The Law of Attraction

If you’ve watched the movie The Secret you’re familiar with the Law of Attraction. If you haven’t seen the movie and have never heard of the LOA, let me give you a brief explanation of what it is.

What we think about and put our energy and focus on, is what we attract into our lives. That includes all the good things plus the bad things. For example if we put a lot of focus on all the things that are going wrong in our lives, we get more of the same. If we focus on the things that are going well, we get more of the same. What is so wonderful about The Law of Attraction is that once we understand how it works we can begin to change our thoughts and attract more of what we want. There are scores of books written on the subject and many people teaching it so if you want to learn more there is no shortage of information.

I’ve been informally studying the LOA for about four years and have decided to take some formal training through the Law of Attraction Training Center to learn how I can better apply it to my own life and teach it to parents. Bringing more good into our lives can only make families stronger, happier and more harmonious. Teaching our kids how they can manifest anything they desire, gives me goose bumps. Do you know that if you start saying out loud how much you LOVE having whatever it is you want, you change your vibration and eventually your subconscious minds believes that you already have it, and it will appear?

You can download the movie for only $4.95 and see for yourself how the Law of Attraction works and learn some of the amazing results people have had by simply changing their thoughts. It’s fascinating.

Teach or Punish

I receive a daily quote from Bob Proctor. This is today’s quote. I love it.

As Greg paces the floor, waiting for his 17-year-old daughter Sandy to return from a school event, he feels two conflicting emotions: fear and anger. Fear that something terrible has happened to her. Anger because he thinks his fear is probably unfounded and Sandy is not hurt, simply irresponsible.

Finally, Sandy calls. She’s all right. She just lost track of time. Greg’s fear disappears, but his anger grows.

The love that motivated his worry is overwhelmed by a growing sense of outrage, and he begins to rehearse what he will say, what punishment he will inflict. Unless he intercepts his anger, it can easily turn to rage, an emotion likely to produce foolishly impulsive conduct that’s likely to alienate Sandy and widen the rift between them.

Here’s the character challenge: Can Greg stop the runaway train of anger long enough to think about his objectives? His immediate goal is to vent his fury and frustration and teach Sandy a lesson. His long-term goal is to strengthen – not weaken – his relationship with his daughter and help her become more responsible and respectful.

If Greg stops and thinks about his broader goal, he will want to turn this event into a positive teaching moment. To do that, he will have to choose his words and tone carefully.

Good managers don’t yell at or demean employees because it would be ineffective and unethical. Parents have no less duty to be tactful and respectful when dealing with their children.

Remember that character counts!

Michael Josephson
www.charactercounts.org

Self-Esteem; Developing a Strong Belief In Yourself

By Wendy Betterini

Inevitably in life, we will face disapproval or rejection from others. It might be a family member, friend, employer, or even a stranger. They might disagree with the way we live our lives, the decisions we make for ourselves, or even who we are. They might belittle our dreams, criticize our goals, or make hurtful comments that reveal a low opinion of us. These experiences can be quite painful, because we all want to be liked and accepted. We all want to be supported and nurtured and loved by those around us.

Being rejected or ridiculed by others (especially if it’s a frequent occurrence) can cause us to question our own self-worth and value as a person. We begin to wonder if maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re not lovable enough, or talented enough, or “good” enough to be accepted. Following this line of thought for any length of time can be incredibly damaging to our self-confidence.

While it’s normal to have a few moments of uncertainty when we are rejected, the worst thing we can do is internalize the negativity we recieve from others. Just because someone has a low opinion of us does not mean we have to accept it as our truth. They can only come to their conclusions by looking at us from the outside. They don’t feel our feelings, think our thoughts, or experience the things we have in our lives. They are seeing us from a completely different perspective than our own.

To complicate matters even further, their own life experiences, thoughts, and feelings can easily be projected onto us, so they may see something that doesn’t truly exist, except in their own mind.

So, how do we overcome this? How do we avoid letting other people’s negativity erode our belief in ourselves? There are three major points to keep in mind:

1) Reinforcement = Strength. Think of positive thoughts as the antidote to any negativity that comes your way. Feed your mind empowering, positive thoughts daily, preferably several times a day – and most especially after you encounter negativity from another. The stronger you can build up your belief in yourself, the less you will care about others who insult you, ridicule you, or reject you. You won’t be looking to others for your sense of validation or approval, because you will already have your OWN approval.

