5 Tips to Raising Positive Thinkers

Raising children is no piece of cake, each day you are forced to adapt to a new challenge. I firmly believe my two sons, specifically, were put on this planet to lighten me up and keep me on my toes. Little do my boys realize, I have zero balance on my toes. It’s a constant juggling act around here to keep things steady. The easiest way for me to explain my parenting techniques is to share with you my personal favorite 5 Tips to Raising Positive Thinkers. These are tried and true techniques that worked for me, but let it be known, these are techniques I have done since DAY ONE. If you are just coming into this and trying it for the first time, understand it won’t be something that works in a couple of days; keep on it Mama and Daddy, things do get better!

5 Tips to Raising Positive Children

ONE - The ever so obvious first step is to lead by example; start living your life in the positive. Bills have you hanging your head low? Kids stressing you out? Learn to find that happy place, the one thing you can do for just one minute that will allow you to breath and come back swinging with a smile! For me, it’s music. Each night I decompress in the kitchen while cooking dinner and doing dishes over music, Pandora app is the chosen musical player and the genre depends on what type of day I had.

TWO – Never underestimate the power of your words; if you want your children to be positive thinkers, then you must learn to be a positive thinker. Homework a challenge? Kids ready to run and toss that homework in the trash? Total meltdown central? Allow your children, through your example, to step back from their homework. Provide your children a way to evaluate their own reasons for a meltdown, think about it, know the emotion they feel and work towards a solution that will allow them to complete what they have to in a way that is less stressful. This teaches your child to use their mind and words to solve an emotional problem with a positive outlook.

THREE – One can never have too many hugs; a simple hug as often as possible through out your child’s day never hurt anyone. A 20 second hug has also been shown to release the happy hormones in every one; whether a child or adult. So take time to hug more often because that is one way to show love and affection to your child with minimal effort. A 20 second hug can do far more to teach your children to be positive thinkers than any words you speak. Remember, actions speak louder than words, correct?!

FOUR – Teach your child how to brainstorm; we live in a very technologically driven world, social media makes it so that we don’t have to use our brains as often, please do not underestimate the power of teaching your child to use their mind. A great way to teach your child to be a positive thinker is to teach them pros versus cons lists, written with a pencil and a piece of paper. You know that old school; make a column with pros on one side and cons on the other to help you  make a valid decision based on your scenario. This old school method will teach your child to focus on the pros vs cons and in turn will allow them to eventually realize more often than not the pros aka the positives of a situation may be more beneficial than the cons aka the negative.

FIVE -  Use your words effectively; your kids have you all stressed out, ready to scream! You want so badly just to run away because your “what I can handle” meter has reached a near overload. This is okay, it happens to the best of us. We are human, remember? It is how you handle that meter about to explode that can teach your child to be positive or negative. Knowing who we are as an individual can benefit your child in so many ways, learn to use your words, learn that it is okay to tell your child that you are at your limit and need a moment to go breath. This teaches your child to use their words when feeling overwhelmed with negativity and to be able to think wisely about the words they say next. Time can make a difference in the words we use.

Well there you have it, my five tips, of course I am sure you may have some more and I would love to hear them. Please leave one comment below with a tip of positive parenting that will enable children to be positive thinkers, I will be happy to hear your tips & suggestions!

Remember, it takes a village to raise a child!

 

Stop Explaining Yourself. Just Stop.

The real story of your life doesn’t need to be explained. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to explain nor get anyone else to understand the decisions you make in life. Sure people may shake their heads. Sure some may feel that you keep making the same mistakes. Who cares? I am sure every one of us makes similar mistakes over and over again in our lives, we are human.

You Make your Own ChoicesIt’s difficult for me, as a writer and avid talker, to not get caught up in explaining myself or my decisions. I have been raised in a way that I always felt the need to explain in detail why I have made decisions that I have made. Finally, one day it dawned on me that no matter how much I explain my scenario, no one else, aside from those walking in my shoes will fully comprehend the place I am coming from. The only people I take fully into consideration when I make decisions in life are my children.

That means when I have to move or spend money on something, or find more work; the ultimate goal is to ensure I am making a decision that benefits my children. I am not always perfect, occasionally I may make a decision that I feel isn’t bad for my children but may not be the best decision in the long run for my complete happiness. Yet, when faced with the scenario of having to make a choice again, I get caught up in the whole “what will people think” mindset. I need to just stop!

