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Dr.P.Mannar Jawahar Vice-Chancellor

Anna University Sardar Patel Road, Guindy, Chennai-25

Parent Circle Volume 1 Issue 2 June 2011 Price ` 40

ABOUT ANNA UNIVERSITY Anna University was established on 4th September 1978 as a unitary type of University to promote teaching and research in the field of Engineering, Technology, Architecture and Applied Sciences by bringing together the following famous institutions in Chennai.


n College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), established in 1794 n Alagappa College of Technology (ACT), established in 1944 n Madras Institute of Technology (MIT), established in 1949

Is your mind, body and spirit in sync?

n School of Architecture and Planning (SAP), established in 1957

True to its image as a premier technical institution in the country, Anna University constantly strives for excellence in education, research and societal service through highly dedicated and competent teachers who are also expert researchers in various emerging and cutting edge technologies.

Teen Circle


The aims of the University are: n To constantly raise the quality of engineering education to produce superior human resource to match rapid technological developments, n To share its academic experience and infrastructure with other institutions for providing quality education across the state and help students to fulfill their dreams,


Easing the way

n To uphold the highest ethical and professional standards while imparting engineering education and while fulfilling its obligations to students and staff n To serve the society with technological advancement and actively take part in building knowledge-based society.


Anna University has two major campuses: the Main Campus on 189.48 acres of land is centrally located in Guindy and the MIT Campus encompassing 56.40 acres of land is in Chromepet, 15 kms from the Main Campus. Both these Campuses accommodate about 1700 staff members and 19,000 students. There is also a small campus at Taramani, 5 kms from the Main Campus encompassing 27.80 acres of land. It houses 2622.50 sq.m. with advanced Biotechnology facilities, one of the best in the Country. Further, 38.27 acres of land adjacent to the Main Campus has been provided by Government of Tamil Nadu.

New Programs Introduced

Anna University offers 45 UG Programmes (including 15 Part-Time Programmes), 110 PG 1 M.E. Programmes (including 26 Part-Time Programmes), 6 M.Phil Programmes under Science and Humanities and Ph.D in all Engineering and Technology disciplines including Applied Sciences 2 M.Tech and Humanities. Anna University has following eight faculties, each faculty headed by a Chairman.

Computer Science and

Engineering (Part-Time-SS) Information Technology (Part-Time-SS)

n Civil Engineering ing

n Mechanical Engineering

n Electrical Engineering

n Information and Communication Engineer-

n Technology

n Architecture and Planning

n Management Science

n Science and Humanities

Anna University has 32 University Departments and 46 Autonomous Centres with well-equipped research laboratories and infrastructural facilities. These departments and Centres attract international attention through their research potential and receive funds from Government agencies like UGC, AICTE & DST and other private agencies including industries.

Father’s Day Special

The Other Side of Parenting Prof.Dr.P.Mannar Jawahar, the Vice-Chancellor and faculty members of Anna University, Chennai with the four students going to National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan for the summer Internship program on 05.04.11

The final year students of MIT have been nominated by DRDO together with Indo-US Science & Technology Forum to participate in the “Young Engineers Visitation Program” at LOCKHEED MARTIN Center for Innovation, Suffolk, VA, USA from 13th to 17th June, 2011.

Relationships I Health I Nature I Culture I Learning I Activities


For the Parent in you to Know, to Understand, to Connect.


ummer vacations have just ended and it is back to school for most children. For both the children and you, it is time to get back to regular routine.

