Categories
Child Development Parenting

Social development

I love watching Fleur work through challenging behavior with others. It reminds me how much more I need to work on myself.

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  • Spending time with her older cousins, she doesn’t accept their unfair behavior.
  • She used to just cry. A year ago, she would tell me “no, sir!” Or sometimes just cry. Now often she has the vocabulary to tell me after getting over the crying. We have work to do getting to the point of expressing the need instead of crying. Baby steps.
  • There is also this sense of not wanting to disappoint us. So, when she does something wrong, she experiments with deceptions. Some of my favorites:
    • The stuffie did it.
    • The stuffie told me to do it.
    • It was her cousin.

There is also the good:

  • Organizing play dates. When Fleur and Lyra (the best friend from the Friendship post) get picked up at the same time, they emerge from the building, they tell both parents their plan. It might be dinner or the park.
Categories
Psychology

Societal pressure for extraversion

This paper struck me as interesting. I saw it from Adam Grant on social media. But, it got me thinking.

Our results suggest that mothers preferred extraversion over intelligence and conscientiousness, despite their strong, empirically demonstrated predictive validity for important life outcomes.

Rachel M. Latham, Sophie von Stumm, Mothers want extraversion over conscientiousness or intelligence for their children, Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 119, 2017, Pages 262-265, ISSN 0191-8869. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886917304865

I, personally, test as a strong introvert. Like, over 90% on every test since the 80s.

At the same time, I am well aware society values extraversion. For 30 years, I have mostly faked not being an introvert. It is hard. It takes a toll. Often enough, the faking it makes me exhausted.

This started before I knew research…

  • Extraverts are more popular.
  • Extraverts get better jobs and promotions.

No matter how high my intelligence and consciousness, extraversion allows others to discover it. So. It should be ranked higher.

Categories
Problem Solving

Coral pants

Apparently I am that point of being a girl dad where Ads asks about the pink pants. Fleur is mystified. I am mystified.

Then I notice the coral pants and, “you mean these?”

Categories
Parenting Problem Solving

Illusion of choice

Human nature wants to feel in control. Lack of control creates stress and anxiety. Letting go of control is hard. Especially when you are three years old.

So we create acceptable choices and let Fleur make them. It seems to make it easier. It reduces the resistance as she gets a say, which is what she mainly wants. The options are acceptable, so we get what we want.

As she obtains more experience, I am sure crafting the options will get harder. She occasionally wants things we are not wanting her to have and redirect to acceptable things. She will get better at coming back to them. Or fighting harder for them.

I think of it like Ego Depletion. When you are 3, you have very little willpower. In fact, I am impressed at the moments where willpower manifests. They very much are easy to observe during well rested mornings after breakfast. Lacking those, the frameworks I deploy make it easier to run through the tasks to get out the door. Less pushback. Less frustration.

Categories
happiness Parenting

Stop to smell the roses

In the summer, before she would get in the car, Fleur had to walk over to the roses and smell them. Usually it meant me lowering one down to where she could.

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It became part of her morning ritual. So, now that the roses are gone, we have shifted into denial for the past month or so. She hasn’t forgotten, but she doesn’t ask every morning anymore.

I need to plant some fall blooming flowers for her, I guess. Though, it would just shift the problem to winter.

Categories
Child Development

Raising confident kids

Found this “What’s the Key to Raising Confident Kids? Here’s What the Majority of Parents Say…” article interesting.

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  • “54% inspire confidence in their kids by allowing them to do things themselves”… CHECK… It takes longer, but I like Fleur doing it herself and getting the practice, chance to problem solve, and muscle memory. As she develops the skill, the muscle memory takes over and there is more consistency and less issues. Of course, she demands doing more things herself. The challenge is the balance between taking the time and being on time. (Well, the challenge is abandoning MY need to be on time all the time.)
  • “78% of parents make an effort to celebrate all those little ‘firsts.'” … CHECK… We celebrated many firsts and continue to cheer when she does inconsistent things we want her to do. Right now, that is potty training. When she does it, we celebrate it. The beaming smile she has when we do, suggests to me it is effective as a positive reinforcement, so I think it works in her case. If she didn’t react this way, then I would find something else.
  • “79% of those surveyed said they encourage their child to think critically and use logic on a daily basis.”… CHECK… Probably jumping the gun on this, but I am already asking questions about how something is similar or different to others to think about categorizations. Last night, we cooked pasta and I cut and scooped a spaghetti squash. Fleur mentioned it, so I asked her what have we recently scooped that looks similar. I answered the Halloween pumpkin and asked why they might have similar seeds and insides: because they are both kinds of winter squash.

