Posted in Family, Parenting, Teen

Developing Emotional Intelligence

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I have to apologize, I’ve been neglecting my blog because I’ve been focusing on getting my story together. It’s getting there and I’m loving it. So, sorry, but I’m not sorry. 😊

 

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Today, I’d like to talk about family time. It’s so important in today’s busy world. When did we become such a busy society? We’re always doing instead of taking moments to enjoy each other and our family members. My kids are growing up way too fast. It’s driving me crazy how fast they’re growing up. I’m trying to slow it down, but I can’t. It’s like a runaway freight train. So, I try to plan family nights and we try to eat our evening meals together. We also try to have one evening of family time where we watch a movie together or play cards.

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We were playing hearts last night and the boys were laughing because they were making sure I got all the hearts and the Queen of Spades. All the hearts except for a couple, so I couldn’t shoot the moon, but I digress. Anyway they were ganging up on me because that’s their way of saying they love me. 😉

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Out of the blue, my oldest says, “Look at her face. She’s getting mad.”

I wasn’t mad, but I wasn’t happy either and he picked up on that and the boys stopped teasing me. I still lost, but that’s beside the point.

I was happy to hear my son pick up on my frustration. I don’t like being ganged up on, and he could tell. This is an important lesson, and I’m glad my kids are learning it. They are developing their emotional intelligent.

Emotional intelligence is so important in life. Our teens need to be able to gauge when their spouse, or boss, or a co-worker are upset with them. All the screen time kids get takes away from their ability to pick up on social cues. So, we as parents have to provide them emotional intelligence lessons and I feel that last night was a good one. Even if I did lose. 😉

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I’m trying to give them as many teachable moments as I can because they are going to run into adversity and unfairness in the world. I hope I’m giving them the tools they’ll need to persevere and overcome it. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How about you? How are you helping your kids develop their emotional intelligence? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, raising kids

Protecting your Kids from Predators with Friendly Faces

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of kids, work, and laundry. I’m waiting for summer to begin. We’ve had cold temperatures and rain through most of May after a horrendous winter, so I’m ready for some hot weather. How about you?

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But enough about the weather, today I’d like to talk about a scary statistic. According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, approximately 800,000 children are reported missing each year. That’s 2000 children a day.

 

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This is upsetting. The world is such a dangerous place right now. My hubby used to give me grief for being over-protective, but how can you not be? When pedophiles become troop leaders, teachers, and coaches, how can we be anything but over-protective?

For example, look at what happened at Seton-Keough High school in Baltimore Maryland. The headmaster of the school, Father Maskell, and his group of priests and police officers were abusing the students. Reports were ignored. This abuse has been documented in other Catholic churches as well. The church chose to move these pedophiles from one parish to the next, protecting the abusers. This abuse had been going on for years. We can’t even trust priests. (For more information about the abuse at Seton-Keough high school, check out the Netflix documentary “The Keepers.” It’s very well done.)

 

So, how do you protect your kids? In my research, I’ve found that these pedophiles are smart and manipulative. They prey on kids whose parents are stressed out and can’t be as involved as they’d like to be. The more involved you are with your kids the more likely the pedophile will leave your child alone. They prey on kids who come from one parent homes or there’s alcoholism or drug abuse in the family. They find the needy kids. The ones who need a role model in their lives.

 

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One sign that your child is being groomed by one of these sick individuals is they’re getting special attention from them. The abuser may be buying them gifts or taking them out to dinner. If this is happening, you need to step in and take control of the situation.  This person is being “nice” for a reason, and it’s not a good one.

It’s sad when you can’t even trust a person for being nice to your child, isn’t it? So, the best thing you can do is to be involved with your kids. The better relationship you have with them, the less likely a pedophile will be able to get their claws into them.

The same goes for abusers who kidnap kids to violate and then discard. These people watch and learn your child’s schedule and when they find them in a vulnerable position, they snatch them up. That’s why I’m with my kids at the bus stop. It’s usually dark because they have to be at school so early in the morning, but it’s also not well lit. I wouldn’t let my kids stand out there by themselves, waiting for the bus on such a lonely road.

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Let’s change this horrible statistic by protecting our kids the best way we can. Thanks for reading my post, I kind of picked a frightening subject to write about. Sorry about that. I’ll write something a little lighter next week.

Do you have any ideas on what we can do to change this statistic? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health

Dealing with Toxic People

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I hope you had a wonderful Easter and you were able to spend it with family and friends. I’m back today and I’m talking about dealing with toxic people. Sometimes you work with them, sometimes they’re in one of your social circles, and sometimes they’re in your family.

