Easy trunk or treats – if you are like most people – and plan at the last minute. Here you go!!!
“I need your help, please.” Morgan, 17, asked while getting ready for school, and putting the last items she needs in her backpack.
“I can’t tell you what to do. You really need to make your own decision,” I told my daughter.
“It would help me if you told me what to do. I don’t want to make the wrong choice!” Morgan rolled her eyes at me as she grabbed her keys to head out to school.
As a mom of four kids, I realize how important it is to have my kids make their own decisions. As they grow older, this is crucial. My oldest child is having a difficult time deciding where to go to college. She wants to swim on a swim team and also wants to have a good Biology program wherever she attends. However, she is struggling in deciding where she would be a good fit and where would help her most succeed. I have had her do all the research and fill out all applications on her own. That seemed like the easy part for her. I am available for input – but as you know, kids lean on parents to lead them to decisions. I am trying to let her approach all these decisions on her own. I am enjoying watching her decide in this process.
Helicopter Parents or Lawnmower Parents
Parents can and should not make decisions for and/or shield children from choices and consequences. Numerous studies have shown that kids have too many difficulties in making their own choices or how to make choices when not given many opportunities to do so.
“Helicopter parents” tend to hover over their children and “Lawnmower Parents” rush ahead to save their children from any problem. Our society doesn’t allow kids to make mistakes and if we don’t change that – our kids won’t be successful self-sufficient adults.
Choices Have Consequences
It doesn’t matter what decision your child is going to have – help them think of different outcomes for each choice they make. When I had toddlers, my kids would have to make decisions – I would give them options. It is easier to have two options than hundreds. An example is lunch. I would ask would they like a grilled cheese sandwich or a hot dog. That gives them an opportunity to decide and they can determine themselves what is happening and you are giving them some control in that. Another option would be clothes to wear for the day. Have your kids show you two outfits and ask them why they chose those two and which one they ultimately want to wear and why. You can give them choices and some choices might not have the best outcome – but they need to learn that. If an older child wants to play tennis and soccer, but needs to decide – let them make that decision. Kids need to have control of the decisions but also know what would change if they make a certain decision.
Coaching is a co-creative relationship. Both you and your child can “use all your knowledge, resources, skills and intuition to problem solve.” “Coach Training Accelerator, Second Edition” from Coach Training Alliance.
Once your child realizes that a decision is to be determined by them – here are a few good questions to ask for them to think about. Do not try to lead them to an answer, but listen to them. You can coach your child and let them determine their own decision.
Figure out the desired goals before you start your conversation. What do you want to solve? When does it need to be solved?
“What do you need in order to make your choice?”
“How can you find out what you need to know?”
“How can you enjoy the process of solving this problem?”
“What plan do you need to create in order to succeed here?”
“What’s the best outcome you can imagine?”
Don’t get me wrong – parents can make observations to your child to help them figure out situations and solutions. Have faith that children are more capable of deciding things than we give them credit for.
I have found these can be especially helpful when your child feels bullies. My son was having a few boys in his class pick on him about his size as he was growing. I asked him what he wanted to do about it. “What is the best possible outcome?” “What can you do to improve the situation?” “When do you want to accomplish this by?” “What are you responsible for?” All these questions helped zone in and have my son look at the entire situation in a way he could handle. He chose to handle it the way he wanted to. As parents, I know it is difficult to watch your child struggle, and it is only a matter of time until you watch them struggle with something. This is a time to watch them try to problem solve and observe how they go about making tough decisions. Give them opportunities so you can watch them with confidence and strength in their choices. They might surprise you with great grace in the decisions they do make.
Do you need more sleep? Do you find your self unable to focus during the day? Are you tired and exhausted all the time? Are your depressed or less confident? Are you irritable and short-tempered? You might need some sleep!
Sleep is required to make good choices, have a great day, feeling settled, among so many great benefits. It is so very important to sleep for a person’s health and wellbeing, according to the National Sleep Foundation. There are numerous associations about sleep and sleeping disorders. Please – get some more sleep!
