I saw this on Facebook, and it made me think. I thought maybe this would resonate with some of you parents as well.
Pursue your Joy
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of work and writing. I’ve made some headway on my story and I’m loving where this is going. Hopefully, this is the one.
But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about doing what brings you joy. Many people grow up believing there’s a single career path they need to follow because it’ll lead them to success. They work hard to achieve this lustrous goal only to find when they achieve it, they aren’t as happy as they thought they’d be.
Now a lot of this is the fault of parents who with good intentions wish to raise self-sufficient adults. But instead of telling our kids they need to make a lot of money. Let’s tell them to find what brings them joy and do that. Maybe if we had kids pursuing those dreams we’d have fewer unhappy teens and fewer teen suicides.
I know what you’re thinking, if we have kids pursuing a dream of being an artist and they can’t sell their art, how do they become self-sufficient? A very good question and I am here with an answer.
In order to pursue their joy, a young adult has to be able to support their dream. They must buy paint, brushes, and canvases, right? So, to do that they’ll have to get a job. Now, the job isn’t all that important, it’s just money to support their dream, but they’ll learn so much from that job. They’ll learn how to get along with people. They’ll learn negotiating skills, and most importantly, they’ll learn what they don’t want to do with their lives. That’s an important lesson to learn, don’t you think?
Another reason everyone should pursue their joy is because it builds resilience. It’s true. I’ve found that a person can handle their bad days on the job, if they know they’re working there for something other than just the money. If they know it’s helping them obtain some other goal.
If they’re there just for the money, they may start to feel trapped and that leads to depression.
So, teach your kids to chase their joy. Whatever it may be. It’ll teach them so much about life and give them direction. Moving forward is important, but we as parents can’t pick our kids lifestyles and goals. They must pick those for themselves. So, why not encourage them to chase something that makes them happy?
Now, most kids have more than one goal. Let’s say they want to be an artist, and have a family. So, now they have more than one goal, and they need to find a job that can support both goals. So, now they really have to think about how to do that. They may start looking into careers that require artistic talent like a graphic artist or an architect. See how this all works? They reached their goals pursuing what they loved to do, and they’re happy.
I know this sounds simplistic, and there are many ways obstacles appear on everyone’s journey, but when you break it down, it really is as uncomplicated as this.
Thanks for reading my post. What makes you happy? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!
Sextortion: Another Danger on Social Media
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and writing, but enough about that. This week I was saddened by the news that a young boy in our state committed suicide. I didn’t know the boy, but whenever I hear of a teen killing themselves it upsets me.
This particular boy was talking with a young girl on social media. Only she wasn’t a young girl, she was a predator posing as a young girl. This predator sent this teen a naked picture of herself and manipulated this boy into sending a naked picture of himself.
Within seconds of sending that picture, the predator sent him a message telling him if he didn’t pay $5000.00, then the predator would post his picture all over social media. Can you imagine the terror this young man felt? His shame and embarrassment? He sent them all the money he had, but the predator demanded more.
This poor child thought the only recourse he had was to kill himself. Can you imagine the depths of his despair? He was a bright kid with a bright future.
These predators are ruthless and smart. They know how to manipulate a young mind. So, parents please talk to your teens about the dangers of social media. They have enough to deal with navigating the trials and tribulations of high school without some predator stalking them on sites they go to to virtually hang out.
The authorities are calling this sextortion.
To prevent this from happening to your child, talk to them about the dangers of social media, even if they don’t want to hear it. Keep the lines of communication open so when they’re unsure about a situation they’ll feel comfortable talking to you, and if they don’t make sure they have a trusted adult in their lives they can go to.
Remember, predators are ruthless. The more you as a parent are involved with your kids, the less likely their manipulations will work on your child. I’m not a psychologist but I do know that parental involvement is the name of the game. Keep showing up for your kids even if they push you away.
They may act like you’re irritating them, but they’ll appreciate you just the same. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you protect your child from predators on social media? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
Raising a Highly Sensitive Child
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week off due to an illness. I can’t remember when I’ve been so sick, but it’s over now and I’m on the mend.
