Keep going

Believe-1-575x675If there is one thing I have learned in the last week it is that a 79 year old does not bounce back. My husband has had several surgeries in the last few years…mostly from jumping out of airplanes in the army. I have had none. I have always been supportive of him during his recoveries but I am not sure I have appreciated just how hard it is to get back to your best you can be.

He has been so supportive and kind to me with this surgery which was not a bad one (as surgeries go), I guess experience is the best teacher.

I have no complaints today other than being tired. I am usually the energizer bunny but have had to listen to my body and rest. I am grateful that everything went so well.

I have always spent a lot of time crossing bridges before getting to them. This time I was better than usual. I think the time I have spent learning new habits and applying the needed skills did make a difference. My journey to be “worryless” is advancing. I’m not at the end but making progress. We can get better but it does take work. Seeing this improvement encourages me to continue my efforts and keep going.

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I think that it is easy to get discouraged when we can’t see progress but it will come with time. Just work your way through one day before considering the next. Things can change.

Be kind

 

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.    Plato

I have realized how very true this is. I have met so many people who, on the surface, seem to have everything together. It is only when I get to know them that I find out what is under the surface.

Sometimes those things we don’t see will cause someone to be angry or unpleasant. We will want to get away from the as fast as we can. Another person my be upbeat and bubbly. We like them right away. We gravitate to people like this. It is only when they are comfortable sharing their inmost thoughts that we discover the trauma and pain they have endured.

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It is easier to be kind to the upbeat person. It is a natural response. It is much harder to be kind to those whose behavior turns us off. The truth is both need our compassion and understanding. Kindness goes a long way toward making someone’s day better. You never know what good you may have passed on.

Gain an hour???

Well the next shoe has dropped and we have to replace our heating and air system. Sometimes you just wonder if the goblins are haunting you. I guess we were due since it is quite old.

boring

As I have said before life is never boring. I am beginning to think a little boring would be nice. Just a short while of simple and peaceful. Actually except for that it has been peaceful.

time clockDo you ever wonder why we have to keep changing time? It seems to crazy. The reasons I heard in the past (good for farmers –who get up anyway–saves energy???) all seem unnecessary. I would rather that we just pick one and stick to it. Tonight we ?gain? an hour. Do we really since we gave it up in the spring? Seems like we are just treading water.

When will whoever is in charge of this get real?!?

Memories and emotions

Where families are involved life can treacherous. Sometimes the most innocent remark can be twisted into a major conflict. I suspect this is because there is history and much emotion involved. Often the negative reaction has nothing to do with what is going on at the moment. It is rooted somewhere in the past where the emotions are stuck.

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I have never forgotten that our emotions are tied to so many things. A piece of music from our past can have us experiencing the emotions we felt at the time. These past connections can emerge at the worst moments and skew our perception of the current experience.

Many of us have been taken straight back to our past feelings by a song, a scent, a person, or a scene. We don’t realize what is happening and our responses are not appropriate to the moment. This is doubly true for those we spent a lot of time with growing up. We are creations of our environment as well as our genes.

family breakup

It takes real strength to look inside and connect with the past so that we can disconnect ourselves from it. Most of us don’t want to relive the negative things that formed out emotional responses. It make take talking with a counselor to root out those emotions and at least understand them. Hopefully doing so will allow us to reconnect with those we have turned away from. Maybe not. Some we may not want to but there can be some that can heal connections that will change our hearts.

Help your children in a complex world

I am sharing this article in the hopes that it will reach those who need help with raising their kids. It is a tough job and we need all the help we can get.  I am sorry for the weird format but that is how it copied. The author requests that it be shared.

link to the original article https://deeprootsathome.com/kids-friendless-bored-impatient/

WHY ARE KIDS IMPATIENT, BORED, FRIENDLESS, AND ENTITLED?

3.3MSHARES
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A pouty little boy in a paper and metal crown looking you in the eye.

Kids today are in a devastating emotional state! Most come to school emotionally unavailable for learning. There are many factors in our modern lifestyle that contribute to this.” ~V.P.

In her practice, my friend Victoria Prooday, OT is seeing something so widespread and alarming that I asked if I could share her thoughts. Due to the overwhelming interest and conversation on this topic, I am re-sharing her post. This article is also now translated into German and Russian. Spanish is coming soon!

I encourage every parent who cares about the future of his/her children to read it. I know that many would choose not to hear what she says in the article, but your children need you to hear this message.

Victoria writes:

I am an occupational therapist with years of experience working with children, parents, and teachers. I completely agree with this teacher’s message that our children are getting worse and worse in many aspects.

I hear the same consistent message from every teacher I meet. Clearly, throughout my time as an Occupational Therapist, I have seen and continue to see a decline in children’s social, emotional, and academic functioning, as well as a sharp increase in learning disabilities and other diagnoses.

As we know, the brain is malleable. Through environment, we can make the brain “stronger” or make it “weaker”. I truly believe that, despite all our greatest intentions, we unfortunately remold our children’s brains in the wrong direction.

