imconfident

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.

Lauren’s “Take” on “Here we go again Another Tragic Ending” by Joshua Stern

Another article that I wanted to share.
We are losing our precious children! Parents need to get more involved in their children’s lives and take the time to teach them some good moral values.

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Raising children in a tough world

It’s a day for reading articles and here is another one I’d like to share.   In today’s world people seem to have forgotten what it means to be a parent.   We allow our children to spend a large part of their day on the computer, the phone or other electronic device and not pay any attention to what is going on in their world.   Problems are on the rise – bullying, eating disorders, violence, hatred, depression and suicide.  Children don’t even seem disturbed by horrific events on the news – such things would have been traumatic for me when I was young.  Parents need to start parenting..   It isn’t easy being a parent but if we don’t do something, many more children will grow up full of fears and insecurities.   We need to get involved in our children’s lives, spend time with them, listen to them, talk WITH them not TO them, set realistic boundaries and enforce them.  If children grow up in a positive, loving environment where they can build confidence and esteem, they will become a responsible, successful adult.  Of course there are no guarantees because the pressures from peers and the media can be very powerful, but with a solid foundation, children will have a much better chance of surviving.

Please take a few minutes and read this excellent article by Wendy Wolff.

Be Brave For The Sake Of The Children

Image source: discovermagazine.com

Image source: discovermagazine.com
11 March 2013 – 00:00 EDT

It’s 2013.

Your child…has access to a private world that doesn’t include you. They speak a language in code that changes rapidly. They exist with their fingers and minds wrapped around an electronic entranceway to a society in which you have completely relinquished control. They deal with bullying, violence, and childhood hatred in ways that you never had to.

You…spend much of your ever dwindling time cleaning, cooking, holding down one or two jobs, laundry, managing activities, homework, being a spouse, doing the job of two parents, resolving conflicts and simply trying to catch your breath. Maybe there is a minute or two in the day when you get to sit and be still. Maybe not. Regardless of the immense pressure upon you there is one commitment that has been shamefully put at the end of the list, keeping our kids childlike and carefree. Remember the days of playing for hours on end outside with the mosquitoes leaving their welts but we were too busy to care? Now for some reason while we personally covet those days and even long for their return, we settle on giving our adolescents devices that keep them indoors, sitting, angry, and alone.

We… are raising a generation of children absent from the input of adults. How are the youth of today gleaming personal insight and growth from the valuable lessons of those who lived before us if we are not involved? We… have given in to the “wants” of our children beyond our better judgment, allowing them access to things that hinder the positive growth of their hearts and minds. We… have convinced ourselves that this is the natural course of evolution.

Why and how can this be ok?

The neurological development of the brain says when children are in their pre-puberty years, their brains are growing and enlarging with capability. It is clearly a time to get children learning new things. It was found by Dr. Jay Giedd, neuroscientist from the National Institute of Mental Health, that the new cells and connections in the brain will survive and flourish if they are used to learn new positive activities. Those cells and connections that are not used by eleven or twelve years old will wither and die. That’s it, bye bye.

In simpler words, that means if your pre-pubescent teenager is learning to play music, involved with sports, art, chess, or other active hobbies, then those new connections inside of the brain will become permanent forever. They will have more brain to work with! According to Dr. Giedd, if they are purely sitting around playing video games, watching TV, texting, those connections will never survive. How do people not know this simple fact about human development? How is this not guiding every decision we make for our future leaders?

In an article written by Dr. Robert Brooks of Harvard Medical School, he quotes world-renowned psychologist Julius Segal in saying one factor that enables children of misfortune to beat the heavy odds against them is the presence of a charismatic adult, a person with whom they can identify and from whom they gather strength.

How many children/teens are engaged with an adult who truly inspires them when their fingers are wrapped around a cell phone, typing a language in a world in which we have become foreigners? How can we do this if we don’t check their Twitters, Facebooks, text messages, and Instagrams? Doesn’t this make you want to do something? Anything?

And yet we somehow keep stepping further back. We succumb to the difficulty of raising children and let it rule us. We are now more committed to encouraging privacy among our children in an increasingly frightening world than we are to being engaged for their safety.

Is this really okay with all of us? Are we actually happy with the level of torment that occurs between kids, sometimes in a very subtle way, that gets hidden inside of the devices that keep us excluded? We wonder why we haven’t seen the signs before tragedy strikes—but then, if the signs are hidden inside devices that we don’t check, how could we possibly know?

It seems like we are generally afraid. A great friend of mine believes that we have lost our sense of courage. She often says that we have become a self-involved, fear-based society and that this fear keeps us completely separate. It keeps us from standing up for each other, from saying the difficult things that need to be said and from basically helping each other. The fear allows us to let our kids wander around in the cyber world aimlessly filling their growing, beautiful minds with garbage.

Have we decided to sit back and let the parenting just happen? When do we get involved? Being an involved parent and/or caring adult for a child is the hardest job in the planet and makes us go through a whirlwind of emotions that seem scary and unmanageable. Yet, the alternative to feeling the discourse is what we have now, kids who are giving us the rules and who are desensitized to violence.

What do we fear so much?

Are we so intensely afraid of the potential repercussions that we:

  • are afraid to see the pain and suffering that goes on between kids and actively resolve these issues?
  • are afraid to admit that while the secret to the billon dollar advertising industry is that our brains want to buy the pretty things we see…yet we somehow believe that having our precious children interacting with severe violence and promiscuity will do them no harm?
  • are afraid to read every single post and private message of our kids on Facebook, Oovoo, Tumblr, Twitter, and their cellphones and address what we see?
  • are afraid to see how out of control the language, sexting, drama, violence, bullying has become?
  • are afraid to know the passwords of our children’s accounts and check them regularly to make sure they are protected, happy, and carefree?
  • are afraid to shut off violent video games and limit access for the developing minds of our beloved offspring?
  • are afraid to limit our children’s access to chemically-laden energy drinks?
  • are afraid to teach them how to be positive contributors in their community and world?
  • are afraid to actually resolving conflict among children and their tormentors through the use of peer mediation, conflict resolution? Why have we let the bullying problem continue and build up speed in the past three decades? Why haven’t we bounded together and demanded that any adult that is within arm’s reach of our children treat them with dignity and be committed to disallowing any form of cruelty to exist on their watch?

Are we afraid or is it that we are just too tired?

Something has to change. Bullying is at an all-time high with one out of four children in the U.S being targets of bullying by another child. We have one out of five children reporting that they have bullied someone else. The cycle of violent, unkind behavior affects so many children that it now is more of a normal occurrence with that many children affected.

Children are tormented daily by other kids and our system is set up to have zero tolerance but to truly do nothing about it. We either aren’t capable of showing children the positive ways to behave in relationship with each other, or we are too tired.

What can we do to help our children? Why not try to…

  • Ask for help from a friend that you trust.
  • Demonstrate to the children in your life how to help others.
  • Make the time to listen. Really and truly listen.
  • Share the information that will help your children be positive, contributing members of society. They will only learn this if you share with them how.
  • Pray in any way that connects you with your inner voice.
  • Be an adult that cares. So much research has shown that parental warmth or support is key to protecting a child from being a victim and/or a bully.
  • Demand that your children give you access to their accounts. If they don’t, be the boss and disconnect them. You cannot keep them safe from things you don’t know about.
  • Learn about the food and drinks that you are giving to your children. Balance is key—but over-sugaring, over-food coloring, and over-processed fooding dramatically interferes with learning and managing.
  • Teach your kids about the good ol’ days of playing.
  • Take the TVs and computers out of your children’s bedrooms and let their bodies experience a proper night’s sleep.
  • Monitor what your children are watching. There are all kinds of parental controls on the TV and computer for you to use.
  • Talk with your kids anywhere and every time. No matter how uncomfortable it may make you. If you can’t, find another adult who can.
  • Do something to help children find a common ground with each other. Bullying will never stop until we believe in the goodness of each other. There will always be things to decipher, but with enough like-minded people we can spread caring, easily and rapidly.
  • Commit to be a formal or informal mentor to the children within your neighborhood, group of friends, church, or even within arm’s reach. All it takes is a smile and caring heart.

