Is Your Self-Care Actually Hurting You?

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Is Your Self-Care Actually Hurting You?

The practice of self-care has picked up a lot of attention and momentum over the last few years, especially with moms living crazy hectic lives. However, just with any other practices, it has taken off and has morphed into some practices or misunderstandings that can be self-defeating.

Let’s first talk about what self-care is not. These are ideas we mistakenly believe to be self-care practices yet can contribute to increased unhealthy behavior cycles.

Self-care is not:

...always going to feel good. The idea that self-care will always feel good or be immediately gratifying is a myth. Good self-care does not always feel good. (You will come to understand this better when we get into what self-care is, so hang in there with me.)

...to be confused with coping or self-soothing. Coping skills are used in short term in order to get to a place to “deal” with struggles or triggers.

...avoidance. Many times avoidance can be counter productive to actual health. It can be very healthy to allow yourself to feel and sit with discomfort. Encourage yourself to acknowledge the discomfort and appreciate it and/or what it has allowed to you learn.

...overindulgence. This is a biggie. Many people unknowingly use “self-care” as an excuse to regularly practice overindulgence. Someone may begin to emotionally rely on food or substances on a regular basis after using small moments of gratification as a regular self-care practice.

You may be thinking, “Wow! There goes all of my self-care ideas!” Hold on a minute, you may be surprised at what is actually considered healthy self-care practices.

LET’S FIRST DEFINE SELF-CARE. IT IS REGULARLY PRACTICING SELF MANAGEMENT OR AS I LIKE TO SAY, CARING FOR YOURSELF ON THE DAILY. WHEN YOU ARE IDENTIFYING HEALTHY SELF-CARE PRACTICES, KEEP IN MIND WHAT YOU ARE ATTRIBUTING TO YOUR BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT.

Body- This includes physical care, sexual health as well as safety and security. These might include:

  • Regular exercise

  • Healthy eating

  • Good hygiene

  • Regular health care appointments and practices

Mind- This includes intellectual practice like:

  • Reading

  • Learning new things

  • Museums

  • Taking up a hobby

Spirit- This is you emotional and social health. While it may or may not include religious practices it can be:

  • Prayer

  • Meditation

  • Practicing humor

  • Social events

  • Nurturing relationships

  • Support

  • Expressing your feelings

The next time you using self-care, remind yourself it is separate from treating yourself. (Not that treating yourself is not healthy and helpful). Think about your go-to practices and where they fit in the ideas of caring for your body, mind and spirit on the daily. Make a list of some new self-care practices.

Here are my top three that will feed all three Body, Mind and Spirit.

  1. Participate in regular coaching, therapy or support groups.

  2. Practice healthy boundaries. Learn to say no and build your confidence.

  3. Learn a new hobby or dig deeper into one you already started.

Want to Increase Your Confidence?

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CONFIDENCE

We all want know we want to experience it, but what is it? How do you get it?

Confidence is knowing that you can rely on and appreciate your own abilities.

When you feel confident you are more…

  • Decisive

  • Powerful

  • Assertive

  • Steady

  • Poised

  • Bold

  • Daring

  • Composed

  • Determined

Who doesn’t want to feel a bit of all of that?

What can Confidence do for you?

It might be as simple and wonderful as..

  • Knowing that the boundary that you set with your child is appropriate and necessary.

  • Separating the behavior of people around you from who you are.

  • Knowing yourself better than others think they know you.

  • Going for something that you want regardless of the obstacles.

  • Making new friends and deepening current friendships.

  • Building on your social support.

  • Trying something new even if it scares you and excites you at the same time.

  • Losing the weight you've always wanted to.

    **You deserve this and more!

Feeling more confidence might get you a promotion, that job you always dreamed of or even get you to believe you can start that business you always wanted.

It may make you feel more sexy and increase your intimacy with your spouse.

It would free up so much time for you that you have been allowing to fill up with constantly saying “yes” to every party invite, volunteer task, and carpools because you feel like you must prove your worth constantly to everyone!

You would doubt yourself far less and your boundaries would be strong and clear for your kids to understand, your friends and family…yes even your spouse!

Your validation comes from within and you start to believe that when you feel more confident!

Sounds good right?

Have you ever felt that confidence before? Think of your earliest memory or story you hear about you feeling confident.

