Tag Archive | truth

Elevate Your Relationship With Your Child

elevateyourrelationshipwithyourchild

Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, I’m writing to you from the heart.  As a parent myself, and a former teacher and as a humanitarian, yes, I’m going to suggest how you parent your sweet children.  You may choose to tune out here and click off my letter or maybe you just might want to read what I have to say to see if it resonates with you.

Let me begin by telling you I am not the perfect parent, teacher nor humanitarian.  Not by a long shot am I perfect.  But I feel the need to tell you honestly what I’m seeing and it’s not pretty dear friends.  You may or may not be aware of it, but it’s there – that wounded spot between you and your child.  You know the one I mean.  You sense it because you know that he’s mad with you and you feel guilty for whatever you’ve not done.  Or maybe you’re really as clueless about it as you seem.  But I don’t buy it.  I think you know, but you’re afraid to touch that wounded part of your child and yourself.

Example:  You are busy with work, your family, your life and all that’s around you.  You live in a tizzy of busy because you are doing the best you can to provide for your family, to work at your career, to be a good wife/husband, to parent, to raise your family and maybe even take care of your own parents as well.  You’re stressed beyond words and everyone knows it.  You are doing the best you can and I applaud you.  But I know you’re not happy because that wound rears its ugly head when it comes to your child.

You feel guilty because your child is wounded by you.  There, let’s speak plainly.  What you say, how you react, what you don’t say or don’t do, has built up a laundry list in your child’s mind to feel wounded by you.  What’s worse is that you think that what he holds against you may be true and if you had more time, if you weren’t working, if you didn’t have so many children, etc., you’d not have made those mistakes.  You’ve got a litany of excuses and guilt that he doesn’t want to hear.  But you’re not telling him that anyway.  You’re living with the wound yourself and it’s festering in your daily interactions with him.  It’s like a runaway train which at every non-stop at a station, gets worse and the momentum of hurt builds.

You must be willing to change in order for you and your child to begin to rebuild your relationship.  I’ve found that honesty works well here as it almost always does when it comes to communication between people, be it parent/child relationships or for that matter, any relationship between people.  Open communication is key.  Taking the quiet opportunity when there’s not a lot of stress involved between you, makes it easier for each person to hear what the other person is saying.  Blame is not an option here so don’t bring it into the conversation.  Explain clearly what you expect from your child and what he can expect from you.  Show examples of when he was successful and when you were as well and highlight the times when you worked together and succeeded at a common goal.  Remind him of the fun times together and let him know how you miss that connection with him.  Tell him plainly how you miss that connection and how you would like to reconnect and ask him for advice.  Let him tell you what he needs from you and you can do the same.  Be on the same page as a team.  Keep the dialogue open and be ready to hear how he feels even if it’s hard.  It may take a few conversations before he will open up, but most teenagers want to reconnect because they need you as much as you need them.  But you need to set the example for that give and take trusting conversation and not react to anything he says that you may not like.  You need to be the grownup and own how what’s happened makes him feel, especially when you may find it hitting too close to home.  It’s hard to accept when your teenager tells you the truth as he sees it and you may have to accept that he’s right and not give excuses as to why you did whatever it is that you did.  This is not to say that you need to take all the blame and guilt here either, for it’s a two way street in any relationship.  But in giving your child the opportunity to speak his mind respectfully, just as it will be when you are given the same opportunity, allows for healing to begin.

It takes time to repair wounds for anyone, but especially that parent/child relationship as it sets the stage for his future relationships.  Even the most wounded of us wants peace and forgiveness and to feel loved and respected.  I don’t think it’s ever too late to try, for you never know when you may succeed.

Relationships fall apart over time and don’t always heal quickly.  But with patience and kindness we can repair and reconnect with others in the most miraculous of ways.  It takes a commitment to reconnect, but I’ve found that it’s so well-worth it when we do!

Work on making your home a safe and loving environment where family means that we love each other and that we work together for the common good and love that binds us.  You role model that in your home – peace, love, kindness – so foster it in every moment!

