Saturday, June 18, 2016

Did That Really Just Come Out of My Mouth?

No great discovery here, but I've been processing lately the difficulties of being a left-brain parent raising a right-brain child.

Left Brain. That's me.

In case that picture isn't readable, let me summarize: likes a plan; rational; likes details; focuses on words, symbols, and numbers; rule-follower; keeps track of time; enjoys observing; analytical

Right Brain. That's my 10 year old.

Summary: Creative; sensory; difficulty with time; led by feelings; focuses on "whole", not details; risk taker; plan as you go; likes options

He's always building, always creating....always making a mess new invention. As I type, I hear pounding, cutting, and taping in the other room. His imagination amazes me, and I try to focus on the greatness of this rather than the stuff that is everywhere. Really, I do.

But it doesn't always come naturally. My left-brainness often gets in the way. This morning I heard phrase after phrase shoot out of my mouth. Here are the top ten I find myself most frequently saying these days:

1. No, you cannot light that on fire.

2. Is that thing alive?

3. You may not bring that into the house.

4. I SAID, "No snakes in the house!".

5. Has dad already said no to that question?

6. What are you doing with the matches?

7. I don't think your spiders will eat that.

8. You may.not.use.ANY.MORE.TAPE.

9. No science experiments on the carpet.

10. What do you need that knife for?

It's a constant balance of trying to figure out how to encourage his natural gifts while still teaching some responsibility. Sometimes it's also a balance of figuring out how to hang onto some sanity.

In case there is concern about the over-abundance of negative remarks in that list, rest assured that I have gotten very good at rephrasing things. Often my answers sound more like, "You should build a cool habitat for that thing thing outside."...."What an interesting creature. Is it still alive?"..."Grab your tablet and Google what you should feed the spiders."...and my favorite - "You need to wait for dad to get home before you light that on fire."

But snakes? Nope. No way. That one is still always, "I said, 'NO SNAKES IN THE HOUSE!'".

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