How We Celebrate Spring and Still Have a Ski Race

April 9, 2009 at 7:00 am | Posted in children, Families, Holidays, moms, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Thoughtful Thursday | Leave a comment

It is Thoughtful Thursday and

I am with my children at the last
of the ski racing events of the year!

It is a CanAm and only

  • 30 US girls and 30 Canadian girls
  • 30 US boys and 30 Canadian boys
  • aged 11 and 12

Kind of a special and elite group of skiers!  I am one proud mama for sure!

Anyhow….

Yes, in April here we are while
many of you are celebrating
spring and Easter, we are
still in the last throws of
ski racing.

SO what does that do for our celebrating spring?
Celebrating Easter?

Its really easy,
we celebrate spring by
breathing the spring air,
feeling the sun on our faces
with different energy.
WE watch the snow go with sadness
that our wonderful snow sports life MUST
come to an end.
And with excitement that we will
be on our bikes, hiking
and swimming outside soon.

And Easter, that is easy for us as well.
Since the early Christians had
no real date and they borrowed some other
holidays to fill the day,
We have begun to celebrate on the
Greek Orthodox Easter.

It is 6 weeks later- allowing us
to be fully with the holiday.

These ways of alternating our
lifestyles to fit the needs and
desires of our family,
yet staying with our
morals and values
gives my family AND me
the ability to live and breath
with our spirit, soul, self esteem
soaring.

My children
are able to be confident,
yet relaxed.
capable yet not pushy
confident yet not arrogant,
respectful of themselves and others.

My kids are not special.  Yours can be
the same way.

As you go through your days,
weeks, months,
find what fits with your family.
believe your values and morals
are the best for your family.
And let others have their
values and morals.

Have a great day,
and of course
parent with passion, purpose and integrity,

Grace

PS I really have enjoyed that
some of you are putting comments on the blog.
It really energizes me and I know
it energize others as well.

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Simple Holidays

November 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Holidays, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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It’s the afternoon of Fabulous Friday. Known by many as Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving.

 

I start my winter routine today.  There’s no shopping or long weekend for me.  No hanging around and eating leftovers or going for casual walks.

 

It’s get the kids up and ready for skiing.  It’s more than simply training to be good at something.  Ski racing is a whole lifestyle for a minimum of four months a year.  And this starts when most people think they are already too busy to cope with and handle the stress and pressure of the holiday season.

 

But we who have children who are passionate about something and support their passion must do things that are beyond what others think of as a possibility.

 

That’s what I am trying to help you do.  I want you to be the parent who can get past the ordinary, know that the extraordinary really is something that is for your family.

 

This extraordinary is not in the size of your house, the kind of car you drive, the grades your kids get in school, or how many Christmas presents you have already bought. 

 

This extraordinary is the twinkle in your child’s eyes when they wake up in the morning.  The giggle when they are playing happily.  Even the tantrum they have when they are sure they have been slighted.  And that glow when they have achieved some seemingly immeasurable proficiency.

 

As you finish your formal, annual Thanksgiving and begin the slide or jump into the next holiday, give yourself the freedom to know that it’s the love behind the holiday, the gift, the whole shebang that matters.  No one really cares if you and your family have any particular objects.  What makes it all worthwhile is the love and only the love.

 

Just like the Beatles said 40 years ago, “You can’t buy me love.” 

 

As you get ready for the next holiday, focus on love not quantity or volume.

 

Love the season and your children with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

Grace

Rejuvenate Yourself this Thanksgiving

November 25, 2008 at 10:50 am | Posted in Families, Holidays, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Terrific Tuesday | Leave a comment
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Good Morning 

 

It is Terrific Tuesday.  Two days before Thanksgiving.

Are you focusing on your thankful thought?

Have you had a chance to see how this one thing is connected to your soul and spirit?  As you go through the readying for our national sacred holiday, it is important to allow yourself to have the joy of being alive, of being a parent, to step out of the box and let the confines that have help you to a life with anxiety, frustration, and overwhelm to melt away.

