Monday, June 27, 2011

Social Styles Redux

Back when Leif was little, I was pulled into a program at work where one of the courses that I took was Social Styles. I remember watching the descriptions of the styles, reading the descriptions of the styles and yes (because these classes are ALL about repetition) then hearing about the styles. And I knew I was an analytical. And I blogged a lot about it here, just search Social Style on this blog.

Ask vs. Tell?

Ask. Easy. I never TELL anyone what to do, I ask them to do it. And I get into humongous trouble doing what comes naturally to me with my kids. I can ask my kids to get their shoes on 572 times, but I only have to tell them to get their shoes on 43 times. See? There is a benefit to being more direct.

Task vs. People?

Task. Easy. I am not a people person, I struggle (since I was a kid) with eye contact, but have worked really really hard at that over the years. I prefer to hide in my office and I don’t feed off of people interactions. Oftentimes they make me nervous.

Ask + Tell = Analytical

No surprise.

What happened then was they subdivided the quadrant and lo and behold I was shoved even further out there – Analytical Analytical.

Oh and my versatility score? Abysmal.

Over the last few years I have worked on my style. Yes, I could sit and push my way, taking forever to make a decision, waiting until I had ALL the facts. Or I could try and learn from the class.

Flash forward 6 years later and while in another program I was given an opportunity to take the class again. I jumped on it hoping to have increased my versatility and see if I am really, really that bad. I mean, I know I am Analytical, but I am not *that* Analytical, right?


Because this time, I came out to be a medium versatile Amiable. That would be Ask + People = Amiable.

Amiable? Me?

I have struggled with this diagnosis nearly as hard as I struggled with labeled Analytical Analytical. I am so not Amiable.

So how did I get there? It is funny actually because the first time around I had only 3 respondents (you are supposed to have 5) and they were each from far ends of the spectrum themselves. Well duh, compared to those two Expressives and that Driver, of course I would be viewed as the far end of Analytical. That’s it, it was my respondents fault!

So this time around I carefully selected my respondents making sure to hit all the social styles. Everyone I selected I have known pretty well for the last three years at least.

So, larger pool, better statistics. People who know me better, better precision. All this makes for good accuracy, right?

Except that I don’t feel it. Not at all.

Ok, well there was that day at Home Depot…

Back Up Behaviors… an Amiable when pushed will acquiesce. Pushed further will attack. Even further you have avoid. And push them to their limit and they become autocratic.

At Home Depot with AB…

“Fine do whatever you want.”

“You never listen to me, you want my input, but you don’t listen and you do whatever you want anyway. I don’t know why I am here. This is ridiculous.”

“I am going to go get the paint now.”

“Ok I am back and this is how we are going to do it and that is final.”

Acquiesce, Attack, Avoid, Autocratic.

Point taken.

And further understanding as to how I routinely end up getting my way… my husband is a Driver and his back up behavior is opposite of mine… Autocratic, Avoid, Attack and finally Acquiesce.

And now that I have realized this I can use it to my full advantage... right?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are all boys like this?

Me: "Leif get off the computer and come talk to me."

Leif: "What?"

Me: "What did you do today?"

Leif: "Nothing."

Me: "Did you go to the library?"

Leif: "Yes."

Me: "What did you do there?"

Leif: "Like nothing."

Me: "Did you look at books?"

Leif: "No."

Me: "Did you walk around?"

Leif: "No."

Me: "What did you do then?"

Leif: "I told you, nothing!"

Me: "Did you do the Pacific Science Center Rock and Roll thing after?"

Leif: "No."

Me: "I thought that was what you were doing today. What did they have?"

Leif: "It was a park."

Me: "So what did you do at the park?"

Leif: "Talked on the phone?"

Me: "To who?"

Leif: "Everyone."

Me: "All your group?"

Leif: "Yes. I talked into it and it was loud."

Me: "Was there singing at the ROck and Roll thing?"

Leif: "No."

Me: "So all there was, was a big phone."

Leif: "Yes, at the park."

Me: "Ok, so where did you eat lunch?"

Leif: "At the park."

Me: "Did you see anyone there you knew?"

Leif: "No."

Me: "No one there you knew at all? Not a girl?"

Leif: "No."

Me: "A girl with long black hair?"

Leif: "No."

Me: "Did she hug you?"

Leif: "Nobody hugged me mom."

Me: "Well Sophia's mom said that they saw you at the park."

Leif: "They saw C, not me."

Me: "Ok, did you swim today?"

Leif: "Yes."

Me: "Did you have fun?"

Leif: "I taught C a new move on protecting herself from flying water."

Me: "Oh, ok! What else."

Leif: "Just swimming mom."

Me: "Wow, sounds like not a very fun day. Did you have a good time or should we go back to your old school?"

Leif: "NO MOM! I had a great time!"

Me: "I wouldn't know that."

Leif: "May I be excused from this now?"

Me: "Yes."

Psychoanalyze my daughter

This is Skadi's 2nd favorite YouTube right now - she requests it every night.

Discuss please.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wasn't it just yesterday?

I know, it is so cliche. But yes, it feels like just yesterday I brought my oldest home from the hospital and now he is off wandering the streets and making his own purchases!

We could have left Leif in his school for the summer this year and moved him to public school in the fall. And it was awfully tempting. But his teacher discouraged us from this a bit and I agreed with her. Leif has always been pretty tentative about doing anything on his own.

Compare to me at 5 when I was going across the street to the park by myself, while my mom stayed home with my napping little sister. And it wasn't too long after that I was walking the three blocks to Mini Mart with a dollar in my hand to buy candy. When Leif even sees kids out doing things on his own he is worried for them.

