Monday, March 31, 2008

Self Esteem and Procrastination

There is a definite correlation between how you feel about yourself or your self esteem and procrastination. If you avoid the things that you know you should be doing or have promised yourself you are going to do, you may not only be letting others down, but you are also letting yourself down. If you cannot count on yourself to follow through, who the heck can you truly count on?

Procrastinating has a domino effect on your self esteem. By not doing things you say you are going to do, you start to feel powerless and that nothing is ever going to get better. Your self confidence suffers and you feel like you cannot move forward in your life.

People tend to procrastinate for a myriad of reasons, some of which are fear of failure, and avoiding an uncomfortable situation. If your children see you constantly putting things off that you say you are going to do they are going to quickly start mirroring your behavior, so it is very important that you figure out what is holding you back.

The next blog will deal with how to do just that but for now, don't beat yourself up, instead do a bit of soul searching and see what is causing you to procrastinate and nine times out of ten it is not laziness.

Happy Following Through,


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Take the time for your child

I sure that all of us are guilty of this scenario from time to time? We are home after a long day at work, trying to figure out something for dinner and your son comes to you for advice or for help on his homework. If you are like the majority of parents you are stressed to the max and do not take the time to stop and actually acknowledge your child and take the time to answer his question or at the very least look him in the eye and tell him you have lots on the go right now, but as soon as you have a free moment you will help him and follow through with your promise.

Most kids are so used to being disappointed time and time again when they want you to spend time for them that they will just shrug their shoulders and walk away. You are sending a message loud and clear to your child that he is not important enough and not a big enough priority for you to spend your valuable time. Dinner can always wait, but when your child needs you make it your first priority to be there for him and this will have a positive impact on how he feels about himself.

Happy, Positive Parenting,


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hugs not only nice but beneficial to our well being.

It is amazing how wonderful a hug can make you feel. There is even scientific evidence that proves that we as humans need a certain quota of hugs a day to be emotionally healthy. According to Virginia Satir,noted author and psychotherapist, we need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth.

Is your child getting his daily hug quota!!! Are you???

Happy, Hugging,


Friday, March 28, 2008

Positive Talk and THINK before you speak!

As parents we need to understand that how we communicate with our children can have a huge impact on their self esteem. Kids seem to really pick up on any negative comments and take them to heart. We may just be stressed and say something that we do not really mean, but your children do not know this. Try to think about what you are saying and take the time to evalutate the impact this will have on your child.

Never tell your child he is bad, it is the behavior that is not pleasing at the time and you are not happy with the behavior, but you still love your child and he needs to know this. If you blurt out something that you really did not mean to say when you are feeling out of sorts, don't just blow it off, take the time to sit down with your child and tell him that what you said was not appropriate, and you did not mean it and you still love him. Do not let any negative comments that may slip out fester in your child, he needs to know that you are always in his corner and will love him no matter what.

Happy Positive Talk,


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More on Believing is Seeing

The last few years of my life have been nothing short of amazing. In less than three short years I have been to the UK twice and have been to Paris,and now just recently I have been to Bahrain in the Middle East. If anyone would have told me this was going to happen five years ago I would have told them they were nuts. It was not in my realm of thinking and I just stayed in my own safe little box never even dreaming this could be possible. Once I decided that I wanted more, everything started to unfold right before my eyes.

I am proof that believing is seeing and by teaching this concept to your children you will be giving them the tools to realize their goals no matter how big they are. It is also important to dream big because as these quotes state so succinctly,

"All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible" - Orison Swett Marden

"Big goals get big results. No goals get no results or somebody else's results" - Mark Victor Hansen

Please keep in mind that it is OK to start your kids off with smaller goals, because the more they start to realize the smaller goals, they will start to truly believe that the loftier goals can also be brought to fruition.

Happy Goal setting,


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Keeping Momentum

A friend of mine has decided that she wants to get to a healthier weight through better food choices and regular exercise. She has finally realized that diets do not work because they are not sustainable as a life long plan. She has lost weight on fad diets before but always found that it came back with a vengeance when she stopped following the rigid plan. Now she is ready to listen to me and follow a much more doable plan that she will follow for life. Of course at first she was all fired up and thanked me for inspiring her, but now it is two weeks and she is feeling a bit overwhelmed because she is not seeing results fast enough. This is the part that gets hard and I told her just because you are not seeing results within the first few weeks that does not mean that you should give up.

