what you really want to do.Once home, you discuss the shortlisted trips with your family members, and VOILA….you have made up your mind,all you do is call the agent and fix the deal.No looking back, that this was better or regrets that you could have selected something better.The better half at home also has access to fewer options,as was presented with already shortlisted places, and she is already busy with preparing for the trip, without giving another thought to different places, that could have been.There was an innate satisfaction to this decision, and less stress, more enjoyment.

Same scenario, today.You get ready to browse on websites such as “ make my trip”, “travel destination”, and few more, sacrificing your time and favorite TV shows.You are flooded with options and options and don`t know where to begin.There seems to be endless alternatives, and ultimately you have to pick and choose.The stress your mind has to go through, assimilating all the available information takes away from the enjoyment of planning a trip.Ultimately, you end up with a plan in hand, not too sure if it is right, because you mind is thinking of few other alternatives.Few times, you book some flights, then change your mind, cancellations are in order.What lingers in your mind, long after is the trip you would have liked,but can`t afford, the various combinations available, and besides this, the spent  on browsing, has resulted in a backlog of work to be accomplished before leaving for the vacation.

So this was about the woes, next we will touch upon the advantages of information available at the click of the button,and its role in ensuring we have the best deal, the satisfaction we get making all arrangements, in-spite of the time invested, and stress taken in decision making, as end justifies the means,as all in all the result is travel Waahs and Wows.

STORY OF A BOOK

If you’d ask me how i like to spend my Sundays. I would probably tell you, that i lazily sit in my favorite couch with a coffee mug and of course a book. What is a book? Is it merely a bunch of pages telling a story? Perhaps there’s more to it. On a recent survey done it was found that more or less 62% of the youth preferred reading books to e-books. Stating reasons like they have a lot more emotional attachment with a physical book rather than with a new age kindle. Also interesting answers cropped up like; books actually help people judge one another in a way. A bookshelf does say a lot about an individual’s personal tastes and interests and as matter of fact books are also status symbols, you can’t really see what a person reads in their kindle.

In this generation of subtle technological advancements, where reading books from a tab or a kindle is supposedly the new cool why is it so that somewhere down the line the youth still have reservations when it comes to replacing books. If you judge by the looks of it, many are of the opinion, that eBooks are gaining popularity day by day mainly because of unhindered access and also most of the times it’s available for free. You don’t have to visit a store, wait for it’s grand arrival and neither do you have to pay. What makes it more attractive is the fact that eBooks can also be in various versions like audio books, video and animation, etc. With the evolution of eBooks, reading has become more interactive because once you’ve stepped on a digital platform, sharing becomes easier and inevitable. You can carry a whole library with you without bearing the weight of it.

Keeping all these advantages in mind and also addressing the question of whether eBooks have taken over books, perhaps even having such a debate will become futile after a point of time. We belong to this so called digital age and are in a period of transition where the new is constantly replacing the old. It’s certain that the technology of kindle is here to stay but in the same very way books can probably never go out of fashion, they new and the old can manage to co-exist.

It’s no longer about books versus eBooks. It’s about your likes and dislikes, what you choose. It is not unheard of that the youth of today is more interested in clicking selfies and listening to metal and books lie somewhere forgotten. Another part of reality is that books are still relevant things in our lives. I had somewhere come across a quote about how books are man’s best friends, the words still ring true. Books are more than a bunch of pages, they more than adorn your shelf, they mold you as an individual and does enlighten you every now and then. Reading a book is different experience altogether. Nothing can replace the smell of a new book or the yellow pages of a very old book which has passed many hands. Books are more alive unlike digital books which connect to a person on a very superficial level, books are more closer to one’s heart. On an irrelevant note i once remember getting stuck in an elevator, cursing my luck. It was only then that i understood the requirement of stairs. I can’t say what exactly i learned or if i had learned anything at all. But now that i think of it, is it really irrelevant?

That inky incident with my Sister

“Sometimes having a sister is even better than having a Superhero. This lovely quote describes the most entertaining relationship in my life is with my sister who is younger  to me, not just in age but in every single sense. So, I thought, I could just express few incidents and experiences which I cherish and would love to share about as well.

