This list of books is near and dear to my heart as I have made some huge shifts in life over the last several years. I wish I had these resources much earlier in life but I am a firm believer that things happen at the right times for the right reasons.
I hope these help you as much as they have helped me in forming healthy relationships with not only my children but in life as well.
Well, there I was, having a perfectly normal day and the next thing you know the dog starts to get in poop position in the middle of the kitchen, the girls are screaming with the potential grossness of it all. Suddenly I turned around like a scene from the exorcist and yelled (yes actually yelled - loud) deep throated, angry, harsh words at my child.
It was like an out of body experience. I don’t do that – the angry, harsh loud yelling at the drop of a hat.
What do you do as a parent? Do you deny all access to the internet? Is that even possible these days? Do you deny all involvement in and on social media? What about email? What about things like games, Pinterest, Musically?
Do you monitor ALL interactions on ALL devices? Is THAT even possible? Do you manage hours per day on devices? On the internet? On PC’s, gaming systems, even smart TVs now? Do you constantly monitor your children? Is THAT even possible?
In the recent months I attended a “Celebration of Life” for Lydia Dees. I didn’t know Lydia personally. I attended this event because her granddaughter is a friend of mine. Yes, you read that correctly, her granddaughter who is my age or close to it. Lydia lived a long life.
The last years of Lydia’s life were spent in a nursing home specializing in memory care. She suffered from severe memory loss, fear and anxiety. My friend would go to be with her grandmother regularly. The tangible love she showed her grandmother, even in the midst of being a busy mom and wife, overwhelmed me. I knew from her words and actions how much she loved her granny so when the time came for the funeral I went to support my friend.
I didn’t realize what the life of Lydia Dees would suddenly mean to me.
We are a family of 5 - myself, my husband and our three girls. About a year and a half ago my oldest daughter moved 12 hours away to start a life at the age of 18 almost 19. With no interest in college she went to pursue an opportunity that ended up not working out. She is resilient and full of determination and decided to stay and pursue other things but in the same area (did I mention this is 12 hours away from home?). At first, as a mom, I felt rejected and confused. Why didn't she come home? Now, as I see her thriving in new directions, financially independent, starting a career in retail and enjoying life all while maintaining close family ties through phone calls, text messages, social media and visits I realize - we did our job. We raised a loving, kind, responsible person.
Now, on to "Christmas with 4"...
My youngest is off to camp this week. This in itself is a huge change for me as a mom. I was hugely overprotective until recent life experiences brought me to my knees to face myself and reevaluate basically everything in my life.
In years past, as a "rules" based, overprotective mom, I am not proud to admit,
Some kids stay on the outskirts of the group. Just observing at big gatherings I have noticed some girls, just hang on the outskirts no matter what, that's where they stay. Wanting to be pulled in, but when kids try to pull them in they stay on the outskirts. Does this mean the other girls are all the mean girls? The clique?
I have read some blog posts in the recent years about "mean girls" and one in particular focused on the excuses some mom's will make for their daughter's behavior. The author goes on to give a list so you can check to see if your daughter might be a "mean girl" and also see if you are the "mean mom" making excuses for your daughter.
Let me be clear, I know mean girls exist.
We live in a society (well my little spec of society anyway), that seems to be all inclusive, invite everyone all the time. I am not opposed to the all inclusive idea, I actually like it most of the time, however there are times when inviting everyone is not condusive to the event. Such as a sleepover at my house. We have a very small house. So the dilemma arises, one of my girls wants to have a party and who does she invite? What is the proper etiquette in this siutation in this day and age?
Jealousy, what is it really? According to www.dictionary.com it is resentment against someone who is experiencing success or an advantage, mental anguish from fear or suspicion of a rival, or of someone’s unfaithfulness such as being jealous of your love (or even a friend) paying attention to someone else suspecting they are being unfaithful. Also jealously can be understood as guarding something diligently.
We have all felt it, grasping our hearts and minds, dominating our thoughts, motivating our words and actions. We have all felt the bondage that is jealousy or envy. Wanting what someone else has or even wanting what we perceive they have. Wanting to be part of something or included in something that we were not included in. Social media has increased the chances of jealousy. Brought on by the fear of missing out. #FOMO (fear of missing out) is so common in our society today and is brought on by increased use of social media.
When contemplating jealousy and the fear of missing out in relation to my girls I came across a post on Things Teen. The post was actually a guest post from Girl Zone. In the post Madison Fraser explains:
Anyone in any situation can feel social anxiety from social media posts. You could be traveling the world with your family, eating crepes in Paris and climbing the Swiss Alps and still feel like you’re missing out on the girls shopping trip back home. While it’s convenient that our Facebook, Twitters, and Instagrams allow us to be connected and stay in touch with anyone in the world, it’s hard to be grateful for the present moment when you’re consistently exposed to social obligations elsewhere.
How do you handle it? Jealousy and the fear of missing out can make us lose sleep, lose our appetite, miss out on moments in life we could have enjoyed.
What do you do with it? How do we teach our children to live in their moment? I want to teach my girls to navigate social media while simultaneously living a healthy, content life. I want to find a way for my girls to be able to participate in social media while being loving, kind and not getting caught up in the #FOMO phenomenon taking place today.
"Be who you needed when you were younger."
An annonymous quote I saw recently. Very thought provoking seeing how I became who I didn't want to be for my my oldest daughter. Who did I need when I was younger? When I was growing up? I needed someone who would see me and listen to me. Really listen. Someone who would see between the lines, who could listen to what I was really saying without being distracted by what was next on the list. I needed someone who wasn't too tired or worried about how the bills were going to be paid or worried about what other people would think. I needed someone who would give me real advice not based on perceptions and people pleasing. Someone who didn't try to fix everything but could just help me try to figure things out for myself.
Who did you need?
I am thankful for another chance...
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