Talking to Your Child

Originally, my goal was to write a blog weekly, but it is not realistic for two reasons. First, I want this blog to be meaningful. I do not want to write to just to write. This became evident as I sat in front of my computer trying to force something out. Second, I have a demanding schedule and finding time weekly is a lot. So my new commitment is to blog at least once a month and any over is just extra.

talking parent

So for February I want to focus on communicating with your child. From the #MeToo Movement to the Florida school shooting, children are being exposed to a lot via the media. First and foremost, as a parent you first have to use active listening. Most people listen long enough to react instead of waiting to hear the person out, and then form a response. This also means not engaging in another activity while they are talking. And using nonverbal signals to show that you are engaged in what they are saying.

Second, reflect back what they stated to make sure that you got a clear understanding of what they are trying to say. This gives your child an opportunity to correct any wrong perception prior to you potentially making a quick judgment.

Third, ask questions for clarification and shows that you really were paying attention. Not to mention it gives clarification, point two.

Fourth, give them the reasons behind your answer. I grew up in the era of “Because I said so!” Children will accept a negative response better if they first are heard, and second they can have some type of understanding of your reasoning.

Fifth, do not ignore their questions just because you are uncomfortable with the topic. You would rather your child get answers from you then from their friends or the internet. You are also able to control what they learn first. If you need advice on how to approach the topic, schedule a later time to talk and then research.

And sixth, if you find that your child needs more assistance understanding the subject, seek out a professional to help. There have been a number of times I see a client who states they have been asking for therapy for months/years. No child is going to ask for therapy just for fun.

I hope these suggestions are helpful for you talking with your children. Feel free to ask any questions.

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Brick Crushers

This weekend I had the opportunity to go on a board retreat to work on planning for 2018 for a girl’s organization I am honored to be a part of. In between planning, I was able to interact and enjoy the company of two virtious and powerful women. As I reflect back over the weekend, I found a quote that sums up these two women:

Both of these women have amazing stories of how they have and continue to overcome the “bricks” that life has thrown their way. They are also both dedicated to helping others overcome their bricks. I believe that you have to surround yourself with people who inspire and these two women inspire me daily.

We all have “bricks” that are thrown at us. What makes you successful is how you deal with those bricks. I tell my clients “you can’t change the things that have happened to you, but you can choose how you allow those things to affect you today and in the future.” Each one of us has to make the decision to either let go of past hurts or use those hurts in a positive way. If we do not make one of these two choices, then we are doomed to live an unfilled life.

This weekend has reminded me that I am successful and I have crushed the bricks of my past. It has also given me confidence that I will continue to be successful crushing new bricks because I choose to handle them with wisdom, maturity, and class in the same manner I watch these two women.

Spiritual Parents

We are completing a study of the book of Titus in my She Reads Truth (www.shereadstruth.com) community and on day four we focused on spiritual mothering.  As a little girl, I remember reading the book Angels Along the Way by Della Reese and focusing on how she discusses the many people throughout her life that have come along for long and short periods of time to teach her things that has lead to her success professionally as well as personally. That book changed my life because when people came into my life I made it a goal to soak up whatever knowledge they had and to enjoy the relationship for whatever length of time they would be in my life. My mother tells everyone that  have truly been raised by a village. I often say that if I was to have a big wedding, there would need to be a section just for my “Other mothers.” LOL

When studying the beginning of Chapter 2 of Titus, specifically 2:3-4 where it says “they are to teach what is good, and so train the young women.” I remembered woman along the way who have taught me so many things. From my second grade teacher who taught me to always push myself to go beyond what others think I should do and taught me a greater lesson than mother could about fighting in the third grade. Or my high school JROTC instructor who taught me about time management, how to carry myself, and so many other business skills I don’t even have the time to explore. Or the wife of one of my campus ministers who answered my call for a female mentor. While these women and a number of others have been instrumental in my life, I have two couples who are currently my spiritual parents. It is great to have a female mentor, but having couples who are married is a different level! I get the benefit of seeing how a Godly marriage is supposed to be on top of having women and men to teach me.

One couple came into my life in 2010 by way of a young lady who is instrumental in helping me care for my mother while she went through cancer treatment. They accepted my mother and me during one of the toughest periods of our lives. They conducted services in our home during the time my mother could not attend church. If I have any questions, I can just pick up the phone or show up to their door without issue.

The other couple has been in my life since I was in high school. They have watched me graduate high school, college, and two graduate schools. They have not only mentored me spiritually, but the wife has mentored me throughout my career. Earlier this year I was able to return to my mission work and went with this spiritual father. I was so honored to be serving next to him and I beamed when he stated that it was good to have several of his daughters together serving all at one time. He continues to teach me daily.

I have been blessed to have so many angels along the way and I know that there will be more to come. I am also on a mission to emulate these wonderful people by being a mentor to young ladies and gentlemen. I have two beautiful spiritual daughters who have been with me since they were in high school. One is a professional chef and the other just started her own baking business. I am so proud of the women they have become. I also volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters where I just celebrated 3 years of being matched with a young lady who will be starting high school this fall. I also have a young man who I mentor and just watched graduate from high school. Family members can also be mentors, as I have taken on mentoring one of my younger cousins who is starting her own business.

We all need mentors who teach us, as well as we need to become mentors who help others. I would not have been able to become the woman I am without the people who poured into my life!