How can Parents Support Emotional Health of their Children?

Another academic year and children are yet not going to school.  We must acknowledge that this year it is tougher than the previous year so we all must be doing our best to keep our children emotionally stronger and help them build resilience. Of course, academic learning of our children is on the back foot but we educators and parents can support them in learning Life- skills; courage, resilience, empathy, compassion, kindness, reaching out, humanity…all values so essential for the survival. Let us look at this tough time as a mandatory class planned for all of us by Nature so let us support our children in growing emotionally stronger and resilient!

So what can we do as parents?

Understand that children are the worst impacted. Their routines and schedules are all disrupted. Though many schools are taking classes online yet no digital mode can take the place of face to face interactions. The children are missing their friends, their meals together, their pranks, their sports, their hobby classes…everything that made their lives full of life. So be  compassionate. Involve them in home chores with you. Listen to them. Engage them in physical activities. Let them connect digitally with their friends. Promote reading and writing. Promote some activity. Above all, build on through your faith and conviction that This too shall pass!

Though this blog was written last year when we all faced the Lockdown first time and experienced its vagaries most of it is still valid, perhaps more than the last year, so sharing again.


Maya Angelou

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Is it Perfect to be Perfect at all times!?

Dear friend

We are all on the journey of life, where every day the sun sets, to rise again, shines with all its might even if there are clouds overshadowing it, to set again yet to rise again. The moon shines at Full to become a No Moon or a No moon gradually becomes a Full Moon again…just in 28 days. Observe a little closely, you would discover many more examples.

What does the mother Nature want us to learn from it? I learn from it that nothing, absolutely nothing lasts in the state of permanence. Whatever goes up must come down and whatever comes down must eventually rise again.

We humans are very much part of this very Nature so how is it possible that we would have all things perfect at all times? By very nature of life, two opposite facets of all aspects of life are at work together in a cyclical way. Either it is raining or not, either it is dark or bright, sunny or cloudy, happy or unhappy, high or low, profit or loss, success or failure. Is it compulsory to pass all the tests that life throws at you? Is it not human to err once in a while? Is it possible to be upbeat at all times? Is it possible to be taking right decision at all times? Is it possible to be making profits at all times in business? Is it possible to hold on to your confidence at all times? Is it possible for the sun to never set or moon to be at Full moon ever?

There are times when things don’t go well and there are times when they are running at their best. The fact that life has to be perfect at all times is the biggest reason of unhappiness. Strong people do break, successful people do fail. They just refuse to give up until they build themselves again. Like sun they do set but to rise again. You are winner as long as you refuse to fail. So my dear friend…rise up, take charge, start all over again, you are already there because you chose to talk, you chose to seek help, you chose to start fresh.

Kudos to you!


This letter came out in response to a long conversation with a friend. Life at times throws at us more than we could handle. Just by being ears to the friends and family, a lot gets resolved. Sometimes a little different perspective is all that one needs. And sometimes a volley of questions helps to find one’s own answers. So here is my volley of questions to my friend to discover her own answers!

Are we set to be successful?

Who is a learner and how is a learner different from a student? Why must we aim to be a learner?

In the big scheme of life, a learner is someone who has taken the charge of the self, learning as per the need, context and purpose of one’s life at a given point of time.

A learner is different from a student in many ways.

A learner does not necessarily learn in the confines of a class room and is very often not directed by a teacher while a student necessarily learns inside a class room and is directed by a teacher.

To use an analogy A learner drives the car while a student sits in the backseat of the car being driven by teacher.

What are those essential attributes to make us learners for life and set us for success? The mindset of success rests on the premises of being a learner  as;

  • Learners have a purpose.
  • Learners go well along with people.
  • Learners have courage to ask questions.
  • Learners are quick to adapt through learn, unlearn and relearn.
  • Learners have strong core values.

To set oneself free on the journey of being a learner, one must check for following attributes in the self;

  • Do we ask Questions?

Learners just don’t accept anything and everything that comes their way. They are driven by curiosity, seek genuine answers, and check for authenticity of the facts. They don’t take the explanation that ‘this is how it happens’. They question set norms, beliefs, traditions and practices which no longer serve purposes.