My mom loves to tell the story of me as a confident young child.....

When she was a single mother with a female roommate. My mom was pretty strict about me leaving toys out and all over the house, as she shared the space with a single woman with no children and wanted to respect the space.

I had a room, and this was the place for my toys when I was not playing with them. There were two exceptions to this expectation and that was my birthday and Christmas.

On my fourth birthday....

She says tells me I had my toys out in the living room. Some of the toys I was playing with, some I was not playing with.

Our roommate had a boyfriend over that day, clearly, he was familiar with the “rule” my mother had as he told me to take my toys back to my room. Only he did not simply say it to me or ask me....he commanded it with an attitude.

Being the well-behaved child I was, I  dutifully returned my toys to my room. I am sure I had quite a look on my face.

(Those of you who know me, know I have no poker face. My face says what is in my head.)

When I returned from my room, I carried a pillow with me back to the living room to rejoin the adults. It was then that I put my pillow down on the floor, looked the boyfriend straight in the eye and said in my most adult-like, sassy and attitude voice,

“That’s my pillow and don’t you touch it!”

My mother tells me this is when she knew I was a force to be reckoned with. I was not going to let anyone walk all over me.
Although I may not be able to remember this story for myself. The story has become one of my innate strength and ability to stand up for myself rather than fall victim to people pleasing. It has become a cornerstone story in my head to boost my confidence as needed int his area of my life.

So spill! How do you build confidence?

First…

Recognize that lasting confidence is built over time. It is the progression of assembling many times throughout life. Confidence is created by practicing little boosts over time and keeping mindful of these boosts.

What kind of boosts, you ask?

That depends entirely on you.

What makes you feel confident?

Is it...

  • makeup

  • validation from others

  • a power suit

  • caffeine

  • education

  • small success


If you really want to feel more confident?

Here is a secret for you.....shhhhh

Good self care.

(Actually, it really is no secret.)

Good self-care makes you feel good and takes care of your basic needs. When your basic needs are met and you feel good.... You feel confident!

"How do you practice good self-care?"

I'm so glad you asked!

One of the easiest ways is to get a good night sleep. You could also take a small nap as needed. A nap doesn't need to be 2 hours at noon. A nap can be 20 minutes with your eyes closed or you don't even actually fall asleep.

This gives your brain time to rest in your body time to rest and you'd be surprised at how much more energized you feel when you open your eyes again.

Go ahead, set that alarm for 20 minutes, close your eyes and build your confidence through self-care.

Secondly…

Know yourself. Are you a Night Owl or an Early Bird?

I am an outgoing introvert. (I know.....it sounds weird, but it is a real thing)

I am awake and ready to roll (chores, tasks...) first thing in the morning, but I am not ready to get dressed and leave the house and "people" yet.

However...

If I have to get dressed and leave the house in a decent manner, and "people" I prefer about 10:30.

I can rock it all day long...well until about 6:30. After that, I need to unwind and "unpeople". 6:30 is wine and bonfire time. It is not that I cannot feel confident and have great conversation but I need the downtime with my very limited close family, or alone. (remember when we discussed self-care as a way to build confidence...)

"How in the world does this relate to confidence Elena?"

I need the confidence to "people".

There are times in the day I feel that kind of confidence and times I do not have that kind of confidence. Part of befriending your confidence and tapping into it is learning your natural self, respecting and practicing your self-care.

Get to know your self and what makes you feel cared for and powerful!

Third…

Resiliency is a muscle you should be working out!

Your new theme song is "I get knocked down, but I get up again” (go a head...try not to sing it all day )

Do you know the best way to build up your confidence?

Yup....resiliency.

Resiliency is "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties"

We all have times when our confidence is shot. Building it back up takes practice. There are many ways to do this. One is to strengthen your resiliency...you have been knocked down a number of times in your life.

.....If you haven't you likely would not have your confidence shot..right?

Try this.

When my confidence is low...I journal about times I have felt defeated....low...at the end of my rope..rock bottom.

Write down..

How did it happen?.

How did you feel.

Get detailed here

Then, journal about your triumph story. How you overcame it!!

(I must have...I am here today. And so are you!!)

Que Rocky theme music (Your welcome.)

Do this every time your confidence takes a blow. You will see how much you really have to be confident about!

Finally…

Watch for those roadblocks!