Those who are true to me, those who truly love me and care for me as a person will realize that they don’t need to accept, understand or comprehend my decisions; they simply need to be there to support me in all areas of my life. I have a few close people in my world and while I know full well they don’t always agree with my choices, they will support me and let me know that this is my life; at the end of the day I am the one who has to decide what’s best, not them. They respect that and I admire them for that choice they make, for those types of people are the ones I will go to time and time again for insight on my thoughts. 

Having my middle child recently diagnosed high functioning autistic, made me step back and realize even more so that I don’t need to explain anything. My son may look at people with a serious face that comes off as a glare, he isn’t trying to be mean; he is simply a very serious child who smiles at home in his comfort zone but overall doesn’t show emotions in the way everyone else expects him to. I want to raise all of my children through example that they, too, will never have to feel as though they must explain themselves to anyone!

So the next time you find yourself sitting down with someone and trying to explain to them why you made the decisions you made, remember that it doesn’t matter why to any outsiders. No one but you and maybe those who reside with you need to hear your reasoning, but even then, at the end of the day, you are your own person and must ensure that you are following your path in life. A happy person makes a happy environment.

Find that voice in your head that says “JUST STOP” each time you find yourself over analyzing, over explaining or feeling as if the world may shake their head at you. The world doesn’t matter, you matter most! Take care of you.

Yes, Parents Need to Parent. Yes, Schools need to Address Mean Kids.

After writing the post I wrote yesterday and listening to readers commentary, it dawned on me that maybe my opinion on the whole matters discussed weren’t really being heard. Today I take a moment to explain where I stand, as a whole, regarding parents needing to parent their children and schools handling what they should handle.

Number One – I agree wholeheartedly that parents need to be parenting their children, parents need to be held accountable to handle their mean children and parent them to be well rounded, compassionate, respectful little human beings. I agree 100%.

With that being said, sadly we live in the day in age where many parents feel it’s the outsiders responsibility to raise their children. I am not lying when I say that about half a year ago I heard my fiance tell me  story of this Mom who basically cited that the “police can raise my son, I am done trying” or something like that. I in no way feel it’s our public service officials job to raise our children, that includes the school systems. What you will find, though, is that most of these mean and cruel kids have been “raised” {term used lightly} by mean and cruel parents. So what is the school to do about that? Sure the school can go and discuss matters with the parents, but that child will probably get beat at home, be treated poorly and never really be sent the right message that they cannot be cruel and mean to others. Instead, the children will be filled with more rage, negative emotions and come back to school being more mean and cruel.

It’s a sad cycle of today’s youth.

Number Two – I agree that some of the articles cited online and in my article yesterday pertain to private school systems. I also have seen articles about some religious schools decisions. Whether we agree or disagree on the proper way to handle it, reality is that those type of schools are out of our hands in control. Many choose those type of schools for that strict structure and balance for their children.

Rules are rules. Sure as adults we realize there are some rules we can bend here and there, but overall with the youth being the way they are today -  most raising themselves and their siblings. The elders in our school systems have to be strict on rules because the parents are not. Again, it’s not the schools responsibility to raise our youth. I totally agree. It is however, the schools responsibility to hold those who have broken rules accountable, such as a bully. To tell the child who was using a My Little Pony lunchbox that he can’t bring it simply because other children were picking on him, is wrong. The children that were picking on him needed to be handled and have a note sent home to their parents. The wrong message with that story, I firmly feel, was that a child who was doing no wrong gets punished while the mean and cruel kids get no or less of a punishment than what they deserve.

It’s a sad cycle of not wanting to offend parents in our society today.

Number Three – The school systems wouldn’t get as much flack if the parents were raising their children instead of having children raise themselves or being their children’s friend. Parents are to raise kids, we are not here to befriend our children. NO way is that EVER a good idea.

