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Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Squeezed for Time!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
Are there so many demands on your time that you can’t squeeze another second out of your schedule? If so, you have “timelock.” Just as gridlock stops traffic, timelock stops productivity. Here is what to do to get unlocked:
  • Think of what you want out of life….not how much you can get done. Assess all your activities. If they add to your life, keep them. If not, eliminate them whenever possible.
  • Understand your body clock. It’s irregular and not as uniform as time from a clock. Identify its peak times. That is when to schedule especially difficult work.
  • Don’t crowd every minute with some task. If you do, tension rises and effectiveness declines.
  • Slow down. Don’t be addicted to rushing. Ask, “Why am I rushing? What will hap-en if I don’t?” Know the difference between necessary haste and impatience.
  • Subtract an old activity when you add a new one.

Are They Ready for Schooling?

Friday, September 13th, 2013

School is on the mind of everyone this month as the children start school for another year of learning. Backpacks bulge with new books and supplies, girls wear the latest fashions and boys find the baggiest levis. Happy faces and anticipation as the little ones trooped off walking or to catch a bus.

A neighbor stopped over and asked about her child who is three. With a birthday in September, she has been told that it might be better if she holds him back from attending school a year. Her concern is that he will be the youngest child in the class and may be immature and not do well in the school. This is a difficult question for me…..my own children have October birthdays and I did not hold either back. I know they struggled not only through elementary and high school, but college as well. Nevertheless, they both were bright enough and I didn’t see the problem as theirs, but that of the schools. In hindsight would I have done things differently….probably not. It is painful, though, as a parent, to see your child struggle.

So, my response to my neighbor was “wait and see, he is still young.” My children are adults now and there weren’t as many options then. However, it saddens me to think that a parent has to even consider this question today. Many parents choose to keep their children home for schooling, but others are unable to do this. So, do they have to worry that their child may not be ready? “Who is not ready, the child or the school?”

Outsmarting Stress

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

We don’t know where we got this wonderful reminder….but it is something we wish we could remember when pressures get too great.

Relieve stress by understanding which brain hemisphere is stressed. If you feel depressed or emotionally overwrought, your stress is in the right hemisphere….the creative, emotional, holistic side.

What to do: Switch to your matter-of-fact left hemisphere by doing math, writing factual prose or organizing. The emotional right brain will calm down.

If you feel time-stressed and overburdened, the left hemisphere is involved. Switch to your right brain by singing or playing a sport.


So Much to Do….So Little Time

Monday, July 29th, 2013

In the fast-paced world in which we live, adults often are hard pressed to find the time to work, manage a household, raise a family and pursue leisure activities….all within the confines of a 24 – hour day. Children are no different. Between going to school, doing homework, working part time, visiting with friends, attending athletic practice, participating in school clubs, taking music or dance lessons, doing household chores and watching a favorite television……a child can find himself without a minute to spare during a typical day.

Children need their parents’ help in learning how to organize their time. By equipping them with some vital time management skills now, they will be better prepared to meet the increasing demands placed on their lives as they grow older.

  • Weekly chart. Map out a schedule each week, with specific times allotted for school, homework, work, chores, extracurricular activities, television, dating and going out with friends.
  • Permanent work space. By mid-elementary age, your child should have his own palace for studying.
  • Organized notebooks.
  • Regular homework time
  • Learning comes first. If your child starts producing incomplete assignments, neglecting his homework or slacking off in his grades, it is time to make hip drop some activities. If schoolwork improves, he can resume the disrupted activity.

Do not let your child over structure her time after school and on weekends. Children need a few moments to wind down between activities. Encourage them to have a healthy snack, listen to music or read a magazine before rushing off to soccer practice or a music lesson. Remember that part of the joy in being young is the freedom to do nothing at all.

Competition

Friday, July 26th, 2013

With the beginning of school, comes another season of sports of all kinds for our youngsters. We have come to believe that competition is good for us. But research show that “offensive competition.” which involves aggressive gamesmanship, can be counterproductive. A study conducted at the University of Texas disclosed that people who were more concerned with winning than with performing well had lower levels of achievement. If you are competitive or your child is competitive, consider the following:

Keep in mind that competition is not the opposite of cooperation. Using cooperative strategies will often help one be more “competitive.”

Learn to believe in yourself. Do not strive to prove yourself in others’ eyes.

Accept that other people are needed to get ahead. A combination of healthy competition and cooperation can go a long way.

Keep an open mind to new ideas, information and feedback. Offensively competitive people often resist others’ suggestions.

Help others to achieve their goals.

Great Achievements: Do You Have What It Takes?

Monday, July 1st, 2013

What does it take to get something extraordinary accomplished in an organization? A study from Santa Clara University has identified the following practices as being key:

  • Challenge the process. Leaders search for opportunities, experiment and take risks.
  • Inspire a shared vision. Leaders envision the future and enlist the support of others to share and achieve that vision.
  • Enable others to act. Leaders foster collaboration and draw the best from their people.
  • Model the way. Leaders set a good example and plan opportunities for their people to experience many “wins” along the way.
  • Encourage their people. Contributions are recognized. Accomplishments are celebrated.

The Leadership Practices Inventory, called LPI, was compiled from interviews and surveys with managers who attended management development seminars.