Be kind to yourself, dear parent.  Sometimes life just happens the way it does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our relationships with effort on both parts.  If you really feel disconnected from your child, make the effort and if it’s not too late, you may be surprised at the amazing relationship that comes out of your opening up the conversation to reconnect in the first place!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

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Brave

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Brave lion biting his tongue.

I want to see you be brave is a line from a Sara Bareilles song.  Being brave requires honesty with ourselves and others.  It’s hard to be vulnerable and courageous at the same time.  Sometimes it’s easier to just let things be, let relationships chug along without upsetting the proverbial apple cart.  We get complacent and we don’t want to rock the boat for fear of What will they think?  What will happen to me?

But what I’ve learned is an old saying from my Mom:

Those that mind, don’t matter,

those that matter, don’t mind.

But in reality, sometimes it does hugely matter to us what others are thinking and saying about us behind our backs or in front of our faces because we want the best of us to shine on and not be dirtied by judgments from others.  And that’s where your brave comes in and matters.

Finding peace within to be who we are is a gift that we give to ourselves and to the Universe.  It’s a choice that we make everyday and a decision that we ultimately have the control over at every moment in time.

I struggle with wanting to say how I feel in some relationships.  And sadly, I don’t say what I want to say and let the words fall out.  Why?  Because it’s easier to keep peace.  I don’t want to hurt anyone.  I shy away from being brave out of fear.

I’m learning slowly to stand in the truth, the facts and be with what is.  Some relationships have slowly faded away because I just don’t have the energy.  Sure, I listen and play nicely, but I know it’s a superficial relationship.  Do you have those kind too?  You’re nice.  They’re nice.  But there’s no real trusted connection anymore?

I think life has a way of re-arranging our relationships for the better if we would only let it.  We fight it because of the belief we have in our heads about how things should be.  But who says that’s right to begin with?  Who says we know best?

I wish we could all be brave and speak our truths.  But to do that, there must be trust within the listener because otherwise, it’s all for naught.

It’s like when you are so depressed and someone asks how you are, you answer fine and move the conversation along.  If we could all speak from the heart, listen from the heart and hold hands through the hardships, there would be less disgrace in the world and more love.

Here’s to hoping for more heartlights shining, more truth and connections growing and cheers to being brave.

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!

 

 

Sundowners and Alzheimer’s Disease

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One of the challenges with having a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease is sundowners.  Sundowners is a symptom of Alzheimer’s and Dementia whereby your loved one becomes more confused mentally towards the end of the day (hence the name).  There are wide variations of sundowners including utter confusion, wandering, aggression, shadowing (meaning they follow you around), repeatedly asking questions that they do not remember that they’ve asked and rapid mood changes which can range from crying (depression) to fear to stubbornness to restlessness and even to rocking back and forth in an effort to self-soothe.  Not all of the symptoms of sundowners occur every night, nor are they the same for every person.  I’ve written about it before here in case you are interested.

My Aunt suffered from sundowners which was hard on her and on her caregivers.  It always seemed to increase in intensity when the moon was full, when we changed to/from daylight savings time and when the seasons changed.  I think there’s more to outside forces than we may think!

My Mom has occasional bouts of sundowners as well, but confusion is her main symptom.  We were having a conversation recently after 6pm which was lovely when suddenly, her knowledge base fell completely out of her head.  We had been discussing my children, her grandchildren, whom she knew by name, by age and was interactively talking about them when suddenly she interrupted me,

I have to ask you.  Do you have children?

Yes, Mom.  I have children.  You have grandchildren!

Oh my, I didn’t know you were old enough to have children.  How many do you have?  Do they live with you?

I have to say that years ago, I would have been utterly distraught to hear her ask me that question right in the middle of talking about my children when she was fully cognizant of their presence, knowing who they are and having seen them recently.  But I have learned that Alzheimer’s is sneaky and can interrupt a loved one’s knowledge base in a split second, rendering them unaware.  So I simply continued the conversation with her, telling her about my children and reminding her gently of their names.

