Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Evolutionary Parenting

I've been impressed with how respectful Connie Allen is of the child as a developing individual.  So, I followed the link from this post and watched the 50 minute video of Jean Liedloff.  While I found the first 20 minutes or so mildly interesting (I've seen too many contented crib sleepers), I became more fascinated during the second half of the interview.  There are many parallels between both Positive Discipline and Cognitive Therapy that this lady identified through her observations of jungle children.

Some of my notes:
- Her term of "information" parenting seems closely linked to being objective and focusing on natural consequences.
- Her view of human nature as effective and her multiple examples of how certain parenting techniques undermine this nature thus leading children to mistrust their competence is intriguing.
-Her focus on a parents' low expectations of human nature as spuring parenting behaviors that set up conflict with children is also intriguing.
- She agrees with the Montessori focus on kids' exploring as their form of learning and initiative which is natural to them while absorbing classroom teaching is not.
- Her statements that children's efforts at being social lead them to blame themselves when there is a disconnect also made sense to me.
- Finally, she discusses core beliefs and finding the thoughts behind our actions and views.

It's quite the 50 minutes and I'd be interested in any comments / thoughts from readers of this blog.  I actually watched this video about two weeks ago and I've found myself thinking frequently about the comments and potential implications.  

One instance of her parenting advice was particularly tickling my interest last night as I tried to fall asleep.  As I've said, she emphasizes how the jungle children were not expected to misbehave, that it was the norm for parents to expect a positive interaction and the kids expected that of themselves as well.  But then, she gave an example from a modern house hold.  She said that one could imagine a toddler playing underfoot with a cup.  Her advice was to address the child with a completely calm voice telling them to take the toy to the other room. (I don't remember her saying if a reason should be included.)  Then, she advised the parent to continue what they were doing with the clear expectation that the action would be taken.  If, after a given time, the child did not bring the toy to the other room, she advised the parent to bring it there silently (without any other words gentle / angry or any other non-verbal indications of upset).  The key was that the child has missed out on the social interaction and that she had seen this kind of technique work wonders for kids in the jungle.  Her point was that the kids never saw themselves as naughty because they were again and again expected to behave well together and they did so "naturally".  

She gives many more examples which intrigue me, but focusing on this one, I wonder if it would really work here.   I wonder:
• Does the expectation of socially adept behavior accelerate or change how a child learns these skills?  
• Would a child really learn better with these actions where there is no interaction based on consequence emotion?  I don't try to hide from my kiddo that I'm annoyed if step on a lego that hurts my foot.  It is part of the consequence of his action.  It would make most sense to me to say something like this to the toddler before moving the cup, "It's not safe under Mommy's feet."  If I was dealing with an older kid, I would think is appropriate to have some annoyance in my tone.
• Doesn't this miss all the grandeur of other parenting skills like helping them solve a problem, discussing potential solutions, using humor with a huge fake slip and giggle and gently bonking them on the head with the cup?
• The more I think about this, while the techniques may lead a kid to have a positive image of themselves as "naturally" good, they also send a powerful message about being social as key to their success.  That's something that's a whole lot more important in a jungle than a city.  I like the idea of somehow communicating positive expectations though and she is persuasive with her multiple examples that parents frequently communicate the opposite unintentionally.

So, my take away, for now, is that I'm going to try and find ways to communicate positive expectations, but I'm not going to use her technique because I don't think it would be applicable in the context of an older child.  My kiddo is supposed to bring down any wet bedding in the morning and put it in the clothes washer.  He's requested a reminder sign and I can handle that along with a positive word that communicates those positive expectations.  I have no intention though of just taking care of wet blankets if he forgets!  Her technique might bother a toddler, but it would simply enable a 7 y.o. to happily enjoy a mommy maid.  I'll keep thinking on this though and again, I'd be really interested in any thoughts readers have about this video.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Glass Blowing

Glass blowing turned out to be quite the fun outing!  Since we're not taking singing lessons anymore and we don't want to start anything else longterm before we move, I'm focusing on single experiences for dates.

Next up will be a pottery date where we get to make our own pots using a wheel!  Fun :)

Other things to share:
This week's Objectivist Round Up.
Cute antics:
• pronouncing strategic as stra-ta-geh-tic
• watching his game and commenting mildly, "That earthquake was extensive."

Monday, May 23, 2011

End of 5 Star Challenge

Lets finish up this 5 Star Challenge!

