My kiddo and Maslow……?



Last Wednesday, I took my children to an Art and Craft class.I really wanted to nurture my daughter’s artistic abilities as mine are well outstanding! (Oh- I admit I may have taken pictures of my children’s art work and posted on Pinterest as my own). The truth of the matter is that I really wanted to rest (read snore) undisturbed for at least 13 minutes during the day. 13 minutes- you say? Yup, I proudly say as I showcase my giant brilliant research head proudly once again.

Did I say Proudly twice? Yup, that’s how I am feeling!

Let’s see. An average class is of 60 minutes. Since we are always late, (cause at age 4, owning 7 dresses is a real decision making situation and red and pink often don’t match!) we pretty much reach for a 40 minute class. I usher her in with a million apologies on my lips and my embarrassed self hoping for oblivion, while she jauntily wishes the teacher as if she were the chief guest. Hey – you don’t get out of the house on time; you ought to be one who is embarrassed!

Also, my daughter believes in exploring the universe around her- that includes the washrooms tooJ 
Hence the minute I settle down and try to forget how embarrassing it is to enter a class with a roomful of kids looking down upon me , my daughter yells “ Washroom!!!” with a least bit  of self consciousness.When once again I become the object of scrutiny by the tiny tots, I pray for the nether world to open up and soak me in (and my newspaper and cup of coffee too!)

I meekly pull up my children from the class and make my way out. My younger one scurries behind me with a wail as if I would jump out of the window any second. Actually that’s not a bad idea.My child hollers;” Hurry up mom “(as if I were the reason we were late!). I settle her in the washroom when she looks up with these big brown eyes (oh ..!) waiting for interesting washroom conversation. The younger one,immediately in need of stimulation, pats the tap, picks up the Dettol bottle and shows it to her elder sister who giggles “Mom, she is dancing with Dettol!”

 Great- we are singing and dancing in the washroom now.

Counting the minutes while I wrestle the tissue paper out of the younger one’s hands, I get them back to class with a prayer that the long trip from home better be worth it. Now relaxed and joyful, both girls observe the teacher and follow instructions.

I have 25 minutes left to myself.

And just like that, a craft class becomes a class on rocket science. With balloon like tears in her eyes, my baboon looks at me and says-“ma, it’s tough! I can’t do it.”What I would have liked to say was “Honey, don’t bother. Chances are, you are as bad an artist as your mom” But apparently, such dialogues create more conversation and as someone hard pressed for food (I always am!) I decide to just look at her and …smile.

Hey! It worked! She went back to her drawing and no surprises there, drew a masterpiece.Eyes bright and the mind ready to absorb , she was 100% present for the rest of the time !
13 minutes- you say?

Let me tell you about a super cool dude named Maslow. His brain conjured up a triangle which explained to me why I was crazy, irritable and jumpy and all three most of the time.

                    (Read this and it will transform you as a mother.)

This amazing psychologist created the concept of Hierarchy of needs.

Simply put, some needs take precedence over others. Example, food and water will be our basic physiological needs. And once we are physically comfortable, we look out for safety needs (health,money, status etc.) Love and warmth in the family follows. Only once we find ourselves well-fed, well- clothed, safe, healthy and happy, do we look forward to feeling special. 

(I think I am here. My hubby insists I am where the food is!)

The ultimate and the final need is being ourselves. So profound.

And this is how true learning happens.

So, if you really want your child to learn how to draw a dinosaur (please don’t ask me why), you have got to make sure he is fed and watered, and done with the bio breaks, has slept well and feels healthy and loved.

A toddler with a tummy ache might hit a child at a playdate. A child who hasn’t slept well the night before cannot focus on math the other day.

If you want to teach them to say-share, choose a time to orient when the child’s needs are most met. (Say on a Sunday morning, when he is done with his paratha and playing with younger brother on the bed where you and your hubby are reading the paper.)At the time, he is ready to soak a new concept!

If you want your child to excel, make sure his physiological, safety and belonging needs are met.
And if, like me, you want your children to just BE, aim for the top floor!

So, where is your child hanging out today?

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