Tuesdays 2 Think: Jana

Hey everyone, today is our second installment of Tuesdays 2 Think. This week up is Jana from TigWeb. And I have to say, I LOVE this post. LOVE. I hope you do too!

(Also, I have a couple more contributors on deck for the next couple installments of Tuesdays 2 Think… I am sticking to running it every two weeks… but I will need more. So if you are interested in sharing what you are passionate about, please send me an e-mail and I will get you set up with a date to go.)

I was all gung-ho to write a post about my involvement with the Reconciling Hearts ministry at my church (First United Methodist Church of Lawrence, KS), which is a gay rights advocacy group. I might still write that post someday (because I’m sure most people think of gay rights advocacy and mainstream Protestantism as pretty mutually exclusive), but something else has been nagging at me lately, something I think fits the qualification of something I am passionate about:

I want to change the way women talk about their bodies. In fact, I want to change the very fact that women talk about their bodies. The way we do, the frequency with which we do, the focus we put on them, etc.

Okay, boring, right? What thinking, contemporary woman doesn’t want this? You might be right, and in fact I hope you are. But I wonder whether we aren’t coming at this topic the wrong way.

First a little personal history by way of stage-dressing. I am 33 years old, and have struggled with some kind of eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, etc.) for 20 years now. Pretty much from the age my body began changing (in my mind an unwelcome insurgency) I began what would be a lifelong fixation.

Lately I have read a few of those new year’s resolution posts about getting one’s health in order, and two in particular stood out. Both Maggie (mightygirl.com) and Danielle (knottyyarn.com/blog) talked about not knowing much about food, about how it works in the body, and how learning about that (for both of them, Weight Watchers was one part of that education) has helped or is helping them get a better handle on their health. Let me say right now that I think that is great.

But: this summer, when I had been ignoring my body for a while and then suddenly woke up to the realty that I had gained 20 pounds and for some reason decided to talk about it with my husband’s family (WHY!?), my mother-in-law innocuously recommended I try Weight Watchers, something she’s used in the past with success. At the time I gave a pretty brusque, dismissive answer, but the real answer is: I don’t need a program to help me count points or measure out food in obsessive numbering systems. I have been doing that, internalizing that, for 20 years now.

My freshman year of college I spent hours on my computer (an old desktop my dad sent to school with me) typing away at a document. I had a stack of books I had taken out of the library that I used as references. What was this magnum opus? Sadly, not a term paper or even a long letter. It was a master document of food nutritional values.

I don’t know what my goal was for this document (like, did I think I would print it out and carry it around? Pull it out of my backpack in the cafeteria and calculate the calories in my deli sandwich [like I would ever eat a deli sandwich, ha, those things have so much fat]?). The final (which was still, in my mind, a work-in-progress…this was 1997 and I knew I hadn’t gotten ALL the foods yet) was 27 single-spaced pages long. I am not kidding when I say I spent hours on this document.

So the last thing I need is a program that flips that switch in my brain again, that starts me thinking about food as a measurable intake substance rather than what it is: fuel. (Again, not dissing WW, just trying to articulate why a program like that is probably not a good idea for a reforming anorexic/bulimic).

Here’s the thing that made me want to write this post. I think that kind of obsessive behavior, that finicky attention to what we eat, what women eat, is really encouraged.

Two and a half years ago, I was having a reunion with my old college roommates. We were out in San Diego, all eight of us (well, nine, as I was six months pregnant with Sam). One day, some of us were driving around looking for a parking spot, and the talk turned to weight gain since college as, I’m sure, it does. And it stayed there. I participated, because I always fall into that trap, that self-belittling, maybe compliment-trolling trap. And my friend Mindi, who is one of the most well-adjusted, least physically obsessed people I know, was pretty quiet. And then, after the conversation had gone on far too long, Mindi interjected: “Guys, can we talk about something else, please? I mean, we’re better than this.”

We’re better than this.

