Category Archives: Parenthood

Be the Gardener, not the Carpenter for your kids

There is no doubt that we wish the best for our kids. We try as hard as we can and make choices as intelligently as possible. Nevertheless what often happens is that in an effort to give them the best we fall into the trap of micromanagement. We try to control them too much; we decide for them way too often; we try to protect them from all the possible troubles and problems. In a way this a natural wish – to protect your off-spring from everything. On the other hand, the same as micromanaging is a recipe for trouble in the corporate world; micromanaging childhood has many cons which by far outweigh its pros.

In her latest book “The Gardener and the Carpenter” Prof. Alison Gopnik propagates the idea that Continue reading Be the Gardener, not the Carpenter for your kids

Toys and games: some reflections on the past, present and future of gaming

This is not going to be a list of favorite toys or a top ten of toys and games that you obligatory need to buy for your kids. Rather, I just want to share some of my thoughts on the subject of toys and games as such.

When I was a kid we didn’t have that many toys available. We had enough; there was never really a shortage, don’t get me wrong. However, if we compare the offer on the market of 30 years ago and now, it is obvious that this part of entertainment industry grew significantly. Toys and games available today are amazing! Even as a grown-up person you look at all those fantastic things – bright, interesting, and captivating – and your first reaction is to put all of them in your shopping basket because your “kid undoubtedly needs them”. If you have an infant or a toddler what frequently happens next is that your home becomes cluttered while your happy kid is playing with a saucepan in the kitchen instead… Recognizable? I bet. Moreover, the rhetorical question is: am I buying all those things for my kids or for myself? Continue reading Toys and games: some reflections on the past, present and future of gaming

Lights! Camera! Drama! How to deal with kids’ tantrums

Tantrums are simply unavoidable with kids. Sooner or later, some less some more, but any toddler has drama moments. Today my son was crying desperately that his sock was almost off, got twisted and he was unable to fix that problem. So he was shouting as if somebody was cutting him alive. Poor thing, such a horrible problem! Or my daughter, also today. She forgot that she has hidden her watch in the drawer, checked the closet and realized that the watch is not there. Poor thing! She thought that she was robbed and lost her precious belonging forever! I am being sarcastic, yet actually it is totally not to be done. It is for grown-ups that those problems mean nothing, but for a small kid those problems are real and important! If I look back at what I was worried about when I was 18, for me now that also seems somewhat stupid. Yet, I remember that back then it was a big deal. Why would kids’ problems be less important? Continue reading Lights! Camera! Drama! How to deal with kids’ tantrums

Balancing act: Choosing extracurricular activities for kids – Part 2

I have started discussing the subject of choosing extracurricular activities (further – ECA) for kids in one of my previous posts (see here). In that post I talked about the practical aspects of making a choice, like time, costs, balance with household chores and homework. Today I intend to start talking about a substantial aspect of this choice. In other words, how to choose which ECA kids should actually follow. The simple answer would probably be – find out the talents and preferences of your kid and find the respective ECA. Ha! Easier said than done. Moreover, I cannot help but wonder if talent is something that you are born with or something that you can train with the right focused effort.

If we look at the biographies of some of the famous athletes, we see an interesting pattern: the father of the famous Williams sisters chose that his daughters were going to play tennis. All family efforts, all money, everything was put on making them famous tennis players. Same story for Tiger Woods. His father was a well-performing amateur golfer who introduced his son Tiger to golf before the age of two and ever since pushed him forward. There are two things here. First, Continue reading Balancing act: Choosing extracurricular activities for kids – Part 2

Equipped right for a solo-flight: Essential everyday life skills to learn before eighteen

The choice of education for kids is something that is at the back of my head basically from the moment of getting pregnant (like it is with many other parents out there). This not only in the context of choosing the right school or opting for homeschooling, but also in general how to equip kids for life in the best way possible. I started talking about this subject in two previous posts – about future-proofing kids (link) and about choosing extracurricular activities (link). Today I would like to elaborate on my list of essential everyday life skills to teach a kid before he or she is off to a grown-up life, namely somewhat before the age of 18 years.  Continue reading Equipped right for a solo-flight: Essential everyday life skills to learn before eighteen