Are You Ready For the Parenting Plunge?

October 20, 2008 at 7:12 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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Happy Motivational Monday Grace,

Good Morning,
It is Motivational Monday.

Again already.
Have you taken any time last week to try loving your children?
Did you go into your bathroom even once to regroup?

Well, if you didn’t that’s OK, sort of.
Because here we are again at motivational Monday to start once more.

This week I have an idea. I have a graduation tomorrow. 
One of my clients is graduating.
She emailed me last spring. 
She was really struggling with self-acceptance.
It was affecting her parenting, her interactions with others,
Her self-esteem.
Basically her whole life.

She knew it was time for her to live her own life.
One without fear, stress, anxieties. 
She took the plunge.

She was desperate that her children did not grow up with
a mom who was just not her own best,
a mom who was suffering,
a mom who was unable to do the best for her children,
a mom who had low self-esteem.

She took the plunge.
She decided to change.
She emailed me for an appointment

And six months later she is graduating.
She has a new comfort zone,
She has a new way of self-acceptance.
She has her self-esteem.

For your motivation today I 
CHALLENGE you to take the plunge.

Do something this week
That will change who you are,
How you parent,
How you live for the rest of your life.

Are you ready? It just takes one email to get you started on 
Your journey.

Your journey to inner peace, 
Family pride,
And life changing self-esteem. 

Simply hit reply 
And take the plunge.

No matter what else you do today
parent with passion, purpose, and integrity.

Grace

You Scream, They Scream, We all Scream for Not Ice Cream

October 14, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, Terrific Tuesday | Leave a comment
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Hi its Terrific Tuesday.  Get a handle on how to get a bit of love back into your parenting.

Your problem is you know that you are supposed to love your children.  And now you have Grace pointing out that you may in your heart love them, but you know you are not loving them in action.  You are hating them, or mothering, or just plain life.  

Today take a five minute break from your hating.  Get a picture you love of your children.   One that only brings pleasure, peace, joy, and happiness to you.  It must be a strong feeling.  Just look at the picture for five minutes.  Feel the love.  Let it envelope you.  Try it on as a scarf around your neck, a shawl draping over your shoulders.  Let the love be yours for these five minutes.

When the time is up, go back to what you were doing.  And when you are hearing your children scream, when you are shouting back, block out what you are actually seeing.  Have a little hallucination of the picture you were looking at.  This will give you just a speck of time to regroup and try to talk with a bit of love in your feelings.

When you talk with love this does not mean giving in.  You can be very firm with love.  You can be understanding.  Yet you are the parent and can love your children to good behavior.  

When they are demanding, bratty, spoiled, unruly give them limits.  Speak over and over this phrase, “I understand that you don’t want to and that’s OK.”  Say it, say it, say it.  You can’t say it too much.  

Now go get your picture, lock yourself in the bathroom with it and feel the love for five minutes.  And for the rest of the day remember to say, “I understand that you don’t want to and that’s OK.”

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

How to Use Your Marbles on Saturdays and Build High Self-Esteem.

October 9, 2008 at 9:59 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem | 2 Comments
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OK it has been forever since I wrote here.  And now I am going to share what I received from a friend this morning.  If you live with motto you can only raise your children with high self esteem- and at the same time enjoy yourself and them.

 

3900 Marbles

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable. 

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time, Let me tell you about it: 

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was in trigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say 

“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s “dance recital” he continued. “Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.” 

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. 

“Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in t heir entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part. 

It took me until I was fift y-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.” “I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.” 

“Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. 

There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.” 

“It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!” 

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. 

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking yo u and the kids to breakfast.” “What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles. 

A friend sent this to me, so I sent it to you, my friend.

And so, as one smart bear once said…”If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.” – Winnie the Pooh. 

Pass this on to all of your FRIENDS, even if it means sending it to the person that sent it to you.And if you receive this e-mail many times from many different people, it only means that you have many FRIENDS. And if you get it but once, do not be discouraged for you will know that you have at least one good friend…

And that would be ME.

Now use your marbles to live and parent with passion, purpose and integrity.
Let others know how you use your marbles by putting in a comment.

Can You Accept Being a Great Parent Without Control?

