Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

Psyching Out the Kids




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Originally written on February 5th.  I’m posting it now because I’m already tired of waiting for the package to come from the hotel I left the power cord for the laptop at and have picked up another.

As I sit in the middle seat of a quiet van on my way back from my first business trip in years, my mind keeps coming back to the old Dilbert joke about the Training Binder being a monument to temporary knowledge, the course it came from already forgotten and the information it contains never to be referenced again.  This might be the very first time I don’t feel that way.

I sat through four seminars in the last two days, even participating because I was more or less interested in the topics being presented.  There was thankfully little role playing, which made me happy because that’s not really my thing training-wise.  These were, mostly, more like open discussion seminars and I learn far more and better that way.  I think I got quite a bit out of the past couple of days, even if I had to travel to Windsor and back to do it.

But what’s really interesting is that I can take something out of each of the four seminars to add to my collection of mental kung fu in dealing with my kids.  Whether some or any of it works will probably depend on how well I apply it, like any other technique, but I’m glad to have new techniques to try out.

If you have kids, do you ever have days when you don’t have a clue what to do?  When everything you try doesn’t work and devolves into growling, sullen looks, stomping on the floor, and slamming doors?  Paleoboy is ten now.  His sisters are seven and six.  The potential conflicts and interactions between three siblings and two parents are staggering sometimes and there are days where there aren’t a lot of positive ones.  I remember being a kid?  Why is it so hard to get inside the heads of mine?  Ten years as a dad and I still feel like I’m new to the game sometimes.

So, new tool = potential for less conflict and more productive behaviour.  How can I pass it up?  Yes, I’m certain my employer is eager to have me apply these new techniques at work to help improve our corporate culture and work environment and make both us (the ones sent to this training set) and our staff happier and more productive.  At this moment, I fully intend for that to happen and I hope everyone else does to.

And yet at this moment, I’m not on my way to work.  I’m on my way home and the first people I’m going to see are not my coworkers but my wife and kids.  Who do you think is going to receive the first “benefits” of my knew wondrous knowledge?  No, not my wife.  I plan to share with her the psychological concepts I’ve been given for behavioural modification.  (That’s what we’re really talking about, right?  Modifying certain behaviours in my household to make life more harmonious for all.)  No, the love of my life and the harbour of my heart is going to help me practice the new fu on our offspring.  For a couple of things, I already have something in mind.  Other stuff will have to be attempted on the fly.

I have high hopes, but I also have smart kids.  Wish me luck.

Update for February 10th, results to date: mixed.


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