Archive for ‘Bonding’

March 9, 2012

You never know…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

Choices

I was in the park today (03-09-2012) with Logan and I began speaking to a fellow parent. I will not use her name since I do not have permission.

It turned out she is also a same-sex parent of a cute little girl. We began talking and had a lot in common. What I wanted to write about today was things I guess I take for granted were actually of interest to her.

1st – Patience is a virtue. We forget that our little loved ones are just children. We expect them to know and understand at our level. We talked about how can we really, logically, be angry and upset with our child who is so young because they spill their milk, or break a dish or glass. They have no reference, they are learning — should we have not put a cover on the cup, or used a plastic plate. So they spill something – use it as an opportunity to learn, not to admonish! It is hard, but not impossible.

2nd – Understanding consequences. In reference to #1 above and to #2 below “hind sight is 20-20”. I have a client with children in college and were were talking about what our children do and what in the world they must be thinking when they do it. We came to the conclusion, “they are not thinking”. It turns out that our children really do not know what they are thinking and what will happen by what they do. There are studies that show that children under 16 (if not 18) do not have then mental capacity to understand the long term consequences of their actions.

3rd – Discipline of actions (a chance for empathy). I had relayed to her that Logan was very strong for his age and had even bitten a playmate soon after his first day at his daycare. I said we had tried the old ways of saying things like; “Logan, what were you thinking?”, “Logan, why would you do such a thing?”, “Logan, you are a bad boy for doing this!” and then took a different approach. We tried the “empathy” approach. By this I mean we said; “Logan, look your friend is crying.”, “Logan, how do you think your friend feels?”, “Logan, is this the right way to treat your friends?”. Well, the change was amazing. Logan has always showed an early understanding of empathy and he quickly understood what we were saying and changed his behavior accordingly. Now when (if) he does something to hurt someone else we talk to him in terms of the hurt person’s feeling and he understands what he has done wrong.

4th – I am sure there were other things we talked about, but it’s late and I just don’t remember what.

I am not trying to say I have insight to being a great parent. I can only say I am trying very hard to be a better (modern) parent. I am trying not to fall into that same patterns our parents and their parents were taught. I am trying to pause, step back and think about how my actions in the next few minutes can forever change Logan’s future.

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February 20, 2012

Kool-Aid Play-dough on President’s Day

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

What do you do with your 4 year old on a “bank\school” holiday? What any sane parent does, invite a friend over who has three year old twins of course.

Our hopes for a warm, sunny clear day were not to be realized as the morning fog burned off. Instead, we got an cool, overcast day reaching a high of about 55F. After all the high pitched screams and giggles finished from the boys seeing each other we got the boys settled and playing with each other.

Milo Helping Making Pay-dough

Milo Helping Make Play-dough

Michelle and I began working on making a great play-dough receipe she knew of and her son Milo came and helped us.

Kool-Aid Play-dough
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c salt
2 pkgs kool-aid (1/4 oz size)
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 c boiling water
3 tbsp oil

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water.
Stir until thickened.
Let cool and then knead to consistency of play-doh.
Add additional flour if too sticky.

It will last weeks if kept in an air tight container. This is non-toxic if eaten. Mixing it with Kool-Aid gives the dough surprising scents: lemon, cherry, lime, orange. Additional food coloring can be added if color is not bright enough.

Rolling the pasta out

Rolling the pasta out

Liam and Logan rolling all the colors together

Liam and Logan rolling all the colors together

The boys just loved it. They really enjoyed rolling the play-dough out with the pasta roller. As you can see they rolled all the colors together. We ended up with a lot of off-beige colored dough.

After a few hours of this we watched a little of Toy Story 2 and 3.

Then Papa brought the boys outside and they played in the back yard. He made giant paper airplanes. They were a hit.

After a 6 hours play-date our guest left. Everyone was happy and exhausted.

It’s 5:30pm and Logan has had his bath, got into his PJs and had his evening milk. He fell asleep while I was talking to him. He did not even get to play a little of his favorite video game with Papa. Zzzzzzz.

It’s 8:30 and Logan just woke up. His first words to us were “Papa, can we play pirates?” Which is what he calls his PS3 game he loves. He is diffidently his father’s (Jose Fidel) son.

Unfortunately for Logan we had begun watching The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and wanted to finish it.

Video gaming

Video gaming

Update it’s 9:15pm and they are playing. I am going to bed. I have to be up at 5:30am to start my day.

February 6, 2012

Every Monday and Wednesday…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Tree Trimming
Tree Trimming

Every Monday and Wednesday I bring Logan to speech therapy at 10:30am. It is only one block away from his daycare, so when the weather is nice we walk. We really have a good time. There are so many different things to see along the way every time.

Today the local utility company was trimming trees that were interfering with the telephone and power lines. Logan was fascinated by the man hanging by ropes in the tree with a big chainsaw. It was a little difficult to explain what they were doing but eventually he said “I understand Daddy.”, turned around and continued walking down the sidewalk towards speech class. I think it is fascinating to see Logan developing more and more each day. Not long ago all conversations were ones-sided.

I am so looking forward to when Logan truly has free and fluid conversation abilities. I want to take him  fishing, ice skating and other father-son activities. I want to tell him jokes and have him laugh at his old man’s sense of humor (or more likely hate it).

February 4, 2012

Pasta a la Papa…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

My boys slept late today, 9am,  after 6+  hours of video gaming yesterday — they were worn out.

After a leisurely breakfast and 3 mugs of dark, rich, sweet, piping hot coffee I decided to take Logan to the park so Jose Fidel could have a little “quiet time”. He caught Logan’s cold\flu from last week and has been miserable all this week while Logan has recovered. I, knock on wood, have not succumbed to the cold d’ jour  — yet!

It has been a beautiful Northern California winter afternoon, 63F – sunny – blue skies. Franklin Park was packed and the shrieks of children’s laughter filled the air only interrupted by that gut wrenching cry coming from a child who just had their toy taken by another or a shoe in the face coming down the slide too many at a time. Parents love (ignore) it all and the childless singles and couples at the park all look around as if they really care. It’s more like they just want to see which is the “bad” parent at the moment. Not long ago we were this type of couple.

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February 3, 2012

PS3 Mania…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Disney Universe

Disney Universe

Logan has just discovered the imaginary world of video games with his father. Jose Fidel spent the entire day playing “Disney Universe“. with him. Now, as a parent , I am expected to be upset that my 4 yr. old son has spent all day inside on a beautiful day playing video ages, but I am not.

The reason I am not concerned?

  1. He is only 4 yrs old.
  2. He gained a lot of experience learning about team work, understanding what is needed to complete a mission. Jose Fidel and he really bonded during this time.
  3. During “school nights” he has conditions\rules that must be met before he can play this new found love. He has to have some interaction with the family, he has to have dinner and he has to have his bath.

I think parents underestimate the power of “bonding time” with their children while playing video games. I think that usually parents do not play these games with their children and their children distance themselves as time goes by. I personally do not like playing video games but I do watch and interact with Logan and Jose Fidel as they play. I think it is great that Jose Fidel enjoys this activity.

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