As a child, I was away in boarding school for nine months of the year. For me vacation was three long months, from November through February. Holidays were days of fun and frolic, days spent with the family, fighting with siblings, reading, exploring hobbies or travelling. I still remember the long drive back to school at the end of the three months. The sudden feeling of butterflies in the stomach, a catch in the throat and heartache. Yes, I was excited about meeting my friends after the long break. But I was going to miss my family, the laid back no schedule days and of course the delicious home food. With vacations ending and schools re-opening a lot of children are probably going through similar mixed feelings of both excitement and anxiety - trying to get ready for the new school year, new class, new teacher and new responsibilities. Our 'Back to School' feature delves into some of the issues facing children at this time of the year and how to ease them back to school. A happy child needs a happy relaxed parent. Our cover story talks about how important it is to first take care of your self - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This year on June 19, we celebrate Father’s Day. The importance of a father in the child’s life cannot be overstated. This special bond can be seen through the eyes of both fathers and children in our 'Father Day Special' feature. We have devoted several pages for you to express your opinions and ideas - starting with a page of letters we have received from you. We are always happy to hear from you and are truly encouraged by your positive feedback. We will keep in mind your suggestions as we bring you new issues of our magazine. As you send your children back to school, keep in mind this quote by Marion Wright Edelman: Parents have become so convinced that educators know what is best for their children, that they forget that they themselves are really the experts. To all your children - I wish them the very best as they start the new school year! To all fathers - Happy Father’s Day!

Nalina Ramalakshmi PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nalina Ramalakshmi


MANAGING EDITOR Nitya Varadarajan

AD SALES TEAM R Balakrishnan S Visalam V Rajesh Babu

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Gemmarie Venkataramani CREATIVE HEAD Rangashree Srinivas

CIRCULATION C Ganesh S Thirumalai




PUBLISHED BY Nalina Ramalakshmi Director, Shri Harini Media Pvt. Ltd. (A Ramco Group Associate) 8/14, First Cross Street, Karpagam Gardens, Adyar, Chennai 600020 PRINTED BY R Dhayalan, Sun Graphics, 51, Gangai Amman Koil Street, Vadapalani, Chennai 600026 To advertise in this magazine call 044 24461066/67/68 or email

Parent Circle is published by Nalina Ramalakshmi, Shri Harini Media Pvt. Ltd. All editorial material including editorial comments, opinions and statement of facts appearing in this publication, represent the views of its respective authors and does not necessarily carry the endorsement of the publishers. Information carried in Parent Circle is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed. The publication of any advertisements or listings is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered.



Parent Wellness

Father’s Day Special

Is your mind, body and spirit in sync?


Back to School


FOCUS World Environment Day World Children's Prize


VALUES AIR: The three values that start at home

RESOURCES 50 PARENT CHEF Lunch Box Ideas! 53 HANDS ON Dad’s Goody Box 54 CHECK IT OUT Books, movies and games


MINDSET Understanding Anxiety

56 EVENTS Chennai this Month


LEARNING Creative Writing



TEEN CIRCLE Peering through Peer Pressure


HEALTH CIRCLE Summer Infections


CIRCLE OF LIFE Moving to Water Conservation

10 VIEWPOINT Is Parenting Instinctive?


ROOTS The Significance of Water

48 PARENT EXPRESS It's a Roller Coster Life!


TECH TALK Log it on a Blog

58 DISCUSSION POINT Marks vs Learning

On the cover: Elton Nathan with daughter Trisha Photograph by: Arjun Dogra


Parent Circle / June 2011


59 Q&A 60 LIGHTER VEIN School Year Resolutions


Letters to the Editor

We gratefully acknowledge the 700 plus letters we have received. Your feedback has been very encouraging. We hope to incorporate some of your suggestions in our forthcoming issues. Please keep those letters coming. We love reading them!

