It’s Not Personal.

July 31, 2014

Can I let you in on a little secret about parenting that I figured out recently - it's not personal.

Can I let you in on a little secret about parenting that I figured out recently…

It’s not personal.

The preschooler is not lying on the floor of the supermarket screaming just to see if he can drive me insane.

The school boy didn’t decide to punch his brother in front of the whole school just to show the world how bad a parent I am.

Even the ‘I hate you’s that fly out of the mouths of my raging tweens are not really about me.

Even the eye rolling is not personal!

I know it feels personal.

Oh boy does it ever feel personal.

I know it feels personal, and frustrating, and like they are just trying to make your life hell. I know it feels like they are pushing your buttons just to see how long it will take you to explode, or calculating devious ways to make you feel like the worst parent in the world.

I know it feels like that, but they aren’t, really they aren’t.

They don’t want a cranky, yelling, parent dishing out consequences and retribution in a screaming voice. They are not doing this simply to upset you, or because they were put on this earth to drive you insane.

They are doing, or saying, or raging because they are struggling.

They are sad, or angry, or frustrated, or scared, or worried, or ashamed, or disappointed, or confused and they are struggling with that.

They are testing limits, they are not testing you. They are angry at the boundaries, or the the consequences, and sometimes even at your behaviour, but they are not angry at you.

If you let yourself think it is personal, if you take offense every time your child lashes out, you will be miserable, and odds on you’ll end up making your child miserable too.

And if you let yourself think it is personal you are buying into a big fat guilt trip and missing out on the bigger picture. You are missing your chance to figure out what is really going and to really make a difference.

So next time it feels personal, take a breath, a big, slow, breathe and start whispering this to yourself over and over again…

“It’s not personal, it is not about me, my child is telling me they are struggling, it’s not personal, it’s not about me, my child is telling me they are struggling”

 
PS: I don’t really know 21 parenting secrets… that was just a random number I plucked out of the air. But maybe there is 21, or maybe more parenting secrets? I wonder if we could create a list of parenting secrets?

Do you struggle sometimes not to take things personally?
Do you know any parenting secrets?

 

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Make a Window Easel

July 29, 2014

Make a simple window easel and get creating!

Painting or drawing at an easel offers a different perspective to the usual creating on a flat surface or table. It also offers lots of opportunities for using shoulder and arm muscles, kids need to develop those muscles to give them support and stability when they write. But what if you don’t have an easel?

Our easel is currently in pieces on the back deck (don’t ask) so today Noah and I made a simple window easel so we could enjoy some painting and creating on a vertical surface.

To make a window easel you’ll need:

  • A cereal box, or other similar sized cardboard box
  • scissors
  • tape

You’ll need a box that is as wide as your paper is, so we taped both ends of the cereal box closed and turned it on it’s side. Now all you need to do is cut a large flap from the front and top of your box. You will end up with a ‘tray’ area to hold your paint containers, and a flap to tape onto the window.

Make a simple window easel and get creating!

Now just add your paint containers and tape some paper to the window. The box ‘tray’ keeps the paints nice and close to the painting and helps to catch any drips so there is less clean up. We popped a bit of newspaper on the floor underneath too, just in case there were any wayward drips.

Make a simple window easel and get creating!

We decided to use pastel coloured paints today – we made them by adding a big dollop of white paint into the regular colours and mixing it up to make pink, mint green, pale blue and a lemon colour.

We also decided to go with one of our favourite painting activities – the draw first, paint later activity. So Noah started out with a big fat black marker and filled his paper with drawings first.

Make a simple window easel and try out the 'draw first, paint later' activity.

And then he added paint.

Make a simple window easel and try out the 'draw first, paint later' activity.

Monsters, they always make an appearance in his art.

Make a simple window easel and try out the 'draw first, paint later' activity.

And later a caravan with ‘fifty hundred rooms and things’.

I love listening to him talk about what he is creating as he draws or paints it.

This was a simple, low mess, way to let my four year old paint on and off all day… now I just need to find a way to store all his paintings while they dry!

Do you own an easel?
What is your favourite painting activity?

 

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