Posts tagged children
Just say ok

From the moment you wake up, you are making decisions.  Thousands of microdecisions are made everyday.  You are either taking action on a decision or processing whether or not to act.  There are likely several decisions ping-ponging around your brain at any given time.  It is exhausting.  

Every person has a process of sending a decision through several internal filters or a personal algorithm.  Those filters include your values, your desire for control and your intuition to protect yourself.

Our decision-making systems can be on overload because companies build their business to give you lots of choices.   To prove this, go into a Starbucks and listen to 10 people place an order.  Or walk down the cereal aisle at the grocery store. 

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I don't know everything

I don’t know everything.  GASP!  And a hush settles over the crowd. 

Ok, it didn’t quite happen this way.  I did say “I don’t know everything” out loud this morning, but there was no crowd.  It was me, my husband and my 8-year old in our house.   It wasn’t a hush, rather there was no response to my statement, i.e. silence.

Today was the first time I said “I don’t know everything” out loud.  Lately, I’ve been seeking out ways to shortcut conversations with my son when he starts nitpicking at my behavior.  This morning his statement started with “mom, you said . . .”. 

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Happy mom voice

Scrapbooking is one of my hobbies.  I love looking at a still moment in time. Photographs are of happy occasions and happy people. 

Facebook has an app called “On This Day” (OTD).  It shows pictures and videos of that calendar day last year and every year on that day since I joined Facebook.  To me, it is like an automatic scrapbook of my life. 

I rarely post videos to Facebook so when they show up in OTD, I watch and re-watch them. Recently, I was watching a video of my son at two- years old (he is now 8).  He was singing the theme song from Thomas the Train.  As I write this, I can still picture him working hard to say “Edward”.  In acapella fashion, I sang the main part and he sung the names of the train at the appropriate time.

As the video played, I hardly recognized myself.  Who was this person with the happy, easy-going voice?  She sounds really happy.  I don’t sound like that anymore. 

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Hope Woodchildren, dogs, happiness
Say what you want

As I close in on the fourth decade of my life, I am tuned-in to generational differences.  My 7-year uses slang I don't understand.  Few of my GenY friends use SnapChat.  My millennial niece has to explain words like "ships".

As a parent, I am acutely aware that I am the greatest influence on how my child choses to behave.  I've heard that millennials have less capacity for resilience than generations before them.  Primarily because, as they grew up, their parents protected them from disappointment.  I can relate.  (1) I don't want to see my child sad and hurting; and (2) I don't like conflict.

I pick up my son from after school care.  It closes at 5:45 and he never wants to leave when I show up.  He sees me walk in the door and it is autopilot "grumpy face and whine".  He doesn't want to leave, regardless of the time.  

I have explained to him that it makes me sad when he reacts to me with those emotions.   His reaction also makes my stress level spike and my body goes to flight or fight mode.  I get anxious writing about it.

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Being a peaceful person

This week my e-mails have been like no other week.  I try to follow my own rule and avoid sending out content in an e-mail that will trigger an emotional response.  I make a phone call instead or ask to schedule a meeting to talk in person if I need to cover multiple issues.  When I get an emotionally-charged e-mail, my rule is the same.  Call them to answer their questions or ask to schedule a meeting to review their questions or concerns.

I still catch myself wanting (sometimes desperately) to respond to the emotional e-mail because I can respond to the problem quicker, on my own time, have time to craft the "perfect" response and avoid an uncomfortable conversation.  Even so, sometimes I am wrong on what is and what is not an emotional-trigger e-mail; something that, to me, seemed like a status update or a discussion of procedure.  Twice this week, I was wrong.

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