Five things that make you happy you're alive:
Objectivism - That Ayn Rand lived and shared so much guidance on how to live joyfully.
Technology- Everything that has made life so much more efficient and pleasant... my two current favorites are my car and my iPhone.
Nature- I'm currently relishing the vibrant rhododendrons outside my window as they proclaim springtime with their intense color.  There are so many glorious experiences in nature that make me happy I'm alive, from dazzling sunsets to the shimmering green of the Northwest Rain Forests.
Chocolate-  I love connoisseur chocolates and all the teasing nuances of flavor that I can discover with leisurely sampling.
Atlas Shrugged- As a different entity from the philosophy of Objectivism, the joy I experience in this particular work of art is fuel for a positive life.

Five people (or pets) you love:
I did this in the "grateful for" post- husband, son, awesome friends, cool parents.  For pets, I'll say all the wonderful canines I loved from Guide Dogs for the Blind. My adoring goofy Golden, Treat.  My powerfully inteligent German Shepherd that had almost magically golden eyes, Gimbal.  All the Labradors that flopped down for belly rubs and snuggles, Chaplin, Auburn, Aidan, and Elissa.

Like all puppies, guide dogs start tiny and...
grow!  These guys can graduate with a job though that's pretty awesome.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Norman Rockwell

When I entered the traveling exhibit of Norman Rockwell's art to explore these paintings, I left myself open to explore.  I wanted to give each painting a chance to capture me and then to move on if it failed.  There were three paintings that I came back to and treasured.  Those three will stay with me and be part of me.  Those three I will continue to reference and use as fuel.

The first one, touched me by showing a profound moment.  A little boy and his grandfather stand together looking out at the sea.  They are both wearing sailor suits.  The sea is sparkling and a white ship is shining in the sun in front of them.  They are clearly looking at the father / son departing on great adventures.  I see the life of a pursuit of values and the profound moment of contemplation of those observing this action.  It is called, The Stay at Homes.  Here is one link to this painting.  (None of the links I found did justice to the colors or details of the paintings I saw.)

The second painting, touched me by making me laugh out load with mirth.  There are jokes on so many levels as a student bends close with his magnifying glass to study the pendant on a portrait lady's breast.  Her coquettish expression compared with the one in his art appreciation book and the looks from the men in the accompanying portrait combine with his clear lack of appreciation of the full, um, picture make me smile.  It's a purely playful moment and my playful spirit loved it.  It's called The Art Critic.

Finally, the third painting touched me by showing an inspirational moment of human achievement.  Abraham Lincoln stands as a young lawyer, before he becomes president, before he grows a beard, before he is a profound, historical figure.  He stands, all in white, and behind him we can see a shadowed man in shackles.  We look up at Lincoln who is almost glowing in white, but he is an approachable figure that is not pristine or intimidating.  One hand is formed into a powerful fist, pressing down with emphasis while the other holds an almanac.  This is a moment when a man whose case was thought to be hopeless because witnesses had testified to seeing him commit the crime on a brightly lit night, is saved by Lincoln noting that, on the night in question, the moon had mostly waned and thus the man could not have been clearly seen.  It is called Lincoln for the Defense.

I also enjoyed looking at each of the magazine covers Norman Rockwell painted and the paintings: The Problem We Live With, The Law Student, Artist Facing Blank Canvas, and Marry Christmas (such jolly, twinkly eyes).  But, the top three are the ones that will stay with me and which I'm especially grateful to have experienced.

"Since a rational man’s ambition is unlimited, since his pursuit and achievement of values is a lifelong process—and the higher the values, the harder the struggle—he needs a moment, an hour or some period of time in which he can experience the sense of his completed task, the sense of living in a universe where his values have been successfully achieved. It is like a moment of rest, a moment to gain fuel to move farther. Art gives him that fuel; the pleasure of contemplating the objectified reality of one’s own sense of life is the pleasure of feeling what it would be like to live in one’s ideal world." - Ayn Rand

Economics in One Lesson

I had a great time listening to Economics in One Lesson this week and getting a really concise and clear view of economics issues without lots of complicated jargon!

