Shine and Let Others Shine thumbnail

Shine and Let Others Shine

3 Things by Nina Badzin, NinaBadzin.com

3 Things by Nina Badzin, NinaBadzin.com

Truth

I love having different kinds of friends.

With some friends, we share a love of books. With others, it’s exercise. With most of my friends, we met or stayed friends because of shared values, religion, or a shared important moment in our history like high school, college, or having kids at the same time.

But no matter what circumstances created the friendship, I’ve found two ingredients that make me want to keep the friend close: good listening and good sharing.

One of those two factors is nice for acquaintances, but not enough for a deeper connection. While recently reading Carin Flora’s book Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are, I smiled as she described what psychologists found as the common thread in “socially successful” kids and adults. To summarize, studies showed that kids and adults who know how to both “shine and let others shine” are the most magnetic.

In other words, I’m not alone in seeking out those who know how to share their thoughts and time and those who are trustworthy and have the patience to listen.

Tip

In keeping with the theme of solid friendships, I have a tip for helping my older two kids (they’re eight and six) learn how to both share (“shine”) and listen (let others shine).

After school, I ask them specific questions about their days. Not just how was your day, but what did you do in science? Next I remind them to ask me about my day. It may feel rote at first, but I’m training them to consider the other person in the conversation. I try to lead by example by saying more than I had a good day. They actually have become quite good at asking follow up questions.

Finally, I purposely ask them questions about their friends’ days. What did Daniel decide to do for his research project? Which activity in recess does Ella like best? I hope this helps my kids learn the art of caring about other people and noticing their classmates beyond a surface level.

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Find

If I find something great, I love to share it with friends. So in the spirit of friendship and balance, I’m pasting below an (almost) exact copy of an email I sent to a close friend of mine who is very health conscious — and also to two of my friends’ husbands who inquired about the leafy greens I’d mentioned a few times.

Hi guys!

I’ve spoken to the three of you about my new leafy green obsession. My favorite of all them is chard (either red or green) because it has a very mild flavor. Here’s what I do with it:

If I have garlic or onions or leeks in the house, I first sauté that with some olive oil. I toss in the chard or some mix of leafy greens, which they now have pre-cut at Trader Joes. Hurray!

After the onions and garlic are a little soft, I add in a BIG pile of leaves. Then I put the lid of the pan on and let it simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Add cheese at the end (a tablespoon or two of gruyere or shredded Parmesan) to just a small part and you’re good to go.

It cooks down to nothing so you need to make a lot. I also think the leftovers are good the next morning with some eggs.

Enjoy!

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Contributor: Nina from NinaBadzin.com
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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lindsey March 19, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I love this, Nina! I too have a greens obsession, which I know we’ve discussed. I’m fascinated by the various types of friends we have, and also by how it is that in certain times of our lives we are more porous to making close friends. And I like what you say about asking your children questions that prompt them to think about their day in the framework of what they did to support and listen to friends, as well as what they themselves did. xox

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  • Larissa March 19, 2013 at 8:27 am

    We like to talk about our favorite and maybe not so favorite parts of our day. It helps teach communication skills and empathy.

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Thanks Lindsey! Love the use of the word porous here. May have to steal that some time in casual conversation. I’m serious!

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  • Perry Block March 19, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I’m convinced, Nina. I’m going to base all my future friendships on love of chard as well. I have only one question.

    What the heck is it? Happy Passover!

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  • Bethany March 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Nina, I love the tip! I ask my kids specific, open-ended questions, but have never thought to encourage them to ask me about my day!

    Love reading you here!

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  • Jessica Smock March 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Thanks, Nina! I was so happy to read you here…
    Carlin is sending us Friendfluence for our friendship series (HerStories: Tales of Friendship), and I’m doing an interview with her this week! I love Carlin’s writing about friendship, how it’s grounded in scientific understanding but also very practical and empathetic. And I also need a way to liven up my greens!

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  • Allie March 19, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Love your tips! Going to use them after school today!

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  • Jessica Vealitzek March 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Love your tips on conversations with your children, especially asking about their friends. (And congrats on getting the part in Listen to Your Mother!!)

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  • Jolina Petersheim March 19, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Love this: “Shine and let others shine.” That is so simple and so true. Thanks for that great reminder…and now I am something leafy green, too–always good! :)

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  • Natalia Sylvester March 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I love how you’re teaching your kids to talk about their days and ask about yours, and care about their classmates. These are precisely the qualities I hope to teach my own kids someday, when I have them. ::takes notes from Nina::

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  • Julia Munroe Martin March 19, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Swiss chard is one of my very favorite greens; it reminds me of picking it in the garden with my grandmother. We also eat a lot of kale and spinach and watercress. And cooking all of it just as you do! Delicious! Great tips and a great series!

