Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tell me about your friend

Even though my attaching kids DO have a great deal of cause-and-effect thinking now, it is still a learning process. We spend a lot of time talking through the consequences of our actions.

Today I had an interesting idea and just went with it.

I said, "Hey, I want you to pretend you are someone else. Pick any name you want. Violet? Okay, Violet. You are 27 years old. You work at a gas station, and a new person started working there about a month ago. Their name is (my kid's name) and you have become really good friends. They are also 27.  So, tell me all about your friend, (again, with my kid's name)."

This opened them right up. Putting it into the third person made all the difference. At one point I said, "Well, I heard the two of you talking last week. Sounds like that kid's mom was a jerk. She was having her make repairs for things that happened. What a witch!" At which point, "Violet" began to defend "the bad" mom, and explain (in wonderful detail) WHY this kid's mother would do certain things.

"Wow. That does make sense. So, she's really a great mom, then. So, does (my kid's name) still speak to her? When did that happen? Describe their relationship now. How does (my kid's name) discipline and teach their kids? Interesting - where did they learn that?" and on and on and on and on.

Oh, and just because I know you're dying to know: in 17 years, Michael and I will be living in Hawaii and have 35 children at that point. We will have adopted most of them from Haiti.


J. said...

great stragegy... sometimes those moments of genius take us way farther than we thought they would

Diana said...

Haven't tried the pretending you're someone else yet. I do know that puppets also work really well, though.

Lisa said...

You are super brilliant!

Brenda said...

Great idea!!

BT said...

We have been doing a lot of this lately too, and it really is interesting how it works.

We also do an exercise: "Picture the person who is the way you want to be in the world. What is he like? Describe how he acts. Describe how he walks. Describe how he conducts himself. What do you think of this person? Why do you think that? What do you like about this person? Is there anything you don't like about this person? {There never is.} How do you think this person feels on the inside?" It has led to some very interesting conversations, during which it seems that our son is processing some things and making some connections.

Dia por Dia said...

I am totally stealing the idea!

Oh, and 35 kids, I can see it. They'd be the luckiest kids in the world!

Hawaii....not with all those kids plus we would miss you too much!

Hannah_Rae said...

I've done a lot of "when you're 25" conversations with Gabe, having him describe what he wants his life to look like and what skills he'll need in order to get there. I haven't done the third person thing yet, but it might work.

Thanks for the windows into your life. They help more than you will ever know.



Chris said...

You are going to need a MUCH bigger RV.
love reading your blog and hoping I don't ever need too much of what I am learning

Miz Kizzle said...

You're so smart! Where do you come up with these things?
I've actually dome something similar when I have to interact with my detested MIL. Believe me, she is a loathsome woman. She frequently gives my husband large checks and, when she thinks I'm not listening, whispers that he can "put it toward the divorce."
There is no divorce. There will be no divorce. We've been married nearly 26 years and we're tight but the old babe keeps hoping.
Anyway, when I have to be in the presence of this beast I pretend to be another person! Just a casual, disinterested person who happens to be around and who doesn't have any back history with the narcissistic, evil person who made my DH's childhood so very... different and interesting.
Most of the time it works.