summer of love 2015 — week 4

week 4? It’s all about getting out the door.

When things are going sideways with our kids, we usually try the trifecta of distraction / boundaries / words over and over and over. Child is upset about a ball? We point out a train. Child is trying to watch a second movie in a day, we remind them of the media rules. Child reacts by hitting a sibling, we remind them to use their words. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Yet the trifecta doesn’t always work. And some days it isn’t working by 7:23 a.m.

Time for strategy #4. Get out the door. Pouring rain. Sweltering heat. The chill of night. No matter the conditions.

It might be you. “I’m going to go outside for a moment, I’ll be back when I’m ready.” {my mother once walked three miles down our peninsula to the tiny convenience store. Bought an ice cream bar. Sat on the curb. Ate it. And walked home. Several people drove past and asked if she needed a ride. She politely declined, explaining she was taking a break from her kids. They all got it.}

It might be the kids. “Run around the house 4 times. I’ll time you and see how long it takes. Ready, Go!” “You haven’t played basketball in a while, why not shoot some hoops?” “Jump on your bike–go ride to Taylor’s house!” {as my friend’s mother would say “that’s it. outside. don’t come back unless someone is bleeding.”}

It might be everyone. “Let’s go look at the stars. Silently.” “Look! An airplane! Let’s see how long the con trail is!” “How long do you think we can last in their rain before we get soaked?” {you might not explain it at all. Simply scoop them up and go. Softly humming in their ear.}

Out the door. Why does it work? Developmental molecular biologist John Medina talks about the link between decision making and exercise, and the history of evolution–that we did a lot of problem solving as we were crossing across the savanna. We became really good at the walk & talk.

Stepping outside is the other half of that equation. Fresh air acts as a reset button. It returns us to a fresh state of mind. When we go outside, we behave differently. We take deeper breaths. Our shoulders drop. Our minds clear. We get perspective. Birds. Wind. We get reminded we are part of something bigger.

The first three options are great. We use them for a reason. When they don’t work? Don’t forget the escape hatch. Out the door.

Week 4 audio, right here, just for you!


The book I mentioned in the audio extra? Here it is: Brain Rules. There’s also a Brain Rules for Baby

Want to go back and review?

week 3 was for 3 Mississippi.
week 2 was for 2 gratitudes.
week 1 was for 1 ladybug sized thing.

Free Guide: 5 changes in 5 minutes to make parenting better, easier, right now!