Saturday, December 30, 2006

Seasons Greetings

Hello Everyone

So sorry for the long miss. One of my many goals for the New Year is to be more diligent with my blogging. Speaking of goalsetting Cassie and I are very excited about our goal setting promotion for the month of January. We are going to concentrate on how you and your children can set doable goals and actually realize them. No more New Years resolutions, goalsetting is the way to go. Why not make 2007 your year. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish no matter how big or how small and use the tools that we will introduce to you in the upcoming weeks to bring them to fruition. Can you imagine how good it will feel to actually accomplish what you set out to do. Now that is a cause for celebration!!


Saturday, December 09, 2006


My Dear Friend Cassie is away for three days and I am missing her terribly. Despite the fact that she is 7,000 KM away living in the UK we usually get together most days for a chat online and discuss plans for the website and newsletter; but alas she is in Scotland staying with friends and won’t have access to a computer. It got me thinking about friendship and how important it is to us. I know Cassie keeps me sane and I would be lost without her. There is nothing I cannot tell her and she knows me inside out in fact we are so in sync sometimes it is scary. I don’t know what I would do without her; and it makes me realize how blessed I am to have her in my life.

Friendship is extremely important for our children too. Friendships help children learn social skills, problems solving skills and help to build their self-confidence. Some children have trouble making friends so we may have to give them a helping hand. If your child is shy find ways for him to build up his self esteem  so that he can feel more confident when around his peers. Get your children involved in activities where they can make new friends if they are having problems finding friendship in school.

For more ideas on how to help your child make friends check out our website

Have a great day!!


Friday, December 08, 2006

Tis The Season

Happy Friday, Everyone

Two days ago I lost my wallet. It somehow fell out of my jacket pocket never to be seen again. Now being of the firm belief that things happen for a reason I was trying to figure out exactly what I needed to learn from this. Was it a lesson to teach me to be more conscious or a lesson for me to learn to be more careful... I wonder??

I also believe that even when something seems negative we need to find the positive in the experience. I thought about that one for a bit and came to the conclusion that things could have been worse. Sure it was a pain in the butt to cancel my bank card and credit card and get a new license etc ; but other than that what did I really lose? Luckily I only had $10 in it so thankfully I was not carrying a lot of money. The positive then would be that I could have been carrying a bunch of cash whilst on a Christmas shopping trip, now that would have been a major downer. So all in all it was not a big deal!! Once I came to that conclusion, I could relax and get on with my life. Still in the back of my mind I wanted to believe that some kind soul would find the wallet and return it to me, I didn't hold my breath... but it was still in my thoughts never-the-less.

Well my friends just before I wrote this blog I received a phone call and my wallet was found in order and I can pick it up tomorrow. Too cool!! Maybe the lesson I needed to learn was to trust in the kindness of strangers. Somehow with all the news about the latest terrorist attack or crime somewhere we start to lose faith in our fellow man and forget (except for a few bad apples) that we are all inherently good people deep down inside. This was an eye-opener for me to keep trusting and not become cynical. I have always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt and at times it has come back to bite me. This has shown me that I need to continue to have faith in my neighbour. I think it is imperative that we teach this to our children too.

Thank you Universe!!! I learned my lesson big time!! Monicka

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Goal Setting with Kids - Thinking from the End

Ever taught your kids what it means to "Think from the end"? If you are serious about bringing your children up to be habitual goal setters, what a great lesson to teach them - and a very easy one too!

I was playing with my little niece Talia the other week. At eight years old she is a bright, well-spoken kid and fantastic company. She had a coloring and activity book so we colored together for quite some time (I am not looking forward to the time when she gets too old to enjoy doing that, as I love coloring with her when we visit the family!)

Anyway, we then came across a maze, which Talia took a felt tip pen to and without further ado proceeded to solve in about 30 seconds. I was interested to see that she did in fact, START FROM THE END, in other words instead of starting at the 'start here' entry to the maze, she put her pen on the cheese (or whatever it was, I forget) at the centre of the maze and quickly found her way out. Which is, of course, the quickest way to solve a maze!

It was a great opportunity for me to point out to her how "Thinking from the End", similar to how she had solved her maze so quickly, can help kids and adults alike with goal setting. She was quick to understand that if we define our goals and start with thinking with what we want to achieve, then the pathways to achieving our goals will be that much smoother!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Do You Know Where Your Chocolate Comes From???

They say ignorance is bliss but after watching a news program last night on child abuse in the chocolate industry, I felt it was my duty to blog about it. If I had no clue I am sure a lot of people also are unaware of the unacceptable practice that is still going on in this industry. So since it is Halloween, a time when chocolate consumption is high maybe it is time that we give a bit of thought to where that sweet treat may have come from.

According to the report, in 2001, the U.S. State Department and the International Labour Organization reported child slavery on many of the cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast, which produces about 43 % of the world's supply. It was reported after subsequent research that 284,000 children between the ages of 9 and 12 were working in hazardous conditions such as around toxic pesticide and using dangerous machetes to harvest the cocoa beans. And if that was not bad enough it was discovered that 12,000 children that had participated in the study were working in these abhorrent conditions as a result of child trafficking. Suddenly that chocolate doesn't sound so sweet.

When this finally caught the attention of the media and the government in 2001 and the American public began to take notice, the U.S. chocolate agreed to take steps to end the child slavery trade by July 2005.That is all well and good but sadly the deadline has come and the chocolate industry has failed to change any of its despicable practices.

Global Exchange is now launching a campaign for communities to voice their opinions about the chocolate industry's abuse of children.
What can you do? Buy fair trade chocolate products . Fair Trade guarantees that all producers the income that they need to educate their children and pay workers with fair wages. Consumers can be asssured that no abusive labour practices were used in the process of making the chocolate. If we contact the large chocolate companies and demand that we will accept nothing less than fair trade it will put pressure on them to change. After I write this I am going to email the likes of Nestle, M&M Mars, Lindt and any others in the chocolate industry. If we all took the time to do this they would have to listen.

