The Best Parenting Tool Ever – The Magic Wand

The Best Parenting Tool Ever – The Magic Wand

magic wandYou have found it! The best parenting tool ever! The magic wand. Tell folks you found it right here for free. It slices. It dices. It helps your kids deal with problems without even existing. What? Tell me more!

Helping Kids with their Problems

So how does it work? When your child comes to you with a problem, first off you have to listen to their story. Nod your understanding. Paraphrase their words back. Get down on their level so they can see the concern in your face. Pat them on the back and give them a hug if they need it. Sometimes that’s enough.

But sometimes they still have long faces and tears still dripping. Perhaps their favorite teddy bear has been lost forever, you can’t afford to buy them that $700 toy or their life’s masterpiece à la crayon has been accidentally shredded and they found the evidence in the recycling bag. These things happen.

Bring out the Magic Wand

This is when you can bring out the magic wand. You say, “Oh dear. If only I had a magic wand. Why, if I had a magic wand, I would make those tears disappear instantly. I would have your teddy bear here in a shake of the wand. And Teddy would be at his grandest. A flick of the wand and his matted grungy fur would be magically shampooed to perfection. He would get a black top hat and a fancy purple-and-green suit for his return. And little black shoes with gold buckles. Why he would even be swinging a cane. He would come home singing and dancing. In fact, he would bring a troupe of dancing bear friends with him and they would perform an acrobatic musical number right here in the kitchen. Could you imagine that?”

The Trick to the Magic Wand

fairyThe trick to the magic wand is to build a grandiose story that your child can image and in fact want to build on. You want to capture their attention and their imagination. You want to show them that if you had magical powers, these are the things you would do for them. Go all out; let your imagination take you away. It will take your child away too. Visiting the land of Make Believe can be a great distraction from what ails you in the real world.

General Wish Making

There are many things my kids want, but we won’t be getting for a variety of reasons. Sometimes when then whine and whinge about something, I break out my magical wand for wishing. Instead of saying they will never get that $700 toy (they can eventually get it, when they are adults with jobs), I say I can see how much they really want it. I then invoke the power of the wand and talk about how we could magically have everything we want. I like to talk about what I would wish for too. My wish is for a black unicorn with wings and a purple horn. Instead of driving to work, I would get to ride a unicorn to work. This is my favorite go-to wish. Then the kids get in on it, wishing for all sorts of magical wonders or telling me that unicorns don’t really exist so I better be prepared for that reality. I get so into my description of the flying unicorn that I think they worry I’ll be disappointed with the car that will be taking us to work and school.

Keep Your Magic Wand Handy

Magic wands are irreplaceable, but the terrific thing is you need only mention them to draw on their magical powers. Remember to always keep one handy for situations where your child is having a difficult time. Make sure to truly listen to your child’s problem first and show empathy. They need to know you understand how they are feeling before you bring out something as powerful as a magic wand. May you have a sparkling day now.

How to Clear Your Mind to Let the Writing Process Flow

How to Clear Your Mind to Let the Writing Process Flow

I had someone ask how I clear my mind so I can focus and get writing. I would like to say I do yoga and mental mind-clearing exercises to make this happen. I think these would be great activities to do exactly that…but I have not done either with regards to writing.

Still I do notice a few things that have worked for me and will happily share them with whoever is reading write now.

Set My Head the Night Before

I set my head the night before, like I would set a clock. I set my mind to prepare for the countdown of when I’ll get to write next. I tell myself to tick, tick, tick away with ideas in the background of my daily running around. I guess you could also think about it like a crockpot of ideas simmering until I have time dish my food for thought out. It’s great because I usually have something I want to write about by the time I can squeeze some writing in for the day.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

I need to have my basic needs properly met. Sleep. Eat. Drink. (By “Drink,” I mean healthy things like water and milk)

In particular, I need to make sure I’m well rested when I’m writing. I have literally fallen asleep while writing. The stuff just before I fell asleep was oddly enough, not my best work. Whereas I find if I do get a good night’s sleep, then oddly enough, I’m able to get a good day’s work in.

Don’t Go Online

Don’t go online. Don’t go online. Don’t go online.

I can get lost on the Internet: reading the latest news, checking social media, researching ideas, etc. I find social media a particularly bad habit. I want to see what everyone is up to, I want to respond to emails and twitter about.

But then I’m reading, responding and reacting. My head is running with other people’s problems, ideas, agendas. But what I need to do is write about the problems, ideas and agendas of my characters. Yes, in order to write and go into my character’s world, I need to hide from reality.

Hiding from Reality

Hiding from reality also means not checking your phone, answering your phone or calling/texting. It means putting a Do Not Disturb sign on the door of the room you are writing in. It means talking with the people in your house about respecting your writing time so you can complete your work. It perhaps even means finding somewhere else to do your work like the library or a coffee shop if you can’t be left in peace to write at home.

Write When the Fancy Hits You

Sometimes I’m just hit by an idea. I’m just doing something random and/or I see or hear something and I get an idea for a story or for a line to put in a story. Find a computer, your phone, paper or pen and scribble down your ideas. If you are really excited and have the time, then go start writing then. Often though, I don’t have time to dig deep into my idea, but it’s good to jot the basics down because it gives me something to go with the next time I do have time to write.

How to Clear Your Mind to Let the Writing Process Flow

So the best way to clear my mind is keeping it busy in the background during the time before I write, making sure I get enough sleep, staying away from the online world, hiding from people while I’m writing and scribbling down a good idea when it hits me. Happy writing!