Dear Mom,

It’s been a year since the terrible crash that took you from us so suddenly. I know that while you were here with us, I was not kind to you and this is what I will regret for the rest of my life.

Thank you for everything you have done for me. You have always made sure I had everything I needed and wanted. Thank you for putting up with my fits of rage, explosive anger and all the unkind words I have spoken to you. You did not deserve my anger, I just didn’t know what else to do.

Dear Mom,

All I wanted was to be like you. I admired you so much. You always managed to get everything done and I wished I could do the same. You had my laundry washed and put away for me every week. You made sure I was up in time for school. My projects and assignments got amazing grades because of your final input. You drove me to my games, and cheered me on. The house was always full of food and the meals you made were outstanding. I know you were exhausted, but you just kept going until everything was done. I really wish I knew how you did it all.

Now that you’re gone, I am having to learn all the things I wish you had taught me. When you first left, friends and family would stop by with loads of food. Aunt Margie came to do our laundry, Mrs. Wilson next door cleaned the house and even old, cranky Mr. Bill cut the grass a few times. But all of that faded away and eventually it was left up to us. We have all learned a lot since you left, and we all wish you were here to teach us how to do it.

I have tried making your famous Sunday breakfast, but the fire department told me to stop because they got tired of responding to my cooking fails. I tried doing laundry, but the school said our uniforms are not supposed to be pink. I didn’t even know how to start the lawn mower (apparently you need to put gas in it first).

I am slowly getting better at navigating my way through your daily routines, but it is hard to find the balance. Some days, my school work gets lost in the shuffle because I have to fix the washing machine, or get groceries or I just fall asleep with so many tasks not finished. I really don’t know how you did it all.

I have been so busy trying to be you since you left, that I didn’t realize that I had lost me. Truthfully, I never had me because you always made decisions for me. You picked my classes at school, you told me who I could hang out with and you even cooked the foods you thought I liked (I really hate asparagus you know). I think one of the greatest things I have learned since you left, is who I am and who I want to be.

I wanted to be like you when you were here, but now I know I need to be me. I need to make sure my kids know how to do their own laundry, get themselves up for school and cook a meal. My kids will know how to do all the things you didn’t teach me. I know you were just trying to be the best Mom you knew how to be, but I really feel like you failed me. This past year has been so hard with learning how to get through life, that I haven’t had the chance to really grieve you as a person and a Mom. I have been so angry because you left me with this huge responsibility and you didn’t even tell me that I would have to do this!!

I wish you had taken the time to teach me how to be me.

I spent so many years angry at you because you were always to busy to just sit and listen to me. I needed to tell you that I wanted to learn how to be you. But we never had that chat. All we ever did was yell and scream at each other. I am now 18 years old and I have no idea how to live life because you always did it for me. You said that I was going to be a Doctor and now I know that I want to help kids who have lost their Mom. I want to help them learn all the things I had to learn because you didn’t take the time to teach me.

I had to get a job to help pay for the other kids, but I had never even made a resume. I was scared to go for an interview because I had never done it. I had to learn how to budget our money because I honestly thought it just came out of no-where. School, work, kids, house, chores, meals is all too much for me. I wish I knew how to do some of these things while you were here.

We are learning, Mom.

We have had some pretty good fights here since you left and I finally realized it was because you weren’t here to referee. None of us knew how to really talk to each other. We had no idea how to cope with your sudden exit. We had no idea how to work together to get everything done. Our anguish, pain and grief was hurled at each other in a feeble attempt to make it go away and all it did was grow bigger. We are now learning how to really talk to each other, help each other. Mom, did you know that Kaitlyn really hates biology? She is now focusing on athletics instead of sciences and Jeff wants to be an electrician not a lawyer. We have learned to channel our anger into creativity and have an entire wall in the living room devoted to our emotions. We have built a massive piece of art that expresses how each of us feels, what we like, what we hate and who we want to be. You are on that wall Mom. Sometimes you are there because we are angry at you for leaving before you taught us how to really live and sometimes you are there as a celebration of who we are today.

It has taken me a full year to write this letter to you. I was so full of hurt, anger and hatred that I still haven’t been to your grave. I think we will go this weekend. We are doing ok, Mom. I just wish it was you who taught us all that we needed to know about life without you. You can now rest peacefully knowing that we are managing, we are learning to cope, learning to talk, but we are also learning to listen and take time for each other because we now know just how precious time is.

