Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Doesn't Kill You...

First of all I have to say once again, I am soooooo proud of my son!!!! He did it! As nervous and scared as he was he donned that great big gorilla suit and went out there and gave it his all. I sat at home on pins and needles and sent him all the love and support I could muster, albeit telekinetically. I also found that by going to the hockey teams website I could listen to the game online which was a little frustrating because I knew with every pause in the play it would be that much longer for my son to stay in the suit. Finally feeling stressed to the limit I figured a good workout was in order and jumped on the treadmill for half an hour.

Long story short he came home exhausted but elated! Who would have thunk it? As miserable as it was wearing the costume and hardly being able to see he actually had a good time and wants to do it again next Saturday. He said it seemed really surreal, and while he was in costume he could look at this as if he was an actor in a play. So for 2.5 hours he was"Kong," mascot of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks hockey team. Sometimes it was a little annoying as some of the younger kids tried to jump into his arms or hang from him for a photo op and he had to pretty much grin and bear it. He also said he had never been so hot in his life and his gym shorts and t-shirt were soaked through and through as evidence.

This morning he was no worse for wear and I even noticed a subtle change in his demeanor -he walked a little taller and was in really good spirits. He even said he slept like a rock!

I so hoped that this would turn out to be a positive experience for him and from what I can see it was that and more. He proved something to himself and I truly believe seeds of confidence have been planted. I am so looking forward to watching his self-esteem grow in leaps and bounds as the hockey season progresses.

Happy Parenting,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Supporting Your Children

Another day and another blog to write. I know that consistency is the key to writing and like anything else the more you practice the better you get at it. Speaking of practice, I was also tinkering (no pun intended) with the idea to start taking piano lessons. It has always been something I have wanted to do and even attempted to take lessons about ten years ago, but that lasted all of six months and I really didn't get very far. Now apparently there are much easier ways for adults to learn and the lady at the music store said in a few months I will be shocked at how well I could play. That sounds good to me as I am not getting any younger.

Today is also the first day for my son as a mascot for our hockey team. Our neighbor dropped the suit off for him last night and he had so much homework he didn't get a chance to try it on, but that didn't stop me from giving it a go :) I wanted to know just exactly how it would feel wearing that big gorilla suit, especially the head part. So, I tried it on and walked around a bit. At first it was really hard to see which concerned me. After a bit I realized that if I looked with both of my eyes through one of the apes eyes it was not too bad - not great, but doable. Suffice to say it was very hot and stuffy. There is a battery operated cooling fan that hopefully will make the head part cooler but we haven't hooked it up yet. The part I did like were the feet part of the costume, as they are just like HUGE furry black ape slipper feet - would be nice to keep the footsies warm in the winter.

I am pretty sure my son is feeling some nerves about tonight. It will be a crowd of about six hundred expected and he said it was about as many people that went to his middle school, so I guess he was trying to put it into perspective. I know I will be watching the clock and sending him support from here as he is adamant about his family not coming to any of the games until he feel more sure of himself. I tried to get him to read some information I had found online about mascots, but he just glanced at it and didn't say much.

I think the most important thing that we can do as parents is support our children in their endeavors. Sometimes support means just letting them fend for themselves as hard as that can be sometimes. Just like when they were learning to ride a bicycle; we couldn't ride it for them, but we were there to cheer them on and put Band-Aids on the boo boos if need be.

Happy Parenting,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More on Goal Setting

Day six of the challenge and after copious cups of coffee I am fired up enough to attempt the blog this morning. Not much sleep last night so my energy is a little low, but hopefully the coffee will fire up my neurons enough to complete the task at hand.

This writing challenge is not the loftiest goal I have ever set for myself, but I want to make sure that I have a handle on this one before I tackle something even more challenging. The book I read on willpower suggests not taking on too much too soon, as it can deplete your willpower. For instance if you want to stop smoking it is not a good idea to start a diet or exercise program at the same time. If you tax your willpower too much you can wear it out and then all your good intentions will go out the window.

In yesterday's blog I talked about how with children it is a good idea to start with small easily attainable goals or they could get disheartened and want to give up. Apparently with adults this may not be the case according to an article I read, "Those who set more ambitious goals tend to be happier." Here is the link so you can read the article in its entirety. Anyway, I hope you find it informative - it sure gave me some food for thought :))

Well that is my blog for the day and will add the link for the goal setting worksheet to help you get your kids started on goal setting.