Most people will discover that one of the hardest things about goal-setting and realizing your goals is to keep the momentum going. Most people find that at first they are all fired up and raring to go, but after a few weeks it becomes harder and harder to stay on track. While this is a bit of deterrence, it does not have to stop you in your tracks.

You need to really have a picture of the outcome you wish to bring about. Whether it is something you are saving for such as a trip, or for your kids it is the newest video game that they just have to have, or like with my friend to get to a healthy weight for her size - it MUSTt be something that you can truly see yourself having. Put up pictures of your goal where you can easily see them and everytime you see them say to yourself that is for me. If you keep in mind that believing is seeing you cannot go wrong. I will have even more hints in future blogs on how to stay focussed with your goals.

Happy goal setting,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spelling and Goal Setting

Spelling improvement is a great goal to work on with your kids. With some of the fantastic software for spelling that is available these days, learning to be a great speller no longer needs to be boring or tedious - in fact it can be great fun!

If your child loves to use the computer then he is sure to enjoy this kids spelling software which has many brilliant features specially designed to engross young learners and make learning fun, fast and effective.

You and your child will be able to easily see how fast his spelling is improving with the clear, easy to understand graphs. And just as importantly, your child will be experiencing firsthand how goal setting combined with action can result in measurable success.

Happy spelling with your kids!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spelling Games for Kids

Making spelling fun for your children is essential if they are to enjoy the process of becoming great spellers. Here are some ideas for games you can play with your child to help make spelling fun!

* Find fun places to practice spelling - in wet sand, on a blackboard, even on each other with finger paints just before bath time!

* Play at "air spelling" where you take turns "writing" a word in the air while spelling it out to each other.

* Learn fun spelling tricks like how to quickly and easily spell a word backwards, and have fun showing off these tricks.

Happy spelling with your kids!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Importance of Good Spelling for Children

Your child may not thing that learning to be a good speller sounds like a whole lot of fun, but like most skills it can be MADE fun, with a little imagination and effort.

And the rewards are far-reaching! A child who learns to spell well will possess this skill for life, and it will help him to succeed in many areas, not just in school but in further education, job searching and in his career.

In these days of fast and easy communication, sloppy spelling cannot be hidden for long - and the flip side is also true - a good speller can gain fast respect in the workplace!

Happy spelling with your kids,


Friday, March 21, 2008

Skills that can help your child set and achieve goals

There are certain fundamental skills that will contribute towards success in many and varied pursuits. You may wish to review this list of key skills and ideas and see which ones you think will be of benefit to your child in his endevors.

* Vocabulary improvement
* Good spelling
* Good listening skills
* Social skills
* Reading, or speed reading for older children
* Fluency in arithmetic
* A second language

When we encourage our children to build key skills such as those listed above, they gain an edge which can help them to achieve many of their goals in the future!

Happy parenting,


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Goal setting for kids - learning to prioritize

When we get pumped up and excited about our goals, sometimes we find that we are taking on too much - thinking that we can do everything.

While you encourage and empower your child to believe in himself and his abilities, you can also teach him how to prioritize and decide what are the most important tasks he should concentrate on in order to achieve his goals. There are only 24 hours in a day and prioritizing is a vital skill that we all need to learn if we are to reach our goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Don't be tempted to let your child cut back on sleep or other important activities in order to work on his goals. Instead help him to realize that there are other ways that he can rearrange his schedule - television is an obvious culprit when it comes to time-wasting, for example!

Happy goal setting with your kids,


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sometimes We Need to Put Ourselves First!!!

It may sound selfish and for that reason you may not feel like doing it, but putting yourself first as a Mother is one of the most selfless things you can do for your children and family in general. When a Mother gives everything to her family she is slowly but surely depleting her stores of all the things she needs to provide the best for her children. Sooner or later the cup runneth dry and a Mother may find that she doesn't have the energy or the inclination to much of anything for her family. Soon she is feel unappreciated and taken for granted and even depression can set in quickly after that.

On the other hand if a Mother finds time to do the things she appreciates,even if it is just a daily meditation session, or a work out at the gym she is doing things to make herself feel good and refuel herself. Try and make special time for yourself to do the things that make you happy. There is no hard and fast rule that comes with this as every Mother is different. For some just a nice bubble bath when they are feeling stressed or time to read a book they have been wanting to read is enough for others they may need a little more. The important thing is to make it regular and a priority. Your family will benefit and your children will see that sometimes we need to put ourselves first which is a big part of self esteem and learning to love yourself.