Andrea Scarborough – champion of hope.

If you’d like to learn how to teach your children to navigate this world, you may join us at Solution Focused Parenting.

Not sure where to start? Try a FREE Power Hour to reconnect with your own authenticity so that you may help your children connect to thiers!!

Raising Young Adults

Instilling Essential Life Skills is the key to raising young adults. In the hectic, craziness of every day life, we tend to focus on the short-term goal of simply making through the day. Sick kids, demanding careers, long hours and endless bills all keep us focused on the short-terms goals. We need to take a step back and realize the long-term goal.

Settling the Allowance Debate, discussed the importance of the family working together to maintain the home.  By everyone pitching in to do the their part, we have reduced the strain on the Parents to do it all, taught our children valuable skills to ensure their survival in the real world and begun to insert some of the Essential Life Skills that are so import to their individual success.

“It is not our job to fix our children, it is our job to teach our children how to fix themselves.”


Teaching Kids to Teach Themselves

We have all encountered kids who couldn’t problem-solve their way out of a wet paper bag. Truthfully, I have met a few adults who fit this as well. There is a quote I found somewhere:

You can raise your kids & spoil your grandchildren,

or you can spoil your kids & raise your grandchildren.

~unknown

I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken. We are not raising children, we are raising strong, healthy, independent adults. We need to keep the long-term goal in mind when we are wiping snotty noses, cleaning a scraped knee, consoling a bruised ego.

The only way for our children to become strong-minded, self-sufficient adults, is to instill these values long before adulthood.

Essential Life Skills are the foundation of success, healthy minds & independence.
  1. Interpersonal relationships are not developed by chatting with people on line through video games or messaging.  This is real, face-to-face, human interaction.  The opportunity to look another person in the eye & understand their point of view. 
  2. Communication is the greatest tool we have as humans.  We have the ability to express our thoughts, concerns & opinions.  This is what sets us apart from the animal kingdom.  Encourage your child to speak with respect & compassion. Encourage them to listen to understand & not listen to respond.  If you are able to do this with them, they will learn how to do it in their own lives.
  3. Problem-Solving is a really tough one for parents.  We don’t want our children  to fall, but it is necessary.  Our children need to learn to resolve their own issues.  Helping them talk through problems, exploring different options, choosing the appropriate action & then assessing the outcome will go a long way to reducing the number of problems your child encounters.
  4. Critical-Thinking is key.  This is the lessons we have learned from past mistakes that we have problem-solved and applying this information to current & future situations.  “Last time I went out in the rain, I didn’t take an umbrella & I was sick for a week.  Today, I will take an umbrella.
  5. Imagination / Creativity is how we develop a strong sense of self.  This is where we learn what we like, what we don’t like, our strengths, weakness and our passion.  Help your child to explore a variety of outlets to find whatever it is that will light their flame!
  6. Connectedness; true, honest & deep connections are what keep us grounded.  Humans were designed to live in communities and having a strong connection to this community will keep you safe from harm.  “You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything“. Teaching your child to stand with a group of individuals who are searching for a similar outcome, will prevent them from being recruited by negativity.  Help your child to surround themselves with positive, supportive, like-minded people who will nurture their sense of self.
  7. Sense of self is knowing who you are and firmly believing in that person.  When a child has the freedom to explore their likes/dislikes and effectively communicate that, we are encouraging their individuality.  We may not like everything they do, but as long as it isn’t illegal, immoral or fattening, give it your blessing.
  8. Natural Consequences are a must for our future adults.  Imagine if we have world leaders who did not understand the value of natural consequences.  Leaders who believed they could do, say & act anyway those chose, regardless of how it affected those around them.  It would be a truly sad planet.  “You are free to make your own choices, but you are not free from the consequences of those choices.”  Hold you children accountable to their indiscretions.  Be sure they know that every decision they make has an effect on someone else.
  9. Emotional Regulation is the ability to self-sooth, calm strong emotions and release negative energy. Help your child to understand the array of complex emotions that we all have.  Use feeling words while talking to your child.  “That must have been frustrating” or “That’s really sad, I’m sorry to hear that.”  By inserting the proper emotions, children can then begin to process the situation.
  10. Patience is the ability to understand that good things come to those that wait.  By not giving your child everything they seem to want right now, you are instilling an understanding that one must work to earn privileges.  This is where their work ethic will be taught.

