This week I filmed a video from my hotel room and I ask you a POWERFUL question. Watch to find out this potentially life changing question (Okay and to see inside my room:)).
And… once you answer it, leave your thoughts in the comment section below, okay?
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In this week’s video I open up about what my hubby and I realized a few months ago. I always suggest doing a quarterly “Life Check”. Doing this realigns your life before it gets too out of balance.
I’d love to hear your comments under the video as to what YOUR experiences have been with this.
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Show me any two people who have fun together frequently and I’ll show you a good relationship. People who have regular fun together like each other and most often respect one another. This is a winning combination when it comes to the parent/child relationship. If both parties feel good around each other there will be less animosity, anger, resentment and discord and more ease, comfort, respect and happiness.
To like your kids you must enjoy them regularly. And for them to respond positively to your discipline they must enjoy and like you.
Unfortunately, in the hustle an bustle of everyday life, many of the daily encounters between parent and child go something like this:
“Time to get up.”
“Here’s your breakfast. No TV until you’re done.”
“Got you backpack?”
“You don’t have time to with the dog.”
“Come on, we’re in a hurry!”
“Don’t forget your coat.”
“Love you, bye!”
How was your day? Got any homework?”
“Leave your brother alone!”
“You have to finish your vegetables if you want dessert.”
“You can play outside for 1 hour. I want you back by 8 o’clock for bed.”
“Did you brush your teeth?” Goodnight.”
Now, how much mutual enjoyment took place on this day? None. The parent saw the child as a bundle of unpleasant tasks, and the child saw the parent as a bundle of directions. No relationship can remain healthy when this kind of interaction is the only feeding it gets.
The antidote? FUN!
When I interviewed over a thousand children around the world as to what it is that their mother or father did for them that made them feel totally happy and loved they said, “Spending one-on-one time with me.”
The possibilities or shared one-on-one fun are endless. Here is a list I’ve compiled over the years after talking to children and families:
- Going out for dinner on a school night while everyone else stays home
- Going to a movie
- Going shopping
- Going for a bike ride
- Reading a novel aloud to them
- Finger painting
- Baking cookies
- Playing card/board games
- Going for a walk in the park
- Going swimming
- Doing a collection together (stamps, coins, dolls)
- Visiting a museum
- Planting a flower or vegetable together
Shared fun can also come in little doses throughout the day while talking, listening, expressing affection or telling jokes. The impact of these small things is astounding. Let’s redo the scenario described above to illustrate this point. This time, let’s put some FUN into it!
“Unfortunately sleepyhead, it’s time to get.” Dad rubs child’s back.”
“After you demolish your breakfast, you can watch a little TV.”
“Got you three-ton book bag?”
“Rufus sure likes you. Okay, let’ get outta here!”
“You’re moving quicker than I am this morning!”
“Good job remembering your coat, lovebug.”
“Love you, bye!”
“What was the most fun part of your day?”
“Alan, we don’t bug each other like that. You need to stop.”
“Only 1 more piece of broccoli, my sweet, and then we can enjoy a nice dessert together.”
“You can go to Ryan’s house for one hour until 8 o’clock. Have a great time!”
“Hey, welcome home, lovebug! Let’s head on up to the bathroom to brush those teeth.”
“Goodnight. I love you. See you in the morning.”
Lightening up, adding humour and spending some one-on-one time with each child each month is one of the biggest secrets to having a wonderful family life that doesn’t include a lot of stress or need to discipline. Try it and see the difference it can make! Your children will love you for it.
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1) To be their child’s guide in life
2) To love their child unconditionally
3) To teach their child good values
4) To protect their child
5) To offer their child support through life
Although all of the above are important and offer a beautiful image of what a loving parent/child relationship can look like, I would like to suggest that the REAL goal of any parent should be to teach their child to become their own parent.
We need a new generation of kids – ones who rely on themselves, who avoid emotional letdowns, who know they have skills and the ability to use them and who lead happy and fulfilled lives without needing to consult their parent (You) forever.
How can we accomplish this? There are some specific ways that I teach, however the most powerful way is to allow our children to make choices based on how each choice makes them feel and how their choice will make others feel.
From as early on as possible, probably starting at around 3-4 years old, teach your child that when they make a choice – any choice at all – they should ask themselves two things:
a) What are the consequences of this choice?
b) Will this choice I’m making now bring happiness to me and/or those around me?
I used to have a very large poster hanging on the wall in my classroom that read: If you make a choice you must be willing to accept the consequence of that choice.
I referred to this poster over and over again and it became one of our class mantras. The children became very conscious when they were about to make a choice and therefore behaviours and classroom dynamics were incredible. In addition to this, children began feeling better about themselves and more confident. Even the students who came in with a “bad kid” legacy changed. They began to see that they were in control of their lives, that they had a choice and that good choices led to positive outcomes for themselves and the others around them.
When teaching your child how to consciously make a good choice, state the choices then say,
“Think about the choice you are about to make. How does your body FEEL inside? Is it one of comfort or discomfort?”
I tell children that most people feel these sensations in their heart/chest area or in their stomach. Making this a concrete/feeling experience is the perfect way to help kids understand the concept as well as get them to connect to their inner voice more often.
Train them to say to themselves, “If I make this choice, what happens?” If their body sends a message of comfort, that’s the right choice. If their body sends a message of discomfort, then it’s probably not the appropriate choice.
Kids really tune into this and it makes sense to them when you put it this way. The added benefit of this is that you’re teaching your child to stop and tune into themselves – what an invaluable and forever giving gift you’ll be giving!