kind words

It is a long time since I last wrote, and I have really missed it. Time has been of essence as I increased my work time this year. I have really missed not taking the time to read and reflect on the lifestyle habits that make such a difference to our well-being. I have discovered that for me sharing these habits is part of my well-being!

One of the things that I have noticed as my world has got busier with more deadlines and tighter time-frames is that my words are not always as kind and encouraging as I would like.  A kind word is a beautiful and power thing. I was reflecting that in my parenting I have so many opportunities to make a difference with a timely kind word!

The minimalist wrote about this recently and I want to share that here, with this community.  May you be encouraged and inspired in your speaking of kind words to those around you.

“Please don’t forget today that a kind word can speak power into someone’s life. It can inspire. It can motivate. And it can provide strength to someone who can’t find it within themselves.”

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The full post can be read here at this link  – it is a nice short story of what happened for him.
https://www.becomingminimalist.com/power-of-a-kind-word/

 

Recently I was privileged to run a workshop with some parents on ‘Kids and Anxiety’.  I always feel humbled by these parents who attend and who want to know more for their families.  As I researched material and was thinking about the increase of anxiety in both adults and kids lives, I was thinking about the way we are continually bombarded with images and stories of amazing people doing amazing things and the way it is so easy to feel like we are missing out and then anxiety slips in.

We are living in world where we actually have to fight to stay content as there is always bigger and better, but to be aware of that fact actually helps in the pursuit of contentment and simple living . As we pursue this, it helps our families to be able to appreciate the simple things in life and as this happens, anxiety can be reduced.

img_6976“The world we live in is not friendly to the pursuit of minimalism. Its tendencies and relentless advertising campaigns call us to acquire more, better, faster, and newer. The journey of finding simplicity requires consistent inspiration.”   Josh Becker

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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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time to connect

Sometimes I get to the end of the day and realise I have hardly had a chance to connect with the people who live in my house! They may have been out at sport practice, music rehearsals or completing homework tasks. Yet, I know that is what parenting is all about -relating, being there, connecting.

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Why is it we are so busy rushing around and busily being, but not purposefully connecting?

I was amazed and encouraged by this very short clip to think about connecting. It is thought provoking – I hope you enjoy it.
Click here to view it.

R x

Just breathe

Our world moves at a fast pace.  Each day we experience a myriad of emotions and some are harder to control than others.

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I watched this short clip that showed 6 year old kids explaining anger and what can be done.  I wasn’t angry when I started watching it and I wasn’t angry when I finished watching it, but I was definitely more relaxed and mindful by the end.

Just Breathe      (Click on the blue writing to watch – I think you will enjoy it!)

A great clip to show your family  – and kids at school – if you are a teacher!
Enjoy Rx

 

kindness and happiness

 

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There have been some in my household – let’s be honest, it includes me – who have been dragging their feet a little as the school term comes to an end. I have been telling my children as they leave for school each day “be kind, don’t worry what is happening around you, just be kind!”

Came across this quote, which I think adds another dimension to being kind and one that I know is a great reminder for me! May you enjoy it too!
Rebekah x

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. –Gretchen Rubin

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The strength is in the struggle

I had the privilege of running a workshop with some wonderful parents on the theme of ‘Perseverance’.  The night before the workshop I came across a blog (it is a great read in full in you click on ‘blog’),that had a fantastic story in it that touched on this topic of perseverance and how difficult it is to sometimes sit and see the struggle, yet know that the struggle is important.  I hope you enjoy the read!

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“From the corner of my eye, I saw several resort employees making their way down toward the surf, carrying a large plastic tub. Curious, I sat up in my chair. Michael, also curious, got up and walked down to where they were, then motioned for me to join him.

Nestled in the plastic tub were about 150 baby sea turtles, newly hatched that afternoon…..

Miniature and geometric, their small shells were a gorgeous pattern of deep tannish greens, tiny tiles set in ornate, exact patterns. The resort employees had set the crate about twenty feet up the beach from the surf, and the baby turtles were already pushing toward the side of the crate that faced the seawater, their sense of the ocean as home already in full operation.

And then, as the sun dropped lower in the sky, one of the resort workers called to me. As I walked toward him, he gestured to the crate and motioned for me to pick up one of those amazingly teensy turtles.

The director of the release program drew a long line in the sand, marking the starting point for the upcoming journey. He explained that the turtles needed to make their own way down to the water, that we were not to carry them to the surf.

Most of us onlookers were standing back, watching the varying levels of success and struggle.

A few of the turtles seemed exhausted, overwhelmed by the challenges of the terrain. Others got turned around, heading away from the sea or scrambling in a parallel line to the water.

We watched, a little worried, until dusk began to settle. Finally, one of the resort guests couldn’t take it anymore. She scooped up one of the stragglers and began to carry him down to the water, unable to bear the uncertainty.

One of the employees in charge of the release called after her, motioning for her to put the turtle down, but her overwhelming concern overshadowed his instructions. As she gently placed the turtle in the shallows, her husband caught up with her and reminded her that she wasn’t supposed to help the turtles.

She, on the other hand, was incredulous that we were allowing these turtles to struggle so mightily. She saw her actions as a kindness.

Unwittingly, though, she was participating in potentially tangling the turtle population in protective bubble wrap.

That trip from the sand to the water? That’s critical turtle training ground. It’s what gives baby turtles a better chance of survival.

The best conditions possible had been created by monitoring the nest and timing the release at sunset when predatory birds and scavengers are not as active.

But once those conditions had been achieved, newly-hatched turtles need the trek to the water to strengthen their flippers, to practice the motion that will be required once they hit the water.

They need the experience of heading accurately toward the shore, even if it takes them a bit to figure it out.

These moments of struggle in the sands of their childhood would serve them well during their next hundred years of survival.

What an overprotective heart saw as too hard or too cruel or too tough is actually exactly what a baby turtle needed to up his chances of survival. To cut the journey short, to abbreviate the endeavor, would make the turtles more vulnerable and com- promise their skills for endurance.

The strength is in the struggle.”

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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

PDF is not always a document

Fridays are not a great day for my year 9 boy. His timetable unfortunately has left him with all academic subjects for the last day of the week.  If my memory serves me correctly his last 2 lessons of the day are double maths!

When he arrived home last Friday he was tired and worn out, but to make things worse, every teacher had given him homework for the weekend, which amounted to a lot of work!  By the time the boy got to Saturday afternoon he was pretty brain dead and grumpy. He had not had his PDF.

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My year 11 girl is on the business end of schooling, where it all gets a little more serious and she too is being conscientious and working well and hard on her school work. I am very aware of providing PDF for her.

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The situation my kids are in caused me to recall a clip I had seen that talked about
PDF.  The question was asked “How do you know if your kids are overscheduled and overworked?” The thought is that if there is time for PDF and a balance of it then they should be ok!

P = Play time
D = Down time
F = Family time

 

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I really appreciated this acronym and have found myself recalling it on several occasions, but not just for the kids in my house, but for myself and my hardworking Man.

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When was the last time we played a card game, when it wasn’t holiday time?
When was the last time we played some backyard cricket, just because?
When was the last time we just sat as a family talking about the things we like or don’t like?
When was the last time we sat down together on the couch and just read? (My Man is reading one of the kids novels ‘Rangers Apprentice’ and loving it)

Since reading finding this acronym, the last time for doing these things is not quite so long ago!

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This clip from Geater Good Science by  Christine Carter, is worth a look, and it only goes for 2 minutes… Slow down, take a moment and watch! (Just click on the word ‘clip’ below)

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