Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

Your Child Wants A Pet And You’re Not Sure

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Pets have long played an important role in the American household. I recently read “Pets in America” by Katherine Greer. Critics acclaim her book to be entertaining and informative, it being a portrait of Americans’ relationship with the cats, dogs, birds, fishes, rodents and other animals we call our own. The author says over 60% of U.S. households have pets.

 How familiar you are with the concept of having a pet is often determined by whether your family had pets when you were a child.  If you had pets, it may be an easy transition for you in accepting your child’s desires for having one.  If you did not have any pets growing up, it may be that you don’t want to start now, or you’re really eager to start a new family tradition as your kids are constantly asking you to give in and get them one.

 Children are constantly exposed to the concept of having a pet.  Most of their friends may have pets, schools may have “bring your pet to school day” (show and tell) and of course, the television is inundated with all sorts of advertising for pet food, pet care and family life with pets.

There are things to consider when choosing to have a pet become a member of your household however. Questions to discuss as a family unit. Who will be its primary caregiver? Are the duties to be shared? How involved does your child want to be with its care? Is your child mature enough to care for a pet?

 Children will eagerly exclaim that they will happily become the caretaker of the new family pet, but most of us know how that turns out. Mom and/or Dad inherit all the responsibility after a time. Having a young pet, such as a puppy or a kitten can be like having another child in the family. They require quite a bit of care and attention until they are a little older and more independent. The end result being, you now have a special new member of the family.

 What is the value in having a family pet? How will having a pet benefit your child? Pets that require less maintenance such as a fish or hamster in a cage, can teach a child responsibility. They require feeding and caring for their environment, but don’t need to be walked and played with. Puppies and kittens add a playful element to the home and as they mature, bond with the family.  Every pet has a different personality and can become a treasured companion for the family. There can be such an overt expression of love and affection between you, your children and the family pet. Children learn to express love and receive love through having pets that is free of judgment and expectations.

 There are so many ways in which a pet may enhance a family. Having a clear in-depth conversation with your children regarding your expectations and the responsibilities involved, is important before any pet is welcomed into your home.

 Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons In Gratitude For You And Your Kids

posted by srballantine

 

Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone was born with an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’? You’re physically helpless at birth, totally dependent on others to have your needs met. For the most part, every need is tended to. Parents provide their children with love, food, clothing, and a warm place to sleep.

Most people as children don’t have to struggle for these basic necessities. You may take these things for granted as they are amply provided.

Expressing your appreciation for the good in your life and teaching appreciation to your kids is something  you learn, rather than something you’re born with. Most people learn it from their parents or their own life experience, and then teach it to their own children.

One of the ways you teach your children to express gratitude may be through prayer. Regardless of faith or religious affiliation, many families hold hands and give thanks for their daily bread, although this is a less common ritual than it was when your parents were growing up.

Many children across this country are taught to kneel next to their bed at night and thank the powers that be or ask them to bestow their blessings upon them and their families. Of course, prayer is not strictly a Judeo-Christian practice and it doesn’t matter what form of prayer you do. There is no right or wrong way to pray, and it can be done in a way that feels good to you,  any time of the day or night doing any form of activity.

Heart-filled prayer is a wonderful way to express your appreciation for the good in your life, but it is not the only way. For some, old-fashioned prayers are nothing but a shell, something that they know they should do. For others, they are no more powerful or meaningful than reciting a story from memory.

When you feel appreciation for what you have, you open yourself up to receiving more things, experiences, and people to appreciate. The more often you express your gratitude, the deeper you feel it in your heart. The pull you create attracts opportunities to you and grows stronger.

One of the best times to express your gratitude is as you’re falling asleep and waking up as these are the times of day when you are most “open.” These are the twilight moments when you’re not fully awake, but are awake enough to consciously direct your thoughts. At these times, you can access your subconscious more easily and program your messages of appreciation.

If you haven’t expressed gratitude to the Universe since you last recited, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” you might need a little practice. A small journal by your bed is a great tool, and kids may love this too. Commit to writing down just five things that you experienced or saw that day that felt good. Start small. It could be as simple as seeing a rainbow or playing with your child. Do this right before you fall asleep, filling yourself up with grateful energy. Encourage your children to think of things that felt good to them each day.

In the morning before you get out of bed, reach for your journal and review your list from the night before. Maybe even several days before. This starts your mind and your heart with positive thoughts and feelings. This can be a wonderful tool to use as a pick-me-up.

Encourage your children to create their own gratitude journals. If they’re too young to write, you can offer to help them. This gives you the opportunity to listen to your son or daughter tell you how wonderful their life is because they saw the coolest bug or because their teacher called on them in class and they knew the answer to the question. You never know, that just might make it into your gratitude journal, too.