Happy Parenting 


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Talking to your kids

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Goal Setting and Task Accomplishment

On Saturday I blogged about helping your child set goals for the new school year, and helping them use visualization to imagine their goals.

What else can you do to help your child become a super-achieving goal setter?

Well if you think of the final goal as the destination, you reach your goal by taking lots of small steps. So a great thing to teach your child is how to set little tasks each day that will help him reach his goal, one step at a time.

There are all sorts of ways of learning to set and achieve mini-goals or complete tasks, and it's a good skill to have - the earlier you start the better.

One nice idea is to get an index card box and a lot of index cards. Each evening, sit down with your child and have him write down on one index card what steps he would like to take towards his goals next day. They should be things that he feels he is able to do. If he asks for your help, that is fine, but he needs to OWN his goals and his tasks - they are his very own.

It's great for kids self esteem to tick off all the different things they achieve towards their goals on the card the next day. Teach your child that it is OK to move a task to the following day if for some reason it doesn't get done - never allow him to beat himself up for not completing a task - only allow positive praise and rewards for tasks accomplished, never punishment or self-depreciation of any kind.

If your child writes the date on each card and files it, he will love getting his index card box out once in a while and reviewing all that he has achieved so far!

Happy Goal setting with your kids!


Sunday, October 08, 2006

How you can help your child to set goals

The start of the academic year is a great time to sit down with your school-age child and help him set some goals.

It's important that the child decides on his own goals rather than you dishing them out! If your child is new to goal setting here are some ideas for questions you can ask to help him create some goals this year:

  • "What is your favorite subject at school?" "What would you like to achieve in that subject?"
  • "Where do you want to get in your chosen sport this year?"
  • "What goals could you set that might make school more fun this year?"
  • "Are there any new skills you would like to learn this year?"
  • "What do you want to achieve this year in music / art / your favorite hobby?"
Once your child has some goals, your most important job is to provide encouragement and to believe in him!

You can also help by teaching your child to visualize his goals and imagine them - bedtime is a good time to do this. Get him to describe what it will look like, sound like and feel like when his goal is achieved. There are lots of great techniques on the KidsGoals website!

Happy Goal setting with your Kids!


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Potty Training and Goal Setting with Your Child - Empowerment or Shame?

I'm always amazed at the sheer vast numbers of parents who are looking for help on how to potty-train their toddlers.

Potty or toilet training is a huge milestone for you and your baby or toddler and is an episode that can either teach your child empowerment or embarrassment. Which will it be for YOUR child?

I cringe to tell you this but my earliest memory is of wetting myself. Here is how I remember it...

"It’s very late. It’s dark outside. The sky is pitch black, and something amazing is happening. Soft white flakes are drifting down from the sky, slowly and quietly. Everything is quiet; it must be that the whole world is asleep.
Somehow I persuade the big people to take me outside to see this miracle for myself. They put me in yellow Wellingtons and a fluffy yellow all-in-one thing, called a Snowsuit, and let me stand outside. I reach out my tiny hands to try and catch the snow, and watch it gently settle on the ground and the railings of the balcony outside our flat."

"Before I realise what is happening, my little bladder gives in to the cold and I feel a warm wet sensation flooding my lower body and seeping into my wellington boots. Following quickly on the heels of that physical sensation comes a crippling feeling of utter shame. Mother and Father expect me to be perfect, how could I let them down like this?"

This memory has always been a very vivid one for me - such intense shame and guilt, knowing that I had done something terrible. I assumed that I must have been about 5 or 6 years old to feel so ashamed of having an accident.

Imagine my surprise when I mentioned this memory to my mother and she said, "Oh yes, I remember that and you in your yellow snowsuit. You were only two."

TWO? Two innocent years old and I felt THAT terrible about a little accident?

I hope that you will choose to teach your child EMPOWERMENT by using PRAISE in your potty training, rather than using PUNISHMENT, guilt and shame like my mother did.

For more suggestions on positive potty training, check out Monicka's article on Potty Training  and if your child was successfully potty trained but is experiencing problems, this article on Potty Training Problems and Regression might help!

Happy Goal setting with your kids!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Raise a Reader

September 28th is Raise

a Reader Day in Canada

Happy Thursday everyone! Because today is officially Raise- A- Reader Day in Canada I thought it appropriate to blog on the subject of literacy. I was shocked to find that inadequate literacy levels are linked to low employment and may even be the cause of higher crime rates . The CanWest Raise-A-Reader program is designed to increase awareness and raise money and resources to support family literacy programs but there is also a lot that we can do as parents to get our children not only to read but also to love reading just for the sheer joy of it.
We all know how important reading is for our kids but not all children love reading. There are many distractions such as video games and television that a child may find much more enjoyable than curling up with a good book. The good news is that parents can do a lot to get their kids interested in reading. Let your kids see you reading for pleasure and also make it a point to read to your kids on a regular basis. Studies show that the more a child reads the better he/ she will get at reading and the more they will enjoy reading. Children who rarely read do not improve on their reading skills and consequently struggle at reading so tend to avoid it.
If you set aside a special time for reading and make it a family affair such as half an hour before bed or after dinner. It only takes as little as ten minutes a day to improve your child’s reading skills and help him to develop a love for reading. You can also try to limit the time your kids watch television or play video games to make time for reading but do not make the mistake of using these activities as a reward for reading or as a punishment for not reading.
Happy Reading and look for upcoming articles in our KidsGoals newsletter to help you get your kids to love reading.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's the Little Things That Count

