Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

How To Soothe Kids From Scary Dreams

posted by srballantine


Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

The dreams we have when we sleep are a natural part of who we are and how we live our lives. They may represent our hopes and dreams or our worst fears, which we may not even be consciously aware of.

Most of us have dreams once in a while that really scare us. “Bad” dreams, as we most commonly refer to them can be especially scary to young kids. Where do our dreams come from? Dreams are one of the ways our subconscious mind deals with our fears and also what we love. Our dreams also process what is happening in our lives. Some experts refer to dreams as our release mechanism.

It can feel very unsettling to wake up from a bad dream. Often times kids may not be able to relate to the subject matter or even be able to describe the events in the dream they just experienced. They just know it was terrifying by the way it makes them feel when they wake up. It may even feel like their dream means something bad may happen to them or a loved one. As you soothe your child into feeling better, there are a few things you may keep in mind.

How do you soothe your children from the fears they experience from having a scary dream?

~ Tell your kids that all dreams are a natural part of our lives even though sometimes they don’t feel good. In simple terms, you may explain their dreams are their way of working things out, even if they don’t understand how or why.

~ Ask them if they feel like talking about the dream. Honor what they want and don’t force them to relive it.

~ Your child will react to their disturbing dream however you react to it. Focus on soothing your child with reassuring words as opposed to horror at what they may be recounting to you.

~ Encourage your child to not place judgment on their scary dreams. The more you refer to these as bad dreams, the more your child will be resistant to them and take longer to return to wellbeing.

~ If your child has a tendency to have scary dreams, be aware of what they are watching on TV or video games before bedtime. Also, keep any conversations near bedtime upbeat and as positive as you can. They fall asleep with whatever energy was nearest to their bedtime and also what was most dominant during their day.

~ Assure your child that even though their scary dream seemed very real, it doesn’t mean something bad will happen to them or someone they love.

~ Scary dreams can pass through your child quicker if they aren’t dwelled upon. Encourage them to find a happier focus. You can be an inspiration to them by helping find subjects or activities you know bring them joy.

~ Kids sometimes need to have their space and be alone to process their dreams. Communicate with your child to determine what will make them feel the best.

You want your child to fall asleep each night with a sense of wellbeing. One of the ways you can facilitate this wellbeing is to create an atmosphere of positivity and calm each night in your home. Evenings can be hectic, busy and non-stop but this doesn’t preclude them from being happy and positive.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.










Mom Alert~ Putting Yourself First

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Mothers can often put everyone else’s needs before their own. They make sure that all the kids are ready for school, delivered to their extra-curricular activities, have healthy meals, are listened to and feel loved, and get to bed on time. It’s a busy life.

Of course, the house has to be cleaned and maintained, and since most American mothers are also working outside the home, they’re taking care of all their work duties as well. To top it all off, they’re taking care of their spouse and often their parents or in-laws, too. Moms can often end up exhausted. If all of this means you’re sacrificing yourself, is it productive?

Kids on the other hand, naturally put themselves first. Their world revolves around them and it comes naturally to think of their needs and wants first.

After all, you were a kid once, too. What you wanted was a priority. How is it that you learned that your needs and desires no longer mattered? That may sound harsh, but that’s how a lot of people, especially mothers, act and feel.

You may know this isn’t true, but a lot of mothers still believe it despite any evidence to the contrary. No one wants their kids to feel like they don’t matter. So what do you do about it?

This process starts with taking better care of your needs and wants by giving your precious time and energy to yourself as well. No time for that you say? Balance is essential. It means your alignment is your priority, because you won’t inspire your children if you’re not happy. Giving yourself permission to express your own desires teaches your kids to do the same as they go through life. It’s okay and essential to have the life that you want and to show your children they matter in relation to others.

You can give and give for a while. However, at some point you’ll run out of energy to give. If you never replenish your emotional and physical fuel tank, what will happen to your kids when you’re running on empty? Maybe you’ll be able to carry on with the minimum needed, but you’ll not be the loving parent your children need and deserve. You won’t be the caregiver that you want to be for your kids.

Not only will your children feel the lack of your emotional presence, but they’re apt to model your behavior with their own intimate relationships. One day in the future, they may be the exhausted parent, employee, or partner. They won’t be taking care of themselves either, thus not being the person they want — and are meant — to be.

You want to give your time, energy, and of course your love, to your families. To do this completely, you must first be in alignment. This means you must be connected to our higher self and know what brings you joy. Beyond that, you must take steps to meet your own needs. When you’ve done this, you can give to others what you have a surplus of. This means potentially placing said needs ahead of your family’s.

When you’re filled with your own joy, then you can give joy to those you love. When you’re depleted, you probably aren’t sharing joy with anyone.

Pay attention to how you feel. Tap into your Internal Guidance System (IGS) to learn how to recharge your batteries. Fortunately, there is an endless power supply if you just know how to access it. This is the lesson that will be of value to your children.

