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.

Happy father’s day

father and sonHappy father’s day!  Today is a good day to celebrate being a father and having a father.  It is also a good day to reflect on what kind of father you are.

Do you set a good example for your children?   What are you teaching them through your words and actions?

Do you show:

  • love or hate
  • kindness or meanness
  • respect or disrespect
  • tolerance or intolerance
  • honesty or dishonesty
  • calmness or irritability
  • patience or anger
  • responsibility or irresponsibility

Children are listening to our words and watching our actions.  They are greatly influenced by what they hear and see.   Our bad habits can become their bad habits.   Our bad behaviours can become their bad behaviours.

Consider your own words and actions and make any changes so you can become the example that you want your children to follow.

 

 

 

 

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Are you paying more attention to your smartphone or your child?

smartphoneTechnology seems to be taking over our lives.  People are becoming addicted to using their cellphones, laptops, emails and other forms of wireless communication.  It isn’t just kids, adults are equally guilty of spending too much time checking their cellphones and emails.  You can’t go out anywhere without seeing someone who is talking on their phone.  Grocery shoppers are getting a list of items over the phone.  Diners in a restaurant are carrying on a conversation with someone while they are eating.  People on the street are calling a friend.  Drivers are reading a text that has just come in.  Many people have absolutely no patience at all when their phone rings or an email or text comes in and they are compelled to answer it instantly no matter what time of day or night it is.   The source of technology has taken control over their lives and now they have an addiction.

This is causing a lot of problems:

  1. High amounts of stress which can lead to lack of energy, poor sleep, unhealthy eating habits, illnesses
  2. Inability to prioritize which can result in lost time at work or school, missed appointments
  3. Potential injury or death if using while driving
  4. Lack of emotional control, little patience or self-control
  5. Poor communication with others face-to-face which can result in loss of friends, clients, jobs
  6. Makes other people feel ignored when phones and laptops take priority
  7. Miss important life experiences that take place while on phone or computer

I have a young grandson and I’m very concerned about the world he is growing up in.   People are putting more of a priority on their cell phones than they do on their children and at what cost?  Today I read an article called, “For the children’s sake, put down that smartphone”.  In the article a psychologist talks about the effect mobile devices have on children.  She interviewed 1000 children between the ages of 4 and 18 and they were ‘sad, mad, angry and lonely’ because of their parents’ smartphones or ‘stupid phones’, as some stated.

A pediatrician tells about a situation where she observed a mother totally ignoring her baby whom she was pushing in a stroller.  The baby was smiling and making faces at the mom but the mom was watching a video on her smartphone that she had placed between her and the baby.  What a shame that the mom chose the phone over a wonderful experience to share with her baby.  You can read the entire article here http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/21/304196338/for-the-childrens-sake-put-down-that-smartphone?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=share&utm_medium=twitter

Technology is great and it has many advantages but we need to make sure that we are not being controlled by our cell phones or other technology.  If you think you are becoming addicted, PLEASE take some steps to curb this terrible habit.   Here are some suggestions:

  • turn your cell phone OFF when you are working, in a meeting, talking to other people, eating in a restaurant, in your car, while you are sleeping – you DO NOT need to be available 24 hours a day, people will leave a message if it is important or call you back
  • avoid answering calls or texts immediately if you are talking to someone or spending time with your children – this is actually VERY RUDE and can result in lost friendships and hurt your children
  • only check your emails at certain times of day
  • if you are a business person, hire someone else to read your emails and only forward the important ones to you

Monitor your use of technology and use moderation.  Teach your children to do the same thing so they won’t develop a bad habit or become addicted.   Your children are very likely to follow your example so make sure you are being a responsible role model.  Remember that people are far more important and valuable than a piece of equipment.  Build relationships and only make use of technology when you really need to.

Are you paying more attention to  your smartphone or your child?

 

 

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What are you wearing today?

lady looking in mirrorThe way we look can have a profound effect on how others see us and also how we see ourselves.  Before going out in the world, ask yourself what kind of image you want others to see.  Remember the statement, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words”.  What kind of picture are you showing to the public by the way you dress?  We should always try to look our best so we show others that we respect ourselves and have confidence.

