TalkBack To Vicki Jardine

A TalkBack on Parenting Issues

Every Day – Thanksgiving Day! November 29, 2008

dreamstime_1403336Each year we all look forward to Thanksgiving Day.  It resounds with echoes of the very foundation upon which America was built.  Pausing in our busy schedules to ‘give thanks’ for the blessings of our wonderful lifestyle, we are reminded that despite the current economic crisis, we have much to be thankful for.

But the other 364 days of the year, are we practising thankfulness and gratitude?  Are we teaching our children gratitude by our example?  And more importantly, are we teaching our children how to express gratitude on a daily basis in their lives?

Children are very observant.  They are excellent at determining a contradiction between our actions and our words.  And they know when a tradition has lost its’ meaning by how well it is held up in their lives on a daily basis.

Being grateful for what you can determine that you already have is one thing.  But it is also possible, and necessary to teach our children how to express gratitude for what they ‘would like to have’.  This is more commonly known as making an affirmation. 

Have you ever thought about why the practise of making affirmations has begun to be very popular? 

It’s because when you affirm the way you would like something to be, you are focused on what you either have now or want to have.  That focus produces joy and happiness.  It feels good.

Another way to explain it could be it is life giving you what your mind believes it should have.  It’s refusing to focus on what things you feel life has not delivered yet and having the expectation of life for the future.

It’s all about ‘focus’.  When you are being grateful and expressing gratitude, you simply can’t focus on what you don’t have. 

What would you rather do?  Focus on what you have or want to have and enjoy the feelings of happiness and joy? 

Or would you rather focus on what you don’t have, what you fear will happen and what you consider to be completely out of your reach?

Which one of these skills would you like to teach your children? 

Which one of these skills will enrich your child’s life and encourage your child? 

Which one will bring happiness and which one will bring sadness?

Even if you don’t believe in affirmations, you can believe in the importance of making the Thanksgiving Day tradition relevant to your child’s daily life today and every day.  Don’t allow Thanksgiving Day to be some kind of dinosaur tradition in your child’s eyes.  Make ‘thanksgiving’ relevant every day.

Talk Back to me.  I want to know what you think!

Vicki Jardine

 

 

Parenting Intentionally to Build Up Your Child’s Confidence November 10, 2008

dreamstime_1777143

Imagine daily life from your child’s point of view.  I mean really put yourself in your child’s shoes.  How many times in one day is your child’s ability stretched and how many incidences of perceived failure does your child experience every single day in play or at school or at home?

The sheer number of challenges your child faces each and every day would exhaust an adult completely.  We would be so discouraged if every day we existed on such a steep learning curve as our children deal with daily.   

It is a series of ‘learning experiences’ and ‘personal challenges’.  Can you imagine yourself experiencing even one day like your child’s?  No wonder so many children have such low self-esteem.

What kind of a loving and understanding support are you to your child?  How does your child view you?  Are you the ‘safe haven’, the ‘sanctuary’, where he/she is safe and valued and ‘restored’ to feeling confident? 

Or are you the main source of your child’s feelings of failure and discouragement?  Unintentionally, of course!

Couldn’t we as parents decided INTENTIONALLY to be the source of children’s COURAGE!!!  The source of their CONFIDENCE!

We could consciously work with our children to help them develop self-confidence.  And what might this do for the way we view ourselves as parents?  Might we then feel less conflicted and more confident ourselves?  I believe so, because when you help your child develop confidence, you gain a more communicative, cooperative, helpful, happy and peaceful child who has problem-solving skills and you know you helped make the difference.  I think parents suffer a lot of unnecessary guilt in relation to their children’s emotional needs, brought on by modern lifestyles and the pace of life, generally.

The solution lies in embedding the parenting activities that you are already doing with a philosophy that if your actions as a parent encourage your child, then your child will develop confidence.   No need to add complicated systems and routines to your already busy day.  Simply learn to think differently about how to do the things you are already doing with your children.

If a parent were to come from a place of ‘How can I make sure that every interaction I have with my child leads to him/her building self-confidence?’ Then children would begin to blossom and family life would be a lot easier for parents as a result, too. 

 

So, from now on why not evaluate your interactions with your child in terms of

             Did I just build my child’s confidence?

             Did I just destroy my child’s confidence?

 

Imagine the effect that would that have on our parenting?  Doesn’t this simplify things for moms and dads without adding anything to their endless lists of things that have to be done. 

Talk back to me.  Let me know what you think?  Post a comment.