Friday June 15, 2012 08:02
Why can’t I watch Justin Bieber?
As your children grow up, you can be asked some questions for which it is better to have prepared answers. Being prepared involves a lot of pre-thinking, scenario-building, imagining and problem-solving proactively. Its great if you have a partner-wife to help think through it.
One of the difficult questions was asked yesterday by my 6-year old, “Baba, why can’t I watch Justin Bieber?”
So obviously, the question itself indicates that there had been a pre-episode to this where she wanted to watch Justin Bieber and was told that she can’t. My wife and I had had that discussion so I knew I had to be prepared for an answer, was just waiting for the right time to communicate and hit the nail.
Principally, both me and my wife are not OK with youngsters following teen idols or for that matter any type of idols. We want to promote the thought of individuality and utilizing time for something more important and worthwhile. So if you are ok with your child not doing that, you can stop reading the post here.
So the first thing to do was let the younger daughter out of the room to clearly indicate that this was something very important that the elder sister (the 6-year old) is going to be part of. This set the stage for Baba to clearly set the situation that this is to be worth listening and applying. Small things, big psychological impact.
Believe it or not, your child is dying for advice. They really want to listen to you. So I knew I had her attention now. I started explaining the value of time. 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and time doesn’t stop. She had this smart Alec response of if I take the cell out of the clock, that could stop time? Smart but disregarded very quickly. Sun goes up, goes down, moon cycle, nobody controls it. I am lucky I have a smart kid so its easy to have a logical answer to real stuff.
As we moved further and established the importance of time, we then spoke about how much time she has in the day to learn. She sleeps, eats, goes to school, prays and loves reading but doesn’t have the time sometimes. She has to sleep on time. All the hard work of the mother of having a routine clearly indicated that there is not enough time and there is so much to learn. Wasting a single minute on something that doesnt add value or makes her learn something is such a stupid choice. This point settled.
Only thing in my plan was now to establish that Justin Bieber is a waste of time as it doesn’t teach anything which wasnt too difficult. Set up some comparisons. Didnt take long.
I thought I was done and she was also. She just had one doubt. “Baba, but Miss XYZ, makes us watch Justin Bieber in class…”. In my head, I go …”What??”. I mean, here we teach our child, you trust your parents and then you trust your teacher. These 3 roles will help you learn to make the good choices in life and then she brings this up. I was taken back but had to think on my feet.
After trying to force the issue around don’t watch it or ignore it, I knew I had to come up with something more convincing. Something spoke to me inside and I spoke it outside. “Beta, do you know you have a special gift?”. Seeing the sparkle in my daughter’s eyes, it was like she was being let into a secret from a trusted resource, the dad.
I said, you can look at something but think of something else. As I had her attention, I asked her to look at Mama but think of Baba. As I saw her expression change when she saw Mama but thought of Baba, you have no idea what a great feeling it was. The nail in the coffin. She was so amazed by the power of the mind, she tried it again on something else and then it was done. She could think of so many other things while she “has” to watch Justin Bieber in School. We will obviously speak to the teacher but she should know how to manage even if the things are not so much in her hands.
Then we summarized what we had talked about. There was a lot to take, so summarizing helps, re-inforce the learning. We also established there is so much to learn and what is next.
Thought of sharing this. It helped me, it helped my child. Maybe it helps you.