How is Food is the beginning of Thankfulness?

November 26, 2008 at 7:40 am | Posted in attitudes, Families, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Wonderful Wednesday | Leave a comment
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It’s Wonderful Wednesday.  And this is such a special day because, as you know, it is the day before Thanksgiving.

 

I have been having you focus on one thing to be thankful for this week.  To really get involved with why that particular thing is worth being thankful for.  How this thing is connected to your whole life.  Not just fulfilling the basic need you have been taught to think about, but how this thing is a true part of your ability to live with passion, purpose, and integrity.

 

Mine has been food.  Of course food is necessary to live.  No one can live without food forever. Even Mahatma Gandhi had to eat after three weeks.  But we in our lives are not suffering from horrible cultural norms, devastating political outbursts, or even true financial disasters, and although there are natural disasters, we have a very strong support system to help our citizens get back on their feet.

 

So how is food connected to more than my ability to stay alive?  How does food connect to every aspect of my life?  Food is a huge process.  It is a daily task.  Food is a way for my family and friends to be together.  I still have at least two meals a day together as a family.  At the time of preparation there is usually one child who is miserable about something.  That child comes to me in the kitchen and whines, complains, shouts, cries, or stands around with the silent treatment.  The kicking has pretty much stopped.

 

And while I prepare the meal, I can help that child learn and understand how to cope with such atrocities as a sister taking back her favorite shirt, being pushed over out of spite, or just being grumpy for no reason.  I am sure that without meal prep I would still have children who needed support and guidance, but it is during meal prep that some of my most nurturing moments occur.

 

The meals themselves are filled with conversations.  You can imagine with the age spread of aged 8 to 16 at home full time, and having guests regularly. Over the 24 years I have been a parent those conversations have changed, mutated, and developed.  Some themes continue, others come and go.  Many of my fondest memories are when we have been eating.  Memories are a vital part of my spiritual well-being.  When I am stressed, down, overwhelmed I can find a memory to bring me back into perspective. 

 

And there is the clean up time.  This is the never-ending scourge of my life.  There are always dirty dishes, counters, tabletops… I can go about the clean up process with anger and bitterness that I am still stuck with doing it or must nag and constantly remind my kids to do their part.  But I can get past that.  I can see that all this mess is a product of abundance.  And this abundance is not just the quantity of food and dishes we have, but the abundance of living we have.  My family does everything with real gusto.  It comes from our souls and spirits., and the food mess is daily evidence of this.

 

The process of getting Thanksgiving dinner on our table began on Monday.  We made our menu. Yesterday we went shopping.  Today we do prep for many dishes and help my mom with her pies. (She will make four from scratch- crust and all and her 80th b-day is tomorrow.)

 

Now you really know how I have taken food and looked to its roots as to why I am thankful for it.  It is not only my nourishment for my body; it is the nourishment for my values and morals.  Food is more than a simple grab it and eat it thing for me.  It is a process that brings my most sacred and special feelings and emotions out in the open. 

 

Being thankful, living with true integrity to your values and morals is a process.  It cannot be done in one quick instance.  It takes your heart and soul, your actions, and your mind set.

If you haven’t set this process in motion, start now.  Let yourself grow with your thankfulness.  Be the most thankful person you can be, but start with only one thing to be thankful for.

Be thankful with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

Grace

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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

 

Focused Fridays: Mother-in-Laws

November 23, 2007 at 6:44 pm | Posted in dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, relationships, Self Esteem, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Question:  I am at my in-laws.  I love them dearly, but my mother-in-law is always telling me what to do and how to do it.  I just don’t want to make her upset, but I also don’t want to do everything that she tells me to do.  How in the world can I manage to do what I want to do and not insult my mother-in-law by not doing what she wants me to do?

GEM Answer:  This can be tricky, because you want to keep being on good terms with your mother-in-law, but you do not want to be her clone.  TO be able to do your own thing tell your mother-in-law that you appreciate her suggestions and you will consider them.  Emphasize that you know she did a great job with her parenting because she raised such a wonderful child that you fell in love with and are married to.  It can also help to let her know that you understand that her comments are only because she loves her family so much.  But you are the parent of this family and you will be doing things differently.  You don’t need to be rude.  Just be firm.  And remember this is your family.

It is important for your own self-esteem to be sure of your own parenting.  If you are not then get sure of yourself.  You don’t need to waffle.  There are billions of ways to parent and the one you choose is yours.  If you are unsure of yourself then make a commitment today to follow your own wonderful parenting ideas. 