Categories
Parenting Problem Solving

Help is a four letter word

I do it myself!

Fleur, just now and all the time

I am torn about this stage.

I love that she wants to develop these skills.

  • She perseveres.
  • She makes small tweaks to form to find the one that works if it doesn’t initially work.
  • She learns from the past mistakes.
  • She develops a preference.
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My hope is experiences like this will help her pass the marshmallow test.

I dislike having to wait. I am not good at padding the timeline to include how long it could take her. I hope to get better about accommodating this.

Thankfully, when I offer to help, she rebuffs me. This tends to be a bit more intense than my preference, but I respect that she wants to do it. Also, if we try to intervene by putting on her socks or shoes without permission, then she will get upset and remove it and get even more determined to do it herself.

Categories
Parenting Problem Solving

Top shelf

As Fleur gets both taller and better at climbing, things seem to migrate to higher places on the shelves. This of course, makes them top heavy. Obey gravity: It’s the law!

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The wife and I are not in total mutual understanding of what should be up there. For instance, I put the coffee creamer with fake sugars up there. The normal creamer I didn’t as there wasn’t room in the spot, so all five containers were opened as she didn’t find them in the lower spot.

Really, that just encourages her to try to climb to get things put out of reach. Better, is for things to disappear. Out of sight, out of mind, out of screaming at not being allowed to have it.

The same trick works with toys. Things she has not played with can disappear. When they reappear, they are new and fresh and must be constantly played with.

Categories
happiness

Flow

Flow happens when you do something that completely captures your attention. A lot of people would call this “being in the zone,” in other words: full absorption in something and complete happiness while you’re doing it.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

For me, this has always occurred while writing / editing, playing video games, or solving a computer problem. I also find it while driving, which is why I always enjoyed going places far away. A crutch I use is familiar music to drown out sounds that might distract me.

But, yeah, achieving the happiness of being in Flow is as worthy as the product that might be produced. I can say that I work in IT in part because I enjoy the feeling of being in Flow and having some skill in the work allows me opportunities for doing work that gets me there.

Working from the office has numerous distractions from flow because of emails, instant messages, people stopping by, phone calls. They all interrupt flow and it takes around 15 minutes to get back into it. People try to be respectful of others.

Working from home is worse:

Flow, unfortunately, is rare in family life. The father of flow research, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, told me so point-blank when I wrote my book. (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood) When kids are small, their developing brains actually conspire against flow, because they’re wired to sweep in as much stimuli as possible, rather than to focus; even when they’re older, they’re still churning windmills of need.

Camp Is Canceled. Three More Months of Family Time. Help. Jennifer Senior. NY Times

The toddler needs what she needs RIGHT NOW! Some times it is funny. Like, there is an obsession with trucks, especially the garbage trucks. (One comes through the neighborhood every week day. She comes flying to a window to see it stop or pass by.) Other times she is just cranky and infecting the rest of us with it.

Categories
Problem Solving

Shortcuts (Repost)

These are reposts of a series I did years ago on mental shortcuts.

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We humans laud our superiority over the rest of the world. We even claim to be better than other humans. The chief attribute we compare is intelligence.

An interest of mine regarding Psychology in college was failures of the mind. Phineas Gage suffered a brain injury that drastically changed his behavior. That was really cool! Yet, that and other cases are relatively rare. More universally, the brain works much more nuanced than most people give credit. I think much of the problems of society tie back to how the brain works and maybe even societal attempts at glossing over the limitations.

Rather than one really long post, I am going to break these up into several. And much of this has been bumping around in my head for months, but I took a few hours to lay it all down.

  1. Illusions
  2. Labeling
  3. Math
  4. Multitasking
  5. Rules

For going on a decade, I have called these Cheating. Rather than taking in all the information, completely processing it, and strategically acting upon it, our brains selectively attend to a small portion, throws out even more, and acts upon incomplete information. Most of the time it works. Much of the time it doesn’t and we have no idea so we just think it works. Every once in a while we get burned by our brains not following the rules we expect them to follow. So to make this more palatable, I am going to try calling these Shortcuts.