There are good and bad phases we go across when we are growing up and when we are dealing with our relations with our closed ones. I have experienced it too, with my sister. We use to fight like cats and dogs every day where we actually hated each other for a while, and now when we fight, it’s out of love and that fun element to spice up our relation and which brings each other more close as you end up laughing together.

At the age of primary and secondary schooling, we never ever had been along well because every difference between us was a major issue to fight and argue. What we always did was, fighting over TV remotes, sharing food and chocolates and those small things, which doesn’t matter today. The change is normal, the fights are normal. Every family has brother-sister bullying and teasing relation but has a brighter side as well. We did not understand and had mutual understanding for each other back then but yes, whatever good part we shared, it’s cherishing and sweet. So here it goes a story about one incident we had –

I was busy doing my homework and so was she busy with his respective work. Our parents were not at home and we were instructed to take care of the house. My sister has a habit of scribing “X” on any exposed body part (especially hands and forearms and we call it “jolly game”, don’t know what it mean) and making various marks for fun. Suddenly, she scribed over my hands an “X” with his black ball pen followed by various untidy black strokes. It seemed such an embarrassing mark and felt very annoying, which heated up a war. I tried to return the favour with bigger mark and ran after her  for so. Accidentally, it scribes so bad and so deep in his skin that it swelled up with little blood. So, when you know you have hurt your sibling and she is going to be tremendously ferocious, you should simply LEAVE!

I ran and got back to my work innocently. And she angrily came into the room and started being violent and beating each other, screaming at each other, and pouncing over each other. Nobody is ready to say sorry and she in anger just took my pen and broke it into two pieces so badly that even the refill of the pen was broke. And now, the twist was, we realized that all the ink was sprinkled on the clean white wall of our room like an artist spraying his colours over canvas.

We both exchanged looks, we both were silent, and we forgot all the fights and arguments and just ran over bathroom sink to get some soap and water because if mom gets a hint about the wall, we knew we both will land up in ultimate trouble and immense scolding for such a noble deed. Just 5 seconds earlier we were beating each other and few drops of sprinkled ink UNITED us! My sister  told me that wiping wall with soap on scrubber will be easy to clean.

We started coordinating with each other and washing the wall with so much effort and most importantly, with the fear of mom’s grudges and scolding. My sister just got some soap on scrubber and tried to clean a small ink bloat. And guess what? It spread out immensely like the wings of eagle and looked scarier to clean.The black waterproof ink was so hard to clean on white wall that we ended up bleaching the wall as we rubbed it so hard with a utensil washing soap. And, the best part was – you could see the stroke of the scrubber as the black highlights of ink which was just impossible to clean. We ended up doing the “best wash” ever we could and we made it look fairly strange, with wall bleached and few untidy adamant drops of ink and some strokes as well !!

As we grew up, we laughed and made jokes about it. But as time flew, we both have turned helping hands for each other. What parents would not understand, a sibling does, and so is my sister!

And few words that I have to say, whom even others could relate for their siblings – “That you hold a special place in my heart and we have enjoyed good times together. We fight, probably because we are just alike! Somehow, because of time or mood I have never expressed my feelings about you as we have never been so personal and expressive about each other and something that restricted me to say, but I want you to know that I love you. Our journey through life may take us apart but neither distance nor time will fade away the relation we share. We share a relation of blood but we are friends out of love.”

Valentines Day

THE REASONS

The most romantic day of the year famously known as Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the feast of Saint Valentine. On February 14th Valentine’s Day is celebrated in honor of a Christian Saint named Valentinus. The celebration of Valentine’s day originated from several macrologies, the most famous of them is where Saint Valentinus of Rome served jail time and been executed on account of him performing marriages to soldiers who were forbidden to do so, but that is not the core of the story, during his imprisonment he is said to heal the jailer’s daughter and to leave her a farewell letter signing “Your Valentine”. This is the romantic saga of the Valentine’s Day. Though Valentine’s Day has a sad romantic roots, it is celebrated nothing as of a mourning celebration. It is a celebration of love and there can never be anything ugly in love.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE CELEBRATION

During high middle ages Valentine’s Day is considered to be a day of a romantic setting for courtly love. While in 18th century England the day progresses to a point which the lovers are to express their love with flowers, confectioneries and greeting card, which were famously known as “valentines”. Europe has taken it up a notch presenting their beloved ones with keys of Saint Valentine, which is a romantic gesture of the key to one’s heart and is for the receiver of the key that it is unlocked. These keys were also given to children to ward of epilepsy, which was famously called St. Valentine’s Malady during the time. Hearts, doves and cupids symbolizes the modern day Valentine, greeting cards are a famous form of Valentine present since 19th century, which were started as hand written notes.