Happy Parenting,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Goal Setting

Day five of my blogging challenge, and the topic for today is "goal setting." I read this awesome book on willpower and it inspired me to set a goal of my own; which is to improve my writing by blogging on a daily basis for a minimum of thirty minutes. By following a few of the suggestions in the book, such as setting aside an allotted time to work on whichever goal you choose. In that allotted time you don't have to work on your goal, but you can't do anything else. You can sit there and twiddle your thumbs or look off into space but that is about the extent of it. Another suggestion is to hold yourself accountable by telling someone close to you of your intentions. That way they can check up on you from time to time to see if you are following through and give you gentle nudge if you start dragging your butt : ) Willpower is just like a muscle and if you start using it on a regular basis it will get stronger - the caveat being; like a muscle if you use it too much you can burn it out - so start slow in the beginning.

You can help your child to set small attainable goals, but nothing too lofty or they could get discouraged. As they start realizing the smaller goals they will gain confidence and be able to set even bigger goals. Speaking of bigger goals I read an article yesterday about the importance of not setting your goals too small, but that is only when it comes to goal setting grown ups. I will tell you what that is all about in tomorrows blog. So until we meet again...

To help get your little ones started on their goals I am including this link to our kidsgoals goal setting ladder.

Happy Parenting and Goal Setting,


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Those Parenting "AHA" Moments

Quick update on my son's first night as mascot for our local hockey team the Silverbacks. First off, I am soooo proud of him for not letting his fears get the best of him. I guess we as parents and caregivers would love to shelter our children from anything that can cause them harm physically or mentally, whether real or not. But... by being too protective we are not doing them any favours. I saw how nervous my son was and I knew inside he was counting the hours as the time to leave for the arena was drawing closer. I suggested a good run on the treadmill to alleviate some of the stress he was feeling and he agreed that was a good idea and it really helped lower his stress level. To make a long story short - it all worked out just fine. Unfortunately, the teams previous mascot didn't show up so my son was not able to shadow him as planned. It looks like we are back to square one, and he will have a bit of training on Wednesday night when the arena won't be as packed. That way when the weekend comes he will be prepared for the larger crowds and have a better idea of what they expect from him.

I also want to blog a bit about the aha moment I had with my daughter yesterday. I had asked her to do something for me and she basically told me to do it myself! Now normally I would have told her to have some respect and would list all the things that I do on a daily basis for her without asking, but something inside me told me to be quiet and bite my tongue, so that is what I did. So although I felt a little hurt I carried on with what I was doing and within about ten minutes my daughter came to me and apologized and asked me what it was I wanted her to do and she did it without grumbling. My goodness!! I was shocked to say the least and couldn't wait till my husband came home to tell him. You see my daughter has Asperger's, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder and she sometimes has fits of rage and it doesn't take much. She knows how to push my husband's buttons big time and more times than not something trivial will turn into a shouting match. My aha moment was realizing that by taking that extra time and not reacting too quickly my daughter came to her senses - no harm done. As her Mother I always struggle to find the best way to parent my daughter, after all she is twenty so she is considered an adult, but sometimes she acts so young and it makes me realize and there are so many things that she still needs to learn about life, but that I will leave for a later blog.

Sometimes all we need to do is take a deep breath before we react to our children when they are being belligerent or rebellious. I am not saying you should let your children get away with being mouthy or refusing to do something you ask them; rather, let them have a bit of time to cool off and then you can sit down and talk about it when cooler heads prevail. You may be surprised by the difference that will make in your relationship with your child.

Happy Parenting,


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ahhhhh Sleep

Well, it is day four of the blogging challenge and as I promised myself and a few other people, I am here fulfilling that promise - so far so good! The problem with writing a daily blog is coming up with a topic that is relevant to kidsgoals and interesting enough to anyone else who may stumble upon my blog whilst surfing the web. That is kind of what I am struggling with now as I write this. I will usually hear something on the telly that gives me a bit of food for thought or discuss an article I had recently read, but alas, nothing comes to mind. I guess I could talk about how happy I am to get the newsletter out on time. I was struggling with it a bit as my energy was quite low due to a bout of insomnia that has been plaguing me for about two weeks now. I was still bound and determined to get it out on time but as I go over it this morning I realize I missed a few blatant typos! Oh well, I can blame it on my sleep deficit and try to do better next time.

Fortunately, I had a much better sleep last night and can feel a big difference today in my clarity of thought, my mental outlook and even feel like I might have enough energy for a workout - another area in my life that has been sorely lacking lately. What a change from the last few days, where I was starting to feel like there was this big, black cloud hanging over me. How can a few more hours of zzzzz's make such a difference? This makes me think about the importance of sleep for our children and if they getting enough to be able to function properly in school.

