Let's see how many parents can relate to the next parent to child exchange:
Parent: Hi Child, how was your day? (Thinking, PLEASE let him/her say something other than the "F" word).
Child: It was "F"ine!" (All the while thinking: I sat by myself at lunch, my teacher didn't call on me today which means she hates me, my best friend ditched me, I like a boy/girl who doesn't know I'm alive, I turned down weed three times today, I have this pit in my stomach that feels like something bad is going to happen any second, and I can't delete a rumor someone started about me on Facebook).
BTW, If any of you were thinking of a different "F" word, reign it in, this is a rated G blog (not that I am below using that other one in utter frustration, or extreme pain (e.g. stubbed toe), but I vow to abstain from such vulgarity when I write. Onward...
There is a growing disconnect between adults and children. Why am I specifying adult to child? Simply because as always, it takes a village. Adult to child could be parent to child, grandparent to child, older sibling to younger sibling or teacher to child. In essence, anyone holding adult wisdom paired with the innocence of youth.
I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to understand that there are some pretty specific things that have led us down this path. I gleaned a bit of insight one night as my kids were arguing over who's turn it was to set the table before dinner. Unexpectedly, my son said you know Mom, none of my friends have "family dinners". My daughter seconded the notion, decided that she was in favor of our "tradition" and then promptly told me that maybe I should set the table.
First and foremost, when did sitting down with your family for dinner become a tradition? ! Time for a vocabulary lesson.
noun giv·en | \ ˈgi-vən \
Definition of given (Entry 2 of 3): something taken for granted: a basic condition or assumption.
noun tra·di·tion | \ trə-ˈdi-shən \
Definition of tradition
1a: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious practice or a social custom)
// 1. "So in actuality, we as a society seem to have kept the tradition of eating (thank goodness for taking a stand on sustenance), but eating together as a family is no longer a given."
2. "By nature of crazed schedules and after school activities out the ying-yang we have given up 30-60 minutes of solid quality family time (depending on how fast you eat).
Bridgette Fowler, Growwithmepoetry.blog, 7 August 2019
And one more important definition...
noun \ ˈyiŋ-ˌyaŋ \
up the ying-yang or, less commonly out the ying-yang US slang: in very large amounts: in excess
//"I have used the Mirriam-Webster's dictionary out the ying-yang while writing this blog." -Bridgette Fowler, Growwithmepoetry.blog, 7 August 2019
It appears that if we are to have a snowman's hope of breathing fire without melting (not likely), I think we need to address the amount of time we actually talk and listen to our children. Conversation should be a given in families. Remember the adage, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem? Now, if I was a reader, I would ask just what is your solution and BTW, what makes you so qualified to throw your 2 cents in? I will distract you with an answer and hope that it sounds so viable that you forget about the what makes you qualified part.
I happened upon a solution quite by accident when my children were just little tykes. They were the little that you love to remember; sticky hands ready to hold yours, eyes looking up at you as they wrap their arms around you in pure love, giggles filling the house just because someone happened to say the word "fart". Those memories are then shattered by the what most parents recall to be the H-E-double hockey sticks that would be bedtime. Tired whines, pleads to stay up later and thoughts of how your child grew horns in one-hour flat.
I have mentioned in previous blogs that I began writing poems for my children in hopes that they would become part of a new bedtime routine, one in which they put themselves to bed (HAPPY DAY!!!) We called them Nite-Notes it was an even HAPPIER DAY when they inadvertently led to Day-Dialogue (don'tcha just love alliteration!). Grow with Me Poetry (the book I have authored and is slated for a late Fall of 2019 release) is your ticket to Creative-Conversation (I told you I loved alliteration). It is a collection of poems that address the goings on of childhood. After each poem, I have included conversation starters; questions about the content of the poem that which prompt discussion. A journaling page is included after each poem. We all need a place to start, especially if we are trying to get past the "F" word. Just may if we start this little practice when our children are young, and while reading to your children is still a given, we can teach our children something very special. The lesson is it is a given that we are always available for child to adult conversation and furthermore, that how we converse with our children becomes a treasured tradition.
In light of the recent tragedies in America, our youth need adults more than ever. We owe it to them to strive to surpass the "F" word.
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