Here are some ways to get a better nights rest.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Remove any unwanted items from your nightstands. Clean up your bedroom. Make sure the windows have good shades. When you wake to the sight of clutter, your brain is stimulated and quickly shifts from a quiet, relaxed state.
- Get the perfect bed. Get a top quality bed with a good mattress and welcoming sheets. Flip your mattress on a regular basis to get the best use of it.
- Change your sheets more frequently. This sounds strange, but getting into a clean fresh bed with good sheets is the best! You will also cut down on your allergens.
- Get high quality sheets. Make sure they are the best you can afford.
- Remove the TV and cell phone from your room.
- Choose the best time to go to bed. Get a full nights sleep.
- Check the air quality of your room. If needed, get an air purifier or a diffuser.
- Avoid caffeine several hours before going to bed and don’t eat at least four hours before bedtime.
Please make a point to try to sleep better this week. The benefits to better sleep are feeling better, reduce stress, reduce inflammation, improve your memory, may help you lose weight * ok – this is a great one right here *, reduce risk of depression, spur your creativity and being more alert! Try to focus on one new habit to get more sleep! Share below if any of this helps you!
Chicago Visit Top 10 Things to Do
1. See the Bean. The bean is a the Cloud Gate Sculpture in Millennium Park. This is a sculpture from Anish Kapoor, a British artist. The bean came to Chicago in 2004. The bean is a large bean shape that is mirrored. The reflection of the city skyline from the bean is the main attraction. In the busy times, you can see many people and take a picture of yourself taking a picture of the bean with the skyline or the lake. It is a definite area you want a photo of.
2. Willis Tower. This used to be the Sears Tower – until the Willis family bought it. This was the tallest building at one point but no longer holds that honor. The Willis Tower also has a skydeck that you can walk out onto and you are enclosed in a glass lookout where you can see below you. The Willis Tower also gives you some historical information on the way up. The views of the city are amazing. If you can’t make it to the Willis Tower – be sure to check out the Hancock Observatory – which has a 360 degree of sights with a lean out ledge.
3. Navy Pier. Navy Pier is the one pier in Chicago that is the north side of the city and a place to not miss. The pier has a ferris wheel which is fun to ride. Inside the pier are several restaurants and shops. The Children’s Museum resides here as well. An IMAX theater is inside, too. There are boats in which you can ride, if you would like and many board here.
4. Eat Deep Dish Pizza. Now, there are many different deep dish pizza choices here in Chicago. Giordano’s is a well known pizza place and has been around since 1974. Then, there is Gino’s East – who has been around for 50 years and you can write your name on the walls here. Lou Malnati’s is also another famous pizza place. The best part of this pizza is that it is deep and the cheese and ingredients are on the bottom with a thick layer of sauce on the top. It is delicious and the cheese stretches when you pull it from the pie.
5. Shedd Aquarium. This aquarium is the one of the world’s largest aquarium. It contains beluga whales, penguins, and shark feedings. There is so much to see and do here it will take you awhile to get through. This is the south side of the city and along the water but a great spot to see.
6. Brookfield Zoo. Brookfield Zoo is just outside of the city – but an amazing zoo. I guess if you wanted to stay in the city – Lincoln Park Zoo is there as well. However, Brookfield Zoo has so many animals and exhibits it is a fun way to explore. There are also amazing plastic molds that you will want to take as a souvenir of the zoo. More than 500 species of animals are here to explore.
7. Portillo’s Another must eat location is Portillo’s. Portillo’s has famous Italian Beef Sandwiches and amazing hot dogs and sausages. The fries are fabulous and there are choices for everyone. I also recommend the chocolate cake. My kids love the chocolate cake shake – but this is a must to understand and love Chicago.
8. Museums You have a few choices here. There’s the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum. The Art Museum is a good choice as well. It depends on what you are feeling – but you can meet Sue the Dinosaur in the Field Museum. Monet has a big display at the Art Institute of Chicago. All are great but it depends on your time and interests.
