Heart-to-Heart Connection

To inspire and be inspired!

Love This Letter!

A personal letter doesn’t get better than this.  Love to share it with you!

*****

My Children,

Many folks have told me they’re upset that My name is taken out of the season.  Maybe you’ve forgotten I wasn’t actually born during this time of year.  It was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on a pagan festival.

I don’t care what you call the day.  If you want to celebrate my birth, JUST GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth, here is my wish list.  You choose:

  • Write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home.  They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year.  I know.  They tell me.
  • Visit someone in a nursing home.  You don’t have to know them.  Just let them know you care.
  • Try to give everyone a warm smile.  You could make a difference in the life of the lonely and the hopeless.
  • Pray for George and his family rather than complaining about the wording on his cards.
  • Spend time with your kids.  They don’t want gifts you can’t afford.  Tell them the story of My birth and why I came to live with you down here.  Hold your kids.  Tell them how much you love them.
  • Forgive someone who has hurt you.
  • Support a charity or a missionary — especially ones who take My love and Good News to those who have never heard my name.
  • Finally, behave like a Christian.  Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence.  Let people know by your actions that you are mine.
  • I am God.  I can take care of Myself.  Just love Me and do what I have shared.  I’ll take care of the rest.  Check the above and get to work.  Time is short.  I’ll help you but the ball is now in your court.  Have a blessed Christmas with all your loved ones. 

Remember, I LOVE YOU.

Jesus

*****

Thanks GOD! 🙂

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December 27, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Beauty, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, God, Gratitude, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Passion, Peace, People, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Firm Foundation. Don’t Rescue. Get A Life. (10/10)

It’s natural for parents to become overly involved in their children.  Family is important; however, when parents look for their identity needs to be met in their children — meaning, purpose, challenge, and joy — family friction and codependency take over healthy family dynamics.  (Dr. Randy Reynolds, Child Psychologist)

In other words, parents, don’t live through your child.  Get a life.  Work on issues, challenges, dreams, goals . . . Hmm . . . Much easier said than done. 

Taking risks, changing, (possible) failure . . . they CAN be scary.  It’s easier to blame someone else (e.g., a strong-willed child) for life’s difficulties than own up to our deficiencies.

But life’s lessons we choose to ignore will resurface until we learn.  Do we learn now, later, or never?

Healthy parents, healthy kids — happiness!

I want to LIVE my life; my goals.  I want my family, too! 

Gonna get ’em all! 

CHARGE!!!  🙂

 

November 15, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marketing, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Building Positive Dynamics (9/10)

How would you describe your family dynamics?  Critical, achievement-oriented, efficient?  Warm, secure, caring, stimulating?

Which would you prefer?  Which would you strive towards?

The latter, most likely.  We all thrive in warm and caring environment — children, especially.

So, how do we get there?

  • Meet Needs—Give attention, security, a sense of belonging, touch, affection, and stimulation.
  • Know Your Child—Play!  Be a good listener.  Spend deep, quality time.  Enjoy your child(ren).
  • Believe in Your Child—By doing so, parents provide opportunity and courage for her to fulfill your new, positive expectations.
  • Allow Independence—Teach your child to think and take personal responsibility.
  • Remain Calm and Detached—Empty ourselves of anger, resentment, fear, and guilt.

Here are concepts in action:

Child:    I got a bad evaluation from the teacher today.  If she was any good, I’d ace this class! (Negative invitation)

Parent: So she’s good at preventing her students from learning?

Child:    Well, she doesn’t help me learn!

Parent: So what would help you learn and do well in her class?  (Positive invitation/Problem-solve)

Child:    I don’t know, maybe a tutor.  (Response)

Parent: We could find a tutor for that class, but what about missed assignments?

Child:    Yeah, I’ve missed some.  I’ll finish them.

As always, thanks Dr. Reynolds!  🙂

 

November 14, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Achieving Emotional Stability (8/10)

“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie.”  (Robert Ebert)

Do you agree or disagree?