A while back I stumbled upon a link to a blog from a woman who had been vegan for years who eventually went back to being an omnivore after a series of health issues. I read the blog entry with interest, because I dabbled in vegetarianism in my twenties, although I was never really a real vegetarian. As you can imagine, my vegetarianism was just another attempt at controlling what went into my body. And either this blogger or one of her commenters made the point that there is an element of creepy patriarchal control evident in much of the sort of vegan/vegetarian image. What I mean is, a majority of vegans and vegetarians are woman. And a lot of the marketing or products or media created for this group is aimed at women. Well, call me a skeptic, but whenever an industry or group seems to be courting women I have questions about their intentions. This blogger (I’d link but her site is down for maintenance) began to have these questions, too, and turned to the words of Megan Mackin (http://paleosister.wordpress.com/2010/11/07/interview-with-megan-mackin/): “It begins, eventually, to look like a very effective way to co-opt a movement: take the most passionate activist-minded, girls especially, and get their focus on a way of living that drains energies and enforces conformity in others. The Big Boys still run things, but now even more freely – with out much interference.”

YES. That resonated with me, because it seemed to be a theme: take a thinking girl, a smart girl, and get her to focus not on something that could potentially change the world, but on her body? Well, you’ve just signed her up for a lifetime of Sisyphean obsession. Because our bodies will always change and surprise us and react in unexpected ways and not bounce back after that second baby and sag and age. That’s what they do.

When I was applying for graduate school, not one but two good friends, smart, educated friends who happen to be male, made a “joke” asking whether I sent in a photo with my applications.

When I tell that story to people, they usually react in one of two ways: 1. Disbelief and indignation. If you react this way, you are most likely a woman who has been thinking about these issues, about how a woman’s worth is wrapped up in her appearance. 2. Disbelief…that I could be insulted by this obvious compliment! This response comes from men and women, people who really think I should have been, should be, flattered…flattered, I guess, that these guy friends who I thought respected me as a potential academic and a buddy and a kind of fun, funny person wanted to make sure I knew that they thought I was attractive? That my physical appearance was in some way an advantage to me, one that I should use…to get into grad school?

What I think is that there’s this system in place in our society where people think: uh-oh! Woman gettin’ too big for her own britches! Let’s remind her that she’s still attached to her body and that she should be worried about that! Let’s show her a mirror!

I’ve spent two-thirds of my life engaged in this endless battle with myself. And I want to change. I want to get on my own team. Ladies. Gentlemen. Everyone: we’re better than this.

But the problem of changing something that is linguistically, systematically, fundamentally part of our culture seems so enormous and daunting, doesn’t it? So lately I’ve been thinking about this in the framework of Anne Lamott’s advice on writing: take it bird by bird. So my single-fowl approach to this is to change the way I talk about my own body, especially around my kids. Why do I eat a salad every day? Not because I’m trying to lose weight, but because salads are good for my digestive system. They’re full of vitamins, I tell Charlotte, and that will make my body strong. We sit at the table, eating our veggies and flexing. We are strong, we are invincible. We are…people. And we have better things to do than worry about how we look. Watch out, world: we’re better than this.

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It took 2 years… but its done

iphone photo's are blurry

This is the sweater I knit. Yeah, that’s right, I knit it.

The actual knitting part I finished the other week, but tonight I sewed on the last buttons.

The funny thing about it is that this sweater took me 2 whole years to knit. I started the project in January 2009. I was pregnant with Audrey and soaking up a little me time before she arrived. I wanted to do something for me. It was the first ‘complicated’ pattern I had tried.

Looking back, this sweater was made over a two year period in my life where more things changed for me then just about any other time. Pregnancy, birth, maternity leave, learning to be a Mom, going back to work, getting promoted, learning to be a work outside the home Mom… so much change. We moved over this time period. I started writing. Really, in many ways, I know myself better now then I did two years ago. All this change and challenge really showed me who I am.

There were time periods where I worked steadily on this sweater. And others where I didn’t touch it for 6 months. I would pick it up again when things slowed down or my motivation came back.

Finishing it seems somewhat symbolic for me. Like that crazy first two years of motherhood is coming to a close. Not that things are getting any less crazy any time soon (WOW toddlers are difficult to parent!), but that the immense change is slowing down.

I know, it is kinda silly to get all sentimental over a knit sweater. But you can’t always choose the things that feel symbolic to you. And this just does.

Attack of the Ginger

When I say ginger, I mean ginger. Like the root. That you use to flavour food. Not some derogatory term for red haired individuals.

Photo by Crystl via Flickr Creative Commons License

I don’t often blog about my husband. Mostly, because I figure if he wants to share his life with the world wide interwebs, then he would start a blog himself. He tweets. That’s enough for him. (Though arguably one could say since I blog about both myself and our daughter that I do share his life with the world wide interwebs… but… you know.. we won’t go there.)

