Motherhood Wake Up Call

I'm always thankful with my mother. I know she must be an angel sent from heaven to take care of our family. I've never seen such patience and wisdom in anyone I know. Even when I know she's mad, we've never heard one harsh word coming out of her mouth. And I always wonder, where the heck she got the strength to do it all? To be a wife, a mother, a daughter-in-law (for a very hard-to-please mother-in-law, if I may say), a grandmother (for a very needy granddaughter), and to do it all at the same time. And lately, I just realize it and realize it even more how great she is. She's supportive even though she doesn't agree 100% with my decision. She keeps caring even though when she has problems of her own. she just keeps giving and giving, not only to me, but to the whole family ... So, I'm dedicating this post for the most wonderful person on earth (by my book, of course), stating my love for her, and my deepest gratitude.
My only hope is that I can grow as a person and be more like her, be a better child for her, be a better mom for my daughter, be a better wife for my husband, be a better listener for my friends. And I encourage anyone who read this to think about your mom/dad, and just be thankful.


Quotes of the day

A friend of mine sent me an email few weeks ago and I'd like to share it with my fellow bloggers. These words are from Rick Warren (author of the 'Purpose Driven Life'):

"I believe that (life) is kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for."

"Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD."

These words were a blessing for me, and I surely hope it will be a blessing too for anyone who read them.



My daughter and I went to my niece's birthday party yesterday. On the way there, I kept thinking "gosh, this might be one of the days where I have to be super patient", you know, because she hates loud noises and usually hates being in crowded place. When we got there, there's two big clowns getting ready for the party, and knowing she hates clown too, I'm like 'uh-oh'. But to my disbelief, my daughter acted calmly. She even sat on one of the little chairs that's reserved for little children without objection. She participated in the party activities and seemed to really enjoy herself. I was sooooo relieved and happy. She exceeded my expectation in every way. I guess we as parents can't really expect our child to behave a certain way just because she acted a certain way before. Every opportunity means a chance to see how our child has grown. And believe me when I say, it was such a proud moment for me and her dad.


Thanks to Blogging

I'm actually new in this blogging life, but I recently went to see other people's blogs and, to my surprise, some really captured my attention. Some actually taught me things, and some showed me that my problems and troubles are not so unique after all. And if they can fight and survive and win, why can't I? So, thanks to my blogging life, I found new teachers in life. They may be strangers, they may not know me, but I thank them for opening my eyes :)


Article: Discipline Versus Punishment (By Kim Olver)

Do you know the difference between discipline and punishment with their Latin roots? Punishment implies inflicting pain, while discipline means to teach. Parents who use punishment are missing important opportunities to teach their children better behaviors and help them self-discipline. Children can actually be taught responsible behaviors to help them get the things they want without breaking the rules.

However, when parents are only interested in compliance, they often impose strict and severe consequences to stop or prevent the behavior. This generally leaves the child not thinking about how they were wrong and need to develop more appropriate behavior, but leaves them instead thinking about how unfair their parent is.

Punishment generally teaches children to become better at not getting caught, rather than stopping the undesirable behavior.

All behavior is purposeful. We don't engage in behavior-responsible or not-for no reason. Everything a person does is that person's best attempt to get at least one of his or her needs met in the best way available at that time. Children do not set out to be intentionally "bad." The "bad" behaviors they engage in are helping them to meet a need they have, which is why they do it.

Punishing children for attempting to get their needs met does not stop them from needing to get their needs met. If a child is attempting to get their need for freedom met by being with people of whom the parent doesn't approve, that freedom need does not go away by punishing the child. In fact, often punishment restricts the freedom need even further, making it more likely that the child will engage in more severe and desperate ways of meeting their freedom need.

For example, if the child is grounded for being with people the parent disapproves of, then they may end up disrespecting the grounding and attempting to go out anyway. Then, it will become necessary for the parent to become more severe in their punishment to attempt to gain control.

The interesting thing about control is that we really don't have control over our children. We cannot be with them 24/7 and thus, we really don't know what they are doing when they are out of our site. We may think we are controlling them by grounding them, but are they sneaking out? If not, what happens when the grounding is lifted?

Instead of punishing, let's look at what it might be like to teach self-discipline instead. Let's say your child has a habit of not abiding by his or her curfew. The child agrees to the curfew and then chronically comes home late espousing sincere apologies. Naturally, you want to ground them or make them come home even earlier the next time to make up for the infraction.

What do you think would happen if you had a different conversation? What would happen if you attempted to learn what the child was doing that prevented them from being home on time? What would happen if you believed your child when he said he really lost track of time because he got so involved in the game of basketball he was playing with his friend? Your child tells you he meant to be home on time but simply lost track of time.

If your goal is to help teach self-discipline, wouldn't it make sense to help your child find a way to independently remind himself of his curfew. Perhaps he could get a watch with an alarm on it. Or if he has a cell phone, have him set the alarm on it with enough time for him to get home at the agreed upon time.