The Media is Working Against Us

The media is our worst enemy. The horror stories of trafficked or abducted children & school shootings play over & over again. These are our nightmares. We fight to protect and shelter our children and will go to great lengths to ensure their safety. But we are also ensuring their dependence.

Remember Elizabeth Smart?

Elizabeth was abducted from her home & held captive for months by a very deranged couple. Her parents feared the worst, but believed in the skills & values they had taught their daughter. They knew they had taught Elizabeth how to problem-solve, think critically, regulate her emotions & hold true to her own sense of self.

Elizabeth escaped her captors, and now travels the world sharing her story. Because of the efforts her parents put in when she was young, the trauma Elizabeth endured has helped to shape the strong, powerful woman she is today.

Moral of the Story

We cannot control what happens in the world, but we can teach our children how to handle all of life’s up’s & down’s.

Sending your child out into the world without Basic & Essential Life Skills, is equivalent to asking them to win the Boston Marathon without first teaching them how to walk.

Settling the Allowance Debate

As a parent, you have probably argued one way or the other in the Allowance Debate. If I may, I’d like to offer a slightly different perspective.

Allowance is a great time to teach financial responsibility & budgeting.  Teaching your children the value of a dollar will go along way to encouraging financial independence.

Method A – Chore List

Have a family discussion to create a list of tasks that must be completed in the home on a weekly basis.  This should include tasks such as maintaining individual spaces (clean your room) but also maintain community spaces (mop the kitchen).  You can either pay a flat rate at the end of the week, or assign a dollar value to each task.

Method B – The Extra Mile

If you choose to not pay your child for being an active participant in your home, there is still a way to earn money.  Have a list of tasks that are not required everyday; raking leaves, household laundry, cleaning windows, organize the garage, weed flower beds, help a neighbour.  Assign a dollar value to each task to be paid upon completion of task. 

Teaching Basic Life Skills

So many kids today are lacking the appropriate skills to navigate this world on their own.  We have created a generation of children who win a ribbon for showing up, not trying their best & working to achieve a goal.  We have raised our children with technology, not people.  It’s easier to send them off to be entertained by video games, then it is to get them to help make supper.

We, as adults tend to complain about the lack of skills our children have, but not many are willing to put in the work to correct this.

Join a community of Parents who are working to make a difference.

Basic Life Skills

Basic Life Skills are required to navigate this world effectively.  Without them, we have self-entitlement, a strong need for immediate gratification in our youth, but we also have some very burnt-out, frustrated parents as well.

Consider offering a small allowance to reward success with Basic Life Skills
Consider offering a small allowance to reward success with Basic Life Skills

Basic Life Skills teach very important lessons; pride in a job well done, co-operation & teamwork, respect for personal property.

These skills should be introduced at an early age, but can be taught at any stage.

  • Personal Hygiene enhances their sense of independence, self-esteem.
  • Cleaning encourages team work & self-starting tasks without reminders.
  • Cooking teaches self-sufficiency & proper nutrition.
  • Laundry again enhances the respect for possessions & instills a level of control.
  • Care for Plants / Pets is where the self-entitlement decreases.  They learn to care for something other than themselves.  They learn empathy, compassion and are rewarded when they see the flower, or can eat the fruit.

It is not a parent’s job to do all these tasks for everyone in the home.  It is the parent’s job to ensure everyone in the home knows how to complete these tasks to the best of their ability.  Parent’s who do all of this & work full time, will be burnt out before their children are teenagers.  Believe it or not, the teenage years are where you need to bring your A Game.

Final Word on the Allowance Debate

Regardless of how you choose to implement an allowance; either with a chore list or the extra mile, it is essential that children learn the Basic Life Skills, which includes financial responsibility.

The long-term goal is to raise healthy, strong, independent adults who are capable of navigating this world on their own.


I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.  

This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!  

Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!

Your Life on Your Terms

How to Break the Cycle of Dyfunction

Recognising Family Dysfunction

Every family has a level of dysfunction, those family secrets that are not talked about outside of the home; abuse, addiction, problem child, mental health.

Did you know that these dysfunctions are passed down through generations?

  1. Violent men raise violent boys.
  2. Addicts raise addicts.
  3. Codependent women raise codependent daughters.
  4. Anxious parents raise anxious children.
  5. Victimized women raise girls to be victims.