Anyway, today I am breaking my ‘don’t blog about the husband’ rule to tell you about how wonderful and annoying he is, all at the same time.

So you know how I have been sick. (If not, I have been, and I am eating veggies to combat it, its going well, see here.) My husband drives me kinda nuts, in that ‘aren’t you so sweet and caring way’ when I am sick. You see, he is the ‘fix it’ type. You know those people you go to, in order to whine and commiserate and generally get your complaints out, and then come right back at you with, ‘Well, why don’t you just do this….” You know, those helpful caring people that you love and all, but you just want to smack and say “Just let me complain!” (For the record, though I consider myself a great listener, I can also fall into this fix it trap. So pot. Kettle. Yes.)

Anyway. This trait becomes particularly apparent when I am sick. My husband is CONVINCED that there is an immediate cure for any every day aliment. Usually, this cure involved some type of natural health remedy. He will resort to medicine, but he goes the natural way first. So, when I tell him I am sick, his response inevitable is “What can I get you to help you feel better?”

Now, that sounds all nice and supportive and sweet and all. And it is. Except when I say, “Nothing…..” he just waits a couple hours and asks again.

And then the nagging starts.

“Did you take your vitamins today? Did you drink enough water? Maybe you should exercise.  Is there something at work that is making you sick?” (I work at a University, so my snarky response is “yes, they are called students”)

He is bound, bent and determined to find a cure. Even if he has to nag me back to health.

I should stop to tell you that some people would probably find this behaviour endearing… and I do. Except that I have this quirky little personality trait where I don’t like people trying to help me. I mean, help me by handing me $1 000 000, sure, I’ll take that. But reminding me 100 times to take my vitamins. UGH.

I also have a horrible rebellious streak where the more someone else wants me to do something the less I am willing to do it. Even if it is something I also want to do. Yeah. I am a pain to live with.

Oh yeah! The ginger! Sorry, I got carried away there.

This weekend, as a part of the “What can I buy to cure my wife” thing, he bought raw ginger.

Now we don’t cook with raw ginger. I like ginger cookies, ginger beef and ginger ale, but that is about it when it comes to other uses of ginger… I will pass. I won’t touch candied ginger or raw ginger or that pickled ginger they put on sushi with a ten foot pole.

So he buys the raw ginger and he makes me a drink. Because, well, apparently ginger is natures magical cure. Along with the probiotics and vitamin D he is making me take. (Don’t get me wrong, I think these things work, I just hate taking pills. And I don’t want to because the husband wants me to. Rebellion.) He takes the ginger and grates it and juices it and who knows what else and combines it with a bunch of other stuff; lemon, honey, other spices.

I was forced to drink it. Forced. And I am not sure I can ever drink anything with ginger again. If it was just a mild flavour of ginger with lemon and honey.. that would be one thing. But the husband works on the ‘more is better’ principle of home made cures… so it was the strongest ginger I have ever tasted. And it was horrible.

Sweet, in that he went to all that trouble to try and cure me, but really really horrible.

I don’t think I can drink ginger ale ever again. Beware of the ginger people. And the husbands.

(Thank you to my wonderful husband who let me publish this post poking fun at him. Honey, I love you.)

Challenge to myself

So, I keep getting sick. I have been sick on and off since before Christmas. I have had two stomach bugs, the flu, strep throat, laryngitis and a lingering cold. Essentially, my immune system sucks right now. Its probably a bunch of things- a toddler bring home constant germs, stress at work, stress with life, height of flu season ect. ect.

But I was thinking today that my diet is probably not helping. You see, I find in the winter I crave a lot of warm, hearty meals. Now these meals aren’t void of veggies- we eat a lot of onions, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, mushrooms ect. But raw veggies? Pretty much not in my diet at all right now. Except the occasional avocado I put in my sushi.

I have been pretty honest about my thoughts on food. I am a big fan of fresh, healthy, home made food. We buy organic when we can and try to cook at home. We don’t eat a lot of fast food. But I am overweight and have a serious addiction to things like muffins, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream ect. I eat them more then I would like to admit. I love to bake. I need to get better. I need to be a better example for my kid (who hates all veggies currently. But you know- she’s a toddler).