9. Michigan Avenue Take your time to stroll down Michigan Avenue. There will be shops galore and people watching. The building are all fun to see and you will pass Nike Town and you will pass the Water Tower Place with American Girl and Lego Store inside. You can get some Garrett’s popcorn as you watch – the Chicago blend of caramel corn and cheddar popcorn is delicious.
10. Sports Event Depending on the season try and see a sporting event in Chicago. The fans here are serious about their sports. Get a hat and go the a Cubs game. Grab a sweatshirt and head to the Bears game. The sports are a major fun event for any Chicagoland native.
Chicago is a great city. It is currently still the third largest city in the US. It is a great midwest town that has culture and food and is a fun place to visit. Enjoy!
It is hard when someone you care about thinks you should do or say something.
I try to remember that I am in control of my own feelings. I don’t really need to care what they think about me or my life. My life is mine.
When going through life, if someone isn’t paying for you to do something – or someone isn’t funding something for you – they are not in charge of you.
You are in charge of yourself. You are responsible for yourself. You alone.
Do not let someone tell you what and how you can feel. Trust me – I feel like I have done that. I was in a bad marriage. It took me a long time to realize how bad it was. When I was in it, I was too focused on raising my children – which I was essentially doing alone. I didn’t realize how bad I felt and how undervalued I felt. I had to realize that my own worth came from myself.
So, Trust Yourself.
Know your worth.
“When you start to beat yourself up, remind yourself of how worthy you are of love.” Demi Lovato
I decided to go to a seminar this fall. I chose Making Things Happen in Chapel Hill, NC. If you are unfamiliar with this seminar – I will share a bit with you. This is a two day conference. This is with the team of Cultivate What Matters. I did enjoy this – but will share my insight here.
I drove four hours to get there on a Sunday night. I did see that a group was going to dinner together but missed them as I checked in. There was a meet and greet later on that I did attend. I walked into a group of women and got a drink of water and stood around a round table and met a few women. Many of them told me to get ready for the next day and not to wear mascara because I would be crying. What??? I was not planning on crying for two days – and was skeptical from there on. What was I getting myself into? I did meet a few nice women who were nice and I enjoyed talking to them. I was ready for the next day.
On Monday we got up and headed down to the conference room. They took our phones from us when we got inside. This was interesting, too. We had a brunch and we all sat on chairs in rows to eat. We were given a plastic cup with a straw to drink something. The breakfast was fine. Egg sandwiches, fruit, muffins, coffee, and tea. There were a few drink choices. We started with some speakers who sat in the front on a stage. They each got up and told us a testimony – of their own personal life. Everyone had a struggle of some sort – as you can imagine – some were struggling with fertility, some with a loss of some loved one, some with marriage problems, etc. I won’t get into any details because what happens there stays there. However, I was a bit surprised. After a speaker spoke, we were given a prompt and a journal and every break was a quiet break where no one spoke and we wrote in the journal. This first day was about breaking down layers so we could build ourselves up. We then shared with the group – and were told to have our hands out and stretched to share. I didn’t get up willingly – but really they wanted everyone to share and participate. We finally broke into a small group. I was in a parent group. The bad part – I was the only single mom in the parent group and felt like a fish out of water. Each time they all shared about their husband and supportive spouse – I was not loving that. But I did go back the next day. The night of the first day they had a fireside chat. I went to that and left early. They talked about the day and what did we get from it, etc. I thought it was a bit overkill. I didn’t make any life long friends the first day.
The second day was again brunch. This time we had tables in front of us. More sharing. Then we went over how to manage our time better. What could we change in our daily lives to manage better to change our lives. More writing prompts. I was waiting for a goody bag – because every year I saw on social media they had goody bags. No goody bags this year. I was pretty bummed. I also realized that the speakers all were very close and didn’t bring anyone else in. They seemed to be above and better than the guests. Another attendee said they are always a big clique. I did notice that. There were several people who also were there to help and they didn’t try to get to know anyone either. It was strange. I did go with a friend and I enjoyed seeing new faces I knew from social media. Did I feel part of the gang? No, not really. Did I take away a few things – for sure. Will I go back? Not sure. Will I recommend? Maybe. But I will get them prepared before hand. I was disappointed that there was no major goody bags. I can get over that – but if they don’t have one – the price is too high to pay. I wanted to get alone time – I did get that. There were times I felt alone in a room of about 100 people. I didn’t want that.