Now this does not happen in every single case, but there is an increased likelihood that dysfunction will be passed down to the next generation. A child of dysfunction will either follow suit and continue the cycle, or veer the opposite way and take a left-wing stance for their own lives, but will continue the cycle by choosing a life partner who mirrors the dysfunction.

Why the Cycle?

This answer is simple; we can only teach what we know.

  1. If we know that the best way to get what you want is to threaten violence, then that is what we teach. (abuse)
  2. If we know that the best way to handle stress is to drink, then that is what we teach. (addiction)
  3. If we know that the best way to stay safe is to appease our partner, then that is what we teach. (codependence)
  4. If we know how to worry ourselves crazy about everything, then that is what we teach. (anxiety)
  5. If we know that our lives are dictated by the events that happen TO us, then that is what we teach. (victim)

Take a Look at Your Own Family

As I said, every family has some dysfunction. The first step to breaking the cycle is to recognise the cycle. What runs in your family? The best way to truly assess the toxicity or dysfunction in your family is to create a Genogram.

Family-Genogram

I used my own family in the example and I am child #2. As you can see, we have a long history of mental health issues & addiction. These issues did not directly effect everyone, but it did effect the course of their lives.

How Do I Break the Cycle?

Your past is not your fault, your future is your responsibility.

unknown

Breaking the Cycles of Dysfunction is Possible.

  1. Create Awareness – start with your own genogram. grab a large piece of paper, pencil crayons & a ruler. Start with you, your siblings, children; working down. Then add your parents, aunts, uncles & grandparents. Use the legend in my example or create your own. When you are done, assess your diagram. What stands out? What have you learned?
  2. Ownership – What role do you play in the cycle of dysfunction? Are you anxious, a victim of abuse, child of addiction? You see, you only ever have 2 choices – You are part of the problem – or – you are part of the solution. Which will you be?
  3. Observe – with your new information, observe family interactions. How are difficult situations handled? Who over-reacts & when? Is conversation assertive or passive/aggressive? Do you recognise any of these behaviours in yourself?
  4. Children of dysfunction adapt a certain role or persona. Which one are you? Which persona have your children adapted?
  5. Find Support – There are several groups that help you recognise & offer support through family dysfunctions. Women on a Mission is a great place to find support on-line. You may also choose to Google groups in your local area.
  6. Social Awareness – take a look at all the people you surround yourself with – does the toxicity extend to your social circle?
  7. Patience – be patient with yourself. Having this new information or awareness can be overwhelming. Understand that the dysfunction in your family has been building for generations. It will take time for you to adapt to a new way of life.
  8. Seek Assistance – the most effective way to break the cycle is too seek assistance from a professional. If the damage runs deep, you may need to seek therapy or counseling. A Life Coach will help you assess your new information & work with you to overcome old habits.
* https://happyliving2you.blogspot.com/

Fast Track your Success

Your life experiences include fear, uncertainty, insecurity, loss of power or control. However; all of these have given you a very unique set of skills. Skills that can & will propel you into a much brighter future!! I know this because you are reading this blog post. You know that your current situation is NOT your final destination. You know that you want something different, but you’re not sure how or where to start.

If you’d like to know who you really are, without the weight of dysfunction, follow this link to experience your very own life-changing Power Hour.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist.

Andrea Scarborough Life Guide

How to Avoid a Parenting Disaster

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on wanting to try something new. Parenting has always been an evolution, we must ebb & flow with the changing needs of our family.

Every parent has a tool box they go to for specific situations; strategies to tackle some of the common stresses most parents encounter. Rarely does a parent have the tools to deal with extreme behaviours, mental health crisis or navigating difficult life events (divorce, death or any other unexpected situation) life throws at us.

So, you’ve been reading, researching & googling new strategies to deal with the issues your children are facing. Take a minute & celebrate this. Most parents aren’t willing to admit that they do not have all the answers – you are a head of the crowd!! Congratulations!!

Here are a few tips on how to implement your new strategies without causing more stress:

  1. Full Transparency – be honest with your children. Let them know that you are willing to learn, grow & adapt to their needs. Explain to them that you are going to be trying some new ideas and ask for their feed back (age appropriate). Bring them into your parenting processes & allow them to feel included, validated & appreciated.
  2. Full Accountability – let them know that you are not perfect. Admit when you are wrong, or not sure how to navigate a situation. Let them see your vulnerability. This will give them permission & incentive to also be accountable.
  3. Don’t Give Up – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Everything new takes time, practice & evaluation. If you try a new strategy & it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and make adjustments. Whatever you do – keep moving forward!!
  4. Enhance Your Personal Boundaries – Kids know how to push our buttons. Review your core values decide how you will be treated. This will also encourage your children to asses their own personal boundaries.

