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Topic: My daughter won't talk to me ...
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Jul 10, 2007 05:22PM)
... unless I tell her how the Chinese sticks work. She's nine. I've had to hide them.

Should I tell her? I know she'll lose interest if I do.
Message: Posted by: MoonRazor (Jul 10, 2007 05:28PM)
Lose interest in what? You performing or her?
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Jul 10, 2007 05:29PM)
If she is interested in performing magic, then cultivate it.

If she is just doing a power play . . . well, it is up to you. My natural inclination is to resist. If you give in, you could be teaching her how to get what she wants is by withholding affection.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jul 10, 2007 05:48PM)
This is a blessing in disguise. I sometimes wish my grandson (now 10) would threaten not to talk to me. I would enjoy the five minutes of silence.
Message: Posted by: The Great Smartini (Jul 10, 2007 05:52PM)
Tell her that fairies and elves may be involved but that you're not certain because you don't speak Cantonese/Mandarin (Chinese).
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Jul 10, 2007 06:07PM)
On 2007-07-10 18:28, MoonRazor wrote:
Lose interest in what? You performing or her?

She'll lose interest in the trick. She may even disparage it if I perform it for other children.

I think she's a bit old for elves and fairies though! She'd probably thump me if I brought them into the story.

I know she'll come round soon. She's just intensely frustrated at not being able to figure it out. But I wonder whether other parents have this problem - that you inevitably get involved in power games over who knows the secret. This isn't a problem with other children, just my own.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jul 10, 2007 06:19PM)
Too old for fairies? My good man, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed in them while in his 60's!
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Jul 10, 2007 08:38PM)
You can tell her you will show her, but she will have to practice the routine until she has it down pat. That way you are not just rolling over to her power play, and she may develop an interest in performing.

That or possibly have her buy an inexpensive set at the magic store (with her money). That way she has some investment.

Ultimately, this really isn't about magic, it is about who is in charge and parenting. You (and your daughter) will have to live with your decision.

My son is very charming --- and very manipulative and headstrong. These qualities can be developed positively, and he could be a leader. Then again, we have all seen people who get what they want all the time . . .
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Jul 10, 2007 08:46PM)
Make her your assistant, swear her to secrecy, and in exchange for the secret, have her port your props around at all shows that do not occur while she is in school. I did that with my eight-year-old daughter and it worked out so well I lent her out for salt mine work when she isn't cleaning the rabbit's cage . . .
Message: Posted by: Billgussen (Jul 10, 2007 11:14PM)
I think you've answered your own question. In the long run, nothing good will come to you from telling her, and nothing good will come to her from her knowing. And if you tell her, she'll lose respect for the magic and you as a performer (as opposed to you as a Dad) -- not to mention not having respect for the rest of your audience.

It sounds like, except for a bit of short-term domestic peace (until she starts bugging you about the next trick), telling her is a complete lose-lose situation. I'd just say, "Not now, honey," and try diverting her interest to something else. Or, if you are looking for long-term solutions to the overall problem, set up some guidelines that you can enfoce with regard to your magic, and consequences if the guidelines aren't followed.

Anyway you handle it, best of luck,
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jul 10, 2007 11:55PM)
Right now, she has a suspicion that the magic isn't real.
Tell her how it's done and you destroy all hope within her.

Right now, you are comparing the love you have for her against the value of a cheap magic trick. But you are looing at it the wrong way.
Does she love YOU more than the cheap trick?
Of course she does. And down deep, she knows that love is unconditional.

Let her be a child and have her tantrum. You can teach her more about life by holding firm to your values than giving in when things get tough.

From one father to another...

Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Jul 12, 2007 11:22AM)
Show her. My daughter (age 11, who's worked in my shows for 6 years) knows anything she asks about. She doesn't tell anyone, yet she's developing knowledge and interest. Even if she chooses not to go into magic (which is a pretty good bet), what's the harm? Her dad's a magician, she knows some magic secrets ... big deal.

You might even make it a challenging learning experience. Ask HER to analyze the trick and tell you how she thinks it works. Go over her ideas and discuss why they may or may not work. Heck, she might even come up with a better method!
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jul 12, 2007 11:31AM)
My daughter was doing the power play on me because I would not tell her how Jamie got those cards in the bottle. I still have not told her.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Jul 12, 2007 12:58PM)
My kids, and I got a lot of 'em, are okay with magic and know how most all my tricks are accomplished, but they never tell their friends. Sometimes I'll get a new trick and they won't figure it out, they don't even bother asking how at all anymore.

Three of my kids were literally born right into it and have been raised on seeing Dad practice and going with him to shows and once old enough for a time before they outgrow Dad and his magic they've even been part of the show.

Posted: Jul 12, 2007 2:02pm
In regards to the original problem of having a kid give you the silent treatment for you to break down and cave in to her needs...

Take her to the toy store and buy her a new Barbie doll, wait, she may have outgrown those by now, as described by her father she already has an uncanny knack akin more often to the female species and she seems to be honing those skills at present...

