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Posted by: | Posted on: November 25, 2013

They Worship You

Most kids worship their parents.  Not as in a parents are God sense, but in that delightful kind of cartoon hero-worship.  Its easy to forget that when kids reach the tweens and pre-teens.

…or when they are potty training.

When I was potty training Yeah!, I was exasperated that despite the fact that she KNEW what to do…she didn’t do it.  My aunt said “She’s not doing it to make you mad.  She loves you. She thinks you are wonderful.  She doesn’t want to disappoint you”.  She raised the most loving sensitive son that I have ever met, despite the fact that I remember how frustrated that she was when she was potty training.  (Which, is why I was so affected by her advice).  That perspective may have saved my daughter’s life….figuratively.

One client of mine had a daughter that she was struggling with.  Everything was a battle. But they came to me about school work, specifically reading.  When we worked together she was a joyful little girl.  When her mom came, she was full of angst.  What came out is that she was being scolded for her performance, despite the fact that she was honestly working as hard as she could with the tools she had. I had complete empathy for the situation. I gave the advice of my aunt: “She’s not doing it to make you mad.  She loves you. She thinks you are wonderful. She doesn’t want to disappoint you.”  Then I added, “She feels that you are so wonderful, that she could never be like you.  She’s afraid that you think she’s dumb.”  While I worked on increasing the tools she had at her disposal, her mom worked at being her partner: offering books on tape as a stop gap until her reading skills caught up with her intelligence.

Think about your favorite hero.  Mine was Ender Wiggins from Ender’s Game. (I know…I’m a nerd)  I wanted to be like him….or at least be his friend.  And if Ender Wiggins thought that I was stupid, or mean — or horror of horrors — disappointed in me, I would just about fall apart.  Of course, he’s just a character in a book.  If he was here on earth, like my DAD…well that would be paramount to saying that I’m not worthy to be alive.  So this sweet little tween felt her mother didn’t think she was worthy to be alive.  Mom quickly adjusted, and worked out parent-child contracts about her behavior, and became her big fan regarding her school work. This was paramount to having your hero come down from his or her pedestal to say that you were their best friend. The change was fundamental, and led to increased success in school and better relationship with her mom.

So consider using your child’s worship of you to turn around and pat them on the back.  Be the superhero that says that you are there to be their defender in times of need.  And step into the shadows when they become a teen and *may* not want you to show up at school.

Posted by: | Posted on: November 18, 2013

Project Appleseed, 2013

Knowing that I can protect myself against the roaming vagrants in a post-nuclear event comforts me. And in that potential future, guns are more effective than bow and arrows or slings.  Mind you, I don’t believe that I should keep a gun in the house.  The peaceful little cul de sac that we live in does not necessitate the desire for family protection…and hidden guns are just a possible local news event featuring unhappy parents. We don’t even have the kids play with toy guns in the house.  Correction: we don’t buy toy guns in our house, and the water guns acquired must stay in a special “for pool use only” bucket.  However, I have a burning need to know what I think I ought.  So, I have been trying to go to Project Appleseed for the last two years.
Project Appleseed is a nationally based program in which rifleman history and technique are taught to any who desire.  Women and children are taught to sharp shoot a rifle at drastically reduced rates.  I heard about this when my youngest child was too young to go….but I thought it was interesting for my own selfish reasons.  But I was never able to tear myself away for the weekend.  Nor could I seem to borrow a gun. I begged my Facebook friends for a rifle, and no one took me seriously.  Or they took me too seriously, and still didn’t give me one.
This year was the year.  I had a different, less selfish, motivation.  Yeah had been displaying signs of being an academic underachiever.  So I was in search of the perfect extrinsic motivator to jumpstart her nonexistent desires to do anything but read.  Archery was a win from last month’s excursion….maybe sharp shooting would also reign in her need for perfection?  This was a good bet.  Plus the history lesson within would be a nice checkbox in her elementary transcript.
As stated, I didn’t have a rifle, and was nervous about having one around the house, so I worked with the local leader, and I begged for rifles to loan.  I then practiced putting the babe on a carrier on my back for the times I got to lay on my belly to shoot. I decided to take my oldest, and I paid for Yeah and me.
The day before the event, we came down with the flu, or some other microbial infection. Yet again, life had intervened. I couldn’t envision both of us sick, in the cold and shooting.  Yeah put it best: “Mommy, if you sneeze, you might shoot someone!”.  Perhaps that was the best lesson for us both.  Oh well, next year.
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