We can’t take our emotions for granted.  They govern our behavior, even when we don’t realize it.  Immature families, especially when under stress, communicate that feelings are wrong.  Family members react to each other.  The overriding message is, “You shouldn’t feel what you’re feeling.”  (Dr. Randy Reynolds, child psychologist)

I hear ya!  Emotions—especially strong ones—intensify and magnify issues.  Emotions, at times, finger point—”It’s your fault, not mine!”  

“Emotions, however, when handled appropriately, can promote positive change.”  (Dr. Reynolds)

Really?  How?

  • Empathize.  Validate your child’s feelings but stand firm on your decision: “It sounds like you’re frustrated because I won’t let you wear jeans today.  I know that’s hard for you, but I’m not going to change my mind.”
  • Discipline, don’t punish.  Discipline is patient and goal-oriented; punishment is motivated by anger or reactivity.

 What else?

  • Affirm, acknowledge, respect, create a sense of belonging, and appreciate each other.  Full emotional tanks give members room to express themselves.  Relax.  Enjoy simple pleasures.
  • As families mature, they shame each other less; respond to each other more.  They listen to others without reacting.  They assert without antagonizing.  Families set realistic expectations.  They know they’re interdependent, and flex with the normal stresses of life.

“Learn to own your feelings.  Don’t blame others when you communicate.  Begin sentences with ‘I’ messages, not ‘you’.” . . . “‘I feel . . . when . . .’

Empathize, affirm, discipline, “I” messages—Thanks Dr. Reynolds! 🙂

 

November 13, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Gaining Respect (7/10)

Which would you honor — obedience or respect?

  • Obedience – “Do it!  I said so!”
  • Respect – good listening + trust + give children two choices you can live with

Respect, bar none!  I can’t make anyone do anything willingly.  You can’t make me, either.

Yet, when under intense stress, I find myself demanding unconditional obedience from my children, not respect.

It’s time to change — to recognize and minimize counterproductive behaviors. 

How, Dr. Reynolds?

  • Respect grows when parents listen instead of just hear.  Value what your child says and attempt to understand his reality and his feelings.  Reflect (“So what you’re saying is …,” “I see you’re …”).
  • Respect requires trust.  A child cannot trust the parent who does not listen.  Personal responsibility and interdependence — each person doing his part to keep the relationship healthy — is essential for building trust.  Hold children accountable.  Communicate with conviction, “You can do it!”                                                                     

Okay, but I need concrete tools.  How do I continue building trust and earning my children’s respect?

  • Talk directly with the person — child or adult — who upsets you rather than to someone else.
  • Too overwhelmed to talk?  Find a neutral third-party to coach you.
  • Child/Parent conflict?  Encourage your child to talk directly to your spouse; not through you.
  • Do not rescue or interfere with your spouse’s parenting, even if you disagree.  Discuss differences privately.  Form a united front.
  • When you discipline, spend one-on-one time with your child.  Secure your bond with him. 

THANK YOU, sir! 

We humans — regardless of education level, status, wealth, or lack thereof — are all equal; messed up emotional creatures! 

Save face.  Discipline with dignity. 

Can’t wait to enjoy my family today! 🙂

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Journalism, Leadership, Love, Marketing, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Raising the Healthy Individual (6/10)

Which types of parents raised you — the overprotective Rescuer who assumes too much responsibility, or the Reactor; critical, under-involved, and the distant?

Child psychologist, Dr. Randy Reynolds states, “Both Rescuers and Reactors present strategies for failed parenting.”  No wonder I’m screwed!  My mother was a Rescuer, my father, a Reactor.  I was raised by both!

So how did I learn (and continue to learn) what my parents failed to teach me? 

SOCIETY — the school of hard knocks!

I want more for my two sons — way more.  With my husband, I want to work on creating healthy family dynamics and healthy individuals.

