Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Three New Questions

If you have ever sat with us during dinner, you probably have been asked our three dinner questions. Tonight, before we even started, Eldest asked, "Why do we always have to ask the same old questions? They're boring." (Many things are boring when you are eight.)

"Ok," I said, "You come up with three new questions. Go."

And to my surprise, he came up with three brilliant questions.
  1. What was something interesting you saw today?
  2. What was something you discovered today?
  3. What is something you like about Christmas?
It was fun answering new questions and actually easy to come up with answers. The kids had been getting a little bored with the questions and were not participating as I would have liked. Tonight, however, everyone had a ready and interesting answer.

What do you do to engage your kids around the dinner table?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What "Frozen" Has Taught Me About Parenting

The first time we watched “Frozen”, I had no idea what a fixture it would become in our house.  I love the movie, but it is actually a very sad story about how well-intentioned parents broke a friendship between sisters.  Here’s what “Frozen” has taught me about parenting:
  • When a child is hurt by another child, my immediate reaction is, “What did you do?!?”  This places guilt on the offender that may not warranted. Even though I’m scared for my hurt child, the child that did the hurting is probably scared too.  I need to be sensitive to the other child; even if he/she struck out of anger, the result was probably unintentional and now there is regret.  I don’t want to add undue guilt to those feelings that may last a lifetime.
  • I need to figure out how to help my kids learn to control with the seemingly uncontrollable. Instead of hiding a problem they are having, teach them how to work out the problem for themselves. I won’t be around forever, and if I don’t teach them how to handle what seems impossible, they will hide away or stuff it down, and that will just destroy them in the end.
  • I will teach my kids that as siblings, they have a very strong bond, one that will last forever, if I help them nurture it while they are young.
  • I’m not going to make my kids hide their perceived weaknesses.  Hiding something doesn’t make it go away.  I will teach them how to cope with the weakness and learn to turn that weakness into a strength.  My daughter has quite the dramatic personality.  At four years old, it is a weakness that often has her melting down.  I will teach her how to use that drama and passion in a good way – we all need passionate people in the world.  I won’t make her just stuff all that emotion down, but help her learn how to direct it to be useful, and not just a way of manipulation.
  • I will warn my kids about strangers, but also teach them that sometimes strangers are exactly the people they may need in times of trouble.
  • I will teach my kids that helping someone, even a stranger, who is in need, is always the right thing to do.
  • I will accept my child’s friends for who they are, even if they seem to be a “fixer upper.”
Has “Frozen” taught you any life-lessons?