For example learners might ask..

  • Why is it alright to eat non-vegetarian food but it is not alright to eat that on Tuesdays and Thursdays?
  • Why are homosexual couples not allowed the Right to Inherit?
  • Why do we have three different titles to write before a woman’s name, viz Ms, Miss & Mrs and only one for men i.e. Mr.
  • How are we better humans if we consider our religion to be better than others?

Learners seek their own answers and don’t stop until they have a logic that appeals to their mind.

  • Do we have a Purpose?

Everybody in life has a purpose. The thug who is set out to cheat people also has a purpose. But these life learners have a bigger purpose of life. They are driven by a passion to serve, to contribute to the bigger cause. So they are ever ready to know and learn whatever it takes to contribute to their cause.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, whom I consider an extraordinary example of a life learner had a purpose, he wanted to contribute to the progress of the country. He continued on his journey from a small town boy, born into a very poor family  to become a scientist and later on as the President of India. Very few of us know that even after retiring from his Presidentship (2007), he was still working on scientific pursuits. He had developed a rugged tablet ( used in health care services) in collaboration with cardiologist Soma Raju, named Kalam Raju tablet n 2017.

These lifelong learners have bigger than life goals. They are passionate beyond common man’s understanding of the word passion.

Mother Teresa is another example. We can look for such learners around us and get inspired.

  • Do we go well along with people ?

Learners often go well along with people. They have high intra personal skills and interpersonal skills. In the pursuit of their passion to serve humanity, mankind, they understand that like minded people are their best assets. They form teams and nurture their team members. They support their team to learn and be at their best because they understand they alone would not be able to serve their purpose. It is the people who work together. They are good at collaborations with people.

  • Are we flexible to adapt without compromising on our Core Values?

These learners have a mindset to learn, unlearn and relearn. They continuously keep learning new skills; innovate on the already existing ways of working to suit the current needs. Overall they are dynamic people, who flow with the tide. They show no resistance to change, rather take the lead to initiate or accept it. They keep rediscovering and reinventing themselves, check their own belief systems for authenticity and come up with new avatars of themselves. Though flexible, to adapt, to learn new skills and new ways of working, they have strong core values; like integrity, authenticity and  humanity. They change and adapt only to be able to serve their purpose. For example leveraging technology in their favor sincerely is an attempt by them to be serving mankind better in any chosen field.

So let us all shake ourselves and check do we have any or all of these attributes? Can we consciously inculcate the ones that we don’t have?

Let us begin with questioning ourselves, as to why do I do what I do? Do I serve some purpose? Does it serve some bigger purpose? Am I ready to unlearn ( all my non working belief systems) and learn fresh to start on a new journey.

Remember; those who have some ‘WHY’ will always find ‘HOW’ to it.

Set yourself to be a LEARNER and be SUCCESSFUL in the journey of life!!!

carving A Learner Out of A Student!

School/Education systems today do not prepare our children for a world where they have to learn, unlearn and relearn! In a fast changing world if our children just remain students and are not prepared to be learners, something for sure is missing.

Let us try to answer all these questions.

  • What went wrong?
  • Who is a student?
  • Who is a learner?
  • What is the basic difference between the two?
  • Should we aim to have students or to prepare learners?
  • What can we do to carve learners out of students?

The modern education system does not arouse curiosity rather it promotes rote learning. The children are provided the bookish knowledge which has little relevance in their day to day life. What they read from the books and write in exams to pass a class usually is not applicable to solve their everyday challenges as to how to go well with people, how to accept different viewpoints or to check the authenticity of any issue.

As per Wikipedia, “A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution who attends classes in a course to attain the appropriate level of mastery of a subject under the guidance of an instructor and who devotes time outside class to do whatever activities the instructor assigns that are necessary either for class preparation or to submit evidence of progress towards that mastery.”

As per Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, “A learner is a person who is finding out about a subject or how to do something.”

From The Glossary of Education Reform, when comparing learner and student, they point out that “While this preference may seem arbitrary on the surface, it does appear to serve a semantic purpose: learning can occur in the absence of teaching, but teaching doesn’t occur without some form of learning taking place.”

