Bonding with Grandparents

 

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“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.” (Chinese proverb)

Antique little boys and girls at home who dote on you – you are lucky if you remember having or still have grandparents. While it’s highly likely that you may not stay with them for a large part of your childhood, developing a strong relationship with your grandparents, all too eager to love, will leave you with joyful memories and valuable life lessons. They are your dependable emotional safety nets. Unlike parents, they can connect with you on a deeper level. Any day, they can be your best companions and true well-wishers. With them, home becomes homely, a safe and nurturing space where you can grow and feel loved.

It takes only a little effort to win the affections of your grandpa or grandma. And it is going to be a very special relationship that you will treasure all your life. Follow these simple steps to create a bond or strengthen an already existing bond. Remember these lovely people will not live forever. Cherish them while you can.

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  1. Keep regular contact with them, through phone or letters, updating them on all news of yourself. Invite them for important days/events in your life like birthday, graduation, performance. Visit them if you stay away, on weekends or an afternoon or over summer vacation.
  2. Find out what their interests and passions are. Make your leisure times together exciting by engaging in shared hobbies like gardening, reading, playing board/card games, looking after pet animals, fishing, swimming, stamp collecting etc.
  3. You can talk to them about anything and ask for opinions, ideas and advice. They listen to you closely, takes all your feelings seriously without criticizing and responds satisfactorily to all your concerns. They offer unending encouragement and support to everything that matters to you most. Now you know who to go to for boosting self-esteem.
  4. Since they are in no rush in their daily life, plan outdoor activities with them, like trips to grocery store, temple, beach/park, aquarium, museum, library, a nature walk, a daily hike. You’ll find they have a lot of interesting things to talk about.
  5. Having decades of living experience in the world, they will certainly have some admirable wisdom and skills which you can ask them to teach you. It could be cooking, carpentry, sewing, knowledge of another language or matters of commonplace existence. In return you can teach them something that they don’t know like how to send an e-mail or how to play Angry Birds.
  6. They are a rich source of information about your family history and traditions. It is wonderful to feel part of a large extended family and have an identity in your family history.
  7. They can entertain you with stories, moral, mythical, of their past when ‘things were different’, anecdotes starting with ‘when I was your age’, how they grew up, things they had or didn’t have, how your parents were as children etc.
  8. Don’t exploit them for loving you unconditionally by insisting on satisfying your every whim. Do not overindulge your grandparents or your own parents will be jealous and cut down your times spent together. Give them some quiet hours and adequate resting time. Remember they are getting old and weak in constitution.grand
  9. Be respectful of their beliefs, political and religious. If you avoid them just like that, it makes them unhappy. Also do not shout on them. It helps to foster healthier attitudes to aging and older people in general.
  10. Be helpful as and when necessary. Buy them something they need. Visit them with fruits if they are ill. Do something gracious for them in front of others, they will be proud of you.
  11. Keep photographs, audio/video recordings of your happy times together to cherish when you’re apart. Get them hand-written letters and thank-you notes in return for gifts.

How to cope with Homesickness?

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The concept of home varies from person to person. But for most, once they wander away from familiar and secure surroundings, sooner or later, this mild malady called homesickness catches up. When it does, memories and nostalgia gnaw at their peace of mind, happiness and time.

With mindfulness and patience, homesickness can be overcome. Eventually life has to go on and you shouldn’t lag behind.

Moreover, it’s alright to feel so, for it shows the strength of attachment you have for what/who you love. It’s wonderful that you have family and friends worth missing, somewhere you yearn to return to after all the adventures you undertake in life.

Following are some tips which help not to resist but live through a bout of homesickness.

