Thursday, May 24, 2007

Child Abuse

Childhood is the pearl of life, where the best qualities like honesty, truthfulness and innocence are present. What one learns in childhood shapes one’s future. It is everyone’s duty to see that a child is prepared properly to lead a good life. Abuse of a child is not only a crime against society, but a crime against nature. You, as a member of your society can help the child develop itself in the right direction. Childhood here refers to all children below 16 years of age.

Ensure that children are given proper education and not forced to labour. Basic education is free for all children. Do not prevent your children from getting this benefit
If you notice any child being forced into labour, inform the voluntary organisations and the Police, to take custody of such children and to initiate necessary action
If the parents of such children force them to go for work, counsel them and educate them regarding free education and regarding voluntary organisations who look after the welfare of such children Children are forced to work in bars, tea stalls, and in some undesirable places.

Don’t be trapped by lowly sinful pleasures that ruin career and life. Prepare yourselves now to live a healthy life of character sans prevailing and emerging vices. You are living in a world of cruel competition in all spectrums of life and to face it you need immense inner strength of a high magnitude. Love and respect your parents and teachers. All religions teach brotherhood which you should adopt as your life’s guiding star.
K. Mathew Thomas

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A U S Based Report
The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate. On the whole, kids are spending less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer, or video-game console. And today's busy families have fewer free moments to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals, day in and day out. From fast food to electronics, quick and easy seems to be the mindset of many people, young and old, in the new millennium.

Since the 1970s, the percentage of overweight kids and adolescents in the United States has more than doubled. Today, 10% of 2- to 5-year-olds and more than 15% of children between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight. If you combine the percent of kids who are overweight with the percent of kids who are at risk of becoming overweight, about one out of three children are affected.

Preventing your children from becoming overweight means adapting the way you and your family eat and exercise and the way you spend time together. Helping your children lead healthy lifestyles begins with you, the parent, and leading by example.

Is Your Child Overweight?
A child with a body mass index at or above the 95th percentile for age and sex is considered overweight. BMI uses height and weight measurements to estimate how much body fat a person has. To calculate your child's BMI, divide his or her weight by his or her height squared, or wt/ht2. (Important: To use this formula for BMI, the child's weight and height measurements must be in kilograms and meters, respectively. If you use pounds and inches, multiply the result by the conversion factor 703.)
An easier way to get your child's BMI is to use a
BMI calculator. Once you know your child's BMI, it can be plotted on a standard BMI chart. Your child will fall into one of 4 categories:
Underweight: BMI below the 5th percentile
Normal weight: BMI falls between the 5th and the 85th percentiles
At risk for overweight: BMI between the 85th and 95th percentiles
Overweight: BMI at or above 95th percentile
BMI is not a perfect measure of body fat and there are situations where BMI may be misleading. For example, a very muscular person may have a high BMI without being overweight (because extra muscle adds to a person's body weight - but not fatness). In addition, BMI may be difficult to interpret during puberty when kids are experiencing periods of rapid growth. It's important to remember that BMI is usually a good indicator - but is not a direct measurement - of body fat.
These days, you may be hearing more about BMI. Doctors are using BMI during routine check-ups and many school districts are including BMI in their annual health assessments.

If you're worried that your child or teen may be overweight, make an appointment with your child's doctor. If your child is overweight, your doctor may ask about your child's eating and activity habits and make suggestions on how to make positive changes. He or she may also decide to screen for some of the medical conditions that can be associated with obesity (see below). Depending on the child's BMI, age, and health, the doctor may refer you to a registered dietitian for additional advice. For some overweight children, your doctor may recommend a comprehensive weight management program.

The Effects of Overweight
Overweight children are at risk for serious health conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol - all once considered exclusively adult diseases. But overweight children may also be prone to low self-esteem that stems from being teased, bullied, or rejected by peers. Overweight children are often the last to be chosen as playmates, even as early as preschool. Children who are unhappy with their weight may be more likely than average-weight children to develop unhealthy dieting habits and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, and they may be more prone to depression, as well as substance abuse.
Overweight children are at risk of developing medical problems that affect a child's present and future health and have direct impact on quality of life including: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and abnormal blood lipid levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes
bone and joint problems shortness of breath that makes exercise, sports, or any physical activity more difficult and may aggravate the symptoms or increase the chances of developing asthma restless or disordered sleep patterns tendency to mature earlier (overweight kids may be taller and more sexually mature than their peers, raising expectations that they should act as old as they look, not as old as they are; overweight girls may have irregular menstrual cycles and have fertility problems in adulthood) liver and gall bladder disease depression
Risk factors present in childhood (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes) can lead to serious adult medical conditions like heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. Preventing or treating obesity in children may reduce the risk of developing these conditions as they get older.

What Causes Overweight?
There are a number of factors that contribute to becoming overweight, either alone or together. Genetic factors, lifestyle habits, or both may be involved. In some instances, endocrine problems, genetic syndromes, and medications can be associated with excessive weight gain.

