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.

What are you passing on to your kids?

Sometimes we inherit something from our parents, like the same colour of eyes or hair or maybe the same shaped nose.  But were you aware that we can also inherit their character traits and tendencies?

Children are born with their own personalities but these can be influenced greatly by the behaviour and actions of their parents.

  • If we are angry, bitter or negative people, our children can also become angry, bitter or negative.
  • If we are self-centered and focus on ourselves more than others, our children will become selfish and lack generosity.
  • If we have an addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, our children are more likely to develop an addiction.
  • If we don’t have solid moral values, our children will not learn to respect themselves and others.

As parents, we have a profound affect on our children and we should ensure that we are influencing them in a positive way.  This isn’t an easy task and we will make mistakes.  However, we should carefully look at our own lives and try to make any necessary changes so we can become  to be the best possible role model.

What are you passing on to your kids?

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Are you raising the child you want or the child you have?

We are all different.  Everyone is unique and special in their own way.  No two people on this earth are exactly the same and we should celebrate our differences.

When we have children, we often expect them to be like us and when they aren’t, we either try to mold them into a “mini-us” or we constantly battle with them because they don’t act the way we want them to and they drive us crazy.

We should raise our children as they are and not try to change them into the person we want them to be.  They are not us and they never will be.  We can force them into our mold and have them become an unhappy, unfulfilled adult.  Or we can encourage them to use their abilities, guide them through difficult situations to achieve their potential and support them when they fail.

Children are a gift.  Allow them to be themselves.  They are not perfect and neither are we.  Just love them.

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Life is not a dress rehearsal

We do many things in our lives that we wish we hadn’t done or wish we had done better.  Too often we put off doing something with the intention of doing it someday but that day never comes.  Or we do things quickly with little or no preparation, thinking that we can do it better the next time.  Even worse we do something knowing that it isn’t right and it may even cause problems but we still do it anyway.

Time is precious and we should never waste it.  We only have so many hours in a day and we really don’t how many of those days we have.  In the big picture of life, we should try to focus on what is important and invest our time wisely.

When a loved one passes away,  we are reminded that we can’t go back and do things over again.  Our lives are NOT a dress rehearsal for some future event.  Our lives are happening RIGHT NOW!  We can’t go back and tell that person the things we forgot to say.  We can’t go back and do the things we wanted to do with them.  We can’t watch the movies that we said we would watch with them and didn’t. We can’t buy that gift that we always thought about getting them.

Are you living your life like it is a dress rehearsal?  Stop rehearsing and start living!  Time is precious.  If you waste your time, you are wasting your life.  Make some positive changes:

  • spend time with the people you love
  • go to your children’s school play or special event
  • take that trip you have been planning (just don’t go into debt to do it)
  • build meaningful relationships
  • take that course you always wanted to take
  • tell your spouse that you love them
  • manage your time wisely

 

 

 

 

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Are you teaching your children to worry?

Let’s face it – life IS difficult and there are so many things that we can worry about – our families, our jobs, our friends, our finances, our future.  However, what value does worrying have?   The answer is – absolutely none! Worry doesn’t make anything better and it won’t resolve any problems.  Worry is just a major cause of stress and we know that stress can kill us.

So if we are worrying about everything in our lives, then we are impacting everyone around us, especially our children.  Think about it – our children are watching everything we say and do and will likely pick up any bad habits we have, like worrying!  We are giving them a terrible gift, one that will harm their health and possibly destroy any close parent/child relationship.

Are you teaching your children to worry?  If you are a worrier, take some steps to change this bad habit.  Write down your worries and try to change your perspective on them.  Ask yourself why you are worrying so much.  Try to focus on a positive solution and have faith that things will usually turn out okay.  The fact is, about 95% of the things we worry about never happen!

 

 

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What kind of example are you?

Unless we are completely alone, everything we say and do has an effect on other people.  We can be a good example or we can be a bad example depending on what kind of words and actions we are using.  The best thing we can do is to lead by example and have a positive impact on everyone around us, especially our children.

  • If you want your children to show respect to others, you can’t call people names and run them down.
  • If you want your children to tell the truth, you can’t call in sick to work and then go and play golf
  • If you want your children to be kind to others, you can’t ignore that homeless person lying on the ground
  • If you want your children to be healthy, you can’t eat unhealthy foods or abuse substances yourself

If you want your children to grow up to become responsible adults, you have to show them what a responsible adult looks like.  You can’t just tell them or try to force them into a mold.   They will learn best from your positive example.