 

Every culture, civilization, and religion has a structured period of time for giving thanks.  This process of giving thanks is an integral part of being human.  We are hard wired to give thanks.  The funny thing is that without the structure of holidays and formal routines many of us let go of giving thanks. 

 

This year put all your energy into giving thanks.  When you give thanks from your deepest emotions to your lightest thoughts to your fleeting insights, you rejuvenate yourself.   That’s a big part of what this whole Thanksgiving thing is about-rejuvenation.

 

Today my family is going shopping for food, and if you were able to read yesterday’s email you will know that food is my focus this year.  As we get each item I will give thanks for our food.  I will use the symbols of food, and the dishes we make, to bring me in connection with my true thankfulness.  I will regain my own perspective of why I live and parent with the intensity I do.  I will let the overwhelm, anxiety, and stress of the year gently float off my back.

 

I want you to use the process of Thanksgiving to rejuvenate yourself.  Let your tensions go.  Know who you are.  Rejoice and give thanks.  Allow the love and support from yourself and others to permeate you this Thanksgiving.

 

Have terrific Tuesday,

And

Parent with Passion, purpose, and Integrity,

 

Grace

 

New Way to be Thankful

November 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Posted in Health, Holidays, Self Esteem, spirituality | Leave a comment
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Once again it’s Motivational Monday.  And this is such a special Monday because it is just before Thanksgiving.  As I always do before Thanksgiving, I get pretty emotional about all that I have to be thankful for.  And this is no different this year than other years.

 Recently our country’s economic stability flew out the window.  We are all feeling the pressures of financial instability.  And this was warping my ability to be thankful.  But yesterday I had an epiphany. 

 I realized that as an adult I have been poor, then I was poorer, then I had a decent living, then I actually was in the upper middle class economically, and now I am back to having a decent living.  Most of these changes came about because I had done things to foster them.  So when my economic standing reversed simply because of general economics I felt I was in a terrible state. 

But here is my epiphany: I am still just as wonderful now as when I was poor or sort of rich.  My values have not changed due to going up or down the economic ladder.  I have held onto my morals very tightly through theses changes.  As a matter of fact, these changes have allowed me to really know that who I am, what I do, whom I am friends with, what I do for leisure are my values and morals.

It’s kind of like being grounded again.  Not what some parents to do punish their kids, but that spiritual kind of grounding; that way of being at peace with your surroundings, your soul, really at peace with yourself. 

When you allow the outside circumstances to guide and force your core to change then you are setting yourself up for constant disappointment.  You actually lower your self-esteem.  You are a puppet to your surroundings, everything from your kids, spouse, childhood family, neighbors, and the mass media.

I want you to start today and think about what you are truly thankful for.  Start with just one thing.  Keep it simple.  This one thing can be anything.  It can be the most important thing OR it can be the simplest thing, OR it can be the first thing that comes to mind. Focus on that one thing.  Pay complete attention to one thing you are thankful for.  Do that today.  This one thing will sprout into other things. 

Only let those thoughts that you know are completely a part of your soul and spirit, your core values and morals to get attention.  In other words, there are the regular things-family, clothing, shelter, job, friendship- that we are thankful for, and as you focus on the one thing you have chosen, let your thoughts and feelings understand why this is so special.

Here is how being thankful for food spreads for me.  Food alone is rather basic, but food spreads to the ability to nurture and be nurtured.  Food spreads to my interest in health and physical achievements.  Food is intricately connected with my belief in being the best I can be-I am the food I take in and give to my family.  Food is basic to my soul.  Without food my spirit would wither.  I connect my values and morals to food.  Food alone and especially all its attachments are a necessary part of what I am thankful for.

You see how something so basic actually has such deep and far reaching tentacles.  Food is a part of my soul as well as being necessary to live.  By being thankful this way you put a purpose to the process.

Today as you begin your thankful thinking be simple, yet focus on what is deep and spiritual to you.  Give yourself permission to be thankful outside the box.  Be passionate about what you are thankful for. 

