I want to remember how Ryan and Connor have specific, different personalities—that even though they have similar interests, they live, play and express themselves very differently.
We recently had parent-teacher conferences at the boys’ school. We reviewed their experiences and behaviors at school, and I want to remember how their teachers described them—summed up in two words Connor is expressive and independent, and Ryan is thoughtful and deliberate. We also talked about how to teach children empathy, and how that’s the positive alternative to punishment. So for instance, when one child does something to hurt the other child, you talk to the first child about what the second child is feeling, are they crying or hurt or sad? You help the first child understand that the second child is experiencing a feeling, that was caused by their actions. It’s all about connecting the dots, and helping the kids understand emotions and consequences. It’s not about me showing empathy for the kids, but teaching them how to have empathy for others.
I want to remember how Connor pronounces helicopter—hopticopter.
I want to remember how Ryan loves the t.v. show Survivor and how when he accomplishes something physical, like running fast, or climbing, he will say that he 'earned immunity.'
I want to remember to teach the boys that: "My humanity is bound up in yours for we can only be human together." (Desmond Tutu)