HOW IS VALENTINE’S DAY VIEWED IN INDIA?

India had mythological roots in celebrating love, as adoring the god of love, Kamadeva was much in practice during a period of time, but in middle ages it was declined to a never existed tradition. Public display of love and sexual affection, what once was a common occurrence of were gradually come to be frowned upon and became increasing shunned until the late 1990’s.

The state of West Bengal has their own version of Valentine’s Day, the Saraswati Pooja, it is revered as their version of Valentine by the urban middle-class youth, the goddess Saraswati is worshipped during this celebration.

The actual Valentine’s Day did become admired or acknowledged until around the early 1990’s. Commercial media plays a vital part in popularizing Valentine’s Day, a notable participant is MTV. They broadcast various dedicated programs and conducted love related competitions to make Valentine’s Day well liked and fashionable. One could even say the informational technological advancements had led us be aware of this phenomenal celebration, which was beyond the bounds of possibility decades ago.

Despite its notorious raise to fame, Valentine’s Day is not well received by everyone one in India. Several religion based traditionalist considered the festive vibes of Valentine’s Day as cultural hemorrhage and as a degradation of moral values. Political setting has surrounded the occasion, often causing protests and sometimes drastic actions were used to shun public display of affection. Shiva Sena and Sangh Parivar are the political elites that are strong in the opposition for the Valentine’s Day.

There is a post-colonial perspective of criticism of the enthusiasm showed towards a western holiday. Valentine’s Day is often called as neocolonialism.

However, with all the opposition from the political elites, Valentine’s Day still grows in numbers of in being favored to it. The ratio of haters is deftly decreasing with the coming generations.

HOW IS VALENTINE’S DAY CELEBRATED IN INDIA?

Indian youth having been brought up by repressed tradition, takes this day of love with unbridled enthusiasm. Valentine’s Day is most expected day for the Indian youth, it is getting popular in school culture too. Having a tight knit iron clad views on public display of affection, Valentine’s Day is yet celebrated secluded from family often. Yet, friends take an integral part in making this special day truly special. Decades ago even courtly love was unheard of in India, evolving from such a background, Valentine’s Day provides a setting for the shy and timid youngsters to express their feeling to their special ones. The day of celebration of love adds a tinge of romantic aroma in the atmosphere making the young lovers relaxed and comfortable for them to express themselves and be true to their feelings.

Media plays and integral part adding the bang to the bash, commercial media goes fanatical in Valentine’s Day with their dedicated shows and special programs. Often romantic themed movies are released on Valentine’s Day, adding celebrities into Valentine’s celebration mix. Radio’s often lets the callers dedicate love messages to their beloved, secret admirers often use this to express their inner feeling towards their loved ones.

Parks and beaches are packed on Valentine’s Day as its lush green and infinite sands give a sophisticated view while comfortably tucked into the warmth of their valentine.

Should we enjoy so much a foreign festival? Should we really embrace westernism? Is Valentine is culturally demeaning?

I ask you all one thing, should we classify love? It is what I got when I was born from my mother, my father gave it to me while he guided me growing into a fine young man, what my sisters gave me when I was admonished, admired and understood. Love is what I expect in my better half as the first and only requirement. It is what god and religion state, love yourself, love your people and love your world. If there is a day to celebrate this soul searching feeling that is worth fighting a war, I wish to be a part of it.

I humbly sign off quoting the most romantic of all time, Sir Shakespeare. “Come what sorrow can, It cannot countervail the exchange of joy, that one short minute gives me in her sight”

Infinity

They met under
The sign, “Infinity.”
For blood flows
Down one line.

