Tag Archives: Children

Stop for a moment

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rest4awhileBeyond the hectic pace of life there lies a time in the day, I am sure its different for all of us where we get to catch our breath and rest. Even if only for a second or two we get a moment in time that belongs to us and not the world outside.

It is in this time that we can stand still and see the day for how it was, or how we want it to be. We can see ourselves for all we have achieve and what is left to be done. It is not a time to beat ourselves up, though I am sure a few of us do. It is simple a moment when we can rest.

Yet how many take the time to actually stop, before we falling into bed exhausted by the day; be it  happy, fast paced full of excitement, filled with mundane repetitive routines or surrounded by challenges and interruptions. How many of us STOP and catch our breath.

My child are taught to Stop, Breath, Think then Speak. Why because I want them to be aware of the moment in time when they can stop. I want them to know the power of their breath and how it can relax and refocus them. I want them to have the ability to think without chaos, I want them to speak with clarity so the world may understand them as they grow.

Have we adults lost the art of being able to stop. I believe we have and now we just collapse.  I run a meditation class and for me the beauty of it lays within the gentle snoring I hear.  I know at that moment even though they have now drifted off they have stopped and caught their breath.  We all laugh when we come out of our meditative state and finger-pointing takes over “who snored” …. “was that you?” No one is upset by it because everyone there got to stop and rest. They each gave back to themselves a moment in time they otherwise would have filled with stuff that could wait.

Adults need to teach our children its okay to stop, children now days don’t know the art of stopping long enough to wait. They want it all now now now now. And we indulge it because it easier than the screams and complaints that follow. But what if you asked them to stop and rest. To close their eyes and just focus on their breath. What if in that moment you stopped as well and watch as the world went by?

Sit back relax and stop for just a moment in time

 

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Climb the dream

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dream treeIn the backyard sat a large tree.

So tall it almost reach the sky.

Louis sat down underneath it and said “ one day I will be able to climb”.

He sat there and dreamt of climbing that tree.

He dreamt and he dreamt of what an amazing day it would.

 

The years rolled on and time slipped by.

Louis soon forgot the dream to climb.

Instead his days became filled with this and that.

He filled them with work and filled them with that.

Untill one day not so long ago he ventured back  home.

 

Upon arrival he looked around so many memories so profound.

Louis stepped outside and looked up to the sky the tree was still and still ever so high.

He sat down below in and remembered the dream he had as a child.

Slow he stood and question why, why oh why had he never climbed.

 

So with new determination he reached for a branch.beleive

He grabbed and held on tight and lifted himself up with all his might.

He climb and climbed.

Reaching higher and higher.

 

When finally at the top he look around and survayed all he could see.

The world was a very different place from up in this tree.

Instead of why not he suddenly though I can.

Instead of why me he thought yes me.

 

From the top of the tree dreams came rushing back.

The ability to achieve all that he wanted to be.

He stayed for hours as enjoyed the view.

 

And as the sun set he climbed back down.

He thank himself for the joy he had found.

From climbing the tree had set him free.

Now life would now be what he wanted it to be.

 

From that day forth Louis never gave up on a dream.childhood dreams

Most importantly he taught his children the power of achieving their dreams.

So while the tree still stands tall in the backyard.

The children climb and realise the dream.

They are free to live a life just as beautiful as the tree.

Always look on the bright side of life

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brighterlifeWhile out with a friend of mine today she mentioned how my posts on social media have been positive, no negativity at all. I replied yep can’t be bothered to share negativity. I explained that yes I have bad moments in the day it’s not happy smily 24/7. Yet really is Facebook  or other media areas the place to air the dirty laundry and she agreed it’s not. She herself is not one to put negativity out there into the world of social media.

To me and to many others who just don’t say it Facebook and other social medial outlets are not the place to air your daily dummy-spits or let off steam about small things like breaking a nail. I am not saying don’t let of a little steam now and then, by all means post away. For some, there is some great advice given.  I am talking more about the posts that are a perpetual cycle of “my life sux!” it  just becomes BORING especially if you don’t actively participate in making changes for the better. I actually am not that interested in what happened in your day. I know that’s harsh, and before you complain hear me out.

