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 your children doing this summer?

Couple Walking on the Beach with Their Three Daughters and DogSummer can be a difficult time for families especially when parents are working and the children are left on their own.  This can be a time to create fond memories and experience exciting adventures.  However, if you and your children are not prepared to fill the days with meaningful activities, summer vacation can become a nightmare.

If you are working parents with older children that will be left alone for extended periods of time, it is extremely important that you make some definite plans and not just allow your child to do whatever they please.  Most children will sleep late, watch TV, play on their computer and hang out with friends.  This is not healthy and they will spend the summer bored or getting into some kind of trouble.

Make sure you have a plan of action that includes fun activities for your children and also for the family.  Working parents need to make sure that they still take the time to do family activities together so their children will feel loved and valued.   Time is an important commodity in a child’s life and when parents spend time with their children they are sending out the message that they are important and this will help them build strong esteem.

Plan some (age-appropriate) activities that your children can do on their own and also some family activities and then sit down with your children and go over your ideas.  Ask them if they have any suggestions and let them get actively involved in making any plans and helping with preparations.  Here are some ideas:

  • plan a family picnic or bbq
  • go to a park or petting zoo
  • go to a swimming pool or beach
  • check out activities at the local library and make a weekly visit to pick up some books or videos for your child to read and look at during the week
  • check with local organizations and churches for organized group activities and summer camps.  Many have free programs or ones with minimal cost.
  • enroll your child in a summer sports activity
  • plan a family camping trip or do a backyard campout and invite some of your children’s friends to come
  • on a rainy day, do some cooking or baking or play some board games
  • plan some arts and crafts – prepare kits for your child to work on some fun projects
  • clean out the basement or garage as a family – play music, dance and have some fun
  • watch some great family movies, eat popcorn and laugh a lot!
  • find out about a summer volunteer job – this is a healthy way to keep your child busy and help them build esteem

I hope you and your family have a great summer vacation!!

Leave a comment »

Being a confident person

smiling3What is a confident person?

Confident people:

  • love themselves (not in a vain way), love others and know that others love themFaces of Europe Germany Series
  • feel that their life has value and that they have a purpose in life
  • are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and risk trying something new and different
  • look at life from a positive perspective
  • are not afraid of being wrong
  • are able to keep going even when they have failed because they realize that failure is a stepping stone to success
  • do not compare themselves to others because they know and accept their strengths and weaknesses
  • set goals in life and work hard towards reaching their goals
  • control their lives instead of allowing their lives to control them

Studies show that people who are confident in themselves and have a positive outlook on life actually age slower and can live longer.  When you are confident, you will have a happier and healthier life.

If you lack confidence in yourself, it isn’t too late to start building some, no matter what age you are.    Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Do an honest evaluation of your life and consider what changes need to be made.  If you have some serious issues to face, please consider getting professional help.
  2. Make a list of your positive qualities and read the list every day until you can recite them by heart.
  3. Write some positive affirmations and repeat these several times a day until you believe them.
  4. Read inspirational books, tapes, CD’s and DVD’s.
  5. Surround yourself with positive people, places and things.  Try to reduce or eliminate the negatives in your life.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to others.  Focus on your own strengths and abilities.  Praise yourself often.
  7. Change any negative self-talk to positive self-talk.  Be consciously aware of your words and try to stop your negative thoughts.
  8. Set realistic goals and work hard to achieve them.
  9. Volunteer for a local organization.  Helping others benefits the receiver, the giver and often other people who are around.
  10. Take action and start working on making positive changes.

Building confidence takes time and effort but it leads the way to happiness and success in life.





Leave a comment »

It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with what you have

thinking happy faceMost of us would like to leave a mark on the world and be remembered for something when we are gone.  But what will people remember us for?

Will they remember us for things that we worked long hours to buy – the house, the car, all our possessions?

Will they remember us because we wore designer clothing, had shiny hair and expensive accessories?

Will they remember us for all those expensive gifts that we bought for them?

Will they remember us because we had a university degree with initials after our name or a nice job title?

Will they remember us because we had lots of money, power or fame?

I’m not trying to say that these things don’t have some importance.  Of course we should work hard to make money so we can support our families and pay our bills.   We should always try to look nice and its great to give expensive gifts to other people if we can afford it.  Getting an education is also important and you should be proud if you hold a position or authority.  But these things probably won’t be something that people will remember you for.  Nobody will really care if you had money, power or fame if you weren’t a nice person.

It’s not what you have in life that counts, it’s what you do with what you have that counts.

What do you do with your money, possessions, time and talents?

Do you contribute money to a charity that helps people live a better life?

Do you give away things you don’t need anymore to an organization who provides things for people who have little or nothing?

Do you spend time volunteering or spreading love and kindness to others?

We will be remembered for the things we did to help others, our acts of kindness, our encouraging words, being supportive and showing our love.   Many of the people who have made the biggest impact on the world were not rich, powerful or famous – they didn’t have a lot, but they did good things with what they had.   Some of these were Anne Frank (holocaust survivor), Rosa Parks (American Civil Rights Movement) and Mother Teresa (missionary serving the poor).  You can read about more great people who will be remembered by clicking this link…..

What will people remember you for?  Anything?  Nothing?  If your answer is nothing, don’t be discouraged, you can still make a difference in the world.  Start writing your memories today!writing on paper


10 steps to building confidence

POSTCARD 10 steps to building confidence front

Step 1SELF-AWARENESS—Do an honest evaluation of your life, both past and present.  Determine the source of your problems and consider what changes need to be made.