Suddenly, it was like she was back in her mind and she began reminiscing about them with memories of their childhood that she knew.  We laughed together and enjoyed the connection.  This went on for a bit when suddenly the blip happened again and we had to begin all over.  Then at one point, she was thinking that I was her sister and was asking me if I remembered certain things about her childhood.  But all along the conversation, one part was perfectly clear – my Mom loves me, trusts me and knows my name for which I am ever grateful!  That is the piece of peace that stays with me long after confusing conversations and even throughout them.  My Mom loves me and knows how much I love her – what more can you ask for?

I have to remind myself that it’s just part of the disease.  As I’ve written before, when we stay calm, we can flow with whatever comes up.  It’s taken me a long time to get to this place of peace and acceptance.  I had to get the belief that this isn’t how it should be out of my head and simply accept and be with what is.

I keep her sense of calm foremost in my head.  I keep conversations light and happy.  I do answer her questions with truth when she asks, if I think that they will not hurt her.  But as you have seen, Swinging With Mom sometimes we have to repeat the truth which is hard.  It takes patience, love and a sense of humor to love everyone and Mom is here to remind me to strengthen the bonds of love and acceptance for all who are in my life.  Thank you Mommy!

Shine On!

xo

 

By An Accidental Butt Dial, I Got An Important Message

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I heard my phone ringing, but I didn’t reach it before it went to voicemail.  When I listened to the message from the person, I realized that they had called me in error.  Normally, when I can tell that someone didn’t know they were leaving a message, I simply delete.  But something made me listen to the full message.   I overheard their full conversation clearly and it was eye-opening.

Because they remarked about me and not in a nice way.

So please be careful with your phones.  This is not the first time I’ve been butt dialed and overheard a conversation not meant for me and it may not be the last.

Has this ever happened to you?

There are gifts in the Universe that come through technology, like this one.  Surely we’ve all had times when our computer doesn’t let us do something only to find out that it was a gift that we didn’t send that email or buy that new dress.  Ha Ha!  There are times when we are delayed by stop lights, only to find that we have missed an accident up ahead.  Sometimes we are protected by technology and sometimes we learn from it.

The Universe delivers messages to us by all different channels when we are aware.  What we may deem coincidence or synchronicity is a clear message to help us along the way and to reveal the truth.

Knowledge is power, even when it hurts.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

What To Do When You Fear The Truth

whattodowhenyoufearthetruth

What To Do When You Fear The Truth

Recently I had a startling experience with an uninvited guest in my home with whom, unbeknownst to me, I was sharing my discarded vittles.  Yup, you guessed it ~ I had a mouse in my house!

I screamed and continued howling in fear as the mouse and I met unexpectedly one evening.  We both stared at each other, frozen in fear from my continued screeching until he finally got hold of his senses and scurried back into hiding.  The tears and fear erupted in me, like a volcano spewing and I began to shake, still staring at the place we had met.  It took quite awhile for me to calm down as the fear leapt into my brain and I worried where he’d gone, how he’d gotten in and if he had a family of squatters now residing in my home.  And, to top it all off, why in the world weren’t my two diva cats patrolling the house?  Weren’t cats supposed to chase mice?

This whole episode led me to facing the truth with a heartful of anxiety every morning for days when I would be fear finding out the truth ~ were there more mice?  Had they returned to my home?  Were they indeed making a nest here or were they just passing through?

It seems to me, until the truth of any situation is thrust into our faces, that we fear the truth.  We fear knowing something that changes our lives.  We turn a blind eye to happenstance evidence, preferring to not make waves in what we deem the tranquility and peace in our lives.  But as I’ve learned, we can’t put off the inevitable.  It happens in the blink of an eye and many times at the most inconvenient of times and yet, with Divine Timing.

So the next time you are fearing the truth in any situation, know in your heart that facing your fears like the cat and mouse above, only makes things easier.  For once you know the truth, you can deal with the situation.  You can ask for advice, you can connect with others and you can eventually move on after you’ve processed the fear of change.  This bodes well for almost any life situation that you fear.

Take a giggle from my mouse adventure today and know that no matter what truth you are facing, you have a friend in me.

Shine On!

xo