 

  1. You have had a bad day….. so has the rest of the world at some stage, I don’t want to hear about it …..instead tell me what went RIGHT!
  2. You can’t buy the dress/perfume/bag/tv whatever you want……………… be thankful you can buy food.
  3. You are having a fight……………….be thankful you have voice ……………and chose to walk away from relationships that don’t work.
  4. You are not happy with your weight………………. be thankful you have the power to change it.
  5. You are not happy with your job …………….be thankful you can change that.
  6. You are not happy with the world in general………….. look harder there is a reason to be thankful you just glanced over it or chose to ignore it.

I teach my children to tell me what they are thankful for each day. They wake and love the day they are entering into. Yes they have bad days we all do, yet at the end of the day I ask them what has made them happy today. Most times my 7 years old replies “you mummy, and daddy and the whole family”. Master 11 who is a little more wise to the hurt that can be found in the world will start with telling me what went wrong. I don’t shut him down for this I simply ask ok …… “tell me what went right for you today?” and yes something always goes right no matter how bad the day.

Am I saying you wont have really bad dark days? NO! hell no we have all had them. The difference is in how we chose to share these days and little hiccups in your day don’t need to make social media headlines. Have I posted stuff that I later regret yes, show me someone who hasn’t, but we can choose to make a more conscious effort this think before we write or speak.

so to end I want to share a motto for life with you all.

 

 

The addiction that grows

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WritingI woke one morning not all that long ago and just knew that I had to get up and do what needed to be done.

I woke with a firm idea and action plan. I thought this is a crazy concept, perhaps it may just flow and work. Since that day the addiction has grown and shows no sign of stopping. From a concept, to a mind map, characters have developed, chapters have been written. And the waking hours are far to short so I get up earlier and feed the addiction.

Why because it wakes me from my sleep. This morning it woke at me 3am. I lay in bed and the vision of todays chapter formulated in my head. I knew the character and and how they would enter into the story.  Now I find myself developing the sub plot of this characters journey and even though I look at the time and think of what I should be doing I find myself refusing to budge.

 

Sorry kids you have to get your own dinner tonight is what I want to say.

Perhaps the washing will get its self off the line, or fingers crossed the thunderstorm heading this way just vanishes.

Good thing hubby just brought me a frozen coke there is enough sugar in that to keep me going until late tonight.

So the addiction grows the more I write the more I need to keep writing. Earnest Hemingway said it best “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewrite and bleed.”

Hubby can cook tonight for my bum is firmly planted on the chair and my fingers are dancing across the keyboard as I develop, explore and create the next chapter of an extraordinary journey.

Fall down get back up

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challaengeWow this year has really jumped forward with a bang. In the last week alone I have spoken to more people than ever before who are worried about job security, going through financial crisis and facing health dilemmas. Some would think of this as a bad start and that all these people are suffering, yet it’s quite the opposite. Yes there remains the element of stress, our lovely friend ego ensures we carry some of that with us through these times. However rather than allow their dreams to bust so many have spoken about being resilient and rising to the challenge. For me a challenge is just an opportunity waiting for you to look at it the right way.

During these time is not the challenge that’s important rather the way we respond to it. Do we lash out and cry foul of the universe and what it brings our way? Do we crumble and fall? Do we fall into a depression, get angry and waste time laying blame? Or do we stand up and face it head on? Do we say “I don’t like this but I can change it”? Do we ensure that we nurture ourselves during this time, keep positive and find outlets for stress?

Fall-7-Times-Stand-Up-8The greatest challenge for those facing upheaval in their life I believe is not whether they fall down, rather it’s to get back up and keep moving forward. When a person faces a challenge time they can become to the world around them either an inspiration or burden. For those with children no matter their age it is important to teach resilience, to become the inspiration. We do this by our actions, the words we speak and the response we give.

