Showing posts with label questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label questions. Show all posts

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Communication and Knowing my Child

            When Jenna was in preschool, the school district offered a course for parents to communicate with or discipline their children . . . I can't remember how it was worded.  Jenna was going through a whining stage and Roland and I both wished to assist her in overcoming.  Somewhere in my possession, I have the questionnaires as both Roland and I received our own packets of material.  Of course, I can't find them now to pull up an example except for the incentive charts found here.

            The questions were presented in a manner that may have led one to believe that the questions were about the children, but with each class and questionnaire, I felt like the class was really geared toward parenting and understanding ourselves.  It was a fun class, I thought and I really enjoyed getting acquainted with the instructor and some of the other parents.  There was a potluck dinner afterward and a nursery for the children.  It was something I truly did look forward to once a week.

            Jenna did eventually stop whining - but not until after the class had ended.  We were invited back the following year but had stopped attending as the material was exactly the same and we weren't quite ready for a "refresher" but I would review the material on my own every once in a while.  I had even scanned a lot of it, but haven't been able to find the connector to open the scans I had created.

            At the beginning of this school year, Jenna brought home a letter requesting parent/child representatives for a survey that is being conducted by the University of Oregon and child and family services.  Every three months they would send out two surveys - one for me and one for Jenna - to complete and send back.  Her survey was 9 pages.  Mine was always 17. 

            Each of us was supposed to fill out our own survey without discussing with the other.  But after we mailed them in, we would talk about what we had filled out.  For the most part, Jenna and I were right on track.  But I wonder how much different it may have been if Roland had been involved.  Questions included home life, peers, bullying, health, motivation, parenting and school involvement.  Some of my answers make it sound like I keep Jenna a prisoner . . . but there are no comment sections to explain why my answers sound like I watch her like a hawk at all times.  I don't - but because of the distance of where everything is, I generally have to either drive her or she will be picked up by another parental driver and so I generally do always know what Jenna is doing and with whom.

            We don't have the best eating habits.  We are all overweight.  But generally, we are happy.  Especially Jenna.  I enjoy when she is singing because I know she is happy.  I think often her singing grates on Roland's nerves.  He doesn't care for my contemporary Christian music either.  What's cool though is he will play Disney music.  He will blare up the Beetles when neither Jenna nor I are in the car with him.

            Jenna doesn't get bullied - or at least that she knows of.  I may have already mentioned it before, but her personality will actually frustrate bullies as she compliments or thanks them for their snide remarks or will ask the "bully" if he/she needs a hug.  Jenna doesn't believe that it is true, but there are several students who look up to and admire her.  She is well liked without being popular.

            We both wish she had that one true friend that she could hang out with.  She's a very friendly girl, but she doesn't hang out much with friends the way I did or had the opportunity to.  It helps that we have family home evening - a rarity compared to even her LDS peers here in Oregon.  I know she has friends in Utah who still do it.  It's a different world from when I grew up.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Things We Learn

          In these two posts (here and here) I mentioned how much Jenna loves learning about her family members. Until we had played Chatter Matters, she hadn't known that Roland used to play the trombone - or anything about his childhood really.  Usually it's just her and I, but she did manage to rope Roland into playing with us between conference.  After she won the game, we continued to go through the "family room" and "my room" cards so that Jenna could know Roland a little better. It reminded me of when my sibs and I would force the Ungame questions upon my dad.

          My parents actually did three listed on the card - hiking was more of a seasonal activity  or annual thing - and it was usually a part of either a daytip or full vacation so the specific places we hiked were Yellowstone National Park or Timpanogos Cave in American Fork, Utah.

           I don't know that shopping was ever restricted to just the weekend.  Movies also occurred on days other than the weekend.  I chose number one for myself as they took us to church which falls on the weekend.  By process of elimination, Jenna and I guessed that Roland's family would go shopping choosing from just those four.  Church was definitely out and they didn't seem like they'd be much for hiking. His parents (well his dad in particular) liked to have drinking parties - but that wasn't on the card.

          I remember going to the drive-in theatres when I was younger.  Mom and Dad had taken Patrick and I to one drive-in theatre called the Woodland.  The walls that surrounded the theatre were decorated in colored bubbles - like on a loaf of Wonder bread - but with more colors. 

There was a playground area for children to play before the movie started or even during intermission (because there was usually a double feature or sometimes movies that actually had an intermission; but we may have been asleep by then. 

          I also remember going to different movie theatres with my family both as a child and an adult;  Roland says the one and only time he'd ever gone to the movies with his parents is when he was an adult and had paid for all three of them to see "Kelly's Heroes"


Not all multiple choice, but once again Jenna and I had both predicted that Roland would answer "Watching TV".  I don't remember actually ever sitting down to watch TV as a family - unless it was something like "The Wonderful World of Disney" 

Mostly we played games or talked.  I don't know any families who read together.  Unless it's the scriptures - which I don't imagine would amount for "more" time spent.

          I don't know that Roland's family watched TV together either.  It was long before cable, and the TV offered only three stations.  There were no remotes and so the kids had to act as the remote and turn the station to whatever dad wanted to watch. 
       We learned that his father had only a fourth grade education and would often get drunk and come home and line up his children and say, "Your mother and I don't owe you a living".  I think my mom's dad may have been that way.  She said she was scared of him and when he would get drunk he would smack her mom around.  She was determined to give her children a  family environment different from the one in which she had been raised. 
         Roland's family didn't believe in families like mine - nor did I have any clue that families like his existed.  As I grew up, I realized that my family was not the norm. when we had all worked for Snelgrove's, for example, (each of us having worked there except for my dad) we would take the change out of our pockets and Kayla's would remain on the kitchen table for a few days.  None of the rest of us would take it as we knew it did not belong to us.  The money would have been gone in a heartbeat with many other families. The older I get, the more unrealistic my family seems.  That's too bad. 

          I don't know about Roland's side, and I don't believe he knows either.  But he counts Uncle Ted as family, and so with this question we all answer Uncle Ted - who celebrated his 100th birthday in February (I don't know why I didn't post about it to my blog; I did to facebook)

          My parents met at a Church dance.  I was surprised to learn that Roland's parents had met at a dance also.  He said his dad had been going with another girl at the time but had told his mom that someday he was going to marry her.  I think she just laughed it off - probably rolled her eyes as I did when Roland proposed to me.

          It had surprised us all when Roland said his favorite movie was/is "Oh, God, you Devil"  He received it for Christmas one year because he had said it was his favorite.  I have only seen him watch it one time.
          It's great how some memories will trigger others.  I think these questions are great conversation starters and I am happy that Jenna prefers this interaction over spending time on electronic devices.