Kids have the most amazing questions. I mean the things they think about in their little heads... awesome. My middle child asked me "How do the seasons change?" which led me to take a second and think back to all of the earth science classes that I loved. This is what I came up with... I hope I made my teachers proud.
LYING and MANIPULATION
Everyone lies at some point in their life. We lie because we want to either protect someone from our real feelings, we want to gain something from someone else or we aren't confident enough to accept rejection. But when we lie or when we attempt to manipulate others with our words, we take away their power to decide. The impact of lying is great. Once we begin lying, it's really easy to keep at it.
Lying is one of my least favorite things in the entire world and my kids are learning how to lie (because it is an art form). Rather than getting really upset about it, I have been teaching them about the impact that their lies have not only on others, but also on themselves.
Talking to kids about how their behavior impacts others is not the only way to alter their behavior, but it is very helpful with empathy and understanding their role within a larger context.
Using EQ to Determine Friendships
The social world of kids is like Lord of the Flies, bring out the pig's head! There's a lot of talk about bullying in America. It is a real issue, but we need to do a better job of empowering our children to stand up for themselves and attack the issue from both sides. We had a great conversation on a situation where my daughter saw two kids interacting on unequal terms. One child attempted to corral a group against another so that no one would play with the other child. Fortunately my daughter voiced her opinion (or at least that is what she told me). This segued into our conversation about why some people mistreat others.
There are basically 2 types of people in this world- those for us and those against us. It's important that we determine which people fit into which category. It's not always apparent from the onset. Teaching kids to observe their friends' behavior toward them and others is important. Since most behavior is consistent, we can determine if someone is a "nice person" based off of their interactions with everyone, not just us.
These few tips will help kids maneuver socially:
1. Teaching kids to respect themselves and others
2. Teaching them to stand up for what they believe in
3. Helping them to speak and act with confidence
4. Helping them understand that everyone will not be their friend (and that is ok)
The Role of Authority in Our Lives
The question of authority comes up in our home a lot. Why do we have to listen to our parents in the first place? My role as their parent is to establish an understanding of boundaries and respect. Authority is a real thing. We like to make sure that everyone knows their rights and liberties, but it is important for parents to also train their children to respect authority. I want my kids to know their rights and know when they can exercise their rights. I also want my kids to know that boundaries exist so that we can all live together safely. Authority is not always a bad thing.
Parenting Lesson On Hoarding
In this parenting lesson we talk about hoarding and finding happiness and security in things. As a kid it's fun to have a pile of "my stuff". Possessive behavior is a part of human nature and we all must fight against that in our own way. Whether it is love, toys, wealth or other tangibles, we often feel secure when we can hold onto something for security. The important lesson for kids is to understand that things cannot replace love and experience. Sharing is also an important lesson for kids. It's great to have something to call our own but there are great rewards in sharing what is "ours" with others. We try hard to make the majority of the items in our house communal, so that everyone gets to experience both sides of sharing.