They’re hard to deal with because you have to constantly keep re-establishing your boundaries because they keep trying to push past them and take control. They view you as a means to their ends and that’s it. Unfortunately.

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The only way to deal with these kinds of people is to firmly establish boundaries and not let them past. They will continue to try and when you’ve had enough, they’ll retreat, but they won’t apologize or change their behavior. Instead, they’ll wait until enough time has passed and then they’ll try again. Don’t fall into this trap. When you recognize the pattern, try to get out of it as fast as you can.

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It’s unfortunate when the toxic person is in your family because you can’t avoid them at family functions and they can make life miserable for you during that event but stay strong. They’ll eventually get the message, and when you don’t respond to their manipulations, they’ll get frustrated and leave you alone. Hopefully.

I’ve found avoidance is the best way to deal with these people. They have no clue they’re unhealthy. Self-awareness isn’t their strong suit, and they have no clue how they affect other people. They don’t care. They’re only trying to achieve their goal, and their goal is manipulating  you to do what they want.

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When you get trapped around these people, though, remember they’re the unhealthy ones and don’t let them past your boundary. Stay strong. It might be exhausting, but you can do it. If you do find they’re wearing you out. Leave. That’s what I do. When I’m tired of putting up with their bad behavior, I go home, and you can too.

What other ways do you deal with toxic people? Leave a message, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Personal, raising kids

Gratitude in the New Year

 

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It’s the New Year and I’m excited for what 2019 has in store for me. I have some stories I need to finish and I’m hoping this year is the year for me to do that.

However, I don’t want to talk about that today. I thought today, I would talk about gratitude. There’s a meme floating around Facebook and it states, if you list three things you’re grateful for every day, you’ll become happy.  Let’s face it, we’re all looking for happiness and it’s so elusive. Hidden behind the mundane routine of our everyday lives. It’s hard to find in the morning traffic jam and the bills we have to pay to keep a roof over our heads, but it’s there.

 

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If you’re smart. You’ll look for it in the simple things, like making your kids their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or getting up at the butt crack of dawn to make sure they make it to the bus stop on time. That’s truly where happiness lies.

I know you’re questioning my logic. After all, crawling out of a warm bed and throwing your coat on over your pajamas to go out in the freezing cold doesn’t sound like much fun. It isn’t, but the fact my kids rely on me to do this every morning makes me happy. We chat for a few minutes as we wait for the bus and they tell me things they don’t mention at the dinner table. I know it doesn’t sound magical, but it is. It is to me. They’re growing up so fast and these moments are becoming fewer and fewer as they develop friendships and become more independent.

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I’m grateful for those moments. I’m also grateful for the moments when we’re together and they give me grief. They enjoy picking on me. I tell them that’s their way of showing me they love me. They deny it, but I know it’s true.

I’m also grateful for those times when we’re up north and night falls. I stand on the dock, taking in the moon and stars, and my family wanders out to take in the night sky with me. I love those moments, especially because my youngest is interested in the stars and our solar system. We chat for a few minutes about them and take in the wonder of the heavens. We connect in a world where most connections are digital, and it’s such an awesome feeling to connect even if it’s only for a few minutes. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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Wow. I’ve listed three things I’m grateful for and you know what? I do feel happier. That meme wasn’t lying.  I’m going to try this for twenty one days and see if it’s permanent. How about you? What are you grateful for? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Family

Strive to be Internally Oriented

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy weekend of writing and Christmas shopping. We’re all done for this year. (I think 😉)

For some reason this year is less stressful. I’m not sure why. Maybe because my boys want a lot of electronics and that’s not my department, that’s my hubby’s. So, the pressure’s off me this year. I hope your shopping is going well.

Well, enough about shopping, today I want to talk about something that’s been kind of nagging at me. I’ve noticed with the social media craze that’s going on that people are becoming more externally oriented instead of internally oriented.

 

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We’re becoming obsessed with followers, likes, and memes. This is unfortunate because we’re ignoring the internal work that we all need to do as individuals. We need to figure out what sets our souls on fire and pursue that. Social media is a distraction not a way of life.

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If we become more internally oriented, we’ll be happier. We’ll stop comparing ourselves to others because we’ll be so busy pursuing what makes us happy we won’t have time for anything else. Being internally oriented makes us more self-aware and self-focused.

This is important for our growth and development because without this awareness we’ll be floating through life reacting to the tides instead of steering our course. As parents, when we’re self-aware, we teach our children to focus on their dreams and goals. We give them permission to pursue them.

 

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So, let’s set that example for our children and start becoming more internally oriented. By focusing on what makes us feel good about ourselves, we don’t have to look outside for validation. This makes us stronger and happier individuals.

