What Does Spirituality Mean to You?

When I have a chance to actually discuss the topic with clients, it is very simple to explain my view of spirituality, understand my clients’ perspective, and come to a common ground semantically (and often philosophically). I notice I regularly attract people who...

Smoothie Recipes

“Introduction to Green Smoothies” Smoothies ~ Perfect for Kids, Created by my Kids! The Bodie-O Berry Mix Yields: 18-20 oz. 1 Banana 1.5 cups of Mixed Frozen Berries (Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries) 1 cup of Orange or Tangerine Juice 3/4 Cup...

You Are Always In Choice ~ The Power of Paradox

We are inundated with choices. We worry that people will judge us for our choices. We fear that we will make the wrong choice and be disappointed. When we make a choice, we experience loss – loss of that which we did not choose. Every day, we have to choose which...

Time, The Great Equalizer

I suspect that almost everyone feels that there is just not enough time in the day. So much to do, so little time. We are chronically feeling pulled in too many directions and feeling that it is impossible to live in this very moment, when this moment is really all we...

Meditation…are you curious?

Meditation has been repeatedly proven to reduce stress levels, reduce blood pressure, increase circulation, strengthen your immune system, relieve chronic pain, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, improve memory and decision making, and maybe even slow aging! And there is...

Breathing Exercise

Inspiration in Action by Deb Blum Inspiration: Your breathing is your greatest friend. Return to it in all your troubles and you will find comfort and guidance. ~The Teaching of Buddhist Master Action: Breathing exercises can reduce stress, increase energy, and...

Happiness is an Inside Job

Inspiration in Action by Deb Blum Inspiration: Instead of seeking outside of ourselves, we need to go to the source and realize who we really are. ~Deepak Chopra’s 8-Week Happiness Series (Week 3, Authentic Self-Esteem) Action: Ask yourself: “What void is so big in my...

One Way to Make the World a Better Place

Got problems? The world certainly seems to have lots of problems. It seems overwhelming – how can we get ourselves out of the mess we are in? So much fear, war, anger, hate, deceit, self-serving behaviors and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The solutions to these...

Fear of Criticism’s Impact on Being Yourself

How do you feel about criticism? Do you do everything you can do avoid it? Does your fear of criticism hold you back from being your true self? "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind." ~Dr. Seuss For...

Live In The Present

Inspiration in Action by Deb Blum Inspiration: “The big horrible thing isn’t the plane crash or the earthquake or the diagnosis. When those things occur, we act, we know what to do. We live or we die. Hell is what we do in the meantime. It is the way we starve our...

You are humanity's greatest hope.

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Family gathering for a group hug

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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 second was empathy for others and third was helping others. In simpler terms, we could call that kindness. The Harvard psychologist, Richard Weissbourd, outlines 5 key ways to raise kind, moral kids. According to Making Caring Common (run by Weissbourd), these are the 5 key ways:

  1. Make caring for others a priority
  2. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude
  3. Expand your child’s circle of concern
  4. Be a strong moral role model and mentor
  5. Guide children in managing destructive feelings

Weissbourd tells us not to overfocus on our kids’ feelings

In this other article, the author refers to Weissbourd’s research that suggests that perhaps we are over-focusing on our kids’ feelings which will “cause children to dramatize their feelings, and to make their own feelings too precious.” “As an unintended result”, Weissbourd argues, “children think about their own feelings constantly, and don’t wonder if the new kid in their class is lonely, ask why their mom looks so frazzled or notice when they hurt their little sister’s feelings.”

Can we be too kind?

Ground group growth hands

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I want to just call out the risks in over-focusing on kindness —> people-pleasing, need for validation, becoming a martyr, and the unwillingness to speak the truth are just a few. I guess what I am saying is that as with anything, we need to stay balanced. If we don’t take care of ourselves and love ourselves and hyper-focus on doing for others and being kind to others, we might end up doing it at the expense of ourselves. Likewise, if we over-focus on loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves, we can end up doing that at the expense of our community and the world. As with everything, we need to find the balance that is right for us.

We say kindness matters, but is achievement trumping caring for others?

Today reports on a recent study in this Are Parents Sending the Wrong Message? video. This study reveals 80 percent of kids said their parents value happiness and personal success more than being caring. They believe their parents want them to prioritize good grades over being a good person. Say what? Are they mutually exclusive? When it comes down to it, we have to make sure we are walking the walk.

Time to take intentional action that demonstrates that kindness matters

So, I ask, are you actually doing what it takes to raise kind and moral kids? When I did the Tiny Action I recommend below, for myself, I realized that I have not been paying enough attention to chores and responsibilities for my kids around the house, encouraging my kids to pay attention to and say hello to MY friends, and appreciating the “invisible” people who are in the community helping (the mailman for example). After you do the quiz I linked to in the Tiny Action below, post in the comments to tell us what you will focus on this week! Thanks 🙂

I’m advocating for a balanced approach – can our kids get good grades AND be good people? Absolutely!

TINY ACTION: Take this quiz to self-identify areas where you can pay attention in order to show that kindness is a priority for you to your kids. Pick one area and take action this week!

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