Tag Archives: parenting

Good Parenting and Family Celebrations

Parent Children Education Engagement

Family life is often hectic. Parents race from home to school and off to soccer games, ballet lessons, birthday parties, gymnastics, and the library. Parent burnout is increasingly common, exhaustion the norm.

In half of our families, divorce, remarriage, and the creation of blended families add to the stress placed on modern family life. All too soon, the kids will shift their focus from family to friends. Countless tasks fragment any remaining sense of well-being and sap away at the stamina that we need to meet the challenges of our modern lives.

One of the most precious gifts that we can give our children is an education of the heart, nurturing their sense of joy and appreciation of life, a sense of the poetic, and of their connection to all of humanity and the universe.

Family traditions and celebration create comforting patterns to the childhood years. They help to underscore to our children the message that they are loved and cherished. Even if we don’t formally belong to any organized religion, they can help us teach our children the great moral and spiritual lessons of love, kindness, joy, and confidence in the fundamental goodness of life, in simple ways that encourage them to begin the journey toward being fully alive and fully human.

Opening yourself to wonder and delight is the first step toward a celebration of life. Without a sense of wonder, all things are commonplace. But, when we open ourselves to a sense of wonder, our souls begin to stir.

More than likely, our children will lead us to rediscover our sense of curiosity and wonder. There is beauty all around us. It’s so easy to find in the patterns of the waves lapping the sand, the curve of a gull’s wing, in the angry force of a rain storm, or in the changing moods and colors of a mountain lake. Our children help us get back in touch with the beauty of all creation as we gather shells, yell into the wind, fly a kite, or leave a trail of footprints in the sand. Enter into these precious moments with abandon, and you will rediscover your sense of wonder, celebration, and worship.

Being alive to the beauty of our world nurtures a spirit of inner peace and reverence for life. In exploring together “how could this be?,” we help our children begin their journey toward enlightenment.

Making bedtime simple, easy and loving

bedtime
This is such a difficult scenario that all parents face at some point, so how can we make it easy, gentle and enjoyable for children and for parents alike? Is bedtime a power struggle, ending with “not another word, or else?”

Let’s look at it from a child’s point of view:

Imagine that you are in the middle of a good book and your spouse says, “It’s time for bed, honey.” In spite of your response, “No, I’m not ready yet,” you are unwillingly taken up the stairs, your clothes are removed, and you are forced into taking a bath. How would you feel? Would you feel disrespected, violated, angry, devaluated, and controlled? You may be thinking, “yes, but a two-year-old doesn’t think that way-It’s not the same, he’s not an adult. Besides, I’m the parent.”

True, your child is not yet an adult. However, he is a person. He has feelings and is at an important growth stage of wanting independence and to have his choices be known and honored. This is the beginning of his being an individual-he is establishing his separateness from his parents and is exploring his competence and capabilities. The command of being told what to do and when to do it brings up a feeling of being controlled and having no choice. The issue becomes one of wanting control over ourselves and what happens to us even if the “command” may have value for us (i.e. Going to bed in a timely manner).

Let’s examine what a child’s wants:

Bedtime can be a special time between parents and children because it is natural for us to desire closeness before going to sleep. When we read a bedtime story, your child’s desire for the potty or a drink is a desire for more closeness. It  is expressed through asking for a drink and “going potty” , one must understand this.  So, consider these questions:  What does your own child want before bedtime?

Children want to:

  • Feel independent
  • Feel close to parents
  • Feel a sense of control over what happens to them
  • Feel respected and listened to.

How can you, as a parent, give your child what he wants and needs and still have him go to bed in a timely manner?

You can:

  • Respect your own needs
  • Set your child’s bedtime at an hour that allows you some solitude or “couple time” with your partner after your child goes to bed
  • Whenever possible have both parents be part of the bedtime ritual
  • start your own bedtime ritual 45 minutes to one hour before your child’s actual bedtime to avoid the unnecessary pressure that create stress and struggle
  • Respect his sense of time by telling him that bedtime is in 15 minutes, allowing him to complete a particular activity before his actual bedtime hours
  • Offer choices instead of orders, your child will have a feeling of control over what happens to him when he is given choices. (For example: “Do you want to wear your blue pajamas or the red ones?”
  • Create a bedtime ritual with your child’s help and advice; for example, read a story, snuggle, give three stuffed animals to be kissed, give a him a hug and two kisses and leave the room singing a song (routine is particularly important).

Creating closeness is also important. Here are some ideas:

  • Talk about “remember when….,” such as, “Remember when we went camping and that raccoon got into our food stash?”
  • Listen to your child’s feeling about his day.
  • Say three things that you love about each other.
  • Ask open-ended questions that allow your child to share more about himself, such as, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?”
  • Some children may talk more freely with the lights out. Try to discover what is most encouraging to your child that will enhance your communication time.

