Thursday, October 24, 2013

Autism Answer: Taken from the Tip Jar!

"Teachers are trying to not let kids be kids. They are always making us sit down and learn what they want us to learn. But I always learn more when I have freedom to be myself at home than when I'm sitting around doing work at school."~Declyn (my twelve year old)

We have a tip jar sitting on the kitchen counter. I don't expect my family to drop coins or random dollar bills in it as a way to thank me for making healthy (and every once in a while, tasty!) meals. Not that I'd complain! Rather, I encourage them to add random thoughts and suggestions for life in it. 

Having that idea was one of those rare parenting moments when I patted myself on the back. I mean... how cool is that?! It means that I highlight the importance of making our ideas clear and sharing with each other! They'll practice spelling and clarity! They'll feel valuable and smart! And it underscores my belief that, though money is important and something to be proud of earning, the end goal is about filling our tip jars with ideas and beliefs and equality and passion and happiness!! Cool!!

Of course, usually when I look through the tip jar, all the tips are my own. My boys said they thought it was a cool idea, but then never add to the jar. We've had the jar for six months. I've moved it around, hoping to make the idea new again so that they'll play my game. Shay added this a few weeks ago, "We should put tips in the tip jar." Cute!! Cheeky!! Better than nothing!!

But one morning I saw that one from Declyn. The one I opened this post with, about school. I have no idea when he did it, but there it was.

And you know what I'm thinking? I freaking love the tip jar!!!! It's not that specific tip (which encouraged much fun conversation with my boys and I!) that reminds me to love the tip jar. It's the feeling of knowing my idea wasn't silly, and is going to do what I'd hoped it would. 

When we have creative and fun ideas as moms, dads, sisters, friends etc... there is very often an excitement and then a slow waning followed by giving it up. If it doesn't work in the first few days, or maybe weeks, we tend to feel silly and quit. Don't!! If the idea feels right, and you can point clearly to reasons why it truly could help, keep it up! Perhaps you can step back and re-adjust your approach a bit--like me moving the tip jar around to make it new again--but don't give it up!

Like Declyn said in his tip: we always learn more by being ourselves. So believe in your ideas and let them mature!!
Please, come on over and LIKE my Facebook page so you can comment, and we can learn from you and your family!!

And while your hanging with us, feel free to offer us some tips for our tip jar!!

Look! It's our tip jar!
Also, a witch/pumpkin thing.
Because, why not?!