I have had a terrible day? Have you? Mine was because of comparison!

I woke up in plenty of time to get ready. I got some chores and had some coffee. I got dressed did my makeup and I felt on top of the world!

You know the feeling, when your outfit and makeup is on point and you feel like you're going to go out and crush the world!

There was even amazing music on the radio on my way to work. So I was bumping along singing out loud! When I got to work I noticed a co-worker wearing the cutest outfit. My first thought was…

"oh man I want that outfit!"

My next thought was…

"that would never fit me, it wouldn't even look right on me."

See what happens there?

Comparison kills Confidence!

When you constantly compare yourself to others, physically, ability, talents, gifts and yes even your parenting it kills your confidence.

Don't do it!!

You have strengths you are not using to the full potential when you do it!

Here is your challenge.

List 10 positive things about yourself and why.

Confidence, knowing that you can rely on and appreciate your own abilities.

Recognize it

Practice it

Show it

But most of all….KNOW IT!

Pitfalls and All..Just like we did.

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As Teens....

As young people we are still developing our sense of self and therefore unsure about our own self. We need more acceptance and forgiveness as we engage in trial and error with identity development. The world is not as clear as the years of  experience and wisdom provides us. We do not have the benefit of hindsight and we struggle to trust the experience of those older than us as we have seen that many people often have ulterior motives in almost everything they do, say and share.

We want to be good people. We want to gain wisdom and insight. We first must make sense of where we are with what we know. We want to balance good choices that will benefit us and our future but we also do not want life to slip by us. We hear adults so often say “time flies” and “just wait until real life starts”. How do you enjoy what you have and where you are as well as be responsible for developing a good sense of self.

Then we have families of our own….

Raising our kids we want to shield them from the struggles we experienced. We want to provide a smoother path with less heartbreak and strife. We have experienced some crazy shit and we do not want our children to fall into the same pits. We have never felt love in the way we have experienced it now. Looking at this little life we had a hand in creating be it in the womb, and sometimes only  in our home and heart. We think back to all of the things that did not go the way we wanted or needed and we want to use our wisdom for good.

We set expectations (that is what our parents did) and we follow through. We say “This hurts me more than it hurts you” because we really believe that. Making the hard choices and doing the hard things. That is what we find is the life as a parent. All for the greater good. The betterment of our kids and their life. We failed so much in our own life and we are hellbent to get it right this time around for our kids.

But they want to develop their own self...the way we did. Pitfalls and all.

A Letter From a Step-Mom

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To my husband’s ex,

     I have no idea how we got here. I remember a time when we were kind and even friendly to each other. When we met, we had great plans and ideas about the positive impact we would have on your children and mine. We were going to show them howtwo moms could come together in the name of love and family to raise our boys together. We would show them what a good wife and mother looked like so they would seek that out for their own family. We had coffee and supported each other, we developed a friendship (not best friends, but friends nonetheless). We joined together for parent-teacher conferences, award ceremonies and school plays.

     Overtime it became clear that you and I were co-parenting over the head of my husband. I found that, while I had good intentions to help unite our families from the fighting and bickering between you two, I was becoming a pawn. A way for you to manipulate the father of your children. There is a term for this, triangulation, pinning one person against another. My failure was that I did not recognize that I was cheating my husband out of the co-parenting experience. Sometimes these relationships take on struggle and morph into something we never expected. The real trouble began when I recognized this and made changes to adjust. I noticed that your husband never got involved in these issues. So I took a page out of his playbook and stepped out of the role I was playing. Surly now that time had passed you two could step up and work together. Sure it would be uncomfortable for a bit while you got your footing.

     What happens after that would be a different story from each side all together. Where you mad and making us pay for that? Did you think we did not care about the kids because the way we show love and support differs from you? Did you have a hand in swaying their “loyalty”? Did we get so tired of the toxicity and attitude we felt from you that we avoided just so the kids wouldn’t feel uncomfortable? That part of the story becomes a “he said, she said” and is not helpful anyway.

