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Life and thinking.

Top 2 Tips as a new husband

  1. Invest into your marriage with energy and time.
  2. Pick up your clothes, take out the trash, do your chores.

Invest into it early and invest big. Got an opportunity to go out on a date even though you also have the option of doing extra hours at work? Go out on the date. Opportunity to buy flowers or a new car? Get the flowers! Don’t settle for materialistic unsatisfying stuff. Invest in the real stuff.
Chance to sleep in and not go anywhere that morning? Sleep in! And then make breakfast or go out for a breakfast date!

Now you’re married. Love her by serving her. Set the standard for yourself. Expect greater from yourself. She is worth it.

 

We argue…a lot.

My wife and I don’t always get along. In fact, we often upset the other person or we feel upset because of things said.

So we don’t per se argue. We don’t scream at each other. I’m not that kind of person.

We do upset each other and make each other feel bad. We don’t intend to and we hate it that we do. Except I think that this is a pretty common experience of marriages. I’m making a general blanket statement of all marriages based on one example. Mine.

We apologise. We forgive. There is more though.

We do need time to cool down.

We also need to debrief. Debriefing in the moment works sometimes except sometimes the solution is not possible because of our emotions. Emotions don’t just get solved.

So how do I finish an upsetting conversation?

Reassure my wife I love her. Kiss or hug or shoulder massage or wash the dishes. Then chill, take steps back and allow the situation to cool over.

Come back and talk without accusation. Don’t dig up old hurts but talk with a listening ear. Talk like people who have already forgiven.

 

Venture into the Marriage

So being married is awesome….I heard.

What I know is this. It is hard work. It does not always feel awesome. It is definitely worth it.

Not enough people give you a fair picture of what married life is like. You either get one extreme: it is a decision blinded by love OR it is all roses.

Two people coming together for extended hours I may liken to water and wind. It has intense power for good or bad but it is also just a vastness of everything in between.

Tempting, Training and Trusting

I’ve found that the greatest gift anyone can give a person is trust.

Mostly trust is earnt. Sometimes it can be broken. Special times, trust can be given out of grace and then be rewarded by living up to that trust.

So there is a time for trusting, a time for training and never a time for tempting.

Let me illustrate. If you leave a wallet full of hundred dollar bills on a table in front of a stranger, that is tempting. If you are leaving your wallet with a friend while you go to the bathroom, that is trusting. At what point does the marker move from tempting into trusting? At what point does training a person to trust translate into actually being able to trust that person?

I’ve trusted troubled kids to do the right thing and they have often rewarded my trust by being the child I trusted them to be. Other times, I have misplaced my trust and seen it thrown in the dirt and trampled on. What have I learnt? When is it right to trust and when is it proper to train?

I wish I knew.

From what I have gathered these are my musings on the topic. You should always trust, your opposite behaviour should not be classified as distrust but rather as tempting. The balance is not when to trust, but rather are you trusting them by asking the kids to not wake the baby while you hang the clothes or are you tempting them by giving them a new drum kit on their birthday and asking them not to play it until the week after?

How do you build trust so that when you tell them ‘You can paint as long as they don’t make a mess’, or ‘You can hang out with your friends as long as you get your homework done afterwards when you come home’, they actually do it?

Be proud of them every time they have proven to be trustworthy. Verbalise this! ‘I left you to do that all by yourself, and you did well.’ ‘I’m proud of you for…’

Keep trusting them! Don’t be played the fool when they are lying to you or have no conviction behind what they promise to do but you need to keep trusting them.

 

TV. Best invention ever.

It is exciting in some sense, allows the mind to relax, doesn’t require any effort. I like TV.

How can you make the most of TV?

Watch a movie. Movies are narrative, they involve characters, interesting scenarios and humour. Although I remember watching the Goonies when I was young and for the rest of my life until the age of 25, I thought it was a horror movie and it conjured some quite unfriendly childhood memories of watching a horror movie. I only realised it wasn’t a horror when I watched it as a 25 year old and realising the comedy I was watching was the same movie. Be very mindful of what may appear like a comedy movie to you may end up being a horror movie for your child. You don’t want your child to get used to horror or extreme anger(it’s called desensitising).

Pure comedy shows seldom teach anything meaningful or significant. Pure action movies seldom teach anything real.

Watch something that includes some comedy or action but make sure it isn’t just full or slap stick humour (people falling down stairs) and not just about defeating the big bag villain trying to control the world. Watch a movie that focuses on some part of a family relationship or school or fantastical adventure.

Extreme situation but coming back from holidays I heard that a significant amount of children in year 5 and 6 had watched the movie Ted. Rated MA for adult themes and crude humour. It has a teddy bear as the main character. That confuses the heck out of kids. Its cute. It dances. It makes jokes about doing things in an adult way. Don’t even give them movies that are aimed at teenagers. It isn’t helpful, they haven’t yet learnt how to filter and understand the implied themes.

Other times. TV is just a vampire of your mind and time. Game shows are good for family time. Not good for individual watching time. Same as Funniest Home Videos and Simpsons. Great as a family but absolute mind numbing madness for the individual. There is nothing to be learnt from those shows. As a family, it makes for a great shared experience and commenting on the funny moments but I think the TV can be similar to a leech that drains all the energy out of your brain.