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

Letting Your Child Have Sex In Your Home?

posted by srballantine

 

Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

You think you’ve prepared your child for their teen years, at least to the best of your ability. Perhaps you have talked about sex, relationships and how they fit in to their young lives. Your child may even have agreed with you at the time and you felt a deep sense of relief that all would be well. Then one day your teen comes home and broaches the subject of wanting to have a sleepover with someone of the opposite sex.

Whether you are a progressive parent or one with more conservative views, the subject of your teen having sex may be a sensitive one. Not just having sex, but also having sex under your roof. You may think your teen is sexually active, or know for sure, but it can feel very different when faced with it being in your home. Some experts say the safest place for kids to have sex is at home, as the alternatives generally involve the backseat of a car, a park or some other creative location. It can create great anxiety thinking your child is “out there” somewhere having sex. But are you willing to host the situation?

Studies show that sex is important to teens and they’re going to have sex with or without your approval. The question you may be faced with is how close you want the scenario. The time to give serious thought to your feelings and values may be before the subject ever comes up so you can feel confident in your decision.

Some big questions to consider if your teen wants a sleepover:

~How does your child regard having sex at home? Ask them if they would really be comfortable with it.

~ How will you feel once it’s actually happening? It’s important to explore if it will feel traumatic for you.

~ Does it matter if your child is in a committed relationship or not? Determine if you’ll feel more comfortable one way or another.

~ Do you know the person your teen wants to bring over? Decide if this is part of your criteria in order to say yes.

~ Do you feel confident your teen has a firm grasp on safe sex? Be sure your child is well versed on methods, which protect them from unwanted pregnancy and disease.

~ Is it important to you, that the parent of the other teen be aware of a sleepover? Ask your teen if they have been made aware of the situation.

~ Will you regret your decision, be it a yes or a no to their request? Make any decision listening to your Internal Guidance System.

You may face many sensitive situations over the course of your child’s teenage years. As you are asking yourself questions that help you make choices, be sure and teach your teen to do the same.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Raising Kids Free of Parents’ Fears

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Many people have strong fears based on experiences that have happened in their lives. You can be aware of your fears and understand that these fears are totally irrational, while still having them. Naturally, you don’t want to pass these emotions on to your children; so, you work hard at hiding these fears from your kids.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always effective. Your kids are very sensitive to your vibration and you can pass on your fears without even realizing it. Sometimes your kids will mirror the exact same fear that you have, and in other cases, they may just feel your energy. This can lead to different issues that cause them undue stress and anxiety.

For example, I knew a woman who was very afraid of water. She had a traumatic event in her own childhood where she nearly drowned. She never learned to swim and over the years this fear became quite debilitating.

When she became a mother herself, she recognized that this fear was holding her back, and she didn’t want to saddle her daughter with a fear that would keep her from experiencing joy. Yet, the fear was there. Despite suggestions that she get her daughter in the pool as soon as possible, she could not let go of her own fear.

It was several years before she enrolled her daughter in swimming lessons with a trusted instructor. Even though the mother never verbally told her daughter of her experience or her fear, she sent very strong non-verbal and energetic cues to the youngster. By this time, the child had developed an even greater fear of the water than her mother.
The instructor had one rule for the mother: she was not allowed on the pool deck while her daughter was having her lessons. By physically separating the two, the girl was immersed in positive energy from the instructor without experiencing the conflicting energy from her mother.

Even then, it took a long time and a lot of patience in order to eliminate the fear of water that her daughter was experiencing, too. Eventually, the girl not only got over her fear, but she genuinely enjoyed playing in the pool with friends. She even became an excellent competitive swimmer.

One of the most important elements of the daughter’s success was a shift in energy. The daughter was exposed to a lot of positive energy over time. Of course the mother retained her fearful energy, which stretched out the process, but eventually, she even became more comfortable as she saw her daughter was safe and having fun.

Rather than passing on your fears, you can take a lesson from this swim instructor. Of course it’s wonderful when you can get over your own fears; wonderful for yourself and for your children, but sometimes that seems impossible, as it was for the mother in the example.

Whenever you feel fear sneaking up on you, these exercises may be helpful:

* Take nice, deep breaths, and visualize a simple balance scale. Imagine placing your fear on one side of the scale, and watch how the tray falls.

* Think about things that fill you with joy and positive energy. Whether it’s the sound of your child’s laughter, a good book, rainbows, etc., place those items on the other side of the scale.

* Keep adding more and more positive thoughts to the scale and soon the fear side seems to weigh nothing at all.
This is a practice in positive visualization and intent.

Practice this exercise often and you will be amazed at how much more relaxed both you and your children are.

Next, consciously surround yourself and your children with as much positive energy as possible. Perhaps you do this through playing, uplifting music, or by actively engaging in some of the things you visualized placing on the positive side of the scale.

The more often your children experience this positive energy, the more it outweighs your personal fear energy, and your children will be uplifted as a result. They will be free of your fears and anxieties, which will help them to grow into happy, healthy adults.

Your comments are welcome.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

 

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