So…Jason had a meltdown two days ago and was unable to do his reading. As a consequence, he will no longer be allowed to play video games or go to the skate park BEFORE he does his work. He was terribly upset about this yesterday, but after screaming and crying, began to settle down and try to adjust himself to the new routine. He asked if he could watch a movie while calming down, and I said “sure.”
He sorted through Netflix and came up with “13 Assassins”, Takashi Miike’s glorious (and very violent) samurai film. I thought about it, and decided that there were a few scenes we could fast-forward through, but that it was bizarre and colorful enough to catch his interest. We started watching…and then I realized that HE WAS READING THE SUBTITLES. I quietly suggested that he might want to read them aloud. He asked if that would count for his time. Well, sure…
And damned if he didn’t do it. Further, because the names were in Japanese, he actually had to break them down phonetically, rather than simple recognition: REAL reading, as far as I’m concerned. And…he had to speed up to finish reading a line before it disappeared from the screen. And…he was able to use funny voices, which entertains him. As a result, the time flew by, and he got all his work and reading done.
Wow. And asked if we could do that again.
The “Ancient Child” program asks us to conceptualize a “child” self within us. That “younger self” has all our energy, aliveness, and creativity. It focuses on things until they get done…IF they are interested. So you have to find ways to coax this part into being engaged.
I consider reading to be central to Jason’s maturation, for a variety of reasons. Contained within the interaction yesterday were a whole bunch of important lessons, if I consider him an analogue for my own inner emotional being. Let’s look at some of them.
1) I had a specific, measurable result I had communicated to him.
2) He believes that I am trying to do something positive for him.
3) It is critical that I understand there is a war going on in his head and heart: self-determination versus obedience (for instance)
4) There was pain associated with bad behavior, pleasure associated with positive behavior.
5) He understood that the change in actions was motivated directly by his previous behavior.
I had to quash the part of me that wanted to rise up against his “challenge” to my authority. IT WAS NOTHING PERSONAL. THIS IS BETWEEN JASON AND HIS OWN HEART.
I am merely the facilitator in helping him reach adulthood. NO ego allowed.
Behavioral flexibility is key. I want him to read novels. He’s not always ready for that. I have to see other ways to accomplish the same thing: learning to decode digital information to visual/auditory/kinesthetic. Learning to control his emotions. Learning to obey. Yes, obey. I don’t know a single successful person who didn’t learn this lesson, even if they couldn’t wait to be self-determining. I HAD TO BE ABLE TO SEE A DIFFERENT OPTION that had been right in front of me.
One approach to goal setting and accomplishment is to:
1) Clearly define your goal
2) Get leverage on yourself to do it.
3) Define the minimum steps to accomplish it
4) Bring in the new resources necessary to accomplish it.
5) Take daily action.
6) Measure results
7) When something works, double down. When it doesn’t work, try something new.
8) Let yourself FEEL the pain of failure, while maintaining love and faith.
9) Celebrate victories.
10) Start over again
GOALS X FAITH X ACTION X GRATITUDE = RESULTS.
We’ll see what happens, but right now, I’m feeling kinda grateful. My baby boy won the day.
(p.s.–Jason held a headstand this morning, unassisted, for a count of SIXTY. Before today, the longest he’s ever done is about FIFTEEN seconds. I don’t know what that will translate into…but that requires focus, calm, proper breathing, proper alignment, practice, patience…all sorts of things that contribute to his maturation. Can’t wait to see what’s next!)