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Family Man FYI

I Gotta Be Me! (musical notes abound) by

Brian Lam

If you’re looking for a new way to

draw ire and resentment from your spouse, resulting in sleep-on-thecouch-style blow-ups, I’ve got a great activity sure to accomplish that goal. Start telling them what they need to do. A quick and easy way to do this is to start every sentence with, “What you need to do is . . .” Spouse venting about a frustration at work? “What you need to do is . . .” Spouse concerned about weight goals, social obligations or strained relationships with their family? “What you need to do is . . .” This tactic also works well for those of you looking to alienate yourself from co-workers, friends and neighbors. I’m not saying people disdain solicited advice or instruction, but it seems to be pretty universal that people hate being told what to do. We seem to be pretty conscious of adults’ aversion to being told what to do (although, admittedly, I’d have to give myself about a 4 out of 10 on the awareness level, if I’m objectively self-assessing), but what about with our kids? When you think about it, kids spend almost their entire day being told what to do. They get up and they’re told they need to get ready for school, pick up the pace, brush their teeth, pick up the pace, get their shoes on, pick up the pace. At school they’re told what they need to do to be proficient at math, or reading or whatever else they’re learning. They’re told to line up for lunch or for the buses and parent pick-up. Free-

30 • Aug/Sept 2017

David Miles

dom doesn’t come until the end of the school day. Or does it? Kids these days (Yes, I just said that, and now I’m officially old. I’ll remember this date.) have an abundance of afterschool activities. My daughter does dance, piano, theater and singing lessons throughout the week. Other kids her age may do some of those activities and soccer, football and swimming. Have time off for Spring Break or summer? They go to camps. And not the “go-find-frog-in-the-lake” camps. No, these are camps that further reinforce these other activities. Camps that tell them what they need to do. When my daughter gets home from whatever activity she was at, she needs to eat dinner. Then, she needs to do her homework and she needs

to practice piano. Then she needs to get ready for bed. Now that I’m officially old, I can (most likely incorrectly) recall having significantly more do-nothing time as a youth. It could be the reason I’m not good at anything, but I don’t remember having nearly the amount of structured activities that most kids now are engaged in. I remember walking from backyard to backyard, playing make-believe games with neighborhood kids until an inevitable argument broke out and one kid went home crying. Maybe I’m remembering that as being a bigger percentage of time than it was, but one thing was for sure: our parents did not come out and tell us how to play make-believe. Nor did they tell (continued on page 29)

FYI Family Magazine Aug/Sept 2017  

Back to School! Anxiety and Kids: Helping kids cope, tricks for easier back to school transitions, school bus photo frame, recipes, events a...

FYI Family Magazine Aug/Sept 2017  

Back to School! Anxiety and Kids: Helping kids cope, tricks for easier back to school transitions, school bus photo frame, recipes, events a...

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