2 articles Tag effort

Lockdown: Keeping Your Relationship Alive

Keeping Your Relationship Alive During LockdownThere’s no denying the fact that lockdown is making things feel pretty bizarre for most of us at the moment. Families are spending more time together than ever, thanks to school closures and isolation measures to protect us all during the coronavirus outbreak, and adult realtionships are being strained in many cases. Between spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the same space and the kids being around ALL. THE. TIME, finding time to be intimate is one of the hardest things about “The Current Situation” (as it’s formally known in most households!).

With this in mind, I thought I’d share with you five tips for keeping the spark going in your relationship so that quarantine doesn’t have a negative effect on your intimate life:

Sexting

While whispering sweet nothings might be tricky when you’ve got little ears around all the time (what is with their hearing, as well? They’re like bats, until you mention tidying!), sending your partner a message containing some steamy content is the perfect solution. Install an encrypted app like Signal and reserve it solely for sexting with your other half. As well as helping to build tension, you’ll get a little jolt of excitement every time you see a message from your chosen private app.

Lockdown Lingerie

If you’re aything like us, you’re probably spending most of your time in pyjamas or loungewear, neither of which are known for their sexiness! Why not invest in some sexy lingerie sets from Steamy Genie? Even if you slip them on UNDER your comfies, a glance of something sexy and lacy underneath your flannel P.J.s will let your partner know you’re still thinking about your provate times.

Try to Have a Routine

Okay, so while I’m not suggesting a sex schedule (is there anything less sexy?!), having a proper routine can really help you to find time to be intimate. Lots of the people I know have thrown the normal routine to the wind and the kids are going to bed later, waking up late and not really sticking to any sort of timings. Make sure the kids eat dinner, have a bath and get to bed at a more reasonable time and you’ll find yourselves with much more time to dedicate to each other in the evenings.

Try Something New

I think we can all admit that everything is SO far from normal right now, so instead of bucking against this, why not go with it and try something new during lockdown? We all have those little curiosities that we’ve thought about trying but just haven’t got round to mentioning to our partners – well, there’s never been a better time to try it! Just don’t go TOO crazy, as now is really not the time to end up in A&E with a sex injury!

Tidy Up and Have a Date

We’re all probably quite sick of our surroundings at the moment, and our motivation for housework can be tested when it seems like no sooner do we tidy than the place is a mess again. Work together to get the house back to being spotless and then enjoy the spoils of your labour by having a date night. Cook a meal together, watch a movie and just spend some time enjoying each other, instead of sitting in front of the TV or games console while the other uses their smartphone!

Effort vs. Intelligence: Are We Failing to Prepare Our Kids for Failure?

clever kidsA few weeks ago, Husband directed me towards a really interesting article in New York Magazine about how we speak to our children. The basic premise of the piece, which was actually published back in 2007, is that when we constantly tell our kids how ‘clever’ they are (especially if they actually are of above average intelligence), they’re less likey to try something if they think they’ll fail. The main subject of the piece, Thomas, actually shunned activities unless he thought he’d excel at them because he was so used to the cycle of praise and achievement:

But as Thomas has progressed through school, this self-awareness that he’s smart hasn’t always translated into fearless confidence when attacking his schoolwork. In fact, Thomas’s father noticed just the opposite. “Thomas didn’t want to try things he wouldn’t be successful at,” his father says. “Some things came very quickly to him, but when they didn’t, he gave up almost immediately, concluding, ‘I’m not good at this.’ ” With no more than a glance, Thomas was dividing the world into two—things he was naturally good at and things he wasn’t.

It really got me thinking about how I speak to Sausage and the importance that I place on intelligence and academic achievement. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how I felt, as a child, that too much pressure was placed upon my using my intelligence, rather than being encouraged to pursue things about which I was passionate, and despite making an enormous effort to nurture Sausage with whatever  it is that makes her happy, I know for a fact that I’m guilty of constantly telling her how clever she is.

Sausage definitely needs a little encouragement to push herself outside of her comfort zone, especially when it comes to physical endeavours, and I can’t help but wonder if we should have placed more emphasis on “what a fantastic effort you’ve made!” instead of “what a clever girl you are!” and therefore created a cycle of reward for TRYING rather than BEING.

Further to the theme of the article about ‘clever’ kids refusing to try anything which might result in failure, I think it’s also possible to create a culture of not needing to try – I know for a fact that if I’d knuckled down before my exams, I could have been an A student across most subjects, but I coasted and made very little effort, and ended up with mostly B’s. I was a clever kid, by no means ‘top 1% of the top 1%’ like the boy in the article, but a lot of what was written in the piece really rang true for me. If I thought I’d be ‘rubbish’ at something, I never even tried, but I also put in minimal effort at a lot of things because plenty of stuff came very naturally to me, too.

I also wonder if, as parents and society, we don’t teach our kids well enough how to cope with failure and disappointment. Perhaps if we were to teach them that failure is a natural part of trying and needn’t be viewed as a negative all the time, simply part of a learning experience, then they may be more willing to put themselves out there. I know that if I’d, as a child, been told “failure doesn’t matter, it’s the effort that counts”, I’d have been a lot more willing to attempt things that I wasn’t naturally good at.

What do you think, dear readers? Are we letting our kids down by being TOO encouraging, rather than letting them know that failure is okay? Or do you think that by allowing kids to fail, they’ll make LESS effort overall? I’d love to know your thoughts on this.