Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

Mom and Dad~ “Buy This For Me”

posted by srballantine

 

Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

As parents, you probably want your kids to have everything. This may mean you want them to be happy, safe, and healthy to name a few things. You love your kids and you want them to feel fulfilled as well. When it comes to what your kids want for themselves their list will probably include the latest toys, gadgets, clothes and electronics. Most of their friends after all, have everything. At least they want you to believe this.

How do you decide when to buy what for your children? Is it every time they ask for something? Is it dependent on their behavior? Is it when you feel abundant or when they have met a criteria you have established?

In talking with parents, some of the concerns they voiced about buying their kids whatever they wanted included:

~ The fear their children would become spoiled and not appreciate what they have.

~ Their kids may adopt an attitude of entitlement and expect to be given everything they’ve asked for.

~ They may become frivolous and resist wanting to earn their own money to buy things for themselves.

Following your Internal Guidance System is the easiest and most productive way to choose your purchasing behavior for your kids. This involves paying close attention to how you feel when you do or don’t get them what they want. Also, about how you feel about what you want them to learn in the long term. You have to feel good about whatever behavior you choose or it won’t serve you. If something isn’t serving you it certainly won’t serve or inspire your children.

~How do you feel when you buy your kids what they have asked for? You may feel really happy to have contributed to their abundance and happiness.

~You may also feel coerced into buying them what they want because all their friends have it and you think they’ll feel bad to not have these things.

~ How do you feel saying no to them?

When raising my three children I used my IGS everyday in determining what to buy and when for my kids. My personal criteria were simple and based on how I felt, and also what I wanted my kids to learn in the long term. Because my kids observed and lived a certain amount of abundance in their lives, I wanted them to learn a deep appreciation for everything they had. I wanted them to have everything they wanted but also learn that acquiring “things” is not the basis of happiness.

Depending on their ages, doing chores or jobs and learning to save for what they wanted also served this purpose. I most especially did not want my kids to have an attitude of entitlement. It became a playful joke in the family that if they wanted something it had to be put on their birthday or Christmas list. They could not assume they would have it immediately unless it was an item of necessity.

Did my kids get what they wanted? Mostly, but it was a process in patience, appreciation and learning.

It is important to choose for yourself what to buy for your kids and when. By using your IGS you will be able to parent from alignment, which is when you feel good.

This will be your highest place of being the kind of parent you want to be.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

It’s Not Just About Thanksgiving

posted by srballantine

 

Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

In North America, we have a great tradition of Thanksgiving. We gather with friends and family, we eat great food (usually too much of it), and give our thanks for the wonderful year we’ve had.

Giving thanks is much more than another side dish to be spooned out like the green bean casserole or sweet potatoes. It’s important to remember to give thanks all year long instead of as just a part of the Thanksgiving Day tradition.

We know the Law of Attraction responds to vibration. When you feel thankful, you’re sending out a vibration of appreciation and of gratitude. This means that you’re then in alignment with things and people that match this vibration, so you will receive it in return.

It stands to reason then that for reasons that serve you, it’s in your best interest to give thanks because it literally sets you up to receive more to be thankful for. That isn’t the only reason to express your gratitude, however.

Sometimes you feel thankful because of something someone has done for you, said to you, or perhaps given to you.

Gratitude in this instance is a feeling created by recognizing that you’re receiving the love and affirmations of another, even if it was a simple smile from a stranger.

When you let others know that you appreciate that energy, you’re in fact returning the energy and allowing it to grow. It allows everyone involved to feel good.

It seems that giving thanks doesn’t come naturally. You have to be taught to say please and thank you. It is important to teach your children to give thanks. This can be in the form of nightly prayers, a gratitude journal, and yes, even writing thank you notes when you’re given a gift.

When you teach your kids to say thank you, it’s important that you remind them that the energy behind the words is what is important. At first, your kids won’t want to write a thank you note for the present from Aunt Minnie, especially if it was something they didn’t really want. Even so, writing the note is a good exercise.

You can help your kids actually want to write a thank you note when you place the emphasis on the thoughts and feelings rather than the actually words. Have your son or daughter check in with their Internal Guidance System (IGS) and see how it feels to give a gift to a friend and not even know if the gift was received.

Then have them imagine how it feels to receive a note from someone else, thanking them for their own kindness. Which way feels better? What does that realization direct them to do when they, in turn, receive a gift?

Frequently, you may hesitate to express your gratitude because you might be unsure about what to say. Your words do not have to be flowery or read like a greeting card. The best thing to do is to check with your IGS to help guide you. A simple heartfelt thank you is often all it takes.