It’s the Little Things That Count

During a walk to the corner store yesterday afternoon, my son happened to notice all the garbage lying on the roadside. He asked me why people litter when it would be so easy to hold on to it until you can find a trash can? Sadly, I did not have an answer for him but suggested we take a few trash bags and clean up the roadside this weekend, which he thought was a great idea.
The environment and how we are contributing to its destruction with greenhouse gas emissions has been a hot topic in the media. The big news is that Californians are suing six major car manufacturers for damage to the environment, economy and public health, caused by vehicle emissions. We may not have the time or energy or funds to do anything quite as drastic but keep in mind that it is the little things that count.
Show your kids that a few changes can make a big difference such as
  • Turn off lights and other appliances when they are not being used
  • Replace old light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Don’t leave water running when brushing teeth
  • Recycle as much as possible
There are many wonderful sites that will give you and your kids more ideas on how to be more energy efficient such as Spend some quality time together researching all the ways that your family can help. Children learn by example, so show your kids that you care about the future of the planet and they will too. Let's all do our own small part
Happy Tuesday

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Have Fun in the Kitchen

Have Fun In The Kitchen
Lately I have decided that I need to give my fifteen-year-old daughter  more responsibility. I want her to learn all the basic skills such as washing her own clothes basic housekeeping and cooking. In learning these skills she will become self-sufficient and it will better prepare her when she is on her own. We have decided that she will prepare some of the meals for the family and I am learning to let go enough to let her make mistakes in the kitchen because that is a big part about learning.
Children seem to really like helping in the kitchen. Whether it is opening a can or helping to crack eggs for a cake they are more than willing to lend a hand. Why not use this time to bond with your kids. Cooking can also be educational because a child will learn about counting, measuring, fractions and time. Your child will be learning and having fun at the same time.
Even children as young as three or four can be join in on the fun. Pick out a kid tested recipe and decided which parts of the recipe is age appropriate for your child always keeping in mind that safety is a factor.
For some great you can make with your children, visit the KidsGoals web site.
Happy Cooking

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Help your kids with homework

My nine-year -old son has procrastinating down to a fine art and up until now was able to get away without completing some of his homework because frankly, he is one cute kid!! However, since he has started grade four he has learned the hard way that his cuteness won’t cut it with his male teacher.
This Wednesday he was given an assignment and told that it had to be completed by Monday. He has just learned cursive writing and so the process of completing his writing assignment was painstakingly slow. My son put off working on his assignment until Friday when I questioned him on how much he had completed which was very little. I decided to get strict with him and told him he would have to start working on it immediately or he would not complete it on time. He started on it rather reluctantly and I could tell that he was really struggling. It took him most of the weekend and it was not easy for him but I am proud to say he persevered and completed the assignment on time. He later told me that only eleven other students were able to do this. He was very proud of himself and I could see that he had learned a valuable lesson about putting things off. Suffice to say that when he came home from school the first thing he did was complete the homework assigned for that day.
I think it is very important for parents to take your child’s homework seriously. By showing your child that homework and studying are an important part of education and that you care if they complete assignments on time you are showing your child that you care and that in turn will make them more likely to care too. Children are also more likely to study if they see you reading or writing rather than watching TV. By keeping your home quiet and distractions to a minimum you will help your child to concentrate on the task at hand.
Cheers, Monicka

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Supernanny" style assault in nursery???

This interesting article in yesterday's paper is about a nursery owner - just down the road from where I live - who is accused in court of common assault after she allegedly "dragged" a two year old girl to the "naughty chair", shouting at her.

The toddler was said to have hit a younger child on the head with a toy brick.

My hubbie read the article and said "When I was a lad I'd get caned at school and come home and tell my Dad, and all he said was ' you probably deserved it'."

I don't have a problem with a child who has misbehaved having to have a time-out, but what really upsets me is that there is no need to lose one's temper. I think if we lose our temper when disciplining children then we have lost control - and it is a very bad example to set. If this woman, at 56 years old, feels the need to "drag", "push" and "shout at" a 2 year old, then she should not be working with kids!

She could learn a lot from Monicka's suggestions on positive reinforcement for kids!

She denies the charge of common assault but faces up to six months in prison if found guilty. I will be watching the case with interest...


Saturday, September 16, 2006

"Emotional Mastery", Goal Setting Kids

Hi everyone ... I have been thinking a lot lately about EMOTIONS in general. We all have challenges in life, some of which are inevitably going to be upsetting. Sometimes seemingly small things can upset us a lot, probably because they are associated unconsciously with major upsets in the past.

I was very sad the other day and a dear friend of mine helped me feel better by gently leading me through a process like this:

1. Recognize the emotions you feel.
2. Allow yourself to feel and express them. It is OK to cry if you are sad!
3. Remember that you have other emotions inside you, like Happiness and Resourcefulness. And allow those emotions the space to come out too.

It's not always easy, but better I think than bottling things up.

What a great thing it would be if we could give kids the tools to master their emotions. A child who can recognize and express his or her emotions, and realize that it is possible to choose other emotions when they are ready to, will be a strong child indeed. That can only help with Kids Goal Setting and other achievements!

What do YOU think??


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Teach Your Kids the Importance of Goal Setting

Goal setting for kids is such an important skill that it's always a good idea to be on the lookout for opportunities to talk about goals. In some ways, the smaller the better as it enables your child to learn a great habit - to think of all that they do in terms of goal setting. It will help them grow up as productive, high-achieving people!

You can talk to your tiny child in terms of goals every day. On the way to nursery, you could ask, "What is your goal at nursery today?" He might say, "To play in the sandpit". That's fine! It means he is learning to think about what he wants, and to experience pleasure and pride when he achieves it. These tiny steps will help him achieve more and more impressive things as he grows up.

Happy goal setting with your kids!


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Kids, Exercise and Buggies

This interesting article points out that older children are now routinely being pushed around in buggies rather than walking. In the good old days :) prams were much heavier and were usually ditched once a kid was about 2 years old. Now it seems lots of parents simply find it more convenient to push a child about up until school age - with some reports of parents even bringing the buggy to school to pick the 6 or 7 year old up in!

Frankly, I'm shocked. I can't agree that safety is a reasonable excuse for this behavior. We can either use reins or hold an older child's hand. Kids are designed to be on the move! How else will they develop properly - muscles, balance, co-ordination and metabolism?

