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,


Do You Really Parent with Love? Bet not!

October 13, 2008 at 6:39 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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Its Motivational Monday.

And I want to share wth you the fundamental aspect of parenting.  You guessed it.  it is love.  Not too surprising, except when you think about how many times you mix up hate into it.  For instance, when you find your kids annoying, irritating, overwhelming.  When your let them know what a brat they are being. When you know that they are driving you crazy.  

You are letting hate in and using it as your parenting guide when you are so stressed out by what to do that you can’t sleep at night.  Or maybe you scream at your kids.  You may even ridicule your kids.  Or you may hit, slap, or spank them.

And worse than all these you may ignore your kids.  

This day and everyday this week remember that you do love your kids. Keep a little running count of each time you feel love towards your kids.  This can be a simple tally on the fridge.  

By taking the time to truly notice and make a mark of loving your children, you will bring your focus back to the true essential nature of parenting.

Be sure to parent with passion, purpose, and integrity

Terrific Tuesday: Life Matters…A Mother’s Value

May 5, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Posted in 1, children, Families, Family Time, moms, Mothers, parents, relationships, teens, toddlers | Leave a comment
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A Mother’s Value

By Mark D. Todhunter, M.A 




The day starts many different ways for mothers. Sometimes it is with a whimper and a cry, sometimes the sound of little feet moving around the house, or sometimes it’s that long drawn out familiar call of “Mommmm-meeeeeeeee.” But whatever may be your child’s attention getter of choice, it is the beginning of a new workday.

Unlike your childless counterparts that still have two hours to groom, primp, and adorn themselves, your time card is punched immediately and you get to squeeze those personal hygienic activities between glasses of juice, sagging diapers, and spilt Cheerios and milk. Once your charges have been properly nutritionalized with a breakfast fit for champions, and you have managed to run a brush through your hair a couple of times, you throw on your personal stylist hat. Rummaging through drawers and closets you seek out those perfect matching outfits, complete with socks and hats that will leave your children the talk of the playgroup.
But wait, there seems to be dissension among the ranks. Nobody wants to wear what you have picked out. Have they some how forgotten that you have a keen eye for fashion and have even attended seminars to be able to distinguish between a summer and an autumn? Remembering that you read somewhere along the way that giving your children choices was the key. Thinking quickly, you jump into your negotiator shoes and whip out an optional outfit for each of your children; you think the problem is solved. After ten minutes of further wrangling, you finally give in and settle on the Spiderman tshirt that has been worn for three days in a row for your son, and the pink tutu with the green princess shoes for your daughter.
Once the children have been proper stylized, you jump through the bathroom door and give your hair a 30 second tease and run your brush through it a couple more times. You then start herding kids to the door grabbing what ever necessities you can see or remember and lock the door behind you.
Playgroup brings out your more refined skills of police officer, judge, and jury. After a total of six disputes, four trips to time-out, and one physical assault, you have your chauffeur gloves back on, kids loaded, and headed for home.
Once in the house, your deli shop opens and you begin making lunches. Of course your customers are very particular and only will accept the perfect lunch. The tricky part is that last week it was a turkey sandwich with Miracle Whip with the turkey pulled off, and this week it is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but not cut.
Once the deli closes it is a chance for your first break when the kids go down for naps. Of course during your break you want to take advantage of the kid free time to do a couple of little things, i.e. pay a few bills, do the grocery list, throw in some laundry, pick up some toys and dust a bit, wash the breakfast and lunch dishes, make the bed, and fold the laundry that was in the dryer.
Just as you are headed for the couch to sit for the remainder of the kid’s naps, you here that very familiar call of the wild, “Mommmm-meeeeeeeee.”
With a smile and a deep sigh, you pick yourself up and move toward the rest of the day which includes adventures in the great backyard, running the family restaurant, washing the dishes, giving baths, reading stories, and of course, hugs and kisses as you lay them down for the night.
For all you mothers out there that make it happen every day so your kids get the best of you, I want to salute you. And I especially want to salute the mother that makes it happen for my children, thank you.
I also want to encourage you by letting you know that has estimated that a fair wage for the typical stay-at-home mother would be about $150,579 a year. But the wage for being a Mommy….PRICELESS!
You can visit Mark Todhunter’s website at to email, or make comments and suggestions.
Mark Todhunter is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Professional Life Coach, Conference and Seminar speaker, and columnist and have worked with couples, families and children for the past 22 years

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