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.

Live by example

Actions often speak louder than words.  We can say things to people but if we don’t back them up by our actions, they will have little or no meaning.

Many times our words are empty and they mean absolutely nothing.   We can ask people how they are feeling and not really care what their answer is.  We can tell people we love them and then do things to hurt them.  We can ask someone to meet us for lunch and then not show up.

We need to live by example and show people that we mean what we say.

  • If we ask someone how they feel, we need to stop and look directly into their eyes and listen to their answer.
  • If we tell someone that we love them, we need to act in a loving way and show kindness to them.
  • If we ask someone to meet us for lunch, we need to be there or if there is an emergency, let them know what happened.

People are always watching us, especially our children, and they need a positive role model.  These are the people who teach others by being a good example.

Our actions should always be positive and should match our words.  What kind of example are you to other people in your life?

 

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Meaningful touches

Studies have shown that human touch provides powerful benefits in many ways.  Touch benefits us physically, emotionally, physiologically and spiritually.  It has the power to calm, reassure and bring control to a difficult situation.  Touch can drive away anger, bitterness and loneliness.  Touch conveys love, peace and comfort.

I’ve read many stories about the amazing benefits of touch and from personal experience, I know that it can raise my spirits if my husband just gives me a hug or a friend shakes my hand.    Combine a meaningful touch with a kind word and you will have wonderful results.   A hug, a kiss, a gentle touch on the arm, a pat on the back and holding hands are all ways that can bring people closer together and keep a relationship strong.

Here are some ideas that can help strengthen your marriage or relationship:

  • When you first see your spouse in the morning, greet them with a smile and a cheery, ‘Good morning’
  • When you are leaving for work or other appointment, give them a hug or kiss
  • When you are talking about something that is serious or upsetting, touch their arm to show them that you are listening and that you care about what they are saying
  • Hold their hand or put your arm around them while you are walking or sitting beside them
  • Give your spouse a back rub (or a foot rub – some people enjoy this)
  • Greet your spouse with a hug or kiss when they come home

Try using meaningful touches every day.   If you show love and kindness to others through touch, it will bring amazing benefits to your life.   What have you got to lose?

 

 

 

 

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Special moments

landon on swing summer 2014Yesterday I got the privilege of spending the evening with my 3-year-old grandson while his parents were out.   Landon is a very active child and is always eager to learn new things.  He certainly keeps grandma busy!

As soon as I got to his house, he wanted to go outside and play.  This is great because many children today spend way too much time watching TV and playing with games that don’t stimulate their imagination.  I’m from a generation that believes children need fresh air and an active lifestyle to be healthy and happy.  Of course the temperature outside was 29 degrees (celsius) so we had to stay out of the sun.   We played in the shade with one of his new toys that he got for his birthday – a bat and ball set.  Then we went inside for a break from the heat and had something to eat.

After supper, we went back outside again and played for a while.  Then we sat down, ate popsicles and relaxed.  It was great fun!

As the sun dropped, it was time to come in and start winding down for bed.  First a healthy snack, then a bath and story time.  Landon loves reading and he sits real close as I read, sometimes on my lap.  I tell him to pick out 2 or 3 books and he always comes with at least 5 or 6.  He especially likes the ones that have flaps to pull open, things to turn or doors to slide.   Reading to a child is a wonderful experience.  It forms a close relationship and makes them feel loved, while helping them learn and grow.

Story time comes to an end and it is time for lights out.   Prayers first, then hugs and kisses as he snuggled down in bed.   Looking down at a sleepy child gives you such a warm, fuzzy feeling!

I can’t tell you how important it is to spend time with a child.  When my two girls were growing up, I spent lots of time with them, but I also remember the times when I was too busy to play with them because I was trying to keep the house clean or work on something I felt was more important.   I realize now that there is NOTHING more important than spending time with your children and helping them build their esteem.  Children need to feel loved and appreciated and this is done by showing them how important they are and being involved in their lives.  We all have to spend time working, keeping our homes clean and doing other necessary things, but these should not be the most important thing in our lives.