In addition, while children's diet is obviously another major concern, this increasing restriction of kids' movement can hardly be helping the trend towards childhood obesity.

Back-pain specialist Dr Alison McGregor, of Imperial College in London, says "Children need to be upright and walking about to strengthen their back muscles and their abdominal muscles, in order for the spine to be properly supported." Hear, hear!

Want to hear YOUR thoughts please?!?!


Friday, September 08, 2006

The Importance of Sleep

Goal Setting for Kids

Having experienced jet lag for myself I can say first hand how detrimental sleep deprivation can be on a body. Due to lack of sleep I was much more susceptible to illness and sure enough caught a nasty flu bug.
Children actually need more sleep than the average adult and without it they cannot function at their best, which for growing children is about 10-11 hours for 7-12 years of age and 8.5-9.5 hours for ages 12-18.
While it may be a bit difficult to control the amount of sleep your older teen may get, you do have a bit more of a say when it comes to the younger ones. The most important thing is to try to remain on a schedule. Children thrive on consistency. If they know they will have their bath at a for instance 8 PM or they have a bedtime snack at 8:30 PM and then pajamas are on and teeth brushed by eight thirty they will develop a routine that they can look forward to. The story you read before lights are out will be something that will be most anticipated and you may find that you enjoy it just as much as your children. Once they are all tucked into bed it will give you a needed break and perhaps make it possible for you to get to bed so you get the recommended amount of sleep for adults which is approximately 7-8 hours a night.
Please look for upcoming issues of the Kidsgoals newsletter for tips on making your child love to read.
Cheers, Monicka

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Goal Setting for Kids

Goal Setting for Kids

I have now been away from my children for eighteen days and although I am having a wonderful time visiting my dearest friend in England, I find that I am missing my family terribly. It just goes to show you that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, or in my case until you have had a break from it for a little while.

I can remember thinking before I left for the UK how uneventful my life had become and how I felt so taken for granted. This little respite I have had from the same old, same old routine of my life has shown me how truly blessed I am. I have also noticed that my family has also had a bit of a revelation themselves.

It will be interesting to see if they pick up after themselves and help out a bit more without being asked but I guess time will tell. The bottom line is that having this time to myself to take care of my needs and my needs alone has made me realize that I am where I need and want to be.

I think all Mothers need to take time for them. Even if it cannot be three weeks in London, a few hours to yourself once in awhile may be just what the Doctor ordered. A bubble bath without the kids bothering you for half an hour, or just a day out with a girl friend will rejuvenate and restore you. It is important that you do things for yourself. It may seem like you are being selfish but in reality you are doing the best for your family. By taking care of number one you are giving your family a better you and that is a very loving thing indeed.

Have a stress free day.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

All in the Name of Art???

Goal Setting for Kids
Greetings from the UK. As planned Cassie and I have finally met as I have been in the UK since August 20th. I am having a lovely time enjoying the incredible countryside and the lovely people of England. My excuse for not blogging sooner is that I have been suffering from the dreaded "jet lag" not fun but part of the travel experience I am afraid.

Whilst having my coffee this morning Cassie's husband pointed out an article in the Sunday times entitled "The Great Lollipop Debate" The controversial piece spoke of "Jill Greenberg" a famous U.S. photographer who in the name of art, made little children cry by taking away their candy and then photographing their responses. The pictures are incredible but heartwrenching to look at.

I am trying to understand what her so called intended purpose for doing this was? Having written articles about the dangers of the internet for children and the pedophiles that prey on innocent children, I really have to wonder why the children had to be stripped down to their waist. Would it not have the same effect if the child still had it's clothes on? Is it art or is it just for shock value? Kind of makes you wonder, when you hear that the website received 60,000 hits a day.

Having children myself I had trouble looking at the tormented faces of the children and finding any intrinsic value in what she considers "art" just my humble opinion and after reading the article and how it told of the hundreds of angry responses from other viewers, it is obvious that I am not alone in this line of thinking.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Help Your Child Use His Imagination for Successful Goal Setting

Isn't it great how kids love to use their imagination? They are so much better than most of us grown ups at seeing things in their mind, at experiencing things vividly with thought alone.

Using your imagination is such a powerful tool for goal setting - so it's a really good idea to encourage your child to use his imagination, and especially to day dream about his goals.

Some questions you ask about your child's goals, to help your child experience his goals in his mind as vividly as possible:

"What does your goal look like?"

"What does it sound like? What do other people say about your goal?"

"What does it feel like when you've achieved your goal?"

For even more impact, you can suggest to your child that he sits comfortably and closes his eyes while you ask him these questions.

Doing this will teach your child that his imagination is a powerful tool, and help him to form a habit of using it in a positive way that will help him with achievements, large and small, in the future.

Visit this link for more ideas about Your Child's Imagination.

Happy Goal Setting with your Kids!


Monday, July 31, 2006

Goal Setting with Your Kids

I thought Monicka wrote a terrific goal setting article for our latest newsletter, about how her eldest daughter managed to create the trip of a lifetime to Australia.

It's not available on the website yet, as only subscribers to our newsletter get the first sight of new articles (it'll be on there at some point).... but if you've not already subscribed please give us a try and read all about it! Here's the link...! Kids Goals Parent Newsletters

Happy goal setting with your kids!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Your Child's Emotional Well Being

The Detriments of Worry and Guilt
Last summer, my then thirteen-year-old daughter Suzannah (not her real name) chose to have a meltdown of all places the produce aisle of our local grocery store. She seemed to be fine when we left to go shopping but within ten minutes of entering the store her whole personality seemed to change. She was stomping around and appeared to be very angry. I asked her to calm down and that just seemed to make matters worse. The volume of her voice had increased so much that other shoppers were pausing to check out what the commotion was about. Finally I had had enough and grabbed her firmly by the arm and took her back to our vehicle to try and calm her down. We both sat in the back seat and for the first fifteen minutes she refused to tell me what the problem was. I was determined to get to the bottom of what had set her off and finally she told me what was bothering her.

