I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Are you a good role model?

I went to a parent seminar at my church this morning.  The topic was ‘Building Self-Esteem in Your Children’.  This is such an important topic that is not addressed very often and one that I am very passionate about.  Growing up with low self-esteem created many difficulties in life for me and I became a poor role model for my children in many ways.   We can’t teach others what we don’t know ourselves and I struggled as a parent.   Since becoming aware of this problem just a few years ago, I have been working hard on building my esteem so I can be a good role model for my grown children and my young grandson.  It is never too late to learn and grow.

Children are our greatest asset.  We need to become good role models so we can help our children become responsible, caring adults with strong esteem.   Being a good role model means that you treat yourself with love and respect.   Listen to how you talk to yourself and others.  Are you using negative words?  Do you criticize yourself?  Practice saying good things about yourself and get your kids into the habit of saying good things about themselves and others – this will help build your esteem too.  Just remember that everything you say and do will affect your child in a positive or negative way.  Children will pick up all your good and bad habits.    If your child develops strong esteem at home, they will be able to handle life’s challenges in an effective way.

Most importantly – LOVE YOUR CHILDREN, but don’t just love them from a distance, SHOW them that you love them.  Hug them, listen to them, encourage them, talk to them, let them help make family decisions,  set reasonable boundaries and keep them,  allow them to make mistakes, pick them up when they fall down – these are all ways that you can show love.

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Have you ever heard of dadisms?  I came across some of these on a website a few weeks ago.  If you don’t know, dadisms are short statements that your dad used to say to you as a child.  There are also momisms, short statements that your mom used to say.

When I started reading them, I remembered hearing some when I was a child and I thought of how ridiculous they sounded.  However, when I stopped to consider their meaning, some actually had some valuable lessons in them.

Often we use the same type of statements when raising our children because we have listened to them over and over again as a child and they have become part of our ‘learned habits’.  Unfortunately, some of these statements may not help our child and may actually harm the growth of their confidence and self-esteem.  Others may be valuable if there is an explanation attached to them.

We always have to be careful with our words when speaking to our children as they absorb everything we say.  Children need to be receiving positive statements that will help them build confidence and increase their self-esteem.

Here is a list of some Dadisms.   Which ones would actually teach a valuable lesson to your child?  Which ones would be helpful if you expanded them with a simple explanation or just reworded them?  Which ones are just plain worthless?  Which ones do you use with your family and friends?  I’d be interested to hear your comments.  Enjoy!

