Houston, we have a beach!

I bet you thought we’d never make it. I thought we’d never make it! And then, after all the warnings of deathly rogue waves (a secret fear of mine, even while living in Colorado…), I kinda wished we wouldn’t.

But we did!

I present…Pfeiffer Beach, in Big Sur:

In the beginning of the video you will notice a particularly favorite method I have of interacting with my kids. It’s called, “The Opposite Of…” game. The Opposite Of…game means you take a situation, or rule, and then react the opposite of what’s normally expected. Kids with quick, gifted, creative minds tend to get bored easily. (Thus, the over diagnosis of ADD/ADHD in kids who don’t need medicine but rather a quicker learning pace and less busy work!) The unexpected always brings their minds around. So, for instance…

“Life threatening waves and conditions” would usually instill fear. Especially with Golfer, who is prone to excessive worry. The Opposite of…means we cheer and celebrate! Golfer laughs, it stops him from having an anxious breakdown, all is good.

“The most dangerous place to swim is…” obviously it’s where the waves and rocks are. But if I were to point out “the most dangerous place to swim is where the waves and rocks are!” they would stop listening to me by the time I got the 4th word out. The Opposite of…means we look for the least dangerous place…the calm shallow water. Now my kids know where the dangerous places are–they had to look for them to create an opposite place–and they also know where the safest place is. Double the information with half the boredom!

This really works like a charm. The next time your kids are blowing you off or getting bored, just switch over to the opposite of game. When I sent Naturalist and Golfer on a plane by themselves last week, we spent 45 minutes talking about how they should act on the plane. I asked them please, to kick the seat in front of them, snarl at people who looked at them, talk loudly and get into lots of verbal fights, start a food fight with the peanuts, get up and down a lot, and ignore the stewardesses. Then they added in their suggestions, and voila! Instead of tuning me out, they focused on how to behave on a plane while laughing about what it would be like if they did the opposite. I also do this when I’m at my wits end but am trying not to be snarky or biting. Instead of saying “stop whining at me!” I will say, “Hey, you know what I’d love? Could you whine some more, because my brain isn’t overloaded enough and it’s screaming for more whining!” We all laugh, and usually the whining stops. Usually.

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2 Responses

  1. But…but…what about the video of the pastries?!

    I like the opposite of game too! I usually do it on the way to the library or in-laws house and say “OK, so the most awesome thing you could do would be run crazy and talk really rudely” and then they laugh tell me what they really should do.
    Thanks for reminding me cause I really should use it more often.

    Glad to see you survived the beach to tell the tale!

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