Jackie’s Note: be sure to get the printable list of 30 more ways to help your kids

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Here is why:

1. KIDS GET EVERYTHING THEY WANT WHEN THEY WANT IT

“I am Hungry!!” “In a sec I will stop at the drive thru” “I am Thirsty!” “Here is a vending machine.” “I am bored!” “Use my phone!”  The ability to delay gratification is one of the key factors for future success. We have the best intentions — to make our child happy — but unfortunately, we make them happy at the moment but miserable in the long term.  To be able to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress. Our children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor stressors, which eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life.

The inability to delay gratification is often seen in classrooms, malls, restaurants, and toy stores. The moment the child hears “No”, they react with belligerence because parents have taught their child’s brain to get what it wants right away.

2. LIMITED SOCIAL INTERACTION

We are all busy, so we give our children digital gadgets and make them “busy” too. Kids used to play outside, where, in unstructured natural environments, they learned and practiced their social skills.

Unfortunately, technology replaced the outdoor time.  Also, technology made the parents less available to socially interact with their child. Obviously, our kids fall behind… the babysitting gadget is not equipped to help kids develop social skills. Most successful people have great social skills. This is the priority!

The brain is just like a muscle that is trainable and re-trainable. If you want your child to be able to bike, you teach him biking skills. If you want your child to be able to wait, you need to teach that child patience.  If you want your child to be able to socialize, you need to teach him social skills. The same applies to all the other skills. There is no difference!

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3. ENDLESS FUN

We have created an artificial fun world for our children. There are no dull moments. The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again, because otherwise, we feel that we are not doing our parenting duty.

We live in two separate worlds. They have their “fun“ world, and we have our “work” world. Why aren’t children helping us in the kitchen or with laundry? Why don’t they tidy up their toys? This is basic monotonous work that trains the brain to be workable and function under “boredom,” which is the same “muscle” that is required to be eventually teachable at school.

When they come to school and it is time for handwriting their answer is “I can’t. It is too hard. Too boring.” Why? Because the workable “muscle” is not getting trained through endless fun. It gets trained through work.

4. KIDS & TECHNOLOGY

Using technology as a “Free babysitting service” is, in fact, not free at all. The payment is waiting for you just around the corner.  We pay with our kids’ nervous systems, with their attention, and with their ability for delayed gratification.

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Compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring. When kids come to the classroom, they are exposed to human voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with the graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families.

Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually depriving our children of that nutrient.

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5. KIDS RULE THE WORLD

“My son doesn’t like vegetables.” “She doesn’t like going to bed early.” “He doesn’t like to eat breakfast.” “She doesn’t like toys, but she is very good at her iPad” “He doesn’t want to get dressed on his own.” “She is too lazy to eat on her own.” This is what I hear from parents all the time. Since when do children dictate to us how to parent them? If we leave it all up to them, all they are going to do is eat macaroni and cheese and bagels with cream cheese, watch TV, play on their tablets, and never go to bed.

What good are we doing them by giving them what they WANT when we know that it is not GOOD for them? Without proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep, our kids come to school irritable, anxious, and inattentive.  In addition, we send them the wrong message.  They learn they can do what they want and not do what they don’t want.

The concept of “need to do” is absent. Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do what’s necessary, which may not always be what we want to do.  For example, if a child wants to be an A student, he needs to study hard. If he wants to be a successful soccer player, he needs to practice every day. Our children know very well what they want, but have a very hard time doing what is necessary to achieve that goal. This results in unattainable goals and leaves the kids disappointed.

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TRAIN THEIR BRAIN

You can make a difference in your child’s life by training your child’s brain so that your child will successfully function on social, emotional, and academic levels. Here is how:

1. Don’t be afraid to set the limits. Kids need limits to grow happy and healthy!!

  • Make a schedule for meal times, sleep times, technology time
  • Think of what is GOOD for them- not what they WANT/DON’T WANT. They are going to thank you for that later on in life. Parenting is a hard job. You need to be creative to make them do what is good for them because, most of the time, that is the exact opposite of what they want.
  • Kids need breakfast and nutritious food. They need to spend time outdoor and go to bed at a consistent time in order to come to school available for learning the next day!
  • Convert things that they don’t like doing/trying into fun, emotionally stimulating games
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2. LIMIT TECHNOLOGY, AND RE-CONNECT WITH YOUR KIDS EMOTIONALLY

  • Surprise them with flowers, share a smile, tickle them, put a love note in their backpack or under their pillow, surprise them by taking them out for lunch on a school day, dance together, crawl together, have pillow fights
  • Have family dinners, board game nights (see the list of my favorite board games), go biking, go to outdoor walks with a flashlight in the evening

3. TRAIN DELAYED GRATIFICATION

  • Make them wait!!! It is ok to have “I am bored“ time – this is the first step to creativity
  • Gradually increase the waiting time between “I want” and “I get”
  • Avoid technology use in cars and restaurants, and instead teach them waiting while talking and playing games
  • Limit constant snacking
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4. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO DO MONOTONOUS WORK FROM EARLY YEARS AS IT IS THE FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE “WORKABILITY”

    • Folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table, making lunch, unpacking their lunch box, making their bed
    • Be creative. Initially make it stimulating and fun so that their brain associates it with something positive.