This doesn’t mean that you should try to be a perfect parent.  There is no such thing!  Do the best you can and aim for excellence not perfection.  You will make mistakes.  Don’t try to cover them up and pretend you are perfect.  Show your child that you do fail but that you learn from your mistakes and keep trying to do better.

What kind of example are you?

 

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Do you gossip?

The truth is we all gossip.  Gossip is idle talk about the personal or private affairs of others.  It is a natural and expected part of our lives and helps us learn how to relate to others.  If we are sharing good news about something positive and exciting, gossip can be a good thing.

However, problems can arise when we start talking about things that are mean, nasty, inaccurate or incomplete.  If we discover a person doing something we think is wrong, we may want to share the information, not even knowing if what we saw has a good explanation.  We can even add information that isn’t true, just to make the story more interesting and to make the person look really bad.  This can start vicious rumours that embarrass or humiliate the person.

Gossiping that is intended to hurt someone is NEVER appropriate.  Often we don’t know the whole story behind what we saw and it isn’t our business anyway.  The only time we should gossip about something serious is when it is a matter of life and death.   We certainly wouldn’t like other people to gossip about us, so we should extend the same courtesy.

Do you gossip?  Does it hurt other people?  If you are a parent, gossiping is a bad thing to model to your children.  You are teaching them how to hurt other people and this will eventually end up hurting them.  Be a positive role model.  Be careful with your words and try not to gossip.  If you catch your child gossiping, talk to them and discuss why it is wrong.  Explain how it can hurt people and damage relationships.  Help them develop empathy and make sure they apologize to anyone they have hurt.

 

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Punishment versus Discipline

Punishment and discipline are not the same thing and they don’t have the same impact on a child.  Punishment is an outer action that is intended to make a child behave by force.  Discipline is teaching a child how to discipline themselves by setting boundaries that are fair and helping them deal with the consequences.

Punishment is parental control and can result in making a child feel unloved and that they have no value.  It can:

  • encourage more conflict
  • arouse anger
  • send a message that it is okay to hit or control someone who is smaller/weaker
  • show that being powerful is a good thing
  • create confusion as to what is fair
  • stop them from making good choices

Discipline is a teaching experience where the child learns how to become a responsible adult who can make good choices.  It can:

  • give them ownership of the problem
  • teach them how to problem solve
  • help a child learn to deal with their emotions effectively
  • teach them how to respect other people and themselves
  • help them feel valuable
  • teach them how to make good choices

Being raised in an environment of punishment, I believed that this was the only way to teach a child a lesson and I became the parent that doled out punishment whenever things got out of control.  I did not realize the negative impact this had on my children until I looked back on my own life and understood the effect punishment had on my own life.

When your children misbehave, take time to calm down and never react in anger.  Your child may behave out of fear, but why not discipline them and teach them to behave out of love and respect? Give them a time-out, take away some privileges, have them do extra chores or do whatever it takes to correct the situation.  Make sure you talk to them and try to remain as calm as possible. Controlling children through fear, is never the answer.   Teaching them how to control their own behaviour is a much better way.

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A key point about love

If you want someone to love you more, you should start loving them more.   It can be hard to step out of your comfort zone but don’t just wait for the other person to show their love or you will likely be disappointed.  Be the strong one and show others that you care.  Show love to your husband.  Show love to your wife.  Show love to your kids.  Show love to everyone around you.  If you are a vessel of love, it will start to make other people feel good and they will likely return your love.  Love is powerful.  Use it as a tool to create closer relationships.

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What kind of parent are you?

To Build (or Break) a Child's Spirit - by Rachel Macy StaffordThe way you parent your children mainly depends on what kind of environment you have been raised in.  Most parents will use the same methods of parenting used by their parents and grandparents even though they may have hated the way they were raised.  Every child wants to please their parents and they will try to model their behaviour.  They may even believe that this is the way normal parents behave if they  have never encountered a different approach.

There are basically 3 types of parents. The terms vary depending on what information you are reading, but I like to use the terms powerful, permissive and responsible.  Each one has a different impact on the child as to what kind of parent/child relationship they have and what type of parent they will become.  Think back to your own childhood and determine what kind of parent you were raised by.