Build some special moments in your life by spending time with your family and friends.  When you look back at your life, you will remember those special moments and they will give you a wonderful feeling.  Don’t live with regrets about the opportunities that you missed.

 

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Attitude is important

The kind of attitude we have predicts the kind of life we will live.  If we have a positive, cheery attitude we will have a life of joy and peace.  If we have a negative, critical attitude we will have a life of misery and turmoil.  We often think that other people and things are causing us to be unhappy but it is really our bad attitude.  Here are some of the bad attitudes that will keep us stuck in the same place and struggling through our lives:

  1. AN IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDE – believing that someone else is responsible for their problems
  2. A CRITICAL ATTITUDE – finding fault with everything
  3. A QUITTING ATTITUDE – believing that everything is just too hard and failure is inevitable
  4. A NO HOPE ATTITUDE – living in the past and believing that our future will be just as bad
  5. AN IMPATIENT ATTITUDE – wanting things to happen immediately and having no patience to wait
  6. A SELF-PITYING ATTITUDE – always feeling sorry for yourself
  7. A ENTITLEMENT ATTTUDE – believing that you deserve everything you want

Having any of these bad attitudes will keep us from enjoying the wonderful life that we deserve.  If we want to find happiness and success in life, we need to develop a positive attitude and be thankful for what we have.

What kind of attitude do you have?   Is it on the list above?  Don’t worry, it is never too late to change.  You can ditch that bad attitude by making some positive choices.

  • Choose to look for the good in your life instead of the bad
  • Choose to think positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts
  • Choose to live in the present and not in the past
  • Choose to be kind and helpful to others
  • Choose to be patient and wait for good things to happen
  • Choose to care about other people first before yourself
  • Choose to accept your mistakes as learning experiences
  • Choose to keep going towards your goals instead of quitting
  • Choose to be responsible for your own actions
  • Choose to accept yourself as a unique and wonderful individual

 

 

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Can you love your children too much?

Most people would say no, but in actual fact, you can love your children too much if you don’t understand what love really means.   Some people think that showing love to a child means forcing them to behave through super strict rules and punishments.    Other people think that showing love to a child means never telling them what to do and not punishing them for anything.   Being too strict or too lenient are not good ways to bring up a child and neither way shows a balanced type of love.

Real love is unconditional and it means that we love our children no matter who they are and what they do.  It means that we will do things that may not be very popular, like setting realistic boundaries and enforcing them, because we want them to become responsible adults.  It means that we teach them by example, showing them what kind of person we want them to be.  It means that we encourage and support them through thick and thin.  It means that we spend time with them and try to understand their feelings.

  • Loving a child is not giving them everything they want.  This teaches them to be selfish and they will never be satisfied with what they have.  They will spend their entire life searching for happiness in other people and possessions without any success.
  • Loving a child is not allowing them to do whatever they want.   This teaches them to try and control other people and situations.  They think that everyone should meet their needs and they will likely never find happiness in their relationships.
  • Loving a child is not making their choices for them.  This renders them incapable of making responsible decisions.   They will find difficulty in many life situations.
  • Loving a child is not protecting them from failing.  This stops them from learning from their mistakes and stifles their creativity.   They will stay in comfortable situations and not attempt to risk anything new.
  • Loving a child is not controlling everything they do.  This makes them feel insecure and causes low esteem.   They will fear punishment every time they do something they feel is wrong.

We often parent the way that we have been parented, so we need to ask ourselves a few simple questions:

  1. Did we feel loved by our parents and peers as we grew up?
  2. Are we raising our children with the same methods?
  3. Is there anything we need to change about how we parent?
  4. How can we really show our children how much we love them?

Yes, you can love your children too much if it is not in proper balance and it is not unconditional.

