21 February, 2012

The EF philosophy for raising boys

Well, today didn't turn out as lazy as I thought it might have. It turns out that yesterday, though it contained excitement, an outing, and food, it didn't fulfil all the EF requirements of parenting boys.
And yes, there are similarities to looking after
boys and looking after dogs!

E stands for exercise.
F stands for food.

If, as a parent of boys, you ensure that both these are well taken care of, your life will be much easier. If things are going badly, it quite possibly be because you've neglected these two areas. Pretty simple really, most of the time anyway. Though getting the exercise can be troublesome when it's been raining a lot or if one member of the household is sick and there is only one parent around. It is also a challenge when living without a backyard as we have done for most of the last 11 years.

So yesterday was lacking in exercise. Thankfully today was spring-like day. I haven't felt that warm outside for several months, I'm sure.

But back to the morning. If you are my Facebook friend you might know that we had an interesting dinner conversation last night. I kind-of put a challenge to the guys. With no school and nowhere to be today, I suggested we could see who could stay the longest in bed this morning. It was a challenge they took seriously, though my 6 and 9 y.o. came no where near winning. I awoke (the last time—I was awake earlier about six or seven when my 6 y.o. was complaining about a lost bed sock) about 9.30 and rose a bit after 10 (wow!!!). My nearly 13 y.o. got up about 40 minutes after me! My husband cannot really sleep in at all these days, so he got up and made us all waffles, got to love him!

So, we had a lazy morning, but by late morning the signs were there that some more exercise was required. So after lunch we hopped on our bikes and found it was a gorgeous day outside. Truly you can miss these things in little Japanese houses. Because the houses are so close you cannot see far out windows, so you often don't even try. Additionally we've been used to hunkering down inside trying to stay warm recently, so no one had even been outside by lunch-time because we'd had no reason to.

We rode up the river to a local electrical store to find a replacement for David's more-than-a-decade-old electric razor. While we were there we also decided to buy a replacement for the two dying vacuum cleaners we currently have in our house. They work okay, but the head falls off one and the other was a hand-me-down from another missionary who happened to be tall — the pipe is not adjustable and it is just too big (or too small, if you remove a section of pipe) for me. More about the new one tomorrow...

On our way along the river David was spoken to by a hatted, masked, sunglass-ed man on a bicycle, whose voice David fortunately quickly recognised. It was our Japanese pastor who lives in the area. After a short chat our pastor offered to show us a new park the government is creating. We'd heard nothing about it, but indeed it will be the largest park in our area once it is complete. A gem of a resource to know about. There are several reasons they are creating it, but one is a bit grim. It is to be the city's evacuation point in the circumstance of a big disaster like an earthquake. As nice a park as it's going to be, I hope I never have to evacuate to it! 

We managed to get in quite a bit of good exercise before landing in a shop that always sends our boys a bit crazy. It has a lot to do with the annoying jingly music that is loudly played, and that it is a visually crowded place: lots of bright fluorescent lights and thousands of products. Pretty soon we needed to get out of there—not long after one son inadvertently set off the security alarm on one of the displayed cameras; and not long after I found the other two boys watching something on a big flat screened TV that involved people being blown to bits.

Thankfully by the time things had gone a bit pear shaped, David and I had been able to decide on the products we desired to buy. And as is our standard pattern in doing these kinds of purchases, he took care of the details while I took the boys away. In this case, outside and across the road to a large supermarket to fulfil the F part of the formula as it was mid-afternoon and time for some afternoon tea or a snack.

I also did a quick shop for some necessary ingredients, including potatoes for our very rare roast chicken dinner tonight. On my way out I grabbed a few metres of string that is routinely available for customer use. Why? To tie the vacuum cleaner in its box onto the back of David's bike. We'd not really done a good job of anticipating that purchase and left our stretchy cords at home. But, thanks to good-old Japanese thoughtfulness we had no problem at all.

The boys were much better when we'd returned home. We'd ticked all the right boxes. The E had been taken care of and we felt the better for it too! How nice it was to get a taste of spring — I cannot wait!


Angela H said...

Wendy, where does this EF Philosophy of Raising Boys come from? Or is it something you've noted over the years?

Wendy said...

It's all ours Angela. Developed through experience and confirmed by talking with other POBs (parents of boys). I cannot remember reading it anywhere, though plenty of people talk about the importance of exercise.