Are we playing by regular rules today, or cheating rules today?

It’s interesting that I came along this website while browsing for something unrelated. It’s from Scholastic’s (this is just about the biggest book publisher for children in the US. Especially within schools. Most book fairs at schools are from Scholastic and at my children’s school at least they donate pamphlet looking activities weekly.) website. It touches on the benefits of board games with young children.

It’s here

This is the part that that I want to touch on:

A Word About Winning
Children take game playing seriously, so it’s important that we help guide them through the contest. When a playing piece falls to a lower level, our kids really feel sad; when it rises up high, they are remarkably proud and happy, even if we adults know that it happened only by chance. Therefore, you need to help balance your child’s pleasure in playing the game with his very limited ability to manage frustration and deal with the idea of losing. 

For 3, 4, and even 5 year olds, winning is critical to a feeling of mastery. So generally, I think it’s okay to “help” them win. By about 6, kids should begin to internalize the rules of fair play, tenuous as they may seem to a child who is losing a game. So I am also fine with a 6 year old “amending” the rules to win if he feels she has to. I encourage you to acknowledge your child’s need for special rules. At the start of the game, you might want to ask, “Are we playing by regular or cheating rules today?”

Are we playing by the regular or cheating rules today? 

Um….

Dear world. In this game of life.. when I’m being dealt a really crummy day… Can I adopt the cheating rules please?

Doesn’t this feel like we’re setting kids up for unrealistic expectations? When they get older I feel they won’t be able to adjust that sometimes there aren’t any cheats. And heaven forbid it will be their fault when they have to live by the rules and fail. It will be their parents for not letting things slide this time, or their boss for not understanding why they can’t get to work on time or to the mortgage company who charges an outrageous fee for ONLY being a month behind.

The whole point of games back in the day was most importantly to foster social skills at a young age. Scholastic also notes “Games don’t need to be overtly academic to be educational, however. Just by virtue of playing them, board games can teach important social skills, such as communicating verbally, sharing, waiting, taking turns, and enjoying interaction with others. Board games can foster the ability to focus, and lengthen your child’s attention span by encouraging the completion of an exciting, enjoyable game. Even simple board games like Chutes and Ladders offer meta-messages and life skills: Your luck can change in an instant — for the better or for the worse. The message inherent in board games is: Never give up. Just when you feel despondent, you might hit the jackpot and ascend up high, if you stay in the game for just a few more moves. 

Board games have distinct boundaries. Living in a complex society, children need clear limits to feel safe. By circumscribing the playing field — much as tennis courts and football fields will do later — board games can help your child weave her wild and erratic side into a more organized, mature, and socially acceptable personality. After all, staying within the boundaries (not intruding on others’ space, for example) is crucial to leading a successful social and academic life.” 

See how they just contradicted themselves there? Stay in the boundaries.. but don’t worry momma can redirect where those boundaries are if you feel like the boundaries are too constricting…And doesn’t this cement a fact that cheating is ok. It’s acceptable and condoned by the person who is supposed to be enforcing the rules? If we are going to do this, can we call it something like Amended Rules for Fair Play or something?

This world sometimes makes no sense… …

The Many Faces of Faith

So.. if anyone asks.. (ie my mom) I’m doing school work right now.. (yes.. 29 and lying to my mother.. shhhh)

I may not be DOING homework.. but I’m going to show some:

Image

 

In my first year experience class we had to make an artwork piece about the many facets of ourself… It was supposed to be about seeing the diversity within yourself and using that as a template so to speak to understand the diversity in others. So this is what I came up with.. I’m not a good drawer…. but you can kind of make things out… 

Yup… this is college grade work folks.. 

Why losing is ok

Kids are so funny to watch. They learn all these behaviors they see in adults and have no real idea the concepts behind them..

When I volunteer the kids move through literacy center. My center is a free choice area. They have roughly 5 activities they can choose from.

Lately I’ve been playing at least 10 rounds of memory a day….

I played with two little girls. One right away said that she never loses when she plays memory at home. In adult speak that means: My parents let me win every time so I now have an unrealistic view of my capabilities to play this game and will lose my mind if I don’t win.

There were about 15 words to match. Easy enough right? When I play with my kids at home I give them a curve like in golf. I only halfheartedly try a few times but then depending on the accuracy my kids are showing I kick it up a notch. This tends to work well with my kids. There’s usually not much of a fuss when one loses. In fact sometimes they tag team against me and I’m the one being challenged..

The “I never lose” girl never paid attention. Even to her own cards as she flipped them. In fact she kept flipping the same cards over and over again.I tried being patient and reminding her to watch the cards so she could remember where they were. Even one of the teacher’s aides told her to keep an eye on the cards…. I was right before the girl and I even tried helping her out. But it just wasn’t registering with her.

