Category Archives: Family Matters

Tidbits on family; sharing, caring, discipline, structure and love

Being Gramama

          It’s cold outside. The frost blankets the ground like tiny diamonds, glistening in the morning sun. I walk around the concrete abutment so as not to impair the new, Spring grass budding beneath the minuscule icicles hanging from the blades. As I approach the rose bushes, I realize how long they have survived in blistering heat, drenching rain and heavy snow throughout the years. I look at the cross behind the roses, worn and weathered from the same elements that have spared the roses.

The cross was fashioned from a pattern my son had made in the shape of a sword he wanted for a costume. I had helped him cut it out of the thin press-board after he carefully drew the pattern, free-hand onto the wood. The following week, we made a cross for the side of the road where my son was killed instead of a sword for his costume.

Three years after setting the cross on the side of the highway, we moved out of town. I could not bear to leave the cross as it was something my son had painstakingly created on his own. Therefore, it now sits in my backyard, transplanted into a bronzed container, surrounded by the roses we placed in the church for his funeral.

My son was 20 years old when he moved to Heaven. I no longer had the opportunity before me to watch him grow into a man, to walk with him at his wedding, or attend the birth of his children. The realization of this lost future was devastating to me.

I was blessed to have had two beautiful, amazing children. My son was born just after my 24th birthday and my daughter was born shortly after my 26th birthday. I initially did not want children when I was younger, but having my children changed me and brought me love I never knew I possessed.

Losing my son so tragically, I tried my best not to lock my daughter in a closet. Although she was 18 years old when her brother left us, she was still my baby girl. When she moved out of our home a short time later, I sincerely felt I had lost both of my children. She had moved a whole three hours away and I felt like I had lost my world altogether!

I was so very grateful that my daughter moved back with me for the birth of her first child. I hadn’t really thought too much about grandchildren before that as my children were still young, mostly in my mind. Yet, being with my little girl during the blessed moment she had her son was beyond belief!

I am in no way saying that one child can replace another, but it felt like a new start for me. Although a grandparent’s role is far different than that of being a parent, I felt it still afforded me another chance at being a part of a future I had been denied with my oldest child.

I thought about my grandmothers and how they were an integral part of my life. They were the patience, reasoning and wisdom that young parents have yet to learn.           They were always a safe haven when “Mom/Dad doesn’t understand!” To me, my grandparents were angels on earth.

I count myself so very fortunate to have experienced a long life with my grandparents. In fact, I’m 52 years old and still have one grandmother living!

I know there are many people who’ve not grown up with grandparents and I’m so very sad they never knew that special love only a grandparent can give. Fortunately, technology has afforded us with Surrogate Grandparents to help connect families who live too far away, or simply do not have a grandparent in their lives.

Being Gramama to my grand-babies has made my world so very amazing. I love to watch them learn while they play, I love the “out of nowhere” hugs, kisses, snuggles and I love you’s that pop up so randomly. I love the fact that as I’ve grown and matured, I have achieved the kind of wisdom and patience that makes a grandparent who they are to a child.

If you are a grandparent and your grandchildren aren’t close, become a Surrogate Grandparent to a child or children close to you who do not have their grandparents with or near them. The benefits and rewards are so very amazing to both the children and the grandparents who pour out their love to each other, regardless of kinship.

Have a blessed day and remember to share your love and blessings with others!!!

‘Til Death Do Us Part

Wedding traditions are in constant flux and are becoming less and less traditional. Yet, there is something to be said for tradition. Tradition maintains social, familial and even personal harmony in life. Problem is; whose tradition do you maintain when marrying a person of different race, culture, religious beliefs, or even same sex?

I’ve attended many weddings and have listened to people who’ve written their own vows, officiants who’ve removed ceremonial wording, and attendees making bets on how long the marriage will last based on the color scheme the bride chose.

I don’t mean to be flippant here, but I’ve seen so many people treat marriage as an interim affiliation rather than a promise to Love, Honor and Obey. Oh yes, I can already hear you cringing at the word “obey”. Yet what “obey” means is literally to “listen to”. If you don’t listen to each other, how will you communicate your wants, needs, and desires to the person you’ve promised to love “Til Death Do Us Part” or will you cringe at that one too?

I’m no expert on marriage, far from it! In fact, I can share with you what NOT to do much easier than I can share what should be done based on my life experience. What I can tell you is, regardless of your race, culture, religious beliefs, or even sexual orientation, when you decide to take the leap of contracting yourself to another human being, you need to be thinking in terms of long-term purchase rather than a month to month lease.

