Are We Properly Preparing Our Daughters?

One of the things that I was most proud of as a mom, was how I prepared my biological daughter for what challenges life had for her.

Often our conversations were predicated on what was going on in my life like divorce, disappointment, dating, career changes, etc. 

Other people’s life experiences were fair game too because they were teachable moments that I could use to explain why life operated as it did.

So I thought I did a pretty GOOD job … until we had our latest conversation and she told me that mothers don’t really prepare their daughters for life as a mom; as a working mom or as a married working mom.

She felt we’re not honest about the job description. Somehow the picture that we paint is idealistic and not representative of what it takes to be married, work and raise children.

In actuality, you marry the man of your dreams (hopefully), you have a baby or several babies, and you work outside of the home. When you get home from work, you take care of your family. In the taking care of your family you seldom have time for yourself. And depending on your husband’s culture and upbringing, he may or may not support you in the raising of the children and helping with the household chores.

That sucks, because there is such a difference between the American dream for women and what many young women experience as wives and mothers. We tell our daughters to get a good education, find a good job, get married and have children. And live happily ever after.

It’s more realistic for us as mothers, to share realistic experiences with our daughters throughout their adolescence and teen years, so that they can decide what they want out of life. And they understand the trade-offs that are required depending on which path they take.

For women who decide to take the career path and not have children, mothers need to share what that may feel like as the daughter gets older. Having the conversation may help minimize the regret of not having become a mother.

On the other hand, for daughters who want a career and also a family; explain how exhausted they can be during the first 5 years of their child’s life because of sleep deprivation and adjustments to new family routines. They may have a supportive spouse and they may not. Give them guilt-free permission to hire a nanny or a housekeeper to help with the house and children.

I mean if we are not honest with our daughters, who will be?

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Summer’s Almost Over – Are You Where You Want to Be?

Have you ever stopped for a moment and thought about some of the things that you’ve accomplished? If your answer is no I completely understand. Usually that’s me too! I am so busy creating and accomplishing, that I don’t think about my achievements. However today is August 1 and the summer is coming to an end. I started thinking about what I’ve accomplished this summer and what it means to me.

I am super passionate about great relationships between parents and their children and have written several books about how achieve the relationship that you want with your children and your parents. This summer I’ve been writing a relationship book about fathers and daughters. While I’ve had some tears, I’ve had some laughter too as I think about my dad and my relationship with him.

You see, I grew up in the 60s, where adults could tell you what to do and you did it. That was a time where your village existed within the neighborhood you lived in, and you had more than one set of parents because every adult could tell you what to do. Parenting then was very different from what’s taking place today – the safety of the villages has all but disappeared.

But back to my father-daughter book. I didn’t think I had a lot to write about my relationship with my dad, until I began writing. His parenting style was quite a bit different from my mother’s and equally important for my growth into womanhood. Dad didn’t sugarcoat what he said, and I knew I could trust him. He was like most dads who don’t provide frills and flowery words to us, but they say what we (daughters) need to hear. 

I can’t wait until my book is ready to share with you. As a matter fact, I will be hosting a father – daughter discussion on August 6 from 7 to 9 PM here in Chicago. Here is the link if you want to attend this free discussion: daddaughtertalk.eventbrite.com. I would love for you to join me. #FathersandDaughtersRock

So… Are you where you want to be?

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 1, 2018 at 10:25 pm Leave a comment

How to Be Brave

I used to think being brave was easy. All you had to do was be fearless – not afraid of anything. 

Then I went to fifth grade and experienced a bully in my neighborhood and one at school who terrorized me regularly. So I learned what it meant to be afraid and didn’t feel so brave as I often ran home from school. That fear lasted until I was able to fearlessly stand up to both of the bullies, and my life became relatively carefree again.

Once I became a wife and mother, I realized there were other reasons to be fearful. Wondering things like would I be a good mother; would my children would be safe; what happens to them if I die. Weird right? I had to get control of my thoughts, to keep a positive tone in my life. I began meditating and reading inspirational material to stay positive.

By the way, have you noticed that schools don’t teach classes on how to be brave? I guess it’s not considered a problem for most people, but 67% of Americans live with some kind of fear. As we continue to experience random acts of violence, and less concern for each other as human beings, our world is appearing more and more fearful.