Life is not about living without bumps, jolts, hills or slides. It is however about a journey, how this journey looks is up to you. In my life my aim is to teach my children to enjoy the journey and to be able to stand back up after being knocked down. To do this my children are aware of the challenges we face. While we keep them informed of what is going on their young ages mean they don’t have to know every detail, yet enough to understand. We don’t walk around in our house pretending everything is perfect, yet we don’t allow negativity and doubt to take control. If we have a bad day we acknowledge it. I teach them how to keep calm, meditation if even for 2 minutes is amazing for this with young children. We do not shy away from our feelings, we talk them through. Most importantly they understand that as a family they are important to us. If they have advice to offer we listen to them, ensuring they grown up knowing how to think about solutions rather than focus on problems. By doing all of this we are building resilient children who are well equipped to change challenge into opportunity when needed in their life.kids

Making lemonade

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lemonsWe all know the saying when life gives you lemons make lemonade. That’s exactly what this family is about to start doing!!!

Yesterday as I picked my boys up from school I got a dreaded phone call. My husband was on the other end.

He said “I have just been thrown a curve ball, please take me off speaker phone”

I have a habit of everyone being on speaker phone opps….

He went on “I have just been told I have no job ……….”

Silence

Me “from when?”

“From now I am on my way to the station I have just packed up my belongs from the office” he informed me.

So at 3.35 yesterday our life was turned upside down. Here I was settling in for a year of fulltime study and being an at home mum to help my children thrive at school, and now …… well all the balls are back up in the air.

My mind raced and raced finally I said “ok well this just means that there is something better out there for you”.

For those that know me well will know that this even uttering these words was a huge shift in the way that I view the challenges that life throws our way. A few years ago this news would have seen me fall to the ground and crumble. Finacially security is a long held stress trigger for me, and sends me into a tail spin when ever I am challeged with it. NOT this time. This time I was already in my mind working on plans as to how we will not only get through this but how we will seize the opportunity given to us.bt-business-opportunity.gif

My first thought was to our out empty bank account, it literally contained $0.19  in it, and my husband was due to be paid on the 31st, however there was a fear there that this would not happen. The reason for losing his job was the company was no longer financially able to support the works, so would he even get paid? There was food in the house so we would not be hungry at least not for the next few days. Petrol in the car was an issue it was shaping up to be long walks to take the boys to and from school.

Master 11 came out and asked me what was going on, obviously sensing the tension and when I let him know he burst into tears fearing the worst. Right then in that moment I knew that my attitude needed to shift up another gear. I would not let him be worried about what would happen next and I would not allow myself to be consumed with fear like in the past.

I wrapped my arms around him and let him know “This is not a bad thing, this means that there is a greater opportunity waiting for us all, we will be fine and there is no need to worry.” As I uttered the words I felt them ring true and provide me with a strength of conviction to show him how great an opportunity this can be.

So what action to take next, first I message a good friend of mine to see if there are any jobs at her work that I could apply for? I let her know what had happened she was gob-smacked to say the least. She later turned up with a bottle of chilled wine for me ……. Friends really do know how to turn on the light for their friends when it’s dark.

The next two hours were consumed with job hunting for me, and finding out what financial assistance we could get. Needless to say we have a load of meetings to attend in the next few days, all while I need to be studying for my psychology exam. And again I remind myself …… it will be ok.

After my husband got home he reinforced my worlds to Master 11 that everything would be fine. He jumped right onto the computer and started the job hunting process. We were not going to let this beat us. We got given lemons and today we would start making lemonade.

The beauty of being hit with a curve ball when you have young children is that they see things with innocence and without all the strings attached. So when Master 7 went and grab the magic 8 ball he asked two questions:

“Is dad happy?”  The magic eight balls reply ‘count on it’

“Will dad get a new job soon?” the magic eight balls reply ‘Yes’.8 ball

Master 7 jumped up ran to his father and said “The magic eight ball said Yes! It’s all ok.”

In that moment of pure innocence I once again felt the strength of conviction, and that everything would be ok.

The world has given all of us lemons at some time in our life, most times I would have just been tasting the sourness from them. Allowing fear to step in and take control of how I reacted to the situation. This time I would taste the beautiful lemonade and enjoy the process of making it and teaching my children resilience along the way.

