We All Have Valid Reasons for Parenting Decisions and That’s OK

I think the joy of being in a free nation, I use that term lightly, is that we can make our own parental decisions and that’s okay. I love that there is such diversity in our world because honestly it brings a new insight to situations, decisions and life. I may have strongish opinions about certain things, but that doesn’t mean I would push you to believe the same, I may just share with you my thoughts and where I am coming from. The forum is always open on this site for your to respectfully disagree, but don’t try to convince me to change my mind. I won’t judge you for your own decisions. I am a firm believer that we all parent the best we can and make decisions based on our own life experiences and what we feel is best for our kids.

At the end of the day only you know what’s best for your family and your children. We all have different comfort levels with various parental decisions or life decisions. And that is okay!

 

I choose not to spank my children, not saying I haven’t ever smacked my son’s bum from time to time, but overall spanking is not a disciplinary tactic I prefer to use. I feel spanking doesn’t teach any lessons and hitting a child, even as a punishment and not in an abusive way, teaches the child that we lash out when someone does something wrong or we are upset with someone. I prefer to keep a non-violent and non-physical household. You may not make that same choice and that is okay!

I wrote yesterday about how I decided leashes were not something I would use for my son’s. I didn’t feel they taught any lessons that I wanted to teach my children. Clearly, there are some who believe in using leashes for their children and have their own valid reasoning behind choosing to do so. That is okay!

I choose to teach my children to use their words, to do a good thing to someone they have harmed or been mean to. I prefer making all parental decisions based on a respect and trust for them as individual human beings. I prefer to parent in ways that teach a life lesson at every corner. And you may not. Guess what? That is okay!

Each family event we have, things we do, places we go, etc etc; all have valid life lessons taught to the kids. I just prefer to make every day a learning experience. I prefer to allow my children a bit more freedom than others may be comfortable with, knowing that my kids may make the wrong choice. I am prepared in consequences for actions because I am a proactive parent. I believe if you give children some lead way to make their own decisions in many areas of life that you in turn create well rounded, respectable little human beings. My three kids will always be taught that they are human and will make wrong choices; it’s just a matter of how we handle those wrong choices that matters most.

I feel that spanking, leashes and other such areas of controversy are not worth utilizing in my home because they do not teach any lessons I want my children to learn. And that is okay!

We need to embrace other people’s mindsets and embrace our differences. As long as a child is not being neglected or abused, then agreeing to disagree on topics is perfectly okay!

 

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!

 

Anxiety – The Irrational Fear of Society and Situations

After trying to pinpoint exactly why my son is being sent to the school nurse almost on a regular this school year, it dawned on me that maybe it has more to do with the teaching style of his current teacher than to do with his anxiety issues. You see, my son is having medication issues. Being diagnosed with mood disorder – NOS and anxiety – NOS, means he’s a mess if his medications are not properly dosed. I have personal experience with both a mood disorder because of my sister and anxiety because of myself. Put both mood disorder and anxiety together, well it’s a fun bowl of daily challenges when parenting and teaching a child.

Raising a kid with anxiety

I noticed that my son has been calling me in the middle of the day lately, which is great that his school nurse allows him to do so as a way to make him feel more at peace while at school. Allowing my anxious boy to call his Mama mid day to make him realize that Mama is only a phone call away and that he is okay at school, means the world to me. With that being said, sending my anxious boy out of the classroom is not necessarily helping him progress in any way. During shower time the other night, while I was helping my son rinse off with the shower head, I had a conversation with him. 

I wanted to know what is going on at school, why my son is always being in the nurses office and what he feels about his current teacher. The end result is that I gathered his current teacher is not as experienced as his prior year teachers and so in turn sends a child who has special needs out of the classroom rather than adapting to realize a slight change in methods can really help calm my son down. My son informed me that in the prior two years of school his teachers would allow him to color for a bit, as a way to assist in calming an anxiety attack, but this teacher just sends him to the nurse where he does his school work.

