Posts filed under ‘#lessonslearned’

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

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

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

Who We Are Matters

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

When I was growing up, my mom would tell me that my actions were a direct reflection of my home training by her and my dad. While I hated hearing that, I taught the same thing to my children as well.

Who we are matters.

I have been trying to write today’s blog since the January 6 insurrection at the White House. As I watched the people storm through the barriers, break glass, pump their fists, and FaceTime their audiences; all I could think of was “What would your mom (or dad) think of you?” Also, how could I explain (to my children) why these people are allowed to deface the nation’s capitol without being dragged to jail. Most of the people who participated in the insurrection were white males and females.

The other major event that has my attention, is a rash of carjackings/robberies that have been taking place in different communities in the Chicagoland area. Many of the young people who are carjacking people, are young black teenagers. I thought how I would feel if one of those young men was my son.

In each case, I’m angry and think what kind of training did the insurrectionists and carjackers receive at home while growing up? Were they raised to respect others? Were they respected by the people they lived with?

Here’s something that I want parents to remember: how your child shows up is a reflection of how you interacted with them. Children aren’t born to fight and attack. They learn that behavior. When you grow up in an angry environment, that’s what you do when you respond to situations whether you understand what’s going on or not.

There are many young people who are raising themselves; who are not participating in online school learning, (parents may or may not be home with them) and who are trying to survive. Survival tells them that they must steal from other people in order to survive. They believe If they don’t steal, they won’t eat or they will be unsheltered.

The insurrectionists have been told that the rights and privileges that they are used to experiencing, are going away. Having to play nice with people that don’t look like them, is a scary idea!

In both cases, people are afraid. They feel that they don’t matter. And when people feel that they don’t matter, they do extraordinarily dumb things to help those around them know that they do matter.

So what does that mean to everybody else?

  • God made us a little lower than the angels, which means we are powerful.
  • We are each other’s keepers.
  • No one can achieve what they are trying to achieve by themselves.
  • Our differences and cultures are okay – we don’t have act like anybody else to succeed.

Raising your children to “be somebody” as my grandmother used to say, is still noble and honorable. Love and respect yourself and know that what you do to others and for others – Matters. ✌🏽

What are your thoughts?

By the way, I’m collecting data on a new relationship trauma program and would love your feedback. Please click here to answer the questions.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

clynnwilliams.com

January 28, 2021 at 9:21 pm Leave a comment

Why I Do What I Do

I never really understood what my mother went through with me as a strong-willed daughter until I had my own children. After the childhood I had, I never wanted kids of my own. Kids were worrisome, needy and a pain in the neck! And they were yours forever! No I didn’t want children of my own. However after 3 -4 years into my first marriage, I knew I wanted somebody that looked like me. Sound selfish? Yes I’ll admit it was probably selfish. It didn’t help that my parents and my in-laws were constantly asking – “WHEN ARE YOU HAVING KIDS?”

So my parenting journey began. From the beginning I believed that children were little adults with opinions and thoughts of their own. As idealistic as that sounds, I always wanted to give my kids an opportunity to speak openly and honestly. My parenting ideas were not well-received by my mom and her generation, because children were seen and not heard when she was a child. An out-spoken kid was considered a disrespectful one. As a mom, I was more concerned with raising leaders and critical thinkers, not followers.

While my parenting journey began in the middle ‘80s, my career as an author began a decade later. A painful divorce and family relocation left me with co-parenting responsibilities as well as the challenge of parenting with adults who had entirely different philosophies of what being a parent meant. I was an old school parent with 21st century parenting ideas. Basically, I believed in eating dinners together, kids that obeyed, and bed times with technology turned off. I also encouraged my kids to talk because I wanted to hear what they were thinking and that they had a right to be heard. It’s hard to run a company or manage a city, if you’ve never been taught to think on your own.

This time of COVID-19 quarantine is a challenging time for many reasons. Men and women are working from home and parenting from home. For some parents, that’s a new skill-set that you are building. Normally you spend 5-6 hours per day with your children. With the quarantine in place, you’re spending 24 hours per day with your children AND you’re trying to work coronavirusfrom home. How’s that working? Not so bad, if your child is school age and can work on his or her own. You can put together a family plan that gives your child time to complete school work, family time together and mom/dad work time.

If your child is under five years of age, your parenting skills are getting a great workout. Your day is structured to include lots of interactivity with your child, nap time and consistent meal times. I know work is important, because that’s how you support your family. However, if I had to choose between working or spending time with kids, I’d say make the time with your child first. Build memories that your son or daughter will talk about for the rest of their life. Have as much fun and meaningful time as possible. If your job requires daily online meetings, work around that work meetings and do something physical with your children every day.

So why do I do what I do as a parent? I do what I do, because my children are part of the next generation and I care about their success as humans.
Stay safe and healthy!

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

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

April 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

Co-Parenting Tips For The Holidays

CoParenting Tips

Great article by Kelly Frawley and Emily Pollock
Having survived divorce and coparenting, I appreciate the pointers that are listed here for parents who are divorced and share custody.

“The most wonderful time of the year” has the potential to become not so wonderful when parents who share custody of their children don’t have a mutually agreeable holiday plan in place. This isn’t the time for arguments over who’s getting which day or who’s buying what gift; a carefully thought-out plan can help you avoid tension and uncertainty so that all of you — most importantly, your kids — can enjoy a drama-free winter break.