2) Conserve Your Energy. While it might be tempting to try to explain, defend, or prove yourself to someone who rejects you, this is usually a waste of your time and energy. Once someone forms an opinion of you, they are unlikely to change it. The more you try to change their minds, the more stubbornly they will dig their heels in and resist. So, simply release your need to prove yourself and accept that they are entitled to their opinions. Their comments and opinions cannot detract from your belief in yourself, unless you allow them to.

3) Limit Your Exposure. Once a person reveals their negative opinion or directs hurtful comments your way, you might want to avoid spending excessive time with them in the future. This becomes more difficult if it is a family member that you can’t just shut out of your life completely. But you can still set boundaries and limit the amount of time you are faced with negativity.

Finally, remember that no one else can define you, or live your life for you, or take away the beauty and uniqueness that is you. They may try, but they won’t be successful unless you allow it.
If you instead choose to turn away from the negativity and focus on building a solid foundation of belief in yourself, the negative comments will cease to matter to you. You will go on to create a fulfilling, successful life that reflects exactly who you are, regardless of what others say or do.

About The Author: Wendy Betterini is a freelance writer who strives to motivate, uplift, and inspire you to make your dreams a reality. Visit her website, http://www.WingsForTheHeart.com for more positive thoughts to help you on your journey.

You are not Just a Mother; you are YOU First

By: Tonya Ramsey

Mothers face many challenges in today’s world. They carry the responsibility of many roles. Through these roles we become different things to different people. Sometimes we get divided over having a career and having a families or find conflict between the different jobs that we try to do. Making the question “Who am I?” even harder to answer.

It grows harder because mothers see this little person that looks up at them with innocent trusting eyes, mommy is everything to that little one. She makes the hurt from boo-boos go away with a kiss, chases the monsters from under the bed away, and rocks them after a bad dream. Every mother takes that responsibility and carries it with her no matter where she goes. It is an awesome responsibility of caring for this wonderful little person and being mom is always on the mind. As much as it is wonderful to revel in mommyhood, we still need to remember that being a mother is just one part of us, the more we allow ourselves to see who we are the better examples we can set for our children to leading a balanced life.

As a mother, I have struggled to find my own identity. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a business owner, a sister, a friend…..but who am I? It is easy to define yourself by what you do and what you mean to other people. As we take on these different roles our own identity gets blurred. It is harder to make the distinction. Who am I if I am not Logan’s mom or Ben’s wife?
Who are you? A wife, a mother, an employee, they are all a part of who we are, but they do not define you. We are the only ones that are able to define who we are. When are we just women? Women that have our own values, ideas, and philosophies, women that are able to embrace their different roles in life, but still are able to maintain there sense of “self”.

The importance of women defining who they are is giving them a chance to grow as women. To recognize that they need to take off all the different hats that they wear during the day and take time to honor who they are.

The problem is that because they are in so many different roles that they stop seeing themselves separate from them. They stop taking time for themselves, because they are giving so much to everyone else. Does this sound familiar? Have you lost your identity among the different jobs that you do everyday? How do you see yourself?

Here are a few questions that can help you determine if you are defining yourself by what you do instead of who you are:

Do you spend at least an hour a day doing the things that you want to do? (Reading, participating in hobbies, watching your favorite TV program, etc)

When asked to describe yourself do you start with “I enjoy…” or “I am a woman that believe/feel….”? Or do you say, “I am a mother…” or “I am a nurse…”

Are you able to say “no” to things that interfere with the things that you want to do? Or that you do not have time for?

Do you feel that your life is in balance? Which means that you get enough time to pursue your own interest instead of just the interest of your children or significant other?

Do you feel that you spend time equally on yourself as you do on others?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions it is time to get back in touch with yourself. You need to not only stop defining yourself by what you do but you need to spend sometime getting to know who you are.

Here are some tips for you to get in touch with the forgotten woman inside.

Make sure that you spend time perusing your own interests. The problem with defining yourself by what you do is that you don’t give yourself time to do what you want to do; your time is spent doing for others. Do something that you have always wanted to do; take a class, start a book club, anything that gives you some time to just do your own thing. Above all make the time to do it! It’s ok to do something for yourself.