Keep in mind, I know this is a seven year old’s interpretation of things but he’s pretty good at relaying things and I’m pretty good at interpreting the semi-full story with what he says, even if it’s not 100% aligned with what he is telling me. 

 Raising a bipolar and anxiety child

It has been an awakening to realize that my son has a teacher who is young and not as experienced as his prior years teachers. While my sons teacher may be an amazing person and I think she’s nice, it isn’t a great fit for my son. My son doesn’t need special attention, after all giving him too much special attention would not encourage his normal childhood growth, but on occasion when his anxiety flares up he may need to just color a bit to calm his nerves. Sending my son out of the classroom is becoming some sort of a set back for my son and it’s not helping him grow socially nor emotionally.

I get that while my son isn’t medicated properly, his mental health issues become worse, but as a school teacher one would think you can be slightly adaptable. Not every child is a textbook child, each child learns in a different way, each child has special needs of their own and every child deserves compassion, love and encouragement. Sending my child to the nurses office is only showing him that the teacher washes her hands of him, over anxiety? Are you joking?

It upsets me to watch my son be dealt with in this way and I am prepared to communicate with those who have worked with my son in prior years to allow him to blossom in a school setting. Hopefully communication and a meeting of some sort will assist in getting my son in the right direction so that I no longer have to hear of kids telling me my son cries all of the time, or my son does this all of the time or that. My son is dealing with peer issues now because he is being singled out, not intentionally I presume, and that is the biggest concern that his counselor and I had when we began a mood disorder treatment; we didn’t want his mood disorder and anxiety to hinder him from developing bonds with classmates or being labeled as a troubled youth by the school.

A mother and her two sons

Having a mental health disorder does not make someone bad. Anxiety is not that difficult to understand, it’s simply an irrational fear. I would assume that a teacher, above all, would have more compassion for anxiety because many kids get that without having a major disorder because school is a whole different environment than their home.

Karate Kids: How Can Martial Arts Boost a Child’s Confidence?

It’s a relatively well-established fact that participation in sport can have a positive impact on a child’s self-esteem. Encouraging your child to get involved with any sport or group activity is great for teaching them the art of teamwork, accomplishment and belonging.

For children who don’t possess ‘raw talent’, or are simply not predisposed to fast-paced competitive sport, such as football or rugby, martial arts is an alternative way for them to reap the benefits of participating in sport.

Skill

The practice of martial arts offers the same sense of belonging as any other sport, providing children with an opportunity to compete and shine as an individual. However, there is one key difference between most mainstream sports and this cultural pastime: commitment.

Whilst most mainstream sports can be fun for children with varying levels of ability to take part in, if a child is not particularly good at it, they’re unlikely to take confidence from playing; getting to the top of your game is unlikely in the absence of raw talent.

In martial arts, however, the skills and strength required to become good is learned. Generally speaking there is an opportunity for every participant, regardless of skill, to become great at their sport.

Kids martial arts

Self-esteem and a hunger for success are important life attributes that need to be cultivated and nurtured. The martial arts teach children about setting attainable goals and targets, and then the importance of hard work and discipline in order to succeed.

Respect

The practise of the martial arts is intertwined with history, culture, philosophy and diversity. Students have to learn to respect the sport and their instructor, or they won’t be able to progress.

In its standard format, pupils are expected to bow to their instructor and to training partners, and are taught to respect the skills and abilities of others.

Because becoming good at this kind of sport is primarily down to commitment and training rather than innate talent, children quickly learn the kind of time and effort involved in achievement and what garners respect.

Self Defence

Practising the martial arts has obvious benefits, in that it teaches skills that will enable a person to become comfortable in defending themselves.

Some fans of the sport believe that it has genuine scope to reduce the instance of bullying, as children both:

  • Build the confidence to deal with physical aggression through the technical skills that martial arts offers, and;
  • Will reduce the likelihood of being targeted themselves through the confidence and assurance that it teaches them in their bearing and mannerisms

This kind of confidence, that builds inner strength and emotional robustness, is not always taught within other sports or activities.