  •  Coffee will stunt your growth.
  • A little dirt never hurt anyone–just wipe it off.
  • Get your elbows off the table.
  • I’m not just talking to hear my own voice!
  • Stop crying or I’ll give you a reason to cry.
  • You’re only young once.
  • You’re gonna like it, whether you like it or not!
  • The early bird gets the worm. Rise and shine!
  • If your friend jumped off a bridge would you?
  • You have things so easy!
  • Don’t look at me in that tone of voice!
  • How many times do I have to pound that into your head?
  • What part of NO don’t you understand?
  • Didn’t your teacher learn you anything?!
  • Two wrongs do not make a right.
  • Don’t use that tone with me!
  • Am I talking to a brick wall?
  • If I catch you doing that one more time, I’ll…
  • Wipe your feet!
  • Enough is enough!
  • Don’t make me stop the car!
  • What did I just get finished telling you?
  • Act your age.
  • Just wait until I get you home!
  • Be home early.
  • Fill your mouth with food and not with words.
  • Promises, Promises! (In response to “I’ll never speak to you again!)
  • Is that a threat, or a promise? (Likewise)
  • You’ll be sorrreee!
  • Hey, did you hear me talking to you?
  • “Here I taught you everything I know and you still don’t know nothing!”
  • If I didn’t love you so much I wouldn’t punish you… I’d let you do whatever you wanted.
  • Go tell your mother she wants you.
  • Who said life was supposed to be fair?
  • Always say please and thank you. That way, you get more.
  • If you forget, you’ll be grounded till the end of the world.
  • Shake it off. It’s only pain.
  • A little pain never hurt anybody.
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously, take what you do seriously!
  • You’re always a winner if you lose with a smile.
  • If you want to do something, do it because you want to. Don’t do it because someone else did.
  • As long as you tried your hardest, that’s all that matters.
  • Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.
  • Worrying about things you can’t change is like a rocking chair…it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
  • It’s hard to be good, and easy to be bad.
  • Laugh at yourself first, you’ll take the bite out of others doing so for you.
  • Turn off those lights. Do you think I am made of money?
  • What do you think I am, a bank?
  • You didn’t beat me. I let you win.
  • Now you listen to ME, Buster!
  • This will hurt me a lot more than it hurts you.
  • We’re not lost. I’m just not sure where we are.
  • When I was your age, I treated MY father with respect.
  • As long as you live under my roof, you’ll live by my rules.
  • I’ll tell you why. Because I said so. That’s why.
  • Do what I say, not what I do.
  • In MY day……
  • When I was your age I had to walk to school in 10 feet of snow up hill both ways!
  • When I was your age….
  • That’s not a tear, I have something in my eye.
  • Big boys don’t cry.
  • Don’t worry. It’s only blood.
  • Don’t you know any normal boys?
  • You call that a haircut?
  • You call that noise “music”?
  • Sit up straight, knucklehead!
  • So you think you’re smart, do you?
  • What’s so funny? Wipe that smile off your face.
  • If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times
  • You want something to do? I’ll give you something to do.
  • Eat it! It will grow hair on your chest!
  • Son, don’t ever get married. And tell that to your kids.
  • Don’t give me any of your lip, young lady.
  • Young ladies perspire, they do not sweat.
  • I knew how to cook when I was your age, young lady!
  • You’re not leaving my house dressed like that! What will other parents think?
  • You’re going to sit there until you eat your dinner.  I don’t care if it takes all night.
  • Ship up or shape up.
  • This is your last warning.
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I have been trying to check in all week to make sure that I’m doing my acts of kindness for World Kindness Week and I noticed that this was also Bullying Awareness Week.    Wouldn’t it be an awesome idea to get these 2 great ideas working together.   We could be doing Acts of Kindness to combat bullying.   Sounds strange, but I believe it could work.

I’ve already done a lot of research on bullies and I know that they act in such a manner because they have been bullied or abused themselves.  They didn’t have good adult role models and they usually suffer from low self-esteem.  By bullying others, it gives them a sense of control and power, thereby covering up their own insecurities and inadequacies.   I was bullied myself when I went to school, so I am always ready to help anyone who is in this situation.

So now I have a new idea to get my mind working (which doesn’t take much effort – my mind is always overactive and I wish I could turn it off sometimes) and I started searching for ‘bullying and acts of kindness’.  Wow, I guess I’m not the only one who had the same idea.  I got lots of results immediately.

  • On Nov 13th, 2012 a Fort Worth newspaper headline read, “City Stands up to Bullying with a Message of Kindness”.  The article talks about how the School District’s Kindness Matters Campaign is tied to the district’s efforts to curb bullying.
  • On Oct 5th, 2012 a Grand Forks blog for teachers and parents read, “Rachel’s Challenge – Counter Bullying with Acts of Kindness”.
  • On Sep 30th, 2011 on a website called it states, “An Act of Kindness can help Create Bully Free Schools.

These are just 3 of the many results that tie these 2 topics together.    I’m going to keep reading the articles and try to learn about ideas that I can use in my workshops and my own life to help combat bullying with acts of kindness.

How are you doing with your acts of kindness this week?  I did a couple more things on my list today – I’ve sorted through some clothing and already have a couple of big bags that I’m going to take to a women’s group – I stopped working to listen to a client talk about some issues she was having – and of course I keep smiling at everyone I see.  It gives you such a wonderful feeling when you are nice to other people!

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A caption in a “Peanuts” comic strip reads, “There’s nothing heavier than the burden of potential.” 

Everyone has potential for something.  When children come into this world, they bring with them special gifts.  Children believe anything is possible and have all sorts of dreams.  They want to grow up and become astronauts, doctors, firemen, the Prime Minister. However, these wonderful dreams can too soon be pushed aside as life situations take hold of their vulnerability.

Young children often have unrealistic or unhealthy expectations placed on them by parents and life situations, leaving them full of doubt, emotional pain and fear of failure.  By the time the adult emerges, dreams are buried deep inside with little possibility of becoming reality, and a lack of confidence has lead to anxiety, depression, addictions or self-abuse.  The potential has vanished forever.