Here’s what I do know. Women getting together to try to share and make their lives better is a great thing. The Cultivate what Matters team is nice and I like the vision they have to change the world. I like the powersheets and may get more of those – even though I own some and never use the ones I do have. I would recommend but not expect that you will leave with profound change.
I’m adding a picture that is me in the back row with my glasses on. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope I can clarify my experience for you.
Goals are so important – and I know many people set them – but are you setting your goals correctly? Let’s see.
Your goals need to be SMART.
S – specific and simple
R – Realistic
T – Time Based
You want to follow a formula for your goals. One example is:
Today is _________ . Time ___________. I am _______________. I see _____.I want to _____________ by _________________ and I am willing to _________________ to get this accomplished.
If you want to save money – or improve your finances – you need to let yourself know that today I am willing to save money. I want to save $500 by next month and I am willing to stop eating out to get this accomplished.
This can apply to your career, health and fitness, relationships, self-growth, and many more areas of your life. So, get after those goals!!!
It’s not who you are that holds you back. It’s who you think you are not. – Denis Waitley
Therapy: Tends toward history, acceptance, conflicts, reality, healing, beliefs, family dynamics, problems, weaknesses, heals the past, fear, and self responsibility.
Coaching: Tends toward missed opportunities, create future, building personal awareness, accountability, strengths, flow, expanding, balance, and new approaches.
I find both therapy and coaching are effective. Therapy tends to looks toward your past and coaching tends to look into the best future.
We are in the season of kids and teens and tweens and it is so hard when life is disappointing. There could be a million reason why your kids are upset. Some more valid than others. Kids have emotions that are real and seem so drastic at times, but I have seen more than enough disappointment. Being a single mom, I have found that I need to step up and engage with my kids and at times, I need to let them go. These kids are strong and resilient but some times, life is rough. We’ve seen some unexpected disappointments – like watching a friend get a traumatic brain injury and never be the same again. However, having a boy ask out your friend that you had thought liked you since he asked you out the week prior – well, things just hurt. Kids see now on social media that their friends are doing things and that they are left out. Some by choice, but other times on purpose. I don’t really categorize that as bullying – but it is a display of what people are doing that is all over – and kids have feelings. Even as a mom, if I see a bunch of people I know at a party, and I wasn’t invited, my feelings are hurt. Sure – it’s easy to say – I probably wouldn’t have gone – but it hard when you see images of people having fun and you are not even a second thought. I have heard rumors about me that were not true – and my kids have heard rumors about themselves that are not true. What do you do during these times???
1. Know the truth. Know your truth. If people are talking about you or someone you love – know and remember the truth. I tell my kids all the time that the only person you can control is yourself.
2. Feel your feelings. It is find and perfectly acceptable to be sad and confused at times. Feel all your feelings and work through them. If you need to talk to someone about it – do that. If you want to journal or write them down and then burn them – do that. Just don’t bottle up everything and ignore them. I used to have my kids hit a pillow if they were mad about things they couldn’t control. It seems to help.
3. Exercise. Get out side and get some fresh air. Disconnect from any electronic devices and go outside. Walk the dog if you have a dog – or borrow a pet. Better yet – go and volunteer at your local animal shelter – it is a great way to think about something else.
4. Distract yourself into knowing that time changes everything. Things happen and time keeps moving on. Forgive yourself of your involvement of the situation and move on. Keep moving on is so important.
5. Be grateful. Thank everything for the lessons learned. Thank your friends that you do have and trust them. Thank all around you for simple things. Compliment your friends and yourself. Remind yourself what you like about you.
6. Be yourself. The best things we have to offer the world is being ourselves. So, remind your kids that the world needs them and loves them as who they are right now. And we are all ok and better together.
Hugs. Give your kids lots of hugs.