Savannah confessed to me that the summer before she had taken something from a convenience store that we had stopped at, to pick up a few supplies for a camping trip. She happened to come across a small toy ring and had pocketed it unbeknownst to her Dad and I. I don’t know what possessed her to do such as thing as I had always told her that it was wrong to steal and I thought she had gotten the message loud and clear. The point I wish to make is not so much that she took the object in the first place which was definitely not appropriate, but rather how long she had held on to the guilt about taking it. Instead of coming to me or her Dad and telling us after the fact, she held it in for over a year until she couldn’t take it any longer. She told me after she took it she hid it in the ashtray of our vehicle and hoped no one would find it. She said that she felt so bad about it but couldn’t tell us what she had done because she was worried about the repercussions. The guilt ate away at her day after day until finally she couldn’t contain it any longer and that was what caused the meltdown in the store.

I truly believe it is important to teach our children that they can come to us whenever they have done something wrong. They need to know that no matter what they have a safe place in which to unburden their soul if need be. I felt so bad after Suzannah told me because she didn’t need to suffer like that. Of course I would have made her return the ring and tell the store manager how sorry she was, but ultimately the punishment that she chose for herself was far worse.

Let your children know that they are loved no matter what and they should always feel safe to tell you if they have done something wrong. Guilt and worry are wasted emotions and can cause great harm a child’s emotional health. Show your children that mistakes are a part of life and what is most important is that we learn from them, so that we never repeat the same one.

Have an awesome day!! KidsGoals


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Kids and Puppies and Positive Reinforcement

When our puppy, Eddie, first came home to us he was a scared little thing, missing his doggy family, and hid under the kitchen table and wouldn't come out!

Soon he settled in and accepted us as his new pack, and was an adorable but mischievous bundle of fluff. His teeth were sharp as needles and he played rough so I had lots of nips on my hands! He stole socks and ran away with them, and chewed everything he could lay his mouth on.

But there were also plenty of times when he was being delightful. When he would chew on the toys we gave him instead of the furniture and our clothes, or come running when he was called, or even just lie quietly and calmly watching us as we went about our chores.

Why is it so tempting to punish bad behavior but let the good behavior go by unmentioned? I made myself a rule that for every time I told my pup off, I would find at least 10 times when he was being good and I could proactively praise and reward him.

With a puppy it's easy to know what to do - scratch him behind the ears, talk to him in a loving voice, give him biscuits.

Why not take the time to find out what rewards would motivate your child, and resolve to find more things to praise than to punish?

Check out Monicka's great article on how to use Positive Reinforcement

Happy goal setting with your kids!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

On line Support

Have you ever felt like you were the only one going through a certain situation and no one could possibly understand?? Would you be surprised to hear that you are not alone and somewhere in this vast world someone is going through exactly what you are.

What I am referring to is the forums. Pick a topic, or a physical or emotional problem and there is a forum out there for it. I have nothing but good things to say about forums because I met my good friend Cassie on of all places an Australian friendship forum. I also belong to a weight loss forum and find amazing support from women and men of all ages who struggle with keeping the pounds off. It is good to know that you are not alone and it is an incredible support system. You are never judged and when you falter there is someone to get you right back on track. Another plus is that sometimes you don't feel like you can tell anyone, even your spouse or your best friend. On a forum you can remain totally anonymous. No one has to ever know anything personal if you don't wish to divulge that kind of information. You can tell all, purge your soul if you will and never feel like it is going to come back to haunt you. Once you post your problem other people can read about it and offer advice or just kind words, it is like therapy online.

On the topic of forums Cassie and I have discussed the possibility of providing one on our kidsgoals site. We will keep you posted as that develops.

Have a wonderful day


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Reading - a great Kids' Goal for the Summer Holidays!

As a kid my most favorite thing in the world was reading, so it seems incomprehensible to me that not all kids are that way inclined. Reading has so many benefits, that it's a fabulous activity to encourage. Of course playing with other kids is probably the most important thing children should do during the summer holidays, what better way to enjoy themselves and develop great social skills, but EVERYONE should have at least some time for reading!

The local libraries in my area are doing all kinds of reading-related activities for kids, with "missions" to read certain books they recommend and so on, and I thought a Reading Goal would be a great idea for kids during the holidays.

Ideas for a good Reading Goal:

1. Relate to a subject your kid loves and can get passionate about.
2. Include some participation from you, like "book discussion" or simply doing some reading together or to each other.
3. Include a satisfying step of "ticking off" mini-steps as they are achieved!

Happy goal setting with your kids!


Monday, July 10, 2006

Kids, Goal Setting, and being Kind

Helping our kids be kind and likeable people ... is that a great goal to set??

One thing I try to remember in dealing with others is that I don't know everything about their situation. If someone does something hateful to me, are they really being horrid or are they, perhaps, just having a horrible day themselves?

A story that really drove this thought home with me is one that I thought others might find helpful, perhaps to relate to their older kids during discussions about personal goals to do with having friends, or being likeable.

I will tell the story in my own words as best I can, just as I remember being told it. It has been seared on my memory ever since.

"I was traveling home on the train from work one day. The train was full of tired commuters who just wanted to sit in peace. Unfortunately we were all driven to distraction by two young children. They were running around, shouting, pushing, kicking the chairs and basically cheesing everyone off in their attempts to destroy the train as noisily as possible. To everyone's annoyance, the children's father sat there ignoring them completely, as though he was unaware what his brats were up to. Unshaven and looking rough, I judged him to be drunk or on drugs, and looked down at him disgustedly.

"I was about to say something to this parent - and it was not going to be very polite - when he suddenly seemed to come awake, and caught me looking at him. Realization dawned on his face and he spoke to me - brokenly - and said, 'I'm sorry about the children. We have just come from the hospital, their mother has just passed away. I don't know what to say to them.'"

