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I once watched a show where they were talking about these "suites" in Las Vegas where you could stay "free" as long as you promised to bet some ridiculous amount at the casino. The suite was huge, lets say 3000 square feet, and came with a dedicated butler. The thing that I took away from that program was when they interviewed the butler and he talked about his training. You were supposed to speak an octave lower, half as fast, and move at half the speed. I think that the idea is that the staff are background and calming. I feel that this is brilliant.
This is how I try to interact with kids. I don't know if it's something that I picked up from my family or if that one interview from that show took deep root in my brain. Kids (not my own) are usually excited to talk to me (being the amazing uncle / parents friend that I am). Rather than feed this "wind up", I use the "half of everything" trick. No use the kid being so excited that they can't communicate. It almost feels zen in a way. Calm, slow, thoughtful.
I'd be lying if I told you that I don't get caught up in the excitement and mess up. But it just feels like the right way to act. It's probably the right way to act with everyone, not just kids, but that's another story.
It confuses me to see adults trying to excite a calm child. Maybe I just grew up in a family with too many excited kids. Maybe the other adults have never been attacked by half a dozen children hopped up on sugar armed with rope and a vague sense of purpose. I don't know what it is. But if you come across my calm child, don't wind them up and I won't shit under your bed. Both actions create a stink and a mess that will have to be dealt with sometime in the night.
FYI: rope burn all over your body isn't fun.Posted by jim at June 9, 2012 11:03 PM