Much of what we eat is quick and easy - from fat-laden fast food to microwave and prepackaged meals. Daily schedules are so jam-packed that there's little time to prepare healthier meals or to squeeze in some exercise. Portion sizes, in the home and out, have drastically increased.
Plus, now, more than ever, life is sedentary - children spend more time playing with electronic devices, from computers to handheld video game systems, than actively playing outside. Television is a major culprit.
Kids younger than 8 spend an average of 2.5 hours watching TV or playing video games, and kids 8 and up spend 4.5 hours plopped in front of the TV or wriggling a joystick. Kids who watch more than 4 hours a day are more likely to be overweight compared with kids who watch 2 hours or less. Not surprisingly, TV in the bedroom is also linked to increased likelihood of being overweight. In other words, once many kids get home from school, virtually all of their free time before dinner, doing homework, and getting ready for bed is spent in front of one screen or another!
And although physical education (PE) in schools can help kids get up and moving, more and more schools are cutting PE programs altogether or cutting down on the amount of time spent actually doing fitness-building physical activities. One study showed that gym classes offered third graders just 25 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
Genetics also plays a role - genes help determine your body type and how your body stores and burns fat just like they help determine other traits. Because both genes and habits can be passed down from one generation to the next, multiple members of a family may struggle with weight.
A greater reliance on "food fixes" to deal with emotions can also contribute to weight gain. Some people tend to eat more when they're feeling sad, stressed, or bored. People in the same family tend to have similar eating patterns, maintain the same levels of physical activity, and adopt the same attitudes toward being overweight. Studies have shown that a child's risk of obesity greatly increases if one or more parent is overweight or obese.

Overcoming Overweight and Obesity in Your Child
The key to keeping kids of all ages at a healthy weight is taking a whole-family approach. It's the "practice what you preach" mentality. Make eating and exercise a family affair. Get your children involved by letting them help you plan and prepare healthy meals, and take them along when you go grocery shopping, so they can learn how to make good food choices.
Avoid falling into some common food/eating behavior traps:
Don't reward children for good behavior or try to stop bad behavior with sweets or treats. Come up with other solutions to modify their behavior.
Don't maintain a clean-plate policy. Be aware of kids' hunger cues. Even babies who turn away from the bottle or breast send signals that they're full. If kids are satisfied, don't force them to continue eating. Reinforce the idea that they should only eat when they're hungry.
Don't talk about "bad foods" or completely eliminate all sweets and favorite snacks from overweight children's diets. Children may rebel and overeat these forbidden foods outside the home or sneak them in on their own.
Here are some additional recommendations for children of all ages:
Birth to age 1: In addition to it's many health benefits, breastfeeding may help prevent excessive weight gain. Though the exact mechanism is not known, breastfed babies are more able to control their own intake and follow their own internal hunger cues.
Ages 2 to 6: Start good habits early. Encourage kids' natural tendency to be active and offer children a variety of healthy foods. It may take 10 or more tries before a child will accept a new food, so don't give up.
Ages 7 to 12: Encourage children to be physically active every day, whether it's an organized sports team or a pick-up game of soccer during recess. Keep your kids active at home, too, through everyday activities like walking and playing in the yard. Let them be more involved in making good food choices.
Ages 13 to 17: Teens like fast-food, but try to steer them toward healthier choices like grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, and smaller sizes. Encourage them to be active everyday. If they are not into organized sports, suggest intramural programs, fitness classes such as yoga or pilates, or alternative sport like skateboarding, inline skating, or mountain biking.
All ages: Cut down on TV, computer, and video game time and discourage eating while watching the tube. Serve a variety of healthy foods and eat meals together as often as possible. Try to include 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day in their diet, plan healthy snacks, and encourage kids to eat breakfast every day. Encourage your children to try a variety of activities. Don't force any one sport or activity - and help them find what they enjoy and then support them in their efforts. If you, as a parent, eat well and exercise regularly and incorporate healthy habits into your family's daily life, you're modeling a healthy lifestyle for your children that could last into adulthood. Talk to your kids about the importance of eating well and being active, but make it a family affair that will become second nature for both you and your children. Most of all, let your children know you love them - no matter what their weight - and that you want to help your child be happy and healthy.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The agony of a life-terminated baby girl

Dear Mommy and Papa,

I am in Heaven now, sitting on God' lap. He loves me and cries with me; for my heart has been broken. I so wanted to be your little girl.

I don't quite understand what has happened. I was so excited when I began realizing my existence. I was in a dark, yet comfortable place.

I saw I had fingers and toes. I was pretty far along in my developing, yet not near ready to leave my surroundings. I spent most of my time thinking or sleeping.

Even from my earliest days, I felt a special bonding between you and me. Sometimes I heard you crying and I cried with you. Sometimes you would yell or scream, then cry. I heard Daddy yelling back. I was sad, and hoped you would be better soon. I wondered why you cried so much.

One day you cried almost all of the day. I hurt for you. I couldn't imagine why you were so unhappy. That same day, the most horrible thing happened. A very mean monster came into that warm, comfortable place I was in.

I was so scared, I began screaming, but you never once tried to help me. Maybe you never heard me. The monster got closer and closer as I was screaming and screaming, " Mommy, Mommy, help me please; Mommy, help me."