This article was written by Laura Moulden on behalf of Fightshop.com; the leading MMA fight gear supplier. Visit the website for more information.

The Day Aj Veered Off, His Anxiety and A new Program Causing Fear

Parenting in general isn’t an easy task, I would never tell someone parenting is easy. As I watch my sister journey into her third trimester of pregnancy I am not telling her it’s going to be an easy task to be a parent, she knows already. Watching me with three kids shows that parenting requires a crazy amount of energy at times, dedication, motivation and the right attitude to make a joke about it. I mean, without a sense of humor, parenting can be quite challenging. One area that I have zero sense of humor is anxiety, having struggled with it my whole life it’s not easy watching my middle child struggle with it at age six.

I keep forgetting that Aj has anxiety because he has come so far from that mood swinging child that the topic of anxiety seems to be something that is left in the back of my mind. The other day Aj’s anxiety kicked in high gear and since it’s something I am all too familiar with for my own self, I was right on the ball to fix it.

Aj was sent to school a few weeks ago with a permission slip for this program that our local school and town library does. Since Aj was sent to school with the form, he assumed that the program was starting that particular day and as his teacher brought kids out to be picked up by parents Mister Aj veered off into the bus line all ready to hop on and go to this program. It was rather shocking to teachers and myself that Aj seemed to be missing because he is not that kid, he is like a soldier in school, a creature of routine and schedule, never does he veer off the path of normal. So to look back and not see him certainly shocked and scared his teacher {as well as me} just a little bit.

Finally we found Aj, with the help of quick thinking school officials and myself. He was in the bus line, ready to go to the program because after all, the permission slip was sent in so it must have been starting that day, at least according to him in his mind. Aj rarely verbalizes his thoughts and just goes with what he thinks he is suppose to do, which caused quite a stir with a happy ending.

Fast forward to the week that this program actually starts, Aj was so nervous and full of anxiety over his mistaken day of the program starting that he refused to go to the program on the start day. Aj woke up that morning with tears and all full of anxiety stating he was not going to this program and I was to pick him up at school. There was no way, no how that he was going to participate. I knew he really did want to take part in this program, as his sister did for years prior, he had been so excited about it and yet his anxiety was taking over the excitement and he was going to miss out on a really great program if I did not act fast.

I discussed the issue with Aj, why he didn’t want to go all of a sudden and his reply was this “I wanted to go that day and I was disappointed it didn’t start then. Now I don’t want to go. I don’t know what bus to get on. I don’t know what to do, where to go.”  Aj came up with all of these fears that were inside of his little head and spoke them to me, for that I was thankful. Having some form of an idea of his fears allowed me to do what I do best, make the situation better.

I reassured Aj that I would take him inside of the school, talk with the principal and his teacher, anyone that we needed to speak to so that he felt more at ease with going to this program after school. That statement of me saying I would help find answers to his fears, made him happier. Thank goodness!

I ventured into the school hand in hand with Aj to talk to the principal who was so amazing with his words and calmness. Not once did the principal look as if he was making fun or not getting what was going on inside of the mind of my sweet six year old. The principal helped and seemed to be on the same mindset as I was, he walked with Aj and me down to Aj’s classroom where sadly there was a substitute, knowing Aj has anxiety with changes, we found the teachers helper and she assured Aj that when it was time for the program that a teacher who is in charge of the program would meet with all of the kids and together they would walk to the bus line that takes the kids and ride downtown together.

It took all but fifteen extra minutes of my time that morning and in that time Aj’s fears as well as anxiety was lifted at least 90%, so much so that he was okay with attending the program after school. This is how my life is with a child who has anxiety issues, each new program, event or sport is something that makes me learn to be more creative, proactive and positive for my son because without that strength and attitude from his parents & teachers, he wouldn’t be pushed to be all he can be in life.

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