School year begins

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schoolAnd so beings the start of another school year, my boys are growing up fast one in his last year of primary school the other in year 2. Last year was trying school year to say the least, while my children had great teachers they both struggled with social issues. My eldest due to the school yard bully and my youngest due to just being him I guess.

Before leave for school today Master 7 came to realization that this would be the last school year for quite some time that he would be attending the same school as his brother. Next year Master 11 ventures off to High School. Master 7 was starting to panic you could see it in his eyes.

He turned to me and said “who will look after me in the playground, who will stop the bullies?”

I replied “you will be fine and it’s a year away so no need to worry about it.”

Not satisfied he proceeded to explain how his stomach was feeling funny, how it felt like it was jumping inside.

Again I calmed him down “they are just nerves of excitement.”

We managed to get over this; but still like so many parents in Sydney today when dropping my children at school this morning. I did so with fingers and toes crossed that this year would be a great school year.

3pm rolls around and there I am waiting at the gate for them both to tell me about their day. They both walk towards me with smiles on their face… and I breathe a sigh of relief day one down only how many more to go?

Much to Master 11 delight he has the same teacher as last year. The boys in his class are all his friends and his bully from last year is in a different class. Yippee we have a winner here.

Master 7 has his best friend in his class, this may be a good or bad thing but he is happy and that’s what counts. His teacher is nice and she can be quiet firm something he needs so I am happy.

So as we jump in the car to drive home they both then hit me with how the bully from last year is at it again during playtime. Sigh perhaps it was too good to be true, until……………

Master 7 “I played with the bully at playtime.”

Me “what he let you play…. Did he let you play I ask his bother?”bully

Master 11 “no he is up to his same old tricks.”

Master 7 “that’s ok I just told the teacher.”

Master 11 “yes the bully knows that he will be told on each time now.”

Me “So Master 7 he was okay with you playing?”

Master 7 “no but I don’t care he is not in charge and I will tell on him every day.”

I sat in the car getting ready to drive away, I know I should show restrain and just say some nice practical parenting advice to them, but I can’t, and I can not hide how happy I am about this turn of events.

“Hi Five Master 7 you handed it to him!”

I drive away feeling guilty for feeling so happy that the bully was handed it to him by my 7-year-old. Yet at the end of the day I am happy he did it! I very proud of how my 7-year-old who this morning feared being bullied stood up and showed that he was not going to be pushed over by child who thinks they are better than everyone else.

So the year began with everyone happy, well maybe the bully was not too happy but ……….

The year still began with everyone Happy at this house.happy

Don’t wake me before coffee

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There is a promotional ad for a TV show, ‘Through the wormhole’ on TV at the moment and in it a crew member ask Morgan Freeman ‘when does life begin?’ Morgan answers ‘as soon as I have had my morning coffee’.  My children say that’s me….. They say that life doesn’t begin in our house till mum has her morning coffee and they are right.

coffee lifeIt’s a small ritual but one that I cherish every day to be able to sit in silence and enjoy the waking moment of life in our house. I love early mornings, the peace and quiet before the world stirs with its noise and bustle that breaks the silence, pushing us all forward into the hectic pace of life. So I sit each morning, coffee in hand and just take in the stillness, it’s my favourite time of the day.

My ritual morning coffee is my morning meditation, it is my time to zone into the day and what I wish to achieve and most importantly to set the tone of my day. If I am disturbed during that time, the tone may very well change from happy too annoyed; need a second coffee on days like this!

My 7-year-old is usually the first one to come find me each morning, waiting until the coffee is finished of course. He breaks this time of stillness and I am always grateful that he does, because when he does he gives me a huge cuddle and he tells me he loves me …. Then he asks for food, he will be a master manipulator creating great business deals one day I am sure with his smooth tactics.

Then life begins in our house we get through breakfast and move forward in our day, the hectic pace of life once again intrudes as we carry out all we need to do that day. When it gets too hectic and my world feels out of balance, polluted with crazy time schedules, screaming children, unfinished obligations and interruptions; I stop and remember my thoughts of the morning and I bring myself back to centre. In that moment of peace I know that life is short and one needs to cherish each crazy hectic moment of it.

