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The Best We Could: A Parenting Manual for Our Kids
24 minutes | a year ago
022: The Impact of Unrecognized Family Patterns, and Giving Our Kids the Awareness to Break Them
The roles we play (or are cast) to play in our families: Patterns that were passed on to us from our parents and the patterns that we might be setting our kids up for as they grow up. Take Aways: If we don't point out these patterns to our kids, then they have a very high likelihood of repeating them. The role my father was made to play in his family (by default) The role my mother was cast in with her in-laws (my dad's parents) as a result How that impacted me as a child and an adult How that impacted who I chose to marry (hint, I repeated the pattern) My dad's father did not have the awareness or the skills to address the issue with his wife How the pattern changed when my dad's mother passed away (like flipping a switch) How this caused disagreement and discord between my mother and father What I want my kids to be aware of The post 022: The Impact of Unrecognized Family Patterns, and Giving Our Kids the Awareness to Break Them appeared first on "The Best We Could".
21 minutes | a year ago
021: Mistaking Kindness for Weakness – how we talk to our kids about kindness while cautioning them about being taken advantage of
Do kind kids (and adults) get taken advantage of? Perhaps, but what we have found is that being -passive- is often confused with kindness and is FAR more likely to be taken advantage of. Take-Aways from this episode: 1: Kindness can be taken advantage of, but passivity in one's life will be taken advantage of. 2: Passivity is often confused with kindness 3: Passivity can show up in certain areas of life and not in others; it is not black or white clear cut. 4: If you say yes to everything because you are passive and not living without a purpose, it is not really an act of kindness (if your default mode is to say “yes” to every request because you either can't or won't say no, it isn't kindness, because the option to refuse didn't exist). Kindness has to be purposeful 5: The cure for passivity in any area of life is purpose. 6: Evaluate requests or acts of kindness through the filter of your purpose and act accordingly. 7: If you are being passive, kind acts you perform without alignment with your purpose will serve to breed resentment… resentment toward the person you helped, resentment toward yourself, and resentment toward the kind act itself. The post 021: Mistaking Kindness for Weakness – how we talk to our kids about kindness while cautioning them about being taken advantage of appeared first on "The Best We Could".
46 minutes | a year ago
Episode 020: What got us here won’t get you there… An interview with my dad on growing up as an immigrant in the 60’s
Several years ago, I recorded an interview with my father about a month after he was diagnosed with colon cancer. We discussed what it was like as a foreigner in the US in the 60's, as well as his take on where kids today (including my kids) need to direct their focus in order to have a chance at success. I provide my commentary on this old interview. Summary and Notes [00:01:09] How we repeat certain aspects of our parents' parenting styles without even knowing it… in this instance why my parents did not socialize much when I was little, but they do now. [00:03:31] How I repeated that aspect of my parents' behavior without realizing it… until I listened to this interview with my dad for the second time [00:03:46] Observations of unintended consequences of my dad's strong self-identify as an “American.” [00:04:58] My observations on what my dad has to say about college for his grandkids & his work habits [00:10:20] Start of Interview with my dad [00:22:50] My dad provides an unexpected answer about assimilating to the culture at the time. This was the first time I realized this is what kept my folks (and also me) from socializing. [00:32:06] My summary and concluding comments on the interview, some points of agreement and disagreement, and how all this applies to children today. The post Episode 020: What got us here won’t get you there… An interview with my dad on growing up as an immigrant in the 60’s appeared first on "The Best We Could".
25 minutes | a year ago
Episode 019: Holiday and birthday gifting with our kids: Why we (try to) focus on giving experiences vs toys
My six-year-old son recently asked me to tell him a story about Christmas, specifically about the gifts I got when I was a little boy. I told him that I found it difficult to recount any gifts, not because I didn't get any, but because with one or two exceptions, the gifts were utterly forgettable. Experiences that were given as gifts, on the other hand, produced vivid memories even decades later. In this episode, I discuss how we used to think about giving, and how we think about it now. Summary and Notes [00:00:50] – Lionel Train set, the annual gift tradition [00:02:37] – Experiences vs objects for gifts [00:06:36] – The Nerf gun vs My son's favorite toy [00:09:40] – Birthday party gifts, handmade… no stress [00:13:00] – Intentionality in gift-giving [00:18:25] – Intrinsic vs external motivations Quotes from the episode: “It was wonderful because although the experience itself was fun, the train ride in whatever, the kids are going to remember highlights from the train highlights from the hotel, but they're going to remember being together.” [00:05:50] “But the bottom line is that there may be a novelty to getting something new and there is value in novelty, of course. But I think that I would rather, I would rather have him focus on getting, Oh, a smaller number of quality toys. That he remembers and works with and potentially even saves as a, you know, as he grows into a young adult and then a man, versus filling our house, like a landfill filled with toys for us to trip over, and eventually either donate or give away or throw out.” [00:08:15] “So much material stuff., it just seems like the kids are chasing the next high. It's like. They open one thing and they can't even look at it, and they want to know what's next and what's next and what's next. And obviously eventually that ends. And it's a huge let down because you can't open presents from now until eternity.” [00:12:24] “I definitely would challenge people to think about how to focus more on the experiences and if you are going to give material gifts, real intentionality behind it, like what is the kid going to get out of this. And are they going to remember it even six months from now, let alone a lifetime from now when they're an adult.” [00:14:33] “I want my children to understand what they are signaling to other people by wearing a specific name brand or a specific style or whatnot… And what comes along with that signaling… if they're not aware of it (why they buy certain things), I think is the biggest danger… Granted, there can be some utility to dressing up in a certain way if your job requires that… but, at the same time, if you just go out and copy what somebody else (you admire or aspire to) is doing without thinking about that and just acquire those things because you think that by virtue of acquiring those things it will somehow imbue the qualities of someone who you aspire to be on you. Then that's a really dangerous and slippery slope… that I once fell into” [00:19:23] Transcript Below Read Full Transcript In this episode, we're going to talk about gifts at the holiday season. And for me and my wife, it is extended to be more than just you have to do the holiday season. It's something that we try to extend throughout the year. And the reason is, my son, a couple of weeks ago, asked me to tell him a story about Christmas time and what yes, I got at Christmas time and I, I told him that. I started to think about it for a minute. And what I realized was that. Not only could I not really remember many of the gifts that I had gotten at Christmas time cause there were toys or something like that, but I didn't have any of them anymore. The only thing that I had at Christmas time was my grandmother and my mother's mother. Bought me one of those Lionel train sets, when I was one year old and my dad actually, we had pictures of my dad setting it up and playing with it. And every year at Christmas time she would buy me an additional car for that train. And these were like the, the zero gauge trains. So they were like a foot long each. And they were, you know, made of die cast metal. So they were fairly heavy at the time. And every year she would go to this hobby shop and she would buy me. A new car or a new engine or a new, something for that train. And she did that until I was maybe 18 years old. And sometimes she would buy me too. But it was, it was mainly the focus was that there was one edition her year that came about. And, I still have all of those. And the tradition was that my parents would set that up on, the night before Thanksgiving, and then we would put them away. Right after Christmas. So my folks still have those at their house. And that is still something that I remember and I remember those quite well. But I told my son that when it came to toys or when it came to anything like that, that not only could I not really remember what I had gotten, but we didn't have those things anymore. And what we are trying to do in our family right now is because we have a lot of toys, our kids have. A lot of toys, not compared, maybe not comparatively when we look at other families, but I think we have a lot of toys because I'm constantly tripping on them. But what my wife has tried to introduce is the concept of experiences versus objects at at Christmas time. So do you want to talk about that for a little bit? Okay. Yeah. I mean, we don't need more stuff. The kids. Everyone knows the kids get really excited about this stuff, but even the afternoon of Christmas, they're like, what's next? I'm done with that thing that you just gave me. So just trying, our families all live across the country from us, and so we celebrate the holidays, just the four of us. And so in. You know, we kind of get it easy in the sense that there's not grandma and grandpa right here. Bringing a truckload of yes, they ask us what the kids need or what they want, and we provide the list in that list can be generated by us or by the kids. But since we're the ones doing the communicating at this juncture, because our kids are not on email and not, Mmm. Snail mailing a list yet we asked this year. You gave them a couple of ideas that were tangible things that the kids have asked for or that we think would enhance something that they already enjoy or already have. And then we asked for experiences. We asked, you know, we said we'd love to take them on this, or we'd love them to have swim lessons or things, you know, we're going to buy them swim lessons anyway, but if it, if it. Would be special to have the kids know that it came from the grandparents more than happy to do that. But so this Christmas they are getting a few things from us and they were given money by my inlaws and we can buy for them what we wish with that. And right now it looks like that's going to be largely. Experiences classes or adventures. We're thinking about going on an overnight over Christmas to go snow tubing on a nearby mountain and spend the night, and that's a great use of that money that they gave. And then my parents biggest gift this Christmas was an experience that we just had this last weekend. They paid for them to go. Well, not they all of us to go on a Christmas train ride and it was a couple hours away. So we got to do the train and all the characters on the train from a specific book. So that was cool. We got to read the book before the for the train ride, and then some of the book characters came on the train, and then we had hot cocoa and cookies and. Got to see a light display. And then after the train ride, we stayed in a hotel, which was novel and exciting to sleep somewhere that's not home. We don't vacation frequently. So sleeping outside of our house is, is a special thing in a fairly rare occurrence. So that was exciting. We specifically picked a hotel with an indoor pool that was exciting. We don't have a television at home, so that was exciting. And. You know, I think it's going to be something that they remember. And it was wonderful because although the experience itself was fun, the train ride in whatever, the kids are going to remember highlights from the train highlights from the hotel, but they're going to remember being together. And that's what I want them to remember. I want their fondest memories to be with the people they love the most. And I think when it's boxes of. Toys, you quickly forget what you're supposed to be celebrating on what you're supposed to be grateful for. So they had a really fun excursion, and I'm looking forward to maybe having another overnight over Christmas to, have some more time together and more experiences using the money that the other grandparents sent one of our kids asked for. A Nerf gun is scary. Another Nerf gun, he went over one of our neighbor's houses and they had a large selection of Nerf guns. So one of the things he ask for is another Nerf gun. Now we have a couple of Nerf guns here, and they rarely get used. They get used so infrequently because his favorite projectile toy is a Slingshot that we made together from the branch of a tree in our backyard. And I helped him select the branch. I helped him cut it, I helped him put a notch in it so that he could use like a regular rubber band from the drawer. And he carries that thing everywhere, and we have some very specific rules about it, and he's actually, he's quite good with it as well. in terms of aiming, hitting what he aims for, and. It's, it's, you know, it's, it's safe and it's suitable for, for his age. It's not a, you know, we're not using very powerful elastic bands here, but the point is, is that that toy that he made with my help is ultimately what he votes on using. Like he could get another Nerf gun, and I'm sure he would use it and it would be exciting to unbox and open. But. At the end of the day, he returns to that thing that he made himself. And I don't know if it's because it's more exciting or because it's actually more useful or because it's sturdier or whatnot. But the bottom line is that there may be novelty to getting something new and there is value in novelty, of course. But I think that I would rather, I would rather have him focus on getting, Oh, a smaller number of quality toys. That he remembers and works with and potentially even saves as a, you know, as he grows into be a young adult and then a man versus filling our house, like a landfill filled with toys for us to trip over , and eventually either donate or give away or throw up. I was thinking, that it's not just about the holidays, it's something we're trying to do year round. So we've been really lucky that our kids have been part of a Montessori school where birthday parties are the most stress free things in the entire world because. Almost everyone. I would say like 95% of the birthday parties of kids who go to their school will write on the invitation. No gifts please. Or they'll write handmade gifts only. Mmm. Which is just really cool. It's cool to see what happens when you tell the kids we have a birthday party, because. Our kids now don't think that means go shopping. Our kids think that means I need to create something for my friend. We've seen some really interesting things leave this house for birthday parties. Oh, we had a soda bottle that Isaac took the label off of and filled with beads and candy and pencils and all sorts of things, and he was so proud of that thing. And his friend that received it was equally as delighted to have this very unique thing that was an adventure in itself. A what was in there and be trying to get it out. But, so that's, that's something that happens year round here for us. We do the same thing at our kids' birthdays. We say, please no gifts. we've had families. Give us recycled things, books that their kids aren't using anymore. My daughter just had her birthday and she was given an outfit that another kid had outgrown, and frankly, it looked like it had never been worn, and that's awesome. That's great for our son's first and second birthday, so he wasn't yet in school. I was feeling like, what do I tell these people to get him? Because. You know, he's one, he's not gonna remember it. And we certainly don't need more stuff because at one years old, he was really into climbing and mastering walking and wasn't really into toys that much. So I actually asked people not to bring gifts, and if they did bring a gift, I asked it for it to be a book and we ended up donating the books to the local pediatrician's office because every kid. Gets a book at their well child check at our club, at our pediatrician's office. And so we donated, you know, it wasn't very many books, like maybe five or six books. Some people elected to bring two and specifically said ones for him and one's for the clinic. But at any rate, Mmm. My, my hope was to continue that tradition so that our kids would learn a little bit about, yeah, community service or. Causes that might be important to them, and we haven't continued it, but I think our oldest is at a point now where he could have a dialogue with us about things that he thinks are important and how he might help, which may not be donating books to the pediatrician, but it might be visiting a wildlife refuge and picking up trash or. You know something, he may come up with something. So that may be something that becomes a birthday tradition. But I've just noticed because I work with kids all the time, that gifts, so much material stuff. It just seems like the kids are chasing the next high. It's like. They open one thing and they can't even look at it, and they want to know what's next and what's next and what's next. And obviously eventually that ends. And it's a huge let down because you can't open presence from now until eternity. So trying to bring it back to the purpose behind those gifts and some real intentionality behind them and thoughtfulness behind them. Christmas in our house, even though it's only the four of us. I remember last year took like two days because the kids would open something that they were so entranced with. They completely forgot that there was a couple of their things to open and they just got lost in yes, the novelty, but also the fact that what was being given was not, you know, press a button, something does something, and then that's it. That's all it does. We have a fairly strict rule about toys in our house. We don't like. loud, press a button, make music kind of toys. Even when they were little, we had very few ah, toys that I call them. One way toys. Toys that only do one thing. You press a button, something happens, lights go on, music goes on, whatever. I call them booby trap toys because whenever you walk past them and you disturb them and set them off, they start making noise and then you have to figure out how to turn them off. Yeah. So most of our kids' toys do not have an on off switch. They're largely, there's enough though. Yeah, we do. We cause some grandparents have broken rules. I can say we honestly have not bought a single one ourselves. Mmm. Most of our kids' toys are, you know, art supplies, things to build with board games, books, Mmm. And experiences. And that seems to really, it really works for us. And I can see just by setting foot in other people's homes that that's not how every family works. And I'm sure that are weighed, wouldn't work for everybody, but I definitely would challenge people to think about how to focus more on the experiences and if you are going to give material gifts, real intentionality behind it, like what is the kid going to get out of this. And are they going to remember it even six months from now, let alone a lifetime from now when they're an adult. Like Anthony says, he doesn't remember anything that he was given as a kid, and I can't say that I really remember either. I remember the few times I asked or, and then Tendo, which was like totally an awesome thing. And I asked for it year after year after year and never got it. And I remember one of the last years I asked instead of a Nintendo, I got a board game about the United States and I was so disappointed that I got this educational thing instead of the Nintendo. But anyway, I digress. I remember one gift specifically in the fourth grade for my birthday, the fourth grade, aye pestered. The crap out of this one friend, of course, which meant that I pastored was pestering his mom to go get this one toy that I really, really wanted. And I was, it must've been such, such a petulant little brat about that, but I remember they actually got that. And that was kind of the, epitome of. What I don't want my kid to do. I don't want my kid to be so focused on the thing that he sees his friends only as a way to get that thing. And then the mother's like, Oh, we'll just get this thing to shut this kid up. that is not what I'm trying to instill in, in a, in our kids. And I think it's funny that that's the one gift that I remember, not because it was an amazing gift, but. Just in hindsight, what a petulant little twerp I was. Yeah. Being persistent and just hounding him and asking him if he had gotten that yet. I think the other thing that, it's probably a loose relationship, but thinking about how lots of material gifts causes a child to be very externally driven. You know, they're, they're driven by. The next big box, the next big bag, the next thing to unwrap. They're very motivated by the, the quantity of what they're opening, not the quality and . It's just this mindset of more and more and more. I have to believe that if they're, if they become very extrinsically driven that way, yeah. As adults, that's no different than needing, you know, the next greatest Gucci bag or the next greatest designer jeans or whatever. Then the need to constantly get more, get more, get more, get more. And is that really what I want to motivate my child now or an adulthood? And we've talked on this podcast before, how valuable. Intrinsic motivation is, and I think part of the reason we feel so drawn to giving experiences and having a lot of thought behind the material things we give is the fact that our kids are very intrinsically motivated. We have them in a school that intentionally does that, and we're working really hard for whatever the next step is for school to be something that's going to continue to. Create an environment where they, they're intrinsically motivated too, to learn two, give to others and to receive. I mean, I think all of that can be an intrinsically motivated thing and not be looking for the next box or the next package to unwrap or the next greatest toy. Designer, whatever like I that is, that is not a sustainable way to live. And frankly, it leaves a lot of people feeling very disappointed and empty and we're trying really hard, even though our children are young, to set them up for success and that domain, from my perspective, looking at something like the Louis Vuitton handbag or the Prada, or even like the North face or some other Patagonia, some. Brand name. It's not so much that I want my kids to say, Oh, I don't want that. It's that I want my