Please share your thoughts.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

Your Kids And Swearing

posted by srballantine


Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Depending on your frame of reference, swearing in front of your kids and allowing them to swear is generally ok or it’s definitely not ok. And this may depend on what age they are. What does it mean to swear? Most people would say it’s the use of offensive language, using words that our society has deemed rude, offensive or impolite to use in the presence of others. Many people are greatly put off by hearing words they find offensive.

It’s nearly impossible to shield your children from hearing offensive language. Our kids are inundated with swearing in just about every area of their lives. If they watch TV the most popular shows have certain degrees of swearing, and cable shows have no limits whatsoever. Have you noticed that over the years the level of swearing allowed on TV has escalated to new heights? Movies too?

There is also your child’s school, where swearing can be commonplace. Sometimes a frustrated coach may swear at the kids and occasionally a teacher too. Kids use swearing to express frustration, anger, when they want to be hurtful or to show off in front of their friends. Sometimes they may just find it fun to swear for the attention it evokes. Kids may also view using offensive language as a rite of passage, an activity that shows their maturity.

The reality is, you may never know to what degree your child swears when they are outside the home. Even very young children will pick up on swear words and mimic them. Sometimes you may wonder where on earth they heard such a word?

What is your reaction when your child swears in front of you? Is it a guaranteed attention getter by your extreme reaction, are you calmly explaining that perhaps a different word is more appropriate or are you ignoring the whole thing? Your attitude and example about swearing will influence how your child views this activity. If you swear, chances are your child will too. If you freak out when they swear, they will probably learn to use swearing to get a strong reaction.

In our home, we taught our kids that certain words were not ok to use in front us, even if they were saying such words around their friends. We also wanted them to learn that using swear words in public would not be viewed in a positive way by anyone who heard them. We wanted our kids to learn that words have power and it would serve them to be conscious and deliberate about how they wanted to use this power.

Ask your kids and think about this yourself. How do you feel when using such words? If you’re swearing in anger, you can’t be feeling very good and it won’t serve you. Can you ever swear and feel good? Maybe when it originates from a sense of fun and playfulness and is not directed at anyone or anything in a negative way.

Each of us gets to choose how we speak, and whom we surround ourselves with will ideally be whomever we feel the best in the company of. How we feel about other people is determined not only by how they are feeling, but also about what is coming out of theirs mouths, in the form of their speech.

Do others feel good around us? Are we making the effort to feel good around others, particularly our kids and are we being conscious of what we are saying in front of them?

Your kids will eventually choose who they want to be and how they want to speak. The best we can do for them while they are in our care is to teach them to pay attention to what they are communicating to others and if it’s the message they want to convey.

Please share your thoughts.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.




Kids And What Motivates Their Learning

posted by srballantine
Bigstock photos

Bigstock photos

When you were going to school, did you cram before every test? If you did, you probably reread the chapters and notes in hopes that you would remember for the test. And often you did, but where’s all that information you learned today?

Scientists will insist that that information is not lost; rather, it’s
somewhere in your brain somewhere. But can you actually recall it? Probably not.

Some of the things your kids are taught in school may not seem important to you. After all, when was the last time you used geometry?

Whether or not the exact lesson is crucial to their future happiness or career, you can coach your kids to have better learning skills. This will allow them to more easily recall the lessons that are important to them, even if they didn’t think the lessons would be critical in later life at the time.

The key for long-term learning is repetition and an interest in what’s in front of them. This takes some involvement on your part as a parent, especially when your kids are younger. Repetition is not merely the act of reading over and over. It includes testing their memory repeatedly.

Remember flash cards? That’s one way you used to test your memory, and they’re still a standard learning tool today. Give your children the opportunity to discuss what they’re reading and learning at school. By actively listening to what they tell you, you can modify the questions you ask to help them remember the details.

This doesn’t mean that I’m suggesting you grill your kids about school from the minute they walk in the door until their heads hit the pillow – that’s no fun for you or them.

The point is to engage and listen to your kids. Make their learning part of your daily conversation. It’s also good to model this behavior for them. You can talk about things you’ve read in a favorite book, magazine, or newspaper. If you saw something interesting on television, talk about it with them.

If a topic comes up that is particularly interesting to you, you can even have them quiz you on it. Ask them, “I really want to remember this story, will you help me by asking me some questions?”

This can be a good way to demonstrate that everyone has to exercise their minds in order to learn and remember new things. The key to remember is this; you will remember what you had fun learning. Make them aware that what’s fun to them will have a long lasting effect.

There are still going to be subjects that your children aren’t interested in learning. There may very well be subjects that your son or daughter still don’t do very well with in school. Helping your kids exercise their minds isn’t about the grades. This is about real, life-long learning.

By teaching your children how to learn, you give them a skill that they’ll be able to apply their entire lives, beyond school and into their adult careers.

Tell me what you think.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

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