When my last husband and I married, we jointly agreed to have a completely traditional, Christian wedding, with one exception; we married outside, under a gazebo in the park rather than in the church. Essentially, since both of us had previously aligned ourselves with lessees we wanted to be assured we would be enjoying the benefits as property owners this time.

Yes, I mean “property owners”. Do you believe that sounds derogatory? Why? Because people have misused and abused the true meaning of the significance in “The Two Shall Become One”. 

Did we have arguments? Yes. Did we disagree on some issues? Yes. Were there times we couldn’t stand being in the same room together? Yes. Did those things destroy our marriage and commitment to each other? No

Why do you believe some people can make it when others can’t? Is it because of the words? I believe that words are very powerful and can make or break any way of life.

My last husband was a pretty awesome guy. Sometimes, he really tried my nerves and sometimes I just couldn’t believe how lucky I was to call him mine. The point is that we made a commitment that neither one of us had really made before. We also realized that there were times when we just had to move on with our own opinions and make the choice to continue loving each other.

My husband died in my arms. It was an extremely painful experience to maintain my sanity through his illness and honor my word. Yet, as hard as it was, I have no regrets and feel forever grateful that I finally figured out what it really meant to have the kind of love, loyalty and devotion that we shared; even through the worst life had to throw at us.

I pray that all who read this understand that in any marriage there are going to be ups and downs. If you promise to “To love and Cherish, For Better or Worse, For Richer or Poorer, In Sickness and In Health, Til Death Do Us Part” and remember to keep that promise, you’ll most likely not have regrets either.

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

There are many views, both good and bad that depict Christmas. There is a very long history of the origins of “Christmas” and none of them are favorable to the meaning current day Christians host in their hearts. Most people in the last century, not just Christians, consider Christmas to be the celebration of the birth of Christ. Christ is considered to be the savior, God in the flesh, who came to wash away the sins of those who believed in Him.

Considering the life of Christ is depicted in one of the oldest history books in print beginning with Gutenberg’s printing press, there is always speculation as to the thoughts, perceptions, authenticity and following of the bible.

There are numerous religions associated with Christianity. As such, there are numerous interpretations and beliefs associated with the following of religion itself. Whereas Christmas is concerned as the depiction of the celebration of the birth of Christ, I see no reason at all for anyone to believe other than what they wish. Even in some religions of Christianity, the congregation does not follow or participate in “Christmas”.

For those who claim to live their lives according to the teachings, rules, rites of religion or laws of the bible, please be aware that even in the bible, it is taught to love others as you would love yourself and not to force others to believe as you believe. According to the bible, God gave man free will, which means that if He forced others to love him, it isn’t love at all. You must choose to love Him, choose to believe in Him and choose to follow Him.

Although the Jewish faith does not consider Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Christ and does not rejoice in the festivities, I remember speaking once with a Jewish gentleman in regard to their holiday of Hanukkah. I was intrigued of his story, but was nearly shocked when he said that his family also celebrated Christmas. He explained that also they did not believe in Christmas or celebrate it in their faith, he did not want to deprive his children of the magic, love, giving and fun of the season.

It was at this time, that I took a different look at Christmas and what it has become for many people, both religious and not religious. Christmas has become a holiday of sharing love, giving, lights, fancy to-do’s and rejoicing in the treasures of the season. Even those who strongly and reverently consider Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Christ more often than not still put up a Christmas tree, tell their children to be good for Santa Claus to bring them presents, and decorate their homes and yards in lights and characters of the winter season. None of the merriment takes away from your belief.

So, the next time someone comes up to you and says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, there is no need to be offended. There are many holidays in the winter season and most people are merely including all of them, just as I do.

I follow the teachings of Christ because I choose to. I do not hate or fear those who do not. Are there bad people in religions? Yes! But, there are bad people everywhere and it doesn’t necessarily matter what religion they follow or not follow. Just remember, those who do good and help others, will reap what they sow and vice-versa; and that little “law” is prevalent in almost every religion!

I pray that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a magical holiday season. Remember to share the love with others!

 

To Work, Or Not To Work; That Is The Question!

My grandmother was always there for me no matter what. I realized many years later, that a lot of people did not have the luxury of having a grandmother like mine, including my own children. My mother always had to work and rarely had time to visit with her grandchildren, something that’s always saddened her.