When deciding how to schedule time and collaborate during the holidays, co-parents should take a number of factors into account: the children’s ages, family traditions and religious beliefs, how well the parents get along, and the kind of relationships the parents have with each of the children (it’s important to respect the traditions that are important to each of them). You might also want to factor in what happens during other school breaks during the year. For example, if one parent traditionally takes the kids on a vacation during spring break, then perhaps the other should get the bulk of winter break.

Looking at the big picture can help you see the logical plan for your family.

Setting a Sensible Schedule

Co-parents typically choose to manage the holiday season one of two ways:

1. Alternating years. One parent keeps the children for the entire winter break in odd-numbered years; the other parent gets them for the entire break in even-numbered years. This approach enables each parent, in their designated years, to plan a lengthy trip or schedule activities throughout the break period without needing to worry about giving the other parent equal time. It tends to work best when neither parent has a strong affinity for the season. Perhaps their religious traditions are celebrated at other times of year; a family may have already celebrated Hanukkah, for example, which often falls before winter break.

The downside of this type of arrangement is that one parent is deprived of holiday time with the children during the parent’s “off” years. This causes many co-parents, especially those who place a high value on holiday traditions, to take a different approach.

2. Equal time. Often, co-parents divide winter break in half, which typically gives each of them a week to celebrate the holidays or take a trip with their kids. They may alternate years when considering who takes the first week versus the second, since Christmas usually falls in the first. Parents may also choose to split the time by day, particularly when it comes to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. By each taking one of these important days, both parents, as well as the children, get meaningful Christmas time together each year.

In situations where co-parents get along, a third possibility arises: giving the children time with both parents together. For example, children who believe in Santa and cherish Christmas mornings might appreciate having both parents present in those festivities. In fact, children of any age might appreciate a visit by their other parent, as long as the experience remains amicable.

Buying Gifts: Together or Separately?

If your winter break includes a gift-giving occasion, it makes good sense to collaborate with your ex-spouse so you don’t duplicate gifts for your children or inadvertently neglect to buy the gifts they wanted most because you assumed the other parent was buying them. In a Santa situation, discuss who is responsible for that experience. Will it change year to year based on who has the kids on Christmas, or will you work together?

The more collaborative you can be, the better. However, if you absolutely cannot work with your ex-spouse, then it’s important to work through counsel to determine who will be responsible for what so you don’t put your children through undue awkwardness or stress.

You may also want to consider taking your children shopping so they can buy a holiday gift for the other parent. It teaches children not only about giving, but shows that you encourage kindness towards your ex-spouse.

Making the Plan Official (more…)

December 18, 2019 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Have a Son – Be Prepared to Be Swept Off Your Feet

My grandson is 7 months old and his personality is coming out more and more. I’m always happy to hear about his latest discovery and activity. While my daughter and son-in-law believe in Baby A sleeping in his own bed, lately he has been sleeping in theirs.

My daughter says she woke up one morning and Baby A had his arm around her neck, like a boyfriend and she was amused. Her hubby wasn’t…

Here’s what I know:

Moms are the first “girl” that their son knows…

He quickly learns that she takes care of him a lot, especially if she is breastfeeding him.

She plays with him and he loves it, so he gives her attention and unconditional love.

Unconditional love is intoxicating like a delicious bottle of wine…

You can’t get enough of it.

As baby boys get older, they bring their “favorite girl” (Mom) flowers (dandelions), gifts (worms or rocks) and anything else that will make her smile. Mom of course loves the gifts and the attention, and now the sweeping off your feet is taking place.

There is nothing like a son. Depending on his home environment, he will always be concerned about “Mom”. It’s a wonderful relationship to have as long as we remember that our sons will grow up, fall in love and leave home.

Let him and welcome the person that he chooses.

He will always be your son and you will always be his mother.

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

October 10, 2019 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

Lessons Learned Don’t Have to Be Seen As Mistakes

Last week, I was giving myself a good talking to because I kept finding mistakes with a project I was working on. Once I realized the negative self-talk that was happening in my head, I stopped and talked to myself. Now before you think I’m crazy, think for minute about how you self-correct.

You do self-correct, right?

So, let’s get back to the mistakes… No one likes to make them; however, they are part of what makes us human, and often we learn more from mistakes than we do from anything else.

I reminded myself that I was learning something new (about the topic and myself) and what was important was the lessons that I was learning. There was nothing wrong with making mistakes. What the Universe was also showing me, was that I consider myself a lifelong learner. How can you be a true learner, without making mistakes.

Here’s what I was saying to myself: I was so ready to beat myself up and throw in the towel! What was wrong with me? Why was I making so many mistakes?

I thought about these negative messages and wondered if my peers (that are women) talk the same way to themselves? And, do my peers that are men talk to themselves the way we women do when they make mistakes?

I also had to tell myself that I learned more that day from that series of mistakes than I learned when I do things in what I consider an organized way.

The other question that I thought about on that day, is how many of us, self-correct the negative thoughts we have before we talk to our children and/or the people that work for us?

Lessons learned don’t have to be seen as mistakes…

They are just lessons learned

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

September 26, 2019 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

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