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Through the course of my one year experience with my son, I have developed several theories such as the 4N and Power of No to better help me raise my son.
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Barack Levin

Author: Barack Levin

Fun with the Simple Things in Life

Posted by Barack Levin on 7th December 2011

Many parents ask me: “How can I engage my kids? What can I talk to them about? They never want to tell me anything any way”. My answer is very simple: engage them in the simplest everyday things. Make benign things a fun and mind blowing experiences for them.

I was going to visit a friend who lives in a gated community. The kids were with me at the car. Before reaching his gate and keying the entry code, I had a great idea.

“Kids” I turn back.

“Yes” they answer

“We are approaching his house but we need to key in his gate code to enter the community. I do not remember the code but I know it is 5 digit long. Do you mind trying to guess what it is?”

I can see how their eyes sparkle. Dad needs their help. They consult with each other for a few seconds and come up with a series of 5 digits.

“Ok” I reply as we stop by the keypad “Let’s try. Give me the numbers” and they do. I hear behind me: “3, 2, 7, 8” a little commotion and the last number comes in as well “5”.

I reach the keypad and key in the right code given to me by my friend but say out loud the numbers they just gave me, asking them to repeat them one more time but slowly.

“3, 2, 7, 8 and 5” I call out loud as the keypad beeps my entries.

To my kids’ utter amazement, their imaginary “code” works and the gate opens.

This small incident was the talk of the day. They could not believe how smart they were to guess the code.

It is the simple things in life that ignite our kids’ imagination. No need for cumbersome and elaborate electronic toys or video games.

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Shopping is fun

Posted by Barack Levin on 10th January 2011

Many parents shiver at the thought of taking their kids grocery shopping with them. They already know that they will fight every step of the way with them and prefer to leave the kids at home and do all the shopping by themselves.

In our house, the exact opposite is true. We love taking the kids grocery shopping with us and they love it too.

Here are a few tricks to help you as well. First off, make sure the kids create that shopping list. Let them check the fridge for the missing items, write them down in a list and decorate it. Secondly, at the store, send them on a treasure hunt. Their sense of exploration will make them interested in shopping with you. They will have to locate the items and lead you in the right direction. Thirdly, let them carry the shopping list, check the ones you bough and write down the prices next to each item. Let them also compare prices and see which item is a better bargain for you.

At the cashier let them unload the items on the conveyer belt and bag them. As a reward, let them slide the credit card and write their names on the receipt. For my kids, it is just heaven.

Lastly, use your imagination to carry the items out to your car. You do not need to only have them in bags. If they have coats on, I put some of the items, especially the ones who can make noise while shaken, in their coat’s hoods. They run around mesmerized by the noise. If it is not that cold, I shove items to their pants (does not matter if they have or do not have pockets) and under their shirts. They also love it and see it as a game.

It is those simple things that get them engaged in the banal shopping experience.

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