Courtesy of Measures of Leadership

Face to Face Communications

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

When dealing with people, be ready to react to the actions of different personalities. Here are some examples:

  • Dealing with the aggressor who is intimidating, hostile

and loves to threaten.

What to do: Listen to everything the person has to say. Avoid arguments and be formal, calling the person by name. Be concise and clear with your reactions.

  • Dealing with the under-miner who takes pride in criticism and is sarcastic and devious.

What to do: Focus on the issues and don’t acknowledge sarcasm. Don’t overreact.

  • Dealing with the unresponsive person who is difficult to talk to and never reveals his or her ideas.

What to do: Ask open-ended questions and learn to be silent.  Wait for the other person to say something. Be patient and friendly.

  • Dealing with the egotist who knows it all and feels and acts superior.

What to do: Make sure you know the facts. Agree when possible and ask questions and listen. Disagree only when you know you’re right.

Courtesy of Business Marketing Reference Manual

What is Discipline?

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

There are times when children simply need discipline, and nothing else will do. We discipline them because we love them. We discipline our children to prepare them for life. Discipline is training through containment, setting limits or boundaries with clearly defined consequences. Here are a few things that discipline provides to help children make good choices and to live life well:

  • Discipline Provides Protection: Discipline provides limits that protect our children by keeping them away from danger. As we set limits, we also give our children ample opportunities to apply what they are learning to life.
  • Discipline Provides Security: In life, we must submit ourselves to people and laws to succeed. Teachers, police, principals, baby-sitters, parents and bosses have say over what is permissible and advisable behavior. To achieve and keep peace in our society, our children need to develop a healthy respect for those limits that make their lives make sense.
  • Discipline Provides Responsibility: In order for children to grow toward independence and take their place as adults, they must assume various responsibilities for themselves. They must learn to handle their money, to hold a job, and to manage emotions, to name a few. As they grow up, they learn that freedom and responsibility go together
  • Discipline Provides Training: Discipline trains a child in self-discipline and prepares the child for his future as an adult. A child who learns to do his chores or homework forms the habit of getting work done first, which leads to maturity and independence.

Measuring Our Students Educational Program

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

The other day a neighbor visited me while I was working in the garden. She wanted to talk about the changes occurring at the local school. Comparing the education she and her husband received with that her children were receiving, she had determined that they were getting an excellent education. Both parents were pleased their children were learning “so much more” than they had.

I had to agree with my friend, that, we most often use this standard of measurement for our children’s schooling. I certainly did when my children were young. But is this the best measure for quality in education? I asked the neighbor to consider how the world had changed, in the time since she was in school, and the amount of information we and our children have at our finger tips. It seems reasonable to assume that our children should be learning a great deal more of the information that took us years to assimilate. For the most part, our children begin school having access to more information than we had. By the time a child has completed one year of schooling that information has almost doubled. When I was in school it took many years for information to change. That provided me and those of my generation a certain consistency with learning information that is not available today. Therefore, I’m not certain that the same paradigms for learning, that served my neighbors and me, are adequate for today’s student.

Unfortunately, I do not have an easy answer for what should be or could be. I do know that when I hear about educators who continue to teach the way they have for many years, it concerns me. I have seen wonderful teachers who are very good with their students, but who are missing the mark in preparing their students for this fast-paced world. That human aspect is so very important to teaching, but what of the child who does not receive adequate information to be successful in ensuing years. What a dilemma it raises for those of us who work with these well intentioned people on a daily basis. The tried and true paradigms of the past, that served us well, that prepared our youngster for a successful future, are not adequate today. We all have to try harder to challenge our own methods of educating and of evaluating schooling.

Imagine It!

Monday, May 20th, 2013

The part of your mind that plays the greatest role in achieving the things that you want from life is that part of your mind that imagines.  It is a strange fact, in view of this, that this part of your mind is the one that is developed and controlled the least.  You spend years developing the part of your mind that stores knowledge, reasons, analyzes, judges, memorizes, and learns but almost no time in developing the immense power of your imagination.  Here are some interesting facts about this enormous personal power and the benefits you will receive by tapping its potential.

Fact No. 1:  Your imagination affects your emotions.  Scientists have discovered there is a kind of “hot line” running from the part of the mind that imagines to the part of the mind that controls your emotions.  This explains why you can imagine yourself in a frightening situation and actually get emotionally upset.  It is simply because your imagination is sending pictures directly to your emotional control center which, in turn, affects the feelings and functions of the body.

Fact No. 2:  Your imagination is more apt to act destructively rather than constructively unless managed by you.  All of your problems in living are rooted in your imagination. It is the imagination acting negatively that becomes congested by fear, doubt, worry, and makes you feel inferior, unhappy, and depressed.  It even keeps you from getting along with others and is the breeding place for jealousy, envy, suspicion and hate.  Letting your imagination run wild can be one of the most destructive forces in your life.

Fact No. 3:   The untapped power of your imagination is almost unlimited. Psychologists say that, at the very most, people use only 10% to 20% of their mental potential.  They must certainly be referring to the imagination.  Your imagination is a rich source of ideas, mental pictures, and dormant forces that yu can use to develo9p0 your life into abundance and happiness.