This is part of a series called “Flip-Flop” – explained here.

I just finished listening to an episode of The Tim Ferriss Show where Tim interviews Ezra Klein – founder of Vox.com. Ezra was sharing his discovery that he could only retain information at meetings and phone calls by fidgeting with something.
His reasoning for it is that he’s a very ancy person, and if he doesn’t have anything to channel this constant movement, he’ll be very distracted and can’t focus on the conversation or education at hand.
Just because something doesn’t apply to me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. I don’t believe I have this problem myself, but my son Ethan does. Every night when I read him a bedtime story, he’d always try and grab a toy and play with it while listening, to which I grew up believing it was a sign of non-attention and disrespect.
I’d tell him to put the toy down and explain respect – or at least, my idea of it – and he’d do so obediently…but sadly.
My wife is more in-tuned to our kids’ needs than I am – and for this behavior she bought them these bouncy seats to help them move around while doing schoolwork so that they could get their fidgeting out of the system. I’ve been dumb and slow to jump on this train, and I regret not appreciating this sooner.
I need to appreciate that everybody learns things differently. I was unintentionally shutting down my son’s uniqueness and his ability – and enjoyment – of learning…totally against why we are homeschooling in the first place. I also risked creating a gap between “getting” my son and losing ground in strengthening and maintaining a good relationship with him. I know I’m being hard on myself and we learn as we go as parents, but it’s easier said than felt =)
Onward.

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