What it is: A dare gone
viral Kids challenge each other to eat a
tablespoon of ground cinnamon without water. It will surely cause coughing, gagging, choking, and
sometimes vomiting. Oh, and it burns like heck,
Important: Schools across the country are reacting with
bans, searches, and disciplinary action to prevent kids from bringing cinnamon to
The Problem: Double Dog Dare
What’s going on?!? Society seems to have
stopped believing in the power of influence and choice. We’ve forgotten that “the generation gap”
isn’t just a cliché; it’s real and it’s an important part of child development. There’s a gap
between what you want for your child and what they think is best for them.
A bridge is
needed to safeguard against choice mistakes
The bridge is
built out of your ability to influence choice
The bridge goes up in flames when we ban, ridicule, humiliate,
and bully with authority.
While we’re at it, why not
ban dinosaurs and birthdays? Yes, this stuff is actually going on.
These are not answers to problems, they are
double-dog-dares: I double-dog-dare you to carry cinnamon, drink soda, or, heaven forbid wear cargo
pants! Have the fire extinguisher handy!
The Tip: Relax, Talk to your
The only way to learn from a mistake is to first be able to acknowledge that you made one.
The tip this week is how to create an environment of trust that enables admission of a choice
1: Redefine the word “consequence” so that it includes both good and bad.
2: Allow natural consequences to do the heavy lifting for you—natural meaning no one controls
the outcome of a choice – it just happens because of the environment created by the choice.
3: Personalize the choice options so that each choice connects with your child. Encourage
your child to play to win –
4: Let your child know that you’ve had your share of “cinnamon challenges” as a kid and
understand the pressure and allure. Toss in a few examples of your choice mistakes, too. There’s nothing
like showing your vulnerability to ensure your child feels safe to acknowledge a mistake.
5: Don’t over think or over speak. By focusing too much attention on something like the
cinnamon challenge, you’re sort of waving the red cape in front of an otherwise peaceful bull.
Step 6: Demonstrate your confidence in your child and in your ability to
influence and let it go.
Lessons Learned – without skinning knees too
You don't have to be
Phew, that's a relief. Sometimes you'll have an answer and sometimes you won't. Adopt a "win or
learn" attitude vs. "win or lose" and you'll be spared a lot of struggle.
Influence2 -- As always, the power of your influence increases
the minute you communicate.
Articles: Skipping School, We Can't Be Trusted, Tip First
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