Say “NO” frequently! Just because you take on different roles does not mean that you have to do everything for everybody. Recognize when there is something that others could really do for themselves. Do not let yourself be taken advantage of! REMEMBER it is just as much of a benefit for others to learn how to do for themselves as it is to you.

Make sure that you have OFF DUTY time! Just like a conventional job, make sure there is a time of day when you are done. Don’t work right up until you go to bed. Give yourself time to unwind, distress, and relax. Wait until the kids are in bed and take a long hot bubble bath. Curl up in your favorite chair with a good book. Meditate or do yoga. Do whatever relaxes you. You need this time to maintain some balance. Because of you multiple roles you are “on the clock” the majority of the time. You have to have time to distress! Without it you are going to “burn out”. Visualize your bank account if you keep making withdraws without making a deposit, eventually you are going to just run out of resources. Make sure to take time to revitalize yourself.

I have found that by maintaining my own identity that I am a better mother, wife, daughter, business owner, sister, and friend. It maintains balance in my life because I know that even though I am different things to different people; I know what it means to just be me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tonya Ramsey is a life coach and owner of Life By Design. She specializing in assisting working mothers find life balance to maintain a healthy and peaceful life. For more information on Tonya’s services or to receive a free life coaching session to help you design the life that you want, visit lifebydesign.bravehost.com or send an e-mail to TRamsey75@hotmail.com. Why juggle your life when you can balance it.

Self Confidence-The Deciding Factor

By:  Esther  Andrews

Ruth was one of my best friends in elementary school.  She was not the most talented student, nor the most intelligent. She was not the best student in class. But she had great confidence. She had this special attitude of “I can do it”. Later, after graduation, she went on to work for a corporation. I followed her career, when she went up the corporate ladder, and finally landed a very prominent, central position at her company. I saw her take on projects that took major skills, I thought she didn’t have. She just attacked each project using this “can do” attitude, and she always found the right resources to either acquire the skills she needed, or found the right people to take on the assignments she could not perform
herself. I was amazed at her achievements.

From observing Ruth and many other people around me in my career, I learned a very important lesson: one’s confidence determines one’s career. A person can be a genius. He can be most qualified for a job. If he doesn’t believe that he can do it, he might not even take on the assignment in the first
place. If he does take it on, most likely he will not be as successful as he could.

Just a few weeks ago, I had a conversation with Tammy, another friend of mine. She is a very talented psychologist, very respected at her work place and by her superiors. She told me about a position that has become available at her office. I thought that it would be a fabulous opportunity for Tammy, but she said that she is not going to apply for this position, because she doesn’t have enough experience, she does not have the skills needed, and it will take at least another 5 years for her to be able to fulfill this position.

Whether Tammy was right or not in her assessment, I think that this incident proves my point: confidence is a deciding factor for how successful one will be.

So how do we make sure our child develops strong confidence in his ability? In my opinion, this is one of the major issues in parenting. All educators need to ponder this and make sure they support confidence.

Here are a few suggestions that can make a huge difference in your child’s confidence:

1. “You can do it”. Say it to your child often. Teach your child to say to himself, when he attempts to conquer a challenging assignment: “I can do it”.

It is very noticeable that when working on a Math problem, again, confidence is the deciding factor. A student who doubts his own ability to solve the problem, may not apply himself in trying to solve the problem. He will easily say “I can’t do it” or “it’s impossible to solve this”. A student with strong confidence will try until he finds the solution.

Help your child, by reminding him that he can do it. Teach him to say to himself, “I can do it!”.

2. Don’t criticize your child when he attempts an activity. Don’t correct him. It is so tempting to correct a child, when you see him doing something “wrong”. You watch your child coloring, or trying to write, at an early age. He is holding the pen in an awkward position, and your mind is screaming “You hold the pen like this, not like that!”. Exercise discipline – don’t do it!

Should you let your child hold the pen incorrectly? No, of course not! But let him do his research, his experimentation. Let him try different ways to hold the pen, and find out by himself what is most efficient. If you want, you can take your own pen, and your own paper, and do some writing right next to him. He will watch you, and see how you hold the pen. I am sure that he will try your method, and come to his own conclusion.

