Parenting on Purpose


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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.




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.


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.










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.