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Perfect Country

Everything has to be done in a certain way and there is always only one way to do it that is right. Getting the job done isn’t important. Getting all the details perfect first and doing it right (even if it’s late) is of most importance. Yes, my oldest son resides in Perfect Country. I, on the other hand, reside equally in Fun and Control countries. This really messes with Michael’s favorite vacation spot – Peace Country. I wouldn’t know much about it as I rarely visit there.

So what happens when I need something done a particular way? I humbly admit that I will get it done. That’s what control country residents do, but it may not be as precise as the job requires. I don’t ask my daughter to do it. She lives in Fun and Control countries as well. The request is made to Michael. Here, perfect country, please cut this into many pieces all exactly the same size with no crumbs. And he gets the job done, precisely.

Learning where our kids function best, what countries they are from, has helped us tremendously in knowing how to connect with them and knowing how to draw out their strengths. It seems a far more regular occurrence for parents (and teachers) to expect all children to behave in a certain way and move around in our world in only that one way. What a blessing we miss when we fail to see who they really are. What a blessing we miss in being able to focus them on their strengths and applaud them for a job well done!

Take the time to study your children. If you need some help, visit the Flag Page website where you will find more about the four countries: Fun, Control, Perfect and Peace. You can find it at http://www.flagpagetest.com.

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She’s Having Fun!

Watching the Olympics and seeing the athletes struggle and fight for the victory after years of training is not unlike parenting. For years my husband and I have struggled with, trained and even argued with our boys about understanding their little sister’s personality. She is who she is. She happens to register off the charts from “Fun Country.” Her main motivations in life are to be enjoying it with wild abandon and making sure that everyone else is also having fun, because who wants to have fun alone? We are grateful for the Kids’ Flag Page system for giving us a clearer picture of our daughter’s personality contrasted with her brothers’ more methodical and logical personalities. Last night, we won the gold medal!

The problem with people from fun country is they can leave a mess. Of course you have to get messy if you are really and truly having fun, right? Of course Greta never sees the messes she leaves behind. Anything left is nothing more than the evidence of great amounts of fun. The boys, however, love being her judges. “Quick! Look! Greta is about to make a mess. She should be disqualified from this heat because she left toys in the living room (we are still working on that with Greta). But last night, something amazing happened. Greta requested cups to do some color experiments with. Yes, all the red flags stood up and did the stadium wave to get my attention, but the former home schooling mom in me wanted to encourage her own style of learning. Matthew, only a year older but obviously so much wiser, was quick to grab the bottles of food coloring away from her and scream out a last desperate warning to his parents in the other room. “Greta is going to make a mess!”

“She’s having fun!” My husband and I couldn’t speak. We just stared at each other, wondering who could pick up their jaw and regain their composure first. Had Michael, our oldest, really said that? Was all this trying to help Greta understand her brothers and the boys to understand their sister finally getting through? Had all of those discussions about The Flag Page finally paid off?  No podiums to stand on or flags coming down with music playing as we received medals and honors, but we knew in our hearts we had won! Perhaps there is hope that these three will someday be friends when they are adults.

I wonder what would happen if we all tried to understand each others’ personalities? Even if Peace Country seems to never be in the limelight, where would we be without their faithful and steady contributions? If Perfect Country never got involved, we would never get it right. We would get absolutely nowhere if it weren’t for Control Country keeping the pace and urging us on. And Fun Country? It would all be work and meaningless without this special group of people that remind us to have fun and make sure everyone gets involved, no one left out. Who knows? Maybe when you try to be a little more understanding of your boss and coworkers, you’ll also win the gold medal!


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Mommy’s Listening to Music

Everyone has their own list of greatest accomplishments of their life. Mine includes getting two toddlers to hum/sing movements from Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin. This of course was much to the chagrin of my husband who feels that Russian music is so dark and heavy. Ah, sweet victory!
To say I love music would be an understatement. I just wish I was much better at performing it on more instruments. I’ve played several instruments in high school, college and even community band, but there are so many more to play! I’ve even enjoyed arranging a couple of choral pieces to be sung at church. Music soothes my soul.
You would think then, that my family would respect my love for music and not try to talk over it when I’m in the zone. However, this was not to be until the Flag Page. My husband and I present marriage seminars for Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage and part of that includes the Flag Page. It is a great tool for understanding what is so right about you and how to help others see how to better communicate with you. Likewise, you see what is right about your spouse and how to better communicate with them. I happen to be from fun and control countries according to my flag page. I have to remember to change my language and intensity when speaking with my oldest son who is solidly from peace and perfect countries.
As we spent one Saturday afternoon at a state park reviewing each others flag pages and delving a little deeper into them, each one of us had to pick one of our five flag boxes and explain what it meant to us. Of course one of my boxes was musical! I selected the description of meaning and explained that music had great meaning in my life and often times it is how I relate best to God/worship (think contemporary/inspirational here not heavenly metal). A light bulb came on. The kids realized that mommy enjoyed listening to music and it was a special moment for her!
People still talk over the music sometimes, but it’s okay now, because when I really need alone time with music, the kids can tell and give me space. More importantly, they’ve begun to join me in appreciating musical meanderings. We agree on Beethoven and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, but somehow I haven’t gotten them to fully appreciate my progressive jazz fav, Flim and the BB’s yet. Still working on them.
The children and I still enjoy our Russian music and my husband still tolerates it. The latest the kids are humming? Rachmaninoff’s Prelude #5.
instruments than my clarinet (curreit

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