5. TEACH SOCIAL SKILLS

  • Teach them turn taking, sharing, losing/winning, compromising, complimenting others , using “please and thank you”

From my experience as an occupational therapist, the kids changes the moment parents change their perspective on parenting.  Help your kids succeed in life by training and strengthening their brain sooner rather than later!

Jackie’s Note: be sure to get the printable list of 30 more ways to help your kidsVictoria holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical School at University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University. She is founder and director of a multidisciplinary clinic in Toronto, Canada, for children with behavioral, social, emotional and academic challenges. Victoria, along with her team, has helped hundreds of families across Canada and around the world and is a frequent guest speaker to teachers, parents and professionals.

Shared with Victoria’s written permission.

Gratitude

Things have been happening around here as usual. Actually I should not say as usual for nothing has been as usual. My computer came back from having a drive replaced without all the programs installed. I knew this would happen but it hasn’t made things easy. One of the programs that I use all the time, living cookbook, is no longer available and I don’t have access to hundreds of recipes. So I will be correcting that in the next few days. Nothing is ever easy.

unusual

Also my arm that I hurt about a month ago is now starting to really hurt. As a nurse, I suspect, that it is a pulled tendon and I have just been ignoring it. Now it’s decided that it doesn’t want me to type. Which is not altogether bad because it made me installed my Dragon software which allows me to talk and not type. Be aware that this can cause some peculiar mistakes so please forgive me.

That’s enough of my woes. We have to remember that all the aggravations in life are just that… Aggravations. No one is ill in my family or in any crisis for that I am grateful. perspective on what is wrong and what is right is required. It is so easy to get lost in the things that are wrong and not appreciate everything that we have in life. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a family that I love. These are the things that matter.

There are times that things seem to accumulate. And so many things happen at once that it can be difficult to overcome. We have to learn to be aware of that and not blow it completely out of proportion. The countertops that we expected today will not be here until next week which means that nothing else can be done for another week. Another week before we have a bathroom and I can go back to sleeping in my bed. Not such major problems when you consider the things that others are going through.

choosing-gratitude

Counting my blessings every day is something that I have to remember to do. For only then will I be able to keep my composure when everything seems to be going wrong. I will have to start posting the things I’m grateful for on the other bathroom mirror. That way I will be reminded to keep life in perspective.

“Act as if”

why_holding_a_grudge_can_ruin_your_health_600xSometimes it is difficult to let go of a grudge against someone. Over time our church has had difficulties and unfortunately we (my husband and I) tend to feel some of them were because of some bad decisions on the part of someone.

We have struggled with this and know it is time to let it go. However just deciding that and actually doing it are two different things. I read something years ago that we don’t really let go until we can think about the issue without emotion

Act-as-if.

We will work on that. I like to use “act as if” to help change a pattern or habit so I will begin to “act as if” there are no feelings attached to this. Eventually it will go away.

“Act as if” works really well for lots of things. If I am feeling down I will try to act happy. Many times it works. Just setting your mind to change things can make a real difference.

Try it!

Watch out judging others

It has always fascinated me that people who I know and who condemn any kind of sexuality other than heterosexuals can sin so freely in other ways. Adultery seems to be fine, hatred, unkindness, greed….actually many of the 7 deadly sins are fine. Sexual differences are the one unforgivable sin. My aunt used to call this “swallow an elephant, choke on a gnat.”

judging others

They seem to feel that some sins are ok and others are not. A kind of hypocrisy that I find particularly abhorrent. It is so easy to condemn others and blithely  carry on with our hurtful ways.

Judgement is mine says the Lord and the rest of us need to back off.

Small steps = big changes

change will happen

When I began this blog I was in a very dark hole. I was struggling to find my way and a purpose for my time. I am happy to say that in the last two years I have come a long way. I do have meaningful purpose in my volunteer work with the Mediation Center. It has even grown more powerful recently in my shift to doing Community Conferencing. (the program that helps keep teens from the court system)

 

I have developed some habits that make my life so much better and let go of some that were pulling me down. I still have a way to go but being able to see progress is so wonderful.

Keep-going

 

Whatever you are facing in your life it is possible to make changes. We get bogged down because moving forward seems so slow. Don’t let that get to you. Just one step each day…one positive step will make change happen. We all backslide from time to time but keeping on is the key. Trying to learn to let each day be the focus is hard and I’m still learning but things are better. They can be for you too.

Too special to use?

In my generation we were so much more formal that things are today. We had special china and silver that we used on special occasions. There were always things that we put aside.

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I am so glad to see that much of that has changed. Now I use whatever I want whenever I want. Each day is special. Each moment is important. We need to celebrate that by enjoying the special things that we have. Don’t let them just sit in a cabinet or drawer. Will the special occasion when they will be used be your funeral?