Maybe in your conversation, you learn that your child no longer believes his curfew is appropriate. Perhaps he thinks because he is older, he should be permitted to stay out later. You may review your expectations and realize that he is right. The curfew you have set may be too early for his age. In this case, you might be willing to adjust the curfew to a later time as long as there is compliance with the new curfew.

There are several solutions for every situation and remember every child and every set of circumstances is unique. Take the time to talk to your child to determine why they are breaking the rules and then help them figure out a way to honor the rules and still get what they need in their lives.

When you do, you will have a much more harmonious home and your children will be learning self-discipline skills so that by the time they no longer live with you, you can be reasonably assured that they will be able to take care of themselves. After all, isn't that what you REALLY want?

For more parenting advice and help go to Empowerment Parenting.

Kim Olver is a life, relationship and executive coach. Her mission is to help people get along better with the important people in their lives. She teaches people how to live from the inside out by empowering them to focus on the things they can change. She in an internationally recognized speaker, having worked in Australia and the continent of Africa, as well as all over the United States. She is the creator of the new, revolutionary process called, Inside Out Empowerment based on Glasser's ideas. She has consulted with the NBA and other major league player development specialists. She is the author of Leveraging Diversity at Work and the forthcoming book, Relationship Empowerment. She co-authored a book with Ken Blanchard, Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and Byron Katie, entitled 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. She works with individuals, couples, parents, social service agencies, schools, corporations and the military--anyone who will benefit from gaining more effective control over their lives. She has consulted on relationships, parenting, self-development, training, leadership development, diversity, treatment programs and management styles.


Article: Happiness Is - Teaching Our Kids About Kindness (By Patrick Mcmillan)

To witness a child display kindness to another child is a wonderful scene to observe, though it is becoming a rare occurrence. To hear about a child in a confrontation with a bully while coming to the aid of a friend being picked on is an even less frequently heard about event. Though these scenarios do play out in the real world, on the playground and in neighborhoods, we need to make a much bigger deal of it, and encourage more of it.

We seem to have instilled a "feel good" attitude in our children, rather than a "do good" attitude. The self-esteem movement created in the 1970's is partially to blame. It does not take a social science degree to understand that self-esteem is a result, and does not cause anything but momentum in either the increasing or decreasing of self-esteem. Self -esteem rises or falls with doing and being because feelings about ourselves depend on what we do and how we react to what happens around us. However, in addition to our conscious reactions, we all have the ability to create our reality with a conscious choice to be kind to others.

The biggest culprit of all in my opinion, are our societal habits and misconception that providing ourselves with more of life's pleasures will provide greater levels of life satisfaction. We, the parents of the world, have pulled our children onto the same treadmill on which we run, and we wonder why children today seem so entitled and ungrateful.

By helping our children understand what events in our lives bring about the greatest feelings of happiness, and engaging in these events with our children, we are instilling in ourselves and our kids that "doing good" far outweighs "feeling good" in terms of lasting happiness. When we do well toward others we feel good, and when we feel good more good comes to us. This is not to say that pleasures in life should not be sought after, but rather an understanding be developed that a pleasurable life combined with a meaningful life leads to a happy life.

Kindness is not just about being kind to others. We must also be kind to ourselves. We have a tendency to be quite hard on ourselves when we make mistakes or experience failure. Our inner-dialogue will tell us things we would surely defend ourselves from if said by someone other than ourselves. Being less critical of ourselves makes learning from mistakes easier, makes us more likely to accept challenges and sets an example for our children that mistakes and failures must happen in order to grow and learn.

A helpful way to be kind to yourself, and a great lesson for kids to learn, is to recognize your strengths. Rather than focus attention on weaknesses in an attempt to overcome them, it might be more productive to focus on your strengths in an attempt to cultivate more of them and use them more often in your day to day life.

We can help our children learn to be kind to others by simply making someone smile, and to consciously recognize the feeling you get inside when you do. It is as easy as smiling at a stranger or giving a friendly wave. It does not take much effort to practice kindness in front of your kids.

Here are some simple things you can do, and encourage your kids to do, to make kindness a part of who you are.

• Hold the door for someone, even if they are not carrying anything.
• At the store, let the person in line behind you with less items go ahead of you.
• Be courteous to the telemarketer that calls you, or to anyone trying to sell you something. They are just trying to get by too.
• Stay calm in traffic, even if you are running late. Life is too short to get all worked up over something out of your control.
• When ever possible, help someone who could use a hand.
• Always be kind to children!
• Say "Thank You" even quietly to yourself for all that you have in your life, ever day.
• Always say "Thank You" when someone helps you.

You can make your day with a SMILE!

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Patrick McMillan is the founder of http://KidsCanDoAnything.com and author of An Exercise in Happiness, an Emotional Fitness Program for kids and parents based on the ancient philosophy and the science of happiness.

Being a stay at home dad with two young boys for many years has motivated Patrick to share with every child the tools and lessons he has learned to create a fulfilling and happy life for himself and his kids.


Wonderful Things

Wonderful things you can do when you know photoshop well enough :)

This is one of my favorite pic ...