You

Improv Class and Uncharted Territory

A few months ago, I took an improv class. You might think I did it to learn to be funnier. I mean, it did help a little. But mostly it helped my attitude, just being open and ridiculous. I do still have a stockpile of ready-made dad jokes, though.

Improv is not only about laughs. It’s about facing uncharted territory with curiosity, enthusiasm, and fearlessness.

The post below perfectly captures the real reason that I took improv, which is mainly dealing with fears and ambiguity when you can’t sit and think about it for more than, say, two seconds. I’m naturally a sit-and-think-about-it kind of person, so I needed some help on that. 🤷🏻‍♂️

👉 Improv as a Crisis Management Tool: Tackling Uncharted Territory

Cheat sheet from the article… improv helps with:

  • Helping people build out their ideas even if you don’t agree with or understand them
  • Learning how to make decisions on a shoestring
  • Fearlessness, bravery and getting comfortable with mistakes

I quit after the first “improv 101” course, though. I got what I needed out of improv for now. And you will never see work up to musical improv. You’re welcome. 😉

The World · You

Stuff to Do While Stuck at Home

Isn’t it unbelievable that the whole world is staying home?

Here are 100 ways to entertain yourself while stuck at home due to the current (or any) pandemic.

👉 100 things to do while stuck inside due to a pandemic

My favorite? “Try moving in super-slow motion. It’s OK to laugh at regular speed.” Or a better yet, a slow-motion sword fight if you have a friend around. Sound effects are required. Cha cha cha cha. Cha cha cha cha.

Currently, my living room is cleared out for yoga and Wii.

I’d also recommend writing, making an app, playing card/board games, hanging some pictures, changing your guitar strings, doing your taxes, and getting out if possible to safely support your local taco truck or coffee shop. 😊

Or I guess just watch some movies.

👉 100 movies to watch for every cinematic yearning or Every Oscar best-picture winner, ever

Even my rock climbing gym has some movie and book recommendations. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Parenting · You

Let’s Stop Saying No All the Time and Try a Yes Day Instead

Sometimes we parents think it’s our job to so “no” all the time. While there are certainly times when we must so “no” — hard rules, boundaries, safety — we often so “no” for the wrong reasons.

For example, we say no because the kids is just being loud or messy. Or when saying “yes” means extra work for us such as letting the kid help us with dinner.

Often “no” is our answer when we don’t have the time, energy, or patience to clean up messes or tend to bumps and scrapes.

According to this article, toddlers hear “no” an average of 400 times a day 😳, so “no” stops having real power or meaning to them.

👉 Let’s Stop Saying No All the Time and Try a Yes Day Instead

This article suggests a “yes” day and stop saying “no” out of reflex.

In doing so, our kids might be more responsive, obedient, and accommodating. We might even find out that saying yes can be fun—for the whole family.

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Parenting · You

Don’t Give Up—How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores

I have to admit, I’ve been slacking on giving my kids chores. It’s just basics – mostly cleaning up after themselves, emphasizing individual responsibility.

Without responsibilities, how will our kids grow up?

But this great article from Let Grow has me thinking about chores — reframed as “responsibilities” — as part of helping the family and growing your kid’s sense of community and self-confidence.

👉 Don’t Give Up—How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores

This article explains the benefits to your kids having chores responsibilities to do around the house. It also has practical tips for making these responsibilities work for everyone.

I’ve never been so inspired about chores! 😀

how to get kids to do chores LetGrow
You

The Artist’s Hierarchy of Needs

I’ve been taking on some creative projects lately (music and writing) and found this idea of an artist’s needs really helpful. I makes me want to create!

👉 The Artist’s Hierarchy of Needs

(I’m not sure this is technically a “hierarchy”, but still it’s a good list.)

Cheat sheet: creative physical space, creative imaginative space, creative peers / community, creative fuel (filling the well), being active / taking care of your body, creative edge / challenge, faith and belief in yourself and your work, having your work responded to, certainty (confidence?), and time.

Here’s just one of the ten artist’s needs that I really liked: The need for your creative edge:

Solving problems, pushing boundaries, developing something new is at the heart of the creative process. Rather than despair about how difficult it is, embrace the challenge of your craft.

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Parenting · You

Let’s Stop Telling Our Kids to Be Careful All the Time

I love this post from Let Grow. It’s calling out how pointless and even damaging it is to just say “Be careful!” to your kids all the time. It’s a really interesting read.

👉 Let’s Stop Telling Our Kids to Be Careful All the Time

Of course we all want our kids to be safe. But the point here is that we should teach them specifically how to identify and deal with risk instead of a hand waving “Be careful!”, which only indices fear and is mainly meant to make the parents feel better.

As parents, we should be guiding our kids through risk. Our job is to make them strong, independent, smart people. That means helping our kids recognize, evaluate, and manage different kinds of risk. 💪🏻 How about empowering them by asking them, “What’s your exit strategy?” instead of vaguely scaring them with “Be careful!”.

Using phrases that empower our confident kids to manage risk on their own not only gives them important information about their environment, but it also teaches them that they’re capable of doing it.

They even have a poster of things to say instead of “Be careful!”.

Be Careful Be Careful Print small