So anyway, back to my challenge. In the hopes of building up some immune defense and generally trying to replace the carb and sugar high indulgences- I am giving myself a challenge this week.

I am going to eat all of this in a week:

It is probably about 4 cups of fresh veggies. Celery, broccoli, zucchini and carrots. Why those veggies? Because that’s what I had in the fridge.

We have been getting deliveries every other week from Spud for a couple weeks now. They bring us all sorts of fresh fruit and veggies. This last week I thought I had changed my order to not getting carrots or celery… because I already had carrots and I am not a big celery fan… but I hadn’t saved my changes… So. Now we have a ton of carrots and celery to eat up. So I am going to eat it.

This will not be my only veggies this week. There will still be veggies in dinner and lunch- I have some squash, zucchini, lettuce, sweet potato, onions and carrots still to cook with. These will be my additional raw veggies.

I am going to make up a Tzatziki sauce to dip them in. Yum.

Anyone want to join me on a one week raw veggie binge?

Power to the Potty

Oh yeah, I was going to write about the potty.

So, over the holidays my mother in law successfully got Audrey to use the potty a couple times. Can I just say that Grandmothers are powerful in the ways of persuasion. We have had a potty in the house for a couple months, knowing that Audrey was probably too young to start (she is 21 months) but wanting to get her used to the idea. The dayhome she goes to has a number of older kids there that are either fully or partially potty trained, so she had started asking about it. She had sat on the potty before, here and there, but never really done anything. Until Grandma suggested. And then it seemed like a brilliant idea.

And then! She realized that using the potty = happy and excited family cheering for her. Which motivated her for approximately 5 days.

You see, praise is just not what gets Audrey out of bed in the morning. I mean, she likes some good positive recognition as much as the next kid, but she doesn’t crave it. And, as we discovered, it only motivate her for so long.

Because she discovered an other way to get attention via this whole potty thing.

What is the number 1 most effective way for a kid of potty training age to get the attention of their parent? Ask to go to the potty.

We react. With lightening speed.

“You want to go to the potty? Okay, lets drop everything, including that request I just made for you to put on your shoes and run upstairs to the potty. Yeah Potty!” *Internal dialogue*”… please please please let my kid use this potty so this diaper stage might some day end

I am guess my toddler isn’t the only one who realized that she now had a very very powerful tool for parental control. She is wielding it with abandon.

Yesterday morning I spent about 15 minutes waiting for her to use the potty. About every 3 minutes she would say she was done. Close the potty. Walk to her bedroom and as soon as I ask her to come over so I can help her get dressed…. “I pee potty” and off she would run to the bathroom. She has not actually ‘used’ the potty in a good couple weeks now.. so its not like this is a productive exercise.

Power. She is sick with it.

I get, 100%, that it is a toddlers job to try and test boundaries and assert themselves. What they really want and need is to know that there are boundaries and limitations, because this structure makes them feel safe. I get that she isn’t doing this to try and drive me crazy or just to be a pain. This is her doing her job as a toddler. Testing the limits.

And it’s not just testing limits- she does want to learn about the potty. She gets that adults and older kids do it and she wants to be big. But it also takes time and practice to learn those skills of self awareness and control.

That being said, I kinda feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. I have two choices (if I have more then these two choices, please please let me know!!).

1. Let her yield the control and ‘use’ the potty as much as she would like. I mean this is an area where she does and should have 100% control. It is her body and she is the only one that can learn to use the potty. The implication is though that our time-lines or requests will also be controlled by her, as she is able to manipulate the plan by yielding the potty power.

2. Encourage her to use the potty, but also set loose time limits so she doesn’t use it to, for example, delay bedtime, getting ready in the morning, picking up her toys or anything else she doesn’t want to do. (I don’t mean delay bedtime my 3-5 minutes.. whatever. I am talking major 20 minute plus delays.) My hesitation with this is that I don’t want to have a battle with her over the potty. I want using the potty to be a good thing, a positive environment.

I don’t know. Maybe I am over thinking this. I get 100% that potty training is a long term process. I don’t expect her to be potty trained by her 2nd birthday. I know lots of people talk about “potty training” in one, two or three days. Which may work for an older toddler who has already had time to develop and practice the self awareness and control skills necessary. We, however, are just getting started and I think she needs lots more time and I am happy to support her to learn in her own time. But I also want to find a way to encourage it without her using it to manipulate. I strongly believe that despite their behaviour, toddlers crave boundaries. I’m just not sure in this case, where those boundaries should be.

