After working as a professional economist for several decades, I now see things in the world of international affairs with a somewhat jaundiced eye. However, I am still learning about negotiation, and in the difficult arena of parenting. I have said before that children do not apply adult logic: adults are teaching children how to think and resolve problems from an adult perspective, but it takes time for a child to figure out what that means (see blog). When my wife says "Don't point!" Our three year old puts down her index finger and uses her little finger to indicate what she wants. "Pointing" means using the other finger, right? We will work on explaining that using any finger can be pointing. But for the moment, Toddler 1 Parent 0.
Sharing is one area where parents get unstuck often, thinking that by wishing it young children will see that it's good to give up something so that someone else can be happy, with the promise that you will get back your favorite whatever of the moment. What nonsense! When you look at how international politics is played out, you often see that there are some children who never learnt to share, so they can't let go of their toys (read "positions") and explore life without them for even a few moments. Children get bored quickly or see the sense because whatever seems threatened is changed, and that is often what saves heartaches over sharing.
Today was great fun when Rhian had her schoolfriend from a few doors away come over and play in the pool. There was a lot of taking and not giving, especially over who could use the pink plastic ring. Of course, the two girls love pink and wanted to be first to jump into the ring. Suggesting that one use the green dragon while the other used the ring did not work. But proposing that one spin in the ring then let the friend take a turn while you got out to jump in again worked a treat. Why? Perhaps each child figured that by getting out fast and being ready to jump in again would spoil the other's fun? Perhaps they saw that for a brief moment they were not competing for the same toy, so giving it up was not to see it immediately become the "love object" of the other kid. A child psychologist can perhaps comment and clarify. I just recall what someone explained about juggling: you have to be prepared to let go of the one ball otherwise you will never get to throw up another one. In a group it's a great experiment to show how if the balls are released quickly in a certain sequence a large number of balls can be moving in the air at any time. That way everyone can do more by sharing and cooperating than by trying to do it all by him- or herself. So, I hope that this anecdote gets posted on the website of a few international organizations and that "we can all get along".
"Cyborg Finance" paper - Little pre-abstract primer for this paper: *Detective Del Spooner*: Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine. A...
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