The other little girl was SHARP. She must have some x-ray vision or something because she slaughtered us mercilessly. <~ I’m proud that this is one of the girls my daughter plays with. Smart girls need to stick together…

Especially when as a result the “I never lose girl” ended up with 1 match to the smart girl’s 8 and my 6.

This set the first girl off, as she was not accustomed to losing. I was the meanest adult in the world and the other girl was not her friend at ALL. Eventually she calmed down but boy did I get mean mugged the rest of the day.

..

 

To me: This is one of the main reasons why SOME children have an inability to work hard and expect things handed to them.. because some parents can’t face the idea of their children losing. It’s hard as  a parent to watch your child fail… but it’s vital

She lost because she was so unprepared to realize that she was in a competition with this other girl. Yeah.. simple game of memory… but what is a game but a mild healthy form of competition between friends? Games like that challenge you to work hard and concentrate to get matches.

 

My children lose. But they also win more than they lose because they LEARN from why they lost. The girl was so upset by the situation that she was completely unable to accept responsibility for why she lost. And that means the whole learning experience that she could have gained from the situation is lost on her. <~ That is the bigger loss.

My kids are great about celebrating the win of each other. They have learned to accept defeat gracefully and to continue to give their all the next time around. One defeat does not make a loser.. They are told in the martial arts that the only defeat is when you give up. That doesn’t mean you won’t lose. Every winner gets knocked down, but you can’t win if you never get back up.

I am a firm believe that you will learn more from your falls than you will your wins.  A small loss like this game teaches you to strive to win in other areas.. It teaches you to work hard for what you want whether it’s winning a game like memory or eventually striving to get Thi Beta Kappa in college.  Watching your child being defeated it hard, but the reward will show later in life.

 

 

Maybe I Can’t Make It As a Teacher…

Being a first year student, I have to take this course called First Year Experience. It was required of me to detail my college plan, and then career plan..

It’s like being asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Well folks.. I’m still growing up… at 29 with 2 kids and a husband of almost 9 years..

Don’t judge me!

In fact. Why does my going to college have to have an end plan? The sole purpose of me going back to college was to get back some of my youth that was taken away from me at a young age. At 16 I was taking care of my mom.  By the time I was 18 I was working sometimes 7 days a week at the hotel. And if you did the math correctly I was married at age 20 and had my son just a short while after.

This is the one path I’m traveling that is solely mine. Just Faith being awesome Faith. Not being someone’s daughter, wife or mother. This is the one thing that I am flying by the seat of my pants solo..

And not to brag. but if I was doing this wrong, why am I currently getting a 96 in all three of my classes?! (Seriously.. how does this happen?)

For these two projects I dabbled at the idea of being a teacher, because it’s what everyone says I will be good at.. and you know what.. me and kids are like two peas in a pod.. But volunteering in my children’s classrooms has left a bitter taste in my mouth. The teachers have always been stellar.. but the school system majorly sucks. And I don’t think it’s going to get any better anytime soon.

But for the sake of my two projects, I narrowed it down to perhaps secondary education (middle school) because I feel that’s when children get lost the easiest. I figured I could set kids on the right track if they got lost in elementary and inspire them as they transition into high school.. Like a brick layer of awesomeness..

But…

I used to firmly believe that there were no stupid questions…

Until I went to college.. not only are these “adults” asking stupid questions that just required them to think a little about the matter at hand… but they’re just not paying attention..

So the same stupid ass questions are getting asked OVER AND OVER

I wish I were kidding..

And my professors.. I’ve never seen one of them be anything other than patient in these situations. They will answer the same question over and over again… Which leads me to believe that this is the norm…

In college.. wtf..

I can’t do that.. I get irritated just having to listen to this carousel of questions. I would be out of control at having to actually BE on the carousel. I can’t even do it with my kids.. I tell you something ONCE. It’s on YOU, not ME, to make sure you receive the information given. If it’s not clear, than I can understand the need to clarify.. but I should only have to clarify it ONCE. Does that make sense?

Repeating the same question over and over… is not clarification.. to me it means people aren’t listening the first time…

And if they’re not paying attention to the professor.. what the hell are they doing?

WASTING MY TIME!!

On a lighter note: I did end up getting 100% on both those projects!

7 Facts

There’s a phase going around facebook that you say a specified amount of facts about yourself that no one knows.. You have to do this after liking the status of a friend that just listed facts. And they give you the number..

Usually I don’t follow these trends..

But when two people gave me the number 7 I felt it was meant to be.

So here are the 7 random facts most people don’t know … but kind of now do since I shared it with my facebook community..