When you start this new bedtime routine, explain once to your child, “If you come out of your room for any reason other than an emergency, I ill lovingly guide or carry you back to your room. I will not talk to you after I say good night and close your bedroom door.” After you have completed your bedroom routine, leave your child’s room as you explained.

It is essential that you do not talk to your child after the bedtime routine is established. Your child will pay much more attention to your actions than to your words. You may have to guide him back to his room several times, particularly at the beginning, because children will sometimes test their parents on new experiences.

You can make bedtime be a time of nurturing, closeness, shared communication and fun. By involving your children in the decision making process and spending this special time with them, they will feel valued and respected, which builds their self-esteem.

8 Ways to Teach Your Child Values

child values
“92 percent of us want our children to have better manners and values” says Gary Bauer former White House Adviser and President of the Family Research Council?

What are values and how do we teach them to our children? Webster defines values as 1) the social principles, goals or standard held or accepted by an individual 2) that which is desirable or worth of esteem. Your values determine how you and your family live. A value you may hold is honesty, importance of family, or having fun. There are numerous values that you have that you may or may not be aware of. Your values may change from day to day.

Whether or not you are aware of it, you have priorities within your values. For example, you may value work more than you value time spent with your family. If this is the case, you may find that your children and your spouse are doing some negative things to get your attention. Being at home may feel draining or tense. However if you change your priority to value your family more than you do work, you will find that your family will become more supportive of you and your work. As a result, you will feel nourished by your family.

The way you can determine what values you have are by the results you are getting. In the case above, if you are not feeling nurtured by your family, you may want to pay attention to how much you are investing in your family. Pay close attention to what you spend your time and your money. This will also help you determine what you value.

Here Are Eight Ways To Teach Values:

  1. Determine What Values You Want: Make a list of you top ten priorities for your family. This will help you keep your intention on creating what you want your children to learn.
  2. Set Rules Around Your Values: Don’t be afraid to set rules around your values. For example, if having family time is important to you at dinner, don’t allow interruptions such as phone calls, TV, or absenteeism for either you or your children.
  3. Be Unrelenting About Your Values: Sometimes in an attempt to make life easy for ourselves, we let things slide. In the long run, it usually takes us much longer. The longer we put things off the more frustrating the situation gets for everyone.
  4. Emphasize Your Actions With Your Words: Talk to your child about your actions. Tell them the good feeling that you get from following through on a value. For example, “I greeted people at church today. It really fills my heart when I can make people feel good.
  5. Look for Teaching Opportunities: Keep alert for stories from real life, TV, books and newspapers that illustrate a value that you think is important. For example, my son loves football and thinks that Emmit Smith is the greatest. My husband got him the book “The Emmit Zone,” which is full of important values for my son. Point out actions of neighbors and friends that demonstrate values. For example, I told my children about a friend who called me to apologize for lying to me the previous day.
  6. Teach Your Child To Prioritize: For example, if your family is in a stressful situation and your nine-year-old is being inappropriately demanding, you may want to ask, “What’s more important right now, you getting your way or that we all calm down and create some peace in this family?” It is important that you ask this question without instilling guilt or being demanding.
  7. If Your Child Isn’t Honoring a Value: You may want to check the following if your child isn’t honoring a value you hold dear. Am I sending a clear message? For example, you may really want the TV off three days a week but you only occasionally ask your family to turn off or turn down the TV. Are my actions congruent with my talk? A friend of mine was walking out of a store with his daughter. He noticed that the clerk had given him too much change and started going back to the store. The daughter asked, “Why are you going back when she only gave you a dollar too much?” He replied, “My integrity is worth more than a dollar.” Am I too controlling about my desire for my child to share my value? Note: If your teenager is rebelling against your values, this is not only normal but important for him to determine his own values. This is a stage and he will grow out of it.
  8. Discuss Your Own Struggles with Your Values: Share with your child how you struggling with your own values. For example, “My boss wanted me to do something that would save the company money. I don’t want to do it because in will hurt the environment. I am really struggling with this because I am not sure what he will do if I stick up for what I believe in.” Hearing you struggle helps your child clarify his own values. It also helps him to not feel alone in his struggles. Be insistent, subtle, creative, and inviting about teaching values. Don’t give boring lectures, orders or use “band wagon” approaches. Without values, our children are left to their own devices or pick up the values of peers or media. When you care enough to stick up for your values, your children develop a deep respect for you and themselves.

 

The Involved Parent – Tips On How To Transform Your Child’s Educational Future

 

A number of parents believe that the task of ensuring their children obtain the best education possible and go the furthest possible is completely up to the schools, however , this actually is not the case. Parents are definitely the most influential force in the educational future of their children.

As parents think and dream about where their children will go making use of their education, quite a few imagine their child being the first in the family to graduate college. In spite of the numerous individuals who now graduate from high school and continue on to college success, you can still find substantially more families who still have not accomplished the college graduate dream.