July 9, 2008 at 7:13 am | Posted in attitudes, children, dads, Families, GEM Parenting Secrets, moms, Mothers, parents, Wednesday Wisdom | Leave a comment
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As a parent you need to understand that you are in control of your child and at the exact same time you are as far removed from your child as an elephant in Africa. 

You have an obligation as a parent to set up the most caring home you can:  A home filled with love, positive guidance, and morals and values that you believe in.  But as you know, this is a task that causes great anxiety.  You are so stretched to your limits of parenting that some times you lose sight of how to create this home. And you trudge along hoping everything will be good in the end.

The saddest part of this picture is that often things turn out fine in the end.  But the journey has been so difficult and so arduous that it hardly seems to matte any way.

What you want is to find a way to know the end of the journey is going to be good and at the same time to enjoy and relish your time as a parent.

Yesterday we talked about being granted serenity.  If you have not reached any moments of serenity then you need to think of how you are trying to get it.  If there is any begging, neediness, or whining for it, you are can try being more gentle with yourself and with your eternal energy.

Today we are going to talk about “accepting the things I cannot change.”  Every moment that we are alive we are out of control.  We cannot truly control anything or anyone. 

When you look at life this way you can let go of the things that bug you, drive you crazy, and keep you up at night.  Know that you can not actually change things.  Know that change happens, and reactions happen to what you do. 

How does this kind of thinking change your parenting?  As a parent you may have been trying to set everything up to be just perfect, or even as nearly perfect, as you are humanly capable of doing for your family.  This of course is well and good. 

The problem comes because of all the glitches.  And these glitches, large and miniscule, gnaw at your insides, put overwhelm in everything you do- from breathing to actually reading a story to your children.

When you “accept the things I cannot change” you no longer have to be in control.  You now have the privilege to see yourself as one who influences, who guides, and can set things in motion.  But the weight of perfection is gone.

You are a wonderful parent filled with love and caring.  Remember you have serenity.  Now with accepting that which you cannot change, you have freedom to truly love and cherish your children. 

Loving and cherishing your children is the number one best thing you can do to set the motion for your children live the most fantastic life they can.  And it starts today!

Accept the things you cannot change.  Put serenity into its proper place in your parenting.  And see how the nagging, headache causing stresses that surround you and your children begin to evaporate.

You are welcome to share your acceptance of the things you cannot change and how that freed you to love and cherish your children. 

If you have a major acceptance please share, and if you have something that is so trivial and insignificant please share that as well. 

Everyone needs to hear how you are able to use this information.

As always, Parent with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity.

Grace

 

Terrific Tuesday

June 24, 2008 at 10:02 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, Terrific Tuesday, Tweens | 2 Comments
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Terrific Tuesday

 When you are confused as to what and why you do things with your kids you are very likely to be caught in the product side of parenting.  You are trying to figure out what will be the best thing for your kid in the long run.  You are so confused with all the offerings that are available.  You really can’t figure out what to do.  Except try and see what others are doing and hope that since so many others are doing something that it must a good thing.  But will it really be the right thing for your kids?

 Just writing about this makes me dizzy.  And for you who is in the muddle of it all- Please notice muddle is on purpose- you are more than dizzy.  You are up at nights wondering and worrying if you have it right.  What can you do better.  Which choice should you make?  What is the best for your family?

 

Well, rather than get in this ridiculous bind you are in, step out.  You are in the product mode. You are looking at parenting as a mode to get a result, a product. When you switch to the process mode the answers are easy.  The time in the process is enlightening, and although there are still many challenges in front of you, the challenges are invigorating rather than energy depleting.

Enough of that and onto some of my own personal real life examples of using process rather than product parenting. 

 

One of my daughters is a dancer.  She dances four days a week in lessons and many days out of lessons.  And I have two daughters who love to dance, but not quite to the same extent.  This past weekend we just had their recital. 

 The dancers from age three to twenty were instructed in the joy and beauty of dance through out the year.  The actual practice of the recital dances began in early April for some and not until May for others.  The studio chooses to teach dance rather than recital performance. 

 

 As the classes get done learning their recital dances each class and all parents, siblings, and whoever else is around watches the dances.  This is great fun.  The girls love to watch the other dancers and they love to dance for each other. 

 

 Yes, this takes some time away from the “instruction.”  But it also prepares everyone for the actual show. 