children to understand what they are signaling to other people by wearing a specific name brand or a specific style or whatnot, and understanding. Mmm. What comes along with that signaling, because I mean, depending on where they go to work in who they are involved with in their life, there could be pros and cons too. . Just signaling with, with name brands. So if they're not aware of it, I think is the biggest danger. If they're not aware of it, then they're just going and buying these things to fill this, this whole, there can be some utility to dressing up in a certain way if your job requires that. At the same time, if you. Just go out and copy what somebody else is doing without thinking about that and just acquire those things because you think that by virtue of acquiring those things will somehow imbue the qualities of someone who you inspire to be on you. Then that's a really dangerous and slippery slope. That I once fell into, and I think a lot of other people fall into that and they think that by acquiring these things, that somehow they see somebody else who has these things, who has the success that they want or who has achieved some station in life that they want and they think, Oh, well, if I assemble these same artifacts that this other person has and I wear them and display them in the same way and I behave in the same way, then that will somehow, in part the same characteristics or qualities or same level of success onto me. And I think that separating or having the understanding of, Hey, okay, I understand that this is what wearing this particular costume signals to the rest of the world. just being aware of that is going to kind of be a governor on what you choose to purchase and what you choose to wear. So while what Anthony said may sound like a tangent, I think it's pretty related. To the whole gift giving thing, just because it frames our mindset and our children's mindset about what stuff actually means. And sure, there might be a time and place for wearing a certain brand or a certain style because that's what your job requires, or that's what your community requires or that's what's going to help you. Knock that interview out of the park or whatever, but it all comes back to the intention behind it. With the gift giving, with anything that is materially driven, the intention has to be there. It can't just be, I'm acquiring these things to fill some void. It has to be, I need this one particular thing because it's going to do X, Y, Z for me. I can say being married to somebody who had a problem with this, that it is really frustrating from the outside to try to make sense of what's going on and when your finances are shared, obviously that's an issue. So I think preparing our kids for this is only going to help them to understand the path that both of us took in terms of how we, how we view. Stuff and things and the need for it and the intentionality we have behind how we, how we give gifts and when we give gifts and who we give gifts to. Our son has had a particularly hard time with that thinking he needs to give people gifts and, which is really sweet, but we also want him to understand that he doesn't need to give something to be accepted. So we're in the middle of that learning process right now. He's a little bit better, but when he first started school, he was really into like, I want to give my hat to this kid and I want to give my shirt to this kid and I want to, you know, my favorite toy. I want to give it to this kid in it. It suddenly became apparent that about half of it was, I want. I want to be generous and I want to show you that I really care, which is sweet and noble and theirs totally a time and place for that. And the other part of him was sort of trying to gain acceptance. With, you know, this is the really cool kid at school that I really look up to and I think he should have my cool stuff because then he'll know I'm cool too. So he wasn't able to articulate that because he was like four years old. But that's essentially what he was trying to do. So we talked to him about that and didn't tell him no. Just sort of gave him age appropriate language around. Not using your stuff to buy your friendships basically. And, and things are better and he's better able to articulate now, like, no, I just really feel like that's a special friend and I want to acknowledge that. And that's, that's totally wonderful. And we support that. So anyway, side tangents to this gift giving thing, but the topic of the night was holiday gift giving. So in a nutshell. Holiday gift giving for us is experiences over things and a lot of intentionality over the things that are a given. Yeah. And I think maybe I'll have to talk about how that materialism manifested in my life in another episode. Cause it was kind of interesting in that it didn't manifest itself in just a traditional acquisition of. name brands or something like that. It was a very nuanced and very interesting, and also that made it a little bit more challenging to identify and fix. so we'll save that for another episode, and that will close out this one. If anyone has any comments or any questions, please send an email, let me know and we'll see you in the next show. I five . The post Episode 019: Holiday and birthday gifting with our kids: Why we (try to) focus on giving experiences vs toys appeared first on "The Best We Could".
20 minutes | a year ago
Episode 018: Impacts and lessons of social ostracism on parents and kids
How our kids will deal with peer pressure, social ostracism, and wanting to “fit in” is determined largely by how they see us dealing with these issues as parents. We recount how we were given a choice between our peer group and our kids, how we made the decision, and the consequences of our choice. Summary and Notes [00:01:11] – The going away party [00:06:51] – Being ostracized used from a group [00:10:54] – The group fractures from within [00:15:27] – The lesson to take away [00:17:10] – Understanding where we stand in our family Quotes from the Episode: “We prefer to take care of conflict on a personal level.” [00:05:29] “If we roll over on this then what we are basically sending a signal that we don’t care about our children as much as we care about fitting in with your group.” [00:08:05] “It made us realize there was more power that we had than we acknowledged.” [00:13:56] “Understand the groups that you belong in, understand the feelings of belongingness and how that feels really good, then ask yourself what would it take to make this feeling go away.” [00:15:30] “I think that groups and community are vital to interdependence….the important thing to know is what that group is all about and what happens to that group when it’s tested.” [00:16:19] “It’s easy to spout platitudes and talk about family first but then to actually identify what that means and to live those values I think is extremely important and an extremely valuable lesson.” [00:17:38] Transcript Below Read Full Transcript So today I want to talk about the power of social ostracism. And I had recorded this episode and I listened back to it and I decided that I wanted to redo it. And the reason that I wanted to redo it was because I was couching some of my commentary. And. I think that one of the most important things that I can do with my kids is provide an example for them, and if I'm couching commentary on something that happened in our lives related to ostracism, and I'm not being forthright about that, then I don't think that I'm providing the best possible example. That I can for them. So I decided that what I was going to do was go ahead and rerecord this because I think that in addition to the details of the story, I think that how I present myself in describing those details is also really important. So my son was about to. At the time of a going away party that was held at a local gym that we used to belong to. And this was a CrossFit style jam. And so maybe there were about, I don't know, 80 people, at this party. It was a family friendly party, big, event. A lot of people, brought potluck style stuff, and they also had some stuff that they were providing there. So. One of the displays was a dessert display. And this was done up by somebody who had a, I think it was like a dessert business or a cake business, cause they had the big, like plywood covered display where all of the desserts were set up on. And this is not something that you have, as, you know, when I go to a potluck, I don't bring along a. Giant four foot tall cake display structure with me. I bring the food and that's pretty much it. The reason that this is important is because on this display was a selection of kettlebells shaped desserts. So a kettlebell is a metal, just think of like a metal cannon ball with a metal handle that is shaped. onto it so that you can swing it and do various things with it. And these were on this, this dessert display. they were about the size of a golf ball, maybe a little bit smaller, and they had a handle that was made out of fondant or so I thought, they're very, beautifully colored and. What does my son do? He runs up to this display and he jams one of these things in his mouth. And as he's putting one of these things into his mouth, I read the sign that says, do not eat the handles. And so I pick up my son and realize that he has eaten the whole thing. And then I pick up one of these treats. These desserts, and I realized that the reason that the sign says don't pick up the handle is because it's made out of wire covered in fondant. So we decide that we're going to take our kid to the doctor because the wire is fairly stiff and we don't know what the consequences of that, but we're fairly certain that this is something that merits a professional opinion. And so we go to the doctor, we're not upset because we know that, that it will be taken care of. We know we, you know, we have insurance and that we know that, that accidents happen. Okay? So we go there, we have this great x-ray of our son with this, with this kettlebell shaped handle in his stomach. And the doctor says, yeah, he'll probably pass it. But, he was still in diapers at the time. If it doesn't, pass it, then you have to come back for an X Ray. So. You know, it's inconvenient. No big deal. Our bigger thing was, Hey, I'm kind of unsafe. So we posted a short message on a private. Group that, that, that we're a member of with this group. Just saying, Hey, you know what, we're fine. son is going to be okay, most likely. And, you know, we just want to talk with whoever provided these things because we just want to make sure that they understand, Hey, while the dessert was beautiful, probably not appropriate for an environment that is family friendly, where there's a bunch of little kids running around who. Can't read and who are attracted to bright candy looking items at eyeball level. So realistically, yes, I should have been on top of my son more than I was, but at the same time, if you have to have a sign that people need to read, telling them not to eat a sugar covered part of the dessert, then you're kind of. Saying, Hey, I know that there's a danger here. I know so much that I'm actually posting a warning about it, which maybe maybe as soon as you get to that point in your decision making, it's time to find another substructure to make your handle with that. I would just say, especially if you're looking to do that professionally, so one thing that. It's interesting about my wife and myself is that we prefer to take care of conflict at the personal level. We prefer to address things personally, and we actually would prefer not to involve the state or some sort of agency in enforcing things, especially if we can take care of it ourself. And so that's what we tried to do. We said, Hey, you know what? We're not asking for any money insurance covered this, but we just want to talk to the person who made this so that we can, we have an understanding that they understand how unpleasant this was and that they're not going to go and do this again. Now, what happened, interestingly enough, was instead of the community that we were supposedly a part of, reaching back to us and asking how our son was. The F one of the first messages that we received was, how dare you ruin this person's going away party. Right? So what was interesting was they were basically telling us to back the F down and that if we continue to investigating this, we would be ejected from this group. Now, my wife had made a lot of friends. There and I had to, and ostracism is kind of an interesting thing because when you're ostracized, especially going back, like let's say you go back a thousand years and Hunter gatherer or tribal environments being ostracized from a group a, if you are literally kicked out of a group as a couple, and you've relied on this group for, for mutual protection and defense, and now you're cast out into the wild is a couple of that could be a literal death sentence. So. And it was, it would also impact a woman with a small child much more than it would a man, simply because physical differences aside, having to care for a small child puts you at a distinct disadvantage in a survival situation than being alone. So it impacted my wife more than it impacted me. And. We talked, you said, you know, do you think we should reconcile, but this should be, just forget about it. And I said, what I should note is that the attacks became more, frequent, and they were, I would say, more venomous, basically telling us that we should not investigate this any further. We just need to be quiet about it. And that was that. And what I told my wife was I, I said, listen, if we roll over on this. Then what we are basically , sending a signal to everyone about our children is that we don't care about our children as much as we do fitting in with your group. And I said, I'm not willing to do that. Furthermore, this group is telling us everything we need to know about it because they're basically saying to us that we don't matter at all. All that matters is our compliance and that they will do anything needed to protect. Their group, even if they are basically in conflict with the, with their own tenants, with the things that they say that they hold dear, they're actually violating by telling us where to go and how to get there basically. So that's what my wife and I did. We said, we reached out and we said, once again, you know, Hey, We're extending the olive branch here. We're not going to go after anybody. We, we, we're not looking for any money. All we want to do is just talk with whoever this was. Whoever made these and just get an understanding that they know that what they did was dangerous and they probably shouldn't do that again. Like we'll just have a, just, just the handshake of, Hey, you know, I is your kid. Okay. But instead, instead of taking that olive branch, what they did was escalate. And now I'm in a challenging situation because now, not only is it my family, but now I know that whoever this Baker is is basically saying that they're willing to do that again. . I'm left with the conundrum of saying, okay, well do I ignore this knowing that they'll do it again, or do I involve the health department? Do I involve the County? And these are two things that I really don't want to do, but at the same time, I will not sit idly by knowing that this person is going to repeat that same behavior again, because now guess what? That's me and that's, that's my, my feelings of right or wrong. I guess my, my morality. That I'm putting out there by saying, Hey, I know that this person's going to do this again. I can't be silent about it. I've, I've attempted to engage with them. They're not going to engage. Okay. So, then I have to involve who I have to involve. And what was really interesting is when the health department called, the business where the, where the party was, was held basically, What started to happen was that group started to fracture from the inside because there was some accusations going back and forth, and I found that really interesting is that they were willing to throw anybody under the bus in order to protect the group and how easy it would have been for them just to come to the table and say, Hey, handshake. . No bad blood, no bad feelings, and everybody goes and continues doing what they're doing. one thing that I thought that the owner of this gym could have done to ameliorate things is to take care of things, was number one, to be more of a leader in a positive way. Because at any point in time, she could have come in and told the people who were. Harassing us to stop doing that. Stop doing this in my name. That's not what I'm about. That's not what this group is about. Additionally, she could have talked to us and asked how we were. She could have acted as an intermediary between us and whoever that Baker was saying, Hey, this person that, you know, you guys should just talk to each other and sort it out. Because these guys are just wanting to to hold out an olive branch. All they want is for you to take it. She could have facilitated that, but instead her tactic was the tactic that you're advised to do whenever you get into an automotive accident, which is, and I understand there was a difference between if you get in a car accident where you don't know anybody and you ha you're going to have to go through the legal system, is you never. You never talk about blame, especially when talking to the police and, and in a, in a car accident, you never take responsibility for, for the crash, basically. And I understand that there's, that, there's good reason to do that. There's also good reason never to talk to the police. but that's neither here nor there. This is an organization, this, this group was a much smaller group where in theory, everybody knew everybody. And. Things could be handled in a much simpler way, but they chose not to do that. They chose to not acknowledge what had happened in the belief that by not acknowledging it, it would go away. Kind of like my two year old will spill something on the floor and put her hand over her eyes. Thinking that because she can't see it, I can't see it and we're not going to get upset with her for doing that. We're going to talk about, Hey, maybe could, what could you do next time to make that not spill, but we're not going to get upset with her over it, but at the same time, we're not going to pretend like we don't see it just because she puts her eyes, her hands over her eyes and can't see it. What did this do for. My family. Well, at first, like I said, it made my wife really nervous and uncomfortable, but ultimately it brought us closer together and it made us realize that there was more power that we had than we acknowledged. Now ultimately, see, here's the thing. Ultimately nothing, nothing happened. Nothing that happened. We didn't pursue it to the point of financially damaging anyone. We didn't. We didn't. You know, have the, the, the County pursue them to the point where somebody would get a big fine or something like that. but we needed to, we needed to demonstrate that, Hey, if you, if you treat us this way, you're going to face consequences. And the consequences for them were they got to see the backstabbing of, from their own group. And that was, I think, very, very unpleasant. For them to have to bear witness to and have to see how they were basically destroying each other from within. And from my perspective, like I said, you know, I'm not, I'm not big into involving, involving others to do my reconciliation for me. I'd rather not involve. external entities to do something that I could do myself. However, if I have reason to believe that somebody is going to do the same thing that caused us injury again, and they're not willing to talk to me about it, they're not willing to put their hand out and reach for that olive branch that I'm handing them, then. I don't have a choice in the matter. I have to escalate it at that point. So the lesson for my kids here is number one, understand the groups that you're getting involved in. Understand the feelings of belongingness and how that feels really good. And then ask yourself, what would it take to make this feeling go away? Is what I am feeling real or is what I am feeling just what somebody wants me to feel. And then. What would it take to challenge that? How far could I step out of bounds before what I'm feeling right now is flipped on its head and before I am vilified for. Basically threatening the group even, and also what would be a perceived slight to the group. That's another thing to really take into account. Another thing for my kids that I'd want them to take away from this is not that community in groups are bad. I think that that groups and community are vital to interdependence, not, not independence and not like a communism type stuff, but interdependence. The important thing to know is what that group is all about and what happens to that group when it's tested. I think that those are really two really important things to, to understand what the group advertises itself as, or what it's its ethos, either formally or informally is, and then what that ethos turns into when, the group is challenged. And finally. Another thing that I think is really important to me personally anyway, is the perspective of understanding where we stand as a family. And prior to this, my wife and I had just kind of coasted in our marriage. And what I mean by that is we hadn't thought of sort of if thence for, well, if this happens, this is what we're going to do, or not. Not like for my Newt. Detail of things, but just in, more broad generalizations of this is what it means to put family first because it's easy to spout platitudes and to talk about family first, but then to actually identify what that means and live those values, I think is extremely important and extremely valuable lesson. And this was really the first time that we had to kind of put our money where our mouth was. In terms of, in terms of doing that in a, in, in a way that had long standing consequences. And if you can get away without having to do that for a while or for her entire marriage, then great. But I think that at some point in time, whether it's with extended family who are going to push your boundaries or whether it's with a group like this, knowing what that line is and knowing what you will do to defend it. Is really, really important. And also understanding what signals that sends to other people about your family and what it also sends to your spouse and to your kids is very valuable. And that's something that my wife and I don't we, I mean, we disagree on a lot of different things and we disagree in a healthy way. and this was something maybe that we disagreed about before this. Happened, but both her and I agree that had we not shown, not just not just told, but shown what we were willing to stand for, then we would be doing our kids a great disservice. And we would also be doing our marriage a great disservice by not drawing a line in the sand and then walking away from. It group that would cross over that line in the sand. And so that's really all I have for this show is kind of challenging for me. As I said, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know and we'll see you in the next show. The post Episode 018: Impacts and lessons of social ostracism on parents and kids appeared first on "The Best We Could".