Thousands have said before this article, and thousands after will, tell you to dig deep, listen, hear the words that your kid is using, watch their behavior, encourage, guide, provide wisdom, advocate for, support, discipline.

Find a blend of those techniques and use them all or just use one. Pick one on this list and experiment with it. Be brave, for our children’s sake. Then, watch it work.

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I’m not a fan of Facebook

College freshmen who report higher levels of anxiety and alcohol use are more likely to feel emotionally connected with the social networking site than those who don’t.

I read this article by  Elizabeth Armstrong Moore about a study that was conducted on college freshmen.  It shows a link between anxiety, alcohol and an emotional connection with Facebook and other social media.  It’s really no surprise to me.  I’ve read numerous articles about the problems with Facebook and I can’t say that I’m much of a fan of social media.  I do have a Facebook account and I enjoy the positive side of keeping up to date with family and friends, along with discovering new information but there is a lot of gossiping and bullying done through social media that has become commonplace and it is certainly not acceptable.  Every day we hear about someone who has been hurt by mean comments, outright lies or inappropriate pictures that are being shared with family, friends and complete strangers.   Why do people think it is okay to hurt someone else?  When we hurt others we will inevitably end up hurting ourselves also and for what purpose?

Read what this student discovered when doing his thesis.

April 12, 2013 11:30 AM PDT

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

In a quest to learn what leads some people to turn to Facebook to connect with others, doctoral student Russell Clayton of the Missouri School of Journalism found that anxiety and alcohol use seem to play a big role.

For his master’s thesis, which appears in the May issue of Computers in Human Behavior, Clayton surveyed more than 225 college freshman about two emotions, anxiety and loneliness, and two behaviors, alcohol and marijuana use. He found that the students who reported both higher levels of anxiety and greater alcohol use also appeared the most emotionally connected with Facebook. Those who reported higher levels of loneliness, on the other hand, said they used Facebook to connect with others but were not emotionally connected to it.

It probably isn’t terribly surprising that those who are anxious may feel more emotionally connected to a virtual social setting than a public one, which Clayton acknowledges in a school news release. “Also, when people who are emotionally connected to Facebook view pictures and statuses of their Facebook friends using alcohol, they are more motivated to engage in similar online behaviors in order to fit in socially.”

Marijuana use, on the other hand, predicted the opposite — the absence of emotional connectedness to the site. Clayton has a theory about this as well: “Marijuana use is less normative, meaning fewer people post on Facebook about using it. In turn, people who engage in marijuana use are less likely to be emotionally attached to Facebook.”

Whether Facebook is therapeutic for those feeling anxious is debatable. Last year one study found that people who use social networking sites regularly saw their behaviors change negatively, and that included having trouble disconnecting and relaxing. So the question becomes: Which came first, the anxiety or the networking?

Meanwhile, Facebook appears to be showing its laughter lines as teenagers “meh” their way to Twitter and Instagram. Surveys of their levels of anxiety and drug use while on those sites are surely imminent.

This article should be disturbing to us.  Parents need to help their children build esteem so they don’t become dependent on social media for their entertainment and relationships.  We need to teach them how to use the internet properly and that they should not spread gossip or pass along inappropriate pictures or information.  Children learn good and bad habits from their parents and the people around them, so we need to be a good example and show them how to be a responsible, caring adult.   Let’s all start doing acts of kindness and passing along love to each other!

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Are you a people pleaser?