The greatest lesson my children taught me:

No 2 children can be parented the same way.

Each child has specific needs, ability to process & skills. Use this to your advantage. Don’t suffocate their individuality – enhance it.

What happens if things explode?

  1. Re-evaluate – put yourself on a time out. Cool off, regain composure.
  2. Recognise – sometimes we over-react or misunderstand. It’s ok, as long as you are willing to admit it.
  3. Responsibility – be accountable for your actions. Tell them where you went wrong & how you intend to correct it.
  4. Reconcile – apologize to your child. Help them understand where & why you veered off course.
  5. Resolve – ask your child to help you resolve what may still be lingering as stress.

You are not failing.

Unfortunately, there is not a magic wand for parenting (I wish there was…). Have a little faith in yourself. You are seeking new information, researching, learning & trying. You are not failing!!

All we can do is admit that sometimes we are being ridiculous, we don’t have all the answers, but we are willing to move heaven & earth to ensure our children are healthy, functioning members of society.

Join a Community of Parents just like you!

Learn new strategies, give & receive support – click here to join us NOW!

Andrea Scarborough Life / Parenting Coach

How Not to Raise Self-entitled Children – Part 3

If you’ve made it this far in my Blog Series, then you have already read about Basic & Essential Life Skills.  In this post, we will first discuss self-entitlement and then begin to discuss ways to both prevent & undo the damage.

What is Self-Entitlement?

When an individual perceives themselves as deserving of unearned privileges,  the belief that life owes them something; a reward, a measure of success or a particular standard of living, this is self-entitlement.

Narcissism is the key component.  The exaggerate self of self, self-importance coupled with a lack of regard or empathy for others.

There is an unbalanced sense of ownership  in that they believe they have access to whatever they want, but are unwilling to share with others.

There is a belief that they have the right to start at the top of the ladder.  They deserve the best, not because they have worked for it, earned it, but because they want it.  This bottom-up approach infuriates those that struggle to climb rung by rung.

Self-entitlement and self-awareness are opposites.  Self-entitlement lacks accountability and will seek excuses and blame when confronted.  Self-awareness demonstrates a high level of accountability and empathy; an ability to see different perspectives.

Extreme anger when confronted, often fits of rage; physical or verbal aggression, or passive eye-rolls or a death-glare are all signs of self-entitlement.

When the anger does not help them reach their goal, they may resort to the “poor me” game.  Self-pitying behaviours coupled with manipulation and attention-seeking will follow the dominant, aggressive behaviours.  They are likely to punish themselves, but make it appear as though you are punishing them.  There is a strong victim mentality.

What is behind all of this negative behaviour?

This person is lost, lonely and longs to be admired.  They are not happy with themselves and lack the skills to express that effectively.  Instead they lash out at the people they blame for their own misery.  There is a constant need for validation, and  they attempt this by demanding respect.  The level of insecurity is frightening and they are unable to fully acknowledge it, so they project it onto those around them.

They lack the essential life skills to navigate the world on their own and this frightens them to their very core.  Therefore, they try to ensure that others will pick up the slack by demanding, arguing, lashing out  and disrespecting those they hold dear.

What can we do to help?

Depending on the age of the person, this can be a long road; but it is possible.

We first must accept that no-one is born self-entitled.  We create this mess by giving them what they want before we give them what they need.  They wanted new headphones – they needed to earn the headphones.

Positive ParentingIn order to effectively undo the self-entitlement, we must first look at ourselves.  This child is merely reacting to the environment the parent has created.  A child needs boundaries, structure and expectations.  If we as parents, do not have our own boundaries in place, it is very difficult to teach our children to have boundaries.

Your children will become who you are, so become who you want them to be. ~Virginia Satir

Demonstrate the behaviours you wish to see in your child.  Your actions must line up with your words.  Yelling at a child to be quiet – is a mixed message.

Our children need role models – someone they watch intently.  A role model will teach our children which behaviours are acceptable & which are not.