16 minutes | a year ago
Episode 17: How we talk to our kids (and ourselves) about Imposter Syndrome
What matters more, a person's skill set, or the network of people who know about that person and their skillset? As always, the answer is “it depends.” In this episode, I discuss Imposter syndrome and how it applies to adults (me specifically) and how this perspective might impact my children as they grow up. Summary and Notes [00:00:24] – Imposter Syndrome [00:03:47] – Over-preparing/perfectionism….it’ll never be ready [00:05:12] – Competence vs Confidence [00:07:35] – The most important message [00:11:24] – Conditioning in school vs the real world [00:14:11] – Building social capital, rather than building a standalone skillset. Quotes from the Episode: “A lot of opportunity happens when we don't have full information. And if we wait to have full information on something, then oftentimes that opportunity will have changed or will have entirely passed us by.” [00:02:59] “The people who have the least competence in a subject area are, generally speaking, those who have no qualms about putting themselves out there and advertising what it is they have and making claims about what it is that they can do.” [00:05:09] “Rather than focusing on an absolute level of skill and comparing yourself to, other people who you may never meet. Focus instead on who you can help with, the skills that you have developed.” [00:07:38] “You have to be able to find people who find your skill valuable.” [00:08:44] Transcript Below Today I want to talk about one of the things that comes up for me repeatedly, and I think it's useful for my kids to know this, and I think it's useful for other people to understand how I've kind of dealt with this over the years and how I think it's benefited me, but also how I think that it has really held me back. and that is something called imposter syndrome. Now, impostor syndrome is when. You don't feel that you are good enough to be doing what you're doing or you don't feel that you are up to par with your other contemporaries in a particular field. this kind of manifested itself for me early on, I would even say probably going back into, high school where I didn't, I was in the smart kid classes, but. I didn't really feel like I belonged in the smart kid classes, and I realized that there's a lot that just goes into saying the smart kid classes where I went to school, they broke you down into, the a B and C units. And because they didn't think that kids were smart enough to figure this out, they put all the smart kids in the C. Level classes and all of the kids who are having challenges with the educational system. We're in the A-level classes. And so they thought that if they put the smart kids in the AA classes and the kids who are having problems in the C classes, that would unfavorably stigmatize the kids according to where they were, , kind of stratifying themselves. And they didn't think that we were smart enough to figure that out. So just to give you kind of an idea of the, The what the learning institutions were all about when, when I was a boy, that's the level of intellect that they thought that pretty much everybody was bringing to the game. And of course, the thing was that pretty much anybody could figure out where those kids stratified themselves in terms of not just their intellectual ability, but also their desire to be in school. I remember, there was this one kid who I went to school with who, He actually is a brilliant, brilliant kid. His mother passed away, I think maybe his freshman year of, of high school. And he actually went on to be a professor at a, at an Ivy league, university. And in high school you would not have guessed that from just looking at his academics. he was, he was in those A classes, but he should not have been there. bringing this back to what we're talking about earlier with the imposter syndrome, so for me, what this resulted in me doing was holding myself back until I was. 100% sure that I could do something and that's always a problem or that can be a problem because a lot of opportunity happens when we don't have full information. And if we wait to have full information on something, then oftentimes that opportunity will have changed or will have entirely passed us by. In some ways it kept me safe by being conservative, but in other ways, it held me back. And I think what it really did, was it made me focus on over-preparing. And over-preparing is just really a way of. Not putting yourself into the game. Over-preparing or perfection, perfectionism, you could say, but I'll just say over prefer over-preparing in, in my particular, situation. You're not, you'll never be ready. It will never be perfect. And so when something is never ready, you never have to put it out there. What's the danger of putting something out there? Well, when you put something out into the public for, for scrutiny or for evaluation, then you're opening yourself up to criticism. what strategy did I adopt was I tried to say, okay, well I am going to try and make myself safe from criticism or safe from scrutiny by focusing on perfection, by focusing on trying to make things perfect. And in that way, I always have an excuse for something to be not ready. And that. Is a blessing and a curse. What ha it has caused me to do is it's caused me to really build up a skillset that is fairly robust in some fairly useful areas, but at the same time, it's also created a situation where. Even now that I'm aware of that, I still have hesitation to put those things on display out there. And what's really interesting is this is something that I've noticed too in, in my life, but the people who. Have the least competence in a subject area are generally speaking, those who have no qualms about putting themselves out there and advertising what it is they have and making claims about what it is that they can do. I think that that's really interesting. That so, so often the people who are the least qualified are the people who are the ones who are saying. I can do that for you and they have no problem making that claim yet. What often happens too is people who are really good at something are constantly evaluating themselves and are constantly saying, Oh, well, I'm not going to, I'm not going to put myself out there because then I'll have to be evaluated and I might not be as good as I really think that I am and. That's kind of a, the category that I have fallen into. And what, what's really interesting to me is good enough for who right? because we're conditioned from the news media and Hollywood and all these other, external sources of validation. A lot of times what happens is we compare ourselves to people who are on. National media where at least when, when I was a boy, you know, 20 years ago it was, it was the major cable networks. They made major news outlets. Now it's obviously very different, but when you're comparing yourself to the expert on something, then unless you are that person, there can only be one of them. And because there can only be one world expert in something, there's always going to be somebody who has a bigger boat. There's always going to be somebody who is faster than you, stronger than you, whatever. And even if you're the world champion at something, even if you're the fastest sprinter in the world, you're not going to be the fastest sprinter forever. Even if nobody breaks your record, you're going to get old. And you're going to go on in life and then somebody else is going to come and fill that role. And even if they never actually break that record, it's still going to be, unfortunately, that that identity that you had is going to change over time. I think that the most important message here for my kids is. Rather than focusing on an absolute level of skill and comparing yourself to, other people who you may never meet. Focus instead on who you can help with, the skills that you have developed constantly put yourself out there in. A way that you can help other people and get feedback so that you can improve on what it is that you're doing so that you can get better. Not by just working on skill development in isolation, but by interacting with the market, interacting with, with people who you're helping and getting the feedback from them. And ideally that will come in the form of compensation as well. That's a great, that's a great way to tell. on a personal level anyway, how how effective you are is if someone's willing to give you compensation for what it is that you're doing. And so that's going back to, you don't have to be the world expert on something. You have to be able to find people who find your skill valuable. And I think where I spent a lot of time was saying, I'm not ready yet. I'm not ready yet. And yeah, I was developing skill over that time, but I wasn't developing wisdom. I don't believe you can develop wisdom in isolation. I think that in order to develop wisdom, you have to have interaction with people and you have to test your skillset in in the real world, not in the ivory tower , so to speak. that's really kind of my takeaway from today is that the best way to not only help yourself but to help other people is to develop your skillset incrementally and find people who will benefit from that skill set. Help them , have them help you identify areas where you could improve what you did well, what was missing, maybe what you could improve on a little bit, and then iterate, go back, improve, help someone again. And I think ultimately what you'll find is that number one, you will shortcut your path to developing that skill. But most importantly, you will be developing a group of people who will identify you as someone who is skilled in that thing, rather than just showing up one day and saying, Hey, I'm here. Look at these skills. Because ultimately, and here's kind of another big takeaway from this, is that skills are necessary but not sufficient. Ability is necessary, but not sufficient. Because An individual or an organization who works in isolation could have the best skillset in the world, but if they don't have a network of people who know about that, then they're, they're working in a vacuum. They're working in isolation. this is oftentimes going back to the imposter syndrome, why we often see people who are not very good at something getting. A lot of traction because they have focused on building a network and their skill is building a network and what they, what their actual skill is technically is secondary to having let other people know that they have that skill and they can do that thing. I think for me, I was a little bit too focused on one side of it where I was, because that's what we're conditioned to do. We're conditioned, you know, you go to school from K to 12 and they focus on. What do they focus on? They focus on doing assignments by yourself. You're penalized for working collaboratively. Generally speaking, in school, you're focused on your ability to do things in isolation. You're, you're rewarded for your ability to, regurgitate facts and information and maybe there might be some synthesis involved in there. Now, contrast that with, with the real world. Well. In the real world, you need to be able to work as part of a team. In fact, I would say that if you're only able to work in isolation, then your ability to progress as you, get up in your, in your career, in your life, is going to be limited. So in addition, as an adult. We need to be able to not derive things from scratch. That's one of the things in school we need to show all the work well in the real world where we don't want to be constantly reinventing the wheel and you're rewarded for your ability to solve a problem or solve someone else's problem. Not. For your ability to derive that problem. Oh, unless you, you happen to be a researcher, which is a fairly rare occupation, I would say. at the end of the day, skills are necessary, but not sufficient. Building up a network of people who can help you. Not only develop those skills, but socialize those skills and help other people know that you can be good at those things is, I would say perhaps more important than simply being able to do those things in isolation. This is in case you couldn't tell. This is kind of a challenging subject for me because it's a, it's been frustrating to me. It's maybe only the past. Couple of years where I've, I've recognized this about myself and have been starting to do something about it. And as I look back, it makes me realize that I use, I use college entirely incorrectly because all of the, sorry, I went to a state university and I focused on grades and all of the people who I was friends with who went to an Ivy league college rate nearby. They they, you know, they did pretty fairly well academically, but the thing was is that they could take classes, pass, fail. They could take any class that they were in pass, fail. Whereas I could only take classes that were not, that were elective classes, basically a pass fail. Everything else came with agreed. Fast forward 20 years. The reason I say I use college incorrectly was because. The folks who went to the Ivy league school were focused on building up networks, professional and social networks that they are leveraging today. And I focused on grades. I didn't focus on networking at all because as a scientist, that's beneath us, or that's what I thought it at the time. That's, that's kind of what that, that whole model of scientific academia focuses on, is that it's the, it's the ivory tower. That's not true. So even the folks who. Worked in science in the Ivy league institution. They were focused on networking was heavily, heavily emphasized. And I couldn't understand that at the time. And my folks being first generation college graduates, you know, they thought it was, you go there to get this information. Well that's obviously, that's part of why you go there, but that's not the only reason you go there. And especially today, information is everywhere. You can get that information on the internet for free. That's my big takeaway that I want to share. That's my frustration. If I had one kind of really big go back that I could do again, it would be focusing more on building a network, building social capital, rather than building a standalone skillset. That's it. If you have any questions, if you want to. Discuss my frustration with this topic, please send me an email and we'll see you in the next show. The post Episode 17: How we talk to our kids (and ourselves) about Imposter Syndrome appeared first on "The Best We Could".
