All posts by Sam

Power of the Moment

Raising kids is a challenge. If you would have asked me some years ago I would have denied that. In the meantime I know it’s everything else than simple. Every second you are spending with your kid and every word can change the behavior of your descendant long-term. I am sure you are remembering some key moments of your childhood which triggered something in you. Something like “I’ll never will behave this way” or “Wow, that’s great, I wanna be that way too.” If mom screams her lungs out when she meets a spider, what will the little daughter girl think? Yeah, she will think what a scary and dangerous animal and most probably will be scared by spiders too.

The problem now is, you don’t know all time when your child has such an important game-changing moment. You might not see if something burns into a kids mind as a response of your behavior in that moment. Sometimes you will find out days later, when your kid brings up a topic again which you already forgot. Like “Daddy, why did you say that …”. You don’t even remember clearly what you said exactly many days ago and then you are realizing that this single unimportant comment, mentioned along away, not even necessarily to your child, makes your kid think, thinking over a longer period of time. It became so important for you child that she is asking questions regarding to this many days afterwards.

Sometimes parents never will find out which moments influenced their kids and to which degree. But is this really a problem? Do you really need to know all these trigger moments? Can you control these moments and what they trigger actively? I don’t think so. I rather believe you should think about your behavior first. When you behave all time as you would like your kids to behave, I think these triggering moments will be positive triggers most of the time. And that’s all I can do and in fact that’s all I want. Isn’t it?


Do you know this feeling? Do you experience it too? The feeling to miss something important? The feeling to waste time, to be too late? This feeling creates a deep and heavy restlessness within me.

Example vacation, going to a place I like, for some days to recover and relax. Usually I start with lots of plans in mind. There are many things to do once arrived there. I wanna reach that mountain by bicycle or I wanna hike there, do this and do that, all the great things I did last time and a few more. In winter when I go for cross-countr skiing I need to stand on ski already on the arrival day, even if I hit the trace not before the late afternoon. Once on ski I wanna get some kilometers and I usually I have a number in my head I wanna reach, already on the first day. So it happend very often that I did not return before nightfall, but I made my 20-25 km. This usually satisfies my restlessness for a short period in time, but the planning game for the next days starts again at the evening.

But what is this? What a misbelief that packing a vacation full of action might lead to a better stay, more relaxed, more memorable, more complete. Wouldn’t it be more recreative when starting into such a week more slowly, doing less actions with more mindfulness and attention. Wouldn’t it be better to just enjoy the valuable moments instead running after life full speed all time? Wouldn’t it be better to do a few things right instead of many in a rush? So it looks like the recreation expectation I have does not match with the actions I try to fulfill these expectations. Interesting, isn’t it?


Tomorrow I wanted to start for a one-week trip and right at time my car wanted to have some fun by showing me a yellow engine warning light in the cockpit. No issue, lets visit the garage of my trust. Hmm, unfortunately there is no trusted garage around anymore. Plan B then is to visit the nearest one, which had been closed between Christmas and New Year. Nice. But there are more garages and finally I found an open one. There error log of my car showed 6 errors, wow. This needed further investigation and I went back home by train, with the outlook to get my car back the next day. Dreams, I called the garage to learn that one electronic control unit has a malfunction and needs to be replaced. Good, just do it was my first thought. But unfortunately this controller isn’t in stock and can’t be delivered by the factory near-term, arghh! It might be part of th delivery expected tomorrow afternoon, very nice. That afternoon I wanted to be on the highway already. Good, relax, lets defer the trip by one day and I asked when the garage would know if the controller would be part of it and I knew the answer already while asking, when the delivery arrives.

Now some of my plans are spoiled, I have no idea if there is still a chance to leave before New Year’s eve and the worst thing is, I am angry. I am angry about the quality of my car, about the bad timing, about the closed garage, about the out of stock controller.

Full stop. Is this little accident worth to be angry, to show anger? Not at all. Hey, it’s just one deferred day. One more day at home, which I could use to enjoy things here around. One more day I could sit in front of my Christmas tree. It’s so easy to get angry and ignore the good things around. Boosting up the anger. But every situation and every change has also a few good things. We just need to find and concentrate on them. Somebody told me some time, if a door closes for you, another one will open. And she is right. You know what I am going to do now? I’ll use this unexpected evening at home for a good book and a nice glass of wine. This is luckiness, isn’t it?

Teaching Behavior?

Do you think it is possible to teach kids how to behave properly? Kind of “Don’t do this and please do that”. I believe this is not possible. This is at least my experience.

For example I am trying for several months now to replace the plain “what?!” by a more polite “pardon?” in case one of my kids didn’t understand something properly. After this long time I still hear the “what?!”. The only recognizable behavior change has been the following “pardon?” after raising one of my eyebrows. I can’t count how many times I told them to use the more polite form. Teaching this by telling simply does not work. And this is just an example, but there are many more.

Okay, of course I tried some more things. Attempted extortion, “If I hear the ‘what’ only once today, I’ll cut the power cable of the TV” … know what, didn’t work at all. Another try has been bribe, “If you don’t use the ‘what’ today, I’ll give you this yummy bar of chocolate”. Guess what, didn’t work at all either.

But how to convince a kid to change that behavior? The most promising way I have found is exemplifying the desired behavior through my own life. I have realized that the behavior of my kids is much more influenced by my own behavior rather what I am telling about behavior. As long as I use the ‘what?!’ at times instead the ‘pardon’, I’ll never change the ‘what?!’ of my kids. I just need to behave the way I want my kids to behave. They will adopt this behavior over time. It’s so easy. Raising my kids starts with changing my behavior first. And know what, this turns me into a better human too … amazing, isn’t it?


If I had any idea what to write here, I would have written it here. But unfortunately I don’t have any clue about blogging, so you will never find out what could have been read here, if something would be written here.

On the the other hand, you are reading already when you are reading that here is nothing to read. Is this possible actually? I know some people who would call this antagonism. But why should you spend time to read if you already know here is nothing to read. And you reached already the end of the second paragraph. Strange.

Are you okay? I am already worried a little bit since I do not know that many people who keep reeding with the knowledge it does not make sense to continue reading. And you are still with me. Amazing, how is it possible that somebody you do not know is able to make you read something which is not worth to be read. Is this influence?

But how? We don’t even know each other. Why do you let it happen that I have that much influence on you to make you read even down to the fourth paragraph? Why do you not stop reading? Just like that. What is it, what keeps you here? Curiosity? Tedium? Are you to weak to stop reading?

Yeah, it’s quite hard to stop reading as long as you know you could miss something which might come in the next paragraph. You would even continue if I tell you there is nothing to read down there. It’s strong, right? But where does this power come from?

But anyway, you made it, congratulations. You did read that here is nothing to read nearly until the end. Looks like you have wasted a few moments of your life with reading this nonsense. Think what else you could have done with these moments. Why are you still here? Are you okay? Are you aware of this influence?