     Regardless of how angry or sad I may feel over the way things turned out, thank you. Yes, thank you. Thank you for teaching me what kind of co-parent I want to be with my kid’s father and his new family. Thank you for keeping me focused on making the “hard on the heart” choices when I want to put my arms around my child so tight I forget to let others love and benefit him. Thank you for keeping me back from judgment when my ex parents our child differently than I. Thank you for keeping me in my place, as one of many who love and support my child. Not the end all be all only on to influence him. Because of this experience I have a more smooth co-parent relationship with my ex. I respect his wife and the family that they have build together. I have no endless court dates for modifications and custody fights, paperwork and a third part telling us what do do with our family. We have build our own agreement and we change it as needed without permission from outsiders.

     You may not have intended to, and it may be at a very high price, but you taught me how to be a biological mom in a blended family. One who knows God put so many different people in my child’s life for a purpose and one who respects those relationships and allows them to grow outside of myself.

With love and grace,

            The Step-Mom

My Dream for You...A letter for the teens of today.

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I wrote this with my kids and many other teens I have found myself so fond of in mind. I dedicate it to them and share it with you all!!

 

My dream for you. A letter to to the teens of today.

 

My dream for you is...

 

To have enough confidence to go for your dreams, yet enough humility to take others with you on the way to the top.

To find true love. Not necessarily romantic love, but true love where you choose each other and stick around through crappy stuff.

To have huge dreams of your own. Not so you can continuously compare where you are to what you want in a way that creates anxiety, but rather fosters excitement and ambition.

To find something you are passionate about and do it fully, learn it fully and share it fully

To be honest with yourself and a few chosen others, share your fears, dreams and questions in a safe place.

To do things that scare you but make you better.

To find your voice and use it, ask for what you need, question what you do not understand and share your ideas with the world.

To know you create your own identity, based on your own choices.

To have a positive impact on others and allow others to have a positive impact on you.

To have a positive and helpful relationship with failure, let it be a teacher for you and help you become better.

To know you are not and do not have to be perfect, You will make mistakes, we all do, but you will recover to make more. It is an endless cycle of life you never grow out of.

My dream for you is to be okay with that.

Teen Tornado-The messy work of Self-Identity and how we can help.

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I love working with teens. I have spent the past years working in a middle school.

Middle school? Can you believe it?

The two years of my life I would never want to live again and I choose to go back!? I tell the kids all of the time, "It can't be that bad if all of these teachers and staff chose to come back here, year after year."

     But really, I meet so many great kids. Some are so obviously great right from the moment you meet them. Some….well, let’s just say, it takes time and patience to earn enough of their trust to let you in, But man when they do, there is nothing like it!

     I met this young girl while she was in middle school. She was so nice, she had a great sense of humor and was so very thoughtful.

I found out through other teachers that she was very disrespectful in class

-Flipping teachers off

-Cursing at them and other students

-Getting into fights

-Dating a new boy every week, and when I say dating, I mean really getting involved.

     When I heard of all this, I recalled the funny and even sweet girl I had come to know. As I got to know her better, I learned of so much messy in her life. She was really developing her identity in the midst of utter chaos.

     There is a quote in our Staff room that say “The kids who need love the most ask for it in the most unloving of ways” This about sums it up!

     So many girls today struggle with confidence, bullying and appropriate self expression in a world where so much of our private lives are public.

The internet has opened up our eyes, our homes and our lives!

This is not an internet shaming article though. This is they new world, the way we live now. No amount of shaming or guilt will change that. Keep in mind, the teen girls (and boys) of today, only know THIS world.

Building your identity takes time, energy, awareness, knowledge and knowing it is not only possible but it is in our own hands!

What can we do to help these teens?

It starts at home. Connection. It can be so hard sometimes to stuff our ego and treat teens like lesser beings (they really can act like it sometimes). Just remember, they are young people developing their identity through choices. They need us the most at this point and we often respond by pulling away when they do.

     Seek out help! It takes a village after all. Use your resources, programs, family and friends. Mentors should be available at the ready!. It doesn't even have to be a formal arrangement. I remember sending my 16 year old son to his grandparents out of state recently to get some time with Papa. He and his Papa are close and there has always been mutual respect and love in their relationship. His parents (all four of us in his blended family) were just to invested in the outcome of certain choices he was struggling to make at the time. We most definitely would have tried to sway him one way or another. Papa would surely be able to keep his needs and desires at the focus! And her did! Find people you trust and let them help with support and/or a listening ear.

     Most importantly! Know that you are enough and doing the best you can! If you are reading these blogs and seeking help and support, you are doing great work! Plant the seeds, water them and harvesting often comes much later.

