Alpha Tween

2019-06-23 12.54.22

I’ve noticed that a couple mornings each month, she arises with one goal in mind…

Test. Pack. Hierarchy.

She has a go with random acts of sibling violence and a Marie-Antoinette approach to manners.

It’s tiring but far better than when she was an Alpha Pup, each of those days was a grind.

+++

We’ve tweaked our approach as she gets older.

Written schedule – always visible – seven days forward. Without the anchor of the school week, this is a huge help. Keeps me relaxed as well.

Binary choices – One of her weaknesses is self-directed time, so offering simple choices works for everyone. Frankly, I don’t care what she does (so long as she does something). Since her first birthday, when she’s not engaged… it’s been challenging.

With the top two in mind => Listen, consider. change later. In order to run the house, we need a schedule.

She understands “change later” and we make it clear when we’re adjusting the plan based on her feedback.

+++

If you have a go-with-the-flow personality then all the structure, rules, discipline… you’ll be asking, “Is this really necessary?”

If your home life is calm then “no, it isn’t.”

However, if you have a young person (or husband ūüėČ ) who is constantly trying to take command then they might do better with structure, routine and scheduling.

For a few days each month the conflict is real. For the rest of the month, she relaxes into the hierarchy and our mutual expectations.

+++

It helps to remember my goals for the kids:

  1. Daily physical activity
  2. Polite => most importantly, to people with no recourse
  3. Learn to teach yourself and live independently

I am at my most effective when I lead by example.

When I need to give guidance: immediate consequences and always follow through (especially when inconvenient).

She has a nose for inconsistency and weakness.

The Big Boys Can’t Do It

We didn’t have the purest of reasons for starting our daughter climbing:

  • Living with her¬†was “rather unpleasant” when she didn’t exercise
  • The classes lasted 90 minutes
  • We didn’t have to stay in the building

There have been some favorable unintended consequences and all our kids will climb.

Upper body strength РGirls that do an upper body sport early get a lifelong athletic advantage in most areas. Climbing fits nicely into our swim family.

Clarity of thought Рone of the few healthy ways I could clear my mind prior to my 40s was via exercise. The clarity that arrived through my climbing was addicting. I was fortunate to change sport before serious injury. An old guide introduced me to the progression of a world-class mountaineer (Good, Great, Dead).

But the best part was my daughter’s reaction after the climb in the video.

We were watching the video together. The boy that you can see in the foreground tried to follow the route. He came off on the overhang. Two of his buddies gave it a shot and they both came off.

She smiled, gave me a hug and said, “Look Daddy, the big boy’s can’t do it.”

A useful lesson for daughters, and sons.