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Make Time For People

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Sometimes we need to drop everything and pay attention to the people around us.  Cleaning can be done at any time, but people, when in need, need us now, not when it’s more convenient.  Have you ever had a friend just call to chat because they needed a kind listener, but you’ve got plans to fix up your home, clean out your closets or such and you’re torn between getting done what’s on your list or connecting with them?

You know what the heartfelt decision is, right?

People first.

Did I even need to tell you that?  Or did you already innately know the answer? 

I think we get so caught up in our lives that we don’t make time for those who may need us, but don’t want to bother anyone with their feelings of sadness.  That tentative, I’m just calling to say hi, can sometimes be a disguise to a more needy version of help me, I’m falling apart.  It is with discretion that we need to answer those types of calls because we never know what someone else is going through in their lives.

Sadness can be masked in so many different ways.  Superwomen/Supermen that we are, we don’t share when times get tough for fear of gossip or being seen as weak or worrying what someone will think when sharing our deepest secrets.  But there comes a time when we need to share with a trusted friend.

There was a saying going around on Facebook recently.  Due to a recent suicide in our community, it went like this:

My door is always open. My house is safe. Coffee can be on in minutes, and the kitchen table is a place of peace and non-judgment. Anyone who needs to chat is welcome anytime. It’s no good suffering in silence. I have food in the fridge, coffee and tea in the cabinet, and something stronger if you need it. Listening ears, and shoulders to cry on. I will always be available…you are always welcome!! This is an old value that has been lost to technology…a text, facetime, or emoji is not the equivalent! (but can still help/is better than not reaching out at all),  You are never really alone and suicide is never the answer.
please copy and re-post
#SuicideAwareness #MentalHealthAwareness
1-800-273-8255

There’s something touching with this post that I read countless times.  I just hope for heaven’s sake that people just aren’t copying/pasting and not meaning what they say.  For there are times in all of our lives when we just need a friend to lean on.

We recently had a young person pass away by suicide which rocked the community.  Love and support filled post after post which made my heart sad because I wished he had been able to get help from someone.  I know that sometimes there is not enough help for certain situations, but being me, I always hope for healing, for peace and for love.  And I know you do too.

So the next time you get an inconvenient offer for coffee or a drink or a walk, please say yes.  There are many hours in the day to get your list checked off, but you may be the much needed missing piece for healing in someone else’s day.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

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What Do You Believe?

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What do you believe my friends?  Our beliefs begin in childhood, nestling into our psyche right from the start.  Don’t believe me?  Have you ever heard your mother’s words coming out of your mouth for example?  Do you find yourself doing X (whatever example you want to use) just the way you were taught as a child, even when you know there’s an easier or better way?  But you can’t help yourself, and you continue to do it that way because that’s how it’s always been done?  Do you have limited beliefs in yourself because you were told that you weren’t smart enough or that you wouldn’t amount to anything?  Or perhaps you were told you could do anything, and you have?

Parenting before the age of 7 is paramount to a child’s self-esteem and belief system about everything, including themselves.  We may not even remember what we were told, but we know in your minds that it is true.  Even when it’s proven not to be true.  Why?  Because the adults in our lives told us so when we were children.

How’s that for mind-befuddling?

So the next time you are parenting, think before you speak or give yourself a time out in order to center your thoughts.  Your children are listening with minds of sponges and beliefs that you are creating for them for a lifetime.

Shine On!

xo

 

Inspired by The Daily Post prompt: Believe

A Free Fall Gift For You!

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It’s the first official day of Fall and the start of one of my favorite seasons.  Well, I guess all of the seasons are my favorites for various reasons.  But there’s something about Fall that is so special to me.  The crisp air, the jeweled colored leaves, and the beginning of a new school year are all magical to me.

I enjoy sending cards because even though we are so technology driven these days and we enjoy the quick engagement and banter of texting and emails, there’s something special about getting a card in the mail.  A special paper card that we find like a treasure amidst the bills and junk mail.  At least that’s how I feel.

During the holiday season, we may receive dozens of cards which delight me.  But then what happens during the rest of the year?  Maybe we receive a birthday card, but that’s it.  Instead our mailbox is strewn with junk mail and bills.

