Kids & Storytelling & Cessation of the Doubt

Kids like to be entertained. As a teacher, as a storyteller, or as a parent sometimes, you need to “get their attention”. Yes, maybe, to be a teacher is to be an actor?

In Fanny & Alexander, a movie by Ingmar Bergman, a worn chair is told by the father into the world’s most valuable armchair to a doubtful bunch of kids. Power of imagination! You see sparks  in their eyes…

When he wants to destroy the “throne”, at the end of the scene, the kids SCREAM!

BUT ALSO

Kids know they are entertained, but they play the game. It then becomes the essence of entertainment : Cessation of the doubt – or suspension of disbelief. They know you’re embarking them, but they like it. They dive into your story.

It’s not an “as if” attitude! It’s a “Oh I’ll be entertained!”. It’s an openness. They go for it.

Once they’re in your story, they follow, they’re happy.

BUT ALSO

Kids are smart. So… in one second, you can bring them back to reality, you can waltz between the terrible witch, Dorothy, and… yourself back.

My opinion here is it’s smart to use this intelligence, to be aware of it.

They believe you, they don’t want you to burn the magic golden throne, but at the same time, they know.

The tango between “You’re in the dream of the story” and “You’re aware I’m an adult playing with your mind” is an elevation process.

Thanks for reading!

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Elbowing the Audience by killing the Suspension of Disbelief

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A little snow time for you…

It is possible, in the end of June, that you’re too hot these days. Here a few photos I took in December 2009 in the North of France. For your pleasure. You’re welcome.

Have a nice day!

 

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Surmount Influence & Engulfing

ONE (INTRO)

As I write in another language I have to think about questions like :

“What’s the différence between To overcome and To surmount?”

I chose surmount, then I have a problem with “To engulf”. I want to translate “L’engloutissement”.

Of course engloutir/engulf means like in English “to swallow entirely”, but it’s differently charged.

I saw “engulfed by flames”, which makes sense, but in French it’s more about… water. The Engulfed Cathedral is a piano piece by Claude Debussy. Englouti means devoured by water (not and never by flames, for example).

TWO

Novel writers have often the problem to solve : to surmount an influence. All the shades of influence, from the master you read a lot in your life to the big shock of discovering a genius.

William Faulkner, Marguerite Duras or Thomas Bernhard are examples of big styles you have to overcome.

You have weapon of choice : you can stop reading this author, trash the books and mourn over for a while, or you can fight fire with fire (and words with words) : write your own book in this not-your-style style, hoping it’ll empty you.

Then you’ll swim in another water : YOURS.

If you don’t do that, you’ll be engulfed, so there.

THREE

As a father and a reader, I discovered very early that one of the deep primitive danger for a child is to be engulfed in her/his mother’s love.

Mother and baby, it’s a fusion, right? The baby opens to her/his mother, and so does she. They just… merge.

The father, then, has the role to take the kid outside this bubble. From time to time, come with me, boy, let’s watch the world!

It is one way, maybe, to surmount the engulfment of a kid in her/his mother’s love…

FOUR

I think it happens with other people, with love. Friendship Engulfment or Sisterly Engulfment or Marital Engulfment as a possible danger.

There, you’re not… swallowed by the other (though I think it can happen, with controlling people), but by the relation itself.

OUTRO

What do you need to overcome this? A third person to show you paths of the world and the joy of exploration? Fight the bore with the bore, draining it until the ground?

Surmounting Influence is a pattern to watch.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

“Biases to Pieces” – when life goes wrong, do something unusual

“More of the Same Thing”, when insisting is a failure

Savoir Attendre – Know How to Wait

 

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“What am I gonna do with you?”

Tonight is a good evening. I watched a terribly bad B-Movie (in France we call these “Film Z”, a Z-movie – makes sense?), called Beyond Skyline.

There are two types of low budget Sci-Fi movies. This one is bad. Dialogs like “Move Move Move!”, or “It’s OK! Ok? Okey…”.

But I liked this one, in a way, because there’s a really genuine will to do good. And it’s so bad! Poor guys!

The other type is the Monsters type ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1470827/ ) by Gareth Edwards, who directed since : Godzilla and Rogue One. Monsters was penniless but fantastic, great, inventive, gorgeous, magic!

 

In the beginning of Beyond Skyline I found this article idea :

A father (a cop) tries to talk to his son (a rebel) in the tube (before the ETs attack the Earth, OK?), and he says him :

“What am I gonna do with you?”

 

Oh I love that sentence!!!

And well, this is the subject of this article.

“What am I gonna do with you?” means a lot.

It says something about “a link, but”. About the complexity of life. About love. About something positive (I talk to you) but negative (you’re a mess, man!). This dance of love and bond and difficulties is one of the cores of life…

“What am I gonna do with you?”

What does it mean? What kind of smile dances around it? Why? What is it to be a mess (but I need you around)? Isn’t it the REASON why we like the person, though?

 

Thanks for reading! (it’s my 800th article!)

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Conversation, Essays, Eyes

You’re alone in the quiet, at home. You grab a book.

If it’s a novel, it’s perfect : you get into a dream. You see things…

Tonight I wanted a conversation instead. So I picked a book from Siri Hustvedt (The Shaking Woman) and a glass of Chardonnay.

I opened the book in the middle of random (it’s something I love to do) and read great pages about how a new born baby and his mother stare at each other. This deep each other’s look means so much, so many things happen. A bond is building. An intelligence is blooming…

(I remember I did this, with Lili and Eliette, my daughters)

Hustvedt explains that if a mother talks to a baby and waits a little, the baby answers – in his own… voice.

An essay is like having a part of a conversation. The part where you just listen. Just choose your partner well! It’s OK – even if you miss the partner’s questions, the slow ping-pong of spirits.

And the eyes…

I wrote this. Now I’m back to my chair. Bidou the cat on me knees. Hi Siri!

Conversation.

Thanks for reading!

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Drawn up Ping Pong : Slow Motion Conversation

Wrong way up for children : Tablets & TV

Parents think that their child is a genius, or at least, “is on advanced for his age”.

Thus, a computer tablet looks like perfection : with letters, words, multiplications, that’s very cool!

But many studies showed something : there shouldn’t be a single minutes of “screens” time before the age of 3. And no tablet before 6.

Child development is a big thing. They have to grow so many aspects! TV before 3 and tablets before 6 is messing with motor and language development, socialization skills and empathy.

I talked many times with speech pathologists who say that screens (TV all the time, tablets for preschooler) are a disaster. And they told me it’s becoming a real problem today…

And also this : “High exposure to background TV has been found to negatively affect language use and acquisition, attention, cognitive development and executive function in children younger than 5 years”

In France, one man (Serge Tisseron) studied that for years. He talks about the rule of 3-6-9-12

  1. No screen before 3. Not a minute.
  2. TV OK, but no video game or tablet before 6.
  3. They’re OK, but no Internet before 9, with a parent.
  4. Internet OK after 12, with care.

Before 5 years old, never more than an hour a day.

Google : “screen time children development”

What do you think?

 

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