Just recently, I ran across an article on how to be brave, by one of my thought leaders, Lachlan Brown, and am sharing with you my top four:

  • Find Ways To Control Your FearSo that you are able to function in spite of it.
  • Embrace and Challenge Negativity – My fifth grade experience with bullies taught me resilience and how to stand up for myself.
  • Practice Self-Affirmations – Affirmations are positive phrases or mantras that you repeat to yourself consistently until you feel confident and able to move forward. One of the phrases I repeat regularly is “I am amazing!” It’s hard to feel afraid when you repeat (and believe) that you are AMAZING.
  • Find a Role Model – Your role model can be someone in your family, a friend or colleague that has been through some of your same experiences; is easy to talk to and willing to talk with you while you build a coping mechanism for handling your fear(s). Click here to read more.

In a nutshell, you are the one in control. Fear by itself cannot control you, even though it feels like the one in control. You are very powerful and so are the thoughts that you think. Decide now to let go of the negative thoughts and be brave.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my relationship programs for families. Click Here to join my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

July 20, 2018 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

You’re No Good To Us Dead

This week I sat in a very somber ceremony where we were celebrating the lives of women that had recently died. As I thought about their lives, I wondered how many of these women led the kind of life where they were more concerned with pleasing the people around them than taking time for themselves.

As women, we are often told that what matters is the sacrifice we make for other people – as mothers, wives or friends. I think about my mother, who give all of her time, money and energy to us (her children), family members, her  friends and community.

It sounds so wonderful to sacrifice yourself, and continuously give to other people, but when we don’t take time to nurture our dreams and create time for ourselves, we become tired, overwhelmed, disillusioned, or sick. Then we are no good to ourselves or anyone else.

When my children were young I don’t remember taking time to practice daily self-care or knowing what self-care was until two things happened:

  1. I lost a work colleague to cancer. Our lives mirrored each other’s in many ways: we were both in our 30’s, married with young children and working in corporate America. She seldom took time for herself. Lunch was an opportunity to purchase groceries or finish a project. Birthday gifts were practical household gifts. Everyone talked about how efficient and practical she was, but ultimately she didn’t get to live out her life.
  2. I went through a divorce about 10 years later. Going through divorce caused me to stop and take time to figure out what was important to me; where I wanted to be and what made me happy. It’s amazing how life crises can cause you to look at your life differently.

You don’t have to wait until a life crisis makes you make positive change in your life. Take time now to do something just for you every day. Begin a physical activity or a hobby that you love and start it today. Why wait? Find your inner Superwoman and nurture her.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my Finding Superwoman™ programs.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

 

July 11, 2018 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

How to Stay Positive

This is a strange time right now, if my mom were alive, we would say “Mercury is retrograde”. If you’re a feeling type, you may just ‘feel’ strange. For me, I watch patterns. I’m used to things flowing evenly and smoothly, so when I start to misplace items, or the people around me become weird, I pay attention to myself and them. Sometimes, my intuition takes over and I feel uncomfortable with my environment, or my social community – the world. That’s definitely happening right now. Besides clients telling me how overwhelmed they feel, I’m reading (or hearing) news reports about more killings and suicides. 

While I know we are not responsible for other people, sometimes those within your circle of influence will say things in an effort to ask for help. I’ve had it happen with my children, my students and friends. If they needed more than a listening ear, I referred them to a (school) social worker or psychologist.

What about you? How do you stay positive when your personal world is turning upside down? Taking a page from one of my thought leaders who deals with mindful-living, here are five things happy people do (to stay positive):[1]

  • They don’t tie happiness to external events
  • They exercise – exercise is shown to help with depression by raising endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, which makes you feel good.
  • They have close relationships; ideally 3-5 with people whom they can discuss important ideas or problems
  • They spend money on experiences not things
  • They don’t ignore negative emotions. Sometimes we will tell ourselves that we are imagining the problems and if we ignore them, they will go away. Not true! When you won’t allow yourself to grieve, get angry or feel disappointed, it stuffs those emotions down deep and they will surface much later, when you least expect it.