I know for me, when I see an envelope that isn’t bill-shaped, I’m intrigued!  Someone has thought of me!  I’m delighted before I even open the envelope.  I know, you probably think I’m being silly, but that’s truly how I feel.

Above is a card from SendOutCards which is a way to send cards from your own computer, but your recipient gets a real card in the mail.  You can even attach a gift card or present as well, from the hundreds of gifts offered on the site.

If you’d like to try it, please send a card on me.  It’s fun because you can personalize the card with your own photos, your own sentiment or you can pick from the huge variety available for you!

The price for a card is cheaper than going to the store and you can send your cards from your own computer or the app on your phone whenever you wish!  I use it all the time to lift the spirits of friends, to keep in touch and to send my own holiday cards!

Making life easier and staying in touch are key!  So, if you’d like to check it out, please use the link below.  Enjoy!

Click here to send a card for free on me!

Shine On!

xo

Never Forget 9/11/01

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Never Forget

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,

We became one color.

As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building,

We became one class.

As we lit candles of waiting and hope,

We became one generation.

As the firefighters and police officers
fought their way into the inferno,

We became one gender.

As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,

We became one faith.

As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement

We spoke one language.

As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,

We became one body.

As we mourned together the great loss,

We became one family.

As we cried tears of grief and loss,

We became one soul.

As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes,

We become one people.

We are:
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people.

We are The Power of One.

We are United.
We are America.
(Author unknown)

Sixteen years ago today.

Let us take a moment of silence with love in our hearts.

God Bless.

Shine On!

xo

P.S. Daily Prompt is Sympathy…perfect word for today xo

 

Help for Middle-Schoolers

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I’ve mentioned many times over the last few days that there is help at school for parents and for students.  A friend of mine wrote a book that I want to share since I unexpectedly began a series on the beginning of school for teachers, parents and students.

Because I always want to help, here’s my tip for you!  This book is a keeper and I’m not just saying that!  If you have Middle-schoolers, this is a great book for you!

From tears and fears to cheers—the adult guide for middle-schoolers… Twenty of the most common issues that drive emotional middle-school students to the school counselor’s door are told in story form based on real-life confidential meetings, phone calls, and interventions. Stories include practical life lessons and inspiring solutions for such problems as anger management, eating disorders, peer pressure, bullying, divorcing parents, failure spirals, broken friendships, gossip, sexual harassment, and test and performance anxiety. The stories also provide insight for challenges with parents, teachers, or siblings, and they help students deal with being new at school, death and major change in the family, and friends who are desperate or hurting themselves. Each of the chapters details the process of taking these educationally disruptive issues from emergence to resolution in a format perfect for use by school counselors, teachers, and parents. Additionally, each chapter offers discussion and reflection questions at the end to help promote insight through discussions with individuals, groups, or in classrooms. This full range of school counselor programs, professional resources, and responsibilities is the perfect read for the school counselor wanting new tools and strategies, or for the graduate student wanting an understanding and guide for the career they have chosen. And for the parent or teacher, this book will help them support the social and emotional growth of their middle-school children with an understanding of their emotional needs.

Click here to see the video of her book!

Click here to buy a copy for yourself!

Join Behind the Counselor’s Door on Facebook!

Shine On!

xo

Teenagers In The New School Year

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Friends, you’ve read my A grade classroom rule from when I was a teacher.  You’ve read my Parenting post which may or may not have made you angry or defensive.  My intention is to include you in the hug I want to give all the parents/students/teachers at the start of the new year.

Dear Teenager,

Well, you’re next in line for my posts and I’m going to be honest, like I was in earlier posts because this is all about you in the end.  This is your life and you will either listen or turn away.  I won’t try to control you, but what I will try is to steer you towards victory because that is where you belong.

Your journey begins on the first day of school.  But you and I both know that it began when school ended last year.  Because what you did over the summer (or didn’t do) makes a difference.  Did you read the assigned book(s)?  Did you finish the summer math packet you are supposed to turn in at the beginning of the year?  Please tell me you did.  And if you didn’t, then please get it done!  Those assignments are most likely going to be graded and if we’re going to keep your A, they need to be completed.  No excuses!