32 minutes | a year ago
Episode 16: Conflict Over Screen Time Leads to Meaningful Conversations
In this episode of the parenting manual we discuss how conflict over screen time leads to meaningful conversations. So today's episode is another episode featuring my wife and we are going to go through something that happened this afternoon, and we had a conflict that we resolved in real-time over text messages, which is never a desirable medium by which to resolve conflict. unfortunately, that's what was available to us at the time. Summary and Notes [00:01:21] – Quitting screen time cold turkey [00:04:15] – The correlation of Isaac’s tantrum in regards to screen time [00:15:22] – The difference in energies between parents [00:18:58] – Meeting frustration with frustration [00:23:45] – Separating your feelings vs handling the situation [00:27:33] – Behavior issues in schools: Behavior is communication Quotes from the Episode: “If we're looking at the wrong, just the answer the wrong question, then we're never going to find the right solution.” [00:10:07] “I want to be able to have them kind of expand their boundaries and stretch and see, but then I do want to be able to reel them back in when, necessary….I want them to explore their boundaries, not the boundaries necessarily that I set for them. [00:18:14] “I separate what they're doing from how that's making me feel at the time.” [00:23:16] “We need to be able to manage this situation regardless of what the stimulus.” [00:24:59] Transcript Below And oftentimes I think it's probably better to not even. Start over text because there's so much meaning that just is lost. But the bottom line was I got a text from my wife who was at gymnastics with my son and daughter. We did the shuffle where I took my daughter to gymnastics and then my wife met us with my son or vice versa. And then, I got to take off and she took over at that point in time cause we were doing the shuffle. At the end of the day. And what happened was my son, normally in our house, our son does not listen to or watch any, any screen time really. for the first two and a half or three years. we let him have an iPad that he kind of dragged around with him and his sister, had one for like the first maybe year of her life. And then, we quit cold Turkey. Like. Just, that was it. And he has not had any screen time for I think a year now. Maybe a little bit more. What is it roughly a year, roughly a year, and neither has a sister. But what we started to do recently is I have started to watch, films on, the screen of a laptop, at a table with my son and daughter. So I'll be there. Generally speaking, I'll be sitting with them. There'll be watching something and we'll be talking about it and we'll be going over what it is that they're seeing. my son, he enjoys some action type stuff. introducing him to some of the Lord of the rings and talking about how the man who originally wrote those books was in a world war one, and that is, he helps to contrast that with his grandfather who was in the second world war. But regardless. both of us acknowledge that screen time, not particularly good for the kiddos, especially extended screen time. Now where we have some difference of opinion on this is what counts as screen time. And so what happened today? my wife obviously had a very busy day traveling around for work. we're doing the shuffle with the kids and I get a text from her that says. Something along the lines of it's Isaac is, is screaming right now. , he wants me to give him a movie on my phone while we wait for his sister at gymnastics. And the text said, please, no more movies with him because it causes this conflict. And so. I responded back and I agreed. I said, I think that we should begin limiting the screen time a little bit more. but where I disagree is that I don't feel that it's the screamed screen-time that's causing this behavior right now, because I could say the same thing because he, he'll, he'll sometimes complain that he wants more candy. For instance, you took him to the veterans day parade and he got a bunch of candy there. And sometimes he'll want more. And so I'm not going to say if he's grumbling to me and saying that he wants more candy, I'm not going to blame his outbursts on the candy. I'm gonna blame it on my interaction with him. I'm not going to say I'm going to blame it, but I'm going to first look at my interaction with my kid regardless of what sort of, what the stimulus is. So. What was going through your head, sweetie, at that time? I understand, you know, are pretty frustrated about that, but what was going through your head, I guess with dealing with him and then also with the text exchange that was going back and forth? Well, I was frustrated because he was a little bit out of control in my mind. I mean, I, I realize that everyone has their own idea of what out of control looks like. But for a kid that I haven't ever had problems spending that half an hour while we wait for his sister to be done with class, I've never had an issue with him not entertaining himself or being willing to watch what's going on or. Whatever they usually, he's fine. And today came upstairs, looked at me, I want movie! And I said, well, you know, we don't really do movies, so I don't really understand why you're asking that. And he was like, I want a movie, I want movie! And he was just had a climbing on me and climbing against the wall and getting himself in strange positions and climbing on this little like sorta. Ledge between the the wall and the observation deck and not a, not a dangerous place to be because of the glass that protects anyone from falling, but still not an appropriate place to be. And I was just thinking he would not be asking for movie if he hadn't just had movie. And I knew that he had had at least a little bit of movie before gymnastics because when I came home to. Do a very quick pickup in exchange of clothing. That's what he was doing. And so my thought was, you know, he wouldn't be begging for this if it wasn't fresh in his mind six months ago when he hadn't had a liquor screen time for six or eight months. He never asked for it because it wasn't on the forefront of his mind. And. So I was thinking, you know, I'm really, I've been increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of screen time he's getting. And you have convinced me that because it's still not very much at all. And when he does have any sort of screen time, he's never alone. And so he's always seated with a parent and you're discussing what's going on or whatever that it was. Okay. And I had decided to be okay with that. And I think deep down I wasn't okay with that and he was manifesting exactly the behavior that I feel like screen time contributes to. We know from the research that screen time is, is really not desirable for brains to an under and after that seven and under is the next big one that really nobody under seven should be. Going to the movies or having much screen time at all. It's not good for the developing brain, and we probably only know the tip of the iceberg for what it does for, for youngsters brains. But I can tell you from being in schools that there's, there's a lot of things about our lives that have changed over the last 50 years, and screens is one of the big ones. And there's a lot of controversy right now, if that's what's causing. So many of our children to struggle, struggle with concentration and struggle with sitting still. And yes, that is a huge double edged sword because it's not just screens, it's inappropriate curriculum, developmentally inappropriate tasks that are being asked of them. It's many things, but I don't think the screens help. And my personal feeling is that all screens are bad screens. That means phones. Tablets, computers, televisions, et cetera, that are, they're all negative and that we should be limiting them as much as humanly possible. And I thought we did a really fantastic job doing that until about a month ago. And it feels like it's, it's gotten more out of control than I would like. And I was simply voicing to you that I thought we needed to talk about it and that. You know, no better time to remind myself that we need to talk about it then when Isaac's demonstrating behavior that I feel is in part due to the screen. Well, I do want to acknowledge, and I did acknowledge that, I think you're right about the, you know, he had just watched some movie, and so the proximate nature of. Hey, he just watched this and now he's bringing it up. I think you're absolutely right that had he not just watched that, that he would not have been asking for more of it at that point in time. And I agree with you 100% on that. my point where I think we, especially over text where we had some, some challenges was I was saying that it's not so much the yes, like the. Because he just had that, yes, that's fresh in his mind, but the behavior of being disagreeable with you and not being cooperative and being extremely rambunctious was independent of what it was that he wanted. That if he, if he, instead of wanting movie, if he wanted a candy bar or we've seen him do that over a Gatorade before as well, where he will fixate on something and then he becomes. in sufferable, he becomes incorrigible about that behavior. And so what I was trying to convey poorly over text was, yes, I acknowledge that we need to cut down on movie. And I agree with that. I think that what's going on right now though, is independent of the movie. So if If we're looking at the wrong, just the answer the wrong question, then we're never going to find the right solution. And so, what, what we talked about that, so then, you know, this was contentious and I apologized for, first of all, I apologize over the fact that. I didn't just pick up the phone and sort it out with you in a, in a more direct way because it was frustrating to me because number one, I felt like there was some tone of accusation for me over like that. You're, you're, you're giving our kids cigarettes basically. and I realize it's not the same thing, but I know that this is something that's very important to you. So if I feel that it's somewhat appropriate for him to be watching. films that we can then discuss, then it's my responsibility to, to show you that that's, that it's a parenting style that you can bring to the table. And so what we kind of went over in the tax was that, yeah, the movie may contribute to it somewhat, but what the real challenge is, is that he's behaving that way because he's not respecting your authority as a parent in the moment. And you know, that's not fun to hear in the time being, and it's not particularly useful to hear over a text. so first of all, I, I, I just want to acknowledge that that was, that was a frustrating exchange that we had. And just talk about what happened, what you were expecting when you came home from that versus what you found when you came home from that. Kind of delayed coming home, to be perfectly honest, we, you went to a little Christmas light display and then I picked up a quick dinner, partially because I really didn't want to cook, but it was also late, so I needed to pick up something just quickly that they could eat as soon as we got home. And I was just kind of expecting you to be. Happy to see the kids and probably not really acknowledged me that much. Not that you ever like, not that it's ever bitter necessarily when I come home, but I, I didn't have a good feeling from the text because I felt like you were taking my texts as accusing you of doing something when all I was wanting to say was, Hey, this thing that we agreed to a year ago. Doesn't really feel like it's being followed and it kind of screwed me over tonight and I would like some reconciliation about how we're going to a eliminate, or at least drastically reduce screen time. And I want acknowledgement that like, you know what? Even though you don't think it's a big deal. It can be a really big deal. And the research says that it is a really big deal and that's, that's important to me. So I wasn't, I was kind of expecting to have you be really defensive and maybe you want to talk about it, but probably have to get through dinner and bed with the kids before we could talk about it. Cause you know, it's hard to have a much of a conversation when there's two. Really hungry kids. And instead I came home and you said hi to all of us. And then you sort of asked Isaac about, you know, what happened and why did you act the way you did? And gave him some examples, which I had done in the car with him before we got home. I had said, you know, mommy is really frustrated with how you behaved in there and I need to understand. What you think caused you to have a hard time listening to what I was asking you to do. All I needed you to do was play on your own or sit and watch, and you did pretty much everything but die, climbed, climbed all over things and you were a whining for movies. And you know, we don't really do movies, so I just need to understand what happened. And, and he couldn't really put his finger on it with me. And. I asked him if, you know, if daddy was here, you probably wouldn't have done this. What is it that daddy does that, that mommy's not able to do? Is it that you're scared of daddy? And he was like, no. And he took a deep breath and he was like, I guess I just need to listen a little bit better. Which was cool that he acknowledged that. Although I wish he could have figured that out in the moment, cause that would have made my evening whole lot more pleasant. but Anthony sort of went through a similar thing with him and they kept the sort of rebalanced the energy. And I wasn't, I was proximate to the conversation because I was assembling dinner, but I was not part of the conversation, which I think actually was important since I probably had not useful energy to bring to the conversation. So what's, what's challenging, and I think this is something that we have kind of examined in our marriage and as we raise kids is the kids see a definite difference in the energy that I bring versus, what, what you bring to the table. And we don't use force with the kids. We don't, we don't hit them. We try not to yell at them or raise our voice with them. I wrestle a lot more with the kids, than you do, which is fine. I also get frustrated with them and I know you get frustrated with them too, from time to time. What, what I've noticed is that, with both kids. And I know that this is something that I think it frustrates you as well because you see that I will oftentimes be able to be like a fire extinguisher when our kids are getting to that sort of phase where they're like going to start just being completely ridiculous. And I, I think it's, it's kind of frustrating to you cause you don't, don't, you don't quite. I don't know, how do I say this? it's not as natural for you maybe to do it as it is for me. And it's also really challenging for me to explain what it is that I'm doing, to you for, for you. And I think that the, the big thing for me, and, and we've kind of looked at this as one of the things that I do is I, I break, like, I refer to it as like breaking a frame or doing a pattern interrupt on. One of our kids. So for instance, when our boy is about, you know, like freaking out or whatnot, like sometimes I'll literally just like pick him up with a big smile on my face and like he's really frustrated and then I'll just do something like silly, like stare at him while I'm picking him up until he starts laughing and then I'll put him down right away and we'll just say, Hey, what's going on? It looks like you're really upset about something. Do you want to talk about that? And then he has like, just changed his state all of a sudden. And wha what I find is, I don't know if it's that little bit of physicality, it's not aggressive physicality, but it is some physicality. I don't know if that's, if that's something that's, you know, you're not maybe as comfortable with, but I think that it would be. And the, you know, and there would be some people that would, that would argue that, Hey, you know, like if you had the authority, then your kids would never get to that place to begin with. And I mean, I'm not, I'm not a drill. I'm not a drill instructor here. I want to be able to have them. Kind of expand their boundaries and stretch and see, but then I do want to be able to reel them back in when, when necessary. I don't want them to, I want them to explore their boundaries, not the boundaries necessarily that I set for them. I want them to go a little bit past that and then I'll tell them when they need to stop. But what do you think I, I'm not really clear why you're. More effective than I am. I mean, I D I do think there's something about just male, female energy. And I think sometimes I, I add to Isaac's energy that's not helpful as opposed to like counter balancing it or whatnot, have noticed to bring frustration, frustration with your frustration. Yeah. And I, you know. I think probably I could interject sooner so that I'm not coming with so much. I mean, I think a lot of coming with so much frustration is the fact that it's gotten to a point where I needed to stop right then, and sometimes it's possible to talk to him before he get so frustrated that you're meeting it with not great energy, but sometimes it's not. Like frankly today he came out of his class. And just jumped in my lap whining for a movie like there, there was no ramp up like we didn't go. We didn't have a chance to interject when it was level five. I received the child at level 10 and I wasn't in my own home where I could, you know, one of the things as teachers always says is like, give yourself a timeout. Like, tell him. Right now we're not doing that, and I don't want to interact with somebody who is talking to me like that or behaving with me like that and just physically isolate yourself. So I actually did the next best thing to that. After he climbed all over me and was whining, I said, you know, it's really not safe for us to sit here because you can't sit still on my lap. So I'm going to go downstairs to where there's like a sort of penalty box observation area. Because I feel like I would be safer there and you can come or not. And he decided to come, which didn't surprise me cause he's not a kid who likes to be, you know, separated from us. And he came down there and it, it did get better. It didn't completely go away. And part of why it didn't completely go away, it's cause I was still mad. I was still frustrated at him. And if I had acknowledged the fact that like, Hey, at least he's not like. Whining and begging for a movie anymore. Once we got down there, it was a lot of like, Hey, don't climb on that. Hey, you know, you can climb here or here, but not up here. And in the back of my mind thinking, I just paid for an hour for you to climb and jump around. Why do you possibly have more energy? But I didn't because I know that's how he rolls. He's always been a high energy kid. So I think I used some tools, And I'm not sure what it would have looked like if you had been there and handled it or not. Maybe he wouldn't have even asked you. Maybe. Maybe there's enough of a, like, my dad is physically a bigger person than my mom and I don't want to do that with him. And I think part of, I mean it's interesting to me cause I talked to him about it. I said, what is it? Because it's not like he's a kid that's scared of us because we're physically going to harm him. So it shouldn't matter that dad is bigger than mom. But I, I do think there's a, most of it is the energy that I match him with. And, and frankly, like just sometimes you just need dude energy. So I would like to attribute my parenting success to my sporting bulk. But, let's take, let's look at, take a look at his teacher. I mean, she manages not just him, but an entire class of kids with nothing but feminine energy. And I would, I would say that she's probably better than me. I mean, she's really, really good. And she has, she has nothing but, but feminine and energy that she manages. And, and I like. If she had to calm a kid down, she could probably do it faster than me. so I, I would like to say that it's, it's my sporting bulk, but I, I don't think it is because I've seen some magic happen with, with other people who don't, don't have that. And they have almost the opposite of that. But I think you helped me kind of clarify something too today, because I think what makes me successful with them is that I separate. I separate what they're doing from how that's making me feel at the time. And I realized that right now because that's what I do with the kids. But I didn't do that with you today on the text message. I didn't do it until you got home. That's when I separated how I was feeling because I was feeling accused. Versus how I was handling the situation. And so when I took my frustration out of the situation, the situation was resolved in like you were pleased with how it resolved itself, right? Yeah. Yeah. We still haven't had the discussion about screen time needs to happen. A lot of the texts was avoiding the big question that I had, but what means like the sugary treats to return of the . Better energy I was happy with. So my, my point is that it's two separate issues. It's not , it's not the screen like, yeah, that all these studies about screen time, let's handle the screen time separate from the behavior because the behavior in the moment could have erupted over a Gatorade. It could have erupted over a. A treat, it could have erupted over a toy. I think that if we attribute it to screen time, then it takes a little bit of agency away from us as parents to say, Hey, we need to be able to manage this situation regardless of what the stimulus is or what the thing is, what the shiny object is that's causing. This distraction here. And that's what I'm saying. I have no problem cutting off a huge amount of screen time. I have no problem cutting down on treats. But what I do have a huge problem with is trying to solve the wrong, solve the problem with the wrong tool, or not even solved the right problem or, you know, focus energy on, on the wrong problem to solve either. Ms. as you know, from being a medical professional and you'll misdiagnosis is a huge, a huge challenge, a huge problem. It causes a lot of pain and a lot of discomfort to, to many, many people. And so I'm saying in this particular instance that I think that we could be misattributing something to screen time that we could actually put, give ourself more ownership of and say, you know what, I am not going to be frustrated because when I get frustrated then. I have a bad outcome. And I know that if I was frustrated when you guys came in the door today, that we would not be doing this episode right now because we would be frustrated with each other. And so that, you know, as kind of a big insight to me and a learning moment right here, just kind of as we, as we sit here and have this chat. So, I want to thank you for that. And I think, you know, I mean, I think we're certainly on the right track. What do you think. Yeah, I mean, just being mindful of it. And I mean, what happened tonight is, I mean, part of the reason I got a text message for me is because it's such an outlier. It doesn't happen a lot. That's largely because we are able to just talk to our kids and not have any more, you know, large swings of behavior one way or the other. I mean, they're. Pretty well behaved. They are not perfect, and it certainly takes constant checking in with them, but normally we can just check in and, and talk to them. It doesn't usually become a big thing, which is part of the reason that it grabbed my attention. but also just kind of being aware of the fact that. Behavior. At least in my professional life, Anthony keeps calling me a medical professional, which I have worked in a lot of hospitals, but as a pediatric physical therapist, I'm currently working in schools, so I spend a lot of time in classrooms and behavior's a huge, huge problem in schools. And when I have that hat on. I don't have to deal with the behavior issues. First of all, like that's, that's classroom where behavior specialist or administrators, somebody else is dealing with that. But when staff members get frustrated by behavior, the really good ones will always remember that behavior is communication that usually the child with the biggest behaviors. Has the most to say that they, they for some reason, cannot tell us. You know, the lights are too bright. Your microphone is too loud. The kid next to me is grinding his teeth and I can't stand it. I don't like this book. I don't like this school. I don't like this writing assignment. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter what it is. But there's a lot of kids that have bad behavior and behaviors communication. So. You know, looking at our own kids behavior the same way and saying, okay, this is an outlier. Why did he do this and why? What is he trying to communicate with us? Which is why both of us instinctively went right to him and said, what is it that you were trying to tell us with this behavior? Because I interpret it as this, this, and this? Is that what you meant? To communicate to mommy. When I was talking to you and you were swinging from the rafters and not listening, is that really what you meant? And usually he'll say no or, or sometimes he'll stop and sort of, he won't say it this eloquently cause he's six, but he'll say like, Oh, that is not at all what I meant to communicate. You got it completely wrong. Mom, what great. so how are we doing? I mean, nothing's perfect, but I feel like just. Acknowledging the issues and that it's probably multifactorial and that behavior is a form of communication has probably at least 20 steps closer in the right direction than than the average person. Because frankly, like what happened today, maybe wouldn't even show up on somebody else's radar because this sort of thing that happened tonight happens all the time for them. And they've sort of decided that this is just the way that it's going to be. And this is part of why parenting is so hard and yes, parenting is hard, but it, the issue that happened tonight doesn't have to be every night and with a little bit more work, hopefully we'll make these instances, even if you were in far between than they already are. Well, let's close it out with this. I think that this is a great example of why we want to record this podcast as an example for our kids because we want them to understand when they get older. Exactly the process that we went through in terms of how we made decisions about parenting them, how we chose to work as a team when they were going through some challenging time or when they were. Upset about something or when they were just behaving like a six year old wild and swinging off the rafters. I think that not only is this going to be really useful for them, but for also for somebody else listening to this who says, you know, that sounds a lot like me. I think it's, it's useful a lot of times. You know this, this, this is the first we've not, we've had these conversations before numerous times, but this is the first time we've recorded them because what we realize is, number one, we're not alone. There are a lot of other parents out there who go through this same process, but maybe they don't have someone else to hear and say, yeah, other people go through this too. Other people put this amount of effort and. And they think about these things and they try and improve their parenting skills as well. So that's that. I'll let you close it out for tonight. I don't really have anything else to say, so have a great night. All right. That's it for this episode. We'll see you in the next show. The post Episode 16: Conflict Over Screen Time Leads to Meaningful Conversations appeared first on "The Best We Could".
