Sunday, September 20, 2015

9 Common Phrases Parents Should Put To Rest (And What To Say Instead)

  • Often, the most challenging part of parenting is learning to choose the right words when speaking to your children

    • Everything a parent does yields a strong psychological effect on the kids, and it is vital to remember that the way you choose to speak to them will act as a building block towards their personality. 

      As parents, there are times when unpleasant circumstances drive us to say things that we don't really mean. However, we need to remember to keep our emotions under control and only say constructive things that are meant to teach kids the lessons they need to learn.
  • Here are some phrases that need to be shelved once and for all, with suggested alternatives on how to respond to the kids instead:

    • 1. Instead of saying "Wait until Mum / Dad finds out about this!"...

      • This does two things. First, it creates anxiety and fear in the child, especially of the person who you are going to tell about whatever happened. Second, it shows you're dodging the responsibility to deal with the issue at hand by passing it to someone else.
    • Try “Do you want to tell Mum / Dad, or should I explain it to him / her?”

      • Choose whether your spouse really needs to know about the issue, and if yes, let the child decide who will tell them. Let your children take ownership of their mistakes and their actions, but do it respectfully.
    • 2. Instead of saying "You need to start watching what you eat!"

      • When you talk to your children about weight, focus on health and behaviour rather than numbers or appearance, says Rebecca Puhl, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. "While obesity certainly can carry health risks, people truly do come in different sizes, and some heavy people may be fit, just as some thin people may not be fit." In other words, some of us are naturally rounder or heavier than others, and that's okay - a concept that we must actively pass along to our kids if we want them to have healthy attitudes about food and their body.
    • Try "I know you like ice cream, but eating too much is not good for you."

      • Parents can deny certain junk food requests, like ice cream and candy, by offering a healthier alternative. This way, your kid still gets a treat, but it's a better option.
    • 3. Instead of saying “Why can’t you be more like your brother / sister?”...

      • This is a pitfall for parents, especially when you have one child who acts out and one who behaves fairly reasonably. When you use this kind of comparison, it’s hurtful and also pits your children against each other. You are tapping directly into sibling rivalry and fanning the flames between your kids. Remember, they are unique and each of them have their good qualities.
    • Remind your children that you love them equally the same, no matter what they do

      • Kids are very fragile. They can misunderstand your attention towards the other kids very easily and might get a fear of insecurity. Instead of comparing them, try encouraging them to pursue excellence. Spend time to understand each of your children's issues and specific needs.
    • 4. Instead of saying "Why did you do that?" (or even worse, "What were you thinking?")...

      • Expect your child to be a bit impulsive. Their developing decision-making skills means they may not always know the reason behind their actions, and that's one reason they may have that blank look when you ask this question.
    • Try "What did you hope would happen? What will you do next time?"

      • It's best not to use "why" with children. Chances are they won't know. Instead, use "what" to get them thinking. Doing so will not stop their "I don't know" response, but it might get them to think before they act. It might even encourage them to learn what to do the next time.
    • 5. Instead of saying "Don't talk back to me!"...

      • Children are programmed to question, analyse, and wonder about situations, and this can sometimes present itself in an argumentative manner. Without an explanation, your child sees no reason to stop the behaviour or action that you reprimanded them for.
    • Try "I know you want my answer to be different, but it will not change."

      • You can also make sure the child fully understands your response by saying, “I just told you my answer. Do you have a question about it?” This allows the child to present their opinion or get clarification. Either way, the child is allowed to express their thoughts or concerns and feel validated without an argument.
    • 6. Instead of saying "Practice makes perfect"...

      • It's true that the more time your child devotes, the sharper their skills will become. However, this adage can ramp up the pressure they feels to win or excel. "It sends the message that if you make mistakes, you didn't train hard enough," says Joel Fish, Ph.D., author of 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent. "I've seen kids beat themselves up, wondering, 'What's wrong with me? I practice, practice, practice, and I'm still not the best.'"
    • Try "Wow, you worked really hard on that!"

      • Instead, encourage your child to work hard because they'll improve and feel proud of their progress. By focusing on the effort, rather than the result, you’re letting a child know what really counts.
      • When a child is faced by one failed attempt after another, it is normal for them to be discouraged and start feeling like abandoning the challenge at hand. At times like these, it's best to teach them one of life's most important lessons: never give up! When your child says, "I can't do it!", remind them even the best fail before they succeed, and the only way to learn anything is by making mistakes and continuing to try.
    • 7. Instead of saying "Why didn't you just say no?"

      • The need to "fit in" is huge and peer pressure can be overwhelming. It's tough to stand up to your peers, but even more so during these years. Telling them to "Just say no!" is hardly helpful; what they need is actual strategies to counter the pressure.
    • Try "It's tough to say no to a friend. Have you tried...?"

      • Offer strategies by brainstorming together during a relaxed time. Think of things they could say the next time their friends push them to do something they don't feel comfortable doing. You could give them ideas like, "I have to get home and do my homework or my parents will not allow me to go out this weekend."
    • 8. Instead of saying “When I was your age”...

      • Saying “I had a lot more responsibilities than you” or "I never had all the luxuries that you enjoy today” is indirectly telling your kids that the difficulties and challenges they’re facing don’t matter.
    • Understand that things today are far different from your childhood all those years ago, making it difficult for children to relate to your experiences

      • When you share your experiences with your children, do it with the objective of making them understand you better, not as an attempt to coerce them into better behaviour.
    • 9. Instead of saying "Why are you so sensitive?"

