Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

Are Ultimatums Appropriate?

posted by srballantine
Bigstock photos

Bigstock photos

You naturally want your kids to lead pleasurable, happy lives and have fun, but it’s also important that kids recognize that getting their way every time they want something won’t always happen. Whenever there’s more than one person involved in a relationship or situation, there is the potential for either conflicting desires and also compromise.

Conflicts and compromise are a normal part of relationships and conflicts can actually help kids to learn more about themselves. Conflicts can help children decide what’s most important in their lives. Learning to compromise also helps them to consider what other people believe is important and can lead to seeing other’s perspectives. This process allows your kids to grow and evolve in any relationship.

You can teach your kids how to work through potential conflicts, so they become win-win situations by being willing to negotiate. It’s a wonderful skill to have, whether in business relationships, friendships or in romantic ones.

When a conflict arises between you and your children, at times you may be tempted to give them an ultimatum, a consequence of what will come if they don’t do what is asked. Parents aren’t the only ones who give ultimatums, but as a parent you can help your son or daughter to understand when it’s appropriate and fair to issue one. As long as you are aware when the time is right to give a ‘do it or else’ type of command.

It can be challenging when someone gives commands or assignments you don’t agree with, especially if you feel you aren’t in a position to ask for any concessions. As much as you might want to ignore it, you know there are going to be instances when you aren’t able to.

In your children’s lives, there will be teachers, bosses, friends and even significant others who, at one time or another, will expect something that they may not want to give them.
Generally, someone makes an ultimatum after repeated requests go unanswered or ignored and they become frustrated by the situation. This may be the why, but it shouldn’t be the when.

So when is it appropriate to give an ultimatum?

~ After you’ve cooled down and feel more in alignment.
Take a minute to breathe, calm down and clear your head, even if it means leaving the room.

~ When you’re able to hear your son or daughter’s view point.
This may mean listening to them before giving an ultimatum, and possibly changing your mind as a result. It also means listening to your children after you’ve made your decision. They may have an idea about what appropriate consequences would be and you may be surprised to learn that sometimes your kids are harder on themselves than you are.

~ When you have taken the time to weigh your options.
Tap into your Internal Guidance System (IGS) to help determine what feels right. You might be guided to give specific consequences or even to take a different tack with your children.

~ If the consequences warrant it.
By consequences, I mean the consequences of their actions, not your ‘or else’ punishment. For example, if they’re acting in a reckless or dangerous way, you may choose to give an ultimatum even if this it is not a behavior that is normal for them.

~ When you can clearly state your expectation and the consequences for not living up to this expectation.
Make certain your expectation is reasonable and that your children have the opportunity and ability to live up to it.

While you may believe you’ll never be in the position to give your kids an ultimatum, it happens, and it isn’t inherently a negative thing. By being reasonable about requests and having the consequences be appropriate for the circumstances, you teach your children that their actions impact others as well, and justice can indeed be fair.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2015. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

Talking To Your Child Influences Their Vocabulary

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Talking to your child, even from their first day on Earth, is an important tool for helping them learn. You can even talk to your baby before they’re born and facilitate some kind of learning. Babies can hear and absorb many sounds and learn to recognize their parents’ voices while still in utero. Just as they absorb the food and chemicals that their mothers ingest, babies also absorb the energy that their mother feels; her fear, excitement, joy, and love.

One of the very best things you can do for your baby is to remember that they’re like little sponges, absorbing everything around them. That is true while they’re still in the womb and also once they’re born.

There is scientific evidence that shows there’s a learning gap between children of higher income and parents with fewer means. It isn’t the money that makes the difference however, it is in their vocabulary.

You may be surprised to learn that the key difference is in how many words kids are exposed to before age four. Kids who are born into middle class homes tend to hear 30 million more words than their lower income counterparts.

Words are important in learning, but they’re not the only aspect to consider regarding development in a child’s brain. The relationship that you have with your child is the most important one they’ll ever have. Talking to them and with them facilitates learning and your mutual connection. Talk to your kids, even if they aren’t old enough to carry on a conversation. Really engage with them, not just talking at them.

Look at your child, engage them, and show them your emotions. Point out things as you walk by, whether it’s in the park or the grocery store. Let them begin to experience life and expose your kids to a variety of stimuli in a safe environment. Let them hear conversation between adults. Read books out loud. Explain what’s happening around you. They don’t have to understand your every word to benefit from this meaningful exchange.

Some parents never use baby talk with their children while others use it extensively. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, except that having a hard and fast rule in either direction is probably not a good idea. People often get silly in front of babies and talk in a voice that their boss would never recognize, and that’s natural. Even if we don’t engage in baby talk, others undoubtedly will.

There’s a lot of stress on parents to parent in a perfect manner, but children don’t understand this concept anyway. Be easy with yourself knowing that you are helping teach your child important lessons in life, just by talking to them.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2015. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

Having Fun Is An Important Tool

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Whenever you want to attract something into your life, you must allow it to come to you first. This means you’re feeling good, happy, joyful. One of the easiest ways to be joyful is by having fun. This may sound obvious, but you may not always recognize that fun is an important tool for yourself and your kids. It can be one of the easiest things to teach them, as children are masters at having fun!

