How to Develop Our Children Into Critical Thinkers

This summer we have seen two top female athletes stop competing and take time off to practice self-care and work on mental health concerns. Earlier this month, professional tennis player Naomi Osaka told us it was okay not to be O.K. and walked away from the U.S. Open. She said she needed some time away to deal with issues of exhaustion and depression.

Last week, gymnastics superstar Simone Biles, withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics to focus on mental health.

Also impressive is by how singer Britney Spears is taking control of her life, her career and her fortune.

Those are not easy decisions to make.

What these young women are showing us is that they are:

⁃ Taking control of their life

⁃ Saying no when it comes to protecting their physical & mental health

⁃ Prepared to accept criticism from people who don’t understand their why

When we raise critical thinking children, we are teaching them to think, speak and act in ways that are beneficial to them and the people or organizations they believe in.

It can be challenging when they use those same critically thinking minds to disagree with us.

It happens, but simply means the process is working.

In order to build those positive, well-adjusted adults, follow these Do’s & Don’ts:

  • Do: Spend “child-centered time” with your kid every day.
  • Don’t: Stop your kid from making his/her own mistakes — and learning from them. It may be one of the hardest tasks as a parent.
  • Do: Praise personal effort instead of personal qualities, such as intelligence, otherwise you can make your kids self-conscious, which may lead to unwanted complexes like shame when they do t accomplish their tasks.
  • Don’t: Shine the light on your child’s misbehavior as it can often backfire.
  • Do: Practice gratitude with your munchkin on a daily basis. Ask questions like: who is someone you love or who is someone who helps you?
  • Don’t: Positive stories are good, but negative ones are just as — if not more — effective, because they illustrate perseverance.
  • Do: Happy kids have friends, so help your child develop his friendships. You can start by not neglecting your own friends.

C. Lynn Williams, @MsParentguru

http://clynnwilliams.com

August 1, 2021 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

Give Them Something To Believe In

Life is funny, you leave one crisis, and move into a second or third one. 

This week I’m thinking about boys… yes, our sons. And the challenges some of them face growing up.

For the last several years, we have experienced a number of young men losing their life to gun violence. Violence of being shot by rivals and violence due to police shootings. Last year (2020), not only did we experience over 600,000 people who died from COVID-19, we also watched as the number of black boys and men who were shot and killed by police, increased.

Toward the end of 2020, many cities noticed a rash of crimes where people were being carjacked and robbed or killed. Many of these crimes were committed by young men, some as young as 11 or 12. It makes you wonder what kind of direction or guidance they are receiving at home?

I had firsthand knowledge of guidance for a young boy.

My little brother…

I think back to my brother and how he responded to my mom and dad’s divorce. He was young, about 11 years old and missed having Dad at home. He was angry and felt alone.

He started getting into trouble.

A lot. Getting into trouble in those days, meant being disrespectful, destroying somebody’s property, or stealing. Our dad wasn’t coming by for regular visits, but if my mother called about my brother, Dad would come and discipline him. 

My brother was so unhappy that he began trying to take his life. (Thank God he was unsuccessful.) He also began hanging out with the “bad boys” in the neighborhood.

My mother sold our house and moved to a different neighborhood.

Who can say what kind of stress these boys are undergoing at home?

  • It could be due to financial issues.
  • Maybe the stress is verbal or physical.
  • Your son could be dealing with depression.
  • Perhaps he is reacting to deaths of people he knows due to COVID-19, domestic or gun violence. If his family has gang affiliation and the violence is orchestrated by gang leaders, imagine how stressful that could be.

How do you help your son if he is facing any of these (or other issues)? What do you do if he’s going through male teen angst? Maybe he’s exhibiting disrespectful, aggressive, violent behavior or mood swings.

What happens if you can’t change neighborhoods?

Try these five things before giving up or seeking professional help:

  • Schedule Time With Your Son – talk frequently and spend regularly scheduled time with him and keep his schedule jam-packed with school, sports, clubs, time with friends, and after-school jobs.
  • Set a Sleep Routine it’s easier being a teen if he’s getting enough sleep.
  • Get Moving – the last thing a moody teen wants to do is get up and move, but it’s one of the best ways he can feel better.
  • Listen Without Lecturingresist the urge to lecture your son. Listen with an open mind.
  • Keep Your Cool take a deep breath, keep your cool and find a way to communicate without lashing out.

Find an honorable, trustworthy male mentor that he can talk to, when he can’t talk to you. Remember to model healthy ways to handle stress. Take good care yourself.

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows parent-child relationships to grow and feel better through coaching and parent classes. Email me for more information: info@clynnwilliams.com 😘 

Thanks for reading my blog. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @MsParentguru.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

July 20, 2021 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

7 Ways to Be Less Critical…

Photo by Ebuka Onyewuchi on Pexels.com

Do you find yourself criticizing the people around you more often than complimenting them? Perhaps you’re harsh on yourself as well…

One of the ways to stop being critical of others is to learn to define your own self-worth intrinsically, which means that you learn to see the beautiful qualities of who you are – caring, compassionate, empathetic, kind, and generous.

