Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

Holiday Lights~ A Gift Or A Waste Of Time and Money?

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Driving around town and looking at the holiday light displays, both public and private, is a common pastime for many families this time of year and one that is greatly anticipated. for many, it has become a family tradition and parents love it as much as the kids do.

It used to be that just about every house on the block put up a display, some more elaborate than others, but it was rare for a house to be devoid of decoration entirely.

Then the energy crisis of the 1970s hit and fuel prices soared.

As soon as that happened, people thought about not only the time and energy it took them to put up the displays, but the energy and cost of the energy the displays consumed.

The numbers seemed to reverse overnight. The once brightly-lit neighborhoods were now mostly dark with only a few houses of lights dotting the night sky. It was no longer an american tradition to light up your house.

Over the ensuing years, the number of homes that were festooned with lights seemed to grow and diminish. The number seemed tethered to fuel prices, jobless rates, and the overall economy. There seemed little pressure for individuals to conform except in isolated neighborhoods. For the most part, whether you decorated simply, extravagantly, or not at all was a personal choice that was met without judgment.

There were the houses that did their lights up big and they attracted lots of visitors. With fewer people decorating, those that went through with the process often saw huge crowds of adoring kids (and adults) walking and driving by to admire their handiwork.To many, it felt like the part of the “magic” of the holidays was once again prevalent.

Decorators did it for themselves and as gifts to others. Most people viewing the displays viewed it as such, but there were others who felt that these lighted displays were ostentatious and a waste of precious energy.

With the advent of LED lights, the cost of energy to run elaborate decorations has dropped. Of course it means buying these energy-saving lights in order to accomplish this, but beyond the initial investment, you still won’t be spending as much money.
As a parent, you often must balance the practical against the delightful. You set budgets for your money and your time as well.

So is decorating the outside of your house a waste of time and energy?

It may be considered wasteful in the sense of not being absolutely necessary, but what other factors are there? Unless you light your place up like Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation, you probably aren’t providing enough light for someone to read by.

With LED lights, you don’t even give off enough warmth to warm your frost-bitten fingers by, but what these decorations do warm is the hearts of kids who come by to enjoy them.

If you’re thinking about decorating your home, but you’re concerned that this is a waste of your hard-earned money or time, consider what other activities you’d be spending your time on. Then think about the decorations as a gift to yourself, to your family, and to your community. Check with your Internal Guidance System (IGS) and see which feels best to you.

If you feel moved to decorate your home for the holidays then go for it and love the activity! Don’t feel pressured to make it the greatest display on the block; just follow your own heart.

Take this opportunity to involve your kids. It’ll be a fun activity to do together and even though it might take a little longer with their help, you’ll be creating happy memories they’ll cherish in the future.

Kids of all ages can help to varying degrees. You’ll likely keep them off the roof and tall ladders, but there are plenty of ways that kids can help and feel as though they’re part of the festivities. You can start by getting their input on how they’d like to see their house decorated.

Far from being a waste of a parent’s time, this may evolve into a tradition that you share with your kids into their adulthoods. You’ll be giving them a gift and they’ll be giving you one in return, helping you to see the world through childlike eyes. Together, you will be creating happy memories of not only decorating the house, but of seeing other kids’ faces light up as you participate in creating a sense of magic for everyone to enjoy.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

Gratitude In The Face Of Adversity

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Everyone has heard that it’s important to be grateful. Religious leaders have been telling people to be grateful for thousands of years. There’s even a holiday dedicated to the idea of giving thanks and feeling grateful. Why is gratitude so important? And how can you be grateful when you find yourself in less than desirable circumstances or when you see negative events happening around you?

Unless you aren’t aware, you’ll have some knowing of negative things that might be happening. You may be having health or financial struggles. Maybe your town experienced a natural disaster and you’re busy getting through that. Or perhaps you listen to the news and hear about war, hunger, and poverty.

When you notice and give energy to the negative things in the world, it’s especially important that you practice an “attitude of gratitude.”

Feeling grateful doesn’t take away the events that don’t feel good. It doesn’t magically make them go away or make everyone feel loving thoughts towards someone they had disdain for moments before.

What gratitude does is help you remember that there are good people and things in the world. There are millions of wonderful things happening around you and across the globe, and probably in your own life.