  1. POWERFUL parents are those who make their children behave by controlling them with angry words or forceful actions and punishments.    They make most decisions for their child and allow them little freedom.  They use their size to intimidate their child and may ignore, harass or even physically abuse them.  Children of powerful parents behave out of fear rather than love and will eventually grow to resent their parents, often rebelling in some way.   They will grow up with insecurities and fears and will likely raise their children using anger and intimidation.
  2. PERMISSIVE parents are those who allow their children to do almost anything they want.  There are few or no rules and parenting is inconsistent.  They make things as easy as they can for the child, often doing things for them that the child could easily do themselves.  This robs the child of self-respect and self-esteem and invites rebellion.  Children of permissive parents often are confused and make poor choices because they have no guidelines to follow.
  3. RESPONSIBLE parents are those who convey love and show respect to their children and other people.  They provide their children with opportunities to make their own choices and hold them accountable.  They use consistent, loving discipline and lead by example.  They encourage, support and protect their child and help them develop good self-worth.  Children of responsible parents learn how become a responsible adult by watching and modelling the positive characteristics of their parent.

Powerful and Permissive parents have a negative affect on their children.  Most of these children will struggle in school, work and in their relationships.  They will likely become the same type of parent with their children or in some cases, they can go to the other extreme.  Children raised by powerful parents might become permissive parents because they don’t want their children to be controlled and will allow them complete freedom to do what they want, falsely believing this is showing love.  Children raised by permissive parents might become powerful parents because they believe that children need rules and may go way overboard in taking control, causing the parent/child relationship to suffer greatly.  Neither method works well.

The Responsible parent is the best method of parenting.   The parent works with the child to build a loving relationship.   Mistakes are made but lessons are learned and the child develops a positive perspective on life.

It is also extremely important that both parents use the same parenting method.  There needs to be continuous communication between the parents so they discuss and work out any problems.  When parents use different parenting methods or the parents are divided on any matter, parenting WILL fail.  Children are a lot smarter than we think they are.  They will divide and conquer every time.  Make sure you are working together as a team to raise your children in the best way possible.  And if you make a mistake?  Well, you are human and nobody is perfect.  Apologize, start over, do whatever it takes to keep those lines of communication open!

So what kind of parent are you?  And what kind of parent do you want your child to be?

 

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Make 2016 a year of fewer regrets

Everyone has regrets.  Being human causes us to say or do things that we wish we hadn’t said or done.  This can cause relationship problems with our families, friends, co-workers and any else we come into contact with.  We have to think carefully before we speak or put our words into actions.  We can also regret NOT saying something to a loved one or NOT doing something that we dreamed about or following a goal.

In different studies, people were asked what their biggest regrets in life were.  Many of these people were older or dying and they all seemed to have similar regrets.  Here are the top five listed:

  1. I wish I hadn’t spent my life trying to live up to other people’s expectations.  We all want other people to like us and we will do our best to fit in even if it takes away our own uniqueness.  We believe the lie that if we make other people happy than we will have lots of friends and be happy.  Our childhood dreams drift away and are forgotten.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so much.  We all need to make money so we can survive, but money doesn’t buy happiness.  Working long hours robs people of valuable time they could have spent with their family and friends.  Sadly all the money they accumulated does not replace a close, loving relationship.
  3. I wish I had told people how I felt about them.  Many people try to hide their feelings or don’t know how to show their love to others.  This can send a wrong message to their loved ones that they don’t care which will cause them to go through life feeling unloved, unwanted and unappreciated.
  4. I wish I had worked harder on my relationships.  Life can become so busy that we don’t take the time to keep in touch with family and friends.  Special occasions often get missed because people can’t find the time to get together.  Even families can have so many activities going on, that they rarely share a meal or spend much time together.  As we get older, we have more time, but it may be too late to re-connect with people that we have pushed aside for so long.
  5. I wish that I had made the choice to be happy.  Many of us don’t realize that we have the choice as to whether we will be happy or unhappy.  Of course, life happens and there are situations that will cause us pain and misery.  But even during difficult situations, we still have the choice as to how we can react.  We can remain in our pain and dwell on the negatives in our life or we can deal with the pain and move on with a positive attitude.

The problem is, many people live their lives, not paying attention to the fact that life is passing them by and soon they will have regrets.  Start this new year right, think about what is important in your life and then take action.

  • Work hard, but not so hard that you don’t have time for your loved ones.
  • Live up to your own expectations and follow your dreams.
  • Tell your family and friends how much you care about them.
  • Build strong relationships.
  • Choose to be happy.

Make 2016 a year of fewer regrets!

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