This morning i noticed/understood several things:
Raghu asked for help with defeating some character on Mario Super Galaxy. As i sat there watching and helping occasionally (mostly helping with focusing and targeting a shoot) i saw how determined and focused Raghu could be. I've seen this many times but had not acknowledged it much. When he is doing something he really wants to do he can be tenacious. I can imagine that anything he really sets out to learn he can. He has been doing a lot of mental math simply in order to keep track of stars/things bought on Club Penguin etc. This used to be hard for him... and now its second nature. he will ask me to confirm his calculations several times in a day. Which i happily do. Raghu used to say (after a sad playground fight) that he could never do math... his words. And now i remember that and smile. And some day when he needs reminding... i can remind him of this. His tenacity even when he looses a whole half hour worth of Mario levels/gaming.... is incredible. he may cry or become angry but will soon get back and go go go. I guess we are all like that depending on what the task at hand is and whether we really want something bad. The old-me would be happier if he was tenacious doing math/art etc. Now i see the learning everywhere and can appreciate Raghu's focus and drive no matter he is working on.
I get flustered in Video games and find my eyes tiring out quickly. I even find it hard to sit at a computer for too long. So I would project this on to my kids and think that media has to be controlled because of eye-strain. Yet i know that i too am tenacious when i set out to paint or read.. and no matter how much i read i know how to rest my eyes and continue reading. I'm sure my kids figure that out too. They will/do take breaks for food, jumping on the trampoline or running around the house. We talk about how our eyes send us messages... watering eyes, red-eye etc... and how we can help our eyes rest. The large TV screen-Wii has made things better... the DS handheld and PSP are both tiny screens. I can see how Raghu loves to move around the room and hit the tennis ball or enjoys showing us his moves on Mario etc. And when the wii is freely available (again within the means possible... zoya gets her turn too) there is less need for extending play non stop. An easy break and knowing that your 'turn' is still on... sister's turn will be later on... so i can do as i will with my time for Wii makes for stress-free-play.
Of course they play together too and there is no hard and fast set time limit. things are fairly loose if the 2 using the wii are feeling that way. Some days we agree on time-limits for each.. some days they work it out and ease in and out.
Raghu is keen to explore and experiment thru his games. He will often just try out games and see if they feel good. He has many opportunities to try things out. This helps him a lot. I enjoy the luxury of trying things out too.
I had enrolled in a pre-paid-gym and slowly over 3-5 months i figured out that i don't like being in the gym. the account is now frozen and Ravi will use the membership. I lost some of the money. I beat myself up about it and figured i'd take a small bite next time. Now ravi and i hired a personal Yoga trainer to come home every morning at 6 am for an hour. It was a trial of 2 weeks before confirming. We love it. Ah, the pleasure of trying out something and testing and tuning into our body's response etc. Someone on an unschooling list said that her brother was forced to finish he food/clean plate, usual stuff. And years later got to know that he has a mild allergy to the one part of eggs (yellow or white .. i can't remember)... ridiculous battle fought. Someone else wrote about seeing her child figure out which foods made her feel better and which did'nt.
I notice that Raghu will say things like "thats not a combination i like or my stomach hurts when i eat that, or simply i don't want that"... for someone talking from knowing his own body well... that is enough of an indication for me to back off. I offer different foods all the time and the responses keep changing. Raghu has not eaten dosas in a long while. I noticed how he has been eating more eggs and bacon lately and figured its a good time for our fermented, high-protein dosas. And sure enough raghu has been eating dosas for a couple of days now.
I did it to just add variety... and cause i don't like the smell of bacon much. So i do acknowledge my needs too... but if raghu had insisted on bacon... i'd make it for him. And by offering variety he appreciates the change too.
Well back to the title.. It makes me happy to see my kids pursue their interests with tenacity.