Many people have a poor self-image and lack confidence.  Growing up in a dysfunctional family, surrounded by negativity and believing the myths that society presents to the world makes us work towards impossible goals that will ultimately lead to failure.  People are constantly presented with a picture of the perfect person and what is needed to get there.  If we wear the right clothes, have perfect skin, beautiful hair and a slim body we will be loved by everyone.  If we buy certain products, they will make us healthier, happier and successful.  Sadly, these things may give us happiness for a period of time, but happiness is only temporary and we should be striving for contentment and peace.

We are our own worst enemies and I can certainly say that this is true in my own life.  We are all searching for something that will make us happy.  Nobody is perfect, life is difficult and we need to be realistic in how we think and take responsibility for our own actions.  Inside of trying to reach impossible goals, we need to accept ourselves and do the best we can.   By trying to fit in to everyone else’s ideas, we think everything is fine and fill our lives with meaningless activity.  It is important to be honest with ourselves, evaluate our lives, set realistic goals and work towards them.

This sounds easy, but it certainly is not.  Some people have been hiding from themselves for so long, that they would rather live with the security of their emotional pain than take a chance on looking foolish, being criticized and facing the unknown.  Sometimes this pain becomes unbearable and they reach out to others for help.  When help is needed, society needs to be ready with a plan of action – one that would give people access to information through trainings and workshops.  Unfortunately, there is little or nothing available to offer and many people just lose hope and give up.

It doesn’t matter how difficult our lives have been or how discouraged we feel.  It is never too late to try and reach our full potential in life.  We can find happiness and success, but it is critical that we build our confidence and increase our self-esteem in order to make this possible.

Programs that promote confidence and build esteem need to be accessible to people of all ages, right from young children to seniors.  Self-esteem affects every facet of our lives and we need to have healthy esteem in order to have positive relationships, be able to make proper decisions and be able to handle life’s challenges in an effective manner.

It is this lack of available programs that fueled my desire to start my project that I named I M CONFIDENT NIAGARA CANADA.  I created a website to provide information, articles, slide presentations, stories and updates to help build confidence and boost selfesteem.  Then I started offering workshops to local organizations, groups, schools, churches, and individuals.  However, I receive emails requesting more than I can provide and I realize that I am not able to fulfill my potential.  It is my dream to see a permanent location where people of all ages can come for ongoing workshops and activities that will help them build their confidence and increase their esteem.   Is my dream even possible?  Absolutely!  Anything is possible if you really believe and have faith!

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My World Kindness Day took a detour

Today is World Kindness Day!   Did you put a smile on anyone’s face today?  I did a couple of things on my list – gave that extra ticket I bought for a woman’s event to someone else and I went up to a couple of strangers who looked lost and said hello.  My small actions put a smile on a few faces and certainly made me feel good.

However, today a situation happened that caused me to detour from thinking about kindness and I become upset and frustrated.  I’ve always been a person that tries to do nice things for other people and I have trouble understanding how people can be unkind or mean.  I know that none of us are perfect and we do things wrong, but some people just seem to do things on purpose.

The situation centered around my daughter’s company and it was pretty ridiculous.  We do services for clients and many of the services are paid for by a third party.   There were several short payments that were small amounts, but the total owing from all the clients was fairly substantial.   The third party refused to make payment and told us to bill the clients directly which we did.   One of the clients received an invoice for the amount owing which was a mere $12 and contacted the company with some rude comments.    Along with her daughter, she was thinking of putting a story in the local newspaper because our company was ripping off the clients and charging over and above what the third party paid.   I was in shock when I heard this!   Until now, I had liked the client very much and had provided her with services myself at times.  I couldn’t believe she was thinking of making our company look bad for $12!

How do you react to something like this?  At first, I was very angry and wanted to call the client myself but I’ve learned over the past few years not to do things before thinking about them first.  I’ve often reacted with anger in past situations which just made things worse and sent me into a depressive mood.  Instead, I decided to stop and think, then write about it and pray about it.  Why should I let someone else ruin my day?  My daughter will have to deal with the situation and I hope that she is able to remain calm.

Life will always throw you a curve ball and we have to deal with things in a positive way and move forward.  We can’t let unkind words and actions destroy us.  This situation reminds me of a short story that I wrote in one of my newsletters.  It was called, “Shake it Off”……….

