THE AIR-SIGN CHILD is alert and awake mentally, and requires much in the way of intellectual stimulation. Even when quite young, this child needs and appreciates games which challenge his or her mind and reasoning powers. Air-sign children have a knack for seeing patterns and relationships, and making connections. Puzzles, memory games (like "Concentration") and other games which involve thinking and skill appeal to them. Scrabble or crossword puzzles are often favorites, for they enjoy ideas and words, and are quite remarkable in their ability to use language. They can be delightful conversationalists, incessant chatterboxes, extraordinary debaters. Word plays and jokes are much appreciated by them.

The air-sign child is a rational creature and demands a reasonable explanation for everything. If what you say makes sense to an air-sign child you are likely to get their full cooperation. The concept of "fairness" is one that this child instinctively understands and which is very important to him or her, central in fact to the way they make sense of and deal with the world. Unfairness or injustice strongly offends them, and the reality that life isn't always fair or understandable in rational terms is sometimes a hard lesson for the idealistic air-sign child to learn.

The world of social relationships is also very important to the air-sign child. They need playmates and friendship, and are quite sensitive to being left out or different from others. Often they will significantly compromise or adapt themselves in order to be accepted by other people, especially their peers. In a positive sense this means they know how to get along with people, but sometimes they are influenced too much by them. Air-sign children learn well and generally thrive in a group setting, especially when the emphasis is on cooperation and togetherness. Generally not loners, they like to be part of a team or partnership.

Unless another element (water, or possibly earth) is also strong in their makeup, these children are not usually very cuddly or clingy, and even when quite little they are apt to wriggle away from your embraces. They need a lot of space and room to breathe, and though they very much appreciate companionship, they do not enjoy being smothered with parental affection and concern. Even with friends, they like to keep a comfortable distance and are not prone to make the sort of very intense, blood-pact bonds that some children do.

At times the air-sign child appears unfeeling because they tend to live in their minds, and get disconnected from their own emotions. As a parent, you need to foster this child's ability to empathize and feel compassion for others. For instance, gently reminding him or her that their words should be not only clever or truthful, but also kind. Also, although a very "airy" child often has little affinity for animals (and may even have a definite aversion to them initially), having a pet to love and tend to would help to develop the feeling side of this child.

Because of the cerebral nature of the air-sign child, he or she can also depend too much on being entertained in a vicarious way—watching television or videos, or even reading too much—and his or her physical side may need to be encouraged more, for a healthy balance.

THE AIR-SIGN PARENT seeks to communicate, to reason with, and understand their youngsters, and is naturally inclined to raise children in a democratic way. For example having family meetings in which everyone's concerns are discussed and taken into account very much suits the air-minded air-sign parent's style. Heavy-handed authoritarianism or even a benign dictatorship usually does not sit well with them, and the built-in inequality of the parent-child relationship is often not completely comfortable for them. They tend to see the parent-child experience as a period of life which lasts as long as the child is young and dependent, but which will phase out and become more of a friendship. Many an air-sign parent has confessed that they feel more like a sister or brother to their child instead of a parent, or that they very much look forward to the time when they can share with the child on a more mature and equal basis, "as friends."

Because they are more mental than instinctive or emotional, air-sign parents often find their children's youngest years (when the child is not verbally communicative and still quite dependent on the parents) to be the least gratifying. Later, air-sign parents come into their own in the role of teacher or counselor and advisor. They enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences, and they possess a certain detachment which enables them to see clearly and objectively. Since parents are notoriously not at all objective about their offspring, and usually exaggerate both the child's gifts and deficits, this detachment can be a real plus when the child needs a sounding board.

Sometimes air-sign parents can be perceived by their children as too detached, aloof, cool, or uninvolved. The rational nature of the air-sign parent can interfere with their ability to sense, feel, and empathize with those very irrational creatures-young children. Indeed one of the gifts children bring to the air-sign parent is to re-connect them with deep feelings and emotions.

Air-sign parents are also very concerned with social relationships and with teaching their children the importance of cooperating and getting along with people, of making friends, and of developing the skills which will make the child a success in a social sense.

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