When parents succeed in creating individuals, their children will be:

  • Cooperative
  • Compassionate
  • Maintain relationships even during tough times
  • Take care of themselves without imposing on others
  • Live with convictions
  • Willing to suffer discomfort to accomplish personal goals
  • Define who they are without succumbing to peer pressure                       (Dr. Reynolds)

Compassionate, hardworking, problem-solver/life-long learners . . . the character traits I wish for my kids.

SO, what are my husband and I to do? . . .

Dr. Reynolds to the rescue!

  • Communicate clear expectations.  Help children reach their potential.
  • Allow children to take risks.  
  • Set realistic but challenging expectations for your children.  Help them push through their doubts as they move from incompetence to competence.
  • Hold children accountable for their responsibilities.  Empower them to grow.
  • Validate your children.  Make them feel important.
  • Parents ought to focus on their own goals, well-being, and self-definition.  Don’t live through your child.  Children are not extensions of their parents.
  • Pray for your children.

Whew!  So much to understand, internalize, and apply . . . for me, anyway. 

Better late than never!  One step, one moment, one day at a time! 

Enjoy parenting!  Enjoy life!  🙂

November 7, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, God, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Finding the Balance (5/10)

What kind of home do you strive to create; family relationships based on justice, mercy, or grace?

  • justice–you get what you deserve
  • mercy–you don’t get what you deserve (a policeman pulls me over for speeding but doesn’t give me a ticket)
  • grace–you get what you don’t deserve (the policeman gives me a $100 bill)

Grace sounds great, especially when I’m the recipient!

What if I was the giver, the parent, the one in charge?  

Child psychologist, Dr. Randy Reynolds recommends grace, bar none!

Law-oriented families focus on goals and standards (like the workplace).  Grace promotes relationships (yeah!).  Grace enables you to accept the way things are and trust God for the way things should be.  In the grace-based home, warmth and excitement are everyday experiences.

Dr. Reynolds, how can I get there?

  • Validate your child’s feelings instead of resisting them.  Empathize.  Be affectionate and loving when your child is upset.  
  • Every relationship has an emotional account.  When you deposit into the account by spending time with your child, you can draw from it without penalty.
  • Spend time listening to your child in order to understand her behavior.  Find out where she’s coming from.
  • Explain how people must learn to follow if they want to lead.  Recommend biographies.  Look for teachable moments.  Praise her when she successfully yields.
  • Maintain a sense of humor.

I must remember my strong-willed child’s strengths.  He is honest.  He often sees himself outside of the family system and its values, and sees the family dynamics clearly.  He is NOT shy about saying what’s on his mind. 

I’ve also heard, conforming children sometimes grow up with less moral courage than their more difficult children (yes, the ones who, right or wrong, wouldn’t dare rock the boat.  YUK! YUK!  TRIPLE YUK!!! SPINELESS WHIMPS!!!) 

 I LOVE my strong-willed child!

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference . . . Amen!  🙂

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Art, Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong Willed Child: Creating a Positive Family Atmosphere (4/10)

I can’t change my circumstance so I’m going to have to change . . . especially around my strong-willed child — my effervescent seven-year-old!

The strong-willed child often sets the tone of the family — in mine, at least — if  I let him.  At the same time, the strong-willed child may simply be expressing the anxiety or unhappiness everyone is feeling.  He reflects the family’s tension and discomfort.  (Dr. Randy Reynolds, child psychologist)

So what’s a parent to do?

  • Healthy families recognize and validate individual effort.  Combine compliments with effective love.  Focus on and encourage individual’s strengths.
  • Discuss one issue.  Together, work towards problem-solving.  (“Dinner will be served at 6:00.  If you’re late, you won’t eat with us.  The mother includes family members’ suggestions.  She doesn’t argue.  She takes charge.)
  • Work toward family atmosphere comprising warmth, relaxation, humor, responsiveness, flexibility, order, safety, love, closeness, honesty, and harmony.

Relax!  “Live, love, laugh!” 

Sounds like a plan! 🙂

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, God, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment