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Coach’s Response to the Question: “How do I stop criticizing and snapping at my kids?”

I don’t know anyone who never snaps or criticizes their kids, but I know everyone wishes they did it less. I asked 11 coaches to tell us their point of view on this topic. The challenge for you is to pick the one that resonates MOST with you and practice it for a few...

Some Not Too Lame Family Rules for Smartphone Usage

At some point, most teens will have a smartphone and will prefer that it’s attached to them at all times. My 12-year-old son literally went from his phone never being charged to him wanting it attached to his body at all times. The good news is that I now know that...

Why I’m Glad I Shattered my iPhone Screen

  “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ―Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism I finally made the decision to get the iPhone 6 plus. The truth is, I vacillated on it because I feared it would be too big and awkward. Once I got it, I was pretty excited and fell...

Follow Your Joy, Teens Wreaking Havoc & What Great Parents Do

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ~Joseph Campbell “People who follow their joy experience the fullness of their being,” says Robert Holden. How do we follow our joy? There is...

Raising Kids Who Are Good, Kind People Still Matters

Responsibility and kindness are important to many parents In a survey done by Pew Research in the Fall of 2014, it came out that the quality that most parents want to teach their children is responsibility. In groups that identify as consistently liberal, coming in...

Smartphones: the Good, the Bad, & the Sexty

Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.” ~ Brene Brown My oldest son is 12 and I am noticing him keeping his phone right by his side, trying to look at it...

What Great Parents Do Well

Donald Miller, author of the new book Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, reports that healthy and high-functioning people often have parents who do not hide their flaws, especially from their own children. “Healthy people tend to come from...

15 Parents Share their Thoughts about Technology and Our Kids

This week, at our local public middle school, we hosted a Principal’s Coffee chat where technology was the topic. In small groups, we brainstormed about the upsides to technology and the things we wonder (and worry) about…the questions that are swirling in our brains....

It’s Too Late, You Snapped at Your Kid. Now What?

So you snapped. Maybe you overreacted or said something you wished you didn’t say. Yes, it’s true, it’s the human condition – we are imperfect. (I like to say that we are perfectly imperfect) It doesn’t mean we just resign ourselves to reactive behaviors. We should do...

Use Common Sense with Digital Media

Last night I went to an event where the founder of Common Sense Media, Jim Steyer, spoke. It was interesting on many levels so I wanted to share what I learned 🙂 About Common Sense Media Do you use their website for your family? Quite honestly it’s been our go-to...

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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Cheerful kids celebrating victory in study in light room

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels

“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ~Joseph Campbell

“People who follow their joy experience the fullness of their being,” says Robert Holden. How do we follow our joy? There is a difference between searching for happiness and following your joy. When we follow our joy we are actually listening to what we want, what inspires us, and when we are happiest. And by doing that, we sort of melt away some of the pain and sadness and find ourselves feeling more alive. How do we put this into action? We start by making two lists. One list is that which brings you joy in the moment. The second is the list of things that bring you joy after you have finished doing it (e.g, organizing a drawer, exercise). Now, pick one from each column and do them – pick and do…every day.

REAL ACTION: Create your two joy lists and start doing one thing from each list every day! Notice what changes.

CONNECTED RELATIONSHIPS

Man and woman sitting on bench

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels

“My husband and I have never considered divorce…murder sometimes, but never divorce.” ~Joyce Brothers

It’s obvious, in retrospect, that marriage would be tough in those first years after having babies. Maybe it’s only me, but I thought that when my kids were older (say tweens/teens) we would have more time and space to rebuild our marriage and have a little fun together. Turns out I hadn’t fully thought it through, however. According to PsychologyToday, now that we have teens ‘the hard half of parenting’ begins — hardship that is usually harder upon the marriage. Seriously? We will be faced with all sorts of decisions about our teens as they move towards independence and we, the parents, will have differences in the way we want to approach this phase of their lives. The advice is to honor those differences and try to work together so as to not create a divisive situation where the teen can play off of the disagreement and manipulate you. The article hits hard at the end with this quote: “Your teenager is not responsible for the unhappy state of your marriage. You are ‘ruining the marriage’ on her behalf, and then blaming the ruination on her. So let’s begin by talking about how you can take better care of yourselves and your relationship – the reason you got together before you decided to have kids. Then we can talk about how to do the dance of adolescence differently with your daughter.” Well, that’s right to the point. 🙂 For those of you who want some more specific tips to survive these years, read the Three Principles for Raising Kids Without Ruining Your Marriage.

REAL ACTION: Awareness – just the simple awareness about how these years can wreak havoc on your marriage will help you to be more proactive and intentional when conflict arises

RELATIONSHIP-FIRST PARENTING

This African-American father was shown in the process of teaching his young daughter how to properly wash her hands at their kitchen sink, briskly rubbing her soapy hands together under fresh running tap water, in order to remove germs, and contaminants, thereby, reducing the spread of pathogens, and the ingestion of environmental chemicals or toxins. Children are taught to recite the Happy Birthday song, during hand washing, allotting enough time to completely clean their hands.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

“I only accept your mistakes and flaws to the degree that I accept my own.” ~Vironika Tugaleva, The Love Mindset

So what do great parents do well? Great parents, in this case, are defined as ones with adult children who are great, love their parents, are successful, etc. Donald Miller, author of the new book Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, anecdotally reports that great parents openly share their flaws which results in everyone in the family being safe being human. This would be the opposite of needing to hide your true self to be accepted by your parents. This can feel hard to do because most of us have a layer of armor on ourselves because we aren’t so sure it’s safe being human. Being human means that we have all sorts of characteristics – some feel like flaws. We are afraid that if people know about our flaws they won’t like or love us. The irony of flaws – we try to hide them, but usually everyone around you already sees them and still loves you – in fact, very often it’s the things we are most ashamed of that others find most endearing. But for those things that seem impossible to admit, we begin with some focus and acceptance. In your family, start small and admit when you don’t know something or admit when you were wrong.

REAL ACTION: Do you think that your kids feel safe to admit their flaws and mistakes? What would you need to learn, do, or change to create this environment?

Alrighty then! A little dose of joy. A dose of reality! And a call to reveal more of your self to your family!

Do you know anyone who might like this too? I know that you have been sharing it, right? 😉

One thing I love most about working with parents is that we all care so deeply about our kids…it’s what automatically links us together. Thanks for being you.

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