I bring all this to your attention because I read a post the other day from a young, newly married lady who was finding criticism against her want to be home with her future children rather than working full time and allowing a stranger to raise them. It dawned on me how much the world has changed and how women are looked down upon for wanting to be home with their children rather than work.

I’m so very fortunate to have been in both positions with my children. There were times when I was able to be home with them, and then there were times when childcare was the only option. I know for a fact that my children appreciated me being there more than being in childcare. I also know that my own daughter is one of the many women who choose to work, but sincerely appreciates that her children’s grandparents are around to care for them rather than them going into a childcare situation.

I’m not saying that childcare is a bad thing. There are many daycare centers where children thrive and parents appreciate the love that the caregivers share with their children. In fact, during the time I did have to work, I was fortunate enough to find a daycare provider who loved my children and still does. What I am saying is how much of a shame it is that people have to criticize other people’s life decisions.

If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, that’s amazing! If you want to be a working mom, that’s amazing too! There are some moms who have no choice other than to work. Being an amazing mom has nothing to do with whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom. Being an amazing mom is just being present for your children.

It seems that more and more, people find the need to judge others on their life’s decisions; whether it be parenting, education or merely being human!

It’s such an incredible shame that people cannot be supportive of others. As long as their decisions aren’t hurting anyone, nobody else has a right to put someone down or try to make them feel bad for how they wish to parent their children.

The one thing we should all be grateful for are the choices we have. I firmly believe in the concept of free will. If a couple have decided that one of them (mom or dad) should stay home with their future children, then it’s nobody else’s business. Parenting is between the parents, not the entire world.

Additionally, stay-at-home parents actually work harder and longer hours than going to work at a job. They don’t get paid time off, they often have nobody else to care for the children if they are sick and they wear numerous hats including, but not limited to:

  • Teacher
  • Nurse
  • Cook
  • Housekeeper
  • Toy monitor
  • Referee
  • And the list goes on…..

I sincerely pray that someday, people will learn to be more supportive of each other. I pray that we can consciously lift each other up instead of bringing each other down. And, I pray that no matter what, we can learn to love one another, which is how it should be.

What’s Your Purpose

WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?

 

 

What I’m Good At According To My Friends And Family

The following list is an actual record of the responses I received to the question, “What is it you think I do best?”

  1. Deal with stress
  2. You’re best at talking people into doing things your way
  3. I think you’re best at counseling the grieving. You’re a wonderful listener & have real life experience to lend proper advice. That’s my official answer. Honestly, I think you’re a wonderful mother, grandmother and friend
  4. Expressing unconditional love…Even when we don’t agree, when we’ve been mad at each other, or out of contact for a while, there has never been a moment in my life in which I doubted you love me.
  5. You protect the things you love in life. You’re a fighter! If ever I’m in a battle, I sure as hell want you on my side
  6. Living, loving, helping others… family oriented
  7. Always willing to help people and family before your needs
  8. Have compassion and love for others. Artistic, handyman, problem solver
  9. You’re compassion for others
  10. I think you organize and plan the best
  11. You’re amazing at giving advice, you know exactly what to say always
  12. You’re best at the execution of actions based upon he facts

Recently, I was taking a course in personal development and one of the assignments was to ask friends and family what they felt I was best at. Some of the answers, and from whom they originated, rather surprised me. Some seemed a bit of a no-brainer and some of them gave me a chuckle. Incidentally, the one that made me chuckle the most was from a longtime friend who, for a while, became a bitter enemy and then a friend again. All in all, the answers I received certainly gave me some food for thought.

It’s easy to look in the mirror and imagine you know the person staring back at you. You believe you know yourself better than anyone else does; but do you really? Seeing something and being something can sometimes be very different.

I understand that 30 years ago, most of the answers I would’ve gotten would have been very, very different than those I received today. Growth and change are inevitable, even for those who may be stuck in one form or another of mental or physical challenge. Mental, environmental, physical, emotional, people, places, situations; all these things promote change whether it may be good or bad.

Many people feel lost and hopeless because they just don’t know their true purpose. Think about the strengths you had as a child. Have those strengths remained with you over time? Have you nurtured those strengths? Have others nurtured those strengths? Or, have you let life get in the way of your strengths and lost focus? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure even the most successful people on earth have at one time or another doubted their strengths. The difference between them and you? They never quit!

Some people consider failure an all-time negative action. Some people consider failure a launch to greater success. It merely depends on your perspective and what your action or reaction is to any given happenstance.

