Thursday, October 30, 2008

TODAY at 2:00 pm EST: Building responsibility and self-discipline in your child without nagging, screaming, throwing a tantrum, or "Because I say so!"

** Don't forget to tune in TODAY for my Blog Talk Radio interview on this important parenting issue. **

Are you a parent of a pre-teen or teen? If not, please forward this important message to other parents you know.

Have you ever tried to get your child to do what he/she is supposed to do by nagging, screaming or resorting to "Because I say so"? I bet it didn't work so well, did it? You might have felt so frustrated that you wanted to throw a tantrum! (perhaps you did already!)

It's perfectly normal that you feel frustrated, stressed, worried, or even outright furious at times. Parenting is perhaps the most demanding and difficult job in the world. Ironically, none of us ever got pre-job training. For most parents, not so much on-the-job training, either. No wonder so many parents are so lost!

Parenting pre-teens and teens is a roller-coaster ride with many challenges. I know. I've coached many parents over the years, and I have a 13-year-old and a 10-year-old myself. It's not easy. I understand.

How do you build responsibility and self-discipline in your child without nagging, screaming, throwing a tantrum, yelling "Because I say so!" or anything else that could damage your relationship? I will be interviewed by parenting coach Joe Bruzzese on his radio show on this important parenting issue. Make sure you tune in this Thursday October 30th at 2:00 - 2:30 pm EST.

Topic: Building responsibility and self-discipline in your child without nagging, screaming, throwing a tantrum, or "Because I say so!"

We will discuss:

  • What are the common mistakes parents make in parenting pre-teens and teens?
  • What are the challenges for parents?
  • 5 strategies to build responsibility and self-discipline in your child

You can either call in by phone, or log-on via your computer from anywhere with an internet connection. A recorded version of the show will be available on the website the following day.

Listen by Phone (646) 716-7230 When prompted dial 21634

Listen Online: go to at any point from 11:00 - 11:30 AM PST (2:00 – 2:30 PM EST) and click on the button that says, "Listen Live – Blog Talk Radio".

Hope you can tune in!

P.S. Visit Joe's blog Thinking-Forward for his daily (Monday-Friday) Internet TV show. He talks about all sort of issues concerning middle school kids and their parents. It's a great resource for any parents.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Beautiful Flower in the Broken Pot

I came across this beautiful story at IndiaInteracts, and just have to share this with you!

The Beautiful Flower in the Broken Pot
by Marissa

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. “Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning."

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it's my face… I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments…"

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning."

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair." He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don"t seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning.

As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.

“Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.

I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a greenhouse, as she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were my plant, I"d put it in the loveliest container I had!"

My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots," she explained, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden."

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. “Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won't mind starting in this small body."

All this happened long ago - and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hug O' War

In response to my previous post "Give a Hug, Spread the Love", a friend of mine sent me this beautiful poem by Shel Silverstein.

Hug O' War

I will not play at tug o' war,
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everone hugs,
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles,
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
Where everone cuddles.
And everyone wins.

Imagine what the world would be like if everyone played this game??

Friday, July 11, 2008

Give a Hug, Spread the Love

"Hugging is healthy. It helps the immune system, cures depression, reduces stress and induces sleep.

It's invigorating, rejuvenating and has no unpleasant side effects. Hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug.

Hugging is all natural. It is organic, naturally sweet, no artificial ingredients, non-fattening, nonpolluting, environmentally friendly and 100 percent wholesome.

Hugging is the ideal gift. It's inflation-proof with no monthly payments. There are no batteries to replace. Great for any occasion, fun to give and receive, shows you care, comes with its own wrapping and, of course, is fully returnable."
-- Author Unknown

Give a Hug. Spread the Love.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fire Rainbow





Sunday, May 25, 2008

Stick-Figure Work Life Balance

Here is a funny stick-figure video about the dire consequences of not maintaining work/life balance. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Funny Poem about Motherhood

Found this funny poem about motherhood. Enjoy!

* * * * * * *
Ode to Motherhood

Where did they go -
My beautiful hips,
look at what's left in their place....
Two handles of love
is what they say,
with stretch marks all over the place....

Where are they now
my perky firm breasts,
Oh there they are down there.....
Pointing towards my ankles
and knees,
hoisted up by the bras that I wear....

What happened to
my lovely smooth thighs,
They're covered in cellulite bulge...
they're thick and they're round
and it can't be from
all of the chocolate that I indulge...