And of course have integrity about your thankfulness.  Be true to your values and morals.  Learn about what they are through this process.

Have fun with your thanks and Parent and live with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity

Grace

PS: I do have a very nice podcast at http://www.GEMParenting.com/store called Thanksgiving the Gentle Holiday.  You might really like to listen to it.  You need to scroll down a ways to get to it.

Wednesday Wisdom: Drawing in Infinite Energy to Boost Your Children’s Self-Esteem

April 9, 2008 at 12:11 am | Posted in 1, children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Fun Activities, GEM Parenting Secrets, Health, Holidays, How To, marriage, moms, Mothers, Motivational Monday, parents, relationships, Safety, Self Esteem, siblings, spirituality, teens, Thoughtful Thursday, toddlers, Wednesday Wisdom, Welcome | 1 Comment

Drawing in Infinite Energy to Boost Your Children’s Self-Esteem

 

Right now we are in a new stage of understanding energy that

flows around us. This energy has actually been known about

from ancient times. But in ancient India, China, Mesopotamia,

and Africa the practitioners of using energy from our

surroundings did not need to have scientific proof that it existed.

The ancient gurus used energy to heal and even attack othersas

in the case of Voodoo dolls.

 

Now we have scientific evidence that there is energy around each

and every person. Pictures have been taken, and just like when

X-Rays were first invented, there are many skeptical people out

there.

 

It is interesting that forever there have been people who have

been known to be somehow magical in their healing powers.

Some would do what others were doing, but then add some kind

of touch. Others simply used touch and energy transforming.

The people they came in contact with were healed.

 

From ancient times to modern times this touch form of healing

has amazed some and frightened others. Jesus is the most

prominent example of being able to use touch and energy

healing. He was amazing to many and feared by many. What he

did is still with us today.

 

 

This energy that Jesus used is part of the universal energy that

surrounds us all. Jesus worked hard to let each of us know that

we were all able to be part of this energy. It was a special gift to

Jesus, and his lot in life to use it and be abused for using it. But

through his works and life we are now all aware of each and

every one of us having the gift of universal energy.

 

I know for some, what I am saying is offensive and even

blasphemous. But I use universal energy interchangeably with

God-given energy. In reality I see no difference. Whether you

choose to use God’s energy or universal energy, the fact remains

that we all have within us the power to use the energy that

surrounds us to create either positive or negative energy.

 

When we harness and use this energy for positive results, we can

and do create high self-esteem for ourselves and those around

us. You can look around and find plenty of articles that teach

ways of harnessing the power of the universal energy, but the

place to start is inside your own head and heart.

 

The first thing to do is believe in the power of positive energy.

Let this energy flow through you and with you. As you become

aware of this energy you can then begin to use it. You can use it

to send positive energy to your family. Your children can gain

from this without you having to actually talk and teach them.

When you see that family that has the energy, you know. They

simply exude with this energy. They stand out. It is not because

of accomplishments, successes, or financial wealth. Some of

these families do not have children who are “accomplished.” The

family is not “successful” and they are not financially wealthy.

But you know they have “it”. These people are the ones that

show up in the sections of magazines where against all odds,

they accomplish the amazing. And yet they remain humble and

appreciative.

 

In your own quest to live with a positive universal energy flow,

know you have all you need now. It is part of each and every

one of us. It is the gem that we begin life with. It is the gem

that can withstand every kind of abuse and torment.

Founder of GEM Parenting

To download a printable copy of Grace’s article, please click here!

Helping Children with New Years Resolutions

January 5, 2008 at 9:06 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Are you already suffering from New Years Desolution?

It seems that no matter what we try to do about a New Year’s Resolution it seems to slide into a desolution.  Somehow we just can’t get a grip on how to go forward with our great ideas.  Before you totally give up in despair, lets try a few ideas out and see how you can really change your life.  

