Tag Archives: loving

Bringing Out The Best in Your Child

Group Of Elementary Age children Running Outside

In the heart of every loving mom lies the question, how can I effectively bring out the best in my child? From my experience raising two daughters, I’ve discovered that most of us have what it takes to guide our children in achieving their best. Bringing out the best in your child begins with knowing your child so well you’re able to guide them in discovering their purpose in life. However, it doesn’t end there. It also includes encouraging them to live lives according to that purpose.

Over my 30 years of parenting, I’ve drawn many of my life’s mantras from the bible. A wise Proverb that articulates the heart of the matter is in chapter 22, verse 6. Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Amplified Version) In other words, lead your child according to his or her bent, distinctive characteristics or “best”. How do you do this? Get to know your child. Spend time with him discovering his unique characteristics, gifts and abilities. Secondly, accept them. Don’t try to make an artist into an athlete. Don’t frustrate your child or yourself by forcing him into a career they are not suited for. Instead, encourage them to live lives according to who they are.

My children were relatively easy to nurture and guide into adulthood. Early on as babies, I recognized that my daughters were very different. Tara my oldest, is now 30 years old and is the introvert and thinker. She was a very happy baby, and an easy going toddler. When Tara was seven years old she loved to read “chapter books” and write short stories, poems, and newspaper articles. Her preference was spending time with one good friend and her family. Tara is our writer, a fourth grade elementary school teacher, wife, mom of four children, and curly girl-blogger.

Jessica, my younger daughter is 23 years old and is the extrovert and doer. She was a strong-willed toddler and was known to have a few temper tantrums. When she was three years old she wore a dress everyday to preschool, no kidding! Unlike Tara, she disliked reading and writing and preferred subjects such as math and science. Jessica had many friends and still does. As a teenager she enjoyed going out with her friends. This drove my husband crazy. He couldn’t understand why Jessica couldn’t stay in and read a book like Tara. When Jessica was ten years old she told the family she wanted to go into business and become an entrepreneur. As a result, she is now a distribution planner at a major fashion company. She is also a brand influencer and lifestyle and beauty blogger.

As you can see, my daughters have very different personalities. It was important for me as a mom to recognize their strengths and weaknesses at a young age. By doing that, I was able to guide and teach them how to embrace who they were and live lives according to their talents, abilities and purpose. To me, this is truly bringing out the best in your children.

 

Photo credits: Monkey Business

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Is Forgiveness Really Important?

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To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner  was you – Louis B Smedes”

 

 

If you have ever been hurt before you may have at one point or the other asked the question ” ..do I really have to forgive?” You may even be asking the question right now. I decided to start this post with the quote by Louis Smedes because it fully captures what unforgiveness does to the human mind. Unforgiveness literally keeps you captive, so the question you are actually asking is: ” ..should I really set myself free?”

It is very easy to hand over the control of your life to someone else, such that they control when you are happy and when you are not. Think about it: you really cannot control what people do, or can you? However,  you can control the impact of their activities on you, you can control how you respond to what they do. Just the same way you decide to pay attention or not pay attention to what people say, you can choose to forgive or not to. My goal with this post is to encourage you to forgive. Forgiveness is liberating, it is powerful and essential to a happier you. The first time may be hard but the more you forgive, the easier it becomes.

When an offense come your way, don’t brood on it, making time to think about the offense only makes the situation bigger than it is.  Instead choose to let go, unforgiveness is a burden, let go of  the burden .

I remember listening to one of my mentors describe a painful situation. She walked in on two of her very close acquaintances talking about her and tearing her apart . It was a very painful situation for her , she could not help crying.  She decided to forgive and respond to the people involved in love.  She later recounts that  the experience with her friends made her a stronger person.

No matter the situation you are faced with there is a question for you to answer: will you let go or will you hold on? Or better still , will you allow someone to keep you captive or   will you take charge of your emotions?  The situation is completely up to you, choose to forgive,  and allow love and joy to fill your heart.

 

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The Joy of Motherhood

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Successful moms are not the one who never struggled They are the ones who never give up despite their struggles. – Sharon Jaynes

My boys made special craft for Mothers day in school yesterday and they were so excited to show it off as we drove home. As we talked about mother’s day, my 5 year old son asked ” when is children’s day? I smiled and replied ” everyday” at least in my books. Not a day goes by when a mother is not thinking about or doing something to enhance their children’s life.
The most beautiful thing I have learnt about parenting is to adopt the right perspective and enjoy every moment. I have highlighted a few examples below:

1. Not Perfect but Content: I remember my son’s first 100 day of school. Parents were expected to work with the kids to make hats they will wear to school to mark the day. Days before the day, some parents were already bringing their finished hats to school. I remember seeing those hats and wondering if a professional artist designed them. Crafts is not one of my strong points nor my husband’s ( that may be putting things really mildly).  We enjoyed every bit of the moment making the hat with our son. Guess what? My son believed he had the coolest hat in his class. It does not matter what any body thought, in his eyes his hat was the coolest. One thing I have learnt about motherhood is to not to focus on little short comings but  instead give everything your best and enjoy every moment. Embrace who you are as you make progress to becoming the best you can possibly be.

2. Demanding but Gratifying: Mothers wear many hats, they are the cook, the driver, the tutor, the professional, the wife… the list goes on. Juggling so many responsibilities make schedules very busy sometimes if not most times for moms. Busy has it may be, the joy and gratification that comes with motherhood makes it all worth it. Learning to focus on the joys and gratification of motherhood as we journey to finding the balance you desire is really important.

3. Ever learning, Never giving up: Motherhood is an unending circle of learning. Just when you thought you mastered taking care of your young child, they become teenagers and a new learning circle begins. Where ever you are in your journey, learning is inevitable. No matter how steep the learning curve is, choose never to give up. You have all it takes to successfully raise the wonderful child or children God has blessed you with. Happy Mother’s Day!

Photo credit: millefloreimages | DollarPhoto

Pass Love On…

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If you think back, you most likely will remember a time someone reached out to you with a kind gesture that warmed your heart. Most times this gesture is unexpected and does not warrant a favor in return. We live in a world where people suffer loss, endure abuse,  live in poverty or with depression and do not know what to do. Someone you work with may even be going through a difficult situation, endeavoring to hold up strong. Wondering what you can do?  Please choose to “Pass Love On”, below are some ways to do so:

1. Be Tolerant:  An act of kindness could be as simple as tolerating someone’s “annoying”  behavior, you really do not know what they are going through. I once read a story of a man on the New York subway, it was early in the morning and every one was enjoying a quiet peaceful ride until this man and his 3 boys came on-board. The children were quite restless and their father did not make any effort to check them.  At some point, one of the passengers got tired of the noise and chaos the children were making and was about to give the father his candid opinion. He decided to start by asking where their mother was, the man took a deep breathe and responded that she died that morning and they just left the hospital. That response completely changed the other passenger’s perspective, the children were not really noisy after all. You really do not know what the person next to you, and a act of kindness might be as simple as being more accommodating.

2. Be Generous: Pass love on by extending a hand of kindness to someone in need. You can financially support a cause you believe in or engage in a sporting event to raise funds for charity. It could even be something as simple as buying a cup of coffee for someone. Make it your goal to put a smile on someone’s lips this week, you never know, you may be providing someone with a reason to live.

Though it sounds really simple choosing to enrich other people is very gratifying and transformational (it changes you to be a stronger and more compassionate person).  Make it a great week and don’t forget to pass love on!
 
Photo credit: http://passloveon.org