37 minutes | a year ago
Episode 15: The Impacts of Playing Favorites With Your Kids – an example from our family
What are the impacts of having a “favorite” child and how can we provide each kid with the parenting they need while avoiding resentment or unhealthy competition among siblings? In this episode of the parenting manual we discuss the impacts of playing favorites with your kids while avoiding resentment or unhealthy competition among siblings. Summary and Notes [00:00:22] – Emphasize effort over outcome [00:02:41] – My wife’s perspective on how favorites play out in family [00:11:31] – The impacts of obvious favoritism [00:14:55] – How parents change their lingo and give praise [00:25:21] – Long term effects of motivation [00:29:51] – Setting Aspirations: the work and the journey Quotes from the Episode “We don't want to waste our kids' time and they shouldn't have to wait for us to pass away for any wedge or division that we have placed there to go away. We want them to be close now. We want them to be close in the future. Of course, that's always going to be their choice, but we don't want to set it up to fail from the beginning.” [00:08:33] “We don't want our kids to have to go on some quest. It's not to get something that we could give them for free.” [00:12:22] “We celebrate the accomplishments of both kids as an aspiration for the other kid.” [00:27:18] “The joy is in the journey and the work and not the end product.” [00:34:08] Transcript below Today I want to talk about how my wife and I go about not choosing favorites with our kids. So we're going to talk about how we were raised and also what we do to make sure that we treat our children as equitably as possible. So one of the things that we have focused on is making sure that we. Emphasize effort over outcome. So we, we praise our children for the effort that they put in the practice that they put in rather than the grade that they get or the, or the, if they, if they win or if they score the goal, we focus on how they're showing up and hoping that, that a good outcome does arise from that rather than praising them only for when they score that goal or for when they achieve that outcome. And so I'm going to have a little chat, with my wife right now because I think that this is going to be something that's useful for, for our kids to hear, but it's also useful, I think, for other people listening in. And the reason that it's useful for, for our kids is that when we did the research or this episode, we realized that. Neither of us really understood how our, how our grandparents were raised, how they were parented. For instance, my grandfather, I know that he was in the middle somewhere of 10 brothers and sisters, and I knew that they grew up very, very poor in the depression. And other than that, I really don't know very much about how he was parenting other than there was not a lot of food around my, my father. I came from a culture where the firstborn son was basically the favorite, the chosen one. And my father was, in the middle. He was the second boy, and then he had a younger sister, so he was basically in the middle and he was kind of always had to prove himself to his parents. And so I want my kids to know that history. And then I want them to understand how we made the decision to change that pattern moving forward. So, what do you want to say about that in terms of, of, you know, like, I mean, you've met my grandfather. You've met, my parents. You met both of my grandfathers actually. , my grandmother passed away before we got married, of course. But, and then you met my dad's mom. What do you think? What's your perspective on seeing how favorites played out and your family? Well, I'm going to answer the first question about your family cause I think it's just a stronger example because it's more PO polarized then in my family. Not that favoritism didn't happen cause I think it is something that has to consciously be. Not done. I think if you consciously make the decision not to favor one child over the other, it's a, it's a little bit more doable, but if you're not thinking about it, I think it naturally happens. And I think that was the experience for my parents. My dad's one of four boys, Ooh, grew up on a dairy farm and worked really, really hard and produced most of their food. And. I know he felt loved, but I wouldn't say that he was super duper close to his parents because it was a family business and their livelihood and literally their life depended on the hard work of getting up early and milking cows and running the tractor and all of those sorts of things. I have no idea about favoritism. He was, he was the second of four boys. so I, I don't, I don't know much. My mom is one of three girls. She's a young guest. Both her parents worked and had college degrees and they lived in an old Victorian home and probably wear white gloves every Sunday. And it was a rather proper existence. And she maybe would have said her middle sister had preference, but I think it was more just that my mom really wanted to be more like. Her middle sister because I don't have any obvious signs from how my grandparents interacted with them as adults, that there was a quote-unquote favorite. But in your family, it is so much more striking, especially in your dad's family. I met both your grandparents who have both passed on your dad's parents and. I mean, they seem like very nice people up front, and I'm sure they were very nice people, but the culture of the family was such that the older brother was given a lot of, you know, a lot more financial help. Everything that he did was gold, whether it really was or not. And then your aunt, your dad's sister, who's younger. Also had a whole bunch of financial help and it was sort of the, Oh, that poor little girl mentality, even well into adulthood, because of course, this is only the last decade I'm talking about in your parents. Your grandparents were in their eighties and nineties during this time. So this is the pattern that I saw running that from everything I've been told was not different for this several decades before this. And then near there, there's your dad who's a college grad and accomplished family man, and really a self-sufficient guy who, you know, maybe does, hasn't won any giant awards, but neither have his siblings. And he's sort of looked, I wouldn't say he's looked down on, he's just not looked at. He's looked. You know, through the he, he's an afterthought. He's there. He's not in the corner, but he's not the star of the show ever. And your dad before his mom died, I would say had a stressed relationship with his siblings. I don't know how he felt about his parents in terms of. Of how close he felt to them, but because this favoritism was so strong, not only did he feel a wedge between him and his parents, but that that favoritism drove a pretty ginormous wedge between him and each of his siblings. And as soon as your grandmother died, that changed and they had. Family meals together every week cause they all live in the same small States so they can get together frequently. I mean, distance is not really the issue. It was closeness and it was this very obvious wedge that seemingly disappeared fairly soon after she passed away. And so it makes me wonder. You know who the enforcer of the favoritism was, if that, if her passing made such a giant difference. And although I'm sad for your dad that he didn't get to have the relationship that he has now with his siblings, I'm grateful that he at least is going to get that experience before his generation is in their eighties and nineties and potentially passing away and having health problems. So. I think especially given that they're an immigrant family, I just can't imagine coming to a new country, a new language and not really being that close to your family. I mean, talk about something to overcome. And then decades and decades later, after mom passes away, getting together for family meals once a week, speaking your native tongue. That just, I mean, talk about a serious transformation. That's pretty awesome, but I think it has reinforced to us that we don't want to waste our kids' time and they shouldn't have to wait for us to pass away for any wedge or division that we have placed there to go away. We want them to be close now. We want them to be close in the future. Of course, that's always going to be their choice, but we don't want to set it up to fail from the beginning. You know, it's interesting. I've talked to my dad a lot, actually, about what has happened since, since my grandmother passed away almost, almost 10 years now at this point. And what is so interesting is he's really opened up to me about that, and he. Was under the impression that it was a meritocracy. He was under the impression that he just had to work harder in order to get his father's attention. Ultimately, it was his father's attention, but he wanted his, his parents' attention and approval, but it was like chasing a rainbow because the closer he got to it, the further he got away and it wasn't until she passed. I think. That he realized that it did not matter. He literally could have turned led into gold and it would not matter because if he eclipsed his brother, then that would upset their, their worldview of, of, of how they, of how they held things. And so, what it did was in that aspect, it made him extremely, extrinsically motivated, which. Which can be good, but as also, you know, it kind of, I would say it may be burned out. The part of him that has that sort of intrinsic motivation. Now I will say that my dad is very intrinsically motivated in, in certain aspects, especially related just to his, to his work. But I know that, that it really, it really hurt him, too. For several decades at least to be always trying to, not to one up his brother because he was never trying to see. This is the interesting thing. It was not a competition it was. It was. My dad was just trying to stand on the same stage as his brother. Even if he see that. The interesting thing was that even if my dad did something far superior to his brother, if he achieved something. Far in advance of what his brother achieved. It was never recognized as being as good as what his brother had done. And so, that obvious favoritism I think carried over a little bit into, into, into our family. but from not from the perspective of, of making it a competition, I think that my, my dad decided that, that he was not going to compare me to anyone because. He saw the impacts of that, and now we see the impacts of that as well. carrying on. And, one thing that, that I've also discussed with my dad that, you know, he, he said that only, after his mother passed away, you know, he had never actually, his father had never actually told him that he loved him up until that point in time. And so that was, you know, it was really interesting to get this conversation. With my dad, and we've had our, you know, heart to heart talks, which, which are very good, but it makes me happy to know that he, he did get that later on in life. it's unfortunate that, that he had to wait so long to, to get that validation. But I guess the point is, is that, we don't want our kids to have to go on some quest. It's not to get something that we could give them for free or his parents. Two, show him that they care in a way that says, Hey, you know, you're there. All right, too would literally cost them nothing. Literally costs them. Nothing to show him. Just to give him a nod and say, Hey, you know, good effort there. Good. Go with that. cost them nothing, but it was as though it were their treasure and bringing it back to our kids here. What, what I think is, is, is important, and you know, I'd like to get your take on this as well as is. The kids compete for our short term attention. Somebody wants a book read and somebody wants another book read. That's, you know, we can't be in two places at the same time. So we talk about, Hey, let's read a book that we can all read together that is much different than competing for attention of approval, competing for attention of, Hey, help me brush my teeth. Versus one kid wants to get in line first for getting their teeth brush that's, that's not such a big deal as opposed to competing for attention of, Hey, does my parent really care about me? So how are we going to overcome that? Well, the, the thing about your dad's story that there's a lot of things about it that really bother me, that I think we've made. Pretty conscious decisions to change and certainly the approval from his parents of, Hey, look at me, not because I'm doing anything special, but just because I'm here and I'm, yours is one. And then the other is the competition that he felt with his is siblings that he didn't realize until he was nearly 70 years old that. It wasn't a meritocracy in that there really wasn't anything he could do to get that approval. And I think I see competition among siblings frequently. If you take a step back and look at how parents change their lingo between, you know, just how they give praise and how they don't mean to show favoritism, but do. Not, not necessarily that Johnny gets more ice cream than Susie, but in the way and the authenticity of their communication with each kid, I think is where I see it. And the kids pick up on that. It doesn't have to be Billy in the kids are so amazingly perceptive. Body language and tone of voice will go a long way to tell one kid I'm not quite as cool as my sister. So we've. Work really hard to not compare them in terms of, you know, your brother got a better grade on this at your age than you're getting. You need to step it up, which granted, our kids go to a school with no grades and they're three and six, so that's not pertinent right now. But that's the most tangible example that comes to mind. We're not, we're not comparing them. And part of the reason we're not comparing them is because we've chosen to praise their efforts and their practice and the dedication they give to an activity or a task or a venture that they have rather than on the end product. And what the result of that is, is. Each kid gets praise that's commensurate with their effort. And if our son works really, really hard to build a fort in the living room, and we say, Whoa, buddy, that's huge. It's so big. We don't then turn around and say to his little sister, your fourths so wimpy, or why isn't it bigger? Or why didn't you build one? It's just about him and his project and the work that he put into it. Maybe she's in the other room putting a diaper on her baby for the hundredth time for the day. And that may get praise. You know, you're working really hard to take care of that baby might be the praise, or maybe she doesn't get anything, but it's not like a tip for attack kind of thing. We give him praise for his effort. Oh, we have to acknowledge her for something because I think it would be really easy to get into the trap of, Oh, we just told them he did a really good job reading that book. Now we need to go tell her something. It's definitely not same and equal are two different things and focusing on. Our children's derive and work ethic and intrinsic motivation are the things that get praise and you can't compare those. You just can't. It's really hard to say, you know, your drive is better than your sister's drive because there's probably something, it may, it may not be the same thing. He may be really driven to read and she might be really driven to play babies, but. There's no reason to compare them. There just isn't a reason. And I don't know if it's because of this, that we see them get along pretty stinkin. Well, we've seen, I always thought it was their age difference that may, in the fact that it's a boy and a girl that made the difference because there are enough difference in age. They're not usually interested in the same toy, but we have friends with kids who were exactly the same age, like days difference in age. And their kids fight frequently. And I don't know if that's because there was something about how the parenting is happening that is giving the kids a sense of I need to compete with her or him. So do you want me to comment on how maybe that contrast with how you we're raised in kind of the comparisons that were made there and how that held you back. A little bit because you felt that if you out shined your sister, that that would upset the Apple cart, so to speak. Right? Sure. If you can make it fairly succinct. Yeah. Well, I don't know about that. So, so what I've noticed is, Mmm. And please correct me at any time when I, I, when I get this wrong, but, your sister, you're, you have a younger sister, maybe two years younger, and what has happened is you have, you both started out, You know, doing fairly well and in school and as we've discussed, there's a difference between being educated and doing well at, at school, at the game of school, you are very good at the game of school, and so you started to associate with a different crowd than her, and where. That's where your paths kind of diverged, not only academically, but in the choices that you made in life. And so, what would happen or what, what I saw was that anytime you made an accomplishment, it reflected in such a way that it showed that your sister was not making an accomplishment. And I think that that made your parents. and specifically your dad really, really uncomfortable to see how much of a divergence was taking place. And so you then almost self-censored yourself, not in terms of maybe your accomplishment, but you were hesitant to even report back to your family on something positive that happened to you. And this is, you know, even after we moved. Across the country. You were hesitant to report the good things that you were accomplishing and the good things that were happening to you because you felt that that it would not be received well, bye by your parents because it would then contrast the experience that you're your sister was having. And that manifested itself in our family in a really bizarre way because these people are halfway across the country. But it was almost as if they were right in the room next door. When you went to talk about what you were, how your day was with your folks, it was you were speaking in hushed tones. You were, you were, you were making yourself smaller. Physically. I'm looking at you talking on the phone and you're hunched over making yourself smaller because you want to minimize how a substantial of an accomplishment you had just made it work or or. Something of that nature. And so, I don't know if you have any more insights on that, but I think it's also interesting that we've worked through that and now you're more comfortable talking about those things with your family. But we had to put in a lot of work to do that because what was frustrating to me was once we had kids, we said, Hey, you know, or I said to you, our kids are going to pick up on this. And they're going to pick up, even if they can't put their finger on it, they're going to say, when mommy talks to her parents on the phone, she's different than when she talks to her other friends on the phone and they're going to pick up on that. They're not going to know why, but it's going to train them that there are some people that they need to make themselves small around in order to feel safe. So we had to work through that, and I'm glad to say that. I would say we're where either work through it or really, really. Really close, but it's made, it's made things a lot better and it was not easy at all. No easy. I, I don't really have anything to add other than, because our children are still so small. The only thing I remember from like, you know, when I was six and my sister was three, since our age difference is very similar to our own children's age difference. Certainly the praise for effort happened, but also the praise for the accomplishment happened. And I remember at some point as we got a little bit older, but probably not even out of elementary school, the accomplishment praise started to decrease a little bit, or it would be done in private because my mom would always say. I don't want to compare you to Andy. So it was like you can't have a high five for getting X, Y, and Z accomplish because it might make your sister feel bad. So it's not that they weren't proud of me, and it's not that they didn't acknowledge my accomplishments, but it was probably not. To the level that it would have been had I been an only child or had I been, if, if roles had been reversed, if my sister's accomplishments were eclipsing mine, I'm sure. I'm sure that praise she got, which I didn't see all that often, was probably bigger praise for less of an accomplishment. And I don't know. I mean, I think so consciously or maybe even consciously, that was a. Hey, maybe if we give her a bigger high five, she'll try harder and she'll be up where her sister's at. I don't know what the reasoning was, but I know that even in the single digit ages, you know, birth to 10 that that had started where some of my accomplishments always right. They were always recognized. I