There are plenty of exemplary role models out there – Oprah, Dwayne Johnson, professional athletes, even movie stars.  Your child is not interested in any of this.  They want & need to be exactly like you.  You are their Hero.  You are who they are striving to be.  You are the one who, through your own actions, will teach them how to navigate this world.  They will gain their own sense of self, by watching you.  They are not learning by listening, they are learning by watching.

Back to the Basics

Go back  to the Basic & Essential Life skills.  Assess yourself, do you have all of these skills?  Do you effectively regulate your own emotions, or have you been known to fly off the handle?  Do you have a strong sense of connectedness; to family, friends, groups or teams?  Are you patient?  Are you accountable?

It is possible to learn these skills at any age.  You may not have learned them as a child, but you can still learn all of them, if you want to.

It is not our job to fix our children.  It is our job to teach them how to fix themselves. ~ Andrea Scarborough

Teach your children how to fix themselves, by allowing them to witness your own journey of healing.


Your past is not your fault. Your future is your responsibility.

This is what I know of you so far:

  • You are aware there is an issue. – We first must acknowledge the problem before we can begin to correct it.  You are on the right path!!!
  • You are seeking change. – The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again, expecting a different result each time.  You are willing to make changes!!!  Congratulations!!  You’re off to a great start!!!
  • Ghandi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – You are trying to do that!!  I’m proud of you!!
  • You have everything you need to succeed.  You have all the tools, knowledge, wisdom & experience you need to make the changes you need.
  • If you have read this far, you are willing to go farther.  You are ready to do something different, BE something different!!  This is what makes you an amazing person & parent!!

I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.  

This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!  

Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!


Join our Solution-Focused Parenting Group to receive helpful hints, support & encouragement through your parenting journey. 

 

 

 

How to Not Raise Self-entitled Children – Part 2

This Blog Series ” How to Not Raise Self-entitled Children”  is focusing on reducing self-entitlement.  If you haven’t already, please find the first in the series here.

In the first posts we discussed the importance of the family working together to maintain the home.  By everyone pitching in to do the their part, we have reduced the strain on the Parents to do it all, taught our children valuable skills to ensure their survival in the real world and begun to insert some of the Essential Life Skills that are so import to their individual success.

“It is not our job to fix our children, it is our job to teach our children how to fix themselves.”

Essential Life Skillsessential life skills

  1. Interpersonal relationships are not developed by chatting with people on line through video games or messaging.  This is real, face-to-face, human interaction.  The opportunity to look another person in the eye & understand their point of view.  The greatest lessons come from our elders who have lived, lost & learned.  Grandparents, neighbours all have a story to tell.  Encourage your child to listen.
  2. Communication is the greatest tool we have as humans.  We have the ability to express our thoughts, concerns & opinions.  This is what sets us apart from the animal kingdom.  Encourage your child to speak with respect & compassion. Encourage them to listen to understand & not listen to respond.  If you are able to do this with them, they will learn how to do it in their own lives.
  3. Problem-Solving is a really tough one for parents.  We don’t want our children  to fall, but it is necessary.  Our children need to learn to resolve their own issues.  Helping them talk through problems, exploring different options, choosing the appropriate action & then assessing the outcome will go a long way to reducing the number of problems your child encounters.
  4. Critical-Thinking is key.  This is the lessons we have learned from past mistakes that we have problem-solved and applying this information to current & future situations.  “Last time I went out in the rain, I didn’t take an umbrella & I was sick for a week.  Today, I will take an umbrella.
  5. Imagination / Creativity is how we develop a strong sense of self.  This is where we learn what we like, what we don’t like, our strengths, weakness and our passion.  Help your child to explore a variety of outlets to find whatever it is that will light their flame!
  6. Connectedness; true, honest & deep connections are what keep us grounded.  Humans were designed to live in communities and having a strong connection to this community will keep you safe from harm.  “You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything“. Teaching your child to stand with a group of individuals who are searching for a similar outcome, will prevent them from being recruited by negativity.  Help your child to surround themselves with positive, supportive, like-minded people who will nurture their sense of self.
  7. Sense of self is knowing who you are and firmly believing in that person.  When a child has the freedom to explore their likes/dislikes and effectively communicate that, we are encouraging their individuality.  We may not like everything they do, but as long as it isn’t illegal, immoral or fattening, give it your blessing.
  8. Natural Consequences are a must for our future adults.  Imagine if we have world leaders who did not understand the value of natural consequences.  Leaders who believed they could do, say & act anyway those chose, regardless of how it affected those around them.  It would be a truly sad planet.  “You are free to make your own choices, but you are not free from the consequences of those choices.”  Hold you children accountable to their indiscretions.  Be sure they know that every decision they make has an effect on someone else.
  9. Emotional Regulation is the ability to self-sooth, calm strong emotions and release negative energy. Help your child to understand the array of complex emotions that we all have.  Use feeling words while talking to your child.  “That must have been frustrating” or “That’s really sad, I’m sorry to hear that.”  By inserting the proper emotions, children can then begin to process the situation.
  10. Patience is the ability to understand that good things come to those that wait.  By not giving your child everything they seem to want right now, you are instilling an understanding that one must work to earn privileges.  This is where their work ethic will be taught.

