Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2008 at 7:05 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
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Happy Thanksgiving.

Today is the day of Thanksgiving in America.  My joy and thanks are lifted even higher as I grieve for those in India.  When I think of how lucky I am to be here in this great country, with all the little trivial problems we have, I know I have so much to be thankful for. 

 

Yes there are plenty of individuals, even groups of people who are suffering in our nation. But on the whole, we are up beat, intelligent people who strive for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

 

Have a great day, remember to enjoy yourself and your family. And

Have your Thanksgiving with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

Grace

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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

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.

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

Thoughtful Thursday: Giving Children Thankfulness

November 15, 2007 at 7:22 am | Posted in Families, Holidays, Mothers, Self Esteem, Thoughtful Thursday, Tweens | Leave a comment
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As we have been discussing all week, thankfulness is a gift passed from parent to childGEM Parenting knows that parents struggle to teach children gratitude and thankfulness. In a time surrounded with the blessings of family and friends, it is often hard to focus on the many things for which we are thankful. The stress and pressure of supplying the perfect holiday for your family often overwhelms us into forgetting thankfulness.  Learn the skills and strategies to create, instill, and enhance self-esteem in your children – and make them competent, well-balanced, and successful for life.

In our Thoughtful Thursday, GEM Parenting presents the podcast “Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday”.  This podcast outlines the ways that parents can turn the stresses of Thanksgiving into a growing experience to promote strong self-esteem and awareness with your children and family.

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.

Thanksgiving: The Gentle Holiday

November 14, 2007 at 2:22 am | Posted in dads, Families, Holidays, Mothers, Self Esteem, Wednesday Wisdom | Leave a comment
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Thanksgiving is what I call the gentle holiday.  All the other holidays have energized and elaborate activities.  Thanksgiving is more or less a meal.  It is a time when families and friends have time off from regular activities and get together.  Of course there is the hassle of getting to these gatherings.  But once people have arrived there is not much that is planned-no costumes and trick or treating, no major gift giving, no fireworks.  I think of it as perfect time to be able to throw in a few holiday activities that will boost your family’s self-esteem.

One of my favorites is the Thanksgiving Tree.  This is not a real tree! 

  • You trace your child on a piece of paper with legs together to form the trunk and arms out to form branches.  If you have more than one child have each child be traced on top of the other.  If you have one child trace their arms in a few different positions.   This is the leafless Thanksgiving Tree. 
  • Then cut construction paper in simple leaf shapes.  These will be the Thanksgiving leaves.  (You can attach the scraps to be leaves that have fallen on the ground.)  Your family and friends write what they are thankful for on these leaves.
  • Of course everyone is thankful for more than one thing.  Some things are serious, some are sentimental, and don’t forget the funny things that you are thankful for.  Some things are tangible-like food and shelter- some are past experiences-like swimming at the beach or going on a special trip- and some are thoughts- loving your grandmother. 
  • Each time you have a thankful idea you write it on a leaf and tape it up on the tree.  Of course the goal is to get the tree to be covered with these leaves.  This becomes a beautiful decoration and a lovely declaration that your family has lots to be thankful for. 

By declaring in such a concrete way what you are thankful for you teach your child that they as an individual and as a family come from a place of plenty.  That this plenty is not about how they compare to others, but just basic and simple things.

Being thankful for the basic and simple is a wonderful way to engage your child in learning to look inside for self approval rather than to look to the outside to be approved of by others.  When you look inside you create and enhance natural high self-esteem. 

For more information about how to use holidays to boost natural self-esteem or to learn about natural self-esteem go to feel free to contact Grace E. Mauzy at grace@gemparenting.com.

Dont Forget:  Check out the GEM Spotlight for a week of audios and printables to inspire great parenting.

 

About Grace:
Grace E. Mauzy, MA works with overwhelmed, stressed parents having difficulty comfortably cope with parenting. Parents learn positive intervention utilizing strategies and tactics to develop high self-esteem in children. Grace is the founder of GEM Parenting – an online community dedicated to parenting with passion, purpose, and integrity. (GEMParenting.com) Through Grace’s professional and personal life experiences, she has a unique ability to understand and empower parents to implement new parenting styles, allowing them to challenge themselves to break free of their destructive behaviors and attitudes.  And raise their children with confidence, peace, and harmony.  To learn more about her powerful speaking, coaching, and workshops, or to receive Grace’s motivating audio course-7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats and How to Avoid Them– visit http://www.GEMParenting.com

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