However, looking our best should not just apply to our outer attire.   How we appear to others includes far more than our clothing, hairstyle and accessories.   We can have outer beauty and look good on the outside but neglect to wear any inner beauty.

When you go out, do you put on a good attitude, a caring manner and a pleasant smile?  Do you show love, compassion and understanding?  Are your words full of kindness and your actions full of respect?   Are you wearing your inner beauty?

We spend so much time worrying about how we look on the outside and trying to impress other people that we often ignore what is going on inside.  We need to work hard at creating a beautiful personality so that our inner beauty will shine through and we can be a good example to others.  This will bring happiness and success to our lives.

What are you wearing today?

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What does it mean to be rich?

lady thinking about moneyMany people in this world believe that they are rich when they have a lot of money or possessions.   However, the word ‘rich’ means to have an abundance of something but not necessarily material things.   Being rich can mean that you have a wonderful family, a fulfilling career, knowledge, good health, sufficient food and a comfortable place to live.  It all depends on what is important in your life.

I just watched a video about a boy who didn’t feel very rich.  He lived alone with his father, who was always working hard, yet they lived very poor.   He thought his father was not very smart and didn’t like or respect him.  At the end of the video, the son saw his father from a different perspective, but it was very sad because they could have lived a much better life if the father had treated his son in a different way.  Please watch the video and then see if you agree with my comments below.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WG7WKPNX&utm_source=GodTube%20Must-See%20Video&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=03/18/2014

The son grew up believing that his father did not care about him.    When he picked up the note his father had written (You will be a great man, just believe), for an instant he thought it was for him and he was very happy, but quickly his father damaged his esteem by telling him the note was not for him.   He didn’t have any problem giving notes to other children, but he seemed to have a problem giving notes to his son.  It is important that parents tell their children how much they love them and encourage them to do great things.   Some parents have difficulty communicating verbally to their children, but they can do this in other ways:  writing a note, giving a hug, etc.  The father could have allowed his son to have the note and could have written another one for the other child.

When the son was given money, the father made him put some of it in a jar, telling him it was to pay the taxes.  The father also put money in the jar.  The son asked his father why they weren’t rich and the dad told him that being rich wasn’t about how much we have but about what we give.  The problem was, the father didn’t explain what the money was for.  What was the point in keeping this secret?   The boy should have openly been taught to be generous and even gone on some trips with him to the orphanage.  This would have created a strong bond between the father and son.

The son wanted to become successful, so he tried very hard at school and ended up with a good career that took him away from his dad.  The day he left, the dad gave him some money with a big smile, but the son gave it back and both of them parted very sad.  Then when the father called to ask his son if he was coming home, he was turned aside and left alone.   It wasn’t until the dad passed away, that the son found out what he had been doing and how much other people had respected him.

This video makes me very sad, because this father had a generous, loving heart but he didn’t know how to show it to his son.  He was able to connect with strangers but he was very lacking in parenting skills and it affected their lives in a negative way.   The son went through his childhood and teen years hoping to get his father’s approval and feeling that he had no value.    This happens in so many families where parents don’t know how to communicate openly with their children and this leads to family and relationship breakdowns.

Parents need to be aware of how they are communicating with their children.   If we have come from a family that didn’t communicate very well, we need to take steps and learn how to communicate effectively so we can build strong relationships with our family and friends.   Our children don’t just know that we love them or accept them.  THEY NEED TO BE TOLD.  THEY NEED TO BE REMINDED.  THEY NEED MEANINGFUL TOUCHES.  THEY NEED ENCOURAGEMENT.  So do our spouses, our siblings, our relatives and our friends.  People can’t read our minds but they can read our body language and they can hear what we say.

So what does it mean to be rich?  As the father in this video said, “Being rich is not about how much you have but about how much you can give”.  This means we are rich if we are generous to other people – by giving our love, our time, our talents and our treasure.   When we do this, we receive something very wonderful in return – LOVE.

For me, being rich is being loved.  What does being rich mean to you?

 

 

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Parents are allowing their children to become overweight

4 kidsIn today’s world, being overweight is becoming a huge issue.  More people are overweight now than ever before.  Obesity rates in Canada alone have tripled in less than 30 years!!  Unfortunately this problem often starts in early childhood and is actually allowed by parents. sometimes without them even realizing it is happening.

