Tag Archive | truth

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!

 

 

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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

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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