According to a recent article I read on Web MD children age 3-6 need 10-12 hours a day, age 7-12 need 10-11 hours a day and 12-18 need 9 hours a day. I don't know about you, but I can pretty much guarantee that my fourteen-year-old son (even with my persistent nagging) is lucky to get 7 hours!! How can we expect our children to thrive when they don't get the optimal amount? I know full well how horrible I felt and how day to day activities became really difficult. For instance it took me five tries to put my cheque in the instant teller and because I was in such a brain fog, I filled my tank up and left the station with my gas cap off, wide open and drove away. Makes me wonder if I should have even been driving in the first place!

Have a look at how many hours of sleep your kids are getting and you may find they need a bit more in order to feel and be at their best. I know some kids can function perfectly well with a little less sleep but this will give you a general guideline if you are concerned your child may not be getting enough restorative sleep.

Happy Parenting,


Friday, September 23, 2011

September issue on its way!

photo courtesy of

It is the first day of fall and the perfect time to send out the next issue of the kidsgoals newsletter. I have a good start on the September issue and I am gearing towards having it sent out before the end of the day. I am really proud of this months newsletter! It deals with children's self esteem and what you as parents and caregivers can do to help ensure your children develop a healthy amount. My dearest friend Cassie wanted parents to realize the huge role they played in this and it is why she created the kidsgoals website. I am dedicating this issue to her. There will also be a link to another article on "Positive Reinforcement" that I received a lot of positive feedback on.

Off topic for a bit...I have been a vegetarian since April 2011 and while the rest of my family have not quite jumped on the vegetarian bandwagon, they are at least willing to eat meat-free meals most of the week. When I find a vegetarian recipe that gets the thumbs up from the family I am over the moon happy :)) Check out the kid's recipe section where I will share with you a hummus recipe that my son and I have perfected. Hummus is a totally vegan snack the whole family loves - if you haven't tried it, I suggest you do. It packs a nutritional punch, has loads of fiber, is easy to make and bonus, it tastes absolutely delish!!

So... on that note I wish you all a safe and happy weekend! Look for September's issue of the newsletter in your inbox shortly. Please note - only subscribers to the Kidsgoal's newsletter will receive a copy, so if you haven't subscribed yet, what are you waiting for?? It is totally free and only takes a few seconds of your time.

Happy Parenting,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Taking Chances

Day two of my writing challenge and as I write this I am trying to come up with a topic. I find that there is usually something going on in my own family that I can draw from, so the topic today is fear and regret.

My youngest son was given the opportunity of a lifetime! He was asked by our neighbor if he would like to become the mascot for our local hockey team. It would be about once a week for the next 30 weeks or so and always on a Saturday so it would not interfere in case he had a homework assignment. The job paid forty dollars for about two and a half hours work and since he was saving up for a new gaming computer the money would definitely come in handy. With all those pluses you would think he would jump at the chance, but he told our neighbor he needed time to think about it.

The fellow who asked him to take this on told him he would have to decide before the weekend, because if my son didn't want the job he would have to have enough time to ask someone else. This huge opportunity was sitting in my son's lap and he was looking at all the reasons not to do it. Now I totally understand his concerns as this was a big unknown to him, but in his mind he was thinking about all the negatives such as having to perform in front of people, which being a bit on the shy side was not something he was familiar with. As it got closer and closer to the end of the week I kept asking him if he had made a decision and he kept saying he didn't want to talk about it. Finally, a day before he was supposed to let our neighbor know one way or the other, I decided to take matters into my own hands and cornered him. I told him that even if he didn't take the job I would not be disappointed in him. I told him I understand this is really scary for you and if you really feel like you cannot do it I understand, but... if there is any chance in your mind that you will regret it if you don't do it, then I suggest you do it. He was quiet for quite awhile and then he suddenly said out of the blue, " I am going to do it!"

I am so proud of him, as I know full well how nervous he is about this, but he let his fears take a back seat for a minute before they could get the better of him and took a huge leap of faith. I told him I am going to take a page from your book and the next time that I am scared to try something new, I will think about how brave you are.

He starts his new job this Saturday and will shadow the former mascot before he attempts going on his own. He doesn't want any of us to go to the game as he feels he would be too self conscious if his family were there, which I totally understand. I am hoping this opportunity will help him to not only overcome some of his fears, but also help build his confidence, as sometimes I don't think he realizes how amazing he really is!

Anyway, that is my blog for the day and hopefully it will give you some food for thought if like my son, you are talking yourself out of doing something you truly want to do out of fear, ask yourself is there any chance that if you don't do it you will live to regret it? If the answer is yes, take a deep breath and go for it!!
"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is the regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."~Sydney Smith