Happy Parenting,


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Boost Your Energy With Exercise

Parenting is not an easy task at the best of times and sometimes we may not have the energy we need to do it properly. Mother's especially have this problem because they give so much to keep the dynamic of the family going that they may not have much for themselves at the end of the day.

One of the best ways I find to increase my energy is exercise. It is amazing how bad I can feel and it is usually the last thing I want to do, but once I force myself to get on the treadmill or go for a walk it never fails to give me a boost. After a good thirty minute workout I am once again raring to go and the big bonus is I also have a much better sleep at night so feel well rested in the morning.

Happy Exercising,


Monday, March 17, 2008

What our children should know and not know.

We have to understand that as parents it is imperative to keep some things from our children, for one thing it is not necessary to tell them about any financial difficulties as this will weigh heavy on their mind. There are ways to explain to a child that now is not the best time to purchase something that they may desire because the money needs to be used for something that is of a higher priority. By doing this you are still explaining to your child that the funds are a little low without using negative words like we are too poor or cannot afford this. This sends a very profound message to your children and may cause them to worry when it is not necessary.

I was brought up to believe that how you say something is much more important than what you say and sometimes it is best to say nothing at all if it will cause sleepless nights for your child.

Happy Parenting

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Teaching Children to do for Themselves

Having been raised by a Mother who thought it was too much work to allow me to cook or learn other skills because she never had the time. I found that when I finally married at the tender age of twenty that I did not even know how to boil an egg, let alone raise a family. Because of my upbringing I vowed not to follow my Mother's example and while I did let my children cook with me there were still a myriad of things I did not take the time to teach them so they could be more independent, which in turn would help build self-esteem. As I look back on my own childhood I received the message loud and clear that I was not capable enough to learn the things I wanted my Mother to teach me. It took a long time after that to build the confidence needed in order to feel like I was a capable wife and Mother.

After years of trial and error I can now do these things with my eyes closed, but still find myself repeating the same parenting pattern my Mother did from time to time with my own children. I guess what we experience as little children is so engrained in us it is a hard habit to break, but one we must, if we want our kids to become self-reliant and capable human beings.

I have been away from my family for just short of two weeks and I miss them dearly. The time we have been apart has given me a new appreciation for them, and I am sure that my husband is finding that having to take on the role that I am for the time being on hiatus from, is probably a bit of a rude awakening for him as well as the children. I do know that doing too much for my children has been their detriment as before I left for my journey I realized how little they really know how to do on their own. Something I vow to change on my return.

Happy Parenting,


Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Importance of Diversity

Having just returned from a short visit to Bahrain on the Arabian Gulf I have come to believe even more strongly in teaching our children about as many different cultures as we can. While I do not agree with some of the things that the Bahranians do as far as there children go, I also saw that most parents only want the best for their children, so in that way we are alike.

What a boring world this would be if we were all the same, from the way we dress to what we eat or even how we speak. Life is much more exciting and interesting when we can appreciate all the different dimensions of the human race. It is important to teach our chldren to appreciate these diversities and learn to understand and accept them for who they are.

Happy Parenting,


Friday, March 14, 2008

Ideas to help your child focus on positive role models.

positive role models for children
Children - teenagers as well as youngsters - naturally look for role models to shape their attitudes and behaviors. As parents, it is important for us to make sure that they have plenty of POSITIVE role models.

There are enough negative role models surrounding our children - and much of the adult world, if not negative, is at best apathetic and mediocre. If we don't actively focus on positive role models, then these other ones can dampen our children's natural enthusiasm and optimism.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sibling Rivalry

sibling rivalry
Although a new baby can bring a lot of joy into a family it can sometimes take awhile for your other children to appreciate that little bundle. In this parenting newsletter issue you will find tips on how to prepare your child for the new arrival and also how to deal with a jealous sibling. You may even find you will have to discipline your child if they show aggression towards the new baby; the next article will show you how to discipline your child in a loving and constructive way.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Childhood Shyness

shy child
One of the things that we are both passionate about is helping children grow emotionally. And a very important part of their emotional strength is our children’s relationships with others. So through the newsletter and the KidsGoals website we are going to be providing more and more resources to help you help your children develop their social skills. One important topic is shyness. if your child is shy you may be wondering whether it is “just a phase” or something to be concerned about. What can you do for your child if he or she is showing signs of shyness? Hopefully our article will help!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Goal Setting For Kids - Responsibility :))

family pet
One of the best ways for a child to learn responsibility is to let them care for a pet. By showing your children what it takes to be responsible for a living creature’s survival they are actually learning important social skills. A child who learns to care for a pet and treat it kindly and with patience will learn to treat people the same way.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Respect goes both ways...