Making the big leap to public school and riding the bus (without me)? We decided he needed a change of scenery and an opportunity to gain some self confidence to prepare for this.

I signed him up for three science camps at the local branch University as well as Adventure Club at our health club.

In two days of Adventure Camp I think he has grown amazingly.

This morning he didn't really want me to leave him there, stating, "mom, you would have lots of fun with us all day!" I know I would, I told him, but I need to go to work.

Then he hit the door of the Kid's Club Fitness Room and a few kids yelled his name and the word "dodgeball" was uttered and he was off. No time even for a kiss goodbye.

I waited anxiously all day to hear how his day went. It consisted of games and also on the schedule was a field trip to a local grocery store.

I have had to learn a lot too. I have had to trust that he will eat his lunch (fail today), get sunscreen on, knows how to use his inhaler (or at least get help) if he needs it, not lose his swimsuit, towel, goggles, etc. Then there is the whole thing with money. The girl who registered him told me that it is probably good to send him with a few bucks so that when they go on field trips that the kids can buy snacks or drinks.

The whole concept of my son having pocket money is a new one for both of us. On vacations, this hasn't been hugely successful, but probably more because AB and I haven't embraced it fully. Even when he wants to spend his money we have him hand us the money and order it online or pay for it ourselves. Leif is funny with money, he loves to have it, doesn't really want to spend it.

So today I suppose it shouldn't surprise me when he came home with treats that "he" purchased at the grocery store on the field trip, but still had his $4. He presented me with a receipt, so I was a little concerned until he finally owned up to the fact that his good friend spotted him the dollar. He frowned when I explained that he didn't need to accept money from his friend, he had his own for that purpose.

"But she wanted me to have it," he tried to convince me. (And I am not sure that I don't believe him.)

"You WILL be repaying her the dollar," I instructed much to his dismay.

A milestone of sorts... my son's first trip to the grocery store without me, with money in hand and the ability to buy whatever he wanted. (I am not sure how far "whatever" extended...)

He came home proudly holding two bags of caramels. "Look mom! TWO for $1!" he prided himself on. He also told me they were chocolate... he is in for a surprise.

He also came home talking about "Chef Boyardee".

I used to love Spaghetti-O's when I was growing up. But call me a snob... we haven't gone to that yet.

Tomorrow he is going to "Rollerena" for roller skating and I have pretty nearly given him permission to play air hockey the whole time and not skate in order to save his neck (and butt, and head, and knees, and elbows). I have taken him a few times with little success.

Last night I asked him what his favorite thing was, "dodgeball" was his quick reply. But thye do random sports (tennis, wallyball, swimming, etc., at the club) as well. I asked him tonight if he would rather go back to his Montessori school and I have never heard him scream "NO!" more vigorously. "We get to play fun games ALL day long!" And when I asked him how his day was it wasn't just a shrug - he uttered the word, "GREAT!"

Next week they are taking them to the library, a Dust Devils baseball game, the movie theater and to a gymnastics gym for play.

I am thinking maybe I should take him up on the offer to join him. First, before he gets the idea that he doesn't need me and second, because it sounds like a whole lot of fun!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Feeling the neighborhood love

Or not.

When AB and I were looking for our second home we weren't terribly particular with neighborhoods. We just wanted a nice home and really, in our part of the town, anything was open to us as we just wanted to be in the South end of the city.

When we found our house we didn't really think about the temple on the corner of a particular religious persuassion. Maybe we should have thought about that we were living in "Temple Meadows".

When I tell people where I live I can easily say, "behind the temple" and people know where we are. I have had more than one person say, "oh, are you XXX religion?" Maybe we should have known? Or maybe we were just naive.

Honestly I don't know how many of our neighbors are of that particular religion.

I believe this is partly because after just over two years in our home, we don't know our neighbors.

In our old neighborhood we knew the first names of our neighbors on each side, their kids and families up and down the street. We had two teenagers ready to babysit and knew that the guy four houses down was running for Mayor. We met and banded together to oppose construction of an apartment complex behind us as well as to request that a builder who came in to develop the last two lots in our neighborhood follow the code established (that required that 1/3 of the front of the house be in rock or brick). We were a community.

I don't get that in our new neighborhood. We know our neighbors immediately adjacent on one side alright, an elderly couple who are quite sweet and very helpful with RV and yard questions. And I know the family down from them only a little. Their kids are staggered from ours and the oldest isn't terribly interested in playing with someone 18 months younger than him and their youngest has a weird and vocal aversion to girls.

Yeah, we don't do much with them.

It isn't like we hide in our house. We walk most evenings around the neighborhood. We sit out on our patio and the kids play in the yard.

Still I feel as though the neighbors walk a wide berth.

I have wondered if it is because we aren't one of "them". (The ones who attend the temple.)

Or if we just live in an unfriendly neighborhood?

This blog has been rolling around in my head for a few months. Maybe even a year. How do I write this without whining. Or seeming like I am opposed to their religious persuassion (I think I blogged about Leif stating that Darth Vadar lived in the temple.)

Tonight kind of kicked it over that edge.

We were out for our evening walk and walked down a street that we walk maybe once or twice a month. Skadi was on her trike (as she is boycotting the bike with training wheels we were loaned), Leif was walking and the dogs were ambling along. A woman came out of her house.

AB: "Hello, what a lovely evening!"

Witch: "I don't like you or your dogs because they poop in my yard."

Umm hello to you too.

Nope. My dogs don't poop in your yard. They might walk there on occasion. But they don't poop there.

Rudeness? My neighborhood has it.