MEET THE EXPERT: SAI MANJULA VALLI (Professor and a doting mother of a teenager)

Meet Sai Manjula, a professor and a mother of a teenage daughter. She believes motherhood has its own highs and lows but it mostly gets rewarding once you learn to sail through it. In her experience, the journey of motherhood has made her more calm and compassionate as a professor. Her students totally adore her and love to attend her classes with same enthusiasm each day. Read below to know more about her and her thoughts on child-care during their most vulnerable phase: PUBERTY!

Kids at any stage of life are fragile especially when they hit puberty! All they need is extra love, care, lots of support and a bit of understanding!

What is your take on a child’s puberty?

It is a different phase altogether. As a young child she was very clinging and accepted everything. Now she is very particular and wants her likes and dislikes to be acknowledged and taken care of. It feels like I have restarted my motherhood journey and I am totally adoring all that’s coming my way.

As a mother, how are you handling her puberty so far? How is it different from earlier?

To me it is a transition phase that every kid has to go through at some point in their life. I come from from an orthodox authoritarian family so puberty 35 years ago was celebrated, formalized etc. Today with my experience of having worked in college for 15 years with students, I realize it is a part of life and girls and boys should realize it’s a body change and go easy on themselves which obviously needs the support from their parents and family in the first place.

Do you feel she has changed after hitting puberty?

I don’t think so. Her love and care for me and everyone at home is the same. However, the expression of her thoughts have changed.

Do you find her teenage years challenging?

I wouldn’t say it is challenging but I think its a different aspect that I get to see of her which takes some time to understand and handle her. So, I strongly feel the need to be patient with her to know what she is going through and why is she reacting in a certain manner.

Do you feel a child is more evolved as a being?

Absolutely, they are. I do feel my daughter is more evolved as a being than I am.

Can you explain how do you find her more evolved as a being than you are?

Yes, I find her more mature and understanding at times. More often when I am very stressed I turn to her for support. She seems to be more sync with nature, animals and plants which makes her more rational to human woes.

How do you manage work and parenthood?

I really don’t know. It just happens organically. However, I think it differs with every individual. There may be guidelines but every day, every action and every decision happens and has happened as a result of my experiences or intuition. I give importance for my family than my work as I do things that fall within this marker.

How has motherhood changed you?

I have become more patient, compromising, and more encompassing after becoming a mother.

What are your daughter’s likes and dislikes?

She loves to dress up, travel, and play with pets. She also loves to listen to music and watch movies. She dislikes getting up early, and exercising school tests as of now.

Do you feel the need to put pressure on children is right?

I may not feel right to pressurize children but more than often that pressure is external. A little pressure is required to help them perform and also to understand and bounce back in life when you fail. The small pressures I think at this age will help to mould them in balancing emotions, and achieve success in life.

How strict of a parent you are?

I used to be a strict mother but I am loosening up the harness to make myself available as a mother to nurture and become a friend of help for my daughter. I am consciously working at it.

Any regrets you hold as a mother in your journey so far?

Yes, I do. I realized I have made mistakes in parenting my daughter. When I would look back I would love to change which I know can’t be undone now. But I am looking forward to make my rest of the journey more beautiful.

What is your mantra in life?

I don’t know if I have a conscious mantra but I always love to see everyone around me happy. It fills my soul.

What is the best memory of motherhood?

Hearing the first few words that my daughter spoke as a baby is my most favorite childhood memory of her. She started speaking late so it was not only a great feeling but it used to sound so beautiful.

How is the journey as a mother?

It is such a responsibility. It’s beautiful, unnerving at times but I must say it gives you a purpose and unfathomable courage as a woman to stay strong to see your child in happier times.

Do you see a friend in her now?

Yes, I do. There are inhibitions still but it is budding and blossoming.

Are you a strict mom or a cool mom?

I was a strict mom but now I am transitioning into a mom who would love to nurture and guide her and be there for her no matter what.

How is her relationship with you?

My daughter feels I need to loosen up more and be more the so called “cool” mom. My upbringing makes it difficult to be a cool mother but I guess she views me as an evolving mom now.

Does she feel comfortable in sharing everything with you?

She does share most of the superfluous happenings that happen in the day but I am making myself more available in her liking so that she could open up better.

What message you have for other parents out there?

Children at the end of the day should always have a belonging and security in the wings of their parents, family and home. Please be available for your kids not just physically but emotionally as well.

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