If you have ideas of how to deal with loving, but over bearing mother-in-laws then please add you comments.  We’d all love to know.

Preview of the Thoughtful Thursday audio release at “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday.”

Get your copy of “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday” today and start to feel thankful for the blessings of Thanksgiving again!

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.

Thoughtful Thursday: Children and Gratitude for Thanksgiving

November 22, 2007 at 6:41 pm | Posted in dads, Families, Holidays, moms, Mothers, Self Esteem, siblings, Thoughtful Thursday, Tweens | Leave a comment
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In honor of Thanksgiving, GEM Parenting posts this thought and a hope for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

“How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child’s personality. A child is resentful, negative—or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people.”–Sir John Templeton

Preview of the Thoughtful Thursday audio release at “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday.”

Get your copy of “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday” today and start to feel thankful for the blessings of Thanksgiving again!

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.

Wednesday Wisdom: Travel Tips with Children

November 21, 2007 at 4:56 am | Posted in dads, Families, Holidays, moms, Mothers, Self Esteem, siblings, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | 2 Comments
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As you are aware today is the most traveled day of the year! 

Here are tips to help you through this process with your small children:

  • When you are traveling bring some food along that is juicy yet not messy- Grapes and apples celery and carrots.
  • Bring some food that is sustaining but not salty- cheese and crackers, bread and butter, PB and J sandwiches, 
  • Entertainment is a necessity, but I do not believe it all needs, or even should be, electronic. 
  • You can bring old-fashioned games and activities, such as a coloring book, picture books, and some small stuffed animals.  Have times set up for each of these.  Anywhere from twenty minute shifts to hour shifts. 
  • And intersperse the electronics between these activities.  If your child uses different parts of the brain while sitting the sitting doesn’t seem so hard.
  • Do some silly singing, and especially those songs that have action parts.  You can play head, shoulders, knees and toes, and Little Bunny FooFoo.  You can play on of my family’s favorites- It is called energy.  You wiggle every part of your body while saying, singing, shouting, or whispering energy.  It is pure silliness.  And it is great for you and the kids!

Here are some other games that are all ages’ fun in the car.  I am thinking of something- in the car- where we are going- what we will eat- who will be there.   The alphabet game.  Here is a fun variation.  My name is Albert and my wife is Ann.  We live in Alexandria, and we sell apples.  The next person uses words that start with “B”.  You can prompt even very young children to play this.  And another game/song is “Going on a picnic leaving right away, if it doesn’t rain we’ll stay all day.  Did you bring the ________?  (And a child says something)  Yes we brought the __________.  We’ stay all day.  Then you repeat again.  This can be played in a variety of ways.  First is by just putting in any thing for the blanks.  The second is to add the new item and repeat all the previous items.  And the third is in alphabetical order.

And don’t forget the good old standby’s like Old MacDonald had a farm, There was a Farmer had a Dog and Bingo was his name O.   I hope these will jar your memory of the fun songs you sang as a kid.  Because guess what?  With all the technology and electronics these songs and finger plays will still be fun, stimulating, and probably be the best part of your trip.

If you are traveling through bedtime, Stop at about the real time put on your kids pajamas, brush their teeth and have them go potty.  Then in the car do the best you can to do your regular bedtime routine- read them a story, sing.  Then say it is time to sleep.  This will give your kids the security and regularity of sleeping.  Just keep gently reminding them to sleep.  And when they learn the phrase, “I can’t sleep in the car.”  Reply with:  It doesn’t really matter if you sleep.  You just have to pretend to be asleep so I don’t know you are awake.”  And remind them that falling asleep is not for you, but so that they will have fun when on Thanksgiving.  Also you can tell them how much faster the car ride is if they fall asleep. 

I know the phone is really tempting to use when driving, so do be careful, follow the law, and tell people that you are driving.  Tell them you may stop talking and listening if the traffic is difficult.

Also, when you are putting your kids to sleep do not talk in the phone or with other people in the car.  Give your kids about twenty minutes to fall asleep. You may want to put on sleepy music or song to your children.

These are tried and true methods to help the travel be smoother and more enjoyable.  As you travel think of the travel as part of the fun.  Think of the car ride as a special time.  Not a trapped in the car with nothing to do time.  If you get your head around the idea that this can and will be fun, then you will give this to your family.  And for goodness sakes, don’t let those negative vibes from others sway your opinion or actions!  Let your car rides be so enjoyable that you and your kids look forward to then.  I know this can be done as I do it myself and I have lots of friends and relatives who love car rides as well.