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well and cried piteously for hours.  The farmer couldn’t figure out how to save him and decided since the donkey was old, he would just cover up the well.  He invited his neighbours to help and they all began to shovel dirt into the hole.  The donkey realized what was happening and cried even more piteously.  Then suddenly he quieted down.  The farmer looked down the well and was astonished.  With each shovel of dirt that went into the well, the donkey shook it off and took a step up.  As they continued to fill the hole, the donkey rose higher, finally stepping over the edge and walking away.  Life is going to shovel dirt on you.  The trick is to shake it off and take a step up.

Let’s continue to do acts of kindness for people, even if they don’t deserve it!  I’m going to keep doing them no matter what!

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No Act of Kindness, No Matter How Small, is Ever Wasted

This classic quote from the Ancient Greek Author, Aesop (Aesop’s Fables) is so true.  It doesn’t matter if you do a small act of kindness or a big act of kindness – the important thing is that you do an act of kindness and it is never a waste of time.  Being kind to someone else can change their life.  Many people believe that nobody cares about them and that their life is not important.  Just something as simple as a friendly smile or a kind word can literally ‘make their day’.

World Kindness Day is tomorrow and it kicks off World Kindness Week.  I’ve started working on my own kindness list and I encourage anyone who reads this post to make their own kindness list.  We all need to do our part in helping make this world a better place to live.   It doesn’t matter how anyone else acts or how we have been treated in the past, we can start by setting a positive example for others to follow.  It is our responsibility as a human being.

Kindness can be contagious!  Try smiling at someone who looks unhappy or upset and see what happens.  I’ve done this many times and most often I get a smile in return.  It also makes me feel good to know I’ve made an impact on someone else, even if it is a small thing.  Giving away a smile doesn’t cost anything, but it might just lift that person’s spirits and help them feel good enough to smile at someone else.

Here is a list of 7 things that I plan on doing during the next week.  There will probably be other things to add – I’ll let you know.

  1. Smile at as many people as I can.
  2. Go through my clothing and take some items to a women’s group.
  3. Send an “I miss you” card to an old friend.
  4. Call family members and remind them how much I care about them.
  5. Pick up any litter I see outside.
  6. Talk to a lonely neighbour.
  7. Pay for a someone’s ticket to a woman’s night this week.


Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.   ~Mark Twain

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~Tenzin Gyatso

Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.  ~Jesse Jackson

It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.  ~Unknown

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  ~Author Unknown

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  ~Seneca

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  ~Unknown

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  ~Leo Buscaglia

Every day you should reach out and touch someone.  People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.  ~Maya Angelou

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What are you doing on November 13th for World Kindness Day?

Tuesday is WORLD KINDNESS DAY which kicks off WORLD KINDNESS WEEK (November 13-20, 2012).   This is an entire week that is dedicated to spreading kindness around the world.

The World Kindness Movement came together in 1997 when individuals from small kindness movements around the world met to discuss their ideas. Being a Canadian, I am proud to say that Canada was one of the founding members of this movement.  You can visit the Kindness Foundation of Canada at  In the United States, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is the delegate to this movement.

The idea of World Kindness Day is to inspire people to do acts of kindness for family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and others in the community.  When we do something nice for someone else, it may promote them to do something nice for another person and this will result in the world becoming a better place to live.

Kindness connects our hearts with others and has many benefits.  When we commit an act of kindness, it benefits the person who receives the kindness, it benefits the person who gives the kindness and it also benefits anyone who sees the kindness.  The benefits can be both physical and mental.  There are numerous stories that have been documented to show the healing power of doing good.   Besides health benefits, kindness can also promote positive relationships and heal ones that have already been damaged.

Let’s start World Kindness Week by doing at least 1 ACT OF KINDNESS each day.  Think of something nice that you can do for someone and write it on your calendar.   There are lots of ideas on the links to the websites I listed above.   But don’t stop when you reach the end of the week.  Do another week and then keep going until it becomes a habit.


I’d really be interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in this challenge.  Keep track of your daily deeds and see how long you can keep doing acts of kindness.   Then check in every few weeks and let me know how many days you have done.  I’m going to start my own calendar and see if I can beat all of you!


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L – love            O – overcomes              V – virtually             E – everything

LOVE is the opposite of HATE.

H – hate           A – always                     T – tears down        E – everything

LOVE means different things in different situations.  We LOVE people but we also LOVE things.

You could say in the same sentence, ‘I LOVE my wife, I LOVE my house and I LOVE hamburgers’.   The word LOVE is so overused that we often misunderstand what people are telling us.