"I have never been so thankful before for having bitten my tongue, and I always remember that poor man, whenever I see someone acting in a way that seems unacceptable to me."

On the topic of friendliness, you might enjoy Monicka's super article on how to help your child make friends.

Happy goal setting with your kids!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

What Really Matters

As a loving parents our goal is to do right by our children. Lavish them with all the love, support and encouragement that we may never have received from our parents. We also want also want to give them all the material things, the latest video game or newest toy that all the kids are talking about. While that is all well and good the most important thing that you can give your child is your time. You may think that a new bike or game will put a smile on your child's face but if he has no one to ride that bike with or play that game with, the joy will be short lived.

My 9 year old son is a prime example of how easy it really is to make a child happy. He seems to take great pleasure in the simple things, such as running through the sprinkler with me on a hot summer day or helping me make a pot of chili for dinner. The important thing is not what you do with your child, but rather that you do it together. All a child really needs to be happy is to know that he is worth your time and that he or she is important to you.

As Maya Angelou said so succinctly, "Does your child see your face light up when he walks into the room?"


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Goal Setting for Kids

Goal Setting with your Kids - Tip of the Day!

When goal setting with your kids, it's a good idea to encourage them to draw pictures of their goal or find and cut pictures out of magazines. Scrap booking is fun for kids of most ages anyway, but just think how much extra momentum they will have if they are constantly drawing or seeking out pictures to remind them of how great it will be when they have achieved their goal!

Even tiny kids can enjoy pictorial goal setting. When they are too young to write, what better way to introduce goal setting than to encourage kids to find and enjoy pictures that represent what they want to achieve. As always with young children, remember to keep the timescales appropriate. A goal could be as simple and immediate as wanting to go the park and feed the ducks this afternoon ... by helping a small child visualize and plan a goal like that, perhaps with a step that says "I'm going to get ready to go out and help put on my own coat and shoes", you are setting up a success mechanism where he or she is learning ... I want something ... I'm willing to do what it takes to get it (in this case, put on my coat without a fuss and maybe do up my own laces) ... then I successfully achieve my goal.

It might sound tiny or even silly, but these little introductions to goal setting will grow with you and your child!

Happy goal setting with your kids!


What is a Mother worth???

They say you can't put a price on a Mother but recently I read an article that said that a Mother does have an actual dollar figure worth. If you take into consideration all that a Mother does;
  • Raising children- A full time Nanny
  • Keeping house - A full time Maid or Housekeeper
  • Cooking meals- A Chef
  • Kiss the boo-boos and make everyone better when they are sick- A Nurse
  • Manage Family Finances- A Bookkeeper
  • Transport children to sports activities, Dance, Dr. and Dentist Appointments- A Chauffeur
  • Help a child with homework- A Teacher
I could go on and on but you get the picture. So taking into consideration of all that a Mother does, no weekends off a financial firm came up with the conclusion that based on 17 professions a Mother's worth in US Dollars is drum roll please...........$635,700 per year or nearly $53,000 a month.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Goal Setting for Kids - Intangible goals?

Goal setting for Kids - Intangible goals?

What to do if your kid sets a goal like "I want Joey Smith to be my best friend"? A goal like that isn't necessarily all that healthy. Maybe I'm wrong to call it an "intangible" goal as it's certainly very specific - which is supposed to be good for goal setting.

But it depends too much on things outside your child's control. What if Joey already has a best friend ... or if he moves away?

When teaching our kids goal setting maybe we need to emphasize that our goals need to be defined in terms that enable us to be in control, at least largely, of whether we reach them or not.

A better goal might be, to be the kind of kid that everyone wants to be friends with?!

What do YOU think?

Goal Setting for Kids

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Accentuate the Positive Eliminate the Negative

According to scientific research, the average child is told "no'' or told that they cannot do something over 148,000 times before they reach the age of 18. That is a lot of no's. I tend to think of any negative thoughts as planting weeds and if you think of your child's mind as a garden that is a whole lot of weeds!!!

What then can you do as a parent to help your child get rid of the weeds and start planting flowers? Well if you think about all the negatives as being negative programming then we must help our child do a bit of positive programming to undo all the negatives. Although that may sound a bit difficult it really isn't, it just involves repetition. Scientific research has shown that 77% of our thoughts are negative and counterproductive. Since our brains learn by repetition, the more you repeat something the more it becomes ingrained in your psyche. Positive self talk and thinking will not work unless you practice it again and again.

When you catch your child berating themselves teach them to turn those thoughts around. Positive self talk is learned and can become a habit through repetition.

Hoping you and your children have a positive day


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fussy Eaters

Hi everyone and welcome to the Kids Goals blog!

Do you have a fussy eater in your family? Or maybe you even used to be a fussy eater yourself as a kid?

There were lots of things I hated as a small child ... olives and omelettes are the ones that bring back the worst memories - both of which I love now, as an adult. A lot of the foods kids don't seem keen on is quite strong in flavor...

I have many fond memories, on the other hand, of eating Farleys' Rusks. If you don't get Farleys in your country, they are a mild flavoured rusk that goes soft and soggy in milk. They are meant for little babies but I adored them throughout childhood and still think about them! Imagine my disappointment when I tried a Farleys' Rusk recently and found that it had No Taste At All!!!! It had the flavor of soggy cardboard!

My theory is that as we grow older, our taste buds mature and become less sensitive, so we enjoy the stimulation of stronger foods. Unfortunately, it also means that some delicious things, like good old Farleys, become utterly and depressingly tasteless. Anyone else find this?


P.S. Check out the new Child Nutrition article on the site, and if you're interested we also have all kinds of recipes for cooking with your child

Friday, June 16, 2006

Internet Safety for Kids

My youngest son is very involved in an online adventure game. He has been playing it for over six months as a non-member but after awhile he grew bored with the available quests and pleaded with his Father and me to let him become a member. He showed us all the cool things that full members could do and what the $7 a month would cover. After a bit of thought we agreed to let him.