Have a safe drive and a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Preview of the Thoughtful Thursday audio release at “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday.”

Get your copy of “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday” today and start to feel thankful for the blessings of Thanksgiving again!

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.

Transcendent Tuesday: Teaching Children to Look Up

November 20, 2007 at 11:48 pm | Posted in dads, Families, Holidays, moms, Self Esteem, siblings, Transcendent Tuesday, Tweens | Leave a comment
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 When you were a kid you spent lots of time looking up. You needed to to talk to any one bigger than you, which accounted for a lot of people. AND you liked to. There are lots of interesting things that are up. The sky for one. It is always changing and different. When I woke up this morning it was a dull grey. Then it became the mot brilliant blue and now it is a gentle light blue. And tomorrow? Who knows.

What in the world does this have to do with helping your child and their self esteem? Everything. The skys the limit you know. Open your heart and mind to know that your child can be all wonderful things, but will never be the same from one moment to the next.

  • Your child will have seasons, calm times and storms.
  • Your child will be brilliant and dull.
  • Your child is such a fantastic mix that if you don’t keep looking up you will loose sight of what is going on with your child.

And the other thing to understand is that as much as you can prepare for the weather- My motto for my family is “There is no bad weather. There is only bad dressing.” You can not control it. This is the same for your children. If you become so involved with your children that you are their extension neither you nor they will actually do as well as if you are sperate and in complete support of them. Support is endless. It is like dressing to watch a ski race in -20f. There is no end to the amount of clothing to put on. But in the end when I dress the right way to watch my children race I am actually comfy in any weather.

So as you go about your day and wonder how it will turn out, just take a moment and look up.

Preview of the Thoughtful Thursday audio release at “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday.”

Get your copy of “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday” today and start to feel thankful for the blessings of Thanksgiving again!

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: Family Thanksgiving with Thankfulness

November 19, 2007 at 10:56 pm | Posted in dads, Families, Holidays, Mothers, Motivational Monday, relationships, Self Esteem, siblings, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to Motivational Monday!

As a matter of fact, our first  Motivational Monday!  In celebration of Thanksgiving and our first Motivational Monday, GEM Parenting will focus on using self-esteem to teach thankfulness and helping parents handle the holiday stresses. 

Motivational Monday: Family Thanksgiving with Thankfulness encourages parents, both moms and dads, to inspire their children to high achievement and productivity using a healthy sense of self-esteem!

Ready for your Monday dose of courage to get through the week (and the Thanksgiving holiday?). 

Motivational Monday: Family Thanksgiving with Thankfulness is one click away!

Preview of the first Thoughtful Thursday audio release at “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday.”

Get your copy of “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday” today and start to feel thankful for the blessings of Thanksgiving again!

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.

Children and Family

Discipline Your Kids Using Self-Esteem

November 16, 2007 at 5:31 am | Posted in dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Mothers, Self Esteem, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Parents struggle every day with disciplining their kids.  If you are confused about the ways to discipline your kids, then you are in a group of millions of parents.  Discipline ranks among the top 5 Parenting Concerns. 

If you are ready for proven methods of Disciplining your Children, then get your FREE copy of GEM Parenting’s exclusive 8 podcast audio series, “The 7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats – And How You Can Avoid Them!”

Discover proven GEM Parenting secrets:

  • How to get your children to do what you want without resorting to bribery, manipulation, or coercion.
  • When to NOT take a strong, hard-line approach with your son or daughter – doing so at the wrong time can spell disaster.
  • Simple secrets to get your kids to behave better – even if everything you’ve tried thus far has been a failure.
  • Why traditional methods of parenting fail and how to stop being confused about what’s best for your children.
  • How to build and keep a loving, respectful relationship with your kids (just like the one you’ve always dreamed of).
  • Plus, these techniques will become second-nature; simple to use, and they intuitively motivate your children to their best behavior, moral clarity, and high levels of achievement.

Don’t wait.  You really have nothing to loose!  Get your completely FREE copy of  “The 7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats – And How You Can Avoid Them!”

Also, don’t forget:  Preview of the first Thoughtful Thursday audio release at “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday.”

Get your copy of “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday” today and start to feel thankful for the blessings of Thanksgiving again!

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