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How to get a kid on a slope Start trying buddy!

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It was winter. Everything was covered in snow, the outside temperature below zero °C. The Lidice cabin in Pec pod Sněžkou was much cosier. The staff was used to children. The personnel joyfully jumped over the tiny bikers and will-o’-the-wisps, who were searching for the table with mommy and daddy.

After lunch, the revitalised parents called their children and set out onto the slope and into the bad weather. And then we heard the “conversation” of a dad and four year old Matěj in the playroom. “Matěj, come on! We’re going outside!” No reaction. “Matěj, c’mon! We’re going skiing, we can have a race!” Still, no reaction. A short pause and then the last try: “Matěj, get up already! We’re going!” But again nothing. Dad’s situation was getting desperate and his patience was gone. There was a moment of silence and then came the man’s decisive words: “I’m going, Matty. Mom will pick you up.”

I admit we had to laugh at that point. The scene was like from the movie “S tebou mě baví svět.” Nonetheless, at this moment, I realized dads have it truly hard. After a long day of work, they get home and want to just relax and not think about anything. They don’t have a manual for these “littleuns” and even though they would like to handle the situation calmly, there is no other choice than to call the wife as a last resort and hope for a peaceful solution.

So what should dad do in such a situation at the mountains? It could work if Matěj to had some time to get accustomed to the fact that the game is coming to its end and then ended it himself: “Matty, we would like to return to the slopes with mommy. How about we play for just five more minutes and then we go?” With a bit of sensitivity, and uncomprormisingly, dad could stand his ground, even by granting Matty’s wish to stay in the playroom longer at least in his imagination. “You like it here huh?” You would like to stay here all day long…. But now its already half past two and me and mom would like to return to the slopes. The ski lifts works only till 4 o’clock.” And as a third possibility, you could give Matty a choice: “Matty, I would like to go back to the slopes. Will you go with me right now or would you like to play a bit longer. I could return for you and mom a few minutes later after going up and down the hill?”

And finally a more open question: “Do you have a different plan?” The question is free and is the “riskiest” for dad. Maybe he would find out that Matty had enough skiing for today and he would rather go sledding or build a snowman.

A man who wears a “jersey R+R*” at home—I know one such example—would add: “Hey, buddy, sometimes even all this doesn’t have to work, but if even your wife notices you are trying, she will be marginally more patient with you. “


*R+R - Respektovat a být respektován (Respect and be respected), Pavel Kopřiva, Jana Nováčková, Dobromila Nevolová, Taťjana Kopřivová, Pavel Kopřiva - Spirála, 2008

Author: Lenka Míkovcová Translation: Marek Hubbell

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