Has your toddler wielded potty power? How did you balance boundaries and encouraging potty learning?

Tuesdays 2 Think: Heather

Okay all- this is very exciting! We have our first Tuesdays 2 Think submission today thanks to Heather. As I mentioned last Tuesday, I want Tuesdays 2 Think to be an opportunity for us to share something that we are really passionate about and share a bit of who we are with each other. I want to get each other thinking about stuff maybe we wouldn’t and just generally celebrate who we are. If you are up for writing a guest post exploring your greatest interest/passion/cause send me a an e-mail at amoment2think@gmail.com.

Oh oh oh! And I totally forgot to say something last week when I announced Tuesdays 2 Think! Cheryl over at PicPoetProse did up this awesome badge for me. She has recently move her blog- go over and say hello!

And now here’s Heather:

Hi A Moment 2 Think readers!  My name is Heather and I’m a Calgary Blogger When Kathleen first asked about submissions for this meme I jumped at the idea.  And then when I sat down to write my piece I revisited her blog where she spoke about the kinds of posts she was looking for.  She was looking for ‘non parenting’ material.  “Ok, I though, that’s easy, there’s lots I could write about!”

And then I sat down to write and Oh My.  Nothing came.

So I thought about it really hard.  What did I used to do before I had kids?  Who was I?

Well, I used to read books.  Lots of them.  And I had started writing one too.  I was passionate about the written word.  I participated in online writing forums and I wrote short stories.  I sent them out for publication and had a few successes with flash fiction.  I loved to write.

“Man,” I thought, “what happened?  Will I ever finish that book?  Would I ever get published?”

And then I realized that I was still a writer – I had just switched formats.  So I don’t write fiction, right now.  It doesn’t mean I never will again.  It doesn’t mean the book that’s living and breathing in my mind wont ever come to fruition.

Right now, what’s right for me is blogging.  I write about my children and I relish in the geekiness that is blogging.  I play in the html and the php and resize pixels to my hearts content.  It’s something I can do sitting in front of the tv as my husband watches ‘Dirty Jobs.’

It’s still me.

I’m thankful for this outlet and the ability to engage my brain in the few moments I have to myself each day.  As any parent knows, those moments are very scarce.  I enjoy the conversations that are started and the people who come by and share their thoughts with me.

The novel can wait.  It can wait until my children are in school and don’t need me as often.  With a three year old and a 2 month old – it’s going to be awhile until those days are among us.  But I can wait.  I won’t forget that my passion lies in writing because as a blogger…I’m still doing it.

Happy Blogoversary to Me!

Photo by Eva Blue via Flickr Creative Commons License

I’m going to have a cupcake!

(Go ahead, have one too!)

Thanks everyone for making this a great first year of blogging for me!

My Weekly Work Out

So, every since New Years, I have been beating myself up about not exercising. Cause, well, I don’t. And I should. Blah blah blah.

And then last night I got home, after a trip to the grocery store and realized something.

This. This is my weekly work out. (I know, your suppose to work out more then once a week, but trust me, it’s a start).

Think about it.

Warm up/ mental preparation. Check.

 

Photo by Bruce Turner via Flickr Creative Commons License

Obstacle Course. Check.

Photo by SMN via Flickr Creative Commons Liscense

Strategy. Check.

Photo by Stephen Cummings via Flickr Creative Commons

Speed Test. Check.

Photo by katerha via Flickr Creative Commons License

Weight Lifting. Check.

Endurance. Check.

See! It’s practically a sport. And a rather challenging one at that. Although, unlike other sports, it is not particularly fun. But I rarely find exercising ‘fun’.

Anyway, just thought I would share my random thoughts with you. Happy Friday.

Tuesdays 2 Think

So I have been thing about starting a bit of a blog meme, and inviting you all to share your thoughts via a guest post. You don’t have to have your own blog in order to be a guest blogger, everyone is welcome to participate.

Here is what I am thinking. I would love to hear what you are all passionate about, care about and think about outside of parenting stuff. Things that you are involved in in your community, things you like to learn about, things you debate about, things you think about, things that get you excited and spark your passion for life, things you consider yourself an expert or advocate or hobbiest in.