We can’t see the future and know what’s in store for us, but if you are able to stay happy you can be confident that events and experiences will ultimately work out for you. Know this even when you’re not sure exactly how events will unfold.

It can sometimes be easy to slip into fear and worry when you don’t see a clear path in front of you. As a parent, you may want to appear strong and fearless in front of your child, but this isn’t necessarily your best teaching tool.Children will encounter fear in their lives, and it will serve them better to learn tools on how to deal with fear,not ignore it. It’s far better if you can acknowledge your fear and how you’re going to resolve it.

Your children will always feel whatever energy you’re exuding and they’ll know if you’re not being authentic with them. This can cause confusion and add to their fear if they feel you aren’t telling them the truth.

Allowing your life to unfold and trusting life’s processes can be challenging when you’ve allowed fear and worry to take hold. This is why having fun is essential. When you’re having fun, it isn’t possible to feel the negative emotions that fear brings. The two are opposing feelings and therefore, cannot be with you at the same time.

I’m not saying that you should just play and have fun all the time while you hope that life works out. Rather, when you are having fun, it’s easier to focus on your goals and intentions, which causes the energy to move at a faster pace toward what you want. The key is where you place your focus. It should always be on what you desire not what you fear.

Sometimes it’s natural to start feeling anxious. You may have nervous energy caused by an approaching deadline or your kids may feel anticipation about the future as they know their vacation or education is coming to an end.

The key is recognizing that you’re no longer feeling comfortable. This is the signal that it’s time to shift your focus. You can begin focusing on the details of what you’re looking forward to. When you start to feel good, you will be open to receive the inspiration regarding how to move forward and what actions to take.

The important thing is to focus on your desires while feeling good and listening to the inspirations you receive. You may have an idea to search the Internet for information, call a certain someone, or any variety of actions that help you better understand what you need in order to manifest what you want. When you’re feeling good and receive these inspirations, realize that this is your Internal Guidance System (IGS) helping you along the path to your desires. This can start by having fun. Enjoy yourself and teach your children the importance of having fun and how it can be used as a tool to create their lives.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2015. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

Encouraging Your Child Toward Greatness

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Children often dream of having many different careers as they grow up. They might want to be a firefighter one minute, a jockey the next, then a baker, and maybe even President of the United States after that. Sometimes these career goals change over time, but sometimes children will want to be all of these things at once.

It’s wonderful for them to have these dreams, even if they change all the time. Childhood is the time to try on new ideas and new experiences. It is their opportunity to explore these dreams which will change over time as a new passion takes over.

Many times a loved one or another well-meaning person will give what they believe to be an honest appraisal of a child’s abilities in order to inject a “dose of reality.” These comments can forever alter a child’s vision of themselves.

Doesn’t it feel great to support your child’s dreams as opposed to offering a perception of what you may think is real for your child? Life can hold unlimited possibilities for you and your children. Encourage them to follow their dreams and explore all of life’s possibilities. Their lives may take an interesting turn which was not expected, and they can only experience their own power if they try.

Imagine everyone in your family is tall and your son or daughter tells you they want to be a jockey. Do you tell them that it isn’t likely? Or do you help them figure out what it is they might love about being a jockey? Maybe they love riding horses or perhaps the care and grooming of these beautiful animals. You can support what they love and help them explore many different ways to achieve this feeling.

What about careers that defy gender norms?

Countless girls were told they couldn’t be jockeys just because they were girls. It seemed an impossible dream until one day a girl became a jockey. While it still isn’t a common sight, there is no longer a rule that girls cannot be jockeys and there isn’t any rule that boys can’t be ballet dancers either. You can continue to encourage your child in their dreams even if their interest is unusual for their age, gender, or body type.

Take Misty Copeland for example. Her dream to be a ballerina didn’t start until she was a teenager. That’s ancient in ballet years. Misty was only 5’ 2” tall, and as she tells it, she didn’t have a classic ballet body and was even considered a bit stocky. In addition to all that, Misty is an African-American woman, which is a rarity in the world of ballet.

I can just imagine the dose of reality that some people might have tried to give to Misty. They may have said things like, “You’re too old to start learning ballet” or “There hasn’t been an African-American to break out of the corps in more than 20 years.”

Fortunately, Misty was able to ignore those who would’ve held her back from greatness and convince her to follow a “realistic” dream. By surrounding herself with loving, supportive people, Misty was able to fulfill her dream of being a ballerina. Today, Misty Copeland is a soloist for the American Ballet Theater, despite not fitting the mold. In fact, Misty is considered a prodigy, winning awards after only two years of training, and becoming a pro after only four years.

Your child has the ability to achieve greatness even in the simplest of dreams. Always encourage these dreams and let them know all things are possible. Be the catalyst to their unlimited potential.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2015. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

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