Following on from yesterday's blog on children and respect, there is another point to make and that is that babies and children brought up with respect from an early age will realize - not when they are very young but in due course as they grow older - that respect goes both ways.

We cannot expect respect and consideration unless we are also willing to extend the same to others. This isn't something that a toddler will be ready to comprehend, but gradually as he becomes less self-centered and develops the social skills of empathy and awareness of his own impact upon those around him, your child will learn this lesson from you naturally!

Happy parenting


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Children and Respect

Children and Respect

I was struck by a comment from a new mother who bemoaned the fact that so many people were "rude" to her small baby. She complained that her baby would be gazing at some object with interest and people would get in his line of vision and try to force his attention onto something that was of interest to THEM. I thought this an insightful perspective - after all, a baby is a human being just like an adult and deserves to be treated respectfully and politely just like the rest of us.

I also suspect that the more we earn our children's respect, the more likely we are to later on be blessed with teenagers who themselves will treat us and others with respect and consideration!

Happy parenting,


Saturday, March 08, 2008


child pram

Friday, March 07, 2008

Teens and Sleep

Teen Sleep
Most teens don't get enough sleep! Sam, our 18 year old, is working full time and has to be up before 8am on weekdays and most Saturdays. She is very good about being up in plenty of time and making sure she is well-groomed for her work as an Optical Advisor, no matter how tired she feels.

But there is such a temptation to burn the candle at both ends by staying out late with her friends - especially on a Friday night when they are all off the following day but Sam usually has to work!

Sam's Dad has to discuss this with her fairly regularly, as she will agree to be home at a sensible time, and stick to it for a while before slipping up and yielding to the temptation to stay out until the early hours.

I guess sometimes we need to let our children learn from the natural consequences of their own actions. It's probably a much more effective lesson for Sam to learn to regulate her own sleep by experiencing the exhaustion of getting up early after a late night, than just by her Dad and I "telling" her that she needs more sleep!

Most teens need at least 9 hours sleep a night ... the trick is encouraging them to realize this...!

Happy sleep for your teens!


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Kids and Responsibility

kids and responsibility
Kids and Responsibility
Well Monicka landed safely here in the UK today and I am thrilled to be with her again - it has been 11 months since we were last together, although we speak on the phone or computer nearly every day.
When she called her children back home to say goodnight I was delighted to hear that her 11 year old son had made his own lunch ready for school the next morning!
As Monicka admitted, she does too much for him (not to mention the rest of the family) and being away for a while hopefully will help her realize that her children are very capable of rising to the responsibility of taking care of themselves to some extent. We all need a parent to fall back on, but learning that we can also stand on our own two feet is what growing up is all about...!

Happy parenting,


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Children and Language

Small children are naturally wired to learn language. Our complex language is a fundamental part of being human, and mastering language, both understanding and talking, is one of the most important things that we learn in the journey from newborn to toddlerhood and beyond.

Even our hearing is particularly sensitive when we are very young. Nuances of pronunciation which are lost on adult ears are clearly detectable by small children. This is one reason why if you started to learn, for example, Chinese at age 30, you would probably never be able to develop a native-sounding accent however much you tried. Your ears and brain would simply not detect tiny differences in sound because as your brain developed and only learned, say, European languages while you were growing up, the nuances of sound unique to your own familiar languages would be prominent and those important for languages that are very different would gradually become "invisible" to your ears.

Given all that, as well as the personal experience of going to school in Israel at age 7 when I could barely speak Hebrew, and becoming fluid in a matter of weeks, I was amazed to hear that some schools here in the UK teach classes in several different languages simultaneously to accommodate the diverse linguistic backgrounds of their pupils. A math teacher might have a number of different translators in the classroom to ensure that each pupil has the lesson translated into his or her native language.

