Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What to do when kiddos are bored

According to The Wall Street Journal, "kids who complain of boredom aren't necessarily lazy or slacking off, but are actually in a tense, negative state."

And what you don't want to do is "mask the state of boredom with excessive stimulation," because "in the long term, it makes us more ripe for boredom." How true!

Would you know what to do when your children say they are bored?

According to the article, here are the "boredom busters":

- Take a breath. Resist the urge to get angry or punish the child for being 'lazy.'

- Don't jump right in: Make the child responsible for finding a solution.

- Limit screen time: including computer, video games, and TV.

- Avoid the toy box: Guide the child toward imaginative or active play instead.

- Fill a jar with paper slips with the child's ideas for things to do.

- Suggest chores that will make other options seem more appealing.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to pick the best seat at a dinner party

Here is a genius infographic on how to choose the right seat at any social gathering, by Alex Cornell:

     4 Person Circle: This is the ideal setup. You are safe sitting in any seat. Regardless how interesting everyone is, you pretty much can’t go wrong. Note: as the diameter of the table increases, so too does the importance that you sit adjacent to someone you like.

     4 Person Square: This configuration (as opposed to two chairs on each side) is less fraught with problems. Something to watch out for is diagonal conversations, i.e. breaking the into two parts and getting stuck with the more boring of the three tablemates.

     6 Person Circle: How loud the restaurant is determines how important it is that you claim a middle seat. A quiet space allows for cross-table diagnoal talking, and generally one conversation. A loud space however forces multiple conversations and less diagonal.

     8 Person Rectangle: To get one of the interior 4 seats, you need to time your approach expertly. You can’t be first, else you’ll be expected to file to the end. And you can’t be last, else you’ll be stuck with the least interesting seat at the table. Timing is everything.

     7 Person Rectangle: It’s very easy to get screwed in this scenario. While it may appear like you can sit anywhere except the ends, this is not so. You are at risk of sitting next to the lonely end-seat, which requires you to speak soley to that person for the duration of the meal.

     2 Tables of Any Size: You’re ******. Regardless of how you time your approach, you will inevitably choose too soon. Lament as the other table’s attendance crystallizes into what is clearly the superior group. Sometimes it’s best to visit the bathroom while seats are chosen, so any seating disasters are the result of chance, and not your own miscalculation.

Speaking of awesome infographics, here is a fun book that I recently got Sung as a part of his Christmas gift -- The Best American Infographics 2013.

(Image from Alex Cornell's blog)