One of the simplest examples of perspective I’ve ever seen is from the Disney movie, “Meet the Robinsons” where the slogan was, “Keep Moving Forward”. In fact, that phrase is an excerpt from a quote by Walt Disney himself,

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long.

We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things,

 because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Now, do you think Mr. Disney knew exactly what his purpose was? Walt Disney had a dream from the time he was a young boy to build an amusement park. He was focused and used his passion to create the greatest, most loved amusement parks in the world.

Another man who followed his purpose is Donald Trump. Although Mr. Trump may not be as loved by the masses as Walt Disney, he still must command respect for following his passion and making considerable strides in the real estate market. Although Mr. Trump’s technically a real-estate mogul, his true calling is in negotiation, finance and economics. Yet, my personal opinion is that he could work on his diplomacy and finesse a bit.

These two men are just a fraction of the amazing people who’ve followed their purpose and passions and made it BIG! Did they have failures? Yes! Did they let it stop them from their purpose? No! They used their failures to propel them into space on the rocket of success!

Now, figuring out your passion and purpose may seem like a daunting task if you’ve lost your way from the strengths of your childhood. Yet, there are simple exercises that can help you find it again. One of those exercises is to ask your friends, family, co-workers and business associates what they feel you’re best at. Another is to figure out what it is you like to do; what makes you feel good. Then, there’s a simple psychological test called the Kolbe test. This simple test shows you what your strengths are and helps you expand on them.

I’m sure you’ve all heard that to find your purpose and pursue it, you’ll be doing what you love so it won’t feel like work and the money will follow. But, how do you find the best way of following your dreams in a financially productive way?

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Talk with people who are already doing it
  2. Study people who are already doing what you want to do
  3. Learn all you can about the options available to you
  4. Join groups that follow your interests
  5. Have confidence in yourself
  6. Believe you have what it takes to upscale whatever makes you happy
  7. Above all else, be aware of who you are helping by following your passion

That last one is a direct thought pattern I learned from the late, great Zig Zigler. One of his most famous quotes was,

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough

other people get what they want”

 Many people have followed in the footsteps of great people. One of the best ways to learn anything is by example. Think about when you were a young child. I’m sure I’m dating myself, but do you remember a game called “Monkey See, Monkey Do”? If not, the game was essentially a mimic game; you mimicked the actions of another child. So, think about who else you mimicked: your parents, siblings, teachers, friends and other relatives. How’d that work out for you?

As children, we primarily perform Unconscious Behavior Mimicry. We tend to unconsciously mimic our parents behavior at a very young age since we spend most of our time with them. Subsequently, children are also likely to mimic opposite behaviors or no correlating behaviors if they feel shocked or upset at the behavior they are witnessing.

Many of the behaviors learned as children are often carried into adulthood. As adults, we may have no understanding as to why we are either afraid of something or excel at something. There is great news though! Behaviors that are detrimental to our success can be changed; sometimes just as easily as mimicking someone who exhibits behaviors we desire. Other times, more extensive therapy may need to be involved.

The point is, that if you are shadowing the path and purpose of your life, but feel stuck, or you haven’t even started following your path; surround yourself with people who are successful in your purpose. Make a conscious effort to change old thought and behavior processes to benefit your goals. Lean on your strengths and guide yourself into finding your best ever job that doesn’t feel like work!

Blessings on your journey to success my friends!

 

monkey-see-monkey-do

If You’ve Got It…..!

My Nana was quite possibly the classiest lady I ever had the privilege of knowing. To our family’s misfortune, she passed away at the young age of 53, when I was just 13 years old.

I remember how softly she always spoke, even if reprimanding someone. I remember, no matter how badly she felt, she always looked like a million dollars. I remember the silky feel of her hair on my cheek when I sat on her lap as she told me stories, and I remember the lilt in her voice and her infectious smile.

The one thing that always stuck with me was a specific visit when I was 12 years old, just a few short months before she passed away. I had saved my babysitting money to buy myself a tailored suit and nice shoes. At 12, I was enamored with the “business woman’s” look of long, tailored skirts and up-swept hair. I practiced for hours upon hours with my hair to get just the right look. I wanted so much for my Nana to think I was as classy as she was and so I wore my tailored skirt and vest and rolled my hair into a classic up do just to go visit her.

My uncle, who was only five years my senior, was flabbergasted that I did not look like a 12 year old girl when I walked into the house. He began deriding me for looking far too “mature” for my age and asked my mother what she was thinking allowing me to dress in such a manner. I started to become very upset and then my Nana stopped my uncle’s lecture by simply stating, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!”