Congratulations and thanks for bringing out a much

The articles in the inaugural issue are excellent. Each

needed and useful magazine Parent Circle. True to its

article inspires the reader a great deal. The Mother’s Day

name and mission, the magazine does just that - brings

Special was very touching and you have brought it out in

like-minded parents together and connects parents to

a unique way. The cover story, ‘Parenting-A Balancing

the larger community, thus providing value addition in

Act’ was very nice. The summer camps page was very in-

the all-round development of children. All the topics were

formative. Good job by the whole team of Parent Circle.

interesting and informative. Particularly, I found the sections ‘Discussion Point’ and ‘Check-it-out’ innovative and

R Rajarajeshwari, Kottur, Chennai

very useful. Please do add a feedback section. I wish you all the very best for the success of the magazine! Murali Prasad, Dyna World, T Nagar, Chennai

The magazine gave me good ideas on the places to visit in and around Chennai. Most of the articles focus on parent-child relationship which is the need of the hour. The article on career choices has actually cleared a lot

The magazine focusses on the main topic of good and responsible parenthood, which is the need of the day. Other interesting and useful areas like information on curricular and extra-curricular activities are adequately covered. Useful tips on cookery also find a place. The layout

of my doubts. The article on Internet Safety is a must for all parents and children. And last but not the least I truly enjoyed reading Carol Band’s Lighter Vein. Congratulations for bringing out such a magazine. Keep it up! Kanchana, Alwarpet, Chennai

of the magazine is excellent and the price is reasonable. Your magazine is a welcome relief among the many magazines that focus on cinema and entertainment only. T R Nagarajan, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai

The magazine’s inaugural issue has inputs that both parents and children can read together. The Mother’s Day special is enough to flood us with our own memories. P C Thenmozhi, Chennai

As parents and grandparents we find ourselves confused and almost helpless at the way modern trends are chang-

The magazine is amazing! As a mother of a teenager,

ing our children. With so many ideas woven into young

even though I know how to move with my daughter as

minds by peer pressure, the modern child finds himself

a friend, this magazine has helped me understand her

in turmoil. The reactions of some children are shocking.

even more and has given me a lot of tips to get closer to

We feel that your magazine will be a beacon of light in

her. It is very useful in making parents understand their

this context.

children better.

Dr G V Sureendra, Egmore, Chennai

S Sankaralakshmi, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai

Starting from the cover page to the very last, each article and page was a treasury of information and an answer to the thousands of questions that run through my mind every single day, as the mother of two boys. The poem, ‘Your children are not your children…’ by Khalil Gibran is worth many reads. The article ‘Mixed Bag of Parenting’, kept me smiling throughout, the article in Lighter Vein was hilarious and the letters by kids to mom were really sweet. Shymala Raja, Rajapalayam


Parent Circle / June 2011

Parent Circle is good reading material for parents. It is packed with information particularly useful for young parents. The articles are made interesting with the help of real life examples. They are so interesting that they linger in our thoughts even days after reading. Keep up the good work. C Goshteeswaran, Valmiki Nagar, Chennai Please send in your letter with the subject line “Letters to the Editor”, before June 15, 2011, to or send them to PARENT CIRCLE, 3rd Floor Shri Renga Vihar, 8/14 First Cross St, Karpagam Gardens, Adyar, Chennai 600020, India.



Wellness Is your mind, body and spirit in sync? Arundhati Swamy 12 Parent Circle / June 2011

Parents need to take good care of themselves in order to take good care of their family

REWIND 1. To your BIG DAY. When

rather than from compassion and empathy.

accumulating anger, resentment and frustra-

you took your marriage vows. When you

Here lies the danger.

tion? Is the family atmosphere pleasant more

decided to give your partner your best.

As Swamy Dayananda Saraswati, a promi-

REWIND 2. To the moment of truth,

nent Vedanta teacher succinctly says, “The

often than not? Or is it tense and unpredictable most of the time?

concept of duty imposes a pressure on you

How are you doing at work? Is there a

when you were told that you would soon

unless you love to do what needs to be

work-life balance or is the scale tilting more

become parents. Initial excitement fades into

done. To get rid of the pressure, it is better to

towards one side? Is there a clash between

dreams, hopes and plans. Focus shifts to

learn to like your work.” So, look for ways to

family/personal life values and work values?

preparations and health check-ups for mom;

improve your situation, and learn to get back

Are work pressures causing guilt and conse-

advice and grandma tales abound, all for the

into the parenting glow.

quent overcompensations in family life, which

wellness of mom-to-be and baby. Nothing else can be more important than preparing to receive your child into the world. You vow to do your best.


