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
Games Reading

Adding ABCs

The Dr. Seuss ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! is a fun tongue twister to read to Fleur.

Since she is starting to read, I wanted to help associate the letters with things more… tangible.

So, when it returned to a bedtime reading staple the other day, I included her name in the appropriate letter. She commented about it, so the next time I included her cousin. She commented about both.

Now, I as I read, I am trying to anticipate the next letter and include for her a person’s name in the appropriate letter. The reaction tells me she is engaged more than when I read it without the personal connection.

Hopefully, that game is the kind of brain game appropriate to staving off my own impending dementia? I’m multi-tasking reading and also searching for names.

Categories
Games

Game: Superwoman

DragonCon 2011 cosplay girl

Back in May, I posted Game: stuntwoman where described it as “I started off throwing her Superwoman style.” What’s funny is I don’t remember it. Until recently, it had to be:

  1. She curls up in a ball. I support her back and throw her.
  2. I hold her by the legs upside and swing her.

In both scenarios she lands on the bed.

I guess we’ve gone full circle because now she lays flat so I hold her chest and thighs for me to throw her on the bed.

  • Ball: stuntwoman
  • Legs: stuntwoman extreme
  • Flat: Superwoman

Either way, I get in a work out.

Categories
Behavioral Economics

Loss of possession is 9/10ths of the screaming 2022

The original post on this is worth quoting.

Humans have a well developed and easy to exploit sense of loss aversion. (Kahneman and Tversky) We experience far more pain when losing something than the pleasure we experience from gaining.

https://polymathparent.com/2019/05/23/loss-of-possession-is-9-10ths-of-the-screaming/

Three years ago, it was easier as we could just give Fleur another thing we agree on her having to negate the loss aversion. Today, we have many conversations a day about why she cannot have something. The most difficult are the ones resulting in her not getting something she already decided she would get.

Examples:

  • We want her to eat dinner before dessert, expecting her to fill up on the dessert.
  • There is a toy at the store she wants, but we don’t want.
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The strategy is still to give her something that she wants. For meals, we strive to make sure it is something she likes plus is nutritious and are not hard-set on eating it all. Which, of course, means quite a bit of “just two more bites” and “that was a half-bite.”

I also find myself reconsidering how strict I want to be on a specific confrontation. Sometimes, in the evaluation, I realize that her having the thing is not so bad, so I let her keep or get it. But, I encourage her to explain why she should. I hope to foster a habit of argumentation.

Not argumentation as in constant confrontation, but using logic and persuasion to get her way instead of fussing. Negotiation also works in this space. The brain is built for this, so I want to foster her using it to the fullest. (More about Dunbar.)

Her Elementary School teachers are going to despise me as a parent as

Categories
Evolution

Dunbar’s Number

I am continually fascinated with Dunbar’s Number.

In monkeys and apes, there is correlation between primate brain size and the size of their social groups, and by extrapolating this relationship we would expect humans to have a natural upper limit to the number of people in their group to about 150. This is what is known as Dunbar’s number, and turns out to be surprisingly common in human social organisation.

R.I.M. Dunbar, Dunbar’s Number, NewScientis.com, https://www.newscientist.com/definition/dunbars-number/
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Hunter-gatherer groups tended to split into smaller groups around this size. English villages tended to be about this size.

It is key to remember, though, that the family should not be counted as biology has different rules for kinship. Natural selection rewards behaviors increasing the success of one’s genes and family drive ensures one’s genes thrive.

Acquaintances are not the same as friends.

Another hack humans use: rules to get around our inability to adequately know everyone else in our society. Read my Shortcut: rules post. Though other shortcuts like labels apply.

I need to read more science on this, but my feeling about the mechanics behind this comes from argumentation. We need memories from our experiences with individuals to anticipate their behavior. We need common experiences to share stories, bond, and trust. The ability to persuade others is tied to our understanding of them, which works best when we know something about them, which works best when we know them well. Dunbar’s number was important for survival.

In the age of social media and the quest to accumulate followers, the trick is to create false friendships. There is one-sided information shared from celebrities to followers, where the followers know a curated version of a person and the person knows almost nothing about the followers. That’s another fake form of friendship.

Acquaintances, aka weak links, are also important. It is how we obtain jobs, romantic connections, and cultivate new friendships.

We should also strive for quality friendships. Shared experiences. Shared stories.

More:

Categories
Parenting

The story so far 3 year anniversary

Fleur is almost four. She is running, singing, playing, and helping. She has preferences and willing to enforce them.

Galahad is twenty years old. He loves his sister, but struggles to admit it.

Ada, my wife, works full time in financials. She tolerates my constant need to improve processes. She loves the dad jokes and dad bod.

I don’t read nearly as much. I miss it.

I hope people enjoy reading this blog.

Categories
cousins

Family Fusion

Extended families have two great strengths. The first is resilience. An extended family is one or more families in a supporting web. Your spouse and children come first, but there are also cousins, in-laws, grandparents—a complex web of relationships among, say, seven, 10, or 20 people. If a mother dies, siblings, uncles, aunts, and grandparents are there to step in. If a relationship between a father and a child ruptures, others can fill the breach. Extended families have more people to share the unexpected burdens—when a kid gets sick in the middle of the day or when an adult unexpectedly loses a job.

The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake. David Brooks @ the Atlantic

I love that Fleur gets to play with her cousin. But, I love that our families are close more. It isn’t just seeing each other on holidays.

When my brother and sister-in-law needed help a couple times in recent times, we stepped up to help them. Should we have a similar need, they would be the first we would turn to for help.

I would love that the family base were larger, but this parenting thing is rough. Having help is important.

Categories
communication

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Ada tried to call me. Fleur burst into song over our conversation. Her clarity and confidence melted my heart. Her brazen defiance of asking her to allow us to talk made me almost fall out of my office chair in laughter.

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Categories
learning

Deep conversations

I love this preschooler age.

Galahad works for a package delivery company. I drop him off at work most mornings while taking Fleur to daycare. I encourage her to help him get to work by moving faster. So, naturally, she views this drop-off as her taking him to work. And, she points out every truck with their logo.

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Today, we had a conversation about supply chain logistics. She was asking about a semi-trailer headed leaving town from the local warehouse. So I explained Galahad works for the depot taking things to people’s houses. The semis we see at the depot brought there the things he takes. Others take things from the airport to the warehouse.

THAT got her attention. Her teacher showed the class pictures of a trip, which connected her to the planes often flying over our house. The signs for the airport are commented upon every time she sees them. Ada took her to the airport a couple weeks ago to see the planes. Connecting the truck to the airport was ah-MAZE-ing.

When I recall things, I go through a series of how it is connected to other things. This scaffolding of information is the basis of how I explain things. And how I am building up understanding in my prodigy.

Categories
cousins Parenting

Imaginary sibling

Months ago, Fleur started talking about relationships. Namely she listed the labels we apply to who people are in our lives and who fit them. Galahad is her brother because they have the same parents. Her uncle is her parent’s sibling. Her cousin is her mother’s brother’s daughter. I loved this working on understanding the taxonomy for individuals.

She has an honorary sister. Abigail and Galahad grew up together. Through a twist of fate Abigail has similar skin coloring as Fleur and I, so people assume she is my kid at times.

For a while, Fleur talked about her sister Addie. Not Abigail. Not another kid at daycare. She doesn’t live with us. Still not sure when Fleur hangs out with her sister. It was super weird.

I can see why people think children tap into the paranormal with stuff like that.

The funny thing is this name is pretty popular. We keep finding kids in the periphery with it.