Not all sardines jump in the net, son!

I often think in metaphors. I watch something, read something, hear something, I'm always looking for how this is reflected in ordinary life, and then certain phrases land in my mind to be expressed at the opportunity.

Of course, I control myself, because "too much is too much" and "if you are a philosopher at home, you will become a donkey with horns". As you can see, I have variable success in controlling myself.

Not all sardines jump into the net - that's from the cartoon "Boiler Rain". Watch it if you haven't had the chance. It's the story of a boy who is fascinated by inventions. His father is a sardine fisherman. His mother is dead. When the boy fails in an invention, his father tells him: "Not all sardines jump into the net, son!" And the son replies angrily, "I don't understand your fisherman metaphors!"

I find myself thinking about sardines quite a lot on a daily basis. Because adult life can sometimes consist of sardines that don't jump in the net. That is the feeling. Making pancakes - too much salt. Iron a shirt made of a sensitive fabric - melt a hole. Patiently prepare the children to leave the house with reminders, timing and choices - find yourself back there with a screaming two year old thrashing around in the hallway.

Not all sardines jump into the net. This means that most of them do. It also means that nets need to be cast further. Just expect that there will be times when it just won't.

This also applies to your child/children.

In fatigue, even after cool events, even at the epicentre of cool events, a child can cry and say that he doesn't like all this, that he loathes the party and all the people at it, that he doesn't love you, that "nobody wants to be friends with me", that "you never buy me anything", etc. 

What I'm trying to say is, you don't have to catch all the sardines. Don't take it personally, first of all. And secondly, help your child to see that overall it's a good time, but tiredness paints everything black.

The human mind, in times of trouble, can "throw the baby out with the bathwater". When one thing goes wrong, I often have thoughts and feelings that I'm not good for anything, why did I think I could be good for anything, and in general - I'm fat and uncool, I've ruined the lives of the children I've created, and in general - there's a hole in my pantyhose!

So I come today with a reminder of the rather ridiculous nature of your brain. If you understand this principle, you can allow yourself to sit for a little while and then remind yourself that not all sardines jump into the net, and that is OK, and it does not mean that no sardine has ever jumped into your net.

An important note - don't make metaphors for your children. They probably don't really grasp them, because by the age of 10/11, concrete thinking is dominant. Try to explain in direct, clear and easy language.

By the way, if you are interested in the topic of listening/not listening and "how to punish a child properly", you can find my lecture "To punish or not to punish?" here:

And here you can apply for the Child Emotional Education (CEA) course, which starts on 16 April:

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