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My Kid and Mindfulness

Ironically, mindfulness isn’t something I gave much thought to until it seemed to start popping up everywhere I was. I wasn’t mindful of mindfulness. Being aware of what you are feeling and thinking isn’t very American after all. Mindlessness is encouraged. Copious television watching and numbing techniques don’t encourage mindfulness.

I want more for myself and for my kids however. Knowing that the only way to teach is by doing, I am outspoken about what I am doing and how my insights are growing me. I also talk to my son often about owning his choices, belonging, self-esteem, and other subjects that come up. So when he gave me a reflection yesterday of a more thoughtful sort, I was sorta blown away. Mindfulness and my kid on Shalavee.com

He is having a tough time, as expected, adjusting to middle school. A transition from childhood to adulthood, there are a lot of expectations to mind and I’m not sure you can be ready for that. I’d advised a while ago that maybe he needed to create somethings to look forward to. And he said yesterday that he may have needed to get into a better place knowing how things go and that he could handle them before he could put things in place that he could look forward to.

We all need to listen harder to the little ego voice that says I would be happy if I had such and such in my life, be it more music or free time or walks in the woods. And then our adult selves can go about making sure that the happiness quotient is filled weekly. Because I don’t think we’re the sum of what we do. I think we’re the sum of the happy and proud and included moments of our lives. And those are up to us to create with great intention.

Mindfulness and my kid on Shalavee.com

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.

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The Gift of Empowerment

The sound of my whining children is like a mosquito circling my head. But instead of swatting the bug/child, I realize that they always think that they are never going to get their way, get their needs met, or be able to negotiate for themselves. Just as you have to tell them that all movies are make-believe and any movie I allow them to see will always end well, you have to tell them they are allowed to ask for their needs to be met. They don’t know they’re entitled yet to positively ask for what they need. They don’t know their entitlement to empowerment. I have to stop and say,”If you don’t think you want to do that chore now or you’d prefer juice over milk, how about if you say, ‘Hey Mom , can I do that after dinner? or Mom I’d like juice with my dinner instead of milk, is that OK?’ ” And I have them repeat it back to me in that mental voice. Fiona on Shalavee.com

Somehow I am running a dictatorship that I didn’t realize I was running. And I’d rather have them try to reason for what they want than bully me or whine at me yet they just don’t know that’s allowed. Hard to believe that our liberal egalitarian selves have yet to raise insta-empowered children but there you have it.They need to be taught their entitlement to choices and boundaries.

There are no givens in life and it certainly ain’t fair but there is plenty of reasoning if we allow for it. I’d rather raise a child who would stand up for themselves in a reasonable fashion I could respect then a back-talker who’s resentful all the time. It’s just seems I’m on an upward hill to climb to show them empowerment without whining or sass. But the one guarantee I can make is that I will model this behavior of standing up by not allowing them to be disrespectful to me. Lead by that example as I’d wished I’d learned sooner.

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.

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Wisdom from Sam Wheatley : Learning Our “Fitting In” Lessons

A very wise friend of mine Samantha Wheatley, has just become a life coach and her newsletters always offer me something good to think about. Last week’s thought gift was about “fitting in” and how the people we meet that we are most comfortable with are the ones who aren’t trying to be anything other than themselves. A powerful lesson to teach our children by example. Learning to just be ourselves and stop seeking others approval. Here’s the excerpt from her amazing newsletter.

Children are so often presented with opportunities at school or when they are around other kids, where they feel they have to prove themselves. And these situations can often lead to the child feeling left out or as if there is something wrong with them if they are not accepted by their peers.

My friend and I talked about how we try to teach our children to be themselves, to NOT try to fit in to please others.
And it became very apparent that we can learn so much from this.

What we want for our children is something we can give to ourselves also.

I think the reason we feel so deeply for our children when they are faced with the feeling as though they don’t fit in, is that we know what that feels like.
WE remember how we felt when we were in the same position, as children and as adults.
We can all relate to feeling as though we are trying so hard to please, to be accepted, to belong.

