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Currently Browsing: Raising Fair Fiona

They Do As They See

We all mean well as parents. Well most of us. We mess up trying to overcompensate for the advantages we didn’t have as children. We spoil them and we coddle them when all they really need is our undivided attention and our faith in them. But the one thing many of us seem to overlook is that how we treat ourselves shows them how to treat themselves. And that is only a good story if we are good to ourselves.

There is a woman at the exercise gym I belong to who teaches several fitness classes. And her hyper self-loathing comes out when she talks about her body. And we all disagree with her but she judges herself so harshly. And she has a daughter and two sons.They Do As They See on Shalavee.com

I have busted myself for self-bullying within the past year so I am very empathetic to this pattern of behavior. Both societal messages of women’s worth and our inherited ancestral low self-esteem have conspired against us to create these running dialogues. Damaging enough until we consider that, unchecked, we will pass these hateful messages on to our daughters. Because they do what they see, not what we tell them to do. They respond to the mirrors we have of ourselves as much if not more than the mirrors of love and worth we think we’re doing so well to reflect to them.They Do As They See on Shalavee.com

The opposite of hate is love. The opposite of judgment is compassion. If we can even be aware of what we are doing to ourselves and talk with our daughters about their amazing value as thinkers and kind and creative souls then we could change the tide of self-bullying. To show our children, boys and girls, what it means to be human and compassionate and honest is truly the kind of parenting we want to be doing instead.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Being on Purple : The Good Girl Control

At my daughter’s school, the children’s behavior is monitored daily by a stoplight inspired grading system. If you’ve behaved yourself , you get on a green status. If you received a warning, its yellow. And a bad choice will get you to red status and probably get you sent to a principal’s waiting room, or maybe that’s just what I remember. But the most insipid of all is the purple. Because that represents better than good behavior and it’s all my daughter seems to want. To be the good girl.

When she’s at school, she thinks she needs to make sure that she is liked and fits in so no one votes her off the island. But the minute she’s off the bus and in my company, she let’s it all hang out mostly to our mutual detriment. Six-year-olds are immense people-pleasers and they are also control freaks. So she is trying to get a purple so hard everyday that I think it’s sending her over the edge when she doesn’t get it.Being on Purple : The Good Girl Control on Shalavee.com

So this morning, after another night and day of not so stellar choices and listening, we missed our bus for the first time ever. And as I drove her to school, I started to realize and discuss with her how striving for that purple might be messing with her. And that perhaps, she could just go ahead and be the sweet kind and helpful little gal that she always is and that when she was rewarded with the purple as she often seems to be especially on Fridays, she could be surprised and happy.

Teach her to reject likeability.

Her job is not to make herself likeable,

her job is to be her full self…”

–Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie–

The Good Girl programming is a little pervasive and creepy. That we as girls are taught to be mindful of others’ expectations and needs instead of rewarded for being kind people and taking care of ourselves in marvelous caring ways, is just society’s flaw. But let us as parents try to counteract these expectations by encouraging them to be proud of just who they are and not what they do. And to care for themselves with the same compassion and effort as they are asked to give to others.Being on Purple : The Good Girl Control on Shalavee.com

Purple is a beautiful color to earn. Especially if you can enjoy it just because it is the way life made you and your day based on the choices you made with integrity and joy.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Body Buddy

When my son was little, if I saw he was doing something that would hurt himself intentionally, I’d say, “Don’t hurt my friend”. I say this to my daughter as well.The idea being that I care about them as much as I would a friend seems to be not as obligatory but a choice to care about them. I love each as a buddy and friend and as children.

The more I learn about self-care and self-trust, the more I know I need to teach my daughter how to self-soothe and be there for herself instead of looking for the comfort and acceptance outside herself through drugs, food, or sex perhaps. Seems such a simple concept yet no one ever pointed out my duty to take care of myself in this way.

And then the other day, I was explaining the bracelet on m wrist was my friendship bracelet to myself. That before I could be a good friend to anyone else, I needed to be my own friend first. And Fiona thought about this and agreed and side, “We can have our own Body Buddy.” I gasped at the simple brilliance of this concept and asked if I could use the phrase. She agreed to let me.Body Buddy on Shalavee.com

Imagine if we were all allowed and encouraged to be our own friends from when we were small. That this friendship would allow more self-compassion and thus less self-hatred. What if we didn’t hate our bodies and accepted our differences as beautiful? That we could then have more love and compassion for our fellow humans and less judgement because we knew ourselves well enough. Imagine the rooting of self-trust that would allow us to take bigger and better better risks because we knew we always had our own backs in the end even if we failed. 

The opposites of anxiety and depression is love and trust and connection. It makes complete sense that in giving our next generation solid selse of self and tolerance for our humanity, we are raising people who can make better decisions on behalf of humanity. If this is my only contribution, let it be the best I can give. Let my children know themselves and have faith in their own body buddy. Let my daughter be visible to herself and need no one to give her what she can give herself.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Fiona’s Moana Themed 5th Birthday Party

We celebrated Fiona’s Fifth birthday with a Moana party theme. We’re still doing the parties old school with family and cousins to play with. And the Moana theme was truly a great excuse to reuse my fabulous palm trees over again from the Viva Havana fundraiser.

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

I took a good long time to conceive of and create some of the details and touches that made it feel fun and tropical islandy. Had the palm trees but needed the tiki god idol pieces to fill out the corner cabinets. They’re painted on hunks of cardboard.

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

The kokomora coconuts are made from actual coconuts. We’ll be smashing their heads in soon.And having flowers is a mainstay but this year we had a tropical theme that Miss Patti indulged and sent me home to play with all these beauties.

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

And the food included pulled pork (nod to Pua) on Hawaiian rolls, Hei Hei island terriyaki skewers, Tamatoa crabcakes, Te Fiti island slaw, and pineapple boat fruit skewers. Many of these ideas plus the little sails on the cupcakes were gleaned from Pinterest. Remember, I troll for my ideas first from Pinterest before I commit to a main art project or two.

http://shalavee.com/my-event-creative-process-starts-with-pinterest/

My husband owns the lighting company so I still have these party fete lights strung across my living room.

 

http://shalavee.com/my-event-creative-process-starts-with-pinterest/

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com


Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Fiona's Moana Themed Fifth Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

 

As for the wee Fiona, she had so much fun, she didn’t know which end was up. Almost all the people that adore her were there and she got more presents! And her very own mini cake which she decorated with her own bath toys and paper umbrellas. It truly was a day to remember.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Mother Buffer Zone

I’ve always said she wants to be my hat and sit on my head. When my daughter is feeling needy, she can’t be on top of me enough. Everything that she emotionally needs is drawn from me and it’s more than draining. The give and the take between a girl and her mother is exhausting and it’s necessary. I need to be very conscious of creating a mother buffer zone.

The obstinance and the emotional output she aims at me however… isn’t personal. But most of the time, it feels that way. If there’s an issue of independence that she needs to resolve, her misbehavior will go on until she has decided that she has worked it out. Until I have let her know to her satisfaction that she is worth my attention and the discipline to show her when her behavior is unkind, unnecessary, and unwanted. Not her but her behavior. And she gets to decide when that lesson has been learned.The Mother Buffer Zone on Shalavee.com

Meanwhile, I am also a human with hormones and bad days and sometimes/eventually, I’m worn down and worn out. The crying cannon aimed at me feels personal and torturous. I can’t wait until she gets on her school bus some mornings. My irritation rises and the post-traumatic stress disorder starts to set in.

But what I realized this week is that even though I am her mother, what she sometimes wants from me is stuff from the concept of mother. She pushes against the authoritarian concept of mother. She needs her Mommy when she’s hurt because we mothers are home base, a conceptual safe comfort zone. They happen to be working out their issues with us specifically yet the humanity of their emotional trials need not be taken personally but instead, compassionately by us.

If we allow for a Mother Buffer Zone between us and our children, an understanding that our children need to work out their independence and self-trust in the mirrors they have with us, then we can all be human. We can acknowledge their growth work and our emotional maturity for respecting that and we don’t have to take it all personally.The Mother Buffer Zone on Shalavee.com

I will add that I am always making sure that the way that I’m treated is respectful. My children are entitled to be mad but they may not be disrespectful to me. In that way, I also model what self-respect looks like to them that they may go out in the world and say, “You may not treat me this way.”

Understanding the dynamics of the 6 – 9 year old’s need to create and be OK with their independence can remove a little of the pressure from the parent. Allowing for independence to not be a bad thing fosters independent children. And I assure my daughter that she will be leaving me eventually but I will never leave her. I’ll be here for as long as she needs me. And hopefully, if we do this the right way now, the teen years will be amazing.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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