What exactly is a people pleaser?  This is someone who tries very hard to make other people happy because they are afraid that if they don’t, then nobody will like them.  This happens when people have little confidence and low self-esteem.  People pleasers do not stop to think about their own needs and will agree to do almost anything so they don’t disappoint anyone or hurt their feelings.

It is natural to want other people to like us.  However, when our main goal is to please everyone around us, it can create a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives.

  • Are you always trying to please other people?
  • Are your decision based on what others think?
  • Do you value yourself?

Here is a cute story about a grandpa and his young grandson who are going into their village with a donkey to buy some supplies.  I’m not sure where I heard this one – if you know the origin, it would be great if you would share it with me.

Grandpa and his grandson were walking along the path into the village leading their donkey.  Grandpa put his grandson up on the donkey and kept walking.  grandpa and boy on donkey

Some villagers passed by and made a comment, “How inconsiderate of that young boy to ride and make his grandpa walk”.   Grandpa took the boy off the donkey and climbed up on its back.  The grandson kept walking alongside.

Some villagers passed by and made a comment, “How inconsiderate of that old man to ride and make his grandson walk.”  Grandpa pulled his grandson up behind him on the donkey and they kept riding”.

More villagers passed by and made a comment, “How inconsiderate of those two to make that poor donkey carry such a heavy load”.  Grandpa and his grandson got down off the donkey.  By the time they reached the village, they were carrying the donkey.  What?!! 

No they weren’t carrying the donkey, but I’m sure you get my point.  You can’t please everyone.  Just do what you know is right and don’t worry about what everyone thinks.   There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you do and that is okay.  You won’t always like what other people do either.  That’s reality!

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15 year old sexually battered

Things like this should never happen but sadly we keep hearing about them. Parents need to become more involved in their children’s lives, keep the lines of communication open and set some proper boundaries that are reinforced. Children need strong role models who help them build esteem, so they are not swayed by peer pressure and end up doing things that will cause problems for them.

Ideas for success

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Please pass this on, it could save a life!

A 15 year out girl (shown here) passed out at a party, was sexually abused and killed herself after seeing video online of the ordeal. Girls, be careful, people can slip roofies in your drink (coke, booze, whatever) that will knock you unconscious. Getting drunk can make you pass out, and since this girl was only 15, she may have never had alcohol before, making her get drunk very easily.

I don’t know if she passed out from booze or roofies, but either way what they did was wrong. Several teens were arrested for abusing her. Her family wanted this shared to protect other people like her.

Normally I only post positive and encouraging information on this blog but in this case I felt I had to post this to warn people.

You can read the news article about it here:

View original post 77 more words

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Now is the time for change

Sad Teenage GirlMy passion is helping others and it breaks my heart when I see people being hurt in any way.   There are so many broken people in this world that have been abused, ignored, bullied or treated badly in some way.  I know how it feels because I have experienced a lot of pain and hurt in my own life.

One issue that bothers me greatly is how the media promotes beauty and body image.  It has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that people are affected negatively by what they see on TV and read in magazines.  Yet nothing is being done to stop this from happening.  What are the negative affects?

  • Children are learning at a very early age that their worth and value are linked to their sexuality.
  • Men see women as objects instead of real persons and treat them with disrespect
  • Women are losing their unique identity.
  • People are becoming more aggressive and violent acts are being committed more often.
  • People are being desensitized to violence and don’t see that it is a problem

The American Psychological Association did a report on the Sexualization of Girls.  Research links sexualisation with 3 of the most common problems for girls and women which are:

  1. eating disorders
  2. low self-esteem
  3. depression or a depressed mood

You can see the full report by clicking here….  http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx

It would probably be impossible to stop the media from producing anything harmful, but we all should do what we can by bringing attention to these issues and helping our children.  We can:

  • set a positive example for our children by not obsessing about our looks and wearing clothing that is considered ‘sexy’
  • teach solid values and morals
  • teach children to respect themselves and others
  • get involved and show interest in their activities
  • be aware of what they are watching on TV and the internet and what they are reading in magazines and books
  • discuss how the media distorts the truth
  • talk about the pressures to wear certain clothing or look like someone else
  • encourage them to be unique and not follow the crowd
  • encourage them to stand up for what they believe in
  • teach them not to judge others for how they look or judge themselves based on someone else’s ideas
  • voice your opinion by sending letters to companies, writing blogs, submitting an article to your local newspaper
  • join an advocacy group or organization

It’s time to stand up and make some positive changes in our world!!  Communicate with your children and help them understand how the media wants to make people feel bad just so they can make a lot of money.    The following video clips called, Killing us Softly 4, were created by Jean Kilbourne, who is an internationally recognized author and speaker on the subject of women in advertising.   There are 5 clips in the series.

http://youtu.be/MnDOdG0U07I

http://youtu.be/sZ80GaNIPOQ

http://youtu.be/Oq6WO18KpPc

http://youtu.be/XVu40iEmeCY

http://youtu.be/KbW7-cBWN3I

 

 

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Our unrealistic expectations

We all have expectations of other people and we believe that others should respond in the same way that we would respond.   This causes problems because everyone is different and no two people will think or act in the same way.  What we think should happen in a situation may not be what someone else thinks should happen.

Many people carry unrealistic expectations from their childhood.  Parents are supposed to love, protect and support their children but too often these expectations aren’t met.   Children will naturally try to please their parents but when they aren’t getting what is needed, they will try to put these expectations on other people.  These unrealistic expectations can put a huge strain on any relationship.

A couple of days ago, I did a self-esteem workshop for a group of teens that were experiencing problems in their homes.  We were doing an activity about self-esteem supports and they were asked to write down the people, activities and other things they felt were a support in helping them build esteem.  One of the girls stated that she had no supports at all, her family didn’t care about her, and she didn’t write anything on the sheet.   She didn’t understand that her parents probably had their own unrealistic expectations about life and didn’t know how to love and support their child.  It was a shame that she couldn’t see beyond her family to anyone else because the group that was having the workshop was probably her biggest support.  Being a teen and young adult is such a difficult time of life and support is critical.

It is important that we learn to take responsibility for our own lives and not expect others to meet our needs.  Sometimes other people aren’t even aware that we want them to do something.  There are many things that I expected my husband to do and he rarely filled these expectations.  I expected him to know when I was tired and needed help.  I expected him to remember special occasions (men are bad for forgetting).  I expected him to run and answer the phone when I was doing laundry and couldn’t hear the phone.  I expected him to know when I was upset about something.  I expected him to help me do dishes and take out the recycling.  These are all things that I would automatically do for him and of course I thought he should think the same way.  When reality finally struck me after years of getting upset, frustrated and angry, I became aware of the differences in people.  Did you know that we are all different and we all have different expectations, especially men and women?  Of course I always knew that but I couldn’t see things properly through my self-centered eyes and I wanted everyone to think the same way I did.   Now that I look at life from a different perspective (a logical one), I just NICELY ask my husband to do something instead of getting upset or yelling at him and most times, he is very cooperative.   Then I thank him and this makes him feel important.  Ends up to be a win-win situation and certainly a lot more peaceful.

The best way to avoid having unrealistic expectations is to work on your communication skills.   Just ask the other person what they want and tell them what you want.  Doesn’t that seem simple.  It really is.  Good communication is the key to talk with canshaving a good relationship.  Don’t expect other people to think the same way you do or to read your mind.   We are all different and we need to work together.

How many unrealistic expectations do you have?   Do you communicate well with others?

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What are you investing in?

Tpiggy bank1here are all sorts of seminars, workshops and books that will tell you how invest your money so you can become rich.  People will jump at the chance to learn how they can improve their lives by making more money.  Why?  Because we believe that money will make our lives better, that we will be happy, that we will be successful.