Things were going along fine until yesterday when he came to me and told me someone hacked into his game and stole his password. He was very upset and rightly he should have been. If something like a password can be stolen what else can these hackers steal!!!

Make it a point to teach your children internet safety. Do not get complacent when it comes to your child and his computer games. There are predators lurking waiting for a chance to befriend your child, make no mistake about it!!!

We will be providing a quick start guide you can download from our website at KidsGoals that will be available in July, watch for it.


Goal Setting for Kids - But what do they REALLY want?

As the step parent of a 16 year old girl I am pondering, at the moment, what one should do to help children of that age adopt positive goals?

It's particularly tricky if you are a non-resident parent (or in my case, step-parent - with even less influence!) especially if you only see the child once in a long while.

But I guess even parents who are lucky enough to have their young teenagers living with them full time may come up against the conflict that happens naturally when youngsters are ready to stretch their wings and perhaps make mistakes that we the adults wish we could guide them away from.

What's your experience??

Happy Goal Setting with your kids!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just do it

Hello everyone and Happy Tuesday

The whole point of the KidsGoals is to help parents and caregivers teach children to be proud of who they are and that anything is possible if they put their mind to it. One of the most important aspects of goal setting for your children is follow through. Rather than putting off something that needs to be done at a more convenient time, teach them that that there is no time like the present and to just do it!!!

Lately Cassie and I have made a pact that when an idea for our kidsgoals website, blog or newsletter comes to us we will stop everything that we are doing and get on it. It has made a huge difference. We are getting things accomplished that we would normally drag our heels on until the last minute. I am starting to realize being the Queen of procrastination that I am or rather was, that you can unlearn a bad habit and replace it with a much more positive one. Something like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets.

We all know that children learn by example so make it a point to show your children how important it is not to put off things that need to be done. I find that unfinished business haunts me and makes it difficult to move forward. On the other hand when I follow through and get it done it gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. What a great thing to teach your children and something that can only benefit them in their adult years.

Cheers, Monicka

Monday, June 12, 2006

Need some incentive??

It has been a few days since I have had a chance to blog, but more times then not I will come up with an idea during my workouts. So during my morning 30 on the treadmill I thought of a post on a diet forum that I had read about a man who had lost 30 pounds. He was really concerned about gaining it back and figured out a way that really kept him on the right track. He filled up a sandbag with enough sand to weigh 30 pounds and every time he had the urge to go on a binge he would tell himself OK you can eat what you want but first of all you must carry the 30 pound sandbag around with you for half and hour. It never failed to work for him and he kept the weight off. After hauling a thirty pound bag of sand around for half an hour that bag of taco chips just didn't seem to be worth it.

That got me thinking. Since I turned forty it seems to be harder every year to keep the pounds off. My daily workouts help but I still have to watch what I eat. I have been successful at losing just over 15 pounds. I think about how hard it would be for me to carry the weight I lost around for half an hour, but that is precisely what we do when we are overweight, only we can't just drop it after thirty minutes.

So next time I get the urge to binge I will take a 15 pound turkey out of the freezer put it in a pack-sack and carry that around for awhile and see if the siren song of the peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream still has a hold over me.


Goal Setting with Children - is it rare?

Hi everyone,

I am wondering how many parents nowadays actually do set goals with their kids. Is it rare or common?

The importance of goal setting is pretty much common knowledge these days, I think.

I know for sure I wish my parents had taught me how to set goals when I was little! I think I could have achieved much more, much sooner, if the importance of using goal setting and other related techniques was passed on to me when I was small enough to absorb it to the extent that I was using it almost without thinking. A bit like brushing your teeth, it's no effort because you've always done it, day in and day out. Wouldn't it be great if goal setting could come that naturally!

I would love to hear from all you parents out there about whether you use goal setting with your children or not, and if so what success you've encountered.

Happy goal setting with your kids!



Saturday, June 10, 2006

Kids Goals - Sell your stuff $$$$$$$$

I am constantly looking for ways to earn money to fund my trip to the UK, so I was thrilled to find an email from Amazon saying that if I sold the used books I had bought in the last year through their marketplace, I could make almost $300 Canadian. Woohoo!!!
I am an avid reader and although there are some books I would never part with, there are a few that are just gathering dust. I quickly collected the ones I was willing to sell and one by one entered the ISBN # to see what I could get for them. To my amazement I found I could get a least half of what I paid and that was with the commission that Amazon deducted for each sale. Sounded pretty good to me. I had tried to sell a few of them last year, through a local consignment bookstore and was unhappy to find they would only give me $10 and that was for the whole flipping lot of them. No thank you!!
Anyway,as I was going along happily adding some of my collection to my sellers list I came across a book that I had purchased a few years ago. When I put in the ISBN # to see what I could get for it I was amazed that the book was selling used for $125.00 and you couldn't even buy it new. I think I paid $10 for it!!! Anyway I listed mine for a mere $75.00 thinking that if anyone really wanted it for their collection they would choose the lowest price. After a bit of thought I went back and changed it to $100 after all I didn't want to give it away.
Doesn't it make you want to go through your bookcase and see what yours are worth???
Happy hunting - and Happy Goal Setting with Your Kids

In the midst of goal setting with your kids, something to make you laugh!

When it comes to kids, my own personal goal has just been to be blessed with having one! My husband and I have tried for years to get pregnant - and that's a story for another day! - but I'm pleased to report that we are both philosophical enough now to laugh about it. So here's a good joke for you!
Are you ready to have a baby? Some tests to take before you decide...
1. Buy two bumper packs of Lego bricks. Throw them all over the floor in the living room, and scatter them up the stairs. Now walk from the kitchen to the bathroom upstairs without yelping.
2. Place a very irate octopus into a plastic carrier bag. Ensure all tentacles are safely inside.

3. Take two goats shopping at your local supermarket. At the checkout, pay for all they break or eat, and provide any necessary apologies - without blushing!
There are more jokes on our Kids Jokes page, Jokes for kids
Happy Goal Setting with your Kids!