While the importance of encouraging and championing all the cultures and backgrounds of the different students is vital, I suspect that the emphasis on language is unnecessary. If small children are immersed in a language which is new to them, rather than having it translated, they will pick it up extremely quickly.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Compromises in Friendship

Tuesday is usually Cassie's day to blog but I am hoping that she will cover for me on Wednesday as I will be leaving for the UK and may not have time to write one. That is what is so great about our friendship, it is very balanced where one person is not always doing the giving. That is something that children also need to learn about friendship and sometimes it may take a little reminder from you.

My daughter has learned the hard way that sometimes you need to bend a bit when it comes to her friends. She now knows that she may have to go along with what they want to do sometimes, even if it is not always her cup of tea. For instance when her friend invited her to go to a movie and they were trying to figure out which one to go to,she started to get upset when her friend wanted to see something she was not interested in. I had to stop her and take her aside and explain to her that friendship is about sometimes doing things with our friends that we may not really like. By agreeing to go to the movie that your friend wants to go to this time you can make a compromise and next time you can choose the movie. She agreed to go along with my suggestion and had a nice time and the next time she was able to choose the movie that they went to.

For more ideas on How to Help Your Child Make Friends


Monday, March 03, 2008

Raising Teenagers

I have noticed the last little while that my fifteen year old son has not had a lot of time for me. I seem to push his buttons without even realizing and he has been very vocal about it. For you parents who are starting to feel like you cannot seem to do anything right in your child's eyes, join the club. You would think that after raising three kids to adulthood I would remember that I went through this before. More so with my daughter who is now 28, than my eldest son, but I did go through this experience before and should remember that this too shall pass.

Teenagers seem to need their space from their parents and it is the first sign of independence and is actually not a bad thing as long as it does not get out of hand. Your child needs to feel like he has choices and needs to feel that his privacy is respected. I have tried to make it a habit to always knock on my son's door after being reprimanded a few times about respect and privacy. Thinking back I most likely had the same feelings toward my parents but dared not voice it. Back then most children were not able to speak their mind without a major whooping, but now luckily our kids can feel safe enough to tell us how they are feeling.

So remember times have changed when it comes to parenting, but teenagers have not. Of course if your teen is blatantly abusive and a little too vocal you may want to discuss it with a professional as sometimes anger is a sign of depression and you should never take that lightly especially if it seems out of character.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kids and Friendships continued

I have written many times about how some kids really have difficulty when it comes to making friends. Not all children are able to grasp the social skills needed so may look to their parents for tips on how to make friends. If your  child is a little shy there are simple things that you can suggest that he try to help with his social skills.

Smiling at people can be the start to making a new friend. A smile tells people that you are interested in them and it is a sure fire way to open the door to friendship. If your child is shy he may feel like lowering his head and not looking in people's eyes. Help your child to practice his smiling and eye contact with the rest of the family and if anyone notices that your child is not looking them in the eye, you can gently lift his head up and tell him to look at you with his beautiful peepers. After awhile this should become a habit.

If on the other hand that you are concerned that your child is taking too long to grasp social skills and is really having a lot of problems maintaining eye contact it may be a good idea to discuss it with your Doctor who should be able to refer you to the proper professional to help your child. Children on the Autism Spectrum in particular have problems with social skills and so more help may be needed.

For more ideas on How to Help Your Child Make Friends!

Happy Parenting


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Goal Setting for Kids - An Outcome IS A Success

outcome success baby
When a baby tries to impact the world around him, this is the earliest form of goal oriented behavior. And his experiences will start to shape his self-belief - whether he believes his actions will produce results or not.
This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to "spoil" your baby and give in to his every demand. (I could (and often do!) argue that it's not possible to "spoil" a baby anyway).
For example, suppose your 6 month old is crying in his crib at nap time and demanding to be picked up. How you react is very important. If you completely ignore him, this experience indicates to him that he is helpless and cannot change the world around him, or your reaction, by his own actions. But if you were to walk into the nursery and speak to him, lay him down and stroke his head, then his action (crying) has produced an outcome and therefore has been successful. He may not have achieved his ultimate goal of you picking him up, but he has created a result and can learn from that.
Similarly, goal achievement for older children does not have to be all about getting the ultimate result that they want straight away from the first action they take. Teach your child that when he takes an action and gets a result, even if it is not quite the result he wanted, he can learn from that outcome and then take more action. This is how to empower your child for goal setting and achievement.