Heather Still, one of our TBRI practitioner/ MAPP trainers here at Seven Homes decided to add a little bounce in our step as she shares about their adventures at home. This is the woman who makes her own quilts, has a slide from one story to another in their home and is kind of the coolest mom I know... Her response to COVID-19 vs my struggle has me feeling like this photo... But I adore her none the less and wanted to share her reflections with all of you!
"I was having a conversation with my sister-in-law about how our kiddos seemingly having nothing productive to do during this lockdown combined with all the anxiety of being out of routine, especially our kiddos from hard places. All the sudden, we had a grandiose plan of action. We decided that she would sit her children down and make a list of all the collective ideas they could come up with of things to do while confined to the house. I would do the same and then we would combine our lists.
As most things go in our home, this brainstorming session quickly morphed into a cut-throat competition, which required rules of engagement and subsequent compromises. The friendly competition soon became a war and no less, an hour later a grand prize would be awarded to the last man standing. (Prize being a package of chocolate cake in a mug that I had hidden for a midnight rendezvous.)
I’ve got to say, that what happened next, was not what I had expected this discussion to become. However, rolling with the punches is what these next 2 weeks are going to be all about. When parenting children from hard places where routine maintains order, asking them to regulate themselves with so many uncertainties is nearly impossible. Let’s be honest, these same uncertainties unhinge us adults if we let it. So, what a joy it was to share a friendly debate with my kiddos all gathered around the table, laughing, yelling and pointing fingers, seeing them be creative, express themselves and then compromise with someone they didn’t agree with. I complemented all the genius ideas that they had and secretly melted at the ways that they incorporated activities with specific people they valued. Even though, they did ask,” If we write it down, does that mean we have to actually do it?!”. We collectively decided that it was the thought that counted. Another very powerful thing happened this afternoon. They had a voice and control. In a situation where all their anxiety kept coming up with questions, the power that they discovered within them, came up with 111 answers, 111 very good solutions! And we celebrated that!
I’ve included below the rules of engagement for the game that we made up as we went. I’ve also included my brood’s 111 list of things to do when confined to the house where mom limits screens. I printed mine and hung it for reference, because we already have reminder routines posted all over the house. This works for us. My sister-in-law put each idea on tiny piece of paper in a Bored Jar, and let the kids pick them at random, one at a time. Now when pulling things from the bored jar, our rule is that if you choose to draw a piece of paper, you are required to do what you pull out.
Enjoy the journey and let me know how the adventure went!
Rules of Engagement:
Everyone got a piece of paper and a pen and began to write down ideas of what to do when confined with no screens. My littlest, was on my team. As a 2 man team, we combined my list with her drawings and misspelled scribbles/ideas including LOL doll 38 times. Once everyone felt they had exhausted all their options, we read our lists one at a time. (They called what order they went in like they call shotgun in the van.)All their ideas made the list. However, only the original ideas that no one else thought of, counted as a point with a checkmark. If any ideas were duplicated among the children, they did not get a checkmark. (They did get a big smile and nod from me for being “great minds that think alike”). First prize would be awarded to the one who got the most original checkmarks. (these rules of elimination were much like Boggle if you’ve ever played) Any disagreements on duplicates, relevancy or the inability for that to be done by a human in confinement had to be settled with a voting system. Thumbs up/thumbs down and majority ruled. (That was interesting with a table full of politicians.) Anyway. Believe it or not, this ended in a 5-way tie! Crazy, I know. So, commence to tie-breaker. A timer was set for 4 minutes, and we were tasked to come up with original ideas NOT on the list. 1 point would be awarded for all answers written down, and 10 points would be awarded for each original idea left standing after the checkmark system. This brought us to an intense win! Note that this process brought out some real stretches in creativity, which led to much, “If you count that, then I count this.” I must say that I’ve got a couple that could very well be bangin” lawyers one day.
Disclosure: You may have to morph house rules, such as…we enforced the rule that “Play ball” included all “football, soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, rugby, boy parts, etc.…” and would not each be awarded a checkmark, however, appropriate options would be included in the list as an option."
-Heather Still, Wonder Woman (aka mom of five who does fun stuff like this that makes the rest of us green with envy)