Thursday, May 14, 2015

What's next?

Let's say you're going on a hike.  It's a "there and back" trip, not a loop back to your starting point.  You also only have a set amount of time to finish.

When you come to the end of your time limit, when you need to turn around so you can return to your starting point on time, there's a small hill that you can't see over.

Do you: a) Turn around because your time is up. or b) See what's over the next hill.

I don't know if there's a right answer, but I do know what mine is.

B!  You've got to see what's next!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Parenting lines that don't work

"Alright, we're just going to leave you here."

Variations: "We're leaving now." "We're heading to the car."

Why you think it will work:  Given the choice between sticking with the nice, safe parent or being left alone on a mean, cruel playground (or similar), the child will choose sticking with the parent.

Why it doesn't work:  The only reason you're using this line is because your kid is already intent upon staying.  She/he doesn't see the playground as mean and cruel, but fun.

Better to just to grab his or her hand and go.  There may be a fit the first few times if you haven't done it before, but you'll be better off in the long run.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The best trainer I know...

That would be my wife.

When my older two kids were learning to ride their bikes, I gave up after one session.  She, in the same amount of time, had them up and running...err cycling.

She's trained our kids to cook.  Literally.  And we still joke about the time that I attempted to have Jackson crack an egg.

She's even better at training our dog.  She's consistent and patient, which I am not.

I think it's because Brittany just goes for it, without the need for either the trainer or trainee to be perfect or polished.  I, however, put all sorts of expectations on the trainee.  ("How can they not get this by now?!")

This post coincides with Mother's Day, because my wife is one great mom.

But the bigger lesson is for those of us who want to train others:
How much do you actually jump in with your trainee and let them do it?
Or do you just tell them a bunch of information and expect them to get it?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mull it over

If you're tackling a project or question that doesn't have an easy answer, sometimes the best thing you can do is... wait.

You could spend hours pouring all of your mental energy out.

Or you could just come back to it tomorrow.  Nine times out of ten I find that the answer was easier and more obvious than I thought.  Or I'll have a random insight pop into my head at another time of the day.

This is not an authorization of procrastination.  If you have work to do, do it.  But if you don't have an answer and you have time... mull it over.