Other things to share:
This Norman Rockwell exhibit is amazing and will be the basis for my next post!  I took away experiences with three pieces of art that will stay with me.
Cute antics:
• telling me a church is "a big place where we vote about laws".  Hmmm, something tells me that wouldn't go over well!
• doing something goofy and then requesting, "Roll your eyes please, Mom."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Objectivist Round Up

Welcome to the May 19, 2011 edition of the Objectivist Round Up.  To start us off, here is a quote on living that is beautifully encompassing:

To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason—Purpose—Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge—Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve—Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.
-Galt's Speech, For the New Intellectual

Burgess Laughlin presents What is profane culture? posted at Making Progress, saying, "This is the last in a series of three posts sketching my preliminary understanding of democratic, sacred, and profane culture. What is the nature of each? What is their relationship? In particular, in this last post, in what ways does profane culture appear unwanted in the daily lives of even those rare individuals who have a sense of the sacred?"

Roberto Sarrionandia presents The Right to Quarantine posted at Roberto Sarrionandia, saying, "Is it right for the state to quarantine infectious individuals or control their immigration status? I argue, yes."

Andy Clarkson presents "Patterns" posted at The Charlotte Capitalist, saying, "Fifteen to twenty years ago, I caught the last five minutes of a movie on tv. It was filled with ideas, conflict, and passion -- it seemed like something from an Ayn Rand novel. For years I could not find the movie on tv or DVD.
That changed this morning -- I found Rod Serling's "Patterns". Here is my review."

Noah Stahl presents Atlas Shrugged: More than Meets the Eye posted at The Undercurrent Blog, saying, "Why should you read Atlas Shrugged? Because it could change your life."

Joshua Gregg presents Obama?s Energy Solution: More Government posted at Persona Non Grata, saying, "Dictating prices didn’t work for Stalin, Lenin, or Brezhnev; it wont work for Obama."

Hanah presents Caps for Sale posted at Charlie's Bookshelf, saying, "This is one of my all-time favorite children's books, and it has great lessons about work, tantrums, and emotional control."

Kelly Elmore presents Sex at ATLOSCon posted at Reepicheep's Coracle, saying, "This post is about the course "Sexual Ethics and Objectivism" that Jason Stotts will be giving at ATLOSCon. It includes comments from fans of his blog, my opinions about prudes (which I know you have been dying to hear), Jason's comments about why he chose to focus his writing and research on sex, and a slightly racy pun. Join us for ATLOSCon to hear his talk and to debate the ideas afterwards!"

Benjamin Skipper presents Heart Attack Grill posted at Musing Aloud, saying, "A restaurant emphasizing conventionally unhealthy foods is opening in Dallas, and yet despite its nature as a voluntary institution people are planning on protesting it. Why can't some people just tend to their own lives?"

C.W. presents The Downturn in Commodity Prices posted at Krazy Economy, saying, "What does the recent downturn of commodity prices mean. Here is a change to learn about economics."

Jonathan Akin presents Campus Media Response: Why it’s Wrong to Make the Net “Neutral” posted at The Undercurrent Blog, saying, "What does the essential nature of the internet mean for a consumer "right" to web access?"

Julia Campbell presents wilted spinach salad with tuna and bacon posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "Warm bacon dressing tops a spinach and tuna salad."

Benjamin Skipper presents Feeling is Believing posted at Musing Aloud, saying, "I recently had a major realization about the nature of beliefs that will change how I view my self-improvement ventures, namely that there's two different types of beliefs. There's the belief you intellectually hold in your mind, and then there's the belief you hold subconsciously (emotionally). If both of these types don't line up, then difficulties in changing one's self will result."

Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela present Republicans - Not Serious About Immigration Reform, Not Serious About Free Markets posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, "Santiago writes up a great blog post about Republicans and immigration."

Diana Hsieh presents Christianity: Obey and Suffer... and Shut Your Mouth! posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Does Christianity offer help and solace to people suffering unjustly at the hands of others? Based on scripture, the answer is "no.""

Amy Mossoff presents Teaching Children Lessons posted at The Little Things, saying, "What does it mean to be a selfish parent? How are my interests aligned with my child's? And what does it mean to say that "having children makes us better people?" And how did I get to these questions just from watching TV commercials?"

Scott Connery presents World To End This Saturday! The Bible Guarantees it! posted at Rational Public Radio, saying, "Doomsday prophets are nothing new. Someone is always predicting that the end times are at hand. What is it about faith that makes religious people so gullible?"

Ari Armstrong presents Making the First Amendment Part of the Conversation posted at Free Colorado, saying, "In this TV segment I argue that campaign laws chill free speech. Also linked are several other videos and articles on the subject."