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  • florence fois March 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Nina, thoughtful post as always. I look forward to reading your essay. Enjoy the experience. We ate tons of greens and chard … what I called swisschard is among my favs. We saute in garlic and olive oil … I don’t always add onion. A good variation is to add pink or white northern beans and serve with tiny pasta or rice. It was a “Friday” meal since we were meatless on Fridays.

    And how did you know my mother put everything left over in an omlette?

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  • Diann_D March 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Oh, and congrats on the Listen to Your Mother win!!

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  • Annie Neugebauer March 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I love your tip!! That is just so smart, and very sweet, too. I’m making a mental note for future kids. =)

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I love the point about talking about not-so-favorite parts. That’s important, too!

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    And what’s better . . . chard is totally kosher for Passover. ;)

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Bethany. Let me know what happens when you try it!

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Thank you, Jessica! I love friendship topics and will make sure to read the series. I have probably read every book on friendship both fiction and non-fiction. I’m not kidding.

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I want to hear how it goes!

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you, Jessica! Asking about their friends also helps ME to know about their classmates. It’s a double win. And thanks so much re: LTYM.

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Jolina, the way you are on Twitter tells me that you are good at this shine and let others shine in real life, too. I’d bet a million dollars on it!

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I need that on T-shirt right now!

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Julia! I like the other greens, too, but chard has the best texture in my opinion. It’s the softest.

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I love that about your mom! (Great idea on the beans, too.)

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  • Rebecca Einstein Schorr March 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Our kids can only learn by our example. What a great reminder of how to really engage our kids and teach them how to engage in others around them.

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  • Courtney Low March 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Nina, I love this article!

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  • Nina March 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Jolina! I know you excel at shine and let others shine. Of course I only “know” via the way you interact online but I’d bet a million dollars I’m right.

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  • Angela Johnson March 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Nina~
    You’ve nailed it once again. I also ask specific questions like, ‘what did you do in science.’ I also ask for a high point and low point of each day. That helps me understand what my kids may be struggling with. I love your idea of asking about kid’s friends and prompting kids to ask about your day.
    I also love this quote from writer Donald Miller regarding adult friendships, “I connect with people when they: 1. Establish they are sane and competent 2. Share something vulnerable with me.” I can relate to that ;)

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  • Jenna@CallHerHappy March 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I’d never thought about asking my kids questions about others. I really really love that.

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  • Nina March 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Thank you!

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  • Nina March 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Thanks, Annie!

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  • Nina March 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Thanks so much, Rebecca!

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  • Nina March 20, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Thanks, C. Love that you left a comment! :)

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  • Nina March 20, 2013 at 11:55 am

    That’s a great quote!

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  • Nina March 20, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I think I’m also naturally nosy. ;)

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  • Kathryn @ Team Whitaker March 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I loved your post. Shine on, indeed. You reminded me that I have some great friends, from all walks of life.

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  • Maggie S. March 21, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Shine and Let Others Shine!!!! I love that. It’s so simple to apply!

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  • julie gardnerj March 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Oh my, Nina, I absolutely LOVE that you encourage your children not only to communicate clearly about their own day, but to consider others in their interactions as well.

    Bravo, mama.
    I think we may be raising a fairly isolated, self-centered generation of kids these days (not WE, as and I; I meant “society in general”) and this kind of clarity and empathy is SO important.

    Outside the world of texts and Instagram and tweets, will people know how to communicate anymore?

    Time will tell.
    But I love what you’re doing to help your kids share and listen.
    Love.

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  • Stacey March 22, 2013 at 3:19 am

    I love how you model tge ideas of shine and let others shine for your children daily. That’s simple and beautiful, Nina.

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  • Amy March 22, 2013 at 8:44 am

    These are all great. And I’m totally going to grab some chard at Trader Joes next time. P.s. I see you are from my original homeland of MN! Kudos for enduring the frozen tundra. You are stronger than I. ;)

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  • Melissa Crytzer Fry March 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I’m definitely going to have to try chard! Thanks for the tip… and I LOVE what you are doing with the kids. I bet they’ll grow up to be well-adjusted kiddos, thanks to your patience with them.

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  • Cym Kibort March 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I love this posting! All three sections!
    I couldn’t agree more about the truths in friendships, I too value the same. Tip– We actually started talking at dinner about this a few weeks ago, and you wouldn’t believe it, but Audrey even asks me how my day was now too! And the foodie husband of mine…well, he loves your chard and while we haven’t made your recipe yet, we do think our similar “find” is Brussels sprouts! We eat them 2x a week…roasted with garlic and onions.

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  • Alarna Rose Gray March 26, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    As always, you make something complicated, very simple. Love your tips for teaching kids the art of friendship – you’re an awesome mum, Nina!

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  • Heather April 26, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    That is a really great idea about prompting the kids to ask about my day, as well. Thanks for that!

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