At first, I didn’t realize what my Nana was really saying. I had heard that term before, but usually in a manner that someone was showing off something they should be concealing.

My Nana went on to tell my uncle that I looked beautiful and had done a “mighty fine job” of dressing myself with class. I was just beaming that she thought I looked classy!

I realized then, that the term “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”, although often spoke in derision, simply meant that you should exploit your talents, your dreams and your individual creativity.

I am now two years younger than my Nana when she passed away. Most of my career was spent wearing tailored suits and fancy shoes. At one point, in my early twenties, I had an enormous walk-in closet full of tailored suits and over 200 pairs of fancy shoes. In fact, I usually bought the shoes first and then looked for outfits to match. Due to age and injuries, I can no longer wear those fancy shoes. Yet, I still keep a few pair that I just can’t seem to part with.

Some people would think me vain and narcissistic for collecting these suits and shoes, but to me it was all about being as classy as my Nana.

Now, I understand that class isn’t just about the clothes; it’s about your entire persona. Class is having respect for yourself and others. Class is showing love even when you’re feeling sick or in pain. Class is speaking softly and always looking for the good in people and the best in life.

I don’t think I’ll ever come close to being as classy as my Nana; but I’ll forever keep trying and I’ll forever remember her love and her class!

Anger

When I was a small child I didn’t mind being alone. I would play in my room all by myself and I was okay with that. I liked playing with my sisters, but somehow being alone was comforting to me. I often enjoyed solitude, but also enjoyed being with my family; especially family gatherings. I guess you could say I enjoyed the peace of being alone the most.

After some disturbing family events I found by my teen years that I was very angry and would often cause arguments, fights and just be downright disagreeable. I know some of that was merely teenage angst, but it was more than that.

As time went on, I would do my best to walk away from confrontation, but still found myself in the middle of it most of the time. I often said or did the exact opposite of whatever I was expected just to be obstinate for no particular reason.

There were times in my life where this behavior served my purpose, whatever that happened to be; or so I thought then. I remember being so out of control at one point with my anger that I was actually ordered to anger management classes. After being thrown out of anger management at least three times, I found someone to help me through my anger. The first three facilitators insisted I was just an angry person with no reasoning. Yes, I was angry, but I had plenty of reason and one reason grew upon the other as my life went on.

The last facilitator actually validated my anger. She told me I had every right to be angry at what had happened, but that I needed to learn to use that anger in a more productive manner. She also told me that anger is often a catalyst to achievement of a purpose. I really didn’t understand what that meant at the time, but I was to learn in a most profound way.

Another person was also instrumental in helping my anger and that was my step-dad, whom I did not have a good relationship with. Although we didn’t see eye-to-eye on most issues, something he said to me came back at me many years later. I was extremely angry at something (I really don’t remember what now) and he asked me why I would let someone else have such overpowering control of my emotions like that. He told me that I was the only one who could willingly control my emotions and should not give someone else that power.

It took me a few years to truly understand what both of those people meant. In my own experience and my studies of psychological articles on anger, I found the control I needed to set aside my intense anger that had grown since the untimely death of my younger sister when I was seven years old.

I’m not saying that I never get angry anymore, that would be completely false. Yes, I get angry, but now I do all I can to turn that anger into productive accomplishments. For example, I have experienced many deaths in my life of close family and friends. Therefore, I committed many years of my life as a funeral service professional to do all I could to help other families through a very difficult time because I understood their pain. I’ve also facilitated grief support groups for the same reasons.

Recently, after the death of my husband in the summer of 2015, I decided that I wanted to help people in their happy moments. My husband suffered miserably for years and in respect, everyone else in the family suffered along with him. The anger of what was happening overwhelmed the entire family and for a while, we all were at each other’s throats. It took quite a bit of time for me to turn my anger into a positive catalyst to improve the life events of others, but I am now in the process of doing just that.

All the wisdom of those two people earlier on in my life came catapulting into focus and I truly understood that I could have peace in my anger. Releasing that anger has not only improved my relationships with others, including my family, it has improved my mental and physical health.

I truly hope that you, my readers, can turn your angry moments into a positive channel of peace and abundance of mental and physical means.

To your wellbeing!

Communication

Communication has been an issue between people since the beginning of time. The biggest problem is as one person feels he or she is communicating articulately to another, the other person is perceiving a different story. Why is this?