Complete terror is all I felt. I screamed and screamed until I thought I couldn't anymore.Then the monster started ripping my arm off. It hurt so bad; the pain I can never explain. I tdidn't stop. Oh, how I begged it to stop. I screamed in horror as it ripped my leg off.

Though I was in such complete pain, I was dying. I knew I would never see your face or hear you say how much you love me.

I wanted to make all your tears go away. I had so many plans to make you happy. Now I couldn't; all my dreams were shattered. Though I was in utter pain and horror, I felt the pain of my heart breaking, above all.

I wanted more than anything to be your daughter. No use now, for I was dying a painful death. I could only imagine the terrible things that they had done to you.

I wanted to tell you that I love you before I was gone, but I didn't know the words you could understand. And soon, I no longer had the breath to say them; I was dead.I felt myself rising.

I was being carried by a huge angel into a big beautiful place. I was still crying, but the physical pain was gone.

The angel took me to God and set me on His lap. He said He loved me, and He was my Father. Then I was happy. I asked Him what the thing was that killed me.

He answered, "Abortion. I am sorry, my child; for I know how it feels." I don't know what abortion is; I guess that's the name of the monster.

I'm writing to say that I love you and to tell you how much I wanted to be your little girl. I tried very hard to live. I wanted to live. I had the will, but I couldn't; the monster was too powerful. It sucked my arm and legs off and finally got all of me. It was impossible to live. I just wanted you to know I tried to stay with you. I didn't want to die.

Also, Mommy, please watch out for that abortion monster.

Mommy, I love you and I would hate for you to go through the kind of pain I did. Please be careful.

Love, Your Baby Girl
"Courtesy - E-mail"

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Some tips on child rearing:

ü When cooking, encourage your child to help. For example, if a recipe calls for 3 eggs, ask her to get 3 eggs from the fridge. She’ll feel like she’s helping and counting will help develop her math skills.

ü Turn chores like laundry into learning activities. Ask your child to identify colors, help you separate lights and darks, or count the number of socks. These activities will help build math and cooperation skills.

ü Bedtime should follow a schedule. For example, bath, teeth brushing, bedtime story, nightlight, kiss good night and sleep. A consistent schedule helps children learn to go to sleep by themselves.
Turn an errand into a fun learning game that helps your child make sense of the surrounding world. If your child likes trucks, look for trucks as you drive and see who can yell "truck" first
- Source unknown

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Teach Your Children To:

(Trustworthiness) .. be honest, stand up for their beliefs, show commitment, keep promises, don't ask someone to do any thing wrong, don't gossip, stand by your friends and family.

(Respect) courteous, polite, tolerate the different views of others, be on time, listen to others, respect other's decisions, judge people on merit, use peaceful methods to solve conflicts, take pride in their appearance, take care of their property and the property of others.

(Responsibility) .. think before they act, take responsibility for their actions, set a good example, do their best, not lose their temper, complete tasks, be a good sport, return borrowed things.

(Fairness) .. treat people fairly, listen to others, never cheat, play by the rules.

.. treat others as they want to be treated
.. respect authority, protect the environment, volunteer in the community.


A father's message to his children

My dear son and daughter ....

The day that you see me old, and I am already not, have patience and try to understand me ...

If I get dirty when eating ... If I cannot dress ... have patience. Remember the time I spent teaching it to you. If, when I speak to you. I repeat the same things thousand and one times ... do not interrupt me ... listen to me. When you were small, I had to read to you thousand and one times the same story until you get to sleep...

When I do ... I taught you to do so many things ... to eat good, to dress well... to comfort life... When at some moment I lose the memory or the thread of our conversation ... let me have the necessary time to remember... and if I cannot do it, do not become nervous ... as the most important thing is not my conversation but surely to be with you and to have you listening to me.

If ever i do not want to eat, do not force me. I know well when I need to and when not... When my tired legs do not allow me to walk... give me your hand... the same way I did when you gave your first steps.

And when some day I say to you that I do not want to live any more ... that I want to die... do not get angry ... some day you will understand... Try to understand that my age is not lived but survived ... someday you will discover that despite my mistakes, I always wanted the best thing for you and that I tried to prepare the way for you...

You must not feel sad, angry or impotent for seeing me near you. You must be next to me, try to understand me and to help me as I did it when you started living. Help me to walk ... help me to end my way with love and patience. I will pay you by a smile and the immense love I had always for you. I love you children..

Your father

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Choosing the right school is the best gift that parents give to their children
Many parents feel stressed just thinking about school admissions. Most tend to send their children to schools they have either attended themselves, or one the neighbouring children are in. This reveals one aspect of the school, but not guarantee the quality of instruction. Before deciding on your child's school, you must take factors such as quality of curriculum, training of teachers, parent-teacher programmes and facilities into consideration. As a parent, you will be in the best position to know your child's strengths and weaknesses. An educational programme that may be perfect for your neighbour's child may not be right for your child.