10 Almost Free Family Fun Summer Activities

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Summer time is upon us! Kids are out of school (or counting down to Summer Vacation). For families with young children, it is important that you find things that will not break the bank to do together.

For families with older kids, it is a great time to connect as a family and bring the togetherness that, like me, may be recognizing how limited their family time is. Post High School plans and "paint what you want in my room, I will be out in a year anyway" comments are a regular topic in my home.

Here are some great things to do as a family. Many are great for all ages or at least can be adapted for all ages.

1.Family Survival Trip

Coordinate a challenge of some type. Bring a few survival items and take a family survival trip. Great for older kids! You can do it overnight or even a few days! This is totally on our family list this summer!

2.Backyard or living room camp out.

This is great for all ages! You can do it alone or you can do it as a family! Inside or outside! Make sure you add s'mores and ghost stories!

3.build/up-cycle bird house

There are so many ways to do this one for all ages. You can provide a family challenge using only provided or found materials. My family used scrap wood from the garage, wood glue and nails to create ours. It was a blast and made the yard pretty!

4.Bonfire

Who doesn’t love a good bonfire? It should be called a "BOND" fire. ‘Nuff said.

5.Karaoke party

The best part about this is now you can just use YouTube. No need for an expensive machine.

6.Take apart and rebuild an old appliance

There is so much to learn with this activity. Come on, you know you want to do it! You can purchase inexpensive appliances from the thrift store or use an old one you would throw away otherwise.

7.Random Acts of Kindness challenge

Get the whole family involved in creating one on your own! Use a family meeting and create a list of Random Act of Kindness challenge.

8.Picnic

A classic. Get creative with menu or venue! Change it up and do a few of them.

9.Host an Ice cream Sundae bar.

Invite friends or neighbors and just enjoy making your own sundae!

10.Homemade Popsicle

Fruit juices and more. Check out Pinterest for so many ideas.

GO OUT THERE AND HAVE A BLAST THIS SUMMER! I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT SO COMMENT ANY EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE AND SHARE WITH US! 

The Cost of Connecting with Your Teen

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Do you want a closer relationship with your teen? I hope you are ready, it comes at a cost.

 

     I hear so many parents pleading to be involved in their teenagers life. Parents want to know what is going on and how they can best help them. Parents want to know when their teen is hanging with the “wrong crowd” and know when and how to teach the lessons as they come across the choices and consequences. Parents want to make sure teachers are being fair to their teen, friends are not pressuring them to do drugs, have sex, smoke, drink or party and most of all, just to know that they are safe!

 

     If you are one of these parents, you need to recognize that this closeness and involvement take work and it comes at a cost. As if you didn’t think you could be more emotionally invested in their lives, you can.

 

If you want to be involved in your teens life keep in mind…

 

  -YOU WILL NOT GET TO MAKE THEIR CHOICES FOR THEM.

Instead you have to be witness to the choices they make, the ones you agree with and the ones you despise. There will be times you cannot “teach” them by words and lessons you provide, or your own experiences. Like I have said before,

“LET APPROPRIATE AND POWERFUL CONSEQUENCES HELP YOU TEACH YOUR CHILDREN”

We call them “natural consequences” and they feel anything but natural to us as parents.

 

  -YOU MAY LEARN THAT THEY ARE NOT PERFECT.

(yes even though you say that you know they are not perfect, it can still shock you how imperfect they really are)..

 

  -YOU MAY COME TO KNOW JUST HOW OFTEN THEY ARE AT FAULT FOR CONSEQUENCES IN THEIR OWN LIVES.

 

  -IT MIGHT COME TO LIGHT THAT YOUR TEEN HAS A NEGATIVE INFLUENCE ON SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE.

The very things you hammer in and draw a line about might be the thing they are influencing others into.

 

  -THEY WILL LIKELY SHOW YOU THE WORST PARTS OF YOURSELF AND THEIR OTHER PARENT.

You know, all the things you both worked so hard to grow out of and overcome.Prepare to get TRIGGERED!

 

  -YOU WILL CELEBRATE GREATNESS WITH THEM, BUT CONVERSELY, YOUR HEART WILL BREAK WITH THEIRS WHEN TRIALS HIT HARD.