There are numerous scientific articles in regard to nature vs. nurture and how it affects behavioral outcomes. Some of the information in these studies reflect how there are “environmental hotspots” which affect behavior more than genetics Nature vs. Nurture. A quick example would be that a person raised in an environmentally hostile area would not have the diplomacy that a person raised in an environmentally peaceful area would have. Therefore, communication between those two people would be very strained and most likely lead to serious misunderstandings. Neither person would be equipped to understand the other’s point of view or appreciate that person’s passion on the subject in which they are attempting to communicate. Thus, although each person is attempting to be as open and direct as possible to the other, and very likely trying to communicate the same directive, they most likely would not come to an agreement.

The above simple illustration can be viewed throughout history. Countless wars have ensued due to miscommunication, whereas merely one person did not have the understanding of the other person. In fact, there was a song written in the early 1970’s which portrayed this very fact named One Tin Soldier.

Face to face communication is always preferable in any situation as an individual is able to visually communicate his or her position through emotion and body language. Whereas these days, more and more people communicate through text, email or some type of social media, which does little to allow for emotion, facial expressions or body language. Therefore, few people are able to communicate in a way that provides a true point and position to the other person. People should also take into account the coveted, but dreaded “autocorrect”, which may inadvertently send the wrong word. One word can make all the difference in how a message is received and perceived. Sometimes the most simple word or grammatical error can change the entire meaning of the message a person is trying to communicate and could end up being disastrous. I have read through many people’s text to each other as they have asked me to agree with his or her point of view compared to the other person. In most cases, I find that each person is saying almost the same thing and actually agreeing with the other person on a solution to the issue. Yet, due to misguided perception, debauched grammar, or the inability to be compassionate to the other person’s feelings, hurt and anger supervene and there is war!

I’m sure we have all been in similar situations to the ones demonstrated above. One of the best ways I can demonstrate to you, my readers, is to show the difference between active and passive listening, which you can see in the attached image.

Becoming an active listener is an art. We all are passive listeners at heart and need to seriously work on becoming an active listener in order to have better communication skills. Increasingly, there would be less miscommunication and better relationships would be created.

Being an active listener is one of the best ways to have better communication skills. Another is to be compassionate to the other person’s thoughts and ideas. Being compassionate allows for empathy in regard to the other person’s present, past and future situations, upbringing (natural and environmental) and gives the communication increased, peaceful effort for both parties.

I myself have not always communicated in an appropriate way. Not that I was meaning to be obtuse in any way, but was merely in a poor state of mind due to either real or perceived situations happening in my life. Therefore, I was not being compassionate to the other person’s situation and was unable to listen or communication properly to assuage the issue. Most of the time, a simple “I’m sorry” will do to correct miscommunication and feelings of hurt, frustration and anger, which can result in lost relationships. Other times merely recognizing the fact that I was less than diplomatic was a lesson I needed to learn and move on, doing my best in the future not to repeat those actions.

I hope this helps with any communication issues you, my readers, may be having in your life. Just remember, living in peace with yourself allows you to live in peace with others.

 

Play Time

I grew up with nothing to do but play. I was fortunate that my mother also liked to play. I learned at a very early age that play time was quality time. I also learned that I had enough imagination to be able to securely play by myself. I know I was not the only child in this world to love being sent to my room when I misbehaved because I was comfortable with my own company (not that I intentionally misbehaved).

Children learn through play. In fact, so do most adults! Everything is more fun while playing. Some of the games I played as a child taught me many ways to manage my adult life, although I didn’t realized it at the time. Take hopscotch for example. I learned how to balance on one foot (helped with learning to walk in high heels and climb a ladder), how to count forward and backward (balancing that checkbook), how to skip to a higher level (use my experience to bypass redundant training), and I learned spatial recognition (how hard I had to throw my shoe in order to stop one of my children from a more horrible fate, like sticking their fork into the toaster).

Every schoolyard game taught valuable life lessons. Think about the life lessons your children are learning. Is it merely how to grow a large backyard (sitting on the couch watching TV) or how to swing a mean thumb (playing video games all day). If you believe either one of those activities is teaching your children anything about life, they are going to live a very sad one. Children should be making mud pies, taking nature walks, going to museums and concerts, growing a garden, building towers with blocks, learning “red light, green light”. All of these and more are a great foundation for life!

Play with your children in everything you do. Make games out of daily chores and obligations. Not only will it relieve your own frustration and stress, your children will learn teamwork, imagination, creativity, and simple self-esteem at accomplishment. So, make time to play!