How about accepting ourselves first?
How about belonging to ourselves? 
How about fitting in in our own skin?

When you come across a person who is accepting of themselves and is not trying to prove anything to anyone, the confidence and ease with which they carry themselves just oozes out of them. When we can do this for ourselves, we no longer feel the need to want to please others or be accepted by others. We are comfortable in our own skin and abilities and talents and we no longer are concerned with how others feel about us.”


First Middle School breakfast on Shalavee.com

Lead our children by example is all we can ever do. Knowing this, I can only model self-acceptance and self-love and hope that they receive the rest of this lesson in their lives as they watch and learn on their own.

Go to her website here if you’d like to wander around her site or receive her wisdom in your email box too.

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.

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Through Your Eyes : Raising a Child With Self-Esteem

I often say that I wish for every kid (and adults too) to find that one thing that they love themselves while they are doing it. This is how self-esteem is built. That they find a community of people who will join in the mutual appreciation of these efforts and thus build their esteem further. That is some of the good stuff that life has the potential to hand you.

The converse of this scenario is a child who feels worthless and bored. Who can not see themselves in what they do or their surroundings or the faces of their family. And this leads to darker places and choices.Fiona and the azalea on shalavee.com

A mother of another three-year-old in our story group expressed her concern that our rural sleepy town didn’t posses enough interesting things for the teens to do. And she felt this boredom was what led to their use of drugs, alcohol, etc. I offered that these were just choices these kids make to squelch a deeper pain. One wrought from the sense of unworthiness from their family situations. I said even rich kids do heroine. She said her husband is a cop, she knows that.

From a person who experimented with illegal substances and took unhealthy risks, had I had any activities at all in my life where I felt valued, where my identity was more than a grade or a boyfriend, other choices would have shown themselves. But I was left to my own devices, to fend and survive and I chose the wrong things to kill my pain with. The wrong people’s opinions to value. Because I didn’t value me. I was invisible to me.Recital night on Shalavee.com

My son found the piano quite early in his life. And he’s gone from an anxiety riddled seven year-old to a confident piano playing 11 year-old. He has no stage fright whatsoever which blows my mind. What he sees in our eyes and the eyes of the world watching him is admiration and support. And he’s confident that he can fulfill their expectations if not surpass them. Wow!

You can do it. You can parent, you can run the marathon, you can start a business, art every day, lose the weight, make your amends, write a book, learn a language, ice skate, or paint. All it takes is the belief that it is what you want and you deserve to show yourself you can do it. You’re worthy of a dream that fulfills you and you deserve the unyielding support that gets you there. That is what I’m giving my kids and I discovered I needed to give this to myself too.

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 or Pinterest 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.

Let Them Be Picky Eaters

There’s a boy at my son’s school. He represents every young man who’s grown up without. Without the constants of unconditional love. Without food enough to not be hungry. He has regular outbursts at school and threatens teachers and other students. He just wants to know that he matters.

He’s enrolled in an after-school program and, although this boy was suspended for a day or two, my husband saw him there as he was setting up lights for the talent show our son was to be in. He noticed the kid because again he threatened a teacher. They were serving spaghetti dinner to the after school participants as some kids won’t have a meal when they get home. I didn’t know about the program.Pickky eaters at dinner at Steve's on Shalavee.com

Over dinner, my husband was describing the wall of teachers that formed after the kid threatened one of them. And then he mentioned the spaghetti dinner. And I looked up and it hit me. And tears formed in my eyes. As they are now. Hungry isn’t ever a comfortable place to be. Basic needs being unmet would make you angry too. Every town has hungry people you just don’t see.

So when someone asked me recently if my kids were picky eaters, I said yes. And then I said that was OK by me. That they are persnickety and turn their noses up at their homemade waffle breakfast is fine with me to a degree. Because that means that they have no idea what it’s like to go without, to be hungry and frightened about finding their next meal. I’m just fine with my kids being picky.

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 or Pinterest 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.

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