A Student A Learner
·       Learns in a class room in a specific time ·       Learns anywhere, anytime
·       Is directed by teacher ·       Directs and supports their own learning
·       Works within a defined time ·       Works at their own pace
·       Is motivated by grades ·       Is motivated by learning
·       Follows goals that are set and monitored by teachers ·       Develops self learning goals and monitors self progress
·       Achieves goals set by teacher through listening and following instructions

(Passive learning)

·       Achieves goals by active collaboration and feed back with others

(Active learning)

·       Seeks knowledge, degree, qualification ·       Seeks success
·       Students are students only when they have teachers ·       Learners can learn without teachers


Going by the difference between a student and a learner, I believe, we as teachers and parents would love our children to be learners and not merely students as learners are set for success in the long run.

Regarding the important question, how can we carve learners out of students, we can promote following, starting from homes and classrooms ;

  • Let them ask questions.

Promote inquiry, feed curiosity. Early in the life when children are young and start learning in the form of formal students, any question they ask is valid. They must be allowed to ask without fear of being snubbed, or being told, “this happens this way only.’ Answer their ‘WHYs’. And most importantly if they themselves are not seeking ‘WHY’, it is teachers’ and parents’ role to ignite their minds to ask ‘WHYs’ and ‘HOWs’. Simply cramming all the information available out does not let them grow in to learners.

Help Them Set a Goal 

As they grow, the teachers and parents must guide and support children to set goals for their own learning. Let them decide how much of what will they cover by what time and how. For bigger life, it is finding the purpose for which children have to direct acquiring knowledge and studies.

  • Let Them Collaborate

In class room scenario, we must develop the culture of interaction through ABL(Activity Based Learning). It must not be the teacher alone who does all the speaking or talking. The students must be allowed and promoted to ask questions. Asking questions leads to active participation. With teacher only speaking, it is passive learning. Promote small groups learning where in few students are together working to seek answers to some questions. This also helps them learn the team skill and to accept various viewpoints.

These simple changes made in our pedagogy nurture young minds and nourish them through support to seek their own answers. Seeking one’s own answer is the beginning of carving a learner out of a student.

It is our duty as educators to ignite that spark, which makes a student curious beyond class rooms. A learner is set on the journey of life with a mind set to contribute to the bigger whole and to be successful.

Let us all remember, a learner is essentially a student but all students are not learners.  Research has evidence that in the big scheme of life, learners are happy and successful because they keep learning for the BIG PURPOSE of life.

Over to teachers and parents to play their part well to carve learners out of students!

P.S. The next blog in the series explores whether we parents and teachers have the mindset to be learners. We can help our children be learners only if we are learners first.

We sure wish to have obedient children!?

Do you wish your children to be obedient?

Yes, of course, all of us as parents do wish our children to be obedient.

Well, let us explore this concept of obedience a little deeper to understand fully and decide whether we really wish our children to be that or not!

Obedience to put it simply is to do or follow what you are told. On a more subtle level, it is to believe what everyone else believes.

When I believe what everyone else believes, where is the scope left to check the facts before I believe. And when I don’t do the facts checking for the self, have I used my mental faculty, my thinking abilities?

See, you can counter me ..means now we must go and experiment in the space to believe that the earth is round? No, I don’t mean that. I just mean that when we label growing children as disobedient, when they are just trying to look at the same thing from another perspective or they are trying to do something with their own unique approach, we as parents must know that they are not being disobedient, they are just being innovative and trying to identify themselves.

Imagine, you wanted your child to bake a cake the way you had been baking all along, but your son tries something new, and the cake he baked is differently delicious. It is not the same as yours. Your son decided not to obey you and came out with something totally new. This is being innovative, this is being intelligent. Your son trusted his instincts and developed confidence also. Suppose the cake would not have turned out totally edible. So what? He would have learnt the lesson as to what not to do the next time so that the cake turns out to be edible and that lesson would be permanent in his memory because it has come out of experience.

The problem with obedience (Absolute Obedience) is that it robs children of important experiences. Experiences of life are processed in the brain and are stored as intelligence to be used further.