LOVE should be unconditional when you are referring to a person.  We are all different and none of us are perfect.  We need to learn how to accept other people for who they are and always support them with our LOVE, unconditionally, just as we want others to LOVE us.

WHAT IS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE?  LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind, LOVE is not jealous, LOVE is not proud, LOVE is not conceited, LOVE is not rude, LOVE is not selfish, LOVE is not easily offended, LOVE does not remember mistakes, LOVE does not hurt others, LOVE is truthful,  LOVE can face anything.

Look at others through the eyes of LOVE and you will see life from a whole different perspective.   LOVE is a positive emotion and it will help you build confidence and increase self-esteem, not just in yourself, but also in others.


The key to happiness is not being LOVED, but having someone to LOVE.   ~Unknown

To find someone who will LOVE you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.  ~Robert Brault

A baby is born with a need to be LOVED – and never outgrows it.  ~Frank A. Clark

LOVE is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.  ~Robert Heinlein

LOVE is, above all, the gift of oneself.  ~Jean Anouilh

LOVE is not blind – it sees more, not less.  ~Rabbi Julius Gordon

LOVE one another and you will be happy.  It’s as simple and as difficult as that.  ~Michael Leunig

Who, being LOVED, is poor?  ~Oscar Wilde

LOVE is a symbol of eternity.  It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.  ~Author Unknown

LOVE is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.  ~Peter Ustinov

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You can make a difference!

Do you believe that you can help change this world?  Well you certainly can’t change the entire world yourself, but you can positively influence the people around you and help change their world.  Then those people can help more people and so on.  History shows numerous examples of individuals who have helped make changes, big and small.

Mahatma Gandhi stated this famous quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.  This is so true, everything starts with ourselves.  We can’t wait for others to take action, WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION AND BE A GOOD EXAMPLE TO OTHERS BY MAKING OUR OWN POSITIVE CHANGES!  Most of us don’t have the money or power to make big changes,  but we can all do our own small part.

Here is a poem that shows the power of JUST ONE.  Writer – unknown

One song can spark a moment, One flower can wake the dream

One tree can start a forest, One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship, One handclasp lifts a soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea, One word can frame the goal

One vote can change a nation, One sunbeam lights a room

One candle wipes out darkness, One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey. One word must start each prayer.

One hope will raise our spirits, One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom, One heart can know what’s true,

One life can make a difference, You see, it’s up to you!

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Never, never, never give up

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke to a group of school boys in October 1941.  Part of his speech included these famous words…

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Winston Churchill was a very wise man and he gave those boys some good advice.  When life gets tough, it is so easy to give up.   There can be so many problems to deal with – relationship issues, work difficulties, illnesses, finances and so on.  Things can build up so it doesn’t seem like anything is working out right.   We become so upset and frustrated that we become our own worst enemies.  We just give up and stop trying to accomplish whatever it is we were trying to do.

I’ve had many days when I just wanted to give up.  It was much easier to crawl right back into bed and pull the covers over my head, but what did that accomplish?  Nothing.  It just wasted my time and made me feel worse.

When we feel like giving up, we need to be strong and think positively about our situation.   Life can be difficult but it doesn’t stay that way.

Nobody wants to be a failure, but when we give up, basically we are failing in life.  It is much harder to try and keep going right through our difficulties.  Giving up is a weakness, pressing through is a strength.  So we need to evaluate our situation, learn from our mistakes and try again.

What would have happened if some of the greatest people in history had given up when times got tough?   We wouldn’t have had light bulbs if Thomas Edison had given up after attempting thousands of failed experiments.  Disneyland would not exist if Walt Disney had quit trying to create cartoons after his first cartoon production when bankrupt.  Ford cars wouldn’t exist if Henry Ford had quit after failing in 2 attempts to start a company.  United States would not have had a great president if Abraham Lincoln had given up after failing in 12 attempts to be elected.  Beethoven would not have written such great music if he had given up when he lost his hearing.  These are just a few of the many people that didn’t give up on themselves after facing difficulties in life.

It is in actually in the tough times that we learn and grow.  This is when we can find strength and build character.  Instead of stopping and giving up, we need to persist – think about what has happened, make some definite plans and take action.

Success comes when you keep going, no matter what happens in life.  Stay positive and focus on what you want to achieve.


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