Children’s weight can be influenced greatly by TV and internet use.  I read an article today about 2 different studies that have been done with groups of children who were overweight.

In the first study, they broke the children into 2 groups and gave them a plan for managing their weight and weekly goals.  One of the groups was given a game console with active sports games and the other group was give a game console with less active games.  At the end of the study, the group that was following the plan and doing the active games had lost some weight.

What the researchers were trying to prove is that children need activity.  They were not promoting the use of active video games, however it likely helped the participants adhere to their goals easier.

In the second study, reports were done comparing the weight of children who watched more TV than others.   The study revealed that children who have TV in their bedrooms and who watch more TV every day will gain more weight than children who don’t sit and watch as much TV.    When people watch TV they tend to snack more and exercise less which contributes greatly to weight gain.

As parents and caregivers, we need to realize that we are hurting our children if we allow them to just sit and watch TV instead of getting up and doing something active.  We all know that once we gain weight, it is hard to take it off.  So start being a responsible parent and take care of your child’s health.   Stop allowing your child to be passive, encourage them to do something active.  The best thing you can if you love your child is turn off that TV and limit those video games!!

Here is a link to the complete story.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/children-s-weight-affected-by-bedroom-tvs-active-gaming-1.2558270

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To Read When You’re Alone

This is a wonderful story about how a mother showed unconditional love to her teenage son. Our children need to know that we love them, are proud of them and that we are there for them no matter what. The teen years are especially difficult and we need to keep the lines of communication open. This is a wonderful way to connect when verbal communication has broken down.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
February 21, 1991

I was 13 years old. My family had moved to Southern California from North Florida a year before. I hit adolescence with a vengeance. I was angry and rebellious, with little regard for anything my parents had to say, particularly if it had to do with me. Like so many teenagers, I struggled to escape from anything that didn’t agree with my picture of the world. A “brilliant without need of guidance” kid, I rejected any overt offering of love. In fact, I got angry at the mention of the word love.

One night, after a particularly difficult day, I stormed into my room, shut the door and got into bed. As I lay down in the privacy of my bed, my hands slipped under my pillow. There was an envelope. I pulled it out and on the envelope it said, “To read when you’re…

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I’ve had enough of facebook

lady watching videoFacebook is a great place to keep up to date with family and friends, sharing photos, interesting articles and important information.  However, Facebook can also be a place where people gossip about others, voice their anger and show inappropriate photos.   For myself, I keep a minimum of ‘friends’ and also ‘like’ a few pages with content that doesn’t need a rating to be seen by all ages.   Yet even though I limit my account, I still get information that I really don’t want to see.

A couple of days ago I watched a FB video that was done by a family member and it was the last straw for me.  I’ve seen enough sexual content, violence, rude pictures and coarse language.  I can just go anywhere in public and see enough of those things.  So I’ve closed my account until I decided whether or not to cancel it permanently.

People should be careful what they post on Facebook because it shows something about their character.   Everything we say and do is observed by others and it speaks volumes about who we are.  Making poor choices in posting inappropriate photos or saying rude comments at the expense of other people, will show that we are very selfish and don’t care if we hurt someone else.  Creating videos that can harm ourselves and be a poor example to other people will show that we lack responsibility and maturity.

We should always try to be a good example to others so we can influence them in a positive way, especially our children.   It doesn’t matter if you are in a public place surrounded by lots of people or sitting alone at your computer, people can be influenced by your words and actions.  Think carefully before you speak, write or take action.  Once words are released, they can’t be taken back.   Some things may seem like a good idea at the time or be funny in the moment, but several weeks, months or years down the road, you may not look at the situation in the same way.   Make sure you are saying and doing something that is of value and not something that can cause harm to yourself or other people.

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What do you focus on?

little girl thinkingWe live in a world that is full of negativity.  People constantly complain and criticize.  People blame other people for their problems.  People judge others and point fingers.  We hear nasty and rude comments.  All this negativity just brings us down and keeps us from being positive.

There are so many good things in this world but they are often blocked by all the negativity.

It all depends on what you focus on.  Do you focus on the negatives or focus on the positives?  Our brain naturally tends to be negative but we can train it to be positive.  How?