Do you invest in yourself – your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self?  Did you know that YOU are your most valuable possession?  It is important to be financially secure so you can support yourself and your family, but if you invest more time and energy in your finances than your own health, you will reach the end of your life being surrounded by money and possessions instead of a loving, supporting family and friends.

If you have children, do you invest in your children’s future?  Do you spend time with them?  Do you share special moments and thoughtful conversations?

Instead of investing money to improve your life, invest in yourself and your loved ones.

Here is a story about a man who invested in the wrong thing…………..

Dan was a hard-working man.  He worked very hard so he could buy his family everything they wanted.   He worked from early morning to late at night, even on the weekends, often Portrait of Females of Familycoming home when supper was already finished and his wife was putting the children to bed.   If his children were still up, they would ask, “Daddy would you please  play with us.  Daddy would you read us a story?”  They always got the same answer, “Oh, maybe tomorrow if I have time.  I’ve got some work to do before I go to bed.”

The years went by and his children left home to go to college, work and get married.   Dan wasn’t even sure where they lived because he never took time off work to go visit them. 

The day before his  50th birthday, Dan started having chest pains, so he went to the doctor who told him to start taking it easy or he might have a heart attack.   His wife told him that it would be good if they could go on a vacation so he could rest.  They had never taken one since their honeymoon because he was always too busy working.   Dan was not concerned with what the doctor said because he was starting to feel better and he didn’t need a vacation anyway.  He wanted to surprise his wife with a new car for her birthday, so he continued working just as hard as before.  

A couple of years later, Dan had a heart attack and was put in the hospital.   The doctor called his family to come in but nobody showed up.   Dan asked where his family was and the nurse gave him this message, “I called your wife and she said that she was leaving for a vacation today and would be back in a few months.  Then I called your sons and they were both too busy working to come for a visit.  They said they might come tomorrow or the next day if they have time.”

This may be just a story, but to some families, this is reality.   Think carefully.  What are you investing in?

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The WordPress Family Award

The WordPress Family Award

This is a new award that was created by  Shaun (Praying for one day).  The award was passed on to me by Patricia of www.patinspire.org who writes some great inspirational blogs.

Here is an explanation from Shaun about his award and the rules to follow:

“This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I start this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award”

Rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as  a friend, and spread the love

I have only been blogging since October 30th, 2012 and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me in my writing.  All your likes and comments have been greatly appreciated.  There are so many great blogs out there and I wish I had time to follow more, but to those I do follow, you are doing a great job and I thoroughly enjoy reading your thoughts and comments.  Some of these blogs, I’ve already nominated for awards, so I’ll nominate a few more that are worthy of reading.

http://www.oursoulspurpose.com

www.professionsforpeace.com

www.hope4usnow.wordpress.com

www.evandolive.com

http://www.nhanfiction.com

www.myvuze.wordpress.com

http://www.thetruthwarrior.wordpress.com

http://www.bradstanton.com

http://www.lookinginward.net

www.girlsabovesociety.wordpress.com

Keep blogging.  You are all doing a great job!

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Blogging is great therapy

writing on paperWriting is a powerful tool that can help you move forward in life.  When you write down your thoughts down on paper it can have a positive effect on your well-being.

Research shows that journaling can help you:

  • reduce stress
  • keep your brain active
  • understand yourself better
  • clarify your thoughts and feelings
  • effectively solve problems
  • keep focused on daily tasks
  • reach your goals

Blogging is journaling that is shared with others.   There are definite benefits to blogging.  It helps you:

  • get your emotions out by putting them down on paper
  • think and listen better
  • practice your creative writing
  • connect with others who have similar interests
  • become motivated
  • expand your knowledge base
  • learn how to research topics
  • develop ideas

In my opinion, blogging is great therapy.  When you share your thoughts with other people and get positive feedback, it certainly can help boost your esteem.  Of course, you may get some negative feedback, but you have to accept that others may not always agree with you and you should consider it a learning experience.   Just keep your blogs informative, interesting and considerate of others.   Happy blogging!

 

 

 

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