Once a week, I have been trekking Scarlett and Malcolm out to the Ontario Early Years Centre for a parent education workshop on Resiliency.  Free child care, food and parenting advice?  Sign us up.  It is nice to sit in a room with adults and learn about education's newest buzz word, but the best part has been the homework assignments.  Malcolm is usually eating at the end of the session, so I grab the supplies and take the activity home to do with Scarlett later in the day.

The first weeks' assignment was to make a flower and it was the most soul satisfying thing I have done with my child all year.  Both of us felt that way.  On each petal, you write one strength of the person you are making the flower for (we were provided a long list of strengths to choose from).  She felt so empowered by all the nice things I said about her and insisted that we tape it to the front window for all the neighbourhood to see.  We made one together for Nevin and finished by making one for me.  Here is what she said:

Loving: "Because you love Nevin and me."
Calm: [Me: Do you even know what calm means?] "Yes.  Like 'Calm Down!' You're good at that."
Different: "Because you like matching clothes and like unmatching clothes.  We're different.  I like that."
Strong: "Yeah!  You have big, strong muscles!"
Planner: "Because you like to plan things."

Different?  Planner?  She nailed it.

p.s. Last week, our homework was to blow bubbles to practice deep breathing with our kids.  We were supposed to practice when life was calm, so we'd be ready to use it when Scarlett refuses to put on her jacket and the baby is screaming in the carseat and Nevin is freaking that he is going to miss the bus our child's age appropriate decisions cause us tension (refer to descriptive word #2 above - clearly this mom gets worked up often).  Blowing bubbles indoors takes the cake when you are 4 years old.


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