We have to start taking action by:

  • being aware that we are focusing on the negative
  • redirecting our thinking to something positive
  • committing to change
  • practicing daily
  • being patient
  • not giving up when we fail

So what are you focusing on?  What do you think about?  What kind of people do you associate with?  What kind of places do you hang around in?  Surround yourself with positive people, places and things and it will be easier for you to focus on the positives.   Then you will be a positive example for your family, your children, your friends, your co-workers and everyone around you.

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What do you expect from your children?

scratching headWe all try to live up to someone’s expectations and we all put expectations on other people.   Whose expectations are you trying to live up to?

  • your husband
  • your wife
  • your parents
  • your children
  • a teacher
  • a boss
  • a friend
  • the world

Expectations can be positive or negative depending on the effect they have on a person.  Positive expectations can encourage people to move ahead and reach their goals.  Negative expectations can discourage people and stop them from reaching their goals.

Parents will often put the expectation on their children to follow a certain pathway, such as being a doctor, teacher, singer, etc.  This can be a good thing if the child has an interest in that field and they are being encouraged to do well.  However, if this is the parent’s dream and they push their child, who has no interest and doesn’t do very well, the child may feel like a failure.

People can also live up or live down to an expectation.  If a child is continually told they always do well, that they are a winner and nobody is as good as they are, they will live up to that expectation but will eventually fail because they can’t keep being a winner.  If a child is continually told that they can’t do something, they are a slow learner or they are worthless, they will live down to those poor expectations and probably not try to succeed in life.

Spouses often have unrealistic expectations of each other.  They think the other person understands how they feel and what they are supposed to do.   Then when they don’t fill each other’s expectations, they are disappointed and this leads to marriage breakdowns.  Friends are the same.  Their unrealistic expectations lead to relationship issues.  Everyone is different, but we expect people to think and act like we do.  We need to listen to each other and learn how to accept our differences without judgement and conflict.  Good communication is the key to understanding each other.

We need to put realistic and fair expectations on a person by:

  • acknowledging their unique abilities
  • not expecting them to do the impossible
  • helping them accept their mistakes
  • showing them how to learn from their failures
  • encouraging them to try harder
  • never comparing them to others

What do you expect from your children?  What do you expect from other people?  Is it realistic and fair?

 

 

 

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Who are you waiting to see?

Where's the Line to See Jesus?During the Christmas season, the malls are full of shoppers rushing here and there trying to get all their presents bought.  At almost every mall, big box store and even on some street corners you can see Santa in his big chair waiting for children to sit on his lap and share their list of wants with him.   Having an imagination is a good thing for children as it helps them develop ideas but how many children do not even know why we celebrate Christmas?

When I was a child, I learned about different religions and how they celebrate different holidays and special occasions.  I was taught to respect the beliefs of other people and always thought they would respect my beliefs.  I knew there was a Santa Claus and as I got older I realized that he was just imaginary and that many people dressed up to play his role.  I also knew that Christians celebrated Christmas to acknowledge the birth of Jesus and this was not imaginary.   It seems that over the years, many people have lost the real meaning of Christmas and there is more importance placed on Santa and receiving gifts.  Children are encouraged to ask Santa for expensive toys and lots of them which just encourages greed.  Then the parents go out and spend lots of money on presents thinking this will make their children happy but this only creates false happiness.  Children soon tire of their presents and then want more.  It would be far more beneficial to spend more time with their children and less money on presents.

At Christmas time, are your children waiting for Santa so they can have more presents?  Or are they waiting for Jesus and celebrating his birthday?

A singer and songwriter, Becky Kelley sings a beautiful song that was inspired by her four-year old nephew who knew that Christmas was the celebration of Jesus’ birth.   While he was watching the line of kids waiting to see Santa Claus and he asked his mom where the line was to see Jesus.   Becky’s dad wrote the words, Becky sang the song, they did a video and before long they song became reality.   Here is the link to the video:

http://www.godvine.com/Where-is-the-Line-to-See-Jesus-An-Incredibly-Moving-Christmas-Video-4410.html#.UrHj3iZaW1E.gmail

If you want to read the entire story about the song, click here:  http://wheresthelinetoseejesus.com/

 

 

 

 

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