living with children in peace, joy and freedom

Posts tagged ‘social skills’

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The wisdom of gaming

image-1I think most parents would accept that it is important for children to have time to play. In fact, many of us think that it is great for children to have lots of time to play. Things get more complicated when we start to talk about different types of play. When I was a child I spent a lot of time playing outdoors. I climbed trees, mucked around in the backyard, played games of cricket in the street with neighbours and siblings, went exploring in the bush nearby and spent hours playing with friends in the local pool. When indoors I liked to build and to make things. All of these activities were encouraged by my parents and seen as good, healthy forms of play.

Flash forward to the lives of my own two children and things look a lot different. They certainly enjoy a lot of play time. They love our backyard trampoline and the swings in the park. They enjoy going swimming and on walks with family and friends and they love to play at friend’s homes. They don’t hang out on the street like I did and they don’t wander the neighbourhood and local bushland on their own. Not because I have told them not to or even discouraged these activities. They just don’t want to. That’s not the main difference though. The main difference between their experience of play and my own is that they love to play video games. Building with Lego had a strong run for many years but video games have triumphed. Playing games on a game console or on their laptops is the first choice of play activity for both of my boys. It is what they most love to do.

I am struggling to adjust to this difference. I have come to accept my children’s passion for gaming but I have not yet been able to embrace it fully. It is not yet something that I am able to celebrate. (more…)

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I grow what I choose to give attention to

WHAT YOU RESIST WILL PERSIST

 

What you resist will persist. This has been such an important lesson for me to learn. It is so easy to resist things about our children, to not accept them as they are. How many times have I wanted to change something about my child? Somehow the problems came to dominate my thinking.

Unfortunately, focusing on what I wished would change did not seem to help. This is because you grow what you give attention to. What shows up in our lives is a direct reflection of our inner thoughts and emotions. If we devote our minds to what we don’t want we end up noticing it everywhere. We go through life collecting evidence to back up what we believe. If we believe that there is something wrong that is what we will see. We block out the evidence that supports a more positive view. We simply don’t see it.

This means that if we resist something about our children it will persist. We give it the energy of our attention and we unintentionally grow it rather than getting it to go away. Throwing all our energy into fixing something about our child may end up making it worse.

To reverse this process I practice the simple exercise of choosing to focus on the opposite of what I don’t want. I ignore the problem and collect the evidence for the other side; for what is going well and is acceptable. (more…)

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