      • Children should feel safe when it comes to expressing their emotions. Telling your child not to shed a tear implies that there is something wrong with it, when it's completely normal.
      • Hint: Don't tease; they will take it personally. Watch your non-verbal cues, such as smirks or raised eyebrows. Children are overly sensitive to these expressions and may read more into them than you think. Also, never tease or discipline your kid in front of a peer. You're guaranteed to get big-time resistance and a turn-off.
    • Try "I can see you're upset. Do you want to talk about it?"

      • Respect where your child is coming from. Rather than deny that your child feels a particular way, acknowledge the emotion up front. By naming the real feelings that your child has, you'll encourage them to express themselves, and show what it means to be empathetic.
    • It's perfectly understandable that in a moment of frustration, finding the right words don't always come easily

      • When at a loss for words, you can give these methods a try:

        Take a deep breath: this will make you feel less tense and the pause will give you time to stop yourself from saying things you don't mean.

        Refocus: Learn how to refocus your child on the task at hand and don’t let their words derail you or bring you down to their maturity level.

        Replace your words with an action: Recognize that if you’ve gotten to the point where you’re about to blurt something out that you may regret, it’s a sign that you should leave the argument altogether and discuss again when everyone's calmer.
    • Ultimately, one of the most important lessons parents can equip their child with is to never give up. When things get tough, it's vital for kids to keep sight of what's important, and strive for their goals. #nevergiveup, and nothing can stop them from being the champions they truly are.

    Thursday, September 03, 2015

    25 Life Changing Lessons To Learn From Rumi

    By: Luminita Saviuc, Purpose Fairy
    “Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.” ~ Rumi
    Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, also known as Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic who, in my personal opinion, wrote some of the most beautiful and most profound words that were ever written. You won’t believe it how much wisdom and how so much power there is in his words. It’s incredible.
    Today I would like to share with you 25 life changing lessons to learn from Rumi, lessons that have the power inspire and empower you to live a more authentic, beautiful, loving and meaningful life.
    Enjoy :)

    1. Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

    “You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.”
    “You sit here for days saying, This is strange business. You’re the strange business. You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. You’re some weird kind of gold that wants to stay melted in the furnace, so you won’t have to become coins.”
    “Why should I stay at the bottom of a well when a strong rope is in my hand?”
    “Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape.”
    “Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.”

    2. Your job is to live your life in a way that makes sense to you, not to “them”.

    “Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.”

    3. Never give up on yourself.

    “When you go through a hard period, When everything seems to oppose you, … When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute, NEVER GIVE UP! Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
    “Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
    “Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

    4. Ignorance is God’s prison.

    “Ignorance is God’s prison. Knowing is God’s palace.”

    5. The treasures that can be found outside of you can’t even compare with the treasures that can be found inside of you.

    “You wander from room to room Hunting for the diamond necklace That is already around your neck!”
    “If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn’t you know?”
    “Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
    “Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?”
    “You go from village to village on your horse asking everyone, “Has anyone seen my horse?”
    “Don’t knock on any random door like a beggar. Reach your long hand out to another door, beyond where you go on the street, the street where everyone says, “How are you?” and no one says How aren’t you?”
    “There is a fountain inside you. Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.”

    6. When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.

    “Knock, And He’ll open the door Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.”
    “Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”
    “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
    “Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”
    “Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.”

    7. There is something you can do better than anyone else.

    “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”
    “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

    8. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

    “As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.”

    9. When you commit to something, do it with all your heart.

    “Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”
    “When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.”
    “Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.”

    10. Good things come to an end so that better things can fall together.

    “Do not grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

    11. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

    “What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”
    “Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”
    “Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.”
    “Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”
    “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

    12. Do what you love and do it with love.

    “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
    “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”
    “Be occupied, then, with what you really value and let the thief take something else.”

    13. Think less. Feel more.

    “Reason is powerless in the expression of Love.”
    “Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.”
    “Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”
    “There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you?”
    “Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?”

    14. Love is worth it all.

    “Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being. If not, leave this gathering.”
    “Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.”

    15. Appreciate both the good and the bad in your life.

    “Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
    “If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”
    “When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it.”

    16. You change your world by changing yourself.

    “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

    17. We are made of Love and made to Love.

    “We are born of love; Love is our mother. “
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
    “Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet, Through Love all that is copper will be gold, Through Love all dregs will become wine, through Love all pain will turn to medicine.”
    “I have no companion but Love, no beginning, no end, no dawn. The Soul calls from within me: ‘You, ignorant of the way of Love, set Me free.’ “
    “That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquillity.”

    18. Your Soul is not of this world, your body is.

    “All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
    “When I die, I shall soar with angels, and when I die to the angels, what I shall become you cannot imagine.”

    19. At the Soul level, we are all ONE.

    “All religions, all this singing, one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it’s still one light.”
    “What shall I say, O Muslims, I know not myself, I am neither a Christian, nor a Jew, nor a Zoroastrian, nor a Muslim.”
    “I am neither of the East nor of the West, no boundaries exist within my breast.”

    20. Your Soul is more precious than anything.

    “You know the value of every article of merchandise, but if you don’t know the value of your own soul, it’s all foolishness.”

    21. Choose your life partner wisely.

    “Take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing, who has not the slightest interest even in his own personality: he’s free.”

    22. Real love transcends the material plane and no matter if your bodies are apart, your souls will forever be connected.

    “Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”

    23. Raise your words, not your voice.

    “Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

    24. Silence is the language of God.

    “Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”
    “Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”
    “In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”

    25. Just to be alive is not enough.

    “You think you are alive because you breathe air? Shame on you, that you are alive in such a limited way. Don’t be without Love, so you won’t feel dead. Die in Love and stay alive forever.”
    What is your favorite quote from Rumi? What is the one lesson you have learned from this beautiful and amazing Soul?  You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below :)
    With all my love,