Rather than noticing what isn’t going right for you, you can express your gratitude for even the smallest blessings. Doing this shines a bright light on them, affirming their existence and raising your vibration to be in alignment with this goodness. This kind of energy allows what you want to come into your life.

It can be easy for you to fall into a pattern of dissatisfaction and begin complaining about how difficult things are. Even your children can fall into this pattern, as they will often mirror and reflect how you are feeling and behaving. They may complain about having to feed the dog or do their chores, rather than being grateful for the love and companionship the dog provides.

As a parent, you can help your children feel thankful by expressing and demonstrating your gratitude on a regular basis. You can actively point out to your kids the little things that make you feel good. I often encourage people of all ages to have a gratitude journal and write in it every day. You may choose to share some of your entries with your children and encourage them to share theirs with you.

Take this another step further and write a note to your children. Let them know how grateful you are for them. This will certainly enhance their self-esteem.

Do you remember getting “gold stars” in school? You can create your own gold stars of gratitude and let your kids know how much you appreciate it when they clean their rooms, help around the house, or get along with each other. Try not to limit your thanks to specific actions. Let your kids know you appreciate their smiles, hugs, creativity, playfulness, and other qualities.

Not feeling particularly grateful? Take a minute to stop and look around you. Appreciate your life as it is right now, the roof over your head, the loved one you spoke to this morning, the family activity you just organized.

Teaching kids to feel grateful for the good in their lives is a wonderful gift. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and to be around people who are willing to thank them for their contributions. By teaching your kids to express their feelings of gratitude, you’re helping them develop a habit that will serve their own wellbeing.

On top of all this, science is discovering that gratitude actually has physical health benefits. People who regularly practice feeling grateful report they sleep better, have lower blood pressure, healthier cholesterol, and fewer aches and pains.

Everyone wants their kids to grow up to be happy and healthy. It’s clear that teaching them to be grateful — especially when things get rough — is a valuable tool in reaching that goal.

Please feel free comment.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

Scary Topics And The Law Of Attraction

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

As much as you might think you’d like to be able to raise your kids in a safe bubble where you control everything, it isn’t possible and not even in your children’s best interest. I wish that the scariest things our kids experienced were only ghost stories told over campfires and at sleepovers, but they will more likely have other scary experiences in their lives. It’s important for parents to know how to talk to their kids about scary topics.

As a believer in the Law of Attraction (LOA), you might wonder if talking about scary topics will actually attract more danger into your kids’ lives. Even if you don’t wonder about that, you can probably imagine how a child you’ve been teaching to use the LOA could make that connection, as whatever we focus on and give our energy and attention to is attracted. This means that you should know how to talk about scary things, but you have to do it in the context of the LOA which means not dwelling on what you don’t want.

Of course, all conversations of this nature can be tailored to your specific child. Using language that is appropriate for his or her age and understanding. If you have older children, you may want to have separate additional conversations with them, but include them in the family conversations whenever possible as additional support for the younger members.

Some of the scary topics could include what to do in a natural disaster such as a fire or flood. These can serve as a “ground floor” conversation for other subjects that may seem scary to a child.

As powerful as the Law of Attraction is, you don’t have control over other people or things. Mother Nature is no exception; you don’t want to be fearful and dwell on what could potentially happen, because that could draw unwanted experiences into your life.

On the other hand, if you think about how wonderful the world is and express gratitude for being safe, then you’re attracting positive experiences and teaching your kids to do the same. Practice this mindset into a strong belief.

With this attitude, you can be prepared for situations that are outside of your control. A plan of action and emergency kits don’t send out positive or negative energy into the world as long as there is no intense (energy)emotion behind it. By being prepared, you may no longer have to worry about what you’ll do if a disastrous event occurs. This means you’re not focusing on events you don’t want to bring into your life, as fear attracts what you don’t want.

Fire safety is often discussed in schools and you can use the lessons as a great emergency preparation topic for your family. Every family member should know what the plan is, how to exit the house if the front door is obstructed, or if someone happens to be upstairs or in the basement.

Another key part of the plan will be to designate a rendezvous place in the event you get separated while exiting the house, or in the event that not everyone is home at the time.

Talking about your plan will not be enough, and you can make the exercise fun. Your family can practice executing the plan, including meeting at your designated place.

