Thursday, May 1, 2014

I guess I am a career student!!

Looking back, do you remember all the things you learned about parenting when you were raising your kids?  All the things you wish you could do if you had the chance to do it over....   all the things you wished you had done differently....  and all the things you wish you hadn't done at all.....

I have always found it odd that the things you think your kids will remember forever turns out to be no big deal, and they end up remembering something that you thought would have no place in their long term memory. 

Every child that is ever in an adults charge requires some form of parenting.  Especially the ones that are with the adult regularly.... They requires a different set of parenting skills than an afternoon at the movies....  or babysitting for a friend.

The one thing I found out very quickly... and early on, is that no two kids can be parented the same.  Each kid is an individual...  with a personality all their own...  with specific needs, wants, challenges, interests, skills, ways that they want love, and ways they show love.

Some kids ask for an inch and take two inches. 

There are kids that will ask for an inch and take two feet...  

Then there are the kids that ask for an inch and take two miles.

I have had experience with all of the above, plus a couple belonging in the "oh, my GOD!!" category.

But I am a smart girl...  I can handle a little 8 year old great niece for a week, right?   She and her mother lived with me for a while and I know her well...  plus, I have some experience with kiddos (see categories above).  It will be easy, right?    Well, this week's challenge was to learn that there is apparently no end to the number of parenting lessons available.

Recently, I purchased the expansion pack for the kid's version of the Ungame by Rhea Zakich .  You can read about Rhea and how the game came about by clicking on this Wikipedia link.  It is claimed that, "The Ungame is the leading family communication game. This best-selling non-competitive communication game fosters listening skills as well as self-expression."

During Katelin's visit, we used the questions from the kid's version of the Ungame to more or less just talk, with the cards being springboards for the discussion.  I also thought I would be able to get to know Katelin better now that she is working her way in to becoming a pre-teen.

We decided to use foam stickers as the prize and the 'listener' would award a prize to the 'speaker' if the 'listener' thought the answer was thoughtful and honest.  We also made the rule that no one can get mad about the answers.    In order to do this, I also have to participate.

I have to tell you that the Ungame cards promote truly amazing conversation.   And once you get rolling, it gets better and better.  

I decided to give the official adult/parent answer (this would be my best "life lesson" answer) to Katelin, holding the real, and sometimes far too real, answers to myself for consideration later. 

How did I get roped into exploring my feelings???  But I guess if she can be honest in this game, so can I!  At least to myself.

Much to my chagrin, our conversations led me to thinking about my kids.   

If it were as easy as crossing my arms and nodding my head to go back and do some things differently, I sure would.  But I can't.  No one can.  There are no 'do-overs'.

In the beginning, it was my dream that my kids, and the kids in my life, would be happy, functioning adults with admirable morals and values.

In the end, all we can do is our best. 

In the end, all we can do is to learn the lessons presented to us along the way.

In the end, each must decide if their lives are happy and if they have admirable morals and values.

But in the VERY end, it is up to each person to get out of life what they want.

One more 'END", I highly recommend this game (even though we didn't play it correctly). .


  1. I'm glad you had this time with your Great Niece, as I said before, she will remember this time with you for all of her life as I'm sure you will also remember this time with her all of your life. In years to come, it will be interesting for you both to discuss this visit and how it impacted each of your lives :)

    1. Sometimes, the kids are the teachers and the adults are the students. Love you BJ!!