A Simple Idea
The Boss recently shared with me a short clip from a 2018 Charlie Rose interview with Michael Kane about "using the difficulty." His anecdote from early in his acting career is quite humorous, but his acting philosophy has not wavered since: any time we are faced with a difficulty or problem, we can use it to our advantage.
Although Sir Michael was speaking about the craft of acting, he dropped into the conversation that he uses this philosophy in his personal life and in raising his children!
Wow. Can you imagine how resilient, how creative, how strong our children would become if we purposefully modeled this simple idea?
"No" becomes "Yes, if..."
Yes, sometimes a No is a No and there's not much we can do about it; but, even then, we can try to learn something advantageous or beneficial about the particular No.
Just this last weekend, Little Guy and Noodle stayed overnight with us and while not our first foray in watching both overnight, definitely the most rewarding for everyone involved - the kiddos slept through the night and MamaDad celebrated their anniversary with alone time together!
While here Little Guy discovered our board game Frazzle! under the bed in the guest room - why was he looking under the bed? It's a longer story...
Anyway, he was fascinated with the bopping gavel and wanted to play the game. If you remember the Frazzle! rules, you know coming up with words that start with a specific letter for a specific category in a one-minute interval is beyond a pre-schooler's word skills.
The Boss to the Rescue!
And if anyone knows The Boss, you know he rarely takes a "no" at face value, even when it comes to games. So, rather than tell Little Guy we couldn't play the game because it would be too hard for him, we talked about the rules and Little Guy's new rules are as follows:
It was a great game! But Noddle decided she needed ALL of the colored cubes on her side of the game board and Little Guy figured out you could bop The Boss - gently - to get an oversized response. Amidst all the chaotic hilarity no one seemed to mind we didn't finish the game.
It was a simple idea - how can we change the game rules so that we get to a Yes! for Little Guy?
Thank you, Boss, for rarely taking No as the final answer - even when it sometime makes me crazy! It was a good example for our Daughters and I love seeing our Grandchildren learn similar lessons about life. You are the best,
Henny Penny's Hysteria
Mauno Loa is erupting and if you do not live on the Big Island, the news would have you believe the lava is speeding down the mountain, people are being evacuated and VOG is dangerously filling our air. Of course, it's not a good idea to ignore Pele. And it is always prudent to be prepared for any disaster. But, seriously, the sensationalism in the news about this event sounds very much like Henny Penny's "The sky is falling!"
One of the many ways Henny Penny's hysteria catches all of us is to make the alarm sound convincing by the bit of truth within the situation - Henny Penny did get knocked on the head by a falling acorn. And if you live with or near a flock of chickens, you know first-hand their over-the-top, alarming crows at the hint of dawn or breakfast being served!
Just remember, chickens have very small brains and the media is in the business of making money.
Time is Your Best Parenting Friend
The drive by media to make money by distorting reality frustrates me. And I feel the same frustration about anyone who uses our desire to be good parents to sell us something.
Preying on our fears of failure as a parent keeps our hearts and minds distracted from the sweet progression of time. The reality of parenting - and grandparenting! - is that it is a long-haul endeavor with intense flashes of joy or heart-ache etched into our day-to-day living.
Good parenting, good family life is created in time - learn to see time as your best friend in rearing your children! The self-imposed drama of making sure we are adhering to the "best" plans for any number of parenting tasks hinders living in the bigger picture: the daily enjoyment of living with and loving our children.
As you go about the tasks inherent in rearing children try to avoid the Chicken Littles of the parenting world - if you feel anxious about not meeting someone else's expectations about your choices in raising your children, good chances are you've encountered a Henny Penny.
Trust yourself and your instincts. And pay attention to those intense flashes which draw our eyes to the most important things in the long-haul!
You've got this!