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Parenting: 6 Myths You Should Know About

Parenting: 6 Myths You Should Know About

    It is easy to get overwhelmed with parenting these days. There are societal pressures and ever-changing child-rearing theories that have created a lot of stress and anxiety for parents. It’s time to clear up some misguided notions about good and bad parenting so that parents can get back to feeling confident and being able to enjoy their kids again.

    Here are the top myths surrounding the topic of parenting:

    1. Parenting has to be stressful and chaotic.

    Television shows, movies, and magazines seem to be driving this message home constantly. We see images of overwhelmed and exhausted parents everywhere! This seems to be the reality and so we just buy into it and become one of those busy, stressed parents ourselves.

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    This is a myth though. If certain tools are learned and used, and if we live our lives more slowly and with routine, our lives with family can be absolutely magical and peaceful.

    2. The more you do the better parent you are.

    Rushing around, taking your children to lessons and practices does not make you a great parent. Sorry. Giving your children love, one-on-one time and creating and participating in family traditions does.

    Being a great parent also means allowing your child to have down-time and loads of time to play. It is here that your children learn, problem-solve and are able to be physically healthy.

    3. You have to LOVE playing with your child.

    What? You don’t like playing choo-choo train with your child? You don’t like pretending you are an alien on another planet or a fairy in another land?

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    Spending quality time with your child IS important but many, many parents have been made to feel guilty that they do not enjoy participating in child-like play.

    Children and adults play very differently. Often children will dictate to parents HOW to play a game and when the parent tries, the child will often say, “No, this way”, making it even less enjoyable to play their game.

    So, choose something you love to do and share it with your child. Children LOVE to see what their parents like doing and often want to participate.

    4. You are a bad parent if you use the word “discipline” instead of “managing my child’s behaviors”.

    The word discipline comes from the word disciple, which means “learner”. Our children are the learners in our family…along with us of course, as we are all constantly learning. It is our job to teach and guide our children through each stage of their lives, using our values and experience as our reference.

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    Getting caught up on a word just shifts the focus from what is important – teaching our kids how to have self-discipline, to be kind, and to feel good about themselves. Not all discipline is equal, I’ll agree, however, using the word “discipline” should never label you as a parent who doesn’t care about the well-being of your child.

    5. The more talking and explaining you do, the more your child will do the right thing.

    This is a myth because children, particularly from the ages of 2-7 are concrete learners and do not have an understanding of logic and reasoning. They need simple sentences that they can follow and concrete experiences that they can understand.

    Any long lecture just goes in one ear and out the next. Simplicity is what works best, then adding more talking and explaining as they grow older and can actually comprehend what is being said.

    6. Letting your child struggle or get upset is bad parenting.

    Although it is not easy to watch our children struggle or be upset it is necessary at times and actually helps our children learn how to do new things and as a result feel good about themselves.

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    We know that the only way our children learn anything is to practice and practice, and that along with the practicing, there will be some frustration. Once they do master something they will feel great about themselves and THIS is the time to jump in and give them a high five, a hug and attention.

    Taking this experience of practice and mastery away from our children robs them of having confidence in themselves, the ability to be resilient and the feeling that they are capable. So, the next time your child is struggling, just stand back, let them try and try again, and if after some time, 5-10 minutes, they are not able to succeed, offer them encouragement and a little bit of help if needed.

    Given your experience as a parent or even as an observant child, what would you add to the list? I look forward to reading your thoughts!

    Image: Cia de foto

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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