…. And so the day goes on and my morning ritual reminds me to enjoy it no matter what the day brings my way.coffee life

Change the Scream for Calm

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Screaming and yelling and still no result …. The feeling of talking to a brick wall. That’s what most of my friends have been telling me is going on when they talk to their children these school holidays. scream

Pick up your clothes, don’t hit your sister, pack up this mess, and eat your dinner ….. The list is endless. As parents it can feel that we spend our life or a good majority of it screaming to get things done. And children seem to spend most of their time ignoring this or complaining about it.

So why does it always seem to boil down to a battle of wills. Simple really imagine if your boss screamed at you to get things done how quickly would you tell your boss to take a hike! It would not take long, at the very least you most certainly would be looking for a new job.

So since our children can’t or we hope never tell us to take a hike or look for new parents, perhaps it is in the way we approach the request that needs to change. So here are some simple strategies to try before our children do tell us to take a hike or worst still turn into the screaming teenage/adult from hell!

  1. Set some simple chores that are age appropriate and don’t need to be done every day, responsibility is a good thing but keep it balanced.
  2. If the room is mess does it really matter that much? If your child is tired you are fighting a losing battle that will only see you get a headache, shut the door and tackle it tomorrow when calm.
  3. Stop yelling and screaming, talk to your child the way you want to be spoken to, not only is it more effective you will then raise a child that has respect.
  4. Get down and play with them, encourage creative play, have FUN, build a cubby house, and as you help make the mess you get to help tidy the mess.
  5. Half an hour before bed make it wind down time, grab a book and read to your child or if your child can read then read the book together.
  6. Get outside with your child go for a walk, take them to the park, not only do you get outdoors you get exercise as well.
  7. Count to 10 and step outside if the stress is getting to much, fresh air calms down most and a little bit of space can give you the perspective as an adult to know the right course of action to take.
  8. Encourage them to make the right choices when being asked to do things, this will help them in later life.
  9. Surprise your child with a reward, don’t let them expect it like pocket money, just surprise them with a reward of your choice.

calmOur child are only our children for a short period of time, before long they are young adults trying to be the best they can in the world. They learn how to do this from you, have fun, enjoy them and most of all love and respect them…… the world will thank you for it.

Deaf Words Bite Back

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How many times have you spoken to your children about getting things done on time only to think it has fallen on deaf ears? I have lost count, no matter how many times I say don’t put it off get it done now, I know that the morning their assignment for school is due they will hit me with an extra bit of work that is needed.

Don’t get me wrong I sit and help my children get through their work but there is always a bit of the puzzle they leave to the last minute and then it’s a mad rush in the house. Everyone starts to feel the pressure and again I hear my self say “Next time don’t leave things to the last minute it won’t finish its self.”

We have all been there with our children doing this mad dash, repeating the same sentence over and over again thinking when will this sink in…… “tidy your room, pick up your shoes, put your bag away, wash your hands….etc” these words just fall on deaf ears…. Or do they?

Just the other week while working on my sociology essay I took a break and while still sitting at the computer I was playing the dreaded Candy Crush, yes I know…. I can hear the “oh dear” from here. Then Master 11 walks past the room and I put my phone down, Candy Crush screen still open on it. He pipes up and says “really mum that 2000 words essay is not going to write its self!” Gobsmacked would be the word I would use to describe my reaction, firstly because he said it and then because my words that I thought had fallen on deaf ears had sank in!

Fast forward another week and Master 11 is doing his assignment, with only three days left to finish it he is busy playing. I walked over to him and asked how it was going and yes those words had hit home “I know mum it won’t do its self!” for the next two days he worked diligently on it and all was completed with no drama and no fuss.

So perhaps it’s not that the words don’t get heard perhaps it is rather that they are hollow words unless they see them in action from a parent. Perhaps they need to see the effect of those words on others for them to be understood. Either way I know now that the words are being heard and that they do listen and when you least expect it them may just bite you back!