Yeah, its pretty open. Mostly I want to hear about you. You outside of the parenting you. Because, lets be honest, I think most of us feel that the ‘you outside of the parenting you’ gets a bit lost and muddled, at least when we have young kids. But it is there. And it is alive. And I think we should celebrate it.

So, depending on how many submissions I get, every other Tuesday I will feature a new Tuesday’s 2 Think. What do you think?

(Now I am waiting nervously to see if anyone is in….)

(Oh, and I guess I should tell you how to sign up! Just e-mail me and I will let you know which Tuesday you have and then write your post and e-mail it to me. That’s it! )

How we talk to kids matters

I was listening to Cross Country Check up yesterday. It’s a Canadian Radio show on CBC, hosted by Rex Murphy. People call in and discuss current issues on air. This weeks show was about a new publication of Huckleberry Finn with some of the words and content changed to remove language and content deemed to be offensive given the modern context. A girl called in, 10 years old, who has read the book and wanted to share her opinion that the book should be left as is.

What struck me though was how different Rex Murphy spoke to this 10 year old then how he spoke to his other guests. It bothered me. It even offended me. I had to turn it off.

I believe he was just trying to engage with her with the best of intentions, but the tone came off condescending. He acted surprised (fake surprised) when she said she had read the book. He asked her whether her parents thought it was a good book. Really, it wasn’t so much what he said, but the way he said it. It sounded just patronizing.

Sometimes the way people talk to children bothers me. It’s not really any of my business. I really believe that most of the times when I am offended, it really isn’t intentionally condescending, it just feels that way to me. But it still bothers me and has gotten me thinking about that way I think we should talk to children. In my opinion, anyway.  And as a personal confession, I am sure I talked at times in ways that, if I had recorded and played back, would have bothered me to hear myself. I think sometimes it is hearing it in others conversations that we start to hear how odd and kinda wrong it sounds.

It is not so much about the content of the conversation. There is certainly something to be said for age appropriate content to a conversation. Obviously explaining war, disease and famine to a two year old is not appropriate. There is certainly a discussion to be had around age appropriate content in conversation. But this post is more about tone of conversation then the content.

Here is how I think we ‘should’ talk with kids”:

I think we should genuinely engage in rather then ‘humor’ kids with the conversation. Kids can spot falseness 20 miles away. They may not be able to put their finger on it or explain what it is they are hearing, but I suspect they feel that they are being humored. I think when we speak to children we need to be genuinely interested in what they have to say and really hear them out. Ask real questions. Genuine questions that will help you understand what they are saying and trying to share with you.

We should listen more then we praise. A lot of times when I see non-parental figures talking with kids, I see them pay them a compliment. “Wow, aren’t you just a polite little boy/girl”. Which is well intentioned. But I think it does more to show a child they are valued by really listening to them, then by paying them an empty compliment. Engaging them in a really discussion on a topic they find interesting does far more to help them know they have something of worth to say. I believe kids thoughts, opinions and beliefs are often brushed off or pushed aside. They want to be heard. So listening can mean more to them then a compliment.

We should have real reactions. I know with really little kids we (at least in many people I have witnessed, including myself) have a tendency to want to exaggerate emotions like excitement. I clap and cheer like a crazy person when my daughter uses the potty. I suspect we do that to help them learn about emotions and their meaning. But I think sometimes we can, especially with older kids, take that a bit too far. Again, kids sense a fake tone of voice. When we feign surprise to try and make them feel they have done something special I suspect the child knows its not genuine.

I really think we need to value a child’s unique perspective. They are not just a younger adult with less knowledge. They see the world often quite differently then we do. I think there is really value in trying to connect with that and really hear what they have to say. There is an assumption out there that we can’t learn from children- we know more. I believe that assumption is wrong. I think if we approach the conversation with a child really recognizing that we can learn something from them, it goes a long way to demonstrate respect for them.

And lastly, I think we need to still remember that we are the adult. What I mean by that, is obviously, if we hear a child saying something unkind about someone or saying something inappropriate, we still have the responsibility to respectfully correct them. Having respect and having a genuine conversation, doesn’t mean we don’t still have an obligation to support our children to learn good values and good behaviour.

I believe talking with true respect to children is important. I think it fosters children who know they have something worthwhile to say and offer. It allows us, as adults, to hear and learn what they are experiencing and about their unique perspective.

So please Rex, no more of the ‘patting on the head’ conversations, okay?

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