Today, I’d like to talk about dealing with a sensitive child. I have one and I was one, so I know they need to be handled a little differently than a more rambunctious toddler.
It has been proven that sensitivity and intelligence are linked. The more sensitive you are the more intelligent you are. I’ve noticed with my sensitive guy, that this is true. He gets good grades with ease, and he learns things quickly.
Highly-sensitive boys feel their emotions deeply and because of this they can become overwhelmed. They can also stretch themselves too thin. They tend to be people pleasers and perfectionists. So, we as parents need to help them to set healthy boundaries and teach them just because they feel everything doesn’t mean they’re responsible for it.
Many highly sensitive people get trapped in taking on too much responsibility in situations because they feel the emotions of a person in agony, and try to solve the problem when it isn’t their problem. So, teaching them healthy boundaries and what they’re actually responsible for is a must.
For our sensitive littles, home must be a safe haven. Try to keep conflict to a minimum, especially between parents. Sensitive kids can zero in on a conflict and it can stress them out. Try to handle your conflicts in a calm manner, and if you can’t, try to keep it away from your sensitive kids.
Encourage your sensitive child to express their needs. Tell them they’re an important member of the family, and their needs need to be met. Many sensitive kids grow up putting their needs last because they care about other people so much.
Because they feel things so deeply, we as parents have to be careful about discipline. Most sensitive kids don’t need to be harshly disciplined. They need to know they are still loved in spite of their mistakes. A calm conversation with them is really all that’s needed. At least, that has been my experience. Also having a connection with their family is important, too. So, family fun nights are a must.
So, there you have it, my experience dealing with a sensitive child. How about you? What are your experiences? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
So Sorry, I’ve been Sick
So sorry everyone, I’ve been sick and unable to write a post this week. I’m on the mend and will be back next week. Take care everyone!
Stress Relief in A Chaotic World
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of working, writing, and kids. I’m making progress on the changes I wanted to make in my story, and I’m excited about that.
But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about relieving the stress of every day life. I’ve written about it before, but it bares repeating because we humans need to be reminded. Life can be too much sometimes with all these train derailments and mass shootings. These events whether or not they’re close or far away, cause stress. So, stress relief and self-care are more important than ever.
So, here’s a short list of my go-to stress relievers. I hope they help you, like they’ve helped me.
- Hiking. I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m in the woods the stress just melts away. I love hiking. The Japanese call this Forest-bathing, and there is scientific proof that the trees in the forest release phytoncides which boosts our immune system. So not only is hiking through the woods good for you mentally, it’s good for you physically, too.
- Reading. Reading fiction is also an excellent way to reduce stress. Did you know if you read for only fifteen minutes a day, it’ll reduce your stress level by 68%? I love that. I love the idea that I can escape my problems for a little while, and when I focus on them again. They’re not quite as big.
- Exercise. Another great way to relieve stress other than hiking is doing some form of exercise. I run and let me tell you the Runner’s high is real. I feel so good after a run and the stress I’m dealing with at the moment melts away.
- Yoga. Yoga is another way to destress. It calms the mind while increasing your flexibility and stability. I love yoga, when I’m done, I’m totally relaxed, but more aware. It’s an awesome feeling.
- Going to the Beach. Did you know, just being by the water releases stress? I know I always feel better after a walk along the beach. I love watching the sun set over the water. I recommend walking barefoot. This is called Grounding, and there is evidence to support that grounding is good for your health. It has been found to reduce inflammation, pain, and stress. It also improves blood flow, energy, and sleep. You can ground anywhere, too. It doesn’t have to be at the beach. Just kick off your shoes and go!
So, there you have it, five ways to destress in this stressful world we live in. How do you relieve your stress? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
Saving the Earth
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week at work and writing. I also took some time to get together with friends this weekend and walk down memory lane a little bit. I needed a night out, but enough about that. Today, I want to talk about cleaning up our planet for the next generation.
The first thing I want to address is taking better care of our oceans. Eighty percent of pollution in the oceans is plastic waste. Approximately, ten million metric tons of plastic enters our oceans every year, killing marine life, fish, and seabirds.