By teaching your kids how to express their gratitude when they’re young, you’re giving them a skill that will pay off in the future. Whether those skills will be used to say thanks for a generous college scholarship, a desired internship or interview, or to clients for their successful business, your son or daughter will stand out because they were able to put their gratitude into words.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Are You Censoring Your Child’s TV Habits?

posted by srballantine

 

Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

As far back as I can remember; parents have been debating the issue of what to let their kids watch on television. Seldom does everyone agree. In our family, my brother and I wanted to watch certain TV shows and my mom wanted us to watch something different. Her criteria generally revolved around the shows not containing swear words or too much blood. She even wanted us to watch educational shows. Not just watch them but also want to watch them, so we could learn something. It was a never-ending debate.

As a parent early on, I found myself wanting the same for my own kids. Why didn’t they want to watch educational television? They had plenty of reasons and were happy to inform me. These days as a parent coach I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many parents regarding their own criteria and how much of an argument they are willing to endure in the war on censoring their kid’s TV habits.

All kids are different, and all families are different, so how do you know the best approach for your child when there isn’t necessarily a standard? There are several things to consider when laying down the rules (if you do) of what is watched at home.

~ Is there consistency in their playing/watching habits? Do the video games they’re playing contain the same content you aren’t allowing them to watch on TV?

~ What are your beliefs regarding the content they watch? Do you truly believe they will be unduly influenced by what you see as negative content?

~ What is the maturity level of your child? Are they able to assimilate more mature content or are they frightened by it?

~ What message are you giving your kids with your own TV habits? Do you want your kids to believe negative message TV only affects people of a certain age?

~ Are you having a dialogue with your kids about how violent/negative content makes them feel after they watch it? Are they upset by it, have no reaction, or feel agitated? This conversation helps them tap into their Internal Guidance to determine if the content serves them.

~ What is your guidance saying to you as a parent? Do you forbid certain content because you feel you should or because it feels like the best thing for your child and why?

~ You have no control of your children’s TV habits at their friends or even on their own wireless device, (if they have one) so is it realistic to throw a blanket censorship on all objectionable content?

Regardless of what the television rules you have set in your family, it’s important to have an ongoing dialogue with your kids. How does the content they’re watching make them feel and why are they drawn to certain shows?

Encourage them to be diligent in listening to their internal selves. Share with your kids in a calm and loving way, the concerns you have regarding their TV choices and your reasons for having them.

 

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Where Did This Child Come From?

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Often when you look at your children, you can easily see yourself or your spouse in their little faces. Maybe your son has his father’s eyes or your daughter has her mother’s smile. Sometimes the daughter will look more like the father and the son will resemble his mother. In other families, it seems one parent’s features are passed on to all the kids, regardless of gender.

Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to genetics. Sometimes it seems like the genes skipped a generation when a child is the mirror image of Grandma or Grandpa.

Then there are the kids who just don’t seem to look like anyone else in the family. Kids who don’t physically resemble anyone in the family may be sensitive about it and secretly wonder if they’re adopted, especially if all his or her siblings are clearly members of the same family tree.

Your children inherit more than just physical appearance from their ancestors. Many kids discover that they have aptitudes in common with a parent or other family member. They might be prone to be bookish or athletes. They may even excel in the exact same fields of study or sport that you did.

Kids also pick up on your mannerisms. Even if they don’t have your nose, they may put their hands on their hips just like Mom or cock their head to the side just like Dad. For better or worse, your kids can be literal mirrors, reflecting back your most and least attractive habits.

What about those kids who seem so different that it creates relationship challenges? Think about the bookish parents who are never interested in sports, yet end up with a jock in the family. Or what about the family of athletes who ends up with a son who’s an artist? Is that hard to live with?

As much as you want your kids to be independent and true to themselves, most parents have at least some expectation that they’ll have something in common with them. When your kids are apparently so different from you, it can be a challenge to communicate with them in addition to supporting them and their goals.

One of the suggestions I have for all parents is to be sure to tap into your Internal Guidance System (IGS) when dealing with your children. Knowing your child is here to create their own path and supporting them in ways that intuitively feel best to you. This is true whether you have kids who didn’t fall far from the tree or if your kids seem to be from an entirely different forest. When you check in with your IGS, you clear away your own ego and desires. It’s possible to see how you can relate to your kids better and give them the support they need.

Sometimes it’s even more important for a parent whose child seems just like them to make a serious effort to check with their IGS. Otherwise it can be easy to assume that because you have so many things in common with your children, you will continue to be on the same page even as they develop and grow. Then when your son or daughter veers off onto a new trail, it can come as quite a surprise and leave you wondering what happened.

One of the blessings of having a child who is not like you, is that you don’t expect them to follow in your footsteps. It’s less surprising when they take a path that is different from yours. The obvious differences can be the exact catalyst that a parent needs, to learn more about their children’s unique qualities in order to support them.

When you teach your children to trust their IGS, they will feel free to follow in your footsteps or set off on a trail that is uniquely their own. Their own guidance will always steer them to their own highest path,and what truly matters in the first place is what’s right for them.

You may be surprised, given the freedom to take any path, to see that theirs veers away and then crosses back over your own. You may even discover you have more in common with that child who seemed so different from you than you ever imagined.

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

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