Let’s put this social media craze on the back burner and build better relationships with ourselves. By doing this, we’ll be making our relationships with our partners and our children stronger. We’ll have a stronger connection with our family members and that’s where it all starts, isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. What are your thoughts? How do you think we can become more internally oriented? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Posted in Family, Health, Personal

Be Kinder to Yourself, You Deserve It

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of work, writing, and fighting a cold. Yes. I have a horrible cold and a horrible cough that’s just starting to loosen up. Hopefully, by the end of the week my seal bark will be gone, and I’ll be able to breathe easy again, but enough about that.

Today I’d like to talk about something that’s near and dear to my heart. This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of mine.  She was complaining about her weight one day. You see, she has been trying to lose weight and she had been doing well until she hit a plateau. She stalled. She upped her exercise program, and nothing changed. She was frustrated, and she spouted off to me.

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“I’m never going to reach my goal.” She threw up her hands and dropped them on her thighs.

“Mary, (I’ve changed the name to protect the innocent) stop focusing on your weight.”

“I can’t help it. I just have ten more pounds to go. I feel like such a failure. I can’t drop these last pounds for the life of me.”

I told Mary to stop focusing on the one negative thing in her life. Her weight. There are so many other more positive things to focus on, like the fact she has an incredible sense of humor. That she’s kind. That she’s brave. That she’s empathetic. I mean the list literally goes on and on.

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I told her you have all these other positive, wonderful qualities and your weight is a tiny fraction of who you are. It’s not the only thing that makes you, you. Sometimes we’re so busy hyper-focusing on the one aspect we want to change, we forget about all the other amazing aspects that make up our personality and physical body.

When I look at Mary, I don’t see her weight. I see how kind she is to people who need a helping hand. I see how funny she is and how she makes me laugh so hard I almost wet my pants. I see her warmth. I see how she can brighten someone’s day with one of her radiant smiles.

When you add all that up, her weight isn’t a glaring negative. It’s just something she has to work on, and she is. She’s moving in the right direction, and that’s all she can expect of herself.

So, the next time you’re hyper-critical of yourself, take a second and take a broader look and include all the positives you see. I guarantee you, the positives outweigh the negatives. We need to make this a regular practice and we’ll be happier in our lives. Wouldn’t you agree?

Be kinder to yourself. You deserve it.

 

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How about you? Do you see yourself falling into this trap? Do you have any other suggestions on how to avoid it? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Parenting, Personal

How are You Spending Your Life?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after taking some time away from the internet. Sometimes you just need to unplug, right? I’ve been busy with my work, my writing, and my family, just like you, I’m sure.

Today, I’d like to chat about choosing how we spend our lives. We only get so many years on this earth, and since I’m drawing closer to my twilight years, it has become more important than ever  that I spend my life in the way that makes me happy.

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The first thing that needs to be done is that you need to set priorities, and these are different for each individual. I’m sure everyone’s going to say, “I want to be happy” and it’s true, we all do. However, we need to go deeper than that. What makes us happy? What makes our hearts sing and fills us with peace?

You could spend your life chasing after a dream, accomplishing your goals and receiving accolades from an adoring public.

You could spend it creating a warm and loving family.

You could spend it searching for knowledge and inner peace.

You could spend it helping others and being of service to your fellow man.

There are millions of ways to spend your life. You get to choose, and it’s a daunting task for sure.

So, when I decided to make sure I was making the most of my time on earth, the first thing I decided was that I wanted a family, but I also wanted to be home with my kids. I didn’t want to send them off to daycare, but this also meant that I’d have to put my career on hold. This is the hard part. Sometimes when we choose priorities, we have to make sacrifices, and sometimes those sacrifices can be hard, but in the end, I feel like I did the right thing for me.

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While I was home, I rediscovered my love for writing. My passion grew as my writing improved. It seemed like the better I got the more I wanted to do it. I’m sure you’ve been in that situation before as well, when you discovered your passion.

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So, when I look at how many hours I have in the day and where I want to spend my time. I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about the answer because I already know. It makes choosing how I spend my day so much easier because I know what the extraneous garbage is that takes up so much of my time and I know to just let that go. It’s amazing how setting priorities or goals unclutters your mind and your life.

Do I have regrets? No. Does that mean I am a perfect parent? No. It does mean I tried my best. I’m sure there are days I could’ve handled things better, but I’m sure every parent feels that way. Plus, I rediscovered my truest passion and I’m working on improving my craft, and that’s when I seem to be the happiest. Everything else is just extra stuff that used to take up my time. Now every minute counts and that’s how I want to spend my life. How about you? Have you thought about it? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!