The American Red Cross and other emergency relief organizations suggest that every person have a plan and their own emergency kit that is their responsibility to grab on the way out. This is a good idea in case you and your children get separated. Some recommended items for the kit are a toothbrush and toothpaste, a flashlight, a notepad and pencil or pen, a bottle of water, a light change of clothes, and even a space blanket.

While you want to keep this kit light and easy to manage, it is important to include something that will help comfort your child. This may be a small stuffed toy, a favorite book, or a photo of the family. An easy way to keep all these items handy is inside an inexpensive pillowcase that they keep under their bed or inside their closet.

Inside the notepad, you can have written important family information including your child’s name, your name, your address and cell phone number, as well as another emergency contact. If your son or daughter has any medical conditions, these should also be written down here for police or fire department personnel.

It’s very comforting to have affirmations and loving thoughts for your son or daughter to read inside the notepad. This will help them remember that you’re all safe and loved. Be sure to create a notepad for yourself, too. Include recent photos of each family member. This will be reassuring for you if you do get separated and will be a great help to emergency personnel in locating and reuniting your family.

Talking about scary events like being separated in a fire will not attract an emergency into anyone’s life. Being prepared and fostering a strong belief in your safety may be the best insurance that you need in order to avoid such an event. At the very least if it does happen, then you’ll be in the best possible, most positive mindset, assured that your family knows what to do.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

Are You An Evolved Parent?

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Are you an evolved parent? This could be a loaded question. What is evolved? In this particular context I’m using “evolved” as to mean modern, but even more complex than that. “Evolved” can be defined as “to develop by a process of evolution to a different adaptive state or condition.” I see this to mean not only in our biology but also how it relates simply to our family life.

We live in a very fast moving world these days and the energy and momentum of our lives is accelerating each day. It’s especially important for parents to be adaptive to this new pace. The pressure on your kids to keep up in school, be good at the sports they participate in and perform in general is so much greater than it ever has been. Your kids need an evolved and informed parent to support their growth and help them manage stress.

Being an evolved parent means:

~ Being adaptive to the current desires and actions your kids may want to take. For example: Your child wants to participate in an activity that was not in your frame of reference when you were their age.

~ Having an attitude of receptivity toward your child, recognizing their unique qualities. For example: Your child has different values or interests than other kids their age.

~ Keeping current and up to date on what is happening in your children’s lives. For example: Teaching them to share what is going on by sharing what is going on with you. We tend to shield our kids from harsh realities, but finding gentle and diplomatic ways to keep them current on your life is important.

~ Fostering their independence, starting at an early age. This will help your kids start to recognize and choose how they want to fit in to the world. For example: Allowing them to make their own choices and also how they want to use their time.

~ Teaching your children about their Internal Guidance System. Their IGS is their compass to their highest choices and decisions accessed by tapping into their feelings and wellbeing. For example: Instead of choosing for your child, guide them in trusting their inspiration and intuition.

Being an evolved parent means being adaptive to your modern child, and it’s an evolution that takes place one day at a time. Being open and willing to take it as it comes and teaching your kids how to go with the flow will go a long way in fostering your own evolution and theirs as well.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Posts

Holiday Lights~ A Gift Or A Waste Of Time and Money?
Driving around town and looking at the holiday light displays, both public and private, is a common pastime for many families this time of year and one that is greatly anticipated. for many, it has become a fami

posted 4:28:24pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Gratitude In The Face Of Adversity
Everyone has heard that it’s important to be grateful. Religious leaders have been telling people to be grateful for thousands of years. There’s even a holiday dedicated to the idea of giving thanks and feel

posted 12:24:35am Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Scary Topics And The Law Of Attraction
As much as you might think you’d like to be able to raise your kids in a safe bubble where you control everything, it isn’t possible and not even in your children’s best interest. I wish that the scariest

posted 3:54:26pm Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Are You An Evolved Parent?
Are you an evolved parent? This could be a loaded question. What is evolved? In this particular context I’m using “evolved” as to mean modern, but even more complex than that. “Evolved” can be defined

posted 2:08:35pm Dec. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Your Kids, Their Gifts, And The Law of Attraction
No matter what religious holiday you celebrate, the end of the year is traditionally a time of giving gifts. It’s also a time when kids are writing long lists of things they have been dreaming about all year l

posted 7:09:47pm Dec. 05, 2014 | read full post »


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