grok's the word | Grok the World!

grok's the word

There truly is no way to prepare yourself for having kids.
Prior to giving birth to my daughter Audrey, in my futile attempt to prepare for the unpreparable, (an excellent parenting book title) I purchased books on child development, eating, sleeping, etc. etc. etc. As the daughter of a communication specialist, I didn’t really think I needed the book, How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. Boy, was I wrong. 
When Audrey was two months old she woke up from a nap in the car. I watched her in the car seat mirror groggily summarizing that she was trapped in her car seat without her: binky, comfort lovey, or mommy within reach. Audrey scrunched up her face and the tears and wailing ensued.  Moms generally know their baby’s cries: hungry, tired, agitated, or in real trauma. I could tell this was not a traumatic cry, but it was still hard seeing her cry, so unthinkingly I sang, “Don’t cry, you’re ok!” Was I singing that for Audrey? Or me? How was that the first thing to pop out of my mouth? 
Now you think back to the last time you cried. Imagine someone saying to you, “Don’t cry you’re okay!” That is probably the last thing on earth you would have wanted to hear. So I stopped myself, took a deep breath, and said,
“I hear you baby. You sound so upset. I’m imagining you’re hungry or uncomfortable.” 
“You want to be home. I want to be home too!”  
“We’re almost there!”
Audrey reminds me, even on the road, compassion starts at home. I needed to self-soothe my own distress before I could be there for Audrey. Having done this, I then had the bandwidth to really be there to comfort her with true empathy. Soon we were both feeling more relaxed and calm.
I look forward to the day I can share the Kids GROK cards with my daughter. In the meantime, I use the GROK cards as a time for reflection and meditation, to give myself empathy for what can sometimes be the most difficult yet most rewarding job on the planet.
Claire Schwartz, mother of Audrey, and Christine’s daughter, is the new VP of Everything—social media, web site, customer relations, shipping, liaison with our Collaborators, and clerk of the works.
- christine
Do You Know How to Play With Your Sister?

I’m grateful to David Curlin (age 12) and his mom who both said “yes” to my request to share this with others. Their whole family has been integrating NVC principles into their daily lives and relationships, and David captured for me the essential aspects of us all “learning how to play with others” no matter what their age. I’m such a fan of play and fun and authentic connections! Thanks David!

*Do You Know How to Play to Play With Your Little Sister?*

By David Curlin****

age 12


Is your sister a pest to you? She may not seem like much fun
 but, if given the chance, she can be one of the most enjoyable people 
you’ll ever meet! All it takes is you to start playing with her.


First, to play with your sister, you must have two essential
 pieces of equipment. These incredible objects are you and a sister who wants to play.

****Secondly, and most importantly, the “you” object must be 
cheerful and kind. However, do not fake these emotions! If you fake your
 cheerful kindness in a sarcastic way, your sister will give you the “man,
you are such a bum” look, and transform into her slumped shoulders, pouty
 face position. Likewise, if you really cannot be cheerful, you, and she,
will not enjoy your time together. Therefore, before you ask to play with
 your sister, consider how well you will be able to play with her.


Thirdly, when you ask her to play, do not barge in on her 
privacy! Chances are she will want to play with you but occasionally this 
will change.  If she consents (remember, it’s a privilege to be able to 
play with her,) ask her what she wants to do. On the other hand, if you 
know that your sister will pick an activity that you despise playing, give
 her some choices to pick from that both you and she can enjoy. At times 
you may need to play some thing that you don’t like. Remember, the goal is 
to be with her, not to play your favorite activity.


Lastly, when you get tired, need to do something else, or when
 your sister is getting on your nerves, stop playing. An annoyed brother
 means a cranky, irritable (quick to get angry) brother, and sisters don’t 
enjoy that. Make sure you do not simply walk out of the room. Express 
your needs and feelings, give or think of a game that she can play by 
herself, and then move on to what you need to do. The important thing is
 to always be kind! Sisters adore kind brothers.


Playing with your sister may be hard for you, but remember,
even when she doesn’t show it your sister loves and is proud of you, and
 she is always excited for a chance to play with you.****

- Jean