Step 2—POSITIVE QUALITIES—Make a list of your positive qualities and start focusing on them by reading them everyday until  it becomes habit.

Step 3—POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS—Write down a few affirmations and put them where you can see them.  Start each day with a positive affirmation and repeat several times throughout the day.

Step 4—POSITIVE MATERIALS—Read inspirational books and listen to tapes, CD’s and DVD’s that will motivate you .   Do this every day and listen carefully to what the materials are telling you.

Step 5—POSITIVE PEOPLE—Surround yourself with positive, supportive people and go to places where you are accepted and uplifted.  Try to eliminate or reduce the time spent with negative people.

Step 6—SELF-ACCEPTANCEStop comparing yourself to others and trying to be like the unrealistic images of beauty sent out by the media.  Focus on your own unique strengths and abilities and give yourself praise for being the wonderful person you are.

Step 7—POSITIVE SELF-TALK—Be conscious of any negative thoughts and try to stop them from becoming negative words.  Try writing down your negative thoughts  in a daily journal and then re-word them into positive thoughts.

Step 8—SET REALISTIC GOALS—Determine what your goals are, write them down and work hard to achieve them.  Keep going even when you fail, learn from your mistakes and never give up.

Step 9—VOLUNTEER—Helping others will not only benefit the receiver, it will also benefit the giver.  Volunteering improves our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Step 10—ACTION—Listening  and learning will help get you started on your personal journey to find happiness and success in life.   Now it is time for you to take action and start working on making some positive changes.   People can help us, encourage us and support us, but we are the only ones who can change our lives.  So start right now and live the rest of your life POSITIVELY!!


1 Comment »

Altruism has significant health benefits

1 handAltruism is an “unselfish concern for the welfare of others”.   It is an ethical theory that was coined in the 19th century by Auguste Comte and it is antithesis to egoism.  Altruists believe that everyone has an obligation to help other people and they do unselfish acts of kindness to create happiness and relieve pain.

Volunteering is a form of altruism.   It has been proven that volunteering is a good way of helping yourself.   If you are feeling unworthy or think your life has no value, it can be very therapeutic to help someone else.  By putting the needs of others ahead of your own and focusing on their problems instead of your own, it can help you find a sense of purpose and direction.  Helping someone else to heal is a survival tactic that can provide healing from your own challenging and possibly tragic life events.   You can forget that your world is falling apart around you when you are busy helping build up others in need.

Scientific studies show that volunteering and doing acts of kindness can result in significant health benefits, both physical and mental, for those who perform them.   Here are some of the possible benefits:

  • stress relief
  • stronger immune system
  • decrease in physical pain
  • decrease of negative emotions
  • increase in positive emotions
  • calmness, improved emotional well-being
  • release of body’s natural painkillers
  • increase in self-esteem

When you see a smile on someone’s face, especially a child, and you realize that it is because of your act of kindness, it will bring warm feelings of contentment to your heart and this small, caring action is making the world a better place.

Don’t spend your time feeling sorry for yourself or being depressed and lonely.

Don’t spend your time wondering why people can’t be nicer to each other.

Don’t spend your time wishing the world was a better place.

Step outside of the self-imposed box that you have put yourself into and take action.  Find a local organization that interests you and volunteer some time.   Doing good for others will help you overpower any feelings of depression or loneliness, as I well know.  Once you become involved in an organization, you will soon begin to understand why so many people are interested in volunteering their time, talents and money to help others.

Let’s all try to make this world a better place by doing acts of kindness.  What have you got to lose?   Probably loneliness or depression.  What have you got to gain?  Better physical, mental and emotional health.




Leave a comment »

How do you celebrate Christmas?

We all have different holiday traditions and we celebrate according to our beliefs.  Many families gather together to share a meal and open presents.  Others travel to a vacation spot to reChristmas Elflax and forget about the stresses of everyday life.   Some people don’t celebrate Christmas because of various reasons and it is just another day for them.  Then there are those who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with because their families live too far away, they have no family, there is conflict or all their loved ones have passed away.

Most of us have high expectations of Christmas.  We want to spend time with family and friends, enjoying the season.   When this doesn’t happen we feel like something is wrong and we react in a negative way, often hurting ourselves in the process.

Christmas can be a difficult time if you are alone.  However, being alone does not have to result in unhappiness.  Many people spend Christmas alone by choice and they are not lonely or miserable.  It is all a matter of perception.

Instead of feeling bad about the season, try making a list of things you like to do and then take action.   Here are some ideas:

  1. Watch some favourite movies, read some books, listen to music.
  2. Call some friends and invite them to come for coffee.  They might feel lonely too and enjoy the company.
  3. Consider getting a pet if you don’t have one.   They are great companions.  Find one that suits your needs and is easy to care for.  Having a dog is a great excuse for taking a walk.
  4. If you belong to a church, make sure you attend Christmas services.  If you don’t, consider attending one as it will help you feel part of the celebration.
  5. Organize your home or start a new project.
  6. Do something creative.  Starting writing, drawing or do some crafts.
  7. Play a game like solitaire or do crossword puzzles.
  8. Visit a mall while they are open and watch people.
  9. Help volunteer at a soup kitchen or visit a senior home and share yourself with others.  This is guaranteed to bring happiness to all.
  10. Always be positive about life.

These ideas are great for anytime of year.  If you fill your life with positive activity and surround yourself with positive people, you won’t have time to feel lonely.  Treat yourself like the special person you are and have a very merry Christmas!  Love to everyone!  🙂

This is the message of Christmas:  We are never alone.  ~Taylor Caldwell