My neighbor Chris visited me with his 4 year old son, Nick. In order to keep Nick happy and busy, we gave him some crayons, pencils and paper, so that we could have our own conversation. As Nick was trying to write his name, holding the pencil in a slightly awkward position, writing some letters that had no resemblance to the letters in his name, his father jumped up, yanked the pencil out of his hand, wrote the name down in front of him, and said, “What happened to you! This is wrong, this is how you write your name!” Nick is a very serious child, who attempts everything to the best of his ability. As I looked at him, I noticed the expression on his face. It was very troubled. He laid the pencil down, and refused to try any more. What is the message Chris has given to his son? I think that the thought that went through Nick’s head was, “I am not good at this”. Ok, I give you 3 guesses: how good is Nick’s handwriting now, at age 8? – You guessed it! It is not good.

3. Praise, praise, praise. Take the opportunity to celebrate every achievement, big or small. Praise your child for a good effort to complete an assignment. Praise your child for learning a new skill. Praise your child when he shows interest. Praise your child when he shows drive. Praise your child for anything that you would like to encourage.

Praise has to be sincere, of course. Praise has to be accompanied by enthusiasm. It has to feel good.

Before my son, Eric, was 2 years old, we started taking piano lessons together. I have always wanted to learn to play the piano, but my parents did not make it available to me. So now I saw an opportunity. Our scheduled lessons started with Eric, and when Eric was done I got my lesson. The piano teacher used to praise me lavishly. She told me how talented I am. She told me that adults, when learning to play the piano, usually are much slower than I am, that I am learning so fast, that I have a natural ability. Well – I loved going to these lessons. I enjoyed the lessons. I was very enthusiastic about learning to play the piano. Obviously, if the praise worked so well for me, an adult, wouldn’t it work wonders for a child?

4. At the end of the day, when you tuck your child to bed, discuss the day’s events with your child. Ask the important question: Tell me about the good things that happened today. Make sure the last thoughts of your child, before he goes to sleep, are the good, positive experiences of the day. Make sure you praise him for something he did today, some achievement. End the day on a positive note. This will also insure that you haven’t forgotten to praise your child where praise is due.

5. Write down a few positive affirmations for your child. Good examples for affirmations are: “You are so smart, and getting smarter every day”. Or “You are learning more and more every day”. Affirmations have to be written in the present tense, in positive format (“I am strong and healthy”, instead of “I am not sick”). Think of your child’s challenges at the time, or if your child had a bad experience, write an affirmation that will negate the negative experience. (Remember – you write it in a positive format).

Repeat the affirmations to your child, 3 times each. 2 to 3 affirmations at a time are plenty. If your child cooperates, teach him to say the affirmations to himself. You can do this during the day, and at bed time. Early morning at the time your child wakes up is also a good time for affirmations. It is a good idea to read the affirmations into a recording device, and let your child listen to them at his convenience, or while you are driving, waiting in line, or just resting.

6. Your child learns about the world and about himself from you, and from the community that he is in. Teachers, classmates and friends can also easily affect your child’s confidence. It is a good idea to make sure, to the best of your ability, that your child is in a positive environment.

If your child is very young, make sure all others who take care of him are also aware and considerate of your child’s confidence. When you choose a day care facility for your child, or a baby sitter, make sure you choose a positive environment. If your child is older and goes to school, it is a good idea to meet your child’s teacher early in the school year, and make sure they are positive, gentle and respectful. You can specifically bring up the issue of confidence and ask them to support your child’s confidence. It is always good to choose a teacher for your child who is cooperative, a teacher who will work with you for the benefit of your child.

7. Make sure your child knows he can discuss with you any issue that is on his mind. This way, if something negative happens, you will be able to help your child cope with it in a positive way, instead of creating a painful memory that may affect your child for the rest of his life.

About The Author: http://www.all-gifted-children.com In the last 27 years, Esther Andrews has specialized in gifted education. In her “The Manual You Child Should Have Come With – How to Develop Your Child’s Genius” she is revealing how she grew 2 profoundly gifted children, and how you can do it too. Check it out at http://www.all-gifted-children.com/package.htm.

