Parenting

Writing on the Back

One of the most popular games with my children was to write on the child’s back, and have them tell me what I wrote.

It starts really simple, like writing an “A” or an “O”. Then I’d draw some symbols like a plus sign, a box, a triangle, or even a tree.

Then more challenging was writing a word or a phrase.

This is really fun, sensing what someone is writing on your back. It could be your arm or leg, too. But we used the back.

We would reverse roles, too. And I would guess what they were writing.

Sniffing Spices

When my children were very young, we would play a game. They would smell spices, herbs, and other flavorings. The idea was not necessarily to know their names, but rather to become familiar with them directly, meeting them, letting them talk to the children.

Remarkably, many years later, I learned that this is how indigenous people would learn about healing plants – by meeting them and learning from them, rather than human experts.

The children really had definite opinions about each flavoring.

Make Believe

Many years ago, there was a day when I wanted my two young children to pick up sticks and branches in the yard.

They didn’t want to do it. They saw it as work - my work.

So I told them the branches are really lambs, and we need to bring them together over there in a pile. That worked wonders. They were very happy to bring all these stray lambs together. A little “baaaa’ing” helped too.

Failure Leads to Success

Often in life we discover that failure leads to success.

Let’s think about it. Two parents are raising two children: Joey and Johnny.

When Joey’s learning to walk, his mom is holding his hands as walks across the room to his dad. Along the path, walking across the room, Joey is secure, he can’t fall because mom’s holding him, and he feels protected. And everything he does is perfect in the eyes of his parents, because he successfully walked across the room to daddy.

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