Love. Forgive. Party.
I can tell you what I did before my daughter was school-age, and it helped a whole lot. It's different for you since your daughter is older, but it could still help. From my Raise Up A Child article:Before my daughter ever started attending school, I started playing a game with her. I would speak gruffly to her, pretending to be all mean and stuff. I didn’t tell her it was a game. This was intentional. I would look mean and say something like “you’re dumb and ugly and I hate you.” Of course, she’d get a tortured expression on her face. So I’d make my face look as mean as possible, hoping she’d see the ridiculous expression for what it was, and repeat even more gruffly “you’re dumb and ugly and I hate you.” Suddenly her face would light up and she’d retort “you’re the dumb one and I hate you more!” If I said “hey, dugly” she’d retort “you’re the dugly one.” When I told her “pack your bags and leave” (when she was under eight) she’d say either “fine, I will” or “no! You pack YOUR bags and YOU leave!”The whole intent of this was to prepare her, in a safe and loving environment, for hateful words. I wanted to make certain she had thick enough skin to not take hateful words so personally. And I believe I was rather successful. And, while she was still young enough for me to be the smartest man in the world, it was fun for both of us. As she got older and I got dumber, the fun dissipated and I backed off. But it was fun while it lasted.It's the vaccine approach: Give the person a weak version of what can make the person very sick so that the person develops the appropriate antibodies for it before it has a chance to make the person sick.Now, if someone tries to drag her down, she's in their face and then back to her regularly scheduled program as if nothing happened.
John, that was beautiful. Thanks a bunch.
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