The Daily Groove


The Absolute Value of Your Child

If you were forced to study algebra when you were a teenager, it probably didn't occur to you that it would one day come in handy as a metaphor for unconditional love. But here it is...

In mathematics, the "absolute value" of a number is its magnitude regardless of whether it's positive or negative. So the numbers +50 and -50 have the same absolute value: 50.

Likewise, practicing the Art of Unconditionality often means disregarding the negative interpretations of a condition or behavior and finding a way to see it in a positive light. For example:

  • Whether your child says "I love you" or "I hate you," you can appreciate the magnitude of her expressiveness and emotional honesty.
  • Whether your child rebels or complies with your wishes, you can appreciate his absolute freedom of choice.

Today as you observe your child, if you see any "negative" behavior then ask yourself, "What is this telling me about the 'absolute value' of my child?"

Algebra as metaphor

Cool! I enjoyed learning algebra as a teenager. But it still didn't occur to me that it could someday be used as a parenting metaphor! How about these?

Variables: Let dc = dear child, dp = deditated parent
Expression: dc + dp =
Equation: dc + dp = infinite bliss
Simplifying the equation: 2(dx) = infinite bliss
Solution to the equation: dx = infinite bliss!

So, dx (that is to say, anyone and everyone) can experience infinite bliss, as long as they stay "In the groove!"

Algebra isn't so bad!

"If you were forced to study algebra when you were a teenager..."

Sounds like you need to find a way to see algebra in a positive light! :) I actually enjoyed algebra! But like the other commenter, I never expected to use it in parenting!

Re: Algebra isn't so bad!

Actually, I loved algebra, too. But most of my schoolmates didn't enjoy it at all.

Go figure. :)