Hello, I was telling my husband about how happy I am that our eleven year old daughter, whom we home school overcame her fear of contacting some old friends whom she had not seen in several months. I realize that homeschooling is not just an academic endeavor, but it includes teaching and role modeling emotional intelligence. She was having difficulty acknowledging and expressing her feelings of loss be when her best friend changed schools, without even saying goodbye. This resulted in her not being able to connect with other girls at her twice a week workshops at her homeschool charter school. We had a talk in the car a few weeks ago, as I was trying to get a grasp on what was happening for her emotionally about this subject. She was reluctant to address it minimizing, avoiding, and deflecting. I realized that she may have been feeling shame and embarassment about her feelings. So I tried to help her normalize them, by telling her about when one of my friends moved. I told her it was normal to feel like numbing out painful feelings, but that to not feel all of our feelings sometimes makes us numb to other feelings that are good. I reminded her that all feelings are good even when they are not nice or pleasant. The next day of her own volition, she wrote post cards to this one friend who changed schools, and to her other friend who she had been estranged from. As a result, over the holidays they called, and have been able to pick up where they left off. It is wonderful to see her growth and increased confidence in this area.+
How do we teach our children to be mindful consumers in a hyper consumer society that bombards us with the idea that we must have things and even feel that we need to have these things. How do we teach them to distinguish between a need and a want. I cannot put my children in a plastic bubble although sometimes I would like to. I try to teach my kids to watch Television commercials with a critical thinking mind. I tell my eleven year old daughter that the purpose of the ad is to make her want that item to feel she needs to have it. She experienced a lesson that helped bring my message to her home. We bought a certain shampoo because she wanted shiny hair like the commercial promised she would have after using their product. After several weeks of using it, her hair (no matter how much she washed it) looked greasy, heavy, and dull. I began to wonder if she was washing her hair at all; in fact a couple of times I sent her back into the shower to wash her hair again. When I took her to her twice a year haircut to cut her split ends, I mentioned this to the hairdresser. She informed us that this particular shampoo "Pantene Pro V" causes a waxy build up, and is not good for hair. My daughter asked me later, "Why do they lie on TV?" I could not answer exactly why, but she learned the lesson to trust her own experience rather than what the commercial tells her. She learned that television ads do not always tell the truth.+
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