You get invested in their relationships and you go down when they fall apart as well. Don’t forget that it is still not about you. So, your heart will break and you will grieve the losses as well, but they are not your losses. You will need to put these feelings aside and focus on helping your teen get through it and grieve on your own or somewhere else.

 

     We know how worth it the experience is to parent and be involved with your teen and be” in the know” of their life. Just prepare yourself (if it is even possible) at the very least be aware that it comes at a cost. The price is worth it but if you really want to make a positive impact on their lives, you must know that it is only and impact and guidance you can give you cannot control the actions and often not even the outcomes.

 

*Written through the tears of a mother.

Families Fighting Fairly

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     Conflict in the home can be a disruption in the harmony of a family. Most families would love to create a space of safety, support and unconditional love in their home. This peaceful harmony is too often demolished by the reality of disagreements and rivalry that often occurs when people are living life together. This happens among both parents and kids.

 

     There was a time my husband and I had three boys in the home all under the age of 5. This made for some really funny moments, sweet memories and rambunctious disagreements (usually over who had the green car last and who gets it next, for how long and to do what with…). Playing referee to arguments took up so much of our time, attention, energy and quite honestly sucked the life out of our enjoyment of time together as a family. Where was the unity and support we wanted for our boys?

 

     Not only is it detrimental in our home but it ravishes the schools and workforce too. Learning to disagree respectfully, providing constructive feedback versus criticism and sharing thoughts/Ideas are all soft skills that need to be learned and practiced. In a world where people can anonymously comment on social media and other internet platforms using disrespectful remarks and rude comments, it is more important a skill than ever!

 

     I give to you “Fair Fighting Rules”! Fair fighting rules are often use in marriage therapy to outline expectations for inevitable conflict among spouses.

 

These rules usually include, but are not limited to:

 

  1. No degradation language

  2. Take turns talking

  3. No yelling

  4. Assume positive intentions

  5. No use of the word “divorce”

 

     I say, why limit it to just spouses? Create your own family list of Fair Fighting Rules. Come up with the rules together and come up with a creative way to display them in the home. Frame them and use them often. If you have young children you can create a visual display of the rules, including pictures.

 

A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND...

  • Accept input! If each person has a say in what the rules will be, each person will be more likely to follow them. So yes, include the kids. Ask them what feels good and bad when having disagreements.

  • Follow through is key! If there is no follow through, the plan will just fall by the wayside.

  • Keep is simple! Too many rules can be confusing and an outright bother to remember. Many lists are limited to 10, but feel free to make it less for you family.

 

     We are our greatest tool in teaching our children. The more focused and diligently we can teach and reinforce the lessons, the greater potential for success. As my husband would say, “Nothing changes, if nothing changes.”

Why I will not tell you to try something NEW.

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I am not an artist, though I have tried to paint a few times.

Painting seems so simple and unrestricted to me. I would think it relaxing, with the mixing of colors and the lack of prescribed perfection. For whatever reason, I struggle to get the image in my head, to be mirrored onto canvas. I gave up trying so long ago.

Recently there have been a rise in paint night events. People pay to join a group of others essentially taking a paint class together. They have become very popular. I joined a few friends for one of these events one night, just to get out together. The paint night was relaxing,a glass of wine will do that for you, and the company of three other girlfriends helped to take the pressure off a perceived “final product”.

Guess what!? My painting was awesome! it was so beautiful. We were given step by step instructions with far less technical jargon than any other class I have taken. All in all;  just a good time. This is what I always thought art should be. You should have seen the creativity in the room. We all painted the same scene with the same instructions but the final products were so different.

 

It got me thinking.

I must applaud more recent generations. Though I read so much negativity about how things are so “out of control” and “these kids today just don’t understand…:” One must admit they are good at getting out of their comfort zone and thinking outside the box. We have successful entrepreneurs who have never gone to college, new inventions being pitched on a TV show watched by many, people jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and sometimes it seems everyone is dancing to the beat of their own drum.

We have a very innovative culture. One filled with people not afraid to shake things up and try new things, even try old things in a new way.

 

That being said, one skill seems to be missing in this generation.

Persistence, or as I like to say GRIT. Persistence is defined in the dictionary as, continuing in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

This simply means, one keeps going even when they have hit a wall.