She's old enough for a cellphone, wait...she may already have one, so go get her the new apple phone thingy, this should brighten her spirits and make her love daddy again!.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 12, 2007 03:37PM)
If you tell her, and the smile leaves her face that result will be much worse than the silent treatment.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jul 12, 2007 04:47PM)
Buy her a car.

Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Jul 12, 2007 05:07PM)
We'd just got over the Chinese sticks when I showed her the invisible deck ... and it started all over again.

Not had this problem since the Balducci levitation ... which I explained to her: man, was she disappointed. She'd always wanted to fly. I try to use that example to explain why I shouldn't explain any more. I bought her a little TT but she doesn't have the application to practice properly.

It's all in good fun really. But there underlying issues of power too. I do actually like Starrpower's line of thought.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Jul 12, 2007 07:24PM)
On 2007-07-12 17:47, Stevethomas wrote:
Buy her a car.


Steve, she's only 9...Dad should wait until she's at least 10.

Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Jul 14, 2007 03:10PM)
Give her a set of ungimmicked ones. Tell her you'll talk to her again when she works it out.

Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Jul 14, 2007 03:52PM)
Now, if only I could get my [i]WIFE[/i] to threaten to not talk to me ... I'd figure out new methods for tricks she already knows!
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Jul 14, 2007 06:14PM)
Don't show how it is done. Teach!

Instead of a TT, buy her some self-working magic like penny to dime. Spiked Coin is also easy, but has funny patter and can be presented with charm and charisma. Shrinking die is an easy one that teaches beginning manipulation. Help her climb the ladder in a way where she will not fail and be frustrated.

Let her earn the privilege of knowing: Tell her when she has mastered two (easy) tricks, patter and all, you will teach her how to do the Chinese Sticks.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jul 14, 2007 06:35PM)
Show her a website that teaches all the magic secrets, then buy her whatever she wants...by the way...I have all that for sale.

Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Jul 14, 2007 06:46PM)

Tell your daughter if she becomes proficient with the TT you will buy her a set of Chinese Sticks if she is serious about performing it and not just curious about the secret.

Years ago when my daughters were teenagers they were beautiful assistants in my stage show. One was perfect for the Zig-Zag Illusion. My oldest son was stage manager and they still talk about the wonderful time we had performing as a family.

They did, of course, know all the secrets for the effects I was performing, but I never performed a trick just for them unless asked to do so and they knew I wouldn't divulge the secret if I did.

Years later when I was working tables in a restaurant one of my daughters came in with her husband and asked me to "do some magic" for her husband. Afterwards, he said "I thought your dad was a stage magician." My daughter said "So did I!"

After that they would ask me to do something every time I visited them. They still after 15 years have a card on their ceiling which has become a conversation piece.

The moral here is...don't perform for family and friends unless you are asked. Never do magic for a captive audience...but always be ready to do something.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 14, 2007 08:33PM)
Value "teachable moments" when they appear. They are priceless! A lot more is learned than magic.


Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Jul 15, 2007 12:45AM)
On a side note from magic, You don't want to teach your child to keep secrets from you. I think you need to think of a good way to show her but help her understand that she is not to tell the trick to anyone outside your family. This may sound like a contradiction but I don't want to teach my child to keep things from me. We are a family and we need to be able to trust each other and be open. Be honest with yourself, anyone can go down to the magic store and buy that trick. Is it really worth the real lesson you are able to teach her about being open with you?
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Jul 15, 2007 01:31AM)
I have a friend (just one it seems) and all he's into is mentalism type stuff...

It's so funny because he has two very young kids, as in both may be still in diapers kind of young... the stinky type!


He has no idea yet how to connect with youngun's, his kids or others to be exact.

...I hope he sees this so he's knows I'm yackin' about him!

Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Jul 16, 2007 10:13PM)
Flourish Dude is dead on the money. Family trumps all else. Who is your higher allegiance to, magic or your family? My daughter knows I am in her corner always ... 100% of the time. (See, you can learn everything you need to know from [i]The Godfather.[/i] as Michael said to Fredo: "Never go against the family")

This one should be a no-brainer. Yeah, you can teach her that everything doesn't come easy in life, and you can't always get things just for the asking, but I don't think something as unimportant as a magic trick falls into that category.
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Jul 20, 2007 09:49AM)
Interesting range of opinions here but I do agree that magic's little secrets are not worth sacrificing your children for.

I've now shown her how to do the Chinese sticks and we are practicing together with one stick each.
Message: Posted by: Tim Hannig (Jul 20, 2007 11:12AM)

My kids have seen my shows tons of times.

The other day, they were laughing so hard as I was playing with one of their toys with them.
I said, "You guys laugh harder now than you do at daddy's show, when all the other kids are dying laughing!"

Of course, they've seen it so many times.