cannot fault my parents for not recognizing my accomplishments. It's just they always were protective of my sister's feelings. And sometimes that may have looked like a lesser acknowledgement than maybe was desired or needed or anticipated given the situation . Yeah, and it's interesting the longstanding effects of that in terms of motivation later on in life, because. One of the things that we had to work through was almost this sort of , like a self-governing effect or a self, almost like when, when we started to re, like, we would almost get to a goal, but then there would be like this self sabotage that occurred two, slow us down as we started getting to that goal. Or that would dip us back down. because, you know, being in that place of. Of, well, I'm going to get a muted response from my parents, or I'm going to potentially upset them. That's eventually, that's where it got to was, was you were actually, you did not want to tell them good things. I think that that is, is, it's not a good place to be where you can only tell where you can only tell someone bad news, but you can't tell them good news. Because it might upset them because of the comparison that it might make. And that's where I, I made the comment, Hey, you know what? Our kids are gonna, our kids are gonna see this and they're going to pattern that. And that's not cool. We can't do that. We can't allow that to, to continue because then they're going to normalize that and they're going to think that that's, that's fine. So if they meet somebody when they grow up. Who behaves in that way, we're going to be like, well, Hey, that, that, like, this is not new to us here. This is not a new behavior that we're seeing here. So it's, it's perfectly fine. Mmm. Regarding, regarding the comparisons, one thing that, that, that I, no, that we both try and do when we haven't coordinated this, but. we celebrate the accomplishments of both kids as an aspiration for the other kid. So when our son, for example, who's, who's struggling with, with reading right now, we point out to our three year old how that's a good place to be. How that, not that that's a good place to be, but that that's a, he's putting in a good effort and we point out the progress that he's making to back is his sister. And can I interrupt you? So it's not, I don't want to misconstrue cause what you just said is a little bit confusing. It's not that we're saying he just scored a goal. You should want to score a goal too. It's still always praising the efforts and the determination and the tenacity. So what's very interesting about this reading thing, our kiddo is desperate to read. He is just chomping at the bit to read, and he falls asleep with a headlamp and a book every night. And you can hear him sounding out the letters in the other room, and he's just. Gung ho he's going to do this and it's going to be amazing when it happens. I'm very excited. But anyway, he has had this goal of wanting to read for probably six to eight months now where it's, it's a really intrinsic desire to read and he has, bless his heart, put in a ton of effort and his sister sees him trying and we give him praise. Like you are working really hard at this reading thing. Is there anything we can get you to to help you a little bit and, Oh, you got a reading lesson at school today. That is the coolest thing. I'm so proud of you. I know how long you've waited for that. Nestor's hearing that, and lo and behold, now she picks up a book and she's pretending to sound out the words because she is emulating the process. Not the end result. Not sitting down and reading the book because she's not seeing her brother sit down and read the book cause he can't do that yet. So she's seen the fortitude he's putting in. She's seen the resulting praise of that. And she's totally down with giving it a go too. So I think it's really important when we talk about setting aspirations for our children that it's. The work and the journey to get to the thing that is getting the applause and is getting the, you could do this too. Nod and not the, he's reading a book. Why aren't you reading a book? Yeah. And that lack of comparison, I think even has extended to his. His school because he, he goes to school with kids. I, he's the oldest kid in his class, but there are younger kids there too, and some of the younger kids are reading. He has a, an I issue that where we're working through right now. Maybe we'll do another episode sometime about services in the school system for kids who have some sort of disability or, or issue or something of that nature. But that's not how our kids sees it. Because what w w what you told me, he said the other day. When he asked somebody if they were reading. Yeah. He asked somebody in class if they were reading, and I don't know what their response was, but he looked at them and said, I'm not reading yet. And was very matter of fact about it, like, this is just who I am. I'm not doing yet it yet implying that he will do it and he will absolutely do it, but totally content. It's, it's not, it's not bad that that kid is reading and I'm not. It's not a judgment on them. It's not a judgment on me. It just is. And it's awesome that at six and a half, it just is to him that it's not taking a toll on his self esteem or his drive. I mean, if anything, it's made his drive stronger. He like so badly wants to do this, but he doesn't feel bad for himself in the process. And that's. That's exactly what we're trying to manage right now is to, is to keep that intrinsic intrinsic drive, that keep that fire going and, and let him, you know, let him blossom with that and let his sister see that as an example to, you know, obviously everybody has to have a little bit of extrinsic desire to catch up to their big brother or big sister or something like that. But from the perspective of what's driving her. In turn, like from an intrinsic perspective right now, they are both very self-directed and they get a lot of enjoyment and pleasure from their own accomplishments that we might not be setting for them. That's one thing that I think another, another thing and then we'll wrap it up here, is because, we chose, we chose a Montessori school for them and Montessori is extremely self-directed in terms of the activities. The activities are very structured, but the kids get to choose what activity they're going to do. And I mean, that just keeps them so engaged throughout the day as opposed to if they get bored with something or if they master an activity, then they, then they move on to the next thing. They don't have to sit at it and struggle with it unnecessarily. They can come back to it when they, when they develop more skill. And so I think. I would say that that's a small piece, but I would, I would say that the big piece is actually having taken the effort to look back in history, SI how those patterns were run in the past, see how our family behaved in the past, see how they were raised up in the past, and then seeing what the longterm impacts of that we're multi-decade impact and then trying to fix it to make it, better for, for our, yes. The next generations. I think my only closing comment came from one of our, one of our kiddos teachers at parent-teacher conferences last week, and she said, if I, if I had it my way or something like that, every child would be as enthusiastic. About learning as your children. She said they get it, they get it, that the joy is in the journey and the work and not the end product. Holy moly. I don't think I ever learned that in my almost four decades on this planet. I don't. I think if I figured that out, it was very recently, and so I'm. Highly, highly motivated to preserve that for our children who apparently already know that the joy for us was in getting a, yup, not the, and it didn't matter if, you know, as long as you got the a, it didn't matter if it was a, if it was held together with duct tape and, and twine, as long as it got you through that, that goalpost for that a, and then you could forget that information and. And just go on. But yeah, we're going to, we're going to work on this, and I don't know, do you think we should do maybe an episode on a on kids who have some sort of issue that needs, like for instance, normally our kid would not be evaluated for this vision issue until the second grade, and so that's that. That would mean that he . Not even been evaluated for something that, and optometrist said, Hey, you have this problem. But had we relied on the school system to do that, he would've had to wait two years and none of his teachers would have known that there was any problem. And it's only because you're a medical professional that you know what questions to ask. And do you think that that's what we should do our next show on? I think that, or just school in general. Because a lot has come up in this episode about, I mean, the big picture here is we're not comparing our children. We're going for intrinsic motivation by praising their efforts and their dedication and their tenacity. And frankly, that plays a huge role in where we choose to send them to school. And it. The journey of finding a school and finding a community of likeminded people has been an uphill battle and we still don't have all the answers are our kids' school, well, not allow our son to return there next year because they don't, they don't have, they don't have classrooms for kids his age after this year, we've already taken on a bonus year this year, so we can't take on a second bonus year. and I would be very curious what listeners think about schools, what they think about traditional schools, nontraditional schools, alternatives. We really are seeking any guidance we can on how to preserve our vision for our children and where they spend their days. Meaning school. It's a giant influence on that. All right. So with that. The post Episode 15: The Impacts of Playing Favorites With Your Kids – an example from our family appeared first on "The Best We Could".
24 minutes | a year ago
Episode 14: Nuances about kids and holiday visit behavior – for kids and adults
On this episode, we discuss the nuances about kids, holiday visits, and behavior. It is the day after Black Friday here in the United States, and this is an interesting time of year, because at this time of year, we tend to go visit different family, friends, and relatives. It's a little bit different for us because. We live across the country from where we grew up, both, both my wife and I, are just completely across the country from our folks, which means that our visits are very different from when we used to live there. Summary and Notes [00:01:40] – Change in behavior depending on who you are around [00:04:56] – Children’s observation of their parents change in behavior [00:08:33] – Upfront agreement, how everyone is expected to behave [00:11:23] – Negotiating the expectations of behavior [00:18:46] – Physical proximity does not equal closeness Quotes from the Episode “It's hard to say that mommy or daddy behaves differently around these people because this is how we, we're conditioned to them as we grew up and now, even though we're adults, full-grown adults, we still act differently around this person or this person because that is the role that we have cast ourselves to play.” [00:06:15] “Seeing that we as parents are also subject to the rules that we put forth, I think is very important for them to.” [00:10:31] “I realized that if I wasn't important enough to get to know, for them to get to know me, then ultimately, I was making an investment in a relationship that would only go one way. And when you give too much without gaining anything in return, then you ha you end up in debt.” [00:20:04] “Showing an interest in someone is an investment that costs you nothing. It literally costs nothing to take an interest in a relative and a friend and a coworker in a colleague.” [00:20:50] Transcript continues below: And what I find is interesting is that, I moved away permanently pretty much when I was 25. And so I had a good amount of exposure to family holidays from the time I was born up until I was 25. And then for the next almost two decades at this point, the holiday season has been spent either with just my wife and kids, or maybe with some, some friends that we have over here as well, who will invite us over for their family events. The reason that I think that this contrast is important is because what I've noticed is that when I was around family members, I would, my behavior would sometimes change depending on what family members I was around. So, for instance, when I went over one set of grandparents house. I found myself behaving differently than when I was over a different set of grandparents house, even though I was a fully grown adult at that time. And the interesting point to me was that this behavior was completely, or the change in behavior between the grandparents was something that was completely invisible to me until I moved away and did the work to kind of think about that. Because it's something that comes so naturally, I think to us that we're not even aware of it, where it's, it's something that other people might see us do, but we don't see ourselves do. And what's interesting is when you kind of move as a family unit around to these various holiday functions, and you're going to visit people, especially if you. Grew up in the same area as as your spouse, then they may not see it as well. It might be invisible to them as well. Why this is important and why I want to point it out is because when, what I, what I have noticed is that when we have gone back at the holiday season or to go visit, my children's grandparents now or so, my parents and my wife's parents in the past. My kids specifically, , the boy who's older has noticed a change in behavior depending on which relative we were visiting. Now, this is very, very subtle stuff. This is, this is not, you know, like dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type stuff here, but very subtle behavioral changes in terms of not only how. we behaved as adults, but what the children noticed was what our expectations of them were. And it's, it can be challenging for kids to understand nuances of what one grandparent might find acceptable in their house versus what another grandparent might find acceptable in their house. And we're not talking about, for instance, something so, so large as one grandparent doesn't. Want kids crawling all over their furniture and another grandparent doesn't mind that we're talking and stuff. That's even quite a bit more subtle than that. just in terms of, for instance, differing as to who eat, who eats first, waiting for, for one person in the house to start eating versus in the other environment or where, where we, You know, and in our household on a day to day basis, that's not done. It might be done out of, out of respect in certain circumstances. but it's not done on a, on a, on a continual basis, let's just say. So why that's interesting is that when children see that behavior changing in their parents, They don't ignore it. Whereas we've been conditioned to it all our lives, and it's just, it's become invisible to us as adults. Children pick up on it and they see it, and they pointed out. Now, my first response to this with my kids before I really started thinking about it, was just to tell them, you know, they would ask a why question. And children of course, are no strangers to a. Bashing you over the head with with the why weapon. But the first response I'd have, well, they'd ask why, and I said, well, that's because that's the way it is. That's just the way it is. And I realized that by giving them that answer, not only was I making the easy way out for myself, but I was also denying their observation of what, what their actual observation was. And their observation was based in fact based in reality. It was not something that they were making up. There was something, there was some nuance that was different that I was basically saying, well, that's just the way it is, and not giving them a good explanation for it. And what I started to do was starting to explain that well, instead of just saying, well, that's the way it is. I'd say, well, you know, in this instance, these are. The this, see, this is challenging for me. This is hard for me because it's hard to, it's hard to say that mommy or daddy behaves differently around these people because this is how we, we're conditioned to them as we grew up and now, even though we're adults, full grown adults, we still act differently around this person or this person because that is the role that we have cast ourselves to play. And I try explaining that to a six year old. And the six year old says, well, I don't understand. Like that makes no sense. It makes no sense to them. And then you have to rationalize that with yourself, which becomes even more, you've had more of a battle because now you're, you're getting, you're, you're gaining wisdom from. The reflection of your own words in your six year old, which is very easy to ignore. in fact, I would, I would say that it's actually some somewhat desirable to ignore it, but I realize that by ignoring that pain, by, by ignoring, not pain, but by ignoring, when I, whenever I receive kind of a signal of this is uncomfortable or this is unpleasant. it encourages me in the past. I would shy away from that area and I would look away from that area. But what I do now is I forced myself to look in the areas where I at least want to look. Because what I found is that oftentimes I will discover things that I most need in those areas where I least want to look around. I'm least comfortable looking. And so having that dialogue with my kid. Really helped me to understand and explain not only to myself, but to my child that, Hey, listen, sometimes you might behave differently. And the most important thing is to understand it and to be conscious and to be aware of it, and then you can choose to change it or not, but if you're not conscious and aware of it, then you have no ability to change it at that point. One of the things that I like to do with my kids before we go into any new space. Be at a restaurant or going to the supermarket or anything like that is we talk about very briefly what our upfront agreement is on how we're both supposed to behave on how all of us are supposed to behave in that environment. And for example, going into a restaurant, we'll talk about. What is expected of us and also what we should not do in there. And the reason we do that before we arrive at the restaurant is because we don't want to be negotiating those things in the moment. We want to be having that agreement beforehand because kids like those boundaries, they like knowing what the rules are, so to speak. And what we're seeing now is that our six year old is actually a . Trying to reinforce that behavior. He wants to have stability, and so if he sees, for example, his sister going out of the limits for what we've agreed on, he'll mention that to us. Likewise, if he sees his mother or I going out of the limits for what we've agreed on, he'll tell us that too. So for instance. If we say no horseplay in the restaurant, and this, this happened the other day where, we're at the restaurant and his sister was sitting on my lap. She's just turned three and I started her, her shirt is getting, she's starting to grow out of her clothes now, so her shirt is a little bit too short. And so her belly was sticking out just a tiny little bit. And so I started to tickle her belly and she started to laugh just a little bit. And my. Six year old reminds me that daddy, there's no horseplay in the restaurant. And you know, it was fun to see his sister laugh, but I had to give it to him and I had to say, you know what? You're absolutely right. I should have been more aware of that and I'm going to stop tickling you right now because seeing that we as parents are also subject to the rules that we put forth, I think is very important for them to. Now, obviously there's. Different categories of activities that we as parents and adults have to do that sometimes are different from that of children. But for instance, this was a, a very good example of universality in something that was a universal, that applied to not only the children, but that could be applied to us as parents and adults as well. And so I thought that that was really important. Another thing that I like to do. With my kids is when we negotiate these, these expectations of behavior, we'll talk about what we shouldn't do. So I like to start by saying all of the things that would be really, really bad to do, and I start this in kind of a humorous way once again, when we're not actually there. And this will tie back into visiting relatives as well. But we'll start off. For example, let's say we're going to a restaurant and all kind of seed off the conversation by saying, okay, well, what should we, why should we not do? Would it be a, should we jump up on the table and dance around? Is that something that daddy should do? And that will start my kids laughing and they'll