With all things associated with schooling, parents ought to keep in mind that they are the first and best teacher and advocate for their child. The possibility of a child graduating from high school and going to college is a lot more closely linked to the way the family views a college education compared to the schools the child goes to or the teachers he or she has. Being mindful of this, below are a few suggestions for parents to assist their children attain the highest and most complete education possible:

 

Parents need to prioritize education.

This may seem like a no-brainer, however it is in fact more challenging to make happen than the majority think. It is not necessarily sufficient to inform a child they have to go to college, or that parents believe that education is essential. Parents really need to demonstrate to their children that the family values education by way of things like:

Reading. Parents should read where children are able to see it. Kids emulate what parents do, not necessarily what they say.

Continue your own education. This does not imply you will need to go back to school, but clearly show kids that you continue learning and growing either through your job or hobbies. Learn. And continue to keep learning.

Genuinely put school first. Carrying out chores should really come after carrying out school work and studying. Without a doubt, children must have the responsibility to do chores and play a role in the family, however school has to be their first job.

 

 

 

Get involved in your child’s life.

Children sense whether or not their parents actually are interested via the subtle signs we give them of our participation in their lives. And keep in mind that research continue to confirm that kids with involved parents are more likely to succeed in all aspects of their lives. All of us love to be valued and it pays off with kids together with their education. To be involved, try these recommendations:

 Pay attention when they talk. Studies have shown that kids whose parents genuinely listen to them and have conversations with their parents do better in general. Listening will in addition give you an idea when or if there is a problem.

Be active in their education. Volunteer at the school, join the PTA or your school’s version of the PTA, or give assistance with activities. This is an alternate way to demonstrate value in education and the child. What’s more, it provides you with the opportunity to see what they are doing at school and also just how they are interacting with peers and other adults.

These simple things can certainly create a world of difference to your child’s educational future. Every child can make it through college together with the right family mindset and belief. If you believe in them, they will live up to your expectations.

Can moms be goddesses?

Can moms be goddesses?

Let’s face it, being a mom has never been described as one of the most glamorous jobs on the planet! Once you take that all important step in becoming a mother, your life seems to make an about turn and nothing seems to be the same again – ever. Suddenly you can’t remember how you ever balanced on those gorgeous Jimmy Choos with designer jeans and handbag. Frankly they just seem ridiculously impractical.

The kids come first! Any spare cash is immediately ploughed into a college fund and it just makes more sense to spend the monthly budget on things they need rather than a new outfit for yourself or looking gorgeous. Besides, have you ever tried to look glamorous with baby puke running down your shoulder?

So you put your own needs on the backburner, promising yourself that your turn would come when they start going to school. But their next phase only brings more drama and challenges. Nappies are quickly replaced with school fees and birthday parties, new clothes and after school activities. Even though it warms your heart to see their smile when you buy them that Playstation they so “badly needed”, you can’t help but notice how their lists grow and grow and your needs are pushed further and further away. And before you know it, you can identify with a doormat far more than you can with a goddess. And to be honest, the title of this post probably caught your attention because it sounded as far-fetched as a trip to the moon.

Can I really be a Goddess and a Mom?

The truth is – not only CAN you, but you SHOULD be!

But first, let me correct a common misconception about being a goddess. A goddess is not someone who looks like they just stepped off the pages of a glamour magazine. And neither is it someone who successfully stands their own in boardroom. Of course it can be if that is what you want ?, as being a goddess is about being all that you can be. A goddess is someone who understands her own fears and desires. It’s about being true to yourself – nourishing your body and nourishing your soul. Loving with all your heart, living with a passion and giving with compassion.

See why I say you cannot afford to NOT be a goddess?

Let’s get even clearer on this…

Can you truly love another if you do not know how to love yourself?
Can you really give your children (and those around you) the love and respect they deserve if you battle to love and respect yourself?

What is left to give to your loved ones if you fail to give to yourself?

Owning who you are and being all that you can be is gift to yourself, and a gift that keeps giving to those around you.
Sometimes the road from being a doormat, to becoming a goddess seems impossible at first, but it all starts with a realisation. Once you’ve realised the importance of being committed to yourself first and foremost you are able to make the decision to do so. Not in a selfish, “bad mother” way, just a simple decision to give to yourself so you are better able to be the mom that you always wanted to be.

Being a Goddess is finding your true essence and allowing yourself to live the life you are meant to live.

Want to know more?

Goddessense if giving all moms a truly special discount this Mothers Day for the next Re-Awaken your inner Goddess workshop . Simply send your name and contact info to moms@goddessense.co.za for more information and to qualify for your discount.

Or visit www.goddessense.co.za. Be sure to look on the freebies page for some more advice on how to change your life around and sign up for our monthly goddess email.

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