meet his friend, Handy

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Posted by appa | Posted in activities, communication, sleep | Posted on 19-08-2009

Handy is an animated puppet character Appa had invented around half a year ago once when Abhinav had been crying. It had been a big hit, and Handy’s been around since then. At first Appa prompted Abhinav – tell Handy what to do… tell him to jump – and he’d say Jump, Handy! and Handy would jump! ‘kai mele baa, Handy’ (‘Walk on my hand, Handy’), and Handy would walk on the palm of his hand, which never failed to get out a giggle πŸ˜‰ This also turned out to be a fun way to encourage him to speak esp in the initial days (though he’s quite verbose now!)

Handy’s also helped occasionally in holding his attention till he falls asleep, else he’d be running off every few minutes on all kinds of ‘errands’ – yeah even if it was midnight!

Off late his game has been to lift Handy high up and throw him down ‘DAMAAAAR’ (sound effects) but Handy maintains that it didn’t fall down but just jumped down and regained its balance πŸ˜›

There toys with various names have come and gone over time, but Handy’s stayed around for a while…

he's always tuned in

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Posted by appa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-08-2009

We notice that he’s almost always tuned in even when we adults are talking amongst ourselves. Even when we talk in English sometimes he understands!

This we can use to our advantage.

The first time I did this was many months ago, when he had got into the habit of singing “la la la…” but was quite relectuant to sing on demand. So Appa was telling Amma “yen gottha, abhinavge yesht oLLe voice ide gotta? Yesht chennaagi haaDtaane” (“you know what, Abhinav has such a good voice, he sings so nicely”) and immediately that fellow who was sitting quite a distance away started “la la la la laaaa la”. Of course we all burst into laughter and that was an often repeated joke!

More useful application is, instead of directly praising him for some good behavior and overdoing the praising thing, sometimes its more effective when we praise him while talking amongst ourselves without even looking into his direction.

Sometimes we even say with detailed description “oh you know, Abhinav shouted at Appa. Appa became very sad. Then Abhinav came and said sorry to Appa. He’s such a nice boy.”

role playing for encouraging better behaviour

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Posted by appa | Posted in activities, habits | Posted on 19-08-2009

He can sometimes be pretty posessive with food or toys, and then he shouts at other kids if they take anything. Of course – food that he likes like chocolates or chips, he’s quite liberal with his regular meals!

One thing we sometimes do: Appa comes to the hall with a bowl of chips. And then he is watching, Appa says to Amma – I like these chips very much, but I’m going to share it. You too take it, Amma. You too take it, Abhinav.

And later on whenever Abhinav shares something, we make use of the fact that he’s always tuned in to what we’re talking to each other – and then I tell “Vijetha, do you know how nicely Abhinav shared his chips with me, he is such a good boy! I became so happy”

the evil geetha-aunty

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Posted by appa | Posted in eating | Posted on 19-08-2009

One of the approaches to make him eat his food.

Inspiration for Geetha Aunty comes from seeing an actual mother doing this to a child, but with some exaggeration πŸ˜‰

The evil Geetha Aunty is lurking around. If any baby dosen’t eat its food, Geetha Aunty comes and catches his hands and feet, and then STUFFS the food down his throat.

Now do you want Amma to feed you nicely, or would you prefer Geetha Aunty?

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change in behavior

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Posted by appa | Posted in habits | Posted on 19-08-2009

Usually if Abhinav isn’t eating something, one of the techniques occasionally used is to say ‘Appa yella thinbuDuthe, ninag koDode illa’ (Appa is going to finish all your food, won’t give you anything!) And then he gets real wild and angrily shouts at Appa and then snatches his plate and then gobbles the food. He’s quite possessive sometimes about anything, and this is a bad trick I know that capitalises on this, but well its important that he eats and it usually works! We try to be careful that we don’t overuse any particular trick but then it still happens.

Today I noticed a strange twist…

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growing a plant

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Posted by appa | Posted in activities | Posted on 19-08-2009

Idea: Will show Abhinav how to plant a seed in a pot, and water it every day, and watch the plant grow. ‘Menthya’ (small plant) could be a good start, which I used to grow in my school days.

Yet to be implemented, keep forgetting… so today since I’ve written it down wont postpone, and then update details later.

two way story telling

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Posted by appa | Posted in activities | Posted on 19-08-2009

Even while Jaanamari hadn’t yet left Amma, Appa used to read out stories to him. When he came out and as he grew older and more interactive, we needed to get a lot more stories.

So there soon came a time when he started coming up with his own stories – really short ones, and usually with a violent ending “thoLa banthu … Dummm antha bidoithu” Wolf came … etc etc it fell down DUMM!!

Once when he asked Appa ‘tell me a story’, Appa tried a sudden idea – you tell me a story. He replied ‘no, you tell me a story’. So Appa started with the first few lines of a story, and asked – ‘and then what happened, Abhinav?’. And Abhinav continued…

Over time his stories got less violent and sort of wandering along with no sense of direction and of course got longer. Appa asked questions, or sometimes Appa continued the story for a while, and then asked ‘and then what happened?’ back to him. Eg this one from the 28th of July…

He tells a wolf story – thoLa kathe (in kannada).

conversation – an invisible connection

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Posted by appa | Posted in communication, listen | Posted on 19-08-2009

To listen, and not just hear with words or good body language, but with one’s heart and entireΒ  being… is a skill I have a long way to to go learn! πŸ™‚

But for me, a connection with my own self (through practice of daily silence) has definitely helped radically in connecting with others! A good conversation is usually animated and expressive, but at times even if it may look passive, is very active application of tremendous energy!

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