Obedience needs no intelligence. Any idiot or fool can be obedient.

It needs guts and courage to be disobedient at times. (I am not saying the disobedience is to be promoted just for the sake of being disobedient). You see, when you are being obedient, you don’t own any responsibility, you don’t owe any explanation. But when you choose to be disobedient, you owe explanation. Since you owe explanation, you automatically own responsibility because usually nobody loves to explain.

While dealing with children, we must remember that it is not about our children only. Any intelligent person will ask; why? Why am I supposed to do this? What are the reasons you wish me to do it a particular way and what will be the consequencesAt times the acts of disobedience by our children are a way of great intelligence.

As I said earlier, the more subtle form of disobedience is to believe in the belief commonly accepted. The most commonly accepted belief that we must not question our seniors/bosses/parents  is the root cause of social evils to go on & on. (Only in army, it is acceptable to not question your seniors or bosses because the decisions that are to be taken in the middle of a battle field do not provide the opportunity to question and reason so a senior has to be absolutely obeyed).

Many of you readers reading this blog must be aware of Nazi Concentration Camps during World War II. The Heads of the Concentration Camps were all educated officers, they were professionals like engineers and doctors. What did they do? They committed the most ghastly crimes. The torture and inhumanity, these officers inflicted upon the prisoners were unparalleled. BUT  they owed no explanation, because they had obeyed the orders of their Commander.See, when this mindset of obedience settles in, the Authoritarianism flourishes; at homes, in organizations, in societies and in States.

The belief that we must not ask questions because everybody else does not ask is the gross form of obedience. Where does it start? It starts at home, at school, where children are supposed to follow and do everything they are told. The schools were supposed to nurture the intelligence but instead nipped it in the bud. Any child who asks intelligent questions (at times uncomfortable too, because they shake a teacher’s core belief system also) is labeled disobedient. Obedience converts you into robots and it is easy to manage and handle the class. Imagine the class where a teacher has to answer 25 possible intelligent questions for which he/she is not prepared. Either make extra efforts to think from that perspective or snub the enquiries in the name of disobedience. Similarly at home, it is easier and comfortable for parents to push obedience rather than involve children in intelligent discussions.

Looking at obedience from this perspective is a real problem. On the contrary, disobedience is the assertion of your intelligence, of the mindset that I own responsibility and owe explanation.

Since, everybody has been doing, so I’ll also do the same way and my children must do the same. Take a deep breath dear readers, all progress of the mankind has its root in disobedience. (Disobedience to me is  questioning the norms, their efficacy, their purpose. If they no longer serve the purpose, they must be redesigned.)

I believe  we all wish to nurture Intelligently Disobedient children.

Right ???

Would sure love to know your perspective. Share your take through comments.


  1. McLeod, S. A. (2017, Febuary 05). The milgram shock experiment. Simply Psychology.

Building Emotional Intelligence!

Continued from..the previous blog.

The Essential Component of Success!

Emotional Intelligence like any other skill can be built up with conscious and regular practice.

Self Reflect to Build Self Awareness:

The ability to observe oneself and reflect helps one make  conscious choices. The more you acknowledge and name your feelings, better aware you become at knowing your own emotions, what triggers them, how do you feel at that time and how do you behave or act. Deliberate reflections on your own actions, helps you realize you have choices in your actions.

For Self Reflection to be a part, you can practice following-

  • Practice being in present.
  •  Deliberately stop over the day many times to check your mental state at a given point of time.
  • Acknowledge your feelings and name it.
  • Practice observing others and their feelings.
  • Notice your judgments for the self as well as about others. Doing this helps you realize that people are different.
  •  Practice sharing your feelings through speaking. This helps you pay attention to why of the feelings around.
  • Notice the intensity of your positive and negative emotions, thoughts or feelings.

Self Soothe to Build Self Regulation:

Self soothing is like positive re-affirmations to the self. It helps us to manage ourselves when somebody is attacking or blaming us. Self soothing helps us to remain objective and take the feedback positively.