A time of gratitude

If you live in the United States you’ll be sitting down for a Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. What are you most thankful for at this time? Whenever I ask that question to parents the first thing that comes up is: “I’m grateful for my children.” We can’t imagine life without them yet we often focus on things that don’t really matter and we take their abilities for granted. We see them running when we want them to be walking. There are people who would give anything to see their kids running. We hear them talking non-stop and would like them to stop talking for awhile. There are parents who would give anything to hear their children talk. We complain because our teenagers want to be with their friends all the time. There are parents who would give anything for their teenagers to have friends. Let’s all take a moment and give thanks for our children’s abilities.

I am especially grateful for clean water. Here in Vancouver the heavy rains have affected our reservoirs and the turbidity levels are so high our tap water is undrinkable. We have to boil our water or buy bottled water. Clean water that we can access anytime we want is something I’ve always taken for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone living in the US!

Is your three year old asking the same question over and over?

I had a mom write me recently asking for some advice around her almost three year old who repeats the same question over and over. She said despite re-phrasing her question, she was still asking and it was driving her crazy. She said she even had to resort to putting head phones on to drown out her daughter. My first suggestion was to do exactly what she was doing and that is to re-phrase the question. This is typical behavior from a three year old. It’s almost like the response we’re giving them doesn’t make sense.

I suggested to her that after repeating her answer and re-phrasing the question to just  distract her. Try telling her a story or asking her question about something completely unrelated. Show her something out the window or start reading a book. Try anything to get her mind away from the question. You know you’ve answered her question and tried different ways of answering.

This question was asked on the mom’s forum, Connected Moms where I am the resident parenting coach so everyone gets to see both the question and the answer and it is open for others to respond. One mom responded saying what she does after her son keeps asking the same question and she has given him the same answer, is ask the question back to him. She used the example of him asking where they were going while they’re in the car. If she says “the grocery store” and he keeps asking, she then turns to him and asks: “Where are we going?” She says he will nearly always give the correct answer and that’s the end of it. What a smart way of handling it, I thought.

My Baby Won’t Sleep!

Part of my week is spent teaching American Sign Language to babies. Part of being with moms (and sometimes dads) of infants is that the conversation at some point centers around how much their babies are sleeping or not sleeping.

I have a mom in my Friday morning group who week after week reports that her 8 month old daughter will not sleep more than 2 hours at a stretch, and that includes during the night. Mom is nursing and they are co-sleeping. She is beside herself with exhaustion and frustration. Even though we’re there to learn Sign Language I’m happy to spend some time allowing her to vent. All the other moms understand and we’re all there to support her. Many have done sleep programs that have worked so they share their experiences with her.

On top of the frustration this mom feels around the lack of sleep both she and her daughter are getting, she and her husband are at odds around how this challenge should be handled. He is against letting the baby “cry it out” and wants mom to give in to her demands to make her happy.

Another factor about this situation is that mom is a lawyer and waited until later in life to have a baby. She is going through a major transition leaving behind a well paying job and the mental stimulation her job provided, to being at home full-time with an infant. Going back to work is not an option but the life change she’s experiencing is complicating things for her.

I offered this mom the perspective that both she and her baby daughter being sleep deprived is not in anyone’s best interest. It of course is affecting her primary relationship as well as her mental health. Is this good for her baby daughter? I have not done extensive studies on the effects of crying it out nor do I consider myself to be a sleep expert. It just makes sense to me that the long term affects of sleep deprivation are harder on both mom and baby than the long term affects of any trauma a baby might experience when left to cry it out when they’re beyond 6 months old.

End the day on a happy note

When I was nineteen my boyfriend at the time was one of six kids. He always spoke lovingly of his mother and often told me things she used to do and say. I’ve always held a soft spot in my heart for her.

One of the things he told me was that every night she would sit at the end of each of the kid’s beds and ask: “Did anything bad happen today? Did anything good happen today?” It struck me at the time as a lovely way to end the day with a child so I did the same with my kids when they were growing up. It meant that no matter how hectic the day was, we always ended on a happy note. They loved the time we spent together. It was never more than about ten minutes.

Something else you can ask your child at the end of the day is: “What was the best thing about today?”

Every child wants to be noticed so when we can end the day making them feel they are the most important person to you at that moment, they feel loved and noticed.