I've said goodbye
to my firm and tight butt,
which is now as flat as a board....
It droops down to there
it hasn't a care
Yet it once seemed to be so adored....

There's no more nails
to paint blood red,
to be adorned with many gold rings....
They're cracked and chipped
and broken now
I no longer have time for such things....

But wait, what is that?
It's my fifth son's first smile,
and look it's because he loves me...
To him I'm the best
and most incredible thing
That his little eyes ever did see....

There'll be time later on
once he's all big and grown,
and he's got his own life to live...
For me to be sexy
and get it all back
But for now there's so much to give..

© Paula Pawson 2006

Ode to Motherhood

To all the moms:

Happy Mother's Day!

You have worked so hard, all year around. I hope you get to take a day off, and enjoy your special day. I hope you love the festivities and/or any loving gestures your family bestow on you. Even if none of your family is around to celebrate this day with you, I hope you make a point to do or have something you love today. Hey, this is your special day, and you totally deserve it.

I just called my Mom in Taiwan. None of us could spend Mother's Day with her, and my dad had to attend a meeting today. I was so glad to find that Mom was in a good mood, nonetheless. I said, "Well, Mom, since Dad is not home, you've got a day off! How are you going to celebrate your special day?" She told me cheerfully that she's got some ideas -- she might visit this or that city, do some shopping, visit her favorite coffee shop, etc. She was getting herself ready to go out and enjoy her free time. I'm pretty sure she is going to dress up and have fun out on the town. Way to go, Mom! That's the spirit!

Motherhood is life-changing. I'm positive that you'd agree with me. Being a mom has changed me on so many levels. It's the most challenging job I've ever taken on, and the most amazing journey I've experienced. I'd never trade it for anything in the world.

Before you go out for your Mother's Day celebration, here are some thoughts for you to ponder.

You are loving and caring... You give your children unconditional love, the highest level of love in the world. You are the go-to person when anyone needs TLC - a hug, a kiss, some encouraging words, or chocolate chip cookies. You are love, personified.

You are patient... Reading "The Little Engine That Could" for the 1,000th time, with the same level of joy and enthusiasm (even when you were so tired you could barely keep your eyes open); getting your toddler potty trained; helping your child with challenging homework; sewing your child's school play or Halloween costume... that takes patience.

You are committed... Hey, you took on a life-long commitment to be a mom, didn't you?!

You are strong and you persevere... Think about what you had to go through to bring your child to the world -- the pregnancy, the labor pain, the adoption process -- need I say more? Think about all the challenges you've gone through to take care of your children and make sure they are healthy, safe and happy. You are much tougher than you give yourself credit for.

You are disciplined... You get up every morning to take care of your family, cooking, feeding, bathing, cleaning... day after day, after day. If that's not discipline, I don't know what is.

You take charge and get things done... You are the one who organizes and coordinates everyone's schedules, and make sure nobody misses doctor's appointments, soccer practice, band concert, birthday party, anniversary dinner (even if you have to plan it yourself).

You know when to say no and stand your ground... You have no problem telling your toddler or teenager what they are not supposed to do, even if you know they are not gonna like you.

You are creative... You've created a loving home for your children. You use your creativity in the ways you show your love, the foods you cook, the stories you tell, the imaginative plays, the silly songs you make up, the garden you planted and all the family vacations and memories you help create.

You are powerful... You were given the power and privilege to co-create a life (your child), to help your child reach his/her full potential and create a better world. That's enormous power and responsibility.

You are beautiful... Have you ever looked deeply into your child's eyes and see your own reflection? You are absolutely beautiful... no laugh lines or stretch marks could ever diminish your beauty.

I hope you take a few moment here and let it all sink in.

Next time, when someone else, or that nasty little voice in your head, tells you that you are not loving enough, strong enough, pretty enough, disciplined enough, or that you are too "selfish" for taking care of yourself, or whatever, tell them to get lost. They simply don't know any better.

You are perfect and whole, just the way you are. You deserve to be loved and adored, just like you love and adore your children. Now, go ahead and celebrate this day the way you truly deserve.

Forward this message to any moms you know who could use a little validation or encouragement. As moms, we ought to support and empower one another.

Take good care of yourself... you are irreplaceable!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cindy Ashton's Butterfly

"What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."
-- Oscar Wilde

This video brought tears to my eyes. It's the right dose of inspiration to start your day (or to pick you up when you feel down). Watch it, and you will agree with me.