This is not just a United States problem. This is a global problem. We need to recycle and get everyone around the globe on board with it. The oceans are keeping our planet alive they provide at least half of the oxygen for the earth. It’s imperative we start cleaning them up now.
But what can we do individually?
We can recycle. That’s the biggest step we can take as individuals. The less plastic we use the better. We can stop using pollutants like bug sprays and fertilizers. All of these find their way to the ocean.
So, by taking these steps we can take care of the ocean, but pollutants also have a negative effect on our land. They seep into our drinking water and contaminate our soil which makes growing food that much harder, and let’s not forget about the Bee. This little insect is so important for pollination, which is essential for us humans in growing our food. The use of insecticides kills these pollinators.
We should start growing our food organically and stop using pesticides all around the world. I know this will be hard to do, but if we get everyone around the world to agree to some kind of treaty, it’s not impossible.
I want our earth to be a viable place to live for future generations. I’m sure you do too. What steps do you think we can take now to ensure our kids have a sustainable planet? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
Raising Empathetic Kids
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back after a busy week at work. I’ve been working on my story, too, but it’s not going as fast as I hoped it would. Life keeps getting in the way. LOL.
But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about empathy. Did you know that kids today are 40% less empathetic than they were thirty years ago? That is a scary statistic. On the positive side though, empathy can be taught.
Good parenting is more important than ever now. Our world has changed dramatically with the surge in technological advances. With our ability to create our image on social media regardless if it is true or not, and the way our politicians spin their stories to look the best to voters is an indication these changes aren’t always positive.
So, what can parents do to make sure they’re raising empathetic kids? The first step is to make sure parents provide a positive environment where kids feel secure. This creates an environment where they feel safe and is the foundation for a positive learning environment. So, let’s talk about empathy.
There are two types of empathy. The first is affective empathy. This is something we’re born with, and whether we develop it further depends on our experiences and environment. So how do we flex our children’s empathic muscle?
We must help kids develop self-regulating tools. Tools that help them regulate their own negative emotions. Once they know how to handle their own emotions, they’ll be able to identify those types of emotions in others. Studies have shown kids who know how to regulate their own negative emotions show greater empathetic concern for others.
This means we acknowledge negative emotions rather than dismissing them. Become an emotion coach. Help your child understand their emotions by labeling and defining them, then give them ways to deal with them.
Another tip is for parents to understand how guilt and shame play a role in empathy. For example, if a child feels guilty because he made a bad choice, and it resulted in a negative outcome for another, he’ll more than likely feel empathy toward the other child. However, if a parent tries to shame that child into feeling empathy, he won’t. He’ll resist what his parents are attempting to teach him because he doesn’t like feeling ashamed and instead of being receptive, he’ll be defensive.
Another aspect of empathy is cognitive empathy. This is where your child looks at a situation from another person’s perspective. One good way to do this is to read a story and discuss the events from the perspective of different characters. Did you know that children who read are more empathetic? Studies have shown that children who read have brains that become sensitized to the fictional characters, and this spills over into the real world by teaching kids to see things from another perspective.
So, there you have it a few tips to help teach empathy to our kids. Let’s turn that statistic around. How about you? Do you have some tried and true tips to teaching empathy? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
Other articles on empathy:
Another Mass Shooting: What are the Signs?
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and writing. I’m trying to revise my story and make it better, so there’s a lot of noodling involved with that, but I’ve figured out how I want to put it together. Now, I just have to worry about the word count, but enough about that. Last week I spoke about raising resilient kids, and today I’d like to piggy back off of that and talk about mass shootings.
These events are on the rise in our society, and it has me worried. Many experts say mental health plays a role in these shootings, and I agree. We as parents have to do a better job of raising resilient kids, so they are less likely to have mental health problems. Studies have been conducted, and they consistently show that higher levels of resilience mean lower levels of mental health issues. So, there’s one way to solve the problem, but this is something that will take years to change.
So, what can we do now? That is a very good question. Mental health is a key factor in mass shootings. The shooter usually has some mental issue they’re dealing with, and they exhibit signs of violence before they commit the crime. There are warning signs that we have to look out for. They are listed below.