  • First thing you need to do is be sure you have actually written your resolutions down. If you have not written anything down then follow these instructions on how to write resolutions that will work.  And if you have written something down you will need to get more paper so you can add to what you have already done.
  • When we write resolutions we write what we want to stop doing, have more of, and/or change.  But we rarely write down how we are going to have these life altering changes take place.  And that is where the downfall happens.

So what I want you to do is take your paper and fold it in half.  On the left side you write your resolution as you normally would.  “I am going to loose ten pounds.  I am going to stop yelling at my children.”  Then on the right side you right down what you will do to make the changes happen.  “I will not have seconds and I will walk twenty minutes three times a week.  I will join GEMParenting Secrets to learn tactics to stop yelling at my kids.”

This sets in motion the ability to change.  Without the way to change you will stay forever in that limbo land of wishing rather than being.

  • A second way to help your resolution become a part of your life is to treat it as a new habit.  And the best way to add a new habit is to replace an old with the new.  If your resolution is to stop yelling at your kids, then you need to decide what you will do instead as above.  Then in addition to writing it down you actually set a time and place that you will make the change.  For instance if you know you yell at your kids every night to go to bed, then set up a reward chart for yourself.  If you do not yell then you get a sticker.  If you get five stickers then the kids can stay up an extra thirty minutes.  You now have a change of the pattern.  You are still in charge, but the kids actually get the reward if you don’t yell.

When you take these kinds of changes and set them into motion in your life you will begin to have real changes that last more than a few days.  You will change your thoughts, your behaviors, and how you and your children interact with each other.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


 

Family New Years Resolutions

January 4, 2008 at 8:53 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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When you think about New Years there is always that thing called Resolutions.  And it now considered a very bad thing to set up these resolutions.   The reason is because we seem to be unable to accomplish them and then we feel worse than we did before we even thought of the resolution.  I have to say I disagree. 

The thing is that we are making resolutions that are geared for external reinforcement rather than for internal gratification.  Things that others can identify and notice do not have a strong internal power.  As a parent why not start your children understanding resolutions to be ways of expressing gratitude.  This year on New Year’s Eve or New Years Day set aside time to have a special resolution making session. 

  • Have your whole family think about what they are most grateful for.  Talk about these ideas.  There is no idea that is too small, immature, or silly: especially if this is everyone’s first time doing grateful resolutions.  After you have been talking for a while then have everyone write down at least one thing that they want to spend some special time each day being grateful for. 
  • Then hang these up in some prominent places.  And whenever you and your children have a moment to be grateful then do a dance, say a little phrase.  As you do this your children will have a gift of understanding that what is happening on the inside is more important than what happens that is noticed by others.

You do not need to have a resolution to change to become different.  You will be different if you use your resolution to be grateful.  And your children will learn a life of inner strength.  Peer pressure will be a nonentity. 

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


 

Focus Friday: Vacation Activities Q&A

December 28, 2007 at 12:46 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Fun Activities, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, toddlers, travel, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to our after Christmas and before New Years edition of Focus Friday.

Reader Question:

I understand the idea of trying to make a home vacation be special. But is this really possible?

Answer: 

Absolutely.  As long as you don’t mind spending some time to make it special.  And you can have the time setting up be part of the process of having a vacation.  The most important part of the home vacation is doing things with your children. But don’t overload this.  You and your children will want to have some time apart.  And this will be good for the rejuvenating part of the vacation.

One thing to remember is that it is not the activity itself that will be special it is the attitude you as the parent bring to the activity which will make it special. 

*************************************************

Question:

I love your ideas of the home vacation, only I really think I have house full of doubters and that thye will sabotage anything I try to set up.  Is there anyway to get them involved and past the “Poor me, I have to stay home” stuff?

Answer: 

What you do is have your attitude of comfort and pleasure of being at home.  Get things set up so that you can pull out the activities each day.  Pretend you are the counselor at a fun camp.  Be enthusiastic. 