However, they love it that they are in "the know" and that they are in on the secrets. I have four kids, and they all have different levels of interest in what I do, but that's the way it should be....
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Jul 20, 2007 11:55AM)
When my son was a little younger, I'd give him a prop he'd never seen before. He'd ask, "What does this do?" and I would tell him to play with it (provided it was built well) and see if he could figure it out. It's amazing some of the ideas he discovered. Some ideas didn't work, but others were brilliant. It's amazing how an uncluttered mind can see the simplicity in a confusing world. I love sharing the excitement magic can create, it's brought us closer together than I ever could have imagined. Okay, time to put away the tissues..... :)

Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jul 20, 2007 02:11PM)
I have nothing against sharing the sense of wonder with the most wonderful people on earth...our children. That being said, I DO have something against the way some children apparently attempt to use the leverage of "not talking to us" as incentive for things.

Message: Posted by: Jesper Amstrup (Jul 20, 2007 05:08PM)
I show my daugter everthing she want to know. Why shouldn't I? I know for shure she knows that everything is "just" a trick. Just like every other child. She has never exposed any secrets to anyone, enven thought we don't have a rule about it. She knows it's my job, and it isn't something special to her. She knows it is to other children, but for her I'm "just dad".

I recently discovered that she is VERY loyal to me. My character is a superhero, and after the show, I act as if I don't know what they are talking about, when they tell me that "you're him". "Who.. me... I just got here. I don't know what you are talking about." All in good fun of course.

I did a show at her school, and the other children said "hey it's you dad"

She said "no,no... it's his brother" - even though I don't have one. Of course I had to tell her that it was ok to "blow my cover"

She has never shown an interest in magic, but yesterday she asked me to get her some ticks, and I know it isn't for the same reason I started in magic - to know the secret. I doubt that she would ever have taken an interest in magic it I hadn't told her a few secrets.

As someone else noted.. I wouldn't like her to keep secrets from me, so why should I keep them from her?

She is totaly capable of enjoying a magic show, even if she knows most of the tricks, and their secrets.

oh... she is seven, by the way ;)
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jul 20, 2007 09:32PM)
Sounds like a wonderful child to have! My son (who's now 12) "works" as my roadie during the summer tour, and he would never just blab secrets to look like a bigshot.

Of course, he also would not (EVER) have tried to force me to give him the secrets just for the sake of knowing.

Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jul 24, 2007 03:42PM)
Wait wait wait... so you're saying that there are no elves and fairies now, is that it? Hrmpf.

Anyway... I wish someone would have taught me a magic trick when I was nine. maybe then I could have started to practice a little earlier than at 38. If I have any children who at nine asks me how a trick is done, I would spill the beans. If they failed to keep it a secret to their friends then the fountain of knowledge would stop running right there, at least for a year or two.

A man living with or having custody of his nine year old children in Norway in the 21st century is of course highly unlikely. But that's a different story.
Message: Posted by: yago (Jul 27, 2007 02:08PM)
It is a very tough situation. I have the same problem with my kids.
Once I let my kid know the secret of some trick. and later on he revealed it to his friends. Since then I never do it again.

Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jul 28, 2007 04:17AM)
Still, thinking about it, it is unrealistic to expect a nine year old to have the maturity of an adult, or to display the same loyalty when carrying a secret.

If a small child like that tells his or her friends how something is done, the listener won't get any kind of clear picture of what's actually going on at all. And they're not going to publish a DVD explaining it either. (A teenager on the other hand would be on YouTube faster than you could say "exposure").

Why not teach the kids some simple tricks they can do with their small clumsy hands? Who cares if they expose it. They are kids! It means nothing.
Message: Posted by: triadsong (Jul 30, 2007 09:53AM)
This is yoru time to develop an entirely new aspect in your father/daughter relationship and, perhaps gain an assistant (heir?) as well.

My daughter is 8 ("and a HALF!, don't' forget daddy!") and knows that safeguarding our methods is very important. Sure, she's been tempted to tell her best friend how something is done, who wouldn't be, but my wife and I remind her we about our not talking about methods and we start over again. (Also, there is much I have not taught her yet so many times she's just as puzzled.)

Message: Posted by: squando (Sep 21, 2007 07:50AM)
I think if a youngster finds out how radio waves are carried through the air to be received by a radio, he/she will tell his piers. Magic tricks are the same. The unexplanable that is learned.

We parents have all kind of magic we use all day. Think of the VISA/MC. We swipe that we get groceries, clothes, decks of cards, books, etc.

It is all magic.

Message: Posted by: craig filicetti (Sep 21, 2007 08:24AM)
I had my son (9) sign the IBM agreement that he could not tell, and now he doesn't. He likes knowing and not telling his friends. In fact, he gets mad when magicians on TV tell a trick.

Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Sep 21, 2007 08:58AM)
I'm really changing my position on this. I've discovered that sometimes she doesn't want to know the secret. But if she's really interested I usually tell her. We can then discuss it, she can help with suggestions, angles, lines - she's become my collaborator. I don't think she'd dream of telling anyone else.