Pathway. They start planning or preparing for their attack. These mass shootings are not impulsive, they are planned, and the shooter will develop a plan and start gathering ammunition and making bombs. So, we as parents need to be vigilant if we see our children purchasing guns and ammunition, we need to step in and assess the situation, and reach out to authorities if the problem persists.
Fixation. If someone becomes fixated on a cause or a person, and they talk about violent actions. This is another big warning sign.
Identification. This is another big warning sign. A young person (usually a young male) will identify with other mass shooters before he decides to become one himself.
Energy Burst. The shooter will increase his behavior as he gathers his weapons and puts his plan into action. There will be a decline in his online activity.
Leakage. This occurs in 60 to 90% of targeted attacks, where the shooter communicates his intention to a third party, usually days or hours before the attack.
Directly Communicated Threat. This least frequent but bears acknowledgement. Most mass shooters will not directly threaten their target because they don’t want to fail in their attempt, but it does happen.
Novel Aggression. A potential shooter will test their ability to be violent by creating a one-off situation. This is usually manifests in the shooter picking a fight or killing an animal.
Last Resort. The shooter will say things illustrating an urgent need to act violently within a specific amount of time.
I received this information from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2022/05/28/8-warning-signs-mass-shooter-according-experts/9966901002/
Click the above link for more information.
The warning signs are clear, but we have to pay attention to them. What should you do if you witness a someone showing the above signs? If you’re a student, tell your principal or a teacher so they can act. If you’re an adult and you witness these signs in your neighbor or colleague, tell the authorities. It’s their job to address situations like this. So, there you have it. The warning signs of a mass shooter. Have you ever seen any of these signs before? What did you do? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
Are Your Kids Resilient?
Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week of working and running, but sadly not writing, but I hope to remedy that this weekend. But enough about that. Today, I’d like to blog about building resilience in our kids?
It seems like mass shootings are on the rise, suicides are on the rise, and our mental health is declining. These factors tell me that we need to build resilience in our kids. Life is hard and we need to help them handle the curveballs life throws at all of us.
So, how do we create resilience in our kids? I did a little research and I found there are seven key components to building resiliency.
- Competence. Building competence goes beyond getting good grades. One of the best ways to build competence is to ask your child to complete a chore. Have him or her help around the house. Being able to cook and clean for themselves makes our children have confidence in their ability to take care of themselves which is also an important element of self-care.
- Confidence. In order to build confidence, we as parents need to praise them on their efforts as opposed to their intelligence. Kids who have a high level of confidence will be able to bounce back from failing a task. They are more likely to say they’re tactic didn’t work as opposed to they don’t have the ability to do the task. This is an important distinction.
- Connection is another key component. Our children need to feel connected to the people around them, their family and friends. Disconnection is an element in mass shootings and suicides. We can help our kids feel connected when they’re struggling to master a skill by sharing our own stories of when we struggled. Knowing that it’s normal to struggle when mastering a skill will help them to overcome their frustration and accomplish their goal.
- Secure in their character. Studies show that children are born with an innate desire to do the right thing. We as parents can help foster that by encouraging empathic behavior and helping them develop an internal moral compass.
- Contributors. To help kids feel like contributors, show them how their efforts made the family event a success. Have them help with dinner or with the task of cleaning up, then tell them how their efforts made the task go faster or made it easier for you. Show them their actions matter.
- Cope. The ability to cope is another key factor in building resilience. Kids may appear confidence, but when things don’t go according to plan, they fall apart. The ability to manage difficult emotions when faced with adversity helps them view the challenge as a stumbling block. Something they can overcome as opposed to believing the task is beyond them.
- Control. The last factor is control. When a child is raised with consistent caregivers and clear boundaries and connected to the adults in their lives, they feel less stress when challenges arise.
For more information on Building Resilience, click https://www.whitbyschool.org/passionforlearning/7-key-characteristics-of-resilient-children
So, there you have it. The seven key components to building resilience in your kids. How do you build resilience? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!