Today we will focus on ways to be less critical of our children.

7 Ways to Be Less Critical of Your Child 👶🏽 🧒🏽 

  1. Describe the Situation Instead of Fixing Blame.
  2. Say Nothing.
  3. Express Your Feelings.
  4. Put Things in Perspective and Let Things Slide.
  5. Make the Praise Descriptive Instead of Generic.
  6. Focus on the Effort Instead of the Outcome.
  7. Focus on Encouragement instead of Judgement.

We all make mistakes. 

We often criticize ourselves more severely than our loved ones or peers, interfering with our sense of harmony in our mental and emotional capabilities, strength, and spiritual beliefs. 

Maturity occurs as we practice forgiving ourselves, our children and each other.  

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parent coaching programs that help you through 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

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

June 30, 2021 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

Six Tips for Being Better Parents

Avoid harsh discipline

Explain your role and decisions

Be involved in your child’s life

Guide your child through their mistakes and weaknesses

Live in the now 

Be a parent, not pal

Happy birthday to my amazing first-born, **Candace**, who started me on this journey of parenting and being better. The first child is lucky because s/he pulls love and emotions out of you that you never knew existed. They are also your “experiment” child. You try techniques, other people’s thoughts and that firstborn is like a stew of everyone’s ideas of how you should raise your child.

Just remember that this is your child!

Follow your gut!

Have fun!

Make wonderful memories together!

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting coaching programs that help you through 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

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

June 24, 2021 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

What Do You LOVE About Dad

What do you love most about your father?

  • His ability to make you laugh?
  • His strength?
  • His ability to make you feel safe?
  • His wise advice?
  • How he takes care of you?

Whether your dad is with you. you never knew him, or is now a memory as mine is, let’s celebrate Dads this weekend and thank God for them! Enjoy (and share) my Father’s Day prayer.

Prayer for Fathers


“Dear God, We thank you for the gift of Dads in this life. We thank you that you are the greatest Dad ever, Abba Father, and we know that you cover us in your great love.


We pray specifically for fathers and fatherhood across our land. Your Word clearly instructs fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). 


We pray for the single fathers out there; whether they are raising their children alone or even if they are doing the best they can with the time they have. We pray for strength, protection, wisdom, and discernment to help them through whatever trials they may be facing.


We pray for the dads out there who are being alienated from their children right now. We pray, that You would shield and shelter them from the pain and possibly the anger that may be rising up in them, for You to strike down the barriers that are hindering these dads from seeing their children.


Lord, we lift up the dads right now that are not stepping up to the plate as fathers, for whatever reason. we pray for their children and the moms who are parenting alone because of these men’s decisions. We pray You would step in as a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows in these situations, that their story would be another testimony that nothing is too hard for You.”


AMEN

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Interested in improving your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs and workshops 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

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

June 17, 2021 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Tell Me Something Good

Growing up, one of the worst things I could do was challenge my parents. Or more specifically, talk back. Not a good move as a kid.

In my young mind, I wasn’t talking back, just pointing out what they were doing wrong. In other words, I was responding to my parents in ways that I learned from them. I didn’t hear a lot of “good job” or “you’re a patient big sister”. The comments I received were more focused around what I could do better, or “why didn’t you think…”

You give back what you receive.

If you find yourself criticizing (your child) far more often than complimenting them, think about how you would feel, if you had a manager that treated you with negative guidance. Would it feel differently if the manager’s comments were well-intentioned?

Of course not. You would start to feel like crap.

A more effective approach is to catch your kid doing something right. Example: “You made your bed without being asked – that’s terrific!” Or “I was watching you play with your brother, and you were very patient.

These statements will do more to encourage good behavior than repeated scolding and sarcasm. Make a point of finding something to praise every day. Be generous with rewards – your love, hugs and compliments can work wonders and often are reward enough. According to family psychotherapist, Virginia Satir, we need 4 hugs a day to survive, 8 hugs a day to maintain ourselves and 12 hugs a day to grow.[1]

Soon you will find you are “growing” more into the behavior you would like to see.


Interested in improving your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs and workshops 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

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

[1] https://free-to-live.com/how-many-hugs-do-you-need-a-day/

June 9, 2021 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

Being Friends With Our Kids

I remember one of my mother’s favorite phrases when I was growing up – “I am not here to be friends with you.”

I never wanted to be friends with her, I just wanted her to stop being so mean… 

And then I had my own children…

What I found, was as my children became tweens and teens, I wanted to be friends with them. I wanted to laugh and enjoy them because they were growing into people that I loved and respected

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

What I found out that was, being friends with my kids compromised me being their boundary setter, the consequence handler, the Mom that they could count on when they needed somebody to talk with them honestly; when they need the adult-in-charge to take over!

I found it difficult to be both friend and adult parent. So I too repeated my mom’s words: “I’m not here to be your friend, but you can count on me anytime and all the time.” 