Do you want your child to work from a textbook or would you prefer a class where learning is experiential in nature like the pre-primary schooling?
Some schools prefer teaching mainly through books, while others take children on field trips, show them videos to explain subjects; have overnight camps, etc. For these schools, study is in the form of projects, student portfolios, class presentations, practical laboratory work, mathematical investigations and artistic performances.


Do you have the necessary finance to fund your child's education?
Do you want to send your child to a private school where fees are high, a local school or outstation boarding school? If you can afford the exorbitant fees of private schools, there's nothing like it as these schools match international standards. Fees range from Rs 25,000 to Rs 95,000 per annum. Do you want to send your child to an SSC, ICSE or CBSE teaching school? The methods of teaching as well as the subjects differ greatly. Do you have the time to sit and explain if your child doesn't understand, or have the capacity to send him or her for tuitions?


Do you feel your child has particular needs? For instance, does your child require a special educator or is there a language barrier? Does your child have a gift or talent that needs to be expressed? If so, it would be worthwhile to find a school that can nourish that talent. Your need might be to provide the best education, but your child's need might be of sports, friends, activities, music, etc. Finally, accept that schools have changed since you were last in one. Because of advancements in curriculum, technology and teaching techniques, they are better than ever. When you begin your search, keep an open mind and try not to make judgments based on how you were taught. Let schools tell you what they are trying to do and see if it makes sense. Look for evidence that the school is successful in accomplishing its goals.


While deciding on a system of education, it is important to be well informed about all aspects of education. Match it with your child's potential and talent before making a decision, instead of going with current trends. Start by collecting information from schools that are in and around your area. Then, gradually, look at schools that are away from home. Many have a guidebook or brochure depicting vital facts like purpose or vision, mission and policies, safety, playground and activities, student standards, curriculum, staff, parent and teacher involvement, after-school activities, pick up and drop facilities, etc.
If there is a particular school you would like your child to attend, but are aware it is very competitive and difficult to get into, apply anyway. You might just get lucky.


If you don't want to go through the process of comparing, choose a school that appeals to you by making frequent visits and asking loads of questions about the schools to parents, teachers, students and the principal. A school visit is a good way to gauge the availability of facilities that cater to the overall development of your child, be it academic or co-curricular.


You can tell a lot about a school just by walking in and looking around. Does it appear tidy and well cared for? Is the staff pleasant and helpful? Is there good security? Are the children well dressed and clean? Are the teachers helpful and friendly? This will enable you identify the faculty turnover and also how well the school takes care of its faculty.


Take a look at the playground and various activity rooms. Is it well equipped or do the children need to fight to get a hold of a game? Check the computer lab to see if it is equipped with an Internet connection, etc. Take a look at the library, as it is very important to inculcate the habit of reading. See if you can talk to the principal for a few minutes and get your questions answered.
Be sure to talk to parents with children in the school. They are the best sources of information when it comes to understanding how a school really is.

Does the school put a lot of pressure on the child to study? Remember, a part of this pressure will be borne by you as parents too. Also try and find out how many students a class holds. The smaller the ratio, the greater the special attention your child will get.


At some point, you might need to start applying to various schools. Ensure all the necessary paperwork is in place and readily available at the time of form submissions and interviews. Also check the school's criteria for admission. Some offer easy entry when a parent has been an ex-student, if the child has a sibling in the same school or if you belong to a particular faith. Find out the age criteria as well, because it plays a very important role. Find out about the school's admission process. Does it have an online registration or is it mainly paperwork? Call the school's administration and find out its process and the cost involved. There is no restriction on the number of schools you can apply to. Check about deadlines and when interviews are going to be held. Some schools also interview parents separately. Prepare your child for such interviews as they form part of the admission process. The sooner you try and find out the pattern of questions, the better it is. The questions are generally general knowledge-based to test the aptitude and response level of the child


As a child spends more time at home than at school, family upbringing plays a very important role. Having books in your home and demonstrating an interest in reading encourages children to learn more. Conversely, unstructured and excessive use of television is correlated with poor school performance.
Make sure your child attends school regularly. Being involved in your child's life, helping to set goals, and encouraging and supporting academic efforts will have a big impact.


Although the process might be long and tedious, it is worth the effort. Also remember that you are the consumer and schools need you just as much as you need them. Choose one where there is all-round development -- physically, emotionally, morally and, of course, academically. It is always a good idea to be an active participant in all school activities . This is a great way to build rapport with school authorities and also to make your child feel valued.. Admitting a child in the best school is the best investment you can make on your child and yourself

Monday, March 12, 2007

12 easy ways to spoil your child

ACKNOWLEDGMENT - This list is thought to have been prepared over fifty years ago by a police captain and has now been made available through the Houston Police Dept.

Begin at infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way, he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.

When he picks up bad language, laugh at him. This will make him think he’s cute.

Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is twenty one, and then let him “decide for himself”.

Avoid using the word “wrong”. It may develop a guilt feeling. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.

Pick up everything he leaves lying around: books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.

Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage
Quarrel frequently in the presence of your child. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.

Give a child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as you had them?

Satisfy every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.

Take your child’s part against neighbors, teachers, and policemen. They are prejudiced against your child.

When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, “I never could do anything with him”.

