"I watch their softly tousled heads slumbering on
their pillows, and sadness wells up in me. Have I drunk in their smiles
and laughter and hugged them, or have I just checked things off my to-do
list today? They're growing so quickly. One morning I may wake up and
one of my girls will be getting married, and I'll worry: Have I played
with them enough? Have I enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of their
lives?" -- Janet Fackrell
It's part of our job description as parents to guide our kids and keep them moving through the daily routine. All too often, that means setting limits, denying requests, correcting behavior. Sometimes we're able to be emotionally generous, so our child doesn't perceive our guidance as "negative." More often, kids give us the benefit of the doubt because all the other loving, affirming interactions create a positive balance in our relationship account. That's why creating those positive interactions with your child matters so much.
Research shows that we need at least five positive interactions to each negative interaction to maintain a healthy, happy relationship that can weather the normal conflicts and upsets of daily life. So when we're short on positive interactions, our relationship balance dips into the red. As with any bank account, we're overdrawn. That's when kids resist our guidance and develop attitude, whether they're two or twelve.
Life is busy, and you don't need one more thing for your to-do list. Instead, why not create a few daily habits that replenish your relationship account with your child? After thirty days, any action becomes a habit, so you don't have to think about it. Here are 21 things you can start doing today to build a closer relationship with your child. READ POST
“Our offspring have simply leveraged
our good intentions and over-investment...They inhabit a broad savannah
of entitlement that we’ve watered, landscaped, and hired gardeners to
maintain.”- Sally Koslow
"I think I want my daughter to have some sense of entitlement... We were raised that we don't deserve anything, including respect.... This happens every generation, the same spoiled children story....I'm sure the first generation of kids to wear shoes or go to school were also considered spoiled and entitled. I say we break the cycle of calling the younger generation names." - Kara
We all want to raise kids who know how to work hard to create what they want in the world. Nobody wants to raise a child who thinks the world owes him, who feels like he’s entitled to take whatever he wants. But Kara is right. We also DO want to raise a child who feels deserving of the blessings of abundance—spiritual, emotional, and yes, physical—the rich life that should be the birthright of every child. How do we raise a child who feels deserving – but not “entitled”? READ POST
"A journalist visited a town famous for its rampant unhappiness to see if he could understand its origin. Walking down the street, he noticed a man ahead of him. Suddenly, a little man, no more than a few inches high, appeared and ran up the man's leg. He started sticking pins into the man and sewing things to him. Instantly, the man was covered by these tiny tailors, all sticking him with pins. He looked completely miserable as he shuffled off. The journalist saw this happen to one person after another, until he was ready to give up and go home. The town was completely infested with tiny tailors; no wonder everyone was unhappy. Then the journalist noticed one woman covered with tiny tailors who apparently said something, and the tiny tailors just melted away. The journalist ran over to her. 'What did you say to get free of them?!" he exclaimed. 'Oh,' she answered, 'It was nothing. I just told them I've decided to stop measuring myself.'” -- Guy Finley
Most of the time when we find ourselves anxious or unhappy, it's because we've been measuring ourselves and come up short. We're constantly comparing ourselves to an ideal in our minds of what we should be. Unfortunately, no live human can ever live up to an ideal. READ POST
“There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.” -- Martha Graham
Raising a child takes so much out of us that we often sacrifice most everything else that's important to us. But if we don't stay connected to what keeps us energized, we run dry. READ POST
am a recovering perfectionist. Before, I experienced that I and
everyone else was always falling short, that who we were and what we did
was never quite good enough. I sat in judgment on life itself.
Perfectionism is the belief that life is broken...Wholeness lies beyond
perfection. The life within us is diminished by judgment...." -- Dr.
I first went to therapy as a young woman because I hoped it would make me perfect. Even once I realized that I'd never be perfect, I still tried for it, figuring that falling short would at least get me closer. READ POST
"Is there a way to change how we experience the hair-pulling challenges of mothering? Can one truly alter her feelings in the midst of the supermarket trip from hell? … there is always another way to see the situation, a way that potentially offers greater peace, comfort, acceptance, and balance than our initial response.”
-- Bethany Casarjian, Ph.D. & Diane H. Dillon, Ph.D.
Baffled about what you should do when your kid does something you don’t like, and you're too upset to think straight?
There are always times when we simply can't get our emotions into alignment with our conscious desire to be a patient parent. When this happens, sometimes we have to act our way into who we want to be, and let our feelings follow. So when you don't know what to do: READ POST
"When we acknowledge our children’s
right to want things, as well as their right to be upset when they can’t
have what they want, it goes a long way toward defusing their anger and
the tantrums that occur as a result.” -- Nancy Samalin
We can't say yes to everything our child wants. Sometimes we need to say No, for their own good, or for the greater good of the family or community. It's hard for children to accept big disappointments and weather that sadness. But when we allow them to feel their disappointment and love them through it, they learn that: READ POST