Life Lessons

Here are some of the home truths I try to teach my kids — and that they (and the universe) try to teach me. If I don’t jot them down, I’ll lose them.

The more important it is, the more important it is to stay calm.  Panicking won’t help us locate the MIA violin book.

The hard part isn’t shooting your first basket. The hard part is not shooting your first basket 587 times. Our version of Thomas Edison’s famous quote about the lightbulb — “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” PS – that first basket was well worth the wait.

If you play about when you should be working, you’ll have to work when you should be playing.  What the kids don’t know is that I find this one as difficult to put into practice as they do.

Slow down to speed up! A reminder to myself, as much as to the kids.

When you start behaving like a member of the family, you can have your family back. My stock response to my daughter’s histrionic cries for her brother when she is consigned to the alcove for an overdue time out.

When you only have a little time, you need a lot of focus. The mantra I repeat when I start my work day — the 8 hours until school pickup can disappear pretty quickly!

When you work hard at what you love, sometimes, you can sidestep what you don’t. A.k.a. Mum convinces school to excuse kiddo from the Year 6 play — one line/endless rehearsals — because it interfered with his fencing training for the national championships. The drama teacher agreed wholeheartedly that his time would be better spent on the piste.

A taxonomy of problems.  My 5 y.o. tends to get a little hysterical when she encounters obstacles to her desires.  I’m trying to help her be a bit more analytical about her distress:

“Is it a big problem, or a little problem that feels big?”

“Is it a problem that is solvable?”

“Is it a solve-it-myself problem or an ask-for-help-er?”

It’s satisfying to see her begin to wrap her brain around the questions.


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