Jared Rhoads presents Reference Materials posted at The Lucidicus Project, saying, "We have added a new permanent fixture to the website: a collection of the key legal documents dealing with the various constitutional challenges to the health reform law. This page is relatively detailed but not exhaustive or overwhelming, and should be helpful to the average non-lawyer who is interested in following the progress of these cases."

Rational Jenn presents OGrownups Monthly Summary posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "Are you a parent, educator, loving aunt or uncle? Interested in talking to other Objectivists about the joys and struggles of raising children? Here's a look at the things we discussed in April on the OGrownups list. If the topics look interesting to you, I hope you'll join us."

Joshua Gregg presents The Morality of the Obama Doctrine posted at Persona Non Grata, saying, "President Obama on Thursday will elaborate his foreign policy philosophy only to expose his counter-productive altruistic morality that lies beneath."

Paul Hsieh presents WaiverMania posted at We Stand FIRM, saying, "The "politics of pull" are in full swing with the latest round of waivers granted from ObamaCare."

Paul Hsieh presents Massachusetts: The Canary in the Coal Mine for ObamaCare posted at NoodleFood, saying, "My latest OpEd at PajamasMedia was on the failed Massachusetts health care plan, published to coincide with Mitt Romney's health care speech last week defending his plan."

Gene Palmisano presents Misnomer of the Day posted at The Metaphysical Lunch, saying, "Be sure to visit the Anecdotal Objectivist at the bottom of the blog. I'm getting a handle on this podcast and content will come streaming. Thanks."

David C Lewis, RFA presents The Problem With Accumulation Theory | Twin Tier Financial posted at A Revolution In Financial Planning, saying, "I discuss the problems with the accumulation approach to financial planning--a problem which plagues most people, including those in the financial planning industry and makes long-term financial success impossible. I discuss the unspoken premise of this theory and its implications."

Edward Cline presents Geert Wilders Speaks Without Fear in Tennessee posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "Instead of a comment on Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician being tried in The Netherlands for the “crime” of “hate speech,” it would be appropriate for him to speak for himself – in Tennessee. His references to the peril in which Christians have been placed by multiculturalism and political correctness apply equally to all non-Muslims, including Objectivists and atheists. His assertion that “our values” are based on the “Judeo-Christian heritage,” of course, we can disagree with. But in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or Pakistan, such a statement would be a literal death sentence, carried out by the regime or by the mob, without the pretense of a trial."

Jason Stotts presents Are Your Genitals Normal? posted at Erosophia, saying, "Are your genitals normal?" [This post focuses on a brief, educational video with the theme of differences being normal.]

Beth Haynes presents Amicus Brief filed to FL v HHS posted at Black Ribbon Project, saying, "In my new role as Senior Health Policy Analyst for Docs 4 Patient Care, I was able to contribute behind the scenes in shaping an amicus brief to the FL v HHS court case against the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The point we argue is a small one, but should increase the Justices' comfort with ruling against the mandate,and even against the whole law."

Earl Parson presents ATLOSCON Architecture Talk posted at Creatures of Prometheus, saying, "I'll be presenting a talk on architecture at ATLOSCON - here's a brief description of what it's all about. Come join us for what's sure to be a great weekend!"

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of objectivist round up
using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

5 Star Challenge: Part III

More of the challenge, the question for this one is 5 things I'm grateful for.  (I'm taking this as "grateful" in the sense of "happy that I have".  As I searched through for pics, I thought of many more, but I said I was keeping this casual, so here goes.)

My family.  They're an everyday reminder of my top values and I love both my husband and son with such overwhelming joy.

Have I mentioned my love of snuggling?

Friends.  My best bud far away and all my mom, Objectivist blogger friends(JKLABKHY) and all my NWO friends and my neighborhood friends too.  I'm not a big socializer, but I do gain such pleasure from sharing with and learning from this nurturing group.
Cruising Alaska with a best-bud is highly recommended!
Horses.  Even though my husband is now allergic so we're no longer riding across New Zealand (nor at home), I love that these creatures exist and that they're so beautiful and so elegant to watch (that is when they're not being goofy and flipping out over a scary gum wrapper on the ground).  I still find watching them move so beautifully to be deeply soothing.
Morgans are not the best dressage horses, but we had fun.
Sea Ranch.  More generally, I love the ocean and I find it nourishes my sense of peace and happiness to relish the full sensory experience of visiting the coast.  This spot in particular is my favorite.  If I visit a coastal spot that lacks the cliffs or the cedars or the tide pools or the grandeur, I miss it.

