Originally posted 1/4/14
My five-year-old is a sports nut, anything that has a ball he wants to play, watch and then play some more. Anyone who has watched a sporting event on TV can attest to the fact that nearly every play is followed by an instant replay, often in slow motion. In the event that a replay is not shown, our TV allows us to rewind the play ourselves so that we can watch and re-watch as many times as we would like. Because of this, every game played in our house, including board games, involves at least one replay showing how the action unfolded.
On one hand, the replay can be a strong teaching tool. By looking at how we did something, we can look at it again to find areas to improve so that we can do it better/different the next time. We can also look at the replay of how someone else did something or handled a specific situation and we can learn from them as well.
On the other hand, the replay can create a never-ending loop that leads to insanity. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic, let me explain. The replay also used in our house for each child to recount the grave injustice that their sibling has committed against them. After the initial replay, I am provided with the camera angle from the other child’s perspective, which naturally tells a slightly different story. Unlike the replay official, I don’t get to go hide under a hood to think about and decide which camera angle shows it best. I have to make an immediate decision to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible. Like any sporting replay, my rulings on the field are usually met with cheers from some fans and groans from others. The most important part is that play resumes.
Play resumes. They keep going and within minutes the incident is all but forgotten (or replaced by the next replay). They learn from it, accept it and move on. If only it were always that easy - but who’s to say it always has to be as complicated as we make it?
One last thing, don’t forget that when you pull together all the replays and keep the best ones, you get a highlight reel.
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I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.