What I learned from my kids, is that when I gave them boundaries they felt safe, and I often heard them repeating the house rules to their friends. I liked that! Being the adult in charge is important because your kids don’t have to worry about who you are today. They know you are the person they can rely on when life is crashing and burning  around them. 🔥 They won’t have to worry if you allow them to drink or smoke illegal substances (because you’re their friend) one day and other days it’s not tolerated. The lines are not blurred.

The friendship between the two of you will definitely come, probably when you’re both adults and they are making their own decisions. By then, sharing an alcoholic beverage is both legal and tolerated

I help parents build the kind of communication and trust that allows relationships to grow and feel better. Call me to schedule a complimentary chat session or to book a seat in my coaching program.😘 

Thanks for reading my blog. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @MsParentguru.

C. Lynn Williams

clynnwilliams.com

May 12, 2021 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

What Mother’s Day Means to Me

As we approach Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of a question that I asked my Mom years ago as my sister and I were planning a Mother’s Day celebration for her. I wanted to know why she waited to confirm our activities (with her) until she had spoken with my grandmother – her mother. She told me as long as her mother was alive, she would celebrate Mother’s Day with her. My mom is no longer with me, and as a mom and grandmother, I now understand the “order of things“.

Here are 5 lessons that I learned from my mom:

  • Be nice to people (you never now what they’re going through)
  • Slow down and look at yourself in the mirror (you’re moving too fast)
  • Have FUN
  • When things are going awry (crazy), declare Divine Order
  • Keep a credit card or mad money handy in case you need it


Those tips helped me through the sanest and the craziest times of my life. My mom was very practical! My mother wasn’t the affectionate type who constantly told me how much she loved me. That was okay, because she showed me how much I meant to her – that mattered.

Celebrate the love you have for mother figures in your life. I realize that some of us didn’t have the love relationship with our mothers. If so, I hope you had someone that nurtured you in loving ways. If you haven’t spoken in a while, pick up the phone and say hi. Mend the fence. Let go of those painful memories and make some new ones. Think of the other women who made life complete for you – grandmothers, aunties, your best friend’s mom and everyone else who held the space that mothers hold. Enjoy your weekend. 

Life is too short to sweat the small stuff!

Happy Mother’s Day

C. Lynn Williams, @MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

May 6, 2021 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

Why Don’t Dads Talk More… Like Mom?

When I was a kid, I remember my dad playing games with me, my brother and sister. On good days, he would jump out of the closet and scare us. The other days he would tell stories. 

Besides those times, my dad was a man of few words. Even when he chastised us, it didn’t take a lot of w o r d s.

As I headed off to college, we had more conversations. I asked questions and Dad gave me answers. It was then that I realized how different he was than my mother and how much I relied on his advice and wisdom.

As an author of several relationship books for parents, it took me a while to write about father and daughter relationships. I wasn’t sure how I felt sharing my very private dad, with the world, and yet with the help of other fathers and daughters, I was able to embody thoughts that many dads and daughters later said -“you nailed it!” That book is: Daddy & Daughter Thoughts: A Dad’s Guide to Daughters, and helps those reading it develop, repair and reflect on the importance of a loving relationship between a father and his daughter. Pick up a copy to read and one to share. 😉

Since COVID-19, I have been hosting online conversations between fathers and daughters heal hurt feelings, mend broken relationships, and help women and men move forward in positive ways. Please join us on Saturday, April 17th, 10 am CDT. The Zoom link is included once you register: https://wisedad.eventbrite.com

Thanks for reading my blog, and following me on Instagram and Twitter @MsParentguru.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

April 15, 2021 at 6:33 am Leave a comment

How Are You Processing Change?

Usually for Lent, I give up something tangible like sweets 🍫 or carbs. It’s not easy, but I figure that it’s my sacrifice as I prepare for Easter.

With a year of sheltering in place, I decided I had had enough of tangible sacrifice and would look inside myself to see what needed changing. Unity Village puts out a wonderful spiritual practice for Lent guide every year, and the one they created in 2019 is what I have to read during this Lenten season.

“I fast from anger.”

“Sometimes the events of my life leave me disappointed, frustrated or irritated…” Unity School of Christianity

Today’s message seemed so appropriate with all that we have experienced over the last year: Covid-19, police brutality and social and civil unrest.

It seems like somebody opened Pandora’s box 📦 and there are a lot of unexpected “feelings” rising up in us like anger, resentment, disconnectedness and who knows what else. 🤯

Fasting from anger…

It’s not easy especially when you think about how contagious a n g e r is. Anger seems to travel like the coronavirus, undetected but deadly. Letting go of anger, disappointment, frustration, resentment, fault finding and their friends, takes commitment and practice. It could easily take 40 days to build a habit of letting go of anger.

You have a choice. Embrace peace and harmony. Make it an affirmation that you say over and over: I let go of anger and resentment. I embrace peace and harmony.

It may feel strange and fake. Keep saying it until it’s your own.

Be the drop of water 💦 that starts the change.

If you’re a father or stepdad, join me (and bring your daughter) for a Zoom discussion about relationships on Saturday, March 20th 10 am CDT. The Zoom link to join: http://bit.ly/3eViH63

C. Lynn Williams, @MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

March 19, 2021 at 10:25 pm 1 comment

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