Prepare for a life of grief. You will be likely to have it.


My hands are small. Please don't expect perfection whenever I make a bed, draw a picture, or throw a ball.
My eyes have not seen the world as yours have. Please let me explore it at my own level without unnecessary restrictions.
Housework will always be there, but I will be little only for a short time. Please take time to explain about this wonderful world.
My feelings are tender. Please be sensitive to my needs. Treat me as you would like to be treated.
I am a special gift from God. Treasure me as God intended, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by, and disciplining me in a loving manner.
I need your encouragement to grow, so go easy on the criticism. Try to correct my behavior without criticizing me as a person.
Give me the freedom to make decisions. Permit me to fail, so I can learn from my mistakes. Then I'll be prepared to make the kind of decisions life requires of me as an adult.
Don't do jobs over that I have done. This makes me feel that my efforts don't quite measure up to your expectations. I know it's hard, but please don't compare me with my brother or sister.
Please don't be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need to get away occasionally. This is also a great way to show us kids that your marriage is very special.

Please set a good example by taking me to places of worship and religious education class regularly. I enjoy learning more about God.

We were a group of burnt budding sucked in life turmoil’s
Rescued and resuscitate by men of grace
We have never known parental affection
We have no fathers to earn for us
We have no mothers to care for us
We have no siblings to play and fight with
We have very few to compare with
But we have every thing to rejoice
Because you are our mothers
You are our fathers
You are our siblings
And therefore, we are the richest
As we are looked after with the only wealth
And treasure we know about - Human love, Compassion and Care,
By noble people devoted to the cause of humanity
And the entire universe starting with you, we share LOVEOur one request to you – Please pray for us

Wednesday, March 7, 2007



"A ravaging fire literally destroyed a forest. To assess the damage, the rangers were sent out. One ranger found to his dismay an object in the form of a bird. He felt some life beneath it. He gently stroked it and to his dismay found three chicks coming out of a dead bird. They were alive. The mother bird protected them within its wings and the fire and smoke could not touch it. Intelligently the bird brought the chicks down to the base of the tree to escape from the fire. It could have saved itself, but for the sake of the little ones, the bird sacrificed its life."
Such is a mother’s love and such are parental love
and affection. I want every one of you to remember
this story along with your prayers before going
to sleep and you have a harmonious family of
commitment, character and conviction
if you take the right lessons from this story.
Both parents and children should remember
this story of great sacrifice and I expect all
of you to benefit from it.
K Mathew Thomas

Tuesday, March 6, 2007



U. SUJATHA, M. A, M. Ed., D. S. M (Ph.D)

Coordinator –
Vale’s Billabong Higher International School
Chennai – India

(Formerly of Anna Adarsh Matriculation Higher Secondary School)

I am U. Sujatha. I am a Teacher by profession. Here too I don the cap of a Teacher, but in a different context as a Community Teacher different from an Academic teacher. Read more and you will understand what I mean.

My task here is to present before you something strange on conclusions I arrived at after reflecting on certain tragic events that passed through my life two decades ago, when I was an unfortunate victim of frequent ‘downs’ in my life. By doing so – presenting before you the bitter experiences of pain and traumas, I encountered in life -, my motive is to comfort you and motivate you to cross over, if you are in similar plights. Tragedies are not destined to a few but to all at different stages of their lives and at times on some innocent unwary too, who least expect of it. As similar events passed through in my life, I found out the revelation of truth through His Grace that when we highlight our tribulations before Him, He, as our Creator and God, steps in and remedy it erasing out all those scars without traces. Then, when we smile in gratefulness He too nods in happiness. This is the ultimate truth and I vouch for it from the experiences I passed through in life. It is my privilege to share it with you as a Teacher to the Community I live in and serve.

As a teenager I was like any other girls – cheerful, playful and lively – watching films bunking classes at College; committing naughty catch-proof pranks at the Teachers and fellow-students while not quitting the status of a good and ideal student. Every one around liked me; I found life was worth living in guaranteed enjoyment and security.

We are three girls born to a father who aspired that all his daughters should finish academics as Post-graduates. I completed my Master’ Degree in Business Economics and returned to the School I studied as a teacher. I was overwhelmed with a profession that was my passion in life. As I passed my B. Ed., an alliance was soon to follow. He was an Engineer from a well-settled family based in Chennai. It was roses everywhere and life smelled fragrant and sweet during the first year of my marital life. Wedded to one other we were in a deep bond of love, bliss, care and affection.

Then Monsoon set in raining cats and dogs. As I conceived my first issue, my father-in-law was diagnosed for Blood Cancer and my mother for Liver Cancer. Those affectionate and loving souls, I lost forever. A Mother is a Mother whose love and affection for her Children can never be substituted and till date that vacuum remains in my life. They didn’t see their grandson they passionately longed for!

