Posted in Health, Homeschooling, Politics

Mindfulness, Growth Mindset and ANTs


I talked about this in last week’s post when I was planning this week, but I wanted to go over what we actually used.

Steven liked the idea of the monthly tracker that I made. I think it’s going to take a bit to get in the habit of using it every day, but at least he’s thinking about his emotions and his goals. We aren’t being super strict about it because I don’t want it to be a source of stress, but I remind him about it a couple times a day and he’s been making an effort.

He also really liked the mindfulness activities book I had printed. It has some great breathing exercises and grounding exercises that I think could be used for all ages. I hung it on the wall near our trackers so it’s always accessible.

We discussed Growth Mindset and what it means and how it can help us a lot this week, formally and informally. I used this worksheet to start the discussion because it gave a really simple definition and asked some questions to help with understanding, and I added on this growth mindset statements worksheet and discussed with him why each statement represented a fixed or growth mindset. This opened up a couple other lines of discussion, too, like the fact that “I’m really good at this” is a positive statement but also a fixed mindset statement.

Halfway through the week we also started talking about ANTs. That is, Automatic Negative Thoughts, not tiny insects that I am for some reason terrified of… especially when they fly. We started with this free page that helps define ANTs. I also paid for and printed out the related worksheets from the same seller. I have since realized that these worksheets are better used (at least for Steven) to reflect on an ANT after the fact, to try and find a better way to deal with it next time. The better thing in the moment has been this poster that I printed out and put beside our daily trackers. It’s mostly been a reminder for me so far of some more useful questions I can ask him in the moment, but I’m hoping that over time he will start asking himself these questions without my help.

The last thing I want to mention here is these quote reflection worksheets. Steven is kinda “meh” about inspirational quotes. But I really liked discussing them with him. He had some much deeper insights than I expected.

News… Trump… you know…

I almost don’t even want to say anything. It seems like it would be so easy to just turn off the TV and pretend January 6 was a bad dream. A nightmare caused by my overactive imagination and too much time on Facebook.

If anyone is actually reading this, please be aware that I am not looking up articles as I write this. I’m not fact checking like I normally do. I’m just dropping some thoughts on the page based on what I’ve read and seen and heard over the last few days. I know one day I’ll be here again and I’ll want to remember. But future me (and you) will have to go find those articles, because present me is still processing and just can’t right now.

So. On January 6, while Congress was meeting to count the votes of the Electoral College, rioters broke into the Capitol building in I guess a last ditch effort to keep Trump in office. There were attacks on capitol buildings in other states too, but of course the news is focused on Washington. I can’t say I didn’t expect it. In fact, I’ve feared it. I’ve held my breath waiting for it to happen at every Trump rally.

I don’t know what I expected. Certainly death. Chaos. Guns. Crowds of rioters larger than anyone prepared for. All that was predictable, and happened. But people with zip ties? A wooden platform with a noose? A guillotine!? My mind is pretty good at worst case scenarios, but it didn’t prepare me for that. Some people are saying that the plan was to take hostages and hold public, live streamed executions. Which sounds absolutely ridiculous… but doesn’t seem unbelievable. Which is scary.

Thankfully, we’ll never know exactly what the plan was. Even though the police were outnumbered, they had time to evacuate. And during the evacuation someone managed to grab the ballot boxes that would have absolutely been destroyed otherwise. But whatever the plan was, this was not some random mob getting riled up by a speech. At least some of the people there came with a plan. Others no doubt did get riled up and followed the people with plans. I wonder if they had an “oh shit” moment at some point, and wondered what they had gotten themselves into.

At some point Trump released a video on Twitter in which he reiterated that the election was stolen from them and he won by a landslide and told them to go home. It was decided by Twitter that this was not helping the situation, that the “go home” part was not what his supporters were going to focus on. And his Twitter got shut down. Last I heard he is banned from all social media, even the official president account has been shut down. Oh, and related or not (I’m not sure), Parler has been removed from all app stores.

There were of course a lot of news channels at the Capitol building, and a lot of people posting photos and videos all over social media. There have been reports of people being recognized in these photos and videos and losing their jobs or other privileges. I have to say, that part has been kind of satisfying. Karma. Finally.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Stay safe!


Just another parent stumbling through the ridiculousness that is 2020. I'm lucky to be able to work full time from home, which gives me a bit more time to figure out this homeschooling thing. I started this blog mostly as a personal journal, but I hope it might help some other parents out <3

Leave a Reply