Spoon fed generation

I saw recently that parenting expert Michael Grosse has put out a new book called “Spoonfed Generation, How to Raise Indepedent Children”. When there are books that catch my eye I like to do a Google search and read excerpts online.  I really enjoyed looking at this particular book.  Grosse quotes another parenting expert that I found very thought provoking.  It is  relevant to parenting, teaching and people in general.

“Never regularly do for a child the things a child can do for himself.”

(Maurice Balson, the Australian parenting pioneer and author of Becoming Better Parents…this is what he was fond of telling aspiring teachers and parent educators.)

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A new year

So the school year has begun.  Lots of new starts and experiences happening all at once.  Kids coping with change, adults coping with change and together supporting each other by listening and ‘being there’.

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During the holidays I drove past a surf shop that had a black board out with the words
“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”

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Having a car load of kids as we drove past, all at varying skill levels of surfing this was such a great encouraging statement.  Then, as we talked about it, we realised that it wasn’t  just about surfing, it could be applied to most areas of life.
Sure, life is not all about fun, but it can be very easy to get caught up in the seriousness of life and miss the fun moments.  It can be very easy in life to get caught up in the competition and comparisons of life and miss doing things because of fear of failing.

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The ‘best’ Mum – or Dad or sister or brother or grandparent or friend- may be the one having the most fun.
The ‘best’ musician – insert any musical instrument here –  may be the one having the most fun.
The ‘best’ sportsperson – insert any sport here – may be the one having the most fun.

Really the list could go on. As school and extra-curricula activities start, may you be encouraged to give things a go and have fun doing it.

“The best surfer is the one having the most fun!”

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Photo Credit: jongordon.com

 

Stories are great!

One of my favourite parts of teaching little kids, is reading them stories. They might be feeling unsettled, but once a good story begins, you can feel the calm and quietness fill the room.

It’s a bit the same with my kids at home.  I love to be able to sit down and read aloud, or have them read aloud.  As I write this, I am grateful for the reminder to do this more.

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I came across this writing that was like a missing jigsaw piece, it explained to me why I love reading stories so much and why it is so powerful.

“…But what can we really do to make this world feel safe? Less frantic and overwhelming? How can we make it more beautiful and loving for the people entrusted to us?
Of course, there is no single answer.
But often we overlook one simple thing that’s easily within our grasp, perhaps because we underestimate its power.

It’s the power of stories.
Good stories have the ability to transform realities, ignite imaginations, and help people find their place in the world
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It’s the stories we tell of heroes with obstacles to overcome, and of kindness and courage that win the day.

Stories that ask questions and inspire conversation.
Stories that entertain us and make us laugh.
Stories that open our minds to color, texture, nuance, and big ideas.

Whether picture books read aloud, family tales told around the table, or chapter books marked with dog-ears to pick up where we left off, stories bring us together through shared moments and experiences.

They feed our children’s roots and nourish their souls.”
(from the blog ‘A Holy Experience‘)

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As the Christmas season comes upon us, may you find time to read and tell stories that encourage your kids (and others) of love and good things.

Happy reading!
R x

 

A Micro-moment

Last evening I had the pleasure of attending a ‘Strength’s based Parenting Workshop’ run by PoPsy – PracticalPositivePsychology.

Afterwards there were 2 things that stayed with me and I thought I would share.

1. Dr Dan Siegal has stated that the one word that sums up the kind of parenting that is best for our children is ‘presence’.  Yet, it has been found that on average a parent spends 13 minutes a day talking to their teenage child, and most of that talk is negative. (Zeynip Beringen Research)
I guess the question we as parents need to ask is what does it mean to be ‘present’?

According to notes we received last night
“Being present means being open to what is, being aware of what is happening as it is happening, being receptive to our own inner mental sea, and attuning to the inner life of another present…… Feeling felt is the basis for secure attachment.  It is also the essence of healthy relationships in all domains of our lives.  Regardless of whether you have 10 minutes, an hour, or the whole day, don’t just be there for your teen (or anyone really), be present and in those moments, be sure to rid yourself of distractions, including your smartphone.”

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2. I have blogged before about a “Micro-moment”.  Professor Barbara Fedrickson and her colleagues found that a micro-moment of connection between 2 people has magic like results.  A micro-moment is that eye-contact, that touch on the should that says “I care”, it is a genuine connection that then impacts our relationships, health and performance.

We were challenged to be aware of micro-moments and to take up opportunities to make them happen.  Moments can include:  when you say goodbye to your children in the morning or arrive home in the afternoon.  Or, when you farewell your spouse or reunite after the day.  It is giving them that gift of presence and contact.

Chris Petersen a founding researcher in Positive Psychology is famous for saying
“Our relationships matter – more than anything in the world.”

May you find lots of micro-moments today and remember to be present with your children and those around you.

Blessings

R x

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6 things a child needs to hear

6 THINGS EVERY CHILD NEEDS TO HEAR
1. I love you
2. I’m proud of you
3. I’m sorry
4. I forgive you
5. I’m listening
6. You’ve got what it takes
D.A. Wolfe
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Sometimes a few words can be powerful.
I think the above words are not just what children need to hear, but adults also.
May you encourage someone in you life today by using some of these words.
It just may change their day!
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Blessings R x

Perseverance in a new year

Welcome to a New Year.  Things are gearing up in my household for a new year, which is exciting and scary at the same time.

As the new year of school begins, we were reflecting on the word ‘Perseverance’.  What does that look like in our kids at home, kids at school and even for us as adults?

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For me, it challenged me to persevere with my blog, to keep using it as a platform to encourage others out there as we navigate a complex world, trying to keep it simple.

We know that grit and perseverance is a bigger indicator of a child’s success than their IQ.  We know that grit and perseverance is something that children – and I am thinking adults – struggle with in our instant society. We know that grit and perseverance can be taught, but the exact how of that is still being investigated. In some ways it is a mystery and it makes me want to do more reading about it!

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I viewed this 5 minute clip and enjoyed the grit and perseverance in it. May you find the time to watch it and even share it with your kids. Mine loved it!