 

 

 

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Men and women think differently

Couple Sharing Bread in Seaside RestaurantWhen I was taking a communications course several months ago, our teacher read us the following story.  It paints a very good picture, in an amusing way, about the differences in how men and women communicate.  Women are usually far more emotional than most men and this is a big reason why we don’t understand each other.  Read and enjoy!

The Story of Roger and Elaine  by Dave Barry 

Let’s say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves.  

They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.   And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: ”Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?”

And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Gee, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Roger is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward . . . I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Roger is thinking: . . . so that means it was . . . let’s see… February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means . . . lemme check the odometer . . . Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here. 

And Elaine is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed — even before I sensed it — that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected. 

And Roger is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a goshdarn garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600. 

And Elaine is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. Gosh, I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure. 

And Roger is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty. That’s exactly what they’re gonna say, the scumballs. 

And Elaine is thinking: maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy. 

And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a goshdarn warranty. I’ll take their warranty and stick it right up their…. . 

“Roger,” Elaine says aloud.  “What?” says Roger, startled.  “Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. “Maybe I should never have . .Oh God, I feel so…..”(She breaks down, sobbing.)   “What?” says Roger. 

“I’m such a fool,” Elaine sobs. “I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.” 

“There’s no horse?” says Roger.  “You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Elaine says.  “No!” says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer. 

“It’s just that . . . It’s that I . . . I need some time,” Elaine says. 

(There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)  “Yes,” he says. (Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.) 

“Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?” she says.  “What way?” says Roger.  “That way about time,” says Elaine.  “Oh,” says Roger. ”Yes.” 

Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse.

At last she speaks.  “Thank you, Roger,” she says.  

“Thank you,” says Roger.  Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he never heard of.  A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car. But he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it. 

The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say:  “Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?’

 

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Is childhood becoming extinct?

Many child psychologists and therapists are in agreement on one thing – children today are becoming adults too soon.  In reading various articles and also from personal observation, I am in total agreement with this.  Everywhere I go, I see young children dressing provocatively, using language that is inappropriate and acting in ways that would have embarrassed me at their age.  Instead of enjoying the few short years of their childhood, they are trying to be mini adults.

So why is this happening?  It is because many parents are pressuring their children to become responsible for themselves at a young age.  They allow them to make their own choices and often try to be a friend instead of a parent.  In many homes there are no restrictions as to what children watch on TV or the computer.  Children often watch the same programs and movies as adults do which causes them to be exposed to sex and violence at a very early age.   Children can’t handle this information emotionally, physically and spiritually and the result is early sexual activity, teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and violent behaviour.   This results in relationship issues, problems in school, low esteem, eating disorders, addictions, depression and possibly even suicide.

Children are a gift and we should treat them with special care.  We don’t need to show other people that our children are smarter, faster or better looking.  We don’t need to tell our children that they are better than someone else.  We  don’t need to help them grow up any faster than they need to.  Children need to be children.  They need to play and explore.  They need to be loved, appreciated and respected.

Do your children a favour and allow them to be a child.   We have enough adults in the world.  Don’t let childhood becoming something that is extinct.

Which child would you rather have?  The one that looks like a serious model or the one that looks like she is having fun being a kid?

tots in tiaras1happy girl standing on hands

 

 

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The answer to all the world problems

hands holding worldYou may not think there is an answer to all the world problems, but in all my research and through life experiences, I personally believe that there actually is an answer.  In my opinion, the answer is just one short word – LOVE!   Love with no conditions, love that doesn’t expect anything in return, love that is not selfish or self-seeking, love that thinks of the other person first, love that is pure.

If we could all have love for each other and teach this to our children as they grow, we wouldn’t have a world in chaos.  People would have confidence in themselves.  People would feel loved, wanted and appreciated.  People would be nice to each other, help each other and work together for the common good.

When we love other people, we don’t hurt them physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  We take care of their needs and ensure that they are healthy.   We comfort and support them during stressful and unhappy times.