My parents.  Yes, there are things we disagree about, but they have always loved me and nurtured me and clearly done the best that they possible could.  They have been honest and supportive and trusting and they fundamentally helped establish my sense of the world as a safe place with good people.  I certainly didn't do anything to achieve such parents, but I am happy to have them and sincerely appreciate their goodness.  

My marvelous mom when I surprised her for Mother's Day (and when she knew the next Mother's Day I'd be a mom too.  (There's something special about that first Mother's Day when you're pregnant and anticipating... it was extra special to share it with my mom who had no clue that I would be snuggling with her and not calling from 800 miles away.)
My dear dad who has loved me whole heartedly since the 70s!
Here's to cherishing that which we're grateful for.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

5 Star Challenge: Part II

Okee dokee, the 5 Star Challenge continued with "five things my body can do".

Sing.  I know I mentioned that last time, but it's true and fun and so cheery.

Bake.  While I do vastly less now that I've learned so much about gluten and discovered my allergy, I love the smell and the sensuous nature of making a decadent treat.  Rolling up the special rugalach dough into pastry or pressing crumbs into a springform pan or carefully snuggling in cinnamon rolls to bake into gooey delights.  If people are uninterested in removing gluten from their diet, I have a glorious time in making it the tastiest treat possible.

Walk.  I just love going for a solitary stroll.  Yes, I often sing.  But, not always.  I get the most joy out of feeling the sun warm me or the sunset enchant me or the fall colors pique some contemplation.

Read.  That I can travel to so many places in fiction and share so many warm moments via letters and delight my child by reading out loud is a wonderful thing.

Snuggle.  I think one of the worst things about lacking movement for me would be the inability to go hug and nuzzle and tickle and cozy up to those I love.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Scrub A Dub Dub

This was dishes round one of... many.  It's a good thing I like bubble soap or this week of no dishwasher would have been much less bearable!  Apparently, it's an electrical problem which we're hoping will get solved with a handyman visit tomorrow.  Here's to technology and all the time it saves us!

Other things to share:
Watch the second video for a beautiful moment of art appreciation.

This week's Objectivist Round Up.
Cute antics:
• nuzzling up to me and drawling "sweetie pie" while batting his eye lashes (His way to "be nice" and to bribe me to read more Harry Potter.)
• informing me he was "acting as my husband"!  That certainly raised my eyebrows and I asked for more information.  He said he was "calling me sweetie pie and stuff".  (No, I do not quite know what "and stuff" was supposed to mean. I dropped the subject.)
• giggling wildly, "No, no, no!  Don't eat my carpals!"  (Yep, he does love learning anatomy.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5 Star Challenge

I'm joining several of my Mom-Objectivist-Blogger friends (Jenn, Kelly) in the 5 Star Challenge because that sounds like just the right amount of mellow fun and not too much effort.  I'm deep into working on an online science curriculum that is happily taking up most of my brain power.

My understanding is that this is supposed to be done over five days with a post each day in this order:
Five things you love about yourself.
Five things your body can do.
Five things you’re grateful for.
Five things that make you happy you’re alive.
Five people (or pets) who you love.

I'm thinking I'm more likely to wind up with 5 weeks, but this certainly fits in the non-urgent category of fun and I'm taking it in the first-thing-that-comes-to-mind manner :)

So... five things I love about myself:

1. I roll with the punches.  It's hard to get under my skin and get me riled.  This is a very good thing with an intense kiddo who can melt into a puddle of scalding fury over a stuck zipper.

2. I sing.  Well, I sing happy songs.  I love that I sing happy songs.  I love that I can sing for more than ten hours straight (and have done so) covering everything from old musicals to Disney and Latin to Hebrew.  I get cheered to the bone when I have hours to walk, fold laundry, or drive and sing the whole time.

3. Surprises.  I love giving and receiving surprises.  It was clearly one of the highlights of my grandma's life when I flew to Vermont (with my son) and surprised her with a visit from her first great grand child on Grandparents Day!  My dear husband thinks I'm absolutely batty for requesting hints and riddles before surprises so that I can anticipate and guess what goodie might be coming my way.  I love both my joy in giving and receiving surprises... anticipation is grand!