There is a very simple & effective way to teach your children everything they need to know about Basic & Essential Life skills & I will talk about that in my next post


I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.  

This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!  

Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!


Join our Solution-Focused Parenting Group to receive helpful hints, support & encouragement through your parenting journey. 


I have created a FREE download to help with emotional regulation.  Please comment below, if you’d like a copy sent to you.  

How to Not Raise Self-Entitled Children

One of the chiefs complaints from parents, teachers & coaches is the level of self-entitlement in todays youth.

So many kids today are lacking the appropriate skills to navigate this world on their own.  We have created a generation of children who win a ribbon for showing up, not trying their best & working to achieve a goal.  We have raised our children with technology, not people.  It’s easier to send them off to be entertained by video games, then it is to get them to help make supper.

We, as adults tend to complain about the lack of skills our children have, but not many are willing to put in the work to correct this.

Join a community of Parents who are working to make a difference.

Basic Life Skills are required to navigate this world effectively.  Without them, we have self-entitlement, a strong need for immediate gratification in our youth, but we also have some very burnt-out, frustrated parents as well.

Start with Basic Life Skills

Basic Life Skills are the fundamental tools to ensure independence.

Basic Life Skills teach very important lessons:

Value of a job well done.

Cooperation & team work

Respect for belongings

These skills should be introduced at an early age, but can be taught at any stage.

Personal Hygiene enhances their sense of independence, self-esteem.

Cleaning encourages team work & self-starting tasks without reminders.

Cooking teaches self-sufficiency & proper nutrition.

Laundry again enhances the respect for possessions & instills a level of control.

Care for Plants / Pets is where the self-entitlement decreases.  They learn to care for something other than themselves.  They learn empathy, compassion and are rewarded when they see the flower, or can eat the fruit.

It is not a parent’s job to do all these tasks for everyone in the home.  It is the parent’s job to ensure everyone in the home knows how to complete these tasks to the best of their ability.  Parent’s who do all of this & work full time, will be burnt out before their children are teenagers.  Believe it or not, the teenage years are where you need to bring your A Game.

Little side note about allowance – I get asked this one all the time:

Allowance is a great time to teach financial responsibility & budgeting.  Teaching your children the value of a dollar will go along way to encouraging financial independence.

Method A – Chore List

Have a family discussion to create a list of tasks that must be completed in the home on a weekly basis.  This should include tasks such as maintaining individual spaces (clean your room) but also maintain community spaces (mop the kitchen).  You can either pay a flat rate at the end of the week, or assign a dollar value to each task.

Method B – The Extra Mile

If you choose to not pay your child for being an active participant in your home, there is still a way to earn money.  Have a list of tasks that are not required everyday; raking leaves, household laundry, cleaning windows, organize the garage, weed flower beds, help a neighbour.  Assign a dollar value to each task to be paid upon completion of task. 

I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.  

This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!  

Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!


Join our Solution-Focused Parenting Group to receive helpful hints, support & encouragement through your parenting journey. 


Continue reading about Essential Life Skills.

Your Life on Your Terms

Positive Parenting

positive parenting

Positive Parenting

Sometimes, we as parents get so caught up in the business of being parents, that we forget that everyone in the family is human.  We all make mistakes, we are all learning, and not one of us is perfect.

Positive Parenting
Virginia Satir

 

I met with a client, Lindsay and her Mom Lisa, today.  Mom gave me a very detailed list of the behaviours she has witnessed from Lindsay, when I met with Lindsay, she gave me a play by play of everything that transpired.  I got 2 different versions of the same events.  The only common link between the 2 stories was the direction of blame.  Both mom & daughter pointed to Lindsay as the instigator.