To those won-

drous magical moments when you first held your fragile baby in your arms, overwhelmed with emotion and pride. Notice how seamlessly and effortlessly you transited into the parenting mode, how you did things instinctively, lovingly and tirelessly, rarely stopping or caring to listen to the signals emanating from your own life rhythm.

Instead, are you vitiating the cycle by loading

could then upset the balance?

it with other problems - health problems,

Do you meet up with friends at least once

financial distress, social pressures, and also

a month? Do you take time off for yourself,

the challenges brought about by life style

pursue a passion or a hobby, do something

changes? When stress creeps in, are you

for yourself, even if it is for one of the simple

treating it as an irritant best ignored?

pleasures of life?

Take an honest look at yourself - at your

Have you ever thought of taking time and

emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual well-

attention off yourself, looked around, reached

being. Solutions for every issue lie with the

out to others who might need a helping

correct channelling of the mind.

hand? (The experience helps put your own


stresses in perspective and some new learnIdentify the areas where you

feel depleted. The following queries will help your analysis.

ing can happen too). Do you believe in yourself, derive strength from a philosophy or have faith in a divine

STOP. Time for an audit. How are you

Are your family relationships fulfilling, or do

power? Do you have a life-line to hold on to

doing? Are you living, coping or surviving

they stress you out? Are you avoiding issues,

when all else seems to fail? 

the parent role? What is the reading on your physical and emotional health gauge? After all, parenting is a demanding 24/7 job that draws extensively upon your physical and emotional energies. In doing so, are you giving up too much of yourself? This need to give of yourself wholeheartedly to spouse, children and extended family members happens because you have been programmed to be selfless and practice sacrifice as a virtue. The self shifts to the bottom of the priority list. Responsibility and commitment to the family take precedence as self-neglect sets in. The silent downward spiral begins. Unconsciously,

All is not well IF you have a persistent health problem. WHEN emotional stress interferes with your daily work and you cannot even do small things. IF significant changes are happening within you in the last three to six months. IF you are losing your temper and sleep over small things.

you give of yourself indiscriminately, mostly out of a sense of duty and responsibility, 13


The Other

Side of

Parenting Gemmarie Venkataramani

Yohaan, Elton and Trisha Nathan in the park Photograph by Arjun Dogra


ike many other children, I saw little of my father during those growing-up years. He was an engineer working

with a private company and travelled considerably. I cherished those weekends when he was in town, when we played board games together, went jogging, or watched basketball cheering for our favourite teams. This bonding

emotionally, academically and spiritually.

A different societal norm

growing up,” he says. “Fatherhood has structured my life”, he affirms.

Despite the societal mindset that dads should

Fathers and discipline

go to work and bring the money while moth-

Fathers are depicted as the one having the

ers take care of their children’s needs, there

authority, and many children understand this.

are some parents breaking this norm.

Eight-year-old Aakash usually throws his

led to happy memories and was more than

S Vaideeswaran is an involved father who

school shoes just about anywhere in the

enough to compensate for his absence. Fa-

prefers to work from home, while his wife is

house after coming home. Despite his moth-

thers have their own individual and invaluable

out at work. This allows him to attend to his

er’s pleas to place them on the shoe rack,

style of raising children. Many often go the ex-

two children’s (ages 6 and 8) needs at home

Aakash will not budge from his game or TV

tra mile, partnering with their spouse to bring

and school. “Professional achievements

show. But as soon as he hears the doorbell

out the best in children – physically, socially,

can wait but I don’t want to miss my children

ring at around 6:00 pm, he rushes to keep his

16 Parent Circle / June 2011

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