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Links to Think: 04.16.12

April 16, 2012

Rethinking Tattling – A thoughtful article on working to communicate with our children when they “tattle,” rather than simply viewing their attempts to communicate as an annoyance.

“Few other things irritate adults as quickly at a tattle-tale. The kneejerk response is often “Stop tattling” or “Handle it yourself’ or even to punish the little tattler. But what is being communicated? What is a child actually trying to say when they tattle, and what is a child actually hearing by our response?

Tattling is, in effect, a child seeking wise counsel for a situation they don’t know how to handle. When faced with a conflict that just weeks or months earlier would have resulted in tears or snatching or hitting or some combination of all three, a child who has matured and begun to develop some self-control is learning to stop and think instead of just react. But what do they do if no solution presents itself? What if they’ve tried to reason or negotiate with the object of their conflict and been unable to come to a resolution?”

“When a child approaches a trusted adult with a problem, the child is saying, “This is important. Hear me. Help me.” This is a wonderful opportunity to guide the child through the process of conflict resolution. So often we relegate life skills such as conflict resolution to textbooks and worksheets, if we address them at all. But learning is far more powerful and effective if it is tied to real-life, real-time issues that are important to us, that impact our lives, that matter.”

Afghanistan sees rise in ‘dancing boys’ exploitation – Readers of The Kite Runner will be somewhat familiar with this aspect of Afghan culture (as portrayed through Hassan’s orphaned and abused son, Sohrab). This is a sad plight for a growing number of boys in Afghanistan that will hopefully gain greater exposure and push for an end to this practice.

““You cannot take wives everywhere with you,” he said, referring to the gender segregation in social settings that is traditional in Afghanistan. “You cannot take a wife with you to a party, but a boy you can take anywhere.””

“Although the practice is thought to be more widespread in conservative rural areas, it has become common in Kabul. Mohammed Fahim, a videographer who films the lavish weddings in the capital, estimated that one in every five weddings he attends in Kabul features dancing boys.”

The hot names of 2012, revealed – I always find baby naming trends to be a fascinating study (though this one isn’t a particularly scientific analysis), and with our own baby’s arrival expected next month, I found this interesting.

Baby names 2012 are already proving to be very different from last year’s choices, with The Hunger Games taking over from Twilight as the primary cultural influence on names, the hottest boys’ names taking a cue from the girls, and musical names trumping Hollywood for inspiration.”

Your Children Want You! – Since the majority of these links seem to be in connection with parenting/mothering, I might as well link to an article that seemed to be going viral last week, in case anyone missed it. (Of course, this is a great reminder for dads, too, though they might not find themselves feeling badly that they haven’t made flower-shaped soap. :))

“There’s something deeper going on in family life than can ever be expressed on a social network. Whatever it is we feel we are lacking, can we collectively decide–as deliberate mothers–that we are not going to sit around feeling discouraged about all the things we’re not?

Can we remind each other that it is our uniqueness and love that our children long for? It is our voices. Our smiles. Our jiggly tummies. Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else.

If you ever find yourself looking in the mirror at a woman who feels badly that she hasn’t yet made flower-shaped soap, please offer her this helpful reminder: “Your children want you!”

Related: Johanna offers some helpful, related insite on her post, Jealous? Overwhelmed? Or Inspired?

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