Lindsay has a very mature level of accountability.  She is able to tell me the exact moment she loses control and even why she chooses to stay in an escalated state for extended periods of time.

As parents we tend to have expectations for our children, sometimes we explain those expectations and sometimes, usually without realizing it, we are dangling invisible carrots and chastising our children when they fail to find the carrot.

5 Tips for Positive Parenting:

  1. Listen to your children – they don’t always want to hear your responses.  Sometimes, they just need a sounding board, a safe place to get things off their chest.
  2. Get involved in their lives – meet them at their level.  They are kids, not adults.  Have fun, play games, get dirty, explore, climb, read, dig, paddle, catch, kick – be a kid.
  3. Define House Rules – have an open discussion about the expectations of the home.  Try not to dictate the rules, allow them to have a say.  If they feel included in this process, they are more likely to abide.
  4. Define consequences – Kids need to know where the lines are and what happens when they are crossed.  Again, if they are involved in this process, they are more likely to respect the rules.  Remember – Natural consequences – the punishment must fit the crime.
  5. Model appropriate behaviours – If  “don’t come home drunk”  is a house rule, it is for you too.  If you expect accountability from them – you better find some of your own.

If Lisa could slow down enough to see that she too played a part in Lindsay’s Positive Parentingbehaviours, perhaps she could begin to find a way to calm the emotions before they spiral out of control.

When our children are spiraling, maintain composure.  This is not the time to meet them at their level.  Model the behaviours you wish to see.  Soften your voice, slow your breath, and patiently wait for the emotions to drain off.  Acknowledge any feelings they express with a simple nod.  Demonstrate remorse and accountability for your acts.  Remember, every story has 2 sides; both you and your child are going to view the same event differently.  Try to see their side of it.

You got this!  Slow down, breathe, check yourself and move forward.

**Names were changed to maintain confidentiality.

 


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26 Years of Parenting

parenting

As of today, I have been a parent for 26 years.  Most of those were good, actually all the years were good, but we sure did have some rough moments.  Let me take some time to review a few of our struggles now that time has put them into perspective.parenting

Croup – there is not a parent in the world who wants to deal with this one.  Your tiny little baby is so sick.  Leaving her in a croup tent for a week, just about killed me!!!

Asthma – probably should have seen this one coming.  Other than a few misguided supply staff at school this wasn’t a big one.  Just the odd trip to emerg for a quick treatment and we were good again.

Rockin John – your imaginary friend.  Not sure where he came from, but he lived under the stairs and you loved hanging out with him.

Sister – you were skilled at tormenting your sister.  I’m not sure how many times I had to rescue her from the clothes dryer….come to think of it…I should have seen this one coming too – I vaguely remember lifting the lid to the toilet at 3 am and having a very pissed off cat jump out at me…..

Pulmonary Embolism – this was the worst.  I was never so scared.  But you were a trooper, took it all in stride…

High School – had I known, I probably would have sent you to an all girls school….

Driving – you were so happy when you bought your car, you were never home.  You were everyone’s chauffeur….until you weren’t…

Car Accident – “you hit a mailbox, took out 7 trees,  jumped a fence and did a barrel roll in your car and lived to tell the tale…”  Please don’t do this one again….

Concussion Collection – the next few years were interesting….I’m glad you are finally receiving recognition for the symptoms.  Try collecting stamps…

Boyfriends – some were abusive, some were just idiots and a couple of them were really nice guys.  I kinda like the one you have now, he’s my fav so far…

College – I am so proud of you for choosing a career path that suits your nature and desire to work with people!!!

parenting26 years and we’re both still alive.  I have never been more proud of you (I know I say that every year, but honestly you amaze me time and time again!!!)

Here’s the point of my story, parenting, in the moment, is difficult, confusing, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching; but when you look back on all of it, the pain, the suffering and the heart ache melt into love, pride, admiration and the realization that all those tiny moments, were just pieces of a greater puzzle that is creating the most beautiful memories.

Hang in there parents, it will all be worth it.

If your family is struggling to adjust to or accept some of life’s hurdles, I can help you all get “Back On Track“.

Loads of Love

<3 Andrea

What is the most outrageous thing your child ever did?  Leave a comment below.

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