We are wonderful, complex people, living in a fast-paced, highly technical, global fishbowl. We are subject to make mistakes, lots of them and it’s not the end of the world when we do. Many of us have been taught that a project isn’t complete unless it is perfect. There is no such thing as perfect – especially to entrepreneurs, inventors and creatives. It is just as important to have fun as it is to work. Interact with people that you enjoy.

Talk to someone when you feel you can’t go on.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

[1] https://hackspirit.com/7-habits-authentically-happy-people-nothing-positive-thinking-3/

June 8, 2018 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

How Do You Manage Anger?

Dealing with anger and its repercussions can be very challenging. Being unaware of how to handle irritating and stressful situations may be a reason for many fits of anger and rage. Most people, except for young children and (possibly) teens, recognize their problem with uncontrollable anger.  Although there are many anger management activities which would enable them to better cope with confrontational situations, some people are unaware of these techniques and activities.

There are many anger management activities that parents and their children can practice or participate in when attempting to cope with daily feelings of anger.

One activity which is recommended for anger management is exercise. Exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on a person’s mood. Exercise helps an individual to decrease any negative feelings they might be experiencing. An effective anger management activity might be as simple as going for a walk or jog in the park. Visiting the gym to work out of taking part in their favorite sport may work well for an individual as an anger management activity. Taking a hike or spending a few hours in the beauty of nature would definitely allow a person to clear their head and release tension. Outdoor anger management activities can create an environment of serenity.

Anger management activities such as attending a support group, camp or retreat would help people who are experiencing difficulties controlling their anger. One positive aspect of attending anger management activities allows the person to see that their problem is not unique; that it is shared by plenty of other people. Being able to share with people in similar situations might be the key to anger management for some individuals. Sharing would likely provide hope through success stories. In anger management activities such as these, people are forced

to deal with their anger issues through various activities group sessions and one on one consults.

Anger management activities are recommended when dealing with children who are coping with anger or loss issues. A child is unlikely to respond well to group sessions and perhaps even become bored with one on one consultations. Finding activities which are interesting and even challenging may be a better alternative. Kids enjoy fun and games. Designing anger management games which are enjoyable yet beneficial would be so much more effective than forcing a child to sit down with an anger management counselor. Worksheets, coloring pages, individual games as well as interactive games would be accepted much better by children than a trip to the psychiatrist. When children are involved, it is essential to approach the problem carefully. Being overbearing will not go over well with kids. When considering anger management activities for kids, it is essential to be mindful that they are only children and the approach is important.

When considering anger management activities, choose ones which you find interesting and enjoyable. Sticking a person in an unfamiliar setting may create additional feelings of anger or isolation, neither of which is the intention of anger management activities. Finding an activity that works should be the key focus. I will be hosting a free parenting class on anger and grief on June 1, 2018 at Dyett High School through Parent University. Registration is highly recommended due to class size: dyettparentu.eventbrite.com

 

C. Lynn Williams

#MsParentguru & Founder of Finding Superwoman™

clynnwilliams.com

May 30, 2018 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment

Rusty Nails (reprinted from MyCoparenter blog)

Hello Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful, enjoyable Mother’s Day weekend! 

I read this guest blog post from my friend Colleen Rice, who is a co-parenting coach, and wanted to share it with you. I’ve included a portion of her post, however feel free to click on this link to finish reading the entire post. Let me know what you think about it.

Imagine you take your children camping to a rustic cabin in the woods and you see a stack of lumber piled off to the side of the yard. One child thinks it will be fun to use it as an obstacle but you see old rusty nails sticking out all over. You tell them to stop because you care for them, you don’t want them to get hurt and if we are being honest it would ruin everyone else’s night to have to take them to the hospital (which is over an hour away).

The same thing happens when I observe you doing something that will hurt you or your children. I will stop it to ultimately make your life easier just like the parent in the above situation.

That’s where the similarity ends:  I will stop my child but for you I can only suggest it (because you are an adult and make your own decisions.)

However, if you are having struggles with your ex-spouse and don’t know what you can do to change things I may be able to help. Click this link to continue reading Colleen’s blog.

Enjoy and have a great week!

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

www.clynnwilliams.com

 

May 17, 2018 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

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