 

 When the actual show happens there is one dress rehearsal on the stage the evening before the recital.  And for the past three years that I have been part of this, the whole time is spent in the splendor of being dancers rather than showing a product that is being performed. 

 

 From the director to the babies, there is an atmosphere of pleasure, excitement, and the love of doing ones best, and of course dancing.

 

 Oh, I completely forgot the costumes.  Each dancer gets a T-shirt.  It is a coveted shirt, with a simple design on it.   The colors have been magenta, teal blue, and this year black.  Yep.  Everyone has the same basic costume.  Then they elaborate with old-fashioned dress ups!!! Or maybe simple home made tie die shirts.

 

 And you know what happens?  The dancers are dancers.  They are not a part of the show.  The dancers are the show.  It seems weird for many of you that not having glitzy costumes and practicing for months on a single performance piece would create anything but second rate dancers. 

 

But let me tell you otherwise.  I have been involved with dance studios as a mother for about twenty years.  And as a dancer myself for about ten years.  That makes thirty years of connections with dance studios.  And this is the dance studio that children- boys and girls- can love to dance.

 

 Why? They teach dancing through the process.  The product of a “show” is not the integral or even important part of the studio ethics.  They teach and dance for the sheer joy of teaching and dancing. 

 

 Although the studio’s main concern is not about the future of the dancers, their desire is to have the dancers love to dance, every year there are seniors who go ff to college majoring in dance, kids who spend the summer at highly coveted places such as The Boston Ballet, The Philadelphia Ballet, and Steps on Broadway.

 

The result of process teaching is to have kids love doing what they are doing AND the result turns out to be wonderful.  Even though t is not the actual goal.

Take the step out and use process for your parenting.  The result, product, will happen anyway, so why not enjoy the journey?  Have peace and know that you are giving your children the special gift of living and loving the moment- With that they will live a life with high self-esteem void of the panic and worry that you have.

 

 Grace

 

 PS the studio is called Ninth State Dance Studio

You can check them out at theninthstate.com

 

I would love to hear about something in your parenting that is process rather than product oriented.  it really helps others when you share!

 

Tickle Me Tuesday: Do We Expect Too Much of Our Kids?

April 22, 2008 at 12:23 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Do we expect too much of our kids? Too little?

Both, actually. Our expectations of children start as fantasies when we are children ourselves. “I’m going to have one boys and two girls.” The fantasies become moreserious during pregnancy as we dream of the child-to-be.

In the newborn period, sleep-deprived as we are, we think about our baby’s future. Like a parent in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegone where all the children are above average, we have dreamy expectations of our little offspring. We expect our child to be the first on the block to achieve developmental milestones; to excel at school; to have a great personality and be liked by every peer; to be physically coordinated, athletic, and a good sport; and to be of good character, never tell a lie or bully another kid, or smoke pot.

Well, folks, these expectations ain’t going to come to pass for all of us. Reality always trumps dreamy expectations. In general, parental expectations fall into two categories: expecting too much of our children and expecting too little.

Parents tend to expect behaviors before the child is developmentally ready. For example they expect a toddler to share toys in play group, siblings to always get along, kids to remember what we said. Such parents are expecting too much of their kids. They are being unrealistic and are also worried. “Why doesn’t Max listen to me? What’s wrong with him?”

Parents also expect too little in some pretty crucial areas. We don’t expect young children to do chores and gradually assume their own responsibility for stuff like chores and homework so we keep reminding them. We don’t expect babies to selfcalm so we rock them to sleep or let them fall asleep at the breast long after they should be learning their own sleep associations.

The best way to develop realistic expectations is to pay attention to the child’s temperament and personality and learn a bit about child development. Parent in the moment. Don’t worry about what you or the child did wrong yesterday, don’t worry about how the child is going to turn out tomorrow. Think about parenting today in as realistic a way as possible.

ParentKidsRight

Marilyn Heins, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Marilyn has written over 800 parenting columns published in the Arizona Daily Star. The column originally appeared in 1989 in the Food and More section, however the Star found reader response so strong that it moved the column to the Sunday Accent section, with its larger circulation. The column is often listed in the newspaper’s front section as one of the highlights of the Sunday paper.

 

 

 

 

http://www.parentkidsright.com

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