Evil Joy Speaks

Spawning the next generation of evil genius, one misadventure at a time

Tag: communication

Give it 24 Hours

Summer is here. The season of fun relaxation, gatherings, and .… partying.
I wasn’t a party kid. I never drank in high school, have to this day never smoked anything and always – and will forever be – a giant rule follower. It is at times physically painful for me to break rules and watch others break the rules.

Now I have children who are adult, teenage and pre-teen aged. Opportunities and temptations abound. While I hope my kids make safe and sound choices, I need to know what to look for. I need to educate them on what to look for so they can make smart, appropriate choices. The onus is on me to make them aware. I didn’t grow up around alcohol. As a legal adult I enjoy adult beverages in my home and when out. In the state where I live, I may legally allow my children to consume in my presence, however, I choose not to do so. My choice isn’t a judgment on others who make different choices, it’s just where I am right now in the journey.

I want my kids to understand what healthy and unhealthy relationships with alcohol look like. There needs to be an open communication route.

In conjunction with that route – we have a rule. The “24 HOUR RULE.”

Definition: 24 HOUR RULE; My kid can call me from anywhere, any time of day or night and I will pick him/her up with no questions. I will deliver other kids home into the care of their parents if they need to leave whatever situation in which they’ve found themselves. For 24 hours, we will not speak about the circumstances.

If my kid made a poor decision or simply finds him/herself in an unsafe situation, I want them to know I will ALWAYS come for them.

When we discuss, we’ll begin with a fact-based dialogue. Who, what, where, when, how. Who was there? What decisions were made? Where were you and were adults there? When did you decide to be a part of this circumstance and when did you decide to leave? How did your decisions impact the outcome of the day/night/weekend? How do you feel about what happened? How would you deal with things differently if possible or needed?

Next, what are we going to do? Is there any recourse? Is there a need for a consequence? If so, what does that look like?

Lastly, I want the focus to be on next time. What does next time look like? How do you deal, navigate, choose, and avoid situations and or people that put in you a position where you activate the “24 HOUR RULE?”

Having open and honest conversations is a starting point for us. If we can talk about the little things now, when the hard stuff arises, we’ll have a path to follow. We’ll communicate and get through anything together.

And that’s why we have the “24 HOUR RULE.”

photo credit: Photo by Pixabay

Food for Music Brain

I can’t even begin to comprehend the amount of space occupied in my brain by lyrics to songs. Old songs, new songs, kids songs, church songs, camp songs. Songs I wish I could forget and songs I didn’t know I knew.

If only this amazing power of lyrical recall could be harnessed for good. World peace, furthering medical sciences, engineering new ways to bring clean water to those who need it?

Nope. I can sing along with pretty much any song I’ve heard since I was 5. It’s kinda ridiculous. And I sing each and every one I hear on the radio. If you have been around for a bit, you’ll recall I was a band member. Not choir. I scare people with my singing voice…and have found the latest way to torture my children. I sing when their friends are in the car! Loudly, I sing loudly, and car dance while I drive.

While driving Eldest home I was belting out the words to a Megan Trainor song “If Lips Are Movin.” Eldest shook his head and I asked why. He said the usual 14 year old boy response, “Nothing.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDc_5zpBj7shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDc_5zpBj7s

Next a Taylor Swift song with the phrase, “Boys only want love if it’s torture.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9qDvDPnwYg

That’s when he said, “ENOUGH! That’s so not true. All these songs make guys sound so awful. Girls are way meaner than any guys I know! We don’t think that hard about stuff.” (I’m paraphrasing – was so excited to engage in actual conversation I didn’t get the exact words in my head.)

We had a real conversation about music and life. We laughed when I brought up the Ed Sheeran song “Thinking Out Loud.”  (You know…the one where he signs “I’ll love you till we’re 70.) I asked, “What the heck happens when you turn 71?” And Eldest spouts off, ” I guess Grannie and Grandpa are done for since they’re past that age!”

For the record I have no idea where he gets his sarcasm.  None at all.

Since then I’ve been listening to the words of the songs I sing. There are some really cool ones. Many are disturbing. Many are too sexy when I hear them come from the mouths of my Littles. I do let my children listen to “popular” music. I do sensor some songs but not all. They know which words not to sing. If they choose to sing those words, they don’t get to listen to that song anymore.

I love how we’re sharing our love of music and using it to spur conversations, learn lessons, talk about hard stuff. So far, regardless of the child, music has been the spark to start us talking. We bond over music. Sometimes all six of us will belt out a song together in the car. Other times I simply sing until I get smiles that lead to conversation. And I’ll do whatever it takes to keep our lines of conversation open.

Here’s to music and all the benefits it brings to our lives.

How do you connect with your children? Is there one thing that works across the board with all of them?

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