Connection comes from work and play: An intro this Saturday

Posted By on February 21, 2013

Teach Me Magic

Posted By on February 20, 2013

Last year, the phenomenon of the Magic Cards entered the sheltered world of my ten year old boy. His friends played it, and it seemed, he might have been the last one of his peers to learn of this game. I resisted in many ways, making excuse after excuse to not buy the cards. There were several reasons:

1. Some of the cards were quite gruesome and inappropriate (in my opinion) for children. In fact, Magic Cards were meant for children 13+, check the packaging.

2.  It’s already challenging enough to get the kids outside to play, I didn’t want something else to keep them sedentary in the house.

3. My ten year old is the eldest of three boys. If he picks up this trend, his little brothers will be pining for them too. My job is to keep their childhood intact and introduce the world to them gently and mindfully.

 

On my son’s eleventh birthday, almost all of his friends bought him Magic Cards as a present. I braced myself. Then, I embraced it. If this is going to be in my child’s life, it is going to be in my life and I want to understand what it is so that I may consciously guide it in our home. I learned that in a nutshell there are white (angelic being), green (forest creature), blue (water creature), red (fire creature) and black (demon) cards. I asked that he only keep white, green and blue. If you looked at them you will know why. He will have my blessing to have the other ones when he turns 13. I also asked him play with his friends but not with his brothers. This was a compromise we were both happy with, at least for now.

Nine months later, today, I am playing with the boys every once in a while. I have my own white blue deck. The rules are starting to sink in enough that I almost enjoy it, like a chess game.  I’ve also discovered some advantages:

1. I get to see how my children play, interact and react in competitive situations. In a playful environment, I have a chance to encourage their strengths and support their challenges.

2. If I look at the game as an opportunity to connect, then that will be it’s purpose.

3. I get to model sportsmanship, reasonability and patience while I play.

4. I get to connect with my child’s friends when they are over so their world and my world has a common OUR WORLD.

Thank goodness for the Angelic Being +1/+8 that entered the battle field to help me in this journey of parenting.

 

 

There is no such thing as a “difficult” person

Posted By on February 18, 2013

Now that I’ve parented three of my own children. I’ve had my fair share of people from my family of origin to complete strangers who tell me, unsolicited, how to parent, care for and nurture my children the “right” way. Have you had that?

I’ve also discovered that there is no such thing as a “difficult” person, there are:

  • people whom I have no patience for
  • people who just care about my children
  • people who are sharing what they know.

There are no ill intentions only positive ones. Here is what I mean.

A: Why aren’t you giving your baby solid foods? He’ll never get full with just your breast milk.
Me: Thank you for caring about my baby. So you think solid food will nourish my baby? Tell me what you know about this.

Acknowledge their positive intention. Approach with inquiry rather than judgement. It will make rapport and connection. Sometimes people just want to be heard or to connect with us, and this is their strategy.

Me: (after listening) That’s interesting. I’ve read from various sources that breast milk offers the best food for a baby, especially if the mother eats a healthy and balanced diet, which I do. Gosh, there is so much information out there about how to raise our children… we can only do our best. Hey, thanks so much for caring and for your concern.

When a person feels heard, they are more available to listen. If we are not able to listen. This will fall under the “people whom I have no patience for”. And my quick reply would be, “thanks for the suggestion, I’ll think about that.” Which means, I will need more time to process what your positive intentions are so I won’t be so reactive.

I’ve tried this out with every challenging interaction and I have yet to find an exception. Can you?

Please share if you do.

 

A Tween’s Perspective on Violent Movies

Posted By on January 17, 2013

“I used to think that the older you get the more you can take … like watching scary and violent movies . But I don’t find that to be true.” Said my eleven year old boy as we were discussing The Hobbit, the book vs. the movie.

“What is your observation?” I inquired.

“The grownups I know don’t seem to like that kind of stuff.”

“I do remember liking horror movies a lot as a teenager and I can’t stand them now … Why do you think that is?”

“I think kids my age want to do what they are not suppose to do.  So when parents say not to watch something because it’s inappropriate, you know the kid just wants to watch it more. But once they grow up and no one is there to tell them what to do, they don’t care anymore.”

Food for thought.

 

An Eleven Year Old’s Commentary on Patience

Posted By on November 28, 2012

I was reading the Hobbit with my two older boys and Burian (5) was in the living room squealing because he couldn’t get himself situated in the living room swing, yes, you read correctly. We don’t have a couch, we have a swing.

Clayton (8) goes over to help him, comes back. More squeals ensue, Clayton goes back. Using his most patient Waldorf Teacher way, proceeds to help his little brother. I look over to Jing Wen and mouthed “So sweet”.

Jing Wen (11) then says, “I could never be a teacher. I don’t have the patience. All my students would hate me because I would yell at them all day to behave.”

“Think of all those teachers at your school who do it every day and so beautifully.”

He contemplated for a moment. “I don’t know how they do it.” He said in awe.