Practice self soothing by-

  • Have faith in yourself and your capabilities. To have faith in your capacities, regularly ask feedback from others.
  • Be objective and look at the situation without adding emotions to it.
  • Look for what is right and not who is right.
  • Act as if you really count. This helps you to overcome your fear and empowers you to listen to yourself.

Practice Empathy to Build Empathy:

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see where is it pinching. Being high on empathy makes us able to understand others, their viewpoints, helps us to listen more and we become able to appreciate differences.

To build up empathy, we can practice;

  • Acknowledging self and self feelings.
  • Acknowledging others and their feelings.
  • Trying knowing others; your friends, colleagues, team members.
  • Try listening without interrupting.
  • Try initiating conversation during stress.
  • Practice keeping yourself at other person’s place. Consequently we get more control on our actions and behaviors.

I believe, being high on Emotional Intelligence is the new mantra of success because in real life it is all about our abilities to understand self and others, their feelings, emotions and intentions. Once we can see through that, we can enhance the outcomes of our interactions. We can see what drives us and at the same time what drives others. Together as a team, we can be more productive, at home we can be more accepting of others, at work place we may learn to go well with others. We can choose to be not in agreement at all times but our manners of disagreement can be more agreeable. We can choose to be more happy, peaceful and successful just by building on our emotional intelligence.

Happy Emotional Intelligence Building!

The Essential component of Success!!

Emotional Intelligence!!

Ever wondered what makes some people ever happy? How do some people go mostly well along with everyone, practically everyone? How come some leaders are able to inspire their team and get the best out of them? How come some teachers are listened to by the students or how come some of our uncles or aunts or cousins are always able to get done what they wish to?

There is only one answer to all your wonderments, and that is all these people are Emotionally Intelligent. The findings of various researches in the field of Emotional Intelligence tell us that People with High Emotional Intelligence are likely-

  • To be very happy, ever vibrant and going well along with others.
  • To have more fulfilling and satisfying relationships.
  • To be more productive and successful at work.
  • To have solution seeking mindset in case of any problem.
  • To overcome challenges, upsets, heartbreaks, business failure, job loss etc. with vigor.

On the other hand People with Low Emotional Intelligence are likely-

  • To havefrequent emotional outbursts, typically out of proportion to the problem at hand, and are demanding and boring.
  • To be impulsive and argumentative most of the times.
  • To have difficulty in listening to others and understanding them.
  • To blame others for all their mistakes.
  • To be excessively critical, picky and fussy in any relationship.
  • Toshow resistance to change, and not take any initiative to overcome the challenges of life.

What exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to regulate and monitor one’s own self and as well as other’s emotions, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.

To quote from Daniel Goleman’s (a psychologist) on Emotional Intelligence, it comprises of following elements;

Self Awareness: Knowing one’s emotions or the ability to recognize a feeling as it happens. Being aware of our own feelings, emotions, thoughts and moods is necessary to manage emotions.

Self Regulation: Managing emotions, the ability to behave and act appropriately in a given challenging situation. Self regulation is possible only when we are self aware.

Empathy: Recognizing feelings in others, being able to put the self in other’s place and able to see how it feels. Empathy also builds on self awareness. If one doesn’t know and understand one’s feelings and emotions, one won’t ever be able to understand those of others.

With so much on hand, do you not think that someone high on Emotional Intelligence would be successful?

Along with visible examples around us, research also presents ample evidences to claim that truly successful people actually have high EQ( Emotional Quotient) to complement  their qualifications, competencies, skills and IQ(Intelligence Quotient). So the next logical question in your mind must be  how can we build on our emotional intelligence?

How Can We Build Emotional Intelligence?

To be continued..through the next blog.

To Bite or Not to Bite

Dear friends,

I write this post as one of the first ones on this site exactly because many of us may be wondering as the title suggests whether to or not to. Many would be wondering when to. To lead one has to begin and the others then follow it is said. So I decided to take lead. Purely with the intent to set the ball rolling on this site.

Many a opportunities are lost in our life pondering as the title suggests and finally the one who bites takes the cake. Ever wondered why? Well! we have been brought up so. Do not take risks, ask yourself what if? and what not. My challenge to you through this write up is change your thoughts to Why not? and why not I? The absolute difference between leaders and followers. DEAL is a community born out of one such thought. Unless you bite the bullet, action doesn’t happen. And, we all know that activity is the mother of all that results. The result may or may not be as one seeks out to achieve. Yes! it might actually be better than the expectation. The point is when we look at the other side of the coin more and that says  that the results may not be as good as we desire. And that is the end of action. Fear of failure and inaction are the most limiting thoughts ever. Manifesting in procrastination and over protective approach.

Nothing of consequence was ever created, discovered or learnt without the one effort of venturing out. One says do not take a decision in the heat of the moment. But Heat is an essential aid for any creation. We are all a group of initiators and the need is to take action and that too decisively. Especially, in the most challenging of times. people look up to the actions of the preacher and they expect us to “practise what we preach” If you are on a journey to make a difference then you need to be different first. So Each one of us must pride ourselves in being different and diffident in the eye of a storm. Set out to chart our own course for all else to follow. Charting the course is for history makers and following the charts is for those who seek to follow.

Therefore, as we begin DEALING at DEAL. let us all chart our paths that are both unique and trailblazing, so much so that eventually we pride in it and others follow.

Born to LEAD  – Let’s DEAL.


It was her session,we were a group of about 50 coaches from DNCR chapter and the photographer was covering event as instructed, a few minutes later sister BK Shivani very politely but firmly asked the photographer if the clicks are done so that he might as well take his seat and not create any distraction. Later she went on to explain how we have begun to accept many a things as normal which in reality are not. As per her these pictures should be in mind as learnings and not as gigabytes in devices. Ah! She had already influenced me by then and while listening to her views on what vibrations we send when in anger, frustration vis-à-vis when in happiness, delight,joy. She was clearly hinting to emotions, my favorite area. Emotions, in fact are the locus of our behavior, our energy. And we can either be a giver in the moment or taker,so why not as well give and take nothing but positive energy, emotions and vibrations. Hope you are thinking in this direction.

The significant point truly synced in when she said,” We must question our intent before any public appearance that are we to impress or influence?” My connecting dot to her thought was –Leaders should influence. Literature on leadership will seldom advocate Leaders should impress.

Also, a beautiful thought floated from one of the pieces I read on EI that we operate either in ‘attack’ or in ‘defence’ mode. And both these modes have the potential to use our emotional intelligence. I am sure by the EI wave created all around we are very familiar with this and it doesn’t need any definition. @DanielGoleman, respect!

How true is the thought that ‘It’s my altitude that will decide my altitude’, it indeed is very true and is my belief too. So, am I not vouching for my personal competence read power being the baseline competence to any other EI competence?Adapted from @GrantHerbert. Bow!

Hence, I should be highly self-aware(first quadrant of Daniel Goleman EI framework) as ignorance to self-awareness is no defence. As I am the entrepreneur of the organization –My life and myself so is each one of us, so I must know the law of land read myself(You must follow the law of land you are on).And my knowledge shouldn’t just end here, but also steer to reduce my blind spots, more of them will only cause havoc and lead me to navigate in dark resulting in collision and conflict.

I must influence first myself and then transcend to influence others by giving or taking only positivity, and even if there is negativity, I must use my veto power to decide how much to give or take this negative denomination so that it is not present out of the proportion in myself. While all this was crossing my mind through my ears and limbic brain, I happened to develop on a matrix, which I named as “Emotion Blaming & Owning matrix to Groom Belief System”, here let me also share the power of narrative. Our brain is slave of our thoughts so more we call it a monkey brain, better monkey it will become. Should I chose to call it a monkey brain or my brain is a million dollar question. After understanding the power of narrative aka internal dialogue I decided to call it my brain and I will feed both feelings in it but in a proportionate fashion so that my goal to build relation, make peace, get the work done,be happy etc. is achieved with least or no conflict.I prefer having a self-belief over self-doubt to own what I am doing and this way my thoughts manifest.I will not feed my worst enemy-Self Doubt.Does this sound enticing? Well it is equally challenging, but surely worth taking a shot.