We ask kids to draw us pictures – and it gives us a peek into their minds. One interesting picture I remember from about a year ago – was when my oldest decided to draw a picture of a house. But not the outside – what’s on the inside – a floorplan style picture. There was a water heater and there was a kitchen in part of it, and the view of the water heater was top down. It was amazing because it had a circle of the top of the water heater and lines down to the bottom of the water heater.
Now this may just be interesting because he was at a cusp of brain development and getting over one hurdle and into the next, but the perspective was just fascinating.
But there is a lot in there we don’t understand about how our kids see the world and what they do or don’t understand. So when I asked my kid not to put too many raisins in his oats – every day – I should have got the hint that this wasn’t sinking in and I was the one who needed to do something about it.
This all came to a head with that big meltdown I’ve been mentioning. And after the kids were in bed the wife and I had a big parenting talk between us. I just kept trying to reevaluate my own stance and asked what can I do better. The answer was explaining more. I need to do a better job of setting the expectations before this kid runs us out of raisins every week. And what I came up with was a picture. Some construction paper, a sharpie and a quick circle. Luckily the guy likes to read so he was into reading the text of what goes in what parts.
½ - blueberries or mixed berries. ¼ raisins, and ¼ granola. And all it took was once. The next morning, he told me – how to make them.
As you go through your day, try to understand what your kid doesn’t, and if drawing a picture, or maybe outlining your bedtime routine, or visualizing some other solution – well, give it a shot.