Their hearts held
Within divinity.
Heart waves follow
The sine.

Today two paths
Crossed proximally.
Where souls bleed
Universal time.

There was spark
Fired for brevity.
Under blanketing
Sapphire stars.

Here found heaven
Defying gravity.
As they embrace
Who they are.

Never tomorrow
Before nativity.
They who refuse
To fail their destiny.

‘Prachu’ Ki Wedding ! :D (Part 2)

In every culture around the world wedding has a very special place as it revolves around the life of a couple about to tie the knot and the people closely related to them. To our understanding and experience Indian wedding is a very special one that not only bridges the two families and their cultures; but also creates a lifelong commitment. The best part is that it ushers to the culmination of a ceremony inculcating joy and woes.

People unaware of Indian wedding rituals and cultures may raise a question here. We therefore take this opportunity to make a brief study here.The bride and the groom are ethnically dressed in abundance of flowers, jeweleries and makeups. Relatives of both bride and groom throng at the venue of the wedding solemnization to witness the event. The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of Indian wedding is that the ceremony begins a few days ahead of the date of solemnization and ends after a few days from the date of the solemnization event.

The bride and the groom are blessed with ornaments, finest clothing and others. The most unusual part of an Indian wedding is that the bride passes through a transition that simultaneously brings tears and joy to her and it is visible in her eyes! Fear of losing the parent’s proximity and moving to the groom’s home (a completely new place) bring tears to her eyes. At the same time the opportunity of meeting with her beau brings happiness to her. Bride’s parents also pass through this phase of irony that brings tears and happiness to them.

For me, it represents emotions. Great emotions. Emotions of two families coming together. Emotions of two lives coming together. Emotions of a bride, leaving behind a life to start a beautiful journey.She laughs. She sings. She dances.For a second, let us leave behind all the extravaganzas and all the ‘over the top’ preparations behind and just focus on her smile. She radiates beauty, a colorful beauty that only an Indian bride can display.

 People around her watch her in awe. They say a woman is her most beautiful when she looks upon her child. I would say an Indian bride in her traditional outfit comes really close to that.She is the embodiment of a dream. A dream her parents shared. A dream every Indian has. The dream of seeing their daughter happily married. It’s probably even more important than seeing their sons successful.

The wedding, known as ‘Vivaah’ in Hindi, is in itself a celebration of grandeur. The concept of divorce is still alien in the Indian culture, and was quite rare a few decades ago. You were destined to marry once and that was it. Hence, the grand celebration. There’s an old saying we Indians have regarding this. There are only three days in a person’s life. The day she is born, the day she gets married, and the day she dies.

Traditional marriage celebrations last for as long as a week. There are all sorts of traditions that have to be followed. And although the groom is, theoretically, an equal partner in the wedding celebration, yet the attention is always centered at the bride. The beautiful bride.

Family, they say, is like a tree which never goes out of shade for you. Sailing through together in every storm, the family will never dodge your side. The relation with a mother never needed an introduction. Remember how she smiles even when you appreciate her cooking your favorite dish? With you owing most of your jumps on success ladder to her, she still gratifies your first cradling step in her heart. With memories of early morning coffee during your exams to blessings for your every small success, it is impeccable how this relation never fails to earn respect.

A father in any family is the reason one’s being, the walls of your bastion were made stronger by his sweat and blood for you. The sleepless nights of hard work and dedication were to ensure you the future you live in. From the first cricket match where he let you win to the strict coaching over the lessons of life, he being by your side gave you the confidence to embark on the journey you always wanted. Having siblings in the house is always a blessing. Those wild dreams and that notorious side of yours, could only be executed with them.  They know that sometimes only a mischief would bring a smile on your face.They stood by you when you gave up on your caliber, they slipped few extra money to you that made a lot of difference, they were there giving you tips on your first interview.The smile you hold today has his contribution too.

The celebrations are just an excuse to remind how important is the presence of family in one’s life. With they being by your edge, there is nothing in this world you can’t achieve.Marriages are true examples of a family bonding,love and commitment.It can only be seen in Indian weddings.

More to come in next post.I am the most  fickle-minded person on this planet.To know why, Wait until next post come.Happy Reading!

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