4. I'm honest with myself.  I love that I will not lie or pretend something untrue to myself.  When I'm tackling a problem, I have a solid base of trust.

5. Snuggles.  I love that I'm so touchy, feely, snuggly with close friends and family.  I purr when my husband lets me rub my cheeks on his hands.  I play hour long games with my kiddo where we go through every part of his body that I'm not allowed to squeeze, hug, squash, twist, rub, wiggle.... lots of giggles.  I gain so much joy from positive touch and it's a really wonderful thing that my kiddo is a sensory seeker (not a sensory avoider).

And... when I'm caught unawares, bowled over, sometimes literally knocked flat in the sand... I try to laugh and to remember how joyous it is to have a child that loves me so much, that  he wants to fire every neuron in his brain with the feeling of being close to mommy.  (From my "Manners for Sensory Seekers" post)"

I know I just included this picture again, but I do so love it and it fits!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Poem

I ran across this poem this morning and it hit a bit of the melancholy spot.

for the mother I am today...

There are certainly times when I have those moments of profound sadness at the steeper slope my kiddo faces... how I wish I could make it smoother for him.

I am reminded what I can do though and how many skills I've learned and how much delight I've found in parenting.  The sad moments do not take over unless I let them, as I wrote in my post on Jonah Days!

"I remember days where a flu had me so low that it took me a half hour to move from the couch to the kitchen and I had a toddler who was learning lots about patience and what being sick looks like!  I remember days where I made so many mistakes that I thought just one more note of a whiny voice would make me lava lady with my home reduced to ashes.  But, I've never been in a place where a Jonah Day touched my sense of life.  A Jonah Day does not have the power to change the nature of my joy in living.  It doesn't even have the power to dampen my spirits unless I let it and being a mom has given me plenty of practice at keeping that grin :)

And... when I'm caught unawares, bowled over, sometimes literally knocked flat in the sand... I try to laugh and to remember how joyous it is to have a child that loves me so much, that  he wants to fire every neuron in his brain with the feeling of being close to mommy.  (From my "Manners for Sensory Seekers" post)"

Here's to a joyous Mother's Day :)  For those embracing that roll, here's to relishing those powerful moments of parenting success!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Feeling a bit sad

I found out last night that a distant friend died from cancer.  I didn't even know she was sick.  I keep thinking about her delightful twin girls.  I can only imagine the heart ache of her husband with such a tragic loss and now the roll of a single parent.  It took me a long time to get to sleep last night.  Here's to cherishing our loved ones.

Other things to share:
This week's Objectivist Round Up.
Cute antics:
• admonishing his playful daddy with giggles, "Stop doing push ups on me!"
• going off to bed with, "OK, I'm plowing." (No clue.)
• reciting the multiplication table he added this as a drawling pause for time (i.e. he hadn't memorized it yet) after the question 4x4, "Ah... yes... well... it's obvious that it's..."
• amusing imposed helpless moment when I declined preparing his snack:
He was shrieking hysterically and pouring tears with only pauses to demand, "How am I supposed to get the cheese out of the bag."
It's hard not to laugh at a seven year old who claims opening a zip lock is beyond him!  I'll admit the twitching corners of the mouth, but I empathized with his frustration at my refusal to be his evening chef.  Clearly, I'm a horrid mom.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I'm gaining more and more respect for how much of an art observing children is!  I was recently listening to a lecture course by Ray Girn that pointed out how detailed the observations of a teacher need to be to properly understand a student and then, I came across this post by a parenting educator whom I particularly admire, Connie Allen.

I am contemplating her third suggestion in this post:

"Set aside time every day to observe, to stand back and see what you can see with the intention to discover something new...By making neutral observation a daily priority, you’ll be thrilled with what you discover about yourself and the children in your life."

Would this be a good idea?  I have so often found stepping back and observing has given me profound insight into my kiddo when I'm having a challenge.   I thought about this for twenty minutes though and couldn't figure out a good time to give it a trial.  Our breakfasts are our family meal where we share good things from the day before and what we're looking forward to in the upcoming day.  In the afternoons, most often, my kiddo is either playing by himself or I'm reading to him (neither good times for a studious observation). I don't think I have a daily time when I can observe from a distance, but I think I'll be able to slide in a few times during the week and I'll check back with results :)

If anyone else gives this a trial, I'd be curious if you find it helpful!  Is regular observing outside of interaction times and outside of school / challenge evaluation a useful endeavor?