Model What You Want Them To Be

Today I am borrowing from a much wiser and well known writer to help convey an important parenting concept.  If like me, you grew up hearing “Do as I say not as I do,”  and tried that as a way of parenting, you probably have already discovered that it doesn’t work.  Integrity is a much better basket to put your eggs in.  Kids today see through anything less.  Being the role model you want for them, empowers you as well.

Dr. Wayne Dyer

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Wayne’s Weekly Wisdom “If you model self-pride and self-worth for your children, they will in turn leave the nest with an absence of stress and turmoil for all concerned.”

I have the following saved on my desktop because it profoundly demonstrates the importance of our awareness of our own behavior.  I notice too much explosive behavior, loss of control, and spewed anger that is justified with ridiculous excuses that make perfect sense to the person explaining them.   Is society becoming numb to inexcusable behavior? Parents and other relatives of children are their role models and need to be cognizant of their actions at all times.

This was Wayne’s last Facebook post.

I was preparing to speak at an I Can Do It conference and I decided to bring an orange on stage with me as a prop for my lecture. I opened a conversation with a bright young fellow of about twelve who was sitting in the front row.

“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” I asked him.

He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”

“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”

“No!” he laughed.

“What about grapefruit juice?”

“No!”

“What would come out of it?”

“Orange juice, of course.”

“Why? Why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?”

He may have been getting a little exasperated with me at this point.

“Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.”

I nodded.

“Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why? The answer, as our young friend has told us, is because that’s what’s inside.”

It’s one of the great lessons of life. What comes out when life squeezes you? When someone hurts or offends you? If anger, pain and fear come out of you, it’s because that’s what’s inside. It doesn’t matter who does the squeezingyour mother, your brother, your children, your boss, the government. If someone says something about you that you don’t like, what comes out of you is what’s inside. And what’s inside is up to you, it’s your choice.

When someone puts the pressure on you and out of you comes anything other than love, it’s because that’s what you’ve allowed to be inside. Once you take away all those negative things you don’t want in your life and replace them with love, you’ll find yourself living a highly functioning life.

Thanks, my young friend, and here’s an orange for you!

I was impressed with Wayne’s understanding and explanation that negativity within is a choice.    Choose peace, calm, patience  and love and you and everyone around you benefits.

 

 

 

Following the Adolescent Mind

Earlier this week I blogged “What were you THINKING!?!”, concerning adult reaction when older children make poor decisions.   A news report concerning adolescents taking selfies on active railroad tracks, encouraged me to continue on this topic.  In the last year over 500 deaths on railroad tracks have been reported.  One of the issues is the adolescent attraction to thrills.  Of course, it was mentioned the influence of music videos and movies.  But we must also look at the physiological development of children and adolescents.

Neuroeducation.com states that by adolescence the brain is full size but is making many organizational changes:

“At this point in development the brain has to decide what’s needed, what’s not, and how to become the most efficient. In order to do this the adolescent brain has to undergo synaptic pruning, in which useful neural connections are kept and less useful connections wither away. One important area of reorganization is in the prefrontal cortex that handles abstract cognitive abilities as well as impulse control.”

Research has shown that the brains of children mainly focus on visual processing and slowly begin to develop in planning and impulse control, a process which isn’t complete until adult maturity.  The adults who are involved with children and teens must keep in mind that the brain function does not keep up with the physical growth on the outside.  To know what is going on in that brain, parents and other loving adults must become very good listeners.  Stephen Covey, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the  intent to reply.”  An adolescent’s adults must listen to them with intent to understand, and often to ‘read between the lines’  throughout the conversation to ascertain what they really want  to be known.   Often you need to restate what you heard for clarification as what you hear is not always what they are trying to say.    They do not want to know what you think, they want you to know what they think.  When you stop listening, they stop speaking, when they stop speaking, there is no communication.   listening to hear

Observation of  adolescents shows they are a whirlwind of brain activity in short spaces of time.  They can be a wealth of knowledge one moment, have the enthusiasm of a  puppy, interest in topics far beyond their years, or want to spend the day watching cartoons.  It is normal!  Expect them to behave like children, be grateful when they act maturely showing signs of brain growth, prepare them as best you can for the decisions that they may have to make when you aren’t around, and love them no matter what.   listening with intent

C. Beth Hoffman M.Ed, author of My Loving Self and Me

In Your Reflection, Do you see Love?

Chances are when you look in the mirror or see your reflection in the glass door entering a store, you check your hair, your outfit, or if you have just eaten, check for food between your teeth. At other times, you are watching yourself wash your face, shave, brush your teeth or hair- mostly with a critical eye. Few people I know can stand in front of the bathroom mirror and see love. I have practiced, but that practice takes diligence. Most of us were not raised to love ourselves- the selves of our heart. That was pride and not good. So now just looking without judgment is difficult. If I am not careful, I still look critically. Wrinkles worse? Eyes puffier? Face fatter? I avoid looking into my eyes unless I am concentrating on it. It is habit. It is what has been reinforced through social interaction. It is easier for me to close my eyes and feel with my heart. Have you heard messages like “the eyes are the gateway to the soul”? That reminds me that it is worthwhile to keep them open and to look deeper.

Yesterday on Facebook, there was a link to see what had become of child actors. There was a like- thumbs up button and a dislike, thumbs down at the top when I clicked to see the first one. By the second picture and comment it was clear that the whole thing was how unattractive they had become! I was about to hit the thumbs down button thinking it was to comment on the article that was criticizing the faces of all these people, when I realized you were to judge the people themselves! Thumbs down- you grew up to be an ugly adult. I was incredulous. Judgment from one snapshot and all these people had no trouble doing that. Even more incredulous. What a horrible way to use social media.

To clear this negativity that surrounds us, we have to persevere in loving our true selves and encouraging others to do the same. Respect, kindness, consideration, support, fun and pleasure come from love. We all have that within for ourselves and others. With those emotions that spring from love we find joy. Gratitude comes from love and brings happiness.   All bring peace.

reflectionSo back to your reflection. Can you look in the mirror, a glass door, a puddle, a pool and see your true self of God? Do you see love- respect, kindness, consideration, etc.? Are you joyful looking at you, not because your hair looks good or the pimple is gone, but because you see and feel love? Feeling good within your own body begins with loving yourself. Have you ever been praised for what you have accomplished and who you have become? Did you become someone new or are people just discovering what is awakening in you that was there all along? Are you discovering that as well? Loving yourself allows you to know yourself. It begins with love.