I hope you like your teachers this year.  But if you don’t, please don’t allow your feelings to bring your grade down.

Example:  My son didn’t like one of his teachers at all a few years ago.  He just didn’t like the class – didn’t like the subject, didn’t like the way she taught it, didn’t like the content and didn’t like anything about it!  But he needed the class and had to pass it.  Because he was angry, he didn’t want to work for her and didn’t complete his assignments.  In his head, he was annoying her by not working.  But when I explained that he’s giving her the easy way out by simply throwing a zero in the grade book for no assignment done, he was making her life easier.  Instead, I suggested that he do the homework, turn it in and make her work to grade it!  Ok, I know you are probably shaking your head saying, And he fell for that?  But he did fall for it.  He understood that he was bothering her by doing the work and it ended up giving him a great grade when the year was over because in his mind he was consistently annoying her since he found her to be so annoying!  And yes, he knew all along what I was doing, but he also found a way to change his thinking and not hurt his grade!  Funny thing is, he ended up liking the class in the end because he gave it a chance to be liked!

It’s all about your perception.  Did you know that?  What you perceive when it comes to school is a choice that you make every day.  You choose to do the work or not.  You choose to study or not.  You choose to act rambunctiously or not.  You’ve got the power to make your life better or worse.  Choose wisely!  You don’t have to continue down a path you don’t like anymore.  Change direction!  Start to do your work and annoy your teachers!  You never know what may happen that’s good!  At least you’ll have good grades!  And if you’re bored at home, you’ll now have something to do.

This is your life and you’ve got to live it, but don’t throw away opportunities to make your life better.  Getting good grades and learning everyday are win-wins for all!  Learning something new everyday grows your brain.  Getting good grades opens doors to all sorts of opportunities.  Making connections with your teachers and getting involved in clubs and/or sports, helps to  broaden your life interests and expands your connections and friend group.

But what if you’re shy?  Or feel you are not liked?  Or you’re a loner?  What if they bully you?   You feel out of place?  You have a hard home life?  Nobody understands you.

Come here dear one – let me hug you.  Let me walk beside you on this path.  You are not alone even though you feel that way now.  Many of us have felt that way too, but we are still here.  We are here to help you go through those life lessons too.

Reach out to trusted friends or faculty members.  Go see the nurse or the school counselor.  They are trained to help you through these hard times.  I know it’s hard to ask for help, but it’s your life and you deserve all the help you can get.  Talk with your parents if you can.  Speak from your heart.  Be honest.  Tell them what’s going on.

I want you to know that I feel for you.  I have children of my own and they tell me what you have to deal with on a daily basis.  That’s why I want to hug you for all you have going on daily, in addition to school.   Life has become more complicated than we realize as teachers and parents and adults.  But that’s no excuse for you to not do your best or choose to be the best you can be!

If you’re having a tough time with your parents, let me explain a bit.  It’s not necessarily you, but sometimes it’s your parent who is projecting their stuff because your parent is frustrated with the current circumstances.  You need to elevate your game and work harder.  This is your life so you owe it to yourself to do your best.  I want to remind you  that nobody’s perfect and that your parents are trying to do their best under the circumstances, but that you need to do your part as well.    I want to remind you that your  parents’ frustration with you is real and you need to be mindful of it.  Your job as a student is to work to your potential and be the best you can be.  But that the criticism you are  hearing in your parent’s voice is more out of frustration and not knowing how to help you.  They do love you a lot!  They are trying to understand what’s going on, but it’s hard for them.  Share with them what’s going on!  Tell them if you can’t see the board or if you have trouble remembering facts.  Tell them if you’re the last one picked for a team for gym and how it makes you feel (I was that girl myself.  I know how it feels.)  Perhaps they will understand too.

You are dealt the cards of life.  Each of us has our own set to play and nobody’s life is perfect.  No matter what you think, let me repeat, nobody’s life is perfect.  The best lesson in life is to know what your cards are and how to play them for the best life.  I don’t mean cheating with your cards either or taking the easy way out and turning to drugs because you can’t deal with your situation.  Nope.  There are other choices that are healthier and better for you.  I know it feels hard at times.  But remember,

You matter.  You count.  You are worthy of your special place here in this world.  Believe me.  The universe and God don’t make mistakes. 

