Parenting Coach

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Archive for the month “August, 2012”

The Olympics

I was watching the Olympics last week and marveled at how good all the athletes were. Thoughts were pouring into my mind- what gave them the motivation to keep improving? I am sure that there were days when they must have felt like giving up because training was getting very hard. What gave them that determination? What inspired them to keep going? What was going on internally in them?

Then, even bigger thoughts came- what did their parents do to them that gave them this big desire to do their best? How did their parents do it?

What did it take for the parents to support their child 100%?

When faced with the challenge of having financial limitations, it is not easy to choose between providing opportunities to maximize your child’s gifts and your everyday subsistence, especially if there are still other children to be fed.

However, providing this opportunity to our child gives her/ him the message that we believe in her/him and in her/ his ability to do her/his best. It tells her/him that we trust her/him in her/his decision and that we support that decision- whether it be a bronze,silver or gold medal, or even no medal at all!

For me, it is all about believing in my child, without any doubt, that she would be successful in her undertakings. Whether it is gold, silver or bronze, it would not matter. What would matter was how she felt about herself/himself and what the experience would bring to her/him that would support her/him in her/his life’s decisions.

When we give our children ‘ownership’ of their decsions, we  move them into becoming responsible adults.



Ways to equip kids for life

When I became a single mother, the first fear that entered my mind was what would happen to my daughters if anything should happen to me?! My mind went immediately to ‘urgent’ mode and i started planning ways on how I could actually equip my daughters.

Here are the different wasy we can help our children be prepared for self-reliance:

For Nursery School( Ages 1.5-3): Put dirty clothes in hamper, brush hair without any help, undress self, pick up toys. match socks, flush toilet without help, wash hands. For Pre-school ( ages 3-4): feed pets, sort recycling, fold towels, help shop and put away groceries,polish shoes, water plants with supervision). Kindergarten ( ages 5-6): choose appropriate dress and dress self, bathe self, pour own drink, put toys away consistently, make bed and clean room, take out garbage- For ages 6-9: Learn cooking ( but supervised), get up and go to bed by themselves, take simple phone messages, help others with work, shop with mom and select their own clothing,  change clothes, manage own study and homework times with supervision, set the table, rinse dishes, put food away after meals, keep room clean, help younger siblings get ready in the morning,fold laundry, understand emergency numbers.

Once we motivate our child to do these simple tasks, you will notice how your own life will start ‘easing’ up.

Keep going!

How can we make our child feel valued?

What happens when we make our children feel valued? Try to recall an instance when someone made u you feel valued. It made you energized, motivated and enthust, right?

One of the ways i made my children feel valued was to include them in the decision making of a major problem. I remember once I had this problem of whether to change jobs or continue to stay on a job I no longer enjoyed just because I had to earn in order for us to survive. My children and I processed the pros and cons and they contributed their own ideas, one of which, to my amazement, was to look for a new job while I was still on the current job.

This process, I felt, made them feel important, valued and respected and in turn, it made me motivated. It gave me the confidence that I was not alone in my problem and that there were 3 loving people on my side, cheering my every step. It gave me the strength to try; it took away the fear of failure because I knew my children loved me no matter what. In turn, I saw much cooperation from them.

In the book,’Raising Everyday Heroes’ by Elisa Medhus,M.D., she states that when we want our child to learn a new skill, present it as a sincere request for assistance rather than a requirement she must meet to gain experience, develop independence, and become responsible. A good example would be ,” I cannot find my eyeglasses anywhere. Can you please help me look for them, since you have a much clearer vision than I ?I could really use your help.” This will make your child feel taht she has a meaningful and contributing role in the family.

What other ways can we make our child feel valued? I’ll talk more about this and give you more specific examples in my next post.

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