My father felt the pinch of his vacuum in life more. He was left alone in Chennai with my younger sister who was married by that time. Things took a different turn when my brother-in-law, the husband of my elder sister, gem of a human being, volunteered to take care of my widowed father. My husband was willing, but being the only Son he had to take care of his ageing Mother, which fact the rest understood. Three years after our son’s birth, my husband went through an unfortunate unemployment patch. He could not get a job of his choice, as he was a Mechanical Engineer. Finally he compromised with a job away from us - outside Chennai. That was the time I was carrying my second child. When we rejoiced over his promotion and elevation to a higher post I found my child born with a ‘bilateral cleft’. I was totally oblivious of the linked problems till Doctors enlightened me on the enormous difficulties, which would crop up later. She was operated twice even before she turned a year. However she looked normal after her second surgery.

At this period I turned into an illusion of my own making. I thought all my problems were over. I saw a path laid with a red carpet inviting me to tread over it. Once again I started dreaming of roses and the seasonal flowers. The truth was that more grave tragedies were in waiting.

When my daughter turned four years, my husband got a job placement in Dubai. A lucrative job for my husband in the gulf! The best avenue open to me as a teacher with lots of money pouring in! I was literally in a heaven of my own making!

He left for Dubai in June 2002. I still experience the farewell pain when I remember that past. Wait! A still more painful agony was on card. Six months after, I got a call from him and he said that he was in great mental agony and he was missing all of us and that he wanted to be with us for some time. My state of mind over him was also not different. I pleaded with him to take an emergency leave and return to be with us for a few days. But that was not to be! That very same night, I got a call from Dubai and the message was ‘Your husband is no more; he passed away in sleep’. I was shattered and numbed. It was not a quake; it was the earth moving away from us.

He thus submitted to His Will and our home turned into an orphanage – Yes! The head of the family was called back and he left. I cried for hours and days as all those sweet and naughty moments in our life lined up one after another, before me on a live screen. “Get ready for a life without him”, that was the cruel and harsh voice I heard all around when I passed through every nook and corner of my home where I felt his pleasant and aggressive presence in my imagination. I wished, it – the death - was a bad dream, but it was not. It was the reality of life once every one faced in life and how can my children and I alone am exception. But should that cruelty be hammered on to me and did my innocent infant children and I deserve the disabling blow? Even now I affirm a firm ‘No’. And still I cry that my tears fall on his Soul and traverse down to his feet and remain ever there as my homage to my great, departed husband who loved me, embraced me and took care of me through thick and thin. What a great human being he was! What a caring husband he was!What a sweet and loving father he was! Words fail me over his portrayal.

It still remains a million-dollar question – so is in your mind too now – why God has chosen me to download all sorrows and unhappiness He could lay his hands on. Was it His intention that I should invoke all the strength, determination and courage at my command to boldly face the challenges He had raised before me? Yes, I took up the challenge! I boldly cultured in me all the qualities that would tackle the enormous struggle opened up before me. The first thing I did was to register for a Ph. D with the University of Madras. Then I brought in my ‘job factor’ before the screen and I closely looked at it. I saw a little stagnation there seeking a remedy. I decided to move myself to the next slot! I received a break with the institution I studied and soon became an Administrator there. To me things looked finer than what it was before! I am now en-route on a determined, well-laid track to build up my career with my two children growing-up, well-groomed to my satisfaction while I continue to play the complex role of a single parent cum career woman, the like of which are there but rare.

It is conclusion time! I conclude that God chooses to pass sorrows only to His children who can endure it. If more sorrows pour in, in my life I am now trained and ready to take it in its right stride. All of us in this world are expected to play our assigned God’ determined task as daughters, sons, wives, mothers, fathers, grandparents, in-laws and live as ‘brethren in society’ irrespective of community caste and creed. Whether the path to be laid is rugged or smooth, God decides it all. We are His children and we are at His command. He is everybody’s unseen Father!

Now my message to you as a Teacher, qualified with Life Philosophy! ‘TAKE LIFE IN ITS POSITIVE STRIDE - YOU WILL NEVER REGRET’. The God, I worship every moment of my life is yours’ too and He has chosen me to pass over this truth to you. Live by it! Profit by it!

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Mid January - three continuous holidays -
No early rising - No shaving - No writing reports -
On the third day of the holidays I wanted to
be a little extra naughty to my children. I called my 12-year
old daughter Asha and gave an instant emery treatment on
her soft arm with my unshaven face. She grew pretty wild
and punched me black and blue. “This is unfair, Madam, be
fair, I said. Here is my hand; give me an emery treatment, in return”.
She stood erect; pulled my mush out. I nearly screamed
in pain.
“Be fair; Sir, don’t scream; pull my mush
out” was her cool retort
. K. Mathew Thomas


Enable me to teach with
for I help to shape the
Equip me to teach with
for I help to shape the
Encourage me to teach with
for I help to shape the
Empower me to teach with
for I help to shape the


Ø He, who is over-cautious will accomplish little. — ‘John Schiller’
Ø · Nothing is impossible to a willing heart. – ‘John Heywood’
Ø · Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. – ‘Ralph Waldo Emerson’
Ø · Time is life. It can neither be borrowed nor bought. Misspent time is life wasted. – ‘Zarathushtra’
Ø · A mind that is all negation grows barren and dries up. – ‘Ivan Turgenev’
Ø · There are only two ways of getting on in the world, by one’s own industry or by the stupidity of others. – ‘Jean De-La Bruyere’
Ø · He who has injured you was either stronger or weaker. If weaker spare him. If stronger spare yourself. – ‘Seneca’
Ø · In life, as in chess, forethought wins. – ‘Buxton’
Ø · He that waits upon fortune, is never sure of a dinner. – ‘Benjamin Franklin’
Ø · Positive anything is better than negative nothing. – ‘Elbert Hubbard’
Ø · Confidence of success often induces real success. – ‘Sigmund Freud’
Ø · The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than on fortune. – ‘La Rochefoucauld’
Ø · Fortune soon tires of carrying anyone long on her shoulder. – ‘Gracian’
Ø A mind that is all negation grows barren and dries up - Turgenev’
Ø I am a citizen not of athens or greece, but of the world – Socrates


Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it.
Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have to worry about tenure.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you screw up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This, of course, doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.


Jean Thompson stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very first day of school in the Fall and told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved each of them the same, that she would treat them all alike.And that was impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were unkempt and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy was unpleasant. It got to the point during the first few months that she would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then highlighting the “F” at the top of the paper biggest of all.Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, no one else seemed to enjoy him, either. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s records and delay Teddy’s until last. When she opened his file, she found a surprise.His first-grade teacher had written, “Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners. He is a joy to be around.”His second-grade teacher had penned, “Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by all his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle. ”His third-grade teacher had noted, “Teddy continues to work hard but his mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.

”Teddy’s fourth-grade teacher had commented, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and often falls asleep in class. He is tardy and could become a more serious problem. ”By now Mrs. Thompson realized the extent of the problem, but Christmas was coming fast. It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus again on Teddy Stoddard. Her children brought her presents, all in beautiful ribbon and bright paper, except Teddy’s, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper of a scissored grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne. She stifled the children’s laughter while she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume behind the other wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed behind after class just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my mom used to. ”After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and speaking. Instead, she began to teach children. Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called “Teddy.” As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. On those days when there would be an important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember that cologne. By the end of the year he had become one of the highest achieving children in the class and, well, he had also somewhat become the “pet” of that teacher who had once vowed to love all of her children exactly the same. A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that of all the teachers he’d had in elementary school, she was his favorite.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still his favorite teacher of all time. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still his favorite teacher. Four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still his favorite teacher but that now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother of the groom. And on that day, she wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And on that special day, Jean Thompson smelled just like the way Teddy remembered his mother smelling on their last Christmas together.

THE MORAL: You never can tell what type of impact you may make on another’s life by your actions or lack of action. Consider this fact in your venture through life.— Redick Gregory



Make a study schedule, but keep it flexible.

Try to study for 50 minutes, followed by a 10 minute break.

Get used to studying in one or two fixed locations which are as free from distractions as possible.

When general thoughts and worries about your personal and social life intrude on your studying, try to externalize these distracting thoughts by jotting them down for future reference. This will help to get them out of your system.

Daydreaming is a great time-waster. Try to catch yourself at the earliest possible moment and work out a routine for dealing with it.


Make your own summary notes (point-form) from lectures and textbooks. The notes should organize the information into logical chunks.

Because memory loss is most rapid immediately after the material has been received, it is important to rehearse the material as soon as possible after first reading or hearing it. The more rehearsals, the greater the chance of recalling the material.

Anticipate and formulate possible exam questions, then plan or even write answers to them.

Vary your approaches to the material to be learned. Read it aloud, make notes, draw charts, maps, diagrams, make up lists, categories, etc.

Mnemonics (eg. “Thirty days has September”) are often useful for short and crucial lists of key facts.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. William Arthur Ward

Saturday, March 3, 2007



Avoid nonsafety traps at Home: -

Have a "child-proof" cabinet that locks. Even if your medicine cabinet is "high up," youngsters are inquisitive and avid climbers. They can easily reach a cabinet by climbing from the toilet (or other convenient object) to the sink and thus reach into the cabinet.

Use child-resistant caps and keep medication lids tightly closed. A child-resistant cap is meaningless if not properly fastened after each use.
Never take medication in front of a child, or refer to pills as candy. Kids often mimic adults. Also, something that tastes awful to an adult may not faze a small child.

Always follow the recommended dosage set forth by your doctor for all medications.
Some mouthwashes contain enough alcohol to poison small children. Consider alternative products.
Some toilet bowl cleansers are dangerously caustic and capable of burning tissue if ingested.
Mothballs and crystals should be hung in containers. If such products are used in closets or chests, they should be out of the reach of toddlers.
Keep personal care items are such as hair spray, cologne, perfumes, nail polish remover, nail glue remover, and astringents where children can't get into them.

People who visit may carry medications in their pockets, jackets, and purses, all of which are perfect hunting grounds for a curious child. Hang garments and store purses where children are not likely to get at them.
Children may be exposed to different lead sources in your home. Small children may chew on window sills, eat paint chips, or suck on their hands or toys, exposing themselves to lead dust. Lead poisoning can cause serious medical problems, especially in young children. Be sure your home is lead safe.
Check under the sink and in cabinets. Look for stored products that could be hazardous when accessible to young children. These could include such items as bleaching agents, rust removers, drain cleaners, ammonia, oven cleaners, detergents, furniture polish, floor wax, metal polish, wax remover, and wall/floor/toilet bowl cleaners. Even food extracts, such as vanilla and almond, are potential poisons. If products cannot be moved, install safety latches on cupboard doors to keep inquisitive youngsters out.
Cleaning compounds and foods should never be stored together.

Keep all substances in their original containers. Using beverage bottles or cans for storing cleaning fluids, liquid floor wax, and other household mixtures is very hazardous. Children, and even adults, might mistake the contents for the original beverage. Also, labels on original containers give important usage and safety information.

Keep potentially hazardous cleaning compounds capped. Do not leave an uncapped contaner unattended even "just a minute" if toddlers are present.
Additional Precautions: -

When you report a poison case to your Doctor show the original container and its label when you call.

Use safety latches or combination locks to prevent curious children from getting into cabinets and drawers. Don't let children watch you open them. Kids learn fast.

Many poisonings of youngsters happen when the household routine has been interrupted. Examples of such changes include: when a parent is ill; when a family is moving; when a family is on a trip; when there is a guest in the home; when there is family tension; when seasonal products are in use. In addition, hungry or tired children are prone to putting the first available object they find into their mouths.

Throw out unneeded or expired medicines (OTC and prescriptions). Look for the expiration date. Out-of-date medications may be ineffective and/or dangerous.


Ten Tips for Raising
Children of Character

Courtesy: Kevin Ryan, PhD
Adapted from Building Character in Schools.

It is one of those essential facts of life that raising good
children--children of character--demands time and attention.
While having children may be "doing what comes naturally,
" being a good parent is much
more complicated. Here are TEN TIPS to
help your children build sturdy characters:

1. Put parenting first. This is hard to do
in a world with so many
competing demands. Good parents
consciously plan and devote time to parenting.
They make developing their children’s
their top priority.

2. Review how you spend the hours and days
of your week. Think about the amount of time your children spend with you. Plan
how you can weave your children into your social life and knit yourself into
their lives.

3. Be a good example. Face it: human beings learn primarily
through modeling. In fact, you can’t avoid
being an example to your children,
whether good or bad. Being a good example, then, is probably your most important job.

4. Develop an ear and an eye for what your children are
absorbing. Children are like sponges. Much of
what they take in has to do
with moral values and character. Books, songs, TV, the Internet, and films are
continually delivering messages–moral and immoral–to our children. As parents we must control the
flow of ideas and images that are influencing our children.

5. Use the language of character. Children cannot develop a moral compass unless people around them
use the clear, sharp language of right and wrong.

6. Punish with a loving heart. Today, punishment has a bad reputation. The results are guilt-ridden
parents and self-indulgent, out-of-control
children. Children need limits. They will ignore these limits on
Reasonable punishment is one of the ways human beings have always learned. Children must
understand what punishment is for and know that its source is
parental love.

7. Learn to listen to your children. It is easy for us to tune
out the talk of our children. One of the greatest
things we can do for them is to take them seriously and set aside time to listen.

8. Get deeply involved in your child’s school life. School is the main event in the lives of our children.
Their experience there is a mixed bag of triumphs and
disappointments. How they deal with them will
influence the course of their lives. Helping our children become good students is another name for helping
them acquire strong character.

9. Make a big deal out of the family meal. One
of the most dangerous trends in America is the dying of
the family meal. The dinner table is not only a place of sustenance and family business but also a place
for the teaching and passing on of our values. Manners and rules are subtly absorbed over the table.
Family mealtime should communicate and
sustain ideals that children will draw on throughout their lives.

10. Do not reduce character education to words alone. We gain virtue through practice. Parents should
help children by promoting moral action through
self-discipline, good work habits, kind and considerate
behavior to others, and community service. The bottom line in character development is behavior--their behavior

As parents, we want our children to be the
architects of their own character crafting, while we accept
the responsibility to be architects of the environment–physical and moral. We need to create an environment
in which our children can develop habits of
honesty, generosity, and a sense of justice. For most of us,
the greatest opportunity we personally have to deepen our own character is through the daily blood,
sweat and tears of struggling to be good parents.



Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam,
President of the Republic of India

The following oath was administered by our President Dr.A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, to a representative assembly of children to be observed by the Indian community of children at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan on 25.1.2004.

1. I will
pursue my education or the work with dedication
and I will excel in

2. From
now onwards, I will teach at least 10 persons to
read and write those who
cannot read and write.

3. I will
plant at least 10 saplings and shall ensure their
growth through constant

4. I will
visit rural and urban areas and permanently
wean away at least 5 persons
from addiction and gambling

5. I will
constantly endeavor to remove the pain
of my suffering

6. I will
not support any religious, caste or

7. I will
be honest and endeavor to make
a corruption-free

8. I will
work for becoming an enlightened
citizen and make my family

9. I will
always be a friend of the mentally and physically
challenged and
will work hard to make them
feel normal, like the rest of

10. I will proudly celebrate the success of
my country and my people.