[5-Bullet Tuesday] Are You Living With Strangers?


Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Podcast I’m listening to –

For most of us, the only benchmark we have for family life and relationships is nothing more than our family. After all, we hardly spend any time at anyone else’s place.

So, whether it was good, bad or ugly, we can’t even tell with nothing to compare it against. When we grow up, we generally use the same bar to bring up our children and deal with family members.

That’s how life was for me in my growing up years. Like most parents, my parents were doing what they could do given the circumstances.

However, I often had this question, “Is there a better way..?

My question was answered as I moved to stay at a relative’s place briefly when I relocated for work. There way was so different. Children would hug and kiss the elders in the morning; everyone would get together in the evening and talk about their successes of the day.

They encouraged each-other. There was no use of criticism and sarcasm. 

It felt nice. It felt like family.

Thankfully, these days there is enough opportunity to learn from others.

My favourite parenting podcast is one from Catchy and Todd, and it’s called Zen Parenting Radio. I listen on iPhone but I’m sure they’re on Android and you could listen directly from their site too.

They are young parents of three daughters and cover varied topicscandidly.

Well’ one doesn’t have to stay at someone’s place any more to know it there is an alternative way. Just tune in and it’s a free entry into the expert’s house.

Things I know to be true –

Well, that, “Things I know to be true”, is the title of a play I watched recently that completely changed my perspective about family and relationships. This play is about Price Family of four grown-up siblings and their parents all of who grew up together.

As life turns out, they all realize that even though this family was physically close, they hardly knew each other!

One of their sons confesses that he is transgender, which makes the parents feel devastated. They just can’t come to terms with this reality.

Similarly, certain secrets about the other siblings and the parents come as a shock for the rest of the family. It appears as if they didn’t even know their folks who they always said they loved so much.

The mother passes away in a car crash. She didn’t get a chance to reconcile the differences which had arisen due to the many turn of events.

There are quite a few lessons to learn from this very musical, very hilarious and very poignant play.

I watched it on Digital Theatre+. Well, yeah, not all good things in the life are free, so I have taken subscription.

Here’s a trailer for you.

 What I’m watching–

I recently saw the video of Otto Frank, the famous Anne Frank’s father.

One of the things he says in this video quite touched me. He says that, “Anne and I were very close and used to talk about everything under the sun. However, when I read her diaries, I discovered a very different Anne than the one I knew as my daughter. I didn’t ever know this side of her which was so serious and had such deep thoughts and feelings.

Otto Frank claims in the same video that most people don’t really know their children.

Question for us is: How well do we know our kids?

What I’m doing—

While I’m fine if my kids keep a few secrets from me, but I don’t really want to be like Anne’s dad.

One of the things I have been doing for years, that’s worked for me, is what I call family interviews. I have it on my calendar to do these interviews monthly.

Doing these interviews helps me discover something new from my children. And it makes memories. Above all, it is fun! You may want to give it a try.

Here’s one interview I did with my son, Tanav who is now eleven. At the time of this interview, he was four years old. (See it when you have 2 mins: 44 secs.)

Quote I’m pondering —

“I believe no man was ever scolded out of his sins.”— William Cowper

That’s for spouses and parents who think that scolding and shouting is the way out of the everyday problems. It may be the easiest, but certainly the least effective way to bring about lasting change.

If, for example, you scolded your spouse for drinking or smoking excessively, what you’re teaching them is to continue to do it while just being cautious not to let you know.

One must connect emotionally to bring about sustainable behaviour change and develop stronger relationships.


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