  1. Decide to act like a tourist and explore the new environment. Research and prepare a bucket list of the places you should see, local food and festivals you should experience. Familiarise yourself with and to the newness. Before you know it, you’ll occupy a niche for yourself.
  2. Arrange a trip with your old pals in the new place and explore together. Get gifts to send your loved ones at home.
  3. When encountering a completely new situation alone, expose yourself to it often and get over the strangeness. For instance, getting accustomed to travelling in a metro, using an escalator, spending time in an enormous shopping mall etc.
  4.  Allow yourself some ‘ME’ times when you sit down in a private space and engage in self-reflection. Introspecting on what you are really missing can reveal different aspects of your unknown self. homesk 2
  5. Take small measures to exercise regularly and treat yourself with healthy food. Staying fit can keep you positive. Also, have sufficient sleep every night.
  6. Stop dwelling on the past and persistently keeping tags on family and friends online and through phone. Appreciate your Present. Be open to new people and experiences. As Jane Austen said, “Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”
  7. Keep up your good old habits and do the things that make you cheerful. Do not feel ashamed in embracing your home culture in small ways.
  8. Learn something new. Be busy and engage yourself in purposeful and enjoyable pursuits. Make new friends and acquaintances in your new surroundings and feel like you are being a part of it.
  9. Take some effort to make a home out of your new dwelling such that you would love to return to this place after a busy day. Adopt new traditions on your own, like drinking tea daily from a favorite stall, to add routine and balance in your daily life.
  10. Grab your camera and document your new world and experiences. Keep a journal where you jot down positive moments – 1 nice thing per day, what made you smile.
  11. Talking to others about how you feel will help. You may find others feeling the same way. Above all, remember that in time you will adjust.
  12. Practising spending time away from home, like sleepovers at a friend’s place, staying with relatives, going for excursions from school/college/work etc. will prepare you for life on your own. homesk 3
  13. Pre-determination that you cannot feel comfortable in a new place never helps. Have a positive attitude while adapting to changes in life. If you don’t think you are good enough in warming up to new people, this is the time you can develop your interpersonal skills.
  14. Carry something that reminds you of home in your new place. Could be a pack of photos, favourite teddy bear, pillow, autograph book etc. Listen to your favourite songs in your vernacular; watch your regional TV shows and movies, if possible.
  15. Adjust your expectations about life in the new place. Whatever be the situation, accept it and make the most out of it. Don’t give up unless you feel incapable to manage by yourself.

7 Ways to Make Up with Sibling after a Fight

Together we go

“Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way.”                                             – Pamela Dugdale

 

We get to choose our friends, but not our family, so better deal with them. Perhaps one of the most beautiful relations one can have in the family is the relationship with sibling(s). No matter how much you love them, hate them and love them again, you can’t imagine a life without them, more so when you are both growing up. He/she will probably be the one special person in your singlehood who knows you the longest and the best.

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Silly fights, squabbles, annoying, meanness, calling names, telling lies on the other, teasing, punching, scratching, pinching, screaming, bullying etc. are common forms of sibling rivalry. Sometimes things get nasty between you, parents intervene, you sulk and still you want, and will, get along with each other as good as before.

Well, it happens in most households and it teaches you social skills for handling bigger conflicts in life. Your EQ grows through this and niceties of adjustment are embraced. Positive sibling relation is mutually beneficial and to everyone in the family too.

Do you know that both of you make such a spirited team if you are in that perfect adoring-each-other mode? The things you could do. The fun you have. The times you fight for each other, not against..bro 2

Been in another fight with your brother/sister lately? Well what are you waiting for? One of you has to take the first step to reconcile. Put down that pride, forget the ill-humour. Remember you still love him/her. You are lucky to have an idiot bro/sis to fight sometimes.

Have you tried these before?

  1. Take some cool-off time for yourself, away from him/her. Distract yourself by engaging in some activity that interests you. Meanwhile, try to think from the other’s point-of-view as to the motivation, manner and conclusion of fight. E.g. You were enjoying by yourself that your bro/sis felt left out and bored. It was just a way of getting attention.
  2. Go upto him/her if still upset or angry. Try to comfort, drop in a sorry if you feel like it, watch out for his/her mood. Not good, leave him/her alone for some more time.
  3. Make an effort to do something nice fbro 4or him/her. If a request for particular help is sought, do it without second thoughts. But do not brag about your big-heartedness and spoil the effect. Maybe you can cut a deal like taking turns, trading a junk/possession. E.g. getting a cup of his/her favourite drink, fixing a broken toy etc.
  4. If you have a good sense of humour, get a funny story or video or picture or joke across. Laughing together goes a long way in bringing back the bond. If he/she tells a joke in return, laugh honestly and get back on track.
  5. Sharing is caring. Be generous towards your sibling. Share a treat, or your toy/computer game or anything he/she will like.
  6. Compliment him/her for something, like a good haircut or a smart habit. Encourage and he/she feels great and love you more.bro 3
  7. Invite him/her to do stuff that you may enjoy together. Find ways to play, spend time together. Call up for a game of cricket, passing the ball or UNO cards. Even if you don’t enjoy what he/she likes, it doesn’t hurt to accept his/her wish and enjoy together. E.g. Pretend to have an interest in watching his/her favourite TV program.