The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jason's Double-Green

Bonding to Jason, establishing rapport with the "client" is of unbelievable importance. I'm kind of tough on him right now, and sometimes I worry about that. But I'll ask him: "am I being too tough on you?" And he'll look at me with those angelic eyes and say, "no, Daddy! You're just trying to help me!" Bless this kid. He's saving himself.


I have to journal everything I'm doing. The last two weeks, since I started the pattern of combining our morning "Om" meditation with little pinches when his eyes shift away from mine, I've notice what seemed to be a slow, steady improvement of behavior. Last Friday, he was on Red, so I was quite strict with him over the weekend. Yesterday, he was on "Double Green"--the best he's ever done. It may have been coincidence. Might just be the natural development of his mind. Could have to do with what we did over the weekend. Or the cumulative effect of the last weeks and months. Or something specific that happened several days ago (sometimes you get a time lag). Or some specific combination of things. Or...or...or...

Sigh. For the sake of the record, over the last few days, the following approach was used:

1) No talking over the weekend, without raising his hand first. That means no singing, nothing, without soliciting permission first. Every time he breaks this rule, he does five pushups.

2) In Aikijutsu Saturday, very strict. No playing. After class, he saw some of the advanced students practicing cutting straw bundles with live swords. I asked him if he wanted to learn that. He said YES. I said that he never, ever would. Unless he learns to focus. That he is being asked to take more of a leadership role in class, that the younger (!) students are imitating him. That he must focus. That in a real fight, the first moment he loses his focus, he is toast. Oh, yeah, the kid is motivated.

3) More reading. I think reading is of critical importance, and I admit that I haven't been pushing that as much as I should. Reading came so easily to me as a kid, tht sometimes I don't remember it is as important as it is. So we started with the second Harry Potter book, and he reads it aloud for 1/2 hour.

4) Punishment: pushups, or holding a "plank" position until his lower back muscles begin to tremble, showing me that his abs are about to give out. No, I don't tell him what I'm looking for.

5) He doesn't get "game" at night, which is code for his evening ritual of beating the hell out of his dad. I am ashamed to admit that there is a bit of relief associated with that...I'm only human, guys.

6) No television.

7) Oh! I had him perform the first movements from the Bikram yoga sequence. Yoga asks you to be still out side, even if busy inside. When you are still outside AND inside, the poses refine beautifully. The key (in my opinion) to Scott Sonnon's Prasara is to be still inside and move outside (the same with Tai Chi or "Advanced Tibetans.") That may be too much for him. Yoga. More yoga..?

Relaxing of rules depends on performance. Love and affection never withheld, but he has to call me "sir" instead of "dad", which tears him up. Ugh.

But..."double green"..? Keeping my eye on this.

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