Goal Setting for Kids - Motivating your Child

Now here's an idea to help with kids' goal setting! I was chatting to a lovely grandfather the other day and he told me that for the past week he had been on duty with his 15-year-old grandson to make sure he got up bright and early to study for his exams. As we know, teenagers often find it hard to get up early in the morning!
So I asked him what trick he used to get his grandson up, thinking he would say something like turning the light on and opening the curtains and talking loudly. Not a bit of it. This lovely man would go in and sit on the boy's bed and gently wake him, then start calmly and quietly talking with the child about something he was really interested in. Within a few minutes the boy would be wide awake.
What a loving way to start a child's day! It reminded me that the best way to motivate someone is to talk with them about something that is important to them. And kids are so passionate and interested that there are plenty of things to discuss!
Happy Goal Setting with your Kids...

Goal Setting for Kids -Meet the Editors

Whilst having a regular daily chat on Skype with Cassie this morning, I started thinking that our lovely readers have no idea who we are. So I am planning to remedy that right now
My beloved friend Cassie and I have known each other for just over two years but have never actually met in the flesh.
The kidsgoals web site and fortnightly newsletter is actually her brainchild. She tried to launch it before but couldn't seem to find the time and inclination to keep it going. In comes Monicka. I was at a low point in my life when I first connected with Cassie. I had sold my business and was contemplating on what to do with the rest of my life. We actually met on a forum where she had asked a question about relationships and I had answered her. She thanked me for my reply and left her email address and lots of cyber hugs and the rest as they say, is history. We bonded instantly and through emails, photos and msn, slowly got to know each other. It was not long before we both agreed it was time for a phone call. I am pleased to say that we had no problems communicating with each other and I was even more positive I had discovered my 'Soul Sister.'
Cassie had proposed the idea of starting an Internet business together with a parent resort web site and newsletter but I was wondering what I could possibly contribute?? Well, what can I say the girl wore me down and I agreed to give it a go. I guess mostly out of fear of disappointing her I kept dragging my heels when it came to making meetings doing research etc. In December 2005 we decided that January 6, 2006 would be the official launch of the kidsgoals newsletter. I was shocked at how easily it all came together once we actually put our minds and heart to it. It was and still is a labour of love.
Now that you know how we met I will give you a little bit of a bio on the two of us. Cassie is a thirty- something bundle of energy and self professed computer geek. She lives in England with her hubby Kevin and Cassie's baby, an Elkhound named Eddie. I am a forty-something Mother of 4, on second marriage (hopefully my last). I live in British Columbia, Canada with my husband Brian and my two youngest, a girl 14 and a boy 9. I also have a 23-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter from my first marriage that reside in Alberta.
Even though Cassie and I live thousands of miles from each other we have developed a very special friendship. She is my confidante, my shoulder to cry on and my inspiration. The kidsgoals web site and newsletter, not to mention our incredible friendship has brought us untold joy and has changed both our lives for the better.
Cassie and I will be meeting in person this year and I am so looking forward to finally being able to give her a great big hug.
If you have a special friendship we would love to hear about it. Feel free to comment on anything you see on the web site or would like to see. We want you the reader, to feel like a valued friend also, tell us about you.
Happy Goal Setting with Your Kids!

Goal Setting for Kids - Do you know where your children are???

Being a Mother I try and instill in my children not to talk to strangers, look both ways before you cross the street, and anything else I can think of to keep them from getting injured or harmed. They understand it is for their own safety and because their Father and I love them and want to protect them.
On the other hand, living in a small town as we do I tend to get a bit complacent when it comes to locking doors and other safety precautions. In a small town the crime rate is lower and there is just a general feeling, that all is well. So it was to my utter horror to hear that an 11 year old girl had been abducted in another small town not more than 15 minutes from where I live. Apparently her parents had allowed her to walk to the video store alone to get a movie and while she made it to the video store, through no fault of her own, she never made it home. A Mother's worst nightmare!!!
An event such as this makes you realize that in this day and age, small town or not we as parents need to be more diligent in knowing our children's whereabouts. It is sad but true the days when we could allow our children to walk to school unattended or to the candy store for some sweets are all but gone. Our job as parents is to protect our children at all cost. We must understand that there are people out there that wish to harm our children and take the appropriate measures to make sure it doesn't happen. Make it a habit to talk to your children regularly about safety and the how imperative it is that you know where they are at all times.
I am so happy to say that this blog has a happy ending. The little girl was found alive although somewhat traumatized and the culprit apprehended. The sad reality is that normally a much graver outcome would have been the case.
Use this example to look at your own children, make it a point to always check up on them when they are away from you, even if they say they are going to a friends house. It only takes a quick phone call to give you a little peace of mind.
Watch out for issue #12 where we will be doing a special feature on Internet safety for your children.
Happy Goal Setting with Your Kids

Goal Setting for Kids - A Child's Self Esteem

After a hectic and annoying hour or so tramping round the busy supermarket last Saturday, I was starting to scowl at everyone. So it was refreshing to see a beautiful interaction between a father and daughter in the checkout lane next to mine.
The kid must have been about five years old, and her father was holding her and talking to her as he piled the groceries onto the conveyor.
Dad: "Shall we put you on here and have the cashier scan you?"
Kid (laughing): "No!"
Dad: "What price do you think would come up if we had you scanned? 10 pence?"
Kid: "No!!"
Dad: "You're right, you're worth a lot more than that! Millions of pounds, do you think? BILLIONS?? If we had the cashier put you through the scanner, it would probably BLOW UP! And you know, if EVERYONE in the whole world put ALL their money together, they would never be able to afford you. 'Cos you are PRICELESS."
Wow. I'm still speechless. Just seeing that kid's face, grinning from ear to ear, made my day.
I would LOVE to hear YOUR stories of how a child's self esteem has been boosted! :)
Happy Goal Setting with your Kids!