Teaching Rant

This is a popular radio host responding to a call in by a teacher.

http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=10630

No respect for what teachers do. 12 weeks holiday makes the public a sore loser because they get 4. Sure, send your kids to school 48 weeks of the year. I may as well adopt them.
When was the last time you had to teach kids something? Now try do that for 5 hours. With 30 kids. Of different abilities. Of different personalities. While you organise the next excursion, assembly, sports training, dance rehearsal, art exhibition, speech competition, book week, parent interviews and oh yeah, write 180 specific paragraphs during reporting season.

Then reflect on how you could have done it better. And do it again.
Yeh. we get 12 weeks holiday.

Chores.

Kids in class love receiving jobs. They are all putting up their hand to be able to be given the job of sweeping the table or handing books out or taking the recycling bin all the way down to the large bin.

I also have a time each day when everything takes part in cleaning up any lint,scraps, rubbish off the floor. I say, ’20 seconds and go!’

Kids like being responsible. They enjoy being trusted to do something. One of the boys in my class who started off the year disengaged with everything was empowered to behave in class and give things a go when I trusted him with a simple thing like being the line leader to walk the class back to the room while I supervised from the back of the line.

So should your child be given chores? YES! As much as possible too!

And don’t reward them for it. The chore is the reward!

Wipe the table before dinner. Vacuum the floor. Fold the clothes. Feed the dog. Collect the mail. Pick the fruit off the tree. Walk the dog. Fill up the dog’s water. Put the toys back in the box.

I loved mowing the lawn and still do. There was a time when my parents offered me money to do it. I think for a brief time after that, I started to not like mowing the lawn so much. In all honesty the real reason why I didn’t want to mow the lawn was because I wanted to play games or catch up on work. Anyway, paying me didn’t make me want to mow the lawn. I wanted to do it before the concept of being paid.

I have grown up with the habit of not washing dishes. Now I hate the idea of it. Except whenever I do get to it, I’m not grumbling as I wash them. I don’t admit it, but I actually enjoy being productive with my time by doing something that does not require me to think.

So what chores did you grow up doing? How do your kids respond to chores?

The only manner you need to know.

How do you remember all the common etiquette of fine dining, greeting someone who is older, when to ask instead of reaching by yourself? It is simply too much, especially if you’re like me and didn’t grow up with parents who taught them or enforced them. Honestly, I don’t see the point of a lot of it other than make you look awkward if you don’t know the correct response or tradition. ‘

What are manners for? They are supposed to communicate respect for the other person.

Benefits of teaching your kids this one rule? They remember to respect people. They don’t look rude in new situations. They learn self control.

What is the main rule for manners? Exercise self control.

I’ve seen kids barge in front of complete strangers just so they can get a better look at the lizard behind the glass. I’ve seen kids blurt out the rudest things like, ‘why do you look funny?’ simply because it was a question they had on their mind. Kids have rushed from activity to activity without please and thank you simply because they can’t wait to get to be with their friends or they are afraid of not being first in line.

Exercise self control. That is all they need to remember. Teach them to wait. Patience.

It communicates that the other person is just as important as anyone else. That their time is just as important as yours. Others’ needs are equally important.

At dinner. Your child can wait for an adult to begin to eat or announce ‘let’s eat’ before they start.

In conversation. Wait until someone has finished talking before interrupting.

What do manners mean to you? What rude habits have you noticed in children that you would like to be rid of?

Places to go ====>

Just pick one and make it your goal to take the family there!

  • bushwalks
  • mountains
  • rivers
  • beaches
  • city
  • basketball court
  • soccer field
  • fishing
  • playgrounds
  • around the neighbourhood
  • interstate as a family
  • overseas as a family
  • family picnics during roadtrips
  • roadtrips to a town that is 4 hours drive away
  • snow

If you have any specifics or stories of your trips or other places then please share! Post below!

My child swears at me…!

I’ve seen children swear at their parents and the parents get frustrated and it just spirals downhill. I don’t have a kid that swears at me so I can’t say exactly why they do or the best way to respond. As a teacher, if a child ever swore at me, I’m not sure how I’d react. I’ve had a child swear about me in writing in which I dealt with and the child doesn’t do it anymore and will actually joke with me on occasion.

If your child is swearing at you, you may have taught them that swearing is okay by doing it regularly yourself. You may have taught them to disrespect you by being regularly angry or rude to your own family.

If it wasn’t you, then your child may be spending too much time with the wrong people.

Doesn’t matter about how you respond at this point. You need to change your own behaviour first otherwise anything you say is out of a hypocrite’s mouth and your child will just dismiss it like a fly buzzing around their head.

If you want to change some negative behaviours in yourself, I suggest putting in a consequence for yourself. Every time you swear, put a dollar in the swear jar. Every time you say something bad to your family, explain that you are sorry and you’re aiming to change that behaviour.

‘You’re a joke Bob…’ pause and think. ‘Sorry Bob, I am trying to get rid of that habit in me of being rude, I shouldn’t have said that.’

Making your intentions clear will allow the other person to see that you’re not perfect but you’re trying.