say, no, and they'll get very animated about it. And then. I'll give another example. I'll, you know, that's equally absurd. Should show daddy go run into the back of the kitchen and go make a mess back there. No, and then my kids will start offering suggestions to about various things about superheroes and other, other, other silliness like that. The point is, is that we're honing in on all of the things that. We have an expectation that we're not going to do. Now I understand that sometimes the concept of the negative can be challenging for children to understand. So for example, we've all heard the thing of don't, don't think of purple elephants. because once somebody says that, it becomes very hard not to do something. And I agree with that for the most part. But in this particular instance, I think that it's, it's good to paint the entire picture. For the children because by thinking of purple elephant, by thinking of all the things that we're not going to do, what it does is it helps to define the desired behavior or the desired expectations by the negative because it's very easy for kids to think of absurd things. It's very easy for kids to think of things that are out there. And so by defining all of those things as things that we're not going to do, then it becomes very easy to say, what is an appropriate behavior in a restaurant? Oh, it's appropriate to laugh. Okay, but when, when might that become not appropriate? Well, and then we go down that line and we compare it oftentimes to one of the, one of the other things. that, that might be not acceptable in that particular environment. So for example, like I said, the nuance of, of I have my daughter on my lap and I'm tickling her belly a little bit, and she's kind of cooing. She's not making a lot of noise with that. my kid, my six year old has a hard time differentiating that, laughing from. Uproarious laughter of children that is disturbing other folks in the restaurant. Now, this is not a fancy restaurant, but I'm just giving you the, the, an idea of, of what it is that we're talking about here. So by helping the kids to define that, define what we're not going to do. We use that as a bridge to get to what desired or acceptable behavior. Would be in this, in this particular instance. So where this loops back to visiting relatives, friends, et cetera, during the holiday season is in terms of having those expectations and then making it known to the kid that. This is how this person is and this is not how we have to be all the time. In fact, it's not even maybe how we have to be here, but understanding why that makes us uncomfortable. Why are we more comfortable at one relatives house than the other relatives house? Cause what that manifests and with kids a lot of times is, Oh, I don't want to go see aunt so-and-so. And they can't really put their finger on why that is, but they just know that it's not as comfortable there as it is in other places. A lot of this, having, having been away from family for so long, it's given me kind of an insight into that preconditioned behavior that I wasn't even particularly aware of and what it's also done is really forced me to reevaluate. Many of my, my relationships in terms of, okay, well if this is D a then I ask myself, well, when this person comes to visit me, do they conform to. What I would believe is acceptable in my house, or do they import their rules of behavior in spaces where I am as well that that I own, for instance. So if they come to my house, did they then impose their expectations of behavior on me or do they conform to what I find to be appropriate or acceptable? And what I've. Found pretty much universally, I, I, I don't know that there are exceptions. I haven't put a lot of thought really into trying to catalog exceptions to this, but the people, the relatives and the friends who come into my space who do not bring their rules with them and expect me to conform to their rules are almost universally the people who I enjoy spending time with. Looking back, the people, the relatives who would come into my home and expect that now that they're there, I conform to their imported expectations in a space that they have no ownership and no control over. Those are the folks who I have found to be just not really worth, worth putting a lot of effort into maintaining a relationship with for better or for worse. So as, as, as a scientist, we try to isolate one variable and change only one variable at a time because it gives us the insight that we need to see what's going on. And obviously anything with people, it's challenging to isolate only one variable at a time. But what I find interesting is that because I have these two multi-year experiences of living in very close proximity to family and then living very distant proximity to my family for multiple decades. In either sample, I can say that there is definitely a difference. And, you know, as I said before, my parents would give kind of a, well, “they're family, you know, don't you want to see them?” And what I realized is that proximity, physical proximity. Does not equal closeness. Being geographically proximate to family and where I grew up, everybody lived within, I think, maybe 12 miles of each other. Now granted, because it was, you know, a city, it could take, you know, an hour or murdered to drive those 12 miles. But the point being that even though I was very close in physical proximity, That does not mean that there was connection. That does not mean that there was a understanding or a desire to understand really. And I could say that it went both ways from that perspective, because you put out effort to understand someone and they have to put back effort to understand you and vice versa. but I think that what, what ultimately happened, is that if you. Didn't conform. And if you weren't convenient to some, some folks in, in that area, then, you know, they didn't care. It wasn't, it wasn't important to them. And so what I realized that if I, if I wasn't important enough to get to know for them to get to know me, then ultimately, I was making an investment in a relationship that would only go one way. And when you give too much without gaining anything in return, then you ha you end up in debt. And the thing is, is that giving here is the easiest thing in the world because we're not talking about money. We're not talking about food, we're not talking about anything that costs any, like any resource at all. Because taking interest in someone and being interested in someone is something that. Costs. Nothing but provides huge gains for, for everyone. Showing an interest in someone is an investment that costs you nothing. It literally costs nothing to take an interest in a relative and a friend and a coworker in a colleague. And what I noticed was that where there was this imbalance was in the relationships where. There was an expectation from the other party that you be interested in them, but that was not reciprocated back to you. And where there is that imbalance, it causes that relationship debt. And ultimately what I realized is just because I was related to someone or physically proximate to someone did not mean that they were entitled to that investment from me. In my effort to. To pour that effort into them. So I hope that this has been useful explanation. I realized that the holiday season is, can be, you know, kind of a challenging time of year because so many different personalities come together that you have to ask yourself, if this person, we're not quote unquote family, would I be, would I allow them this level of access to me? I think that's the most important thing to take from this is if this person were just someone that I knew from work or, or somebody who I saw at the gym or at church or wherever, would I give them this level of access to me and to my children? And if no, then the question that you have to ask yourself is, okay, how am I going to manage this then? Because. A lot of times people will go parabolic. They'll say, Oh, well, what's you're saying is I have to never see this person again because they make me a little bit uncomfortable, or because they're a little bit narcissistic or they they don't take an interest in me and I'm saying, no. I'm saying just be aware of it because the mere awareness that there is a difference of how you would treat this person if they weren't, quote unquote family, is going to almost enable you to make that change subconsciously. What a, and here's, here's how that works. So when we say don't think about, don't think about pink elephants, well your brain automatically thinks of that. So, and it's very hard not to do that at that point in time. So as soon as you become aware that there is a difference between the level of contact that you would afford a person, where are they family or were they a stranger? Then the pink elephant goes into action. And youth start to act in a way that restricts that access to a level that you are more comfortable with. So that's the end of this episode. I hope it's been useful. If you have any questions, if you have any comments, please let me know and we'll see you in the next show. The post Episode 14: Nuances about kids and holiday visit behavior – for kids and adults appeared first on "The Best We Could".
38 minutes | a year ago
Episode 13: A Thanksgiving Discussion On Parenting and Gratitude With My Wife
A Thanksgiving discussion with my wife on what we are grateful for when it comes to our family and how we work together to make parenting decisions that shape our family. Summary and Quotes [00:01:00] – Our Thanksgiving morning [00:02:22] – Gratitude for our kids independent play [00:06:25] – Emphasis on physicality vs sports [00:18:36] – Result of kids artificial limitation of movement on a daily basis [00:28:00] – What am I grateful for [00:32:55] – Overview of my initial hesitation to do this podcast Quotes from the Episode: “Play should not be dictated by adults. Play should be unstructured. The kid or kids should be making the rules, figuring out what they need.” [00:07:33] “I think also we're trying to instill a pure joy for moving that moving is not a chore and it's not something to check off your, to do lists that it's something you do because it, it's joyful and it makes you feel good.” [00:16:55] “If you can continue to see moving your body as the play it, it doesn't have to feel like work. It doesn't have to feel like something to check off and you can can consistently be plain with your own movement in your own physical capabilities.” [00:17:51] “But because I had not developed that physicality in K through 12. It took me a lot longer to become comfortable with what my body was capable of because I had focused only on grades. Athletics was not a focus of our household when we grew up. [00:24:19] “if something's more difficult, then you're less prone to want to do it. Which makes it more of a challenge.” [00:26:36] Transcript Below Father- So this episode is going to be a little bit different because this is the first episode where you will get to meet my wife and today is Thanksgiving in the United States and we have gone through the entire day and we decided that at the end of the day would be a great opportunity to just kind of talk to each other about what we're thankful for. We went through this with the kids already. And it was really interesting to see what our kids were thankful for. They always surprise us. And so with that, how was your day? [mother]- I had a good day. I mean, I really appreciate the fact that we've made holidays, not about big giant celebrations. I suppose it helps that we're cross country from our families, but, you know, today, I guess from the outside looking in, maybe it looked like any other day. We started the day with a family favorite activity of exercise, which is something that's really important to us. And I hope that because it's really important to us, our kids are seeing that it's an important thing. So [father] ran a 5K with the kids. The three-year-old was in the stroller, and the six-year-old was running. This was (our six-year-old's) third 5K, which is awesome. We're really working hard on pacing when we do a 5K run and not chasing all the other kids, but trying to go at a pace that he can run consistently and because daddy was off running, I got to go do a CrossFit workout in a park with a gym that's brand new to town that hasn't yet opened, but they did a free community workout and a gorgeous park. It was freezing cold, but it was sunny and the nearby mountain had snow on it and it was gorgeous. And so we were all home by like [10:30] AM and showered and pretty much spent the rest of the day in leggings doing normal, around the house things. The kids were really engrossed in their Legos and their Play-Doh independently for a long time. Both of them have relatively new buckets of those things, so they're entertained for a long period of time, which. Is awesome because we love independent play. We love creativity, and we have very limited screen time, if any screen time in our house, I would say we're screen-free, but that really isn't true. We watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving tonight and Isaac had some really awesome insights into the story about the pilgrims, so that was cool. Mmm. But we didn't do that much today. But I think that almost makes me more grateful. I think if my house was swollen with people and dirty dishes, I would feel a lot of stress and I didn't feel any stress that day. I made the most low key Thanksgiving dinner that ever existed by purchasing things that only needed to be marginally cooked. I would say. I assembled Thanksgiving dinner, and although I didn't buy it already made, it was as close to already made as it could possibly get. We had our little meal and I candle in the middle of the table and went around talking about what we are grateful for. And like [father] said, our kids always surprise us, with what they're grateful for. After dinner you, asked our three year old what she would like to see him do, and that was also an interesting conversation. In earlier episodes, you got to hear him ask our son that who six. So that's an interesting ongoing conversation. But today I was grateful for the low-stress holiday, the simplicity of our holiday. We will celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday with our neighbors and it'll be a much fancier and bigger affair. But today I was thankful for simplicity and I was thankful for health, good health children who are curious and independent and ask good questions and are frankly quite happy to be home among their familiar environment. They're not. Needing us to take them somewhere to be entertained or plug them into something new to be entertained. They're entertained with literally a bucket of Plato for the three-year-old and a bucket of Legos for the six-year-old. So that's my perspective on our day. How about you? [Father]- Before we get into the gratitude bit, because I do definitely want to touch on. Gratitude. I think your interest in how we've come together as a couple and how, even though we don't have the same skill sets, we have complementary skill sets. It's not that we share the same values, it's that we share complementary values. And I think that realizing that we're not competing with one another, and this year we've really. Recognize that on all fronts, that we're not competing with each other. Where we are trying to be complementary to each other is something that I know we've been working out for a long time, so I'm extremely grateful for that. And before, we go into more detail on that. I wanted to ask from the perspective of the 5K that. That we ran today. This is, this is third one. He's really learning how to pace himself. So 5k roughly three miles and talk about the difference between our emphasis on physicality versus sports and what our sort of longterm goal is for instilling a desire of a love of being active in our kids rather than a desire to be good at competitive sports. Not that there's anything wrong with competitive sports, but we want to have the underpinnings of one versus the other. [mother]- Well, that's kind of a loaded question. It's a, it could be a very simple answer. I'll try to give the medium-length answer from the research that we've done on the importance of play. and what play is. I'm going to start there. Play is not a directed activity. Play is, unfortunately, being lost in homes in schools and parks and soccer fields all across this country for sure. I can't speak to the world, but certainly this country. Because play should not be dictated by adults. Play should be unstructured. The kid or kids should be making the rules, figuring out what they need. Of course, if there are safety things involved there at parent might be there, but playing soccer on a team is not actually play. It's being directed by someone, usually a coach or maybe your referee. And there's definitely rules, which is a lot different than playing soccer and your cul-de-sac with the neighbors where you're having to negotiate rules and figure out where the goal's going to go and maybe figure out which cars are going to be out of bounds and all of those things that where the child gets to develop lots and lots of skills beyond just what to do with their feet. So the very bottom of how. We look at exercise is from a place standpoint, our kids are three and six. We do not have aspirations for them to be the next tiger woods or Mia ham or whoever. Pick your favorite athlete. Um, and if they achieve that, awesome. But that's not the ultimate goal. We're looking to. Build adults that are resilient and creative and curious. And that starts with play. So some of their play involves physical activity. And as a family, we participate in physical activity frequently. We love to hike. Our kids can walk further than most kids their age because a, they enjoy it and be, it's something we do. And. It's not surprising to them. If we pull up to a parking lot and say, Hey, we're going to walk the bike path, or we're going to walk to the top of that Hill, they're both usually pretty enthusiastic about it. I will say that our three year old has recently discovered she really does love the stroller, so maybe hasn't been doing quite as much walking as she has in the past, but we will persist and she will eventually get out of that stroller, I'm sure. So exercise and physical activity. We find has a nice basis in play to begin with. And then the other piece of the exercise question that you asked about in terms of physicality versus sports specific. I'm a pediatric physical therapist and there's a lot of research out there that talks about not being specific until you're older. It has a lot to do with burnout for one, but physically you're more prone to injuries over use kinds of injuries. You know, if you think about a kid playing soccer year round, starting at age eight how much more prone are they to have an overuse injury or muscle imbalances that then prohibit them from safely participating potentially in other things? So. We're not interested in doing that. And we're also not interested in doing the year round one sport thing because it over-scheduled as a kid, quite honestly. And we work really hard to have our kids involved in one or maybe two things, but not having every day of the week be about a structured activity. And again, that comes back to the unstructured play. So looking at exercise and physical activities. We, we make as much of it unstructured as possible where they're climbing trees, riding bikes, going on hikes, jumping in mud, puddles, whatever. They spend a lot of time outside and just making that available is, is huge. We hike as a family. Our children will occasionally come to the gym with us, and although they're sitting in the corner watching, they are taking in the fact that mom and dad value this thing called exercise. And what they're watching is not us training for a soccer game or a basketball game. They're watching us do CrossFit or strength work or conditioning work or something like that. So it's not, they're not looking at it in terms of, my mom's going to be the best X player, and, and then we take their interests in. To account after that. So the bottom of our pyramid is play unstructured, play, leaving lots of room for physical opportunities. Our next layer is family activities that involve physical sorts of things. And then the top is their specific interests. So right now, our son. Has fallen in love with soccer and he played his first season this fall and just loved it. He came alive. You could see him transform into a different child on the field. He talked about it a lot. He was genuinely disappointed when it was over, and it's really looking forward to the fact that the way soccer runs here, it's two months in the fall, on two months in the spring, so he's eagerly awaiting it starting again. He also expressed an interest in playing basketball for a month or two this winter. And part of his interest was that his soccer coach is also the basketball coach, and we really valued what he gained from