Love is a powerful force and one that could really change the world.  Do you show love for others?  What are you teaching your children?  Is your love unconditional?  What are you doing to make a difference in the world?

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Don’t parents care what their children watch?

This week I was having lunch with a friend at a local McDonald’s restaurant and as I was eating my nuggets meal, I happened to glance at one of the large screens on the wall.   Usually there is some kind of news programme and I don’t pay much attention, but this time there was a nude man going across the screen.  I was both disgusted and appalled to see something like this being shown at a family restaurant.   There were several children present who should not have been viewing this nudity.   If my young grandchild had been with me, I would have covered his eyes and taken him out of the restaurant immediately.  I did soon leave but not until I noticed that the parents with the children did absolutely nothing.  They looked at the screen but didn’t even stop eating or seem upset in any way.

This really doesn’t surprise me because I have been in people’s homes where children are being exposed to content that is inappropriate for their age.  However, it does bother me very much.  Children are watching far too many things today that are hurting them and affecting them in a negative way.  Research has shown that children who are exposed to adult content at an early age are more apt to engage in poor behaviours such as drinking, drug use, having casual sex, viewing pornography, becoming violent.  You can read the following article from Psychology Today that explains in more detail.   http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/real-healing/201208/overexposed-and-under-prepared-the-effects-early-exposure-sexual-content

I just don’t understand why parents don’t seem to care what their children watch.   When I was growing up,  I was not allowed to watch anything with mature content and I was very restrictive about what my children watched.  I knew they would see and hear things in the world outside our home, but they were taught what was acceptable and they knew what was right and wrong.   I have actually talked to some parents who don’t think there is any point in bothering to restrict what their children see and hear because they will just learn it anyway in the outside world, so they just give up and don’t even try to protect them.  This is a very bad attitude.  When children are brought up in an environment that teaches love and respect, they will be able to make better choices when they do encounter things that are inappropriate.  Children need a solid foundation and if they don’t have one, their world will crumble and fall.

We need to be responsible adults and help the children around us to become strong and know how to make good choices.  They need to know right from wrong and good from bad.  This is one tough world to grow up in and they need all the support they can get.   Children are a gift from God and they are the future of our world.   Let’s start caring for them the way we should.

 

 

 

 

 

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Do you feel like a failure?

hitting headIf you feel like a failure, you are in good company.  Everyone has had their share of difficulty in life, some worse than others, but the ones who become successful are those who just get up and keep working towards their goals.  Failure isn’t a problem unless you dwell on it and stop growing.   We can all learn valuable lessons from our mistakes and just try to do better the next time.

Have you ever been told you are stupid or worthless?  What effect did that have on you?  From personal experience, these words made me feel bad and I kept telling myself I was stupid and worthless every time I did something wrong.  By believing what someone told me, I didn’t realize my value and didn’t live up to my potential.

Thomas Edison was a man who failed in school.  His teacher thought he was too stupid to learn and told him he would never be a success.  Did Thomas believe what his teacher told him?  No!  He kept going towards his goals and later developed the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the light bulb.  If he hadn’t believed in himself, we would still be sitting in the dark!

Walt Disney failed at his newspaper job because they didn’t think he had any imagination or original ideas.  Did Walt give up.  Of course not!  He knew he had potential and thanks to his creativity, millions of people can experience Disneyland.

Abraham Lincoln failed twice in business, was defeated in 8 elections and after his fiancée died, he had a nervous breakdown.  His failures and depression didn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams.  Instead he kept going until he became the 16th president of the United States and probably one of the best.

What skills and abilities are you hiding or ignoring because of what someone has said to you?  Are you living up to your full potential?

Failures can destroy you or they can make you strong.  Most successful people in the world have failed several times in their lives but they had confidence in their own abilities and didn’t give up when everything seemed to be stacked against them.  You need to treat failures as stepping-stones to success and not allow them to drag you down.   Always remember that failure only happens when you quit trying.  So don’t give up, ever!!!

 

 

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