The other day Axa and Raj had a bit of a scuffle, and we ended up having an impromptu family council. During the course of the discussion, Tony asked them how they thought they could prevent similar problems in the future. They came up with what I thought was quite a clever and mature solution. Since the altercation had involved Axa forgetting (yet again) Raj’s rule that people ask for permission before entering his bedroom, he said he would like a sign for his door to remind her (and everyone).
Axa decided she could benefit from a sign as well, and they had a great time choosing colors, fonts, and wording for their signs. The thing that fascinated me was how different the signs ended up being, and how descriptive they were of the two children’s distinct personalities and ways of engaging the world.
Here is Axa’s sign:
and on the back:
Straightforward and unambiguous, but almost Victorian in its regal courtesy. Her choice of red and green for the colors accentuates her idea that entering her room is a binary yes/no situation, to be determined in advance by her.
Axa’s sign was hung as high as she could possibly reach. Raj, by contrast, chose to hang his sign exactly at his own diminutive eye level.
Notice the subtle nuances of Raj’s sign (done in his two favorite colors):
Meaning, of course, not that one already has permission to enter, but that all are enjoined to seek permission before entering. (Permission is nearly invariably granted. The important thing is that he wants to be the one to issue it.)
Interestingly enough, the reverse sign on Raj’s door contains no direct commentary on the feasibility of entering his room, only an analysis of the state of his psyche. Is it a warning to stay away? A hint for how to address him if you do decide to knock? Or just a general proclamation of his feelings?
Which sign do you think your children would hang on their doors? What about your door?
(or do I just psychoanalyze my kids too much?)