1. As a senior in high school I had a group of freshman that used to call me Faith the Almighty. Some would even randomly bow to me in the hallways. Katrina, although not part of the group changed one of the songs she was learning in Catholic school as a song of worship to me… sooo yeah I’m probably going to hell for starting a minor cult back in the day…Instead of kool-aid it was apple juice 😉
2. Amanda and I almost got to meet 98 degrees because we had made an epic sign they had seen going through backstage… but when they called for us we couldn’t hear because we were stuck in the back area of Bash at the Base… some tears may have been shed… <~ or that’s what my mom wants us to think.. I think it’s an elaborate hoax she’s been playing on us for years.
3. When I was little I had a smidge of a Scottish accent… When we moved to Groton some kid made fun of my accent… so I tied him to the slide with my jump rope. I was a pretty violent kid back then…..
4. The song “Gotta have Faith” by George Michael freaks me out.. When I was younger I thought the song was a message from him that he was going to come kidnap me. I had a George Michael fallout shelter in my closet that consisted of a bunch of super huge stuff animals my dad was good at winning.
5. I have a phobia of pregnant people..I watched Aliens at too young of an age… I’ll leave it at that…
6. To get myself up super early I have my alarm set to play my fight songhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-KvzFgw6sA . Julie and I may or may not have agreed to both be in the next GMA sparring tournament.
7. The first time hubby said he loved me was in a picture he drew while waiting for me to get off work one night. I reciprocated by saying I love you the first time in a small cross stitch design.. He still carries that design in his wallet and I have the picture he drew me framed and hanging in our bedroom. We’re geeks that were meant to be 😉

Fighting the Frenzy….

I avoid stores this time of year,

The second Halloween is over it’s Christmas music blaring. All the advertisements for gifts and sales invade my music jam session in the car..

At first I’m angry. How dare the stores keep diminishing the value of what should be a sacred holiday!

Then I’m like.. Well.. it is only 37 days until Christmas. It’s not that unreasonable to want to start planning early. (I know how many days because Walmart has a sign right as you walk in…)

To OMG! When is Thanksgiving going to be over so I can break out the decorations and finally revel in the Christmas Season…

Ehem.. Poor Thanksgiving :/

In my defense though… I’m first generation Scottish American on my mother’s side.. and an 1/8th Cherokee on my father’s side. Sometimes I feel that I should be held to less standards than others.

Growing up my mom always made it clear this was an American holiday and not really worth the effort seeing as she was non American. My father was non existent in my life at that point so I never had the American version of myself to keep that thought process from invading my own thoughts.  We always went to one of her friends houses to celebrate. Which meant little Faithie, who never seemed to be in the right child age bracket, was left miserable the entire time my mom and her friends got drunk.

My most favorite Thanksgiving was 2 years ago when we decided to visit my aunt Debbie in Pennsylvania. Previous to that we would spend the holiday with my husband’s side of the family. I even hosted Thanksgiving at my house and thought it was good but they never let me do it again so they must not have thought so…. It was just my mom, husband and kids and cousin and it was the best few days. So great in fact that my kids still mention it and refer to it as the perfect visage of Thanksgiving.

Last year my husband was deployed and my mom didn’t want to come so I opted out of going. It was then that I learned that my kids now considered the PA version the best.. I did too. So now with hubby being home we were planning on going this year to PA!

Until work conflicts arose for hubby and he rescinded his leave time so someone else who needed it more could take it..

Which is fine, but now we’re stuck with another inlaw Thanksgiving. Which isn’t bad at all. Dare I say my inlaws have grown on me. It will be a great time, no doubt.. But while sitting at the table eating my family, hubby included, will be wistfully thinking of PA.

 

 

And don’t get me started on Black Friday…..

Lazy Weekends

So much for the post every day gig… I missed three days in a row..

And not for lack of blogging… Lack of finishing a post is the culprit..

Things haven’t been that interesting in my life to really merit a post..

This weekend has been quite the opposite of last:

Worked on forms for black belt candidacy. It’s funny how switching things up can mess with your mind! There were only three in my group. We mastered the first five forms. Then we were told to switch the order… Easier said then done! Some of the forms are really close together, so it required a lot of thought of what comes next. Or when you pause.. And for me.. Stop being the Enegizer Bunny and slow down so we’re going through it all as a group.

Now we’re home relaxing….

And by relaxing I really mean cleaning….

Usually our weekends are chalk full of things going on. It’s exhausting and I feel like I don’t really get a break from the week, just a diversion.

Non scheduled weekends means that I get to stay at home…

And clean…..

Sounds boring and a waste of a weekend.. but at my old age.. It’s the best thing ever!

We cleaned out the car.. It was in desperate need.. And now I know where all my son’s pants are…. Mystery solved!

The kids helped by wiping stuff down. I wish they were as excited to clean their rooms…. I almost can’t remember what their carpets look like..

Assuming they have carpeting…..

Hmmm….