After college, I worked with struggling families and at risk youth. . I have heard  a lot of

“I’ve tried (fill in the blank here) before, it just doesn't work for me” from many people.

Many times success comes from continuous practice. That “pushing forward” despite the wall. The getting back up and dusting yourself off to finish the race even though you are in last place and you cannot run anymore so you walk to the finish line.

 

If you are not convinced yet, think about these things.

 

You are different now from the than the last time you tried something.

 

  • Think about how much we change and all the ways we are different at 25 than from 15…..you will be different still at 35 and 45 and so on. You brain continues to develop and change and you find you can do things that you could not before. You were not born with the ability to walk, run, read, talk, add, subtract and drive.

 

Have you ever thought about how different a first born child’s parents are from the third child’s parents…..Same two people, very different at the same time.

  1. The first child may be born to two young people in their early 20’s. Maybe they were newlyweds and just learning how to live with someone other than parents and siblings. They might never have held a child before. The parents may be new in their jobs or studying in college. They may have little to no savings account.

  2. Now think about a couple with their third child. This family may be more established in their career, with some money put away in savings. They have held their own two children, many of their friends’ kids as well as nieces and nephews. They know so much about each other, how to push and support one another.

    Each set of parents are different in their ideas, confidence and values. Ergo the first set of parents may handle many things differently from the second set based on those life experiences.

 

Try something you have done before. Revisit it.

 

Trying something new requires one moment of bravery. Doing something again and again despite perceived failure, takes persistence and resilience. Which of these traits would you rather have mastered?

The Benefit of Boundaries

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Parenting is hard.

Setting boundaries is hard.

Upholding boundaries and expectations can be hard.

It may be hard but it is so worth it! What are the benefits to creating boundaries for your children at any age? There are 5 listed here below.

 

Setting boundaries...

 

  1. Creates security. The security of boundaries and expectations reduces anxiety in children and teens. If you have a kid who struggles with anxiety, creating clear boundaries can be very helpful in alleviating the anxiety of the unknown. Kids learn that the parents take care of things and it is not up to them. It can really take the pressure off.

  2. Provides capacity for success. We are more successful when we know what is to be expected. How many times have you had a dream where you had to take a test but did not know what to study? It  seems unfair to be given a test and not be told what is on it. I bet we would be on the phone in seconds if our child’s teacher did this. It is simply not fair. Setting clear expectations and boundaries makes the content of the test of life clear and known. This makes success possible.

  3. Fights entitlement. Kids need to practice self soothing when things do not go their way and they do not get what they want. When our kids are babies we are told to let them cry a little so they learn to self sooth. The same goes when they get older. Learning how to deal with disappointment and know it is not the end of the world, is a strength in adulthood. However it does not magically appear. It takes experience and practice.

  4. Teaches resilience. Our children need to know things will be okay. It is difficult, but true that we learn in struggle. “Grow through what you go through”, “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger”....the quotes are many. Getting back up every time we fall is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. Perseverance is the key to much of life's great accomplishments!

  5. Teaches them to set and hold boundaries. Setting clear boundaries is good modeling for kids. They will need to be able to do so in their future. It can help them hold up against toxic people and relationships. No one wants their kids to grow up in toxic relationships. No one wants their kids to become doormats who allow others to walk all over them or abuse them. Show them how to uphold fair boundaries. Show them how to be assertive and an advocate for themselves.

 

The fact is, brains are not fully developed until mid twenties or so. It unfair to expect kids to know what is expected, take care of everything, make all the right choices, do all of their homework, complete all chores, maintain a household, always be appropriate let alone know what is appropriate, and make all final decisions. It is simple science. That is why they are under the care of a guardian until adulthood. It is our job as parents to be responsible for all of this until they can do it on their own.

 

Two HUGE reminders as you set and maintain boundaries.

First, remember that your child’s behavior is not a reflection of your parenting. Your parenting is a reflection of your parenting.

Secondly, set your boundaries with caution! They must be upheld. It is counter productive to set boundaries and not uphold them. Rebuilding after you have given up becomes that much harder.

 

I can help you if you are interested in rethinking your go-to parenting strategies with support. If you are interested in allowing me to work with you, feel free to email me at fountain.coach@gmail .com or book a FREE 30 minute Consultation Session at www.fountainofyoucoaching.com under the Book Now tab!