I’m sure some may have extenuating circumstances not discussed in this note.  But the same advice applies to you – reach out!  Ask for help!  There are many people that are in place to help you on this journey of life!  Look around!  We’re all here ready to lend a helping hand, to give advice, to share a hug, to applaud good effort and most importantly, to help you up if you fall down.

So why do you feel like you’re doing all the work here?  Because it’s your life!  It’s YOUR life and together we are going to make it the BEST it can be!  But we all need your involvement in order to make it work!  Teachers, parents, adults, friends, and faculty are all here to support you in your life  But you have to let us in to help you along the way.

Choose wisely dear teenagers.  Make us work to give you the best life possible!  You deserve it!  Have the BEST YEAR YET!  Big hugs and lots of love from me to you! ♥

Shine On!

xo

 

Parenting The School Year

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Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, parent and even student, I’m here to give you some suggestions for the coming school year.  Yesterday I told you about how I gave an A at the beginning of the year and asked my students to keep it.  Today I want to remind you how to parent the school year better.  You can tune me out now, I understand.  But if you stick around and keep reading, maybe something will resonate with you.

While I’m giving your child an A, a fresh start for the school year, it helps if you do this as well at home.  Everyone deserves a fresh beginning of the school year and if your child has had tough school years in the past, now is not the time to remind them of their past failures.  Now is the time to encourage them that this is a new year and a clean slate on which to begin again.

Let me reiterate that important message:

This is a new school year!  Encourage your child! 

Elevate the possibilities in their head that this can be a good year because it can!

I hate parent/teacher meetings when you tell me, in front of your teenagers, all of their faults.  Time and again, I’ve heard, He’s lazy.  He doesn’t do his work.  I’m always telling him to go to bed earlier.  That’s why he’s tired, because he’s playing those video games, etc.  He’s not like me.  I was an A student.  I work so I can’t watch him all the time or make him study at this age.  He needs to want to do it.  My gosh, doesn’t anyone teach them how to study?  Back in my day….And so on and so forth…you get the picture, right?

Do you ever think to look at your child who stands there listening either belligerently or with his head hanging down with embarrassment or maybe even a mixture of both?  How do you think he feels after your tirade?

Because I’m standing there listening to a stressed parent whose guilt and myopic view is plain to see.  All I want to do is hug you and to assure you that with a few tweaks, you can begin to heal the relationship with your child.  Because I’ve seen what happens when the divide between parent/child increases.  The wounds grow deeper until there’s little left to mend a relationship.

I know you’re frustrated with how things are going with your child at school.  I know you are overworked and upset.  I know you don’t really mean all that you just said, but that you are at your wits end and you don’t know what you can do to change it for your child.  I know that you’re not telling me how ugly the atmosphere can feel at home and how you feel like you’ve failed as a parent.  I know.  It happens.  They’re called teenagers for a reason.  Don’t you remember being a teenager too?

Let’s look on the bright side.  A new school year means you get a fresh start too!  Enjoy the clean slate and all it brings to your family unit!  Elevate the expectations – share meals more often, take time to chat with your children one on one, be open and listen (keep your judgments to yourself), hug your child and tell them something nice everyday.

I have never met a child who didn’t want a good relationship with their parents.  Funny thing is, parents often tell me that the kid has rejected them, but it’s the other way around usually.  When you don’t act like you care or you put work or other responsibilities as a priority consistently above your child, then that builds resentment.  Innately your child wants to love and be loved by you.  They want that connection.  But when you break it due to other commitments or choosing another child over him, or only criticizing him and putting him down instead of elevating him or complimenting him, you are at fault.  I’m sorry.   Under typical circumstances, you are the one at fault and I’m willing to tell you.  Not to hurt you, but to help you to get your act together this school year and be the parent he deserves you to be and you deserve to be.

Carve out some time with your children.  Clearly list your expectations and what they can expect from you.  There is not always a dictatorship in parenting.  Sometimes a democracy works really well too and it doesn’t lessen your power.  It actually increases the power of the family unit!  More on that tomorrow in case you’re interested.

Shine On!

xo

Thanks Daily Post for the ELEVATE prompt today!