You don’t even know how many “party moms or dads” I ran into back in my partying days. Those parents were the “cool” parents, the ones everyone went to because you could get free beer. It was great from a teens perspective, but as a parent? I realize just how wrong that is. Today’s youth do not need anymore friends, they don’t need to think an elder is a friend. We are suppose to teach our children that elders who try to befriend them have something wrong with them. How on Earth can an elder have something in common with a teenager? They can’t. I am noticing that the school systems are sadly left to handle these troubled youth on their own because the parents are not willing to parent their children. So it’s no wonder the school systems are left juggling and trying to find that balance when handling mean and cruel kids. I will be honest, I firmly believe that a majority of mean and cruel kids either have mean and cruel parents or live in a very negative environment. Negative breeds negative. Positive breeds positive.

It’s a sad cycle of parents becoming parents before they are willing to be selfless and put their kids needs first.

 In all honesty I think I covered my thoughts based on comments from readers yesterday, but just in case you are not sure where I am coming from …. here’s my point in a short version;

Parents need to parent their children. Schools need to be able to trust parents to do their jobs so that the school can do theirs. Schools need to hold students accountable for bad behavior, instead of making good kids pay for the ill behaved children. Parents are responsible for those youth that they bring into this world and parents are the ones to teach life lessons; not the schools.

What is Happening With Society as it Stands Now?

Children Get Banned for SillinessIn recent news I read an article online that discussed a boy who was being bullied due to bringing a My Little Pony lunchbox into school. Apparently, due to the theme of My Little Pony seeming more feminine than masculine this young boy was being picked on about his choice in cartoon character lunch box. I am all for boys being masculine and girls being feminine. Totally, 100%. With that being said, we all can like similar cartoons or shows that appear to push to be liked by one gender over the other. I know many shows I watch are geared towards men, but I enjoy them just as much as the next male in our society would. There is nothing wrong with that.

We are raising our children to be judgmental and rude.

There is something wrong with that.

The part of the lunch box story that really struck a cord was that the school system denied the boy from using this lunchbox any longer, citing he had to bring a different lunchbox because this one was causing too much of a ruckus. Rather than dealing with the children who were picking on the boy, they decided to shun the boy for his choice of a lunchbox. I could see if this was deemed inappropriate content for a school, but I am pretty sure My Little Pony; a cartoon that promotes friendship, doesn’t fall into the inappropriate category. The children who were picking on this boy got a message sent to them immediately upon hearing this boy was having his lunchbox banned, the kids heard, “we can be in control of our elders and our peers”.

What is wrong is that our school systems appear to be sending the message to children that they can rule the world if only they be cruel & mean.

We need to be raising our children to accept and embrace our differences, this is what makes us a unique society to live in.

A more recent article that popped up on my feed was about a young girl who shaved her head in support for a friend who is battling cancer. The school banned the 9 year old girl from attending school because their policy cites that the child must have a wig or her natural hair grown back. That is their policy. Of course, the girl was able to return because this story got enough media coverage, but again, what in the world is wrong with our school systems?!

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My One Tidbit of Advice For Anyone and Any Situation

I, like most of you, have been through a lot of experiences both great and some bad. I, like most of you, have learned from these mistakes and do my best to spread my advice on what to do as a means to assist others in seeing a different side of their scenario. Some people love the advice, while others think I am meddling in their world. You see, I am great at lending just the right advice to others but not always one to take my own advice. I think that’s called being human.

How to Lead a Happy Life

I have a lot going on in my world right now. In December I accepted a marriage proposal and have yet to really think much about the actual wedding planning. There are a lot of other things that weigh more heavily on my mind and heart than a wedding. Children for example. There is a lot going on behind the scenes.

I wish I could share every last detail, because I am sure someone out there is dealing with similar issues, but alas I cannot share details. All I can say is that co-parenting should be easier than most people make it out to be. That frustrates me beyond belief at how so many fail at co-parenting their children, in return the children pay the ultimate price and anyone else who is part of those children’s lives. Sigh.

I think my simple most non-complicated piece of advice I can lend you all, no matter what you are dealing with, is this;

Try not to be quick in reacting with emotional responses. Take time to think, with an open mind, where other people may be coming from with what they are saying or doing in life. Take time to realize that, while you think you are doing it all right, the other person/people may think you are doing it all wrong. If you can keep a positive mindset, speak with heart felt opinions, and keep an open mind about the other side of the story, then I think you can survive nearly any unpredicted scenario that plays out in your life.

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