Invitation

Outgrown September 13 2015, 0 Comments

“I would have given anything to keep her little. They outgrow us so much faster than we outgrow them.
Brian Fitzgerald, talking about his children.”

Because "x" happened...what does that make possible? August 19 2015, 0 Comments

Stuff happens.  It happens to all of us.  The real question is how do we respond.  When you respond, what do your kids see?

You can act like a victim ...and we all do sometimes, but if you can think of it, there are choices.

The self talk we might say with an unfortunate situation goes like this...

What did I do to deserve this?

Why did this have to happen to me or why now?

What am I going to miss out on because of this?

One question I have found to be very empowering is...because of "this" (whatever the unfortunate situation), what is now possible?

For example, let's say that you lose your job.  What is now possible...a career change, working at home, in the short term, there may be more time with the family.

Just keep thinking...what is now possible?  Your kids are looking and deciding how they will deal with their problems in the future.

 


Triggers August 07 2015, 0 Comments

With my closest relationships I feel especially determined to make sure I try my hardest.  I have something called my short list.  These are my friends and family that I would do about anything for.  Call me day or night and I would come running, no questions asked.

Obviously, my kids are on that list.  

Since these are my most important relationships I have intentionally put what I call triggers in my life with them.  The trigger is what I think of the moment I see them.  I am setting the mood for how I want to be when I am with them.  My daughter told me one time that I was the happiest person she knew.  That didn't happen by accident.  It happened because no matter what else was going on, I was doing my best to find something to be happy about.  

One of the triggers was when my daughter was accepted into a school that she wanted to get into and to remember how ecstatic she was.  

Another time was when all of my kids and I were line dancing in the kitchen to Beyonce.

Another time was when my daughter first saw the beach as a toddler and she loved it so much that she was trying to eat the sand!

My triggers are really just cute memories that I think of that makes me amused or happy.  No one knows what I am thinking, but I am smiling.  

You can really project a positive interaction with your relationships if you choose to do so.  I have found that thinking of these triggers is a good way to support that approach.  It's not just a general - have a positive attitude.  It's a personal memory that triggers a good start to the next interaction.

what one nice thing have you done for yourself today?


Bad behavior August 06 2015, 0 Comments

If a child believes he/she is" bad", that will play out sooner or later.  Usually sooner.  

If the parent reacts badly to the child's bad behavior, we have a vicious cycle.  

It is up to the parent to break the cycle and thereby increasing the probability that acceptable behavior will surface.  

Know that your child doesn't really want to act that way.  The child's behavior is really a product of their emotional state at that time.  The behavior is really a strong indication of a problem.  Often the problem can be illusive, but you may know what it is.  The parent needs to separate the child from the behavior.  You need to connect with the child and make sure the child can really hear you.  

I would do all kinds of things to make sure my kids were listening.  Sometimes, I would let my child "get it out his/her's system" because he/she will never hear me if they are ranting.  Or just lift his/her face up to get eye contact with me, but I had to find a way to connect with my kid.  Once we were connected, I would tell them that I loved them.  Telling a kid you love them is a big diffuser.  All the negativity can just evaporate.  

When the negativity has left and they are still looking at me, I will let them know that I did not like what they are doing.  Make your voice firm.  Make your words clear.  Just say it once.

what one nice thing will you do for yourself today?


What's your child's biggest challenge? August 04 2015, 0 Comments

I am a bit concerned that somewhere along the way we have somewhat stopped challenging our children.  

Teachers and parents can easily fall into the trap of becoming enablers when they pass being helpful.  There is a line that adults cross when they are doing for the kid when the kid could very well do it themselves or at least give it a good try.

It is a natural tendency for us to protect our child and when you know he/she absolutely can't do something, you have to do it. With the best of intentions, we tend to eliminate or minimize the struggle. As parents, we have to stay mindful that our kids will be able to do more and more all the time.  That struggle is where the growth is.  That is where the personal sense of accomplishment is born.  

Then, the next struggle won't seem as big.

what one nice thing will you do for yourself today?


Start thinking August 03 2015, 0 Comments

 

We are raising the next generation of thinkers.  Your kid will need to do critical thinking. 

Critical thinking means that all the possibilities are considered.

I don't think we want our kids to just do what is most popular or adopt conformist thinking.  They need to take "best practices" and combine it with the current day's challenges.  

Do your kids figure out what they think you want them to say and that is their answer?  Are they trying to please you at the sake of thinking for themselves?  

If you are of the opinion that in the long term, your kid will probably learn to think for themselves, that is not going to serve your kid well.  Start today, it is not too soon.  Start small.  Ask them why they think about something the way they do.  

Parents can support critical thinking by providing good questions to their kids and then just listening.  Mostly, just listening.

what one nice thing will you do for yourself today?


Financial Sense August 02 2015, 0 Comments

Teach your child how to handle his/her money.  All kids need to know how to do this and the sooner you get them comfortable with it, the better decisions they should make.

When I go to the bank with a transaction that involves my kids' money, I let them handle it.  If they are making a deposit, they count out the money or sign the back of the check.  They get their account number ready.  I stand right beside them and listen to what is going on and help them, but they are interacting with the teller.

They ask to make a deposit and submit the check or money.

They key in their account number.  

They make sure the deposit is correct.

They are going to need to know how to do this "some day" and I think kids have a sense of satisfaction when they learn how to do "grown up stuff".

I think it is important to discuss with your child three things about money while they are young.

Some money is spent on things you want or need.  Be careful to know the difference between a want and a need.

Some money should be saved.  

Some money should be given to those less fortunate.

There are a lot of teachable moments with kids and money.  

what one nice thing will you do for yourself today?


Networking for your kids July 24 2015, 0 Comments

Kids need to feel safe and have a sense of belonging. Being at their home should always be a kid's "soft place to land". A place where they feel unconditional love and acceptance.

Being part of a family is vital, but it is also important to have a network of support.

As kids get older, they may not always want to tell "the parent" their problems, questions and concerns. Maybe they think you won't understand. You are too busy. You aren't available when they need you. It could be lots of things.

It is not about you. It is about what your kid needs when they need it.

Do you have a network of support in place that your kid knows to go to if they can't reach you or want to talk to someone else?


I don't like.... July 19 2015, 0 Comments

I have learned that if there is something I don't like about my child, I don't have to let them know it.  

We talk about it.  

Mostly, I want my child to talk about it to me.  I want to have them tell me all they can about what I don't like about her, him or "something".

I listen a lot.  

I lean in.

I smile.

I just don't say I don't like "x" and remove all doubt.

For example, if he/she has a friend I don't like.  I will ask about the friend, his/her family, where he/she lives, how they met, what's cool about the friend, what sports he/she plays, etc...We talk it out and through that I see my child starting to put the pieces together about who their friend is.  I am not going to like all their friends, but I at least want my kids to see their friends for who they are.  

Kids don't want to be judged.  They want unconditional love.

If your child is going to be the best they can be, there are going to be times when you don't like what they do, but it is not for you to judge everything they do, but to be supportive of who they are.


Everything changes July 13 2015, 0 Comments

You are the leader of your family.  One of the most outstanding qualities of an effective leader is to anticipate the changes and needs of your children.  What are the changes that you reasonably know are coming up and what are you doing to prepare for them?  Are you involving your child in a discussion about the upcoming changes, helping them to prepare and allowing them to make chooses, if reasonable?

When you seamless handle changes in the family, it shows your children that change is normal and manageable.  If your child plays a role in making that change happen, he/she develops confidence to handle changes.  We all tend to embrace what we help create.

One of the few things that we can all count on is change.

what one nice thing have you done for yourself today?