his coach and his style. So are supportive of him trying that. So the top of the pyramid is, is our children's own interests in certainly letting them dabble in whatever they want to dabble in, but never. All at the same time. I really am interested in our kids getting back into some lessons, but I will not do it until soccer is over and basketball is over so that we're not overburdening their schedules. So that's a super long answer to your question, but I think describing any one of those layers of the pyramid doesn't do justice to the big picture of how much thought we're putting into. Making exercise a lifelong habit and not about competitive sports necessarily. So I've never heard you explain that using the, the pyramid story and it makes a lot of sense from what I see, the com being comfortable with, um, your own body and its capabilities is something that. That is really important and it comes from that sort of unstructured play. On the other side of the coin, I know that our children love the structure of having a good coach. They love the structure of their, they're learning about the world. They're three and six, and so having someone who can, for, for example, I was talking about this the other day, we were out in the playground and. We started a wrestling, like high school style wrestling, and I was instructing the boys and they loved it because they had some basic rules and they had some basic structure that was giving a little bit more safety to the rough housing that they were doing. And. Every time we go to the playground now they ask if we can wrestle, which is starting to get to be rainy season here, which is not particularly convenient. Um, so we'll have to explore that a little bit more. I think from my perspective. Um, we have a friend who, uh, who played baseball at a extremely competitive level and, and tried out for the pros. And his point is that. All those kids who go to , the dreams park who spend hours and hours traveling to baseball tournaments over the course of whatever time. Um, the odds of them making it into the majors is infinitely small. And so if they don't have a plan for why they are building that, that skill, then. Once they graduate from high school, and certainly once they graduate from college, then they're done. They're not, they're not going to be taking that out. And a lot of times what happens is, and there's research that's been done on this too, is that after college athletes finish school, they oftentimes. Because they had such an intense experience with that competitive activity, they actually don't participate in, in fitness to the same level. And that actually ended up getting somewhat out of shape. And so what we're trying to instill, I think is more of a, a desire to, I guess, master. The physical nature of, of our kids. Like we want our kids to be able to master their own physicality. And I think also we're trying to instill a pure joy for moving that moving is not a chore and it's not something to check off your, to do lists that it's something you do because it, it's joyful and it makes you feel good. And there's whole tons of research on how exercise can improve. Uh, things that aren't physical, you know, your emotional state and your mental health and all of those things. And right now as they should, I mean, children should not be looking at moving their bodies as a chore, but I would say absolutely our children do not see moving their bodies as a chore. In fact, sometimes I wish they would move them a little bit less, uh, just because they can be challenging to manage when they're moving so much. But they. They get a ton of exercise and a ton of physical activity because it's joyful and it's part of their play, and the goal would be to make it be that way all the way into adulthood. If you can continue to see moving your body as the play it, it doesn't have to feel like work. It doesn't have to feel like something to check off and you can can consistently be plain with your own movement in your own physical capabilities. you work in a school system. You've worked with kids for a long time now what do you see as a result of kids artificially being put, B being, being put in an environment where they artificially limit the amount of movement that they have on a daily basis. A giant problem. Schools have become, well, I wasn't in school long time ago, but you know, like a hundred years ago. I can only speak to my own experience and from my own experience in say the nineties to now, I would say the amount of movement within the school day. Is maybe a little bit less, but the problem is, is that children don't move outside of school now as much as they did when we were kids. So I think the problem of butts in seats at desks, even in kindergarten, in first grade, when those bodies are not meant to sit still. That's a problem. That's a huge problem. And we know that that impedes learning. And we know that that gets kids diagnosed with things that probably are not pathological, but are just part of being five, six, seven years old. Those problems absolutely exist, but they're really compounded by the fact that so many of those kids go home and sit. They sit plugged into a screen of some kind. They sit in some adult directed activity. Maybe it's, you know, an afterschool program where they get to choose what they do and they're not choosing to play basketball. They're choosing to, you know, sit and draw ours. Hopefully it's drying. That would be awesome if it's drying and not sitting with a tablet or sitting with a phone or sitting at the TV or computer or something. But I think the amount of movement in schools. Hasn't drastically changed in the last 30 years, but I think what kids do outside of school has drastically changed. And I think that's why we're seeing more obesity and we're seeing health problems that used to be strictly adult health problems. And why we're seeing kids not joyful about movement. Because frankly, if you sit for six hours at a desk all day long, and then you ride the bus home, because again, not as many kids are walking to school, and unfortunately that's largely due to safety. So that's not necessarily the fault of of parents. And then so they ride the bus home, get home, have a snack. They've been told what to do for the last six hours, and you know, mom has dinner to cook. So she says, yeah, go ahead, go watch whatever you want to watch. Which totally understandable. I understand that after you do your homework, right, only after you do your homework, and so homework is sitting. Whatever downtime they get is sitting cause they're probably choosing something that they have full autonomy over, which there's a lot of kids that can't just go out and play without an adult with them. Because again, safety issues and then they come in and have dinner and then maybe they do homework. Then maybe they do more, just trying to disconnect a little bit and then they go to bed. So. If that's your day, you can understand why when somebody says, Hey, it's Dodge ball day in PE, you're like, Oh crap. No, I don't like Dodge ball. I don't like when coach makes us run around the gym. I don't like when we do anything other than, you know, a fairly sedentary game because it doesn't feel good and it's not joyful and it's not fun, but that, that didn't have to be that way and that developed over time and that is preventable. Maybe not for everybody. I've certainly worked with children who moving is always going to be a chore for it. In fact, most of the students I work with, movement is always going to be a chore. But I will say even in students who spend an extreme amount of energy to move from place to place, most of them are still joyful about it because it means independence for them. So. Um, that's a very long answer again, but I don't think that the time spent in school sitting has changed drastically. I, I'd, I'd like to do some research on that, but my guess is that in minutes it hasn't changed drastically except maybe in States that have cut PE, for instance, or recess, which that has happened in lots of States across the country. Um, here in our local area. It's not uncommon to see a kid have PE and two or three like 15 or 20 minute recesses, which is certainly more than I got. So I don't think minutes wise it's a whole ton worse, more studying. That's an interesting perspective that I think I can bring to this because I was not a particularly athletic kid in K through 12 and then, uh, I was prompted to join. Well, I was, I was prompted to join the rowing club in, in college. And then I started, uh, racing road bikes in, in college as well. And so, and, and, and a little bit of running as well. And what was really kind of striking to me was there was a pretty big transformation that took place. But because I had not developed that physicality in. K through 12. It took me a lot longer to become comfortable with what my body was capable of because I had focused only on grades. Athletics was not a focus of, of, of, of our household when we grew up. Uh, it was, it was not denied to me. It was, you know, I, I played soccer and was a, a. Not a particularly good soccer player, but I also didn't really put any work into that, and I did not have sort of the culture of, not even fitness, but I'll say movement did not, did not have a culture of movement in, in my family. Now, that being said, um, my father is a, an engineer on large public works projects and has walked probably between six to 10 miles a day for the last. 44 years. And so, um, but at the same time, he was out of the house from four 30 in the morning until about six at night, maybe six 30 at night. So that was not, um, something that I was exposed to a lot. And then of course, he gets home and the last thing he wants to do now is walk more. And because maybe he has to walk mowing lawn or he finally got a ride on mower, for instance. But the point that I'm trying to make with this is that I think it is possible to make that change later on in life. Um, but for instance, our, our son is completely comfortable just doing a flip and our daughter is a little bit awkward about it. But she's comfortable enough with her body that that's second nature to her. It's kind of like walking. Whereas for me, because I never kind of went through those those stages early on, it was something that I had to learn and I had to think about it later on in life, and it was more, more difficult as, as a result to just get that body awareness. And of course, if something's more difficult, then you're less prone to want to do it. Which makes it more of a challenge. But now, um, you know, many, many, many years later, uh, it's at the point, and this is, this is why it's so important, is that a lot of the kids who I went to school with who were very athletic and very focused on athletics in school, they don't really exercise anymore. They're not physical anymore. And that, I think is a shame because they stopped being. Physical when the formal athletics ended at the end of either high school or college. And I think that that's such an opportunity that, um, I think if we don't make an active decision to continue that, it's very easy to just let life get in the way of that. And that's something that we're actively trying to condition into our, into our children as a, as a sort of a cultural value. So that was a very long explanation of movement, and it all started with the 5k that my family ran this morning. So let's bring it back and listen to what you're grateful for. What am I grateful for? I'm grateful for the fact that. A lot of times you don't realize how, how much you have until you compare your position to other other people. And not from the point of comparison, from a judgment perspective, but just from a sensing perspective of, of, you know, what, what is realistic to expect? And. What I'm really grateful for is the fact that, especially when it comes to our children, that we hear each other out. We listen to each other's points of views because we don't always agree on the. The approach that we should be taking, but what we do agree on is that it's important to be aware that we are making a choice and that if we're not aware, then we're just kind of doing the default thing. And so having a spouse who is willing to put that work in. Is something that I have always taken for granted because we've always been, I don't want to say we've always been on the same page with the kids, but we have always been able to have open and free discussions about where we should be going. And I think maybe guys talk about this stuff less than you do, but it's come to my attention recently that. That a lot of people, a lot of couples really struggle with this. A lot of couples have, um, they have their ideology and their position, and even even questioning that. Is something that brings up a lot of strife and turmoil, nevermind trying to come to some sort of arrangement that that works. Or we're making a best, best case decision, but it's, it's so entrenched that even questioning it is something that that results in arguments. So I'm super grateful for the fact that we're able to be extremely thoughtful about that. And I'm also thankful for the fact that that is. Expanding into other areas of, of our marriage and how we manage our family. Excellent. Well, I think I stayed at all, most of the big things I was grateful for, but I'm also grateful for the new listeners on your podcast. This is still a very new venture, and I very much appreciate the people that have interested their ears and their time. To listening to this podcast, and I'd love to hear what people think about it. A huge goal with this for us, in addition to just making our thoughts and opinions and trajectory known to our children, it's also to build community for ourselves. If you haven't figured out already from the podcasts that have been done up until this point, we take a lot of time to think about why we're doing things when it comes to our children and hopefully everything. But in this particular case, we're talking about parenting and all the many, many decisions that revolve around our children. And. We find ourselves fairly lonely and isolated in this mindset. It seems like a lot of parenting these days is reactionary or just go with the flow and. I don't know, maybe I'm very pessimistic, but popular culture doesn't give me a lot of faith that just following what everyone else is doing is going to result in a human in 18 years that is capable and competent to dive into a world that we can't even predict right now. So I'm very grateful for those of you who have chosen to listen, and I'd be really grateful. For any of you that have chosen to listen and want to reach out, we really are interested in meeting like minded people and sharing stories and ideas and learning from you. So thank you for listening. So real quick, let's do a quick overview of my initial hesitation to do this podcast and how you. Put the case forth that even though I didn't think that there was anything unique about what we were doing, that you pointed out that actually I had put in a huge amount of effort in research over over almost a decade at this point in time. And how, if for nothing else, that would be really useful for our kids to know, let alone anyone else who wants to kind of. Listen in, but just kind of talk about how you strong arm and me with that. I did strong arm arm him and it's not very often that I win those things, so that's cool. But yeah, we started researching. Parenting, child development, schools. Slash. Education cause they're two different things. Um, when Isaac was maybe still baking or maybe a newborn. So he's six and a half. So for a long time we have a, we've listened to thousands of hours of podcasts and audio books. We've read a lot of articles. We've. Done our best to connect with educators in our area that have opened communities of similarly minded people to us. And all I really had to say to [father] was highlighting a couple conversations he's had with people where he felt like they profoundly. We're changed by what he had to say. Not that he necessarily changed their mind, but they were interested. I remember one particular conversation was with a woman who goes to our gym and is in her early to mid thirties and is newly engaged, and he'd simply asked her if she planned on having kids and I wasn't there. So I don't know how the conversation went, but I know when he got home, he was super energetic about the fact that he'd had this conversation with her. And he made all these points to her about parenting and what parenting is like, and the mindset that he values in parenting and said that she hadn't thought about any of those things and that it hadn't occurred to her. So many of the things that he had mentioned. And I was like, you know, she, she's not the only one in the world who might be changed by what you have to say. And so I highlighted that and highlighted all of the. [father] is a voracious listener. He listens to audio like almost all day long. So, and his auditory retention is incredible. So when you have Google in your brain for such a topic, why not share it with the world? Where's this going to happen is nobody listens, but at least it'll be there for our children. So here we are several episodes later, and that for me. I was conditioned and indoctrinated to think that information was the most valuable thing. But today, even more than when we were growing up, we're just in, we are inundated with information. And you talked about how much research we've done, how much we've read, how much we've researched, how, how, how much, um, you know, from being a professional in that field. But what I think. Really made that connection with that woman was not more information, but it was examples because she's seen me with my kid, both of them, both kids. She's an over a long duration in a variety of different circumstances, so I'm, I wasn't just disseminating information to her. I was sharing an example. That enabled her to see something in a different way and gave her more opportunities to exercise than she previously thought she had available to her. And information alone wouldn't have done that. And so when that happened, that really kind of lit something in me. And I came home and, and, and talk to you about that, and you propose the idea of the podcast. And I. Hesitantly going with it. And so here we are, and I think that that's another thing that I'm grateful for it, and perhaps I will wrap it up with this, is that I'm thankful that I listened to you with this because I think that not only is this going to allow us to share this information, but it's going to allow us to give some really powerful examples. And I think that's what people crave nowadays. Awesome. Good job. All right. High five. High five. All right. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and we will see you in the next episode and if you have any questions, send me an email, be happy to answer them. The post Episode 13: A Thanksgiving Discussion On Parenting and Gratitude With My Wife appeared first on "The Best We Could".
12 minutes | a year ago
Episode 12: Changing parenting behavior we picked up from our parents
On this episode of the The Best We Could – a Parenting Manual for our Kids, we discuss changing parenting behavior we picked up from our parents and how we … Episode 12: Changing parenting behavior we picked up from our parents Read More » The post Episode 12: Changing parenting behavior we picked up from our parents appeared first on "The Best We Could".
14 minutes | a year ago
Episode 11: Reciprocity and generosity as they relate to the virtue of sharing
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11 minutes | a year ago
Episode 10: The Paradox of Choice and Compromise in Parenting
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30 minutes | a year ago
Episode 9: Who is behind this parenting manual for their kids anyway?
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19 minutes | a year ago
Episode 8: Stages of Competence – Parenting Version
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20 minutes | a year ago
Episode 7: How and why we ask for feedback from our kids
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25 minutes | a year ago
Episode 6: Differentiating between behaviors and skills as a parent
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11 minutes | a year ago
Episode 5: Why We Chose To Focus on Effort Not Outcome
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8 minutes | a year ago
Episode 4: How To Show Interest In Your Kids
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16 minutes | a year ago
Episode 3: Commitment and Compliance: Parenting Viewpoints
In this episode, I want to discuss the topics of commitment and compliance that I spoke with my children about in the last episode. A great example of this came … Episode 3: Commitment and Compliance: Parenting Viewpoints Read More » The post Episode 3: Commitment and Compliance: Parenting Viewpoints appeared first on "The Best We Could".
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