AND instead of assuming they will sabotage your fun ideas you need ot change your own attitude.  Your family will follow what ever attitude you send out to them to do.  You are the parent and the leader.  Know this and set the stage for enjoying the home vacation

You need to do this with ease.  You cannot force yourself, spouse, or kids into ease if you are tense.  Roll with the process.  Relax and know you will have a fun and special home vacation.

***************************************************************

Question:

I read about the going away vacation and would like to better understand about the special to do stuff.  How can I keep my son from getting into it all at once? 

Answer: 

To keep children from getting into everything all at once put each activity in a separate baggie and label.  You can use labels for each day, or if you are wanting this to be for the actual travel portion of the trip them label with hours into the trip.  Either by first hour, scond hour, and so forth.  Or by time of day.   If your child is totally interested in the activity then give them an extra ten minutes.  But after that have them put that activity away and start the next thing.  This keeps them having fresh things to do.  If your child is bored with the activity then you can interrupt with a “New Flash.”  And start some very trivial news of what is happening on the trip.  Interview our correspondent in the other side of the world- well maybe just the back seat of the car or right next to me in the plane.  Play this mindless but silly game for a while.  Add songs or have one activity that is the fill in.  For instance, this activity can be a journal of the trip.  It can have coloring and/or writing.  But don’t pull out the next item till the time comes.  This gives your child the pleasure of anticipation.  It means that they will realize that they it is better to enjoy the activity that is there than rush through everything and have nothing at the end.

Hope your holiday season is as wonderful and stress free as possible!

Check out the Activities for Family and Children podcast full of unique ways to have family fun with your children during the Christmas season.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


 

Christmas Activities for Children and Families

December 25, 2007 at 10:34 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Fun Activities, Holidays, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Merry Christmas.  Welcome to the Special Christmas edition of GEM Parenting!

Here are a few activities to try today.   Or if you are checking this out after Christmas you can still enjoy them.

Wrapping Paper Ornaments

What you need:

Wrapping paper- it is fine from presents if it is not too wrinkled.
Scissors
Tacky glue
String or pipe cleaners

What you do:

Cut the wrapping paper into circles that are about 3 inches in diameter
Cut a slit to the center point of each circle
Make a cone shape with the circle-
WITH THE colored side on the in side of the circle
Glue

Repeat till you have about ten cones

Now glue the cones together with points in the middle

Add the string or pipe cleaner so you can hang the ornament
******************************************************
Take the time to sit with each of your children
Ask them about their presents. 
What do you like about this one?
How will you use this?
Why do you think you got this?

What I don’t want you to do is
Ask your children what is their favorite. Have your children say what is their favorite.
Or order them in any way.

Allow your children to enjoy each gift in its own unique way.
When you do this, your children can learn that every gift is truly a gift.

And there is the old saying, “It’s the thought that counts.”
Along this line, if you have your children order their gifts they loose perspective of gracious receiving.

Christmas Activities are here!  Check out the Christmas Activities for Family and Children podcast full of unique ways to have family fun with your children during the Christmas season.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.


 

Motivational Monday: Christmas Eve Activites

December 24, 2007 at 5:22 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, Fun Activities, Holidays, moms, Mothers, Motivational Monday, parents, Self Esteem, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to a Special Monday Motivation…Christmas Eve edition!

  • Create your own Christmas pageant:
    use props, dolls, neighbors, grown ups,
    a book to read from or make it up as you go.

Take as long as you have time to do this. 
And remember this story is both about Jesus and the love that each and every one of us have for our children and life itself.

  • A fun craft is:
    Taking the tin cans from your recycling.
    Clean them out and make them be safe on the edges.

Use bits and pieces of wrapping paper to cover the outside of these.

They can be used as last minute gifts for all the adults and children around. 
Or you can fill the bottom with sand, dirt, or pebbles and put candles in them.

Of course be careful about the paper and the flames!

Ready for the ulimate Christmas Eve Activity fun?  Check out Christmas Eve Fun podcast full of unique ways to have family fun with your children during the Christmas season.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

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