Posts filed under ‘#MsParentguru’

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

Money Management Advice for Parents

Today’s guest blog is written by Sara Bailey.

As a parent, knowing how to manage your money is essential to creating a solid financial future for your children. It will also help alleviate some of the financial stress that can rub off on your children. Money management requires some key financial planning moves that will ensure that you not only set goals but accomplish them as well.

You Need to Have the Talk

If you and your partner haven’t had a serious talk about money before, then it’s definitely time. According to OppLoans, in order to have meaningful communication about finances, partners need to be open and honest about their financial circumstances. It’s suggested that you get comfortable with discussing general terms before jumping into the actual figures or creating a budget. You’ll want to avoid making it personal but focus on setting goals that you can accomplish together. It might be helpful if you think about some ways that you can start saving money as a family and bring that to the table as well. These money-saving activities may include preparing meals to avoid overspending at the grocery store, using coupons or cutting back on the money spent on your children’s clothes.

Craft a Finely Tuned Budget

The Balance gives a good overview of the things parents need to consider when designing a budget. To start with, you’ll need to determine the family’s income and track your monthly expenses. It’s also important that you devise a plan to manage your debt and increase your savings. You should make sure that you’re filing taxes correctly as this could decrease the tax obligations and free up money for your savings. When designing and maintaining your budget, don’t be afraid to make technology your friend. There are a variety of apps available that can help you track your spending, pay your bills and help you reach your savings goals. Once you’ve saved enough, you can start putting money away for your children’s college tuition or a down payment on a home. It is possible to purchase a home with a minimal down payment, but you will have to pay extra for mortgage insurance. 

Start Your Estate Planning

Depending on where you are in life, it may seem odd to start thinking about what should be taken care of in case of your passing. It’s important to remember, though, that things don’t always go according to our timelines. When dealing with estate planning, you’ll need to consult an attorney to develop documents that will dictate who will make medical decisions for you in case you’re incapacitated and who will be your child’s guardian if they are underage when you pass away. You should also create a will and ensure that your beneficiary information for all policies and accounts are up-to-date.

Another key aspect of estate planning is putting life insurance policies in place, which will protect your family financially if something were to happen to you. The right term length of your policy depends on your age and how many people are in your household. You can use an online calculator to determine how much coverage you need and how the cost can fit into your budget.

Maximize Your Benefits

If you work for a company that offers great benefits like childcare facilities and extended parental leave, then great! Even so, you should research other programs that you might be eligible for as a parent. Some of these government programs include Head Start and Early Start programs that are focused on the school readiness of children from birth to age five, as well as the childcare and development fund that provides assistance when parents need to find childcare services in order to go to work or attend school. You should also look into the Child Tax Credit or Child and Dependent Care Credit that would enable you to save on your taxes.

Parenthood can be a bit of a challenge on your finances. However, it’s something you can handle when you take all the steps necessary to have things under control. Start discussing finances with your spouse, then begin to take measures to cut costs and save for what matters most. Follow Sara Bailey at: thewidow.net

Photo courtesy of Pexels

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

February 21, 2020 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Hey Mom Lose The Guilt!

Eliminate Mom Guilt

It never surprises me when I ask a question to a mom and her daughter, and they have entirely different thoughts about how a particular experience or conversation turned out. Invariably the daughter may feel that the experience was worse than what her mom thought.

When that happens, mom feels like she has to defend her position. But it’s not the end of the world; just an opportunity to have a deeper understanding of what took place during that experience.

When my daughter was a teen, what I remember thinking was that I was a pretty understanding mom. According to my daughter, I was intolerant (and in her words – scary) 😞.

The good news was that I had a choice. I could modify my behavior so that we could hear and understand each other or I could decide that we just didn’t understand each other and never would. Feeling like a “bad parent” was the bad news.

As a parent, there are lots of uncharted territory, and if you feel guilty every time you do something that backfires, you’ll feel guilty A LOT! Plus your kids will use your guilt against you to get more privileges 😉.

After listening to many stories about challenges and misunderstandings that mothers and daughters face, I began conducting Mother & Daughter Teas. These events are fun, generate laughter, dress up, silly photos, yummy foods, good feelings and authentic conversations.

I conduct them in school settings, ideally on Saturdays (or Sundays after church). If you are interested in how this event can be conducted with your school’s parents reply to this email.

I have a limited number of dates between March and May, so don’t wait!

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

January 13, 2020 at 3:06 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

The Voices Heard Before Suicide

Suicide is a profound tragedy…

My daughter was a young girl when my brother committed suicide. I was devastated. He had been suffering with a chronic illness and told us he was praying to die, while we prayed for him to live.

He had talked about dying years before that because he was so unhappy. Suicide is seldom unplanned, and victims leave clues.

It is up to us to pay attention to those clues and intervene. That’s easy to say, and harder to do. There are lots of external influences that will make it challenging to notice the clues.

These days children are dealing with life issues that they don’t want to talk about. Bullying. Sexual abuse. Peer pressure. Parental expectations. Excelling in school. These issues are further exacerbated by the separatism that technology provides. Many of these issues young people face without appropriate coping skills. When an unpleasant event occurs they feel that life can’t go on and so they attempt suicide or they are successful. 🤯

I recently heard the story of a good kid who received detention at school and then was reprimanded by his s parents at home. Concerned that he had jeopardized his chances to get into a Ivy League school for college; he committed suicide. Did he leave any clues that he was fragile?

What about the girl who can no longer face school or online bullies and decides that suicide is a better alternative to living. What behaviors did her parents notice before she took her life?

How do we stop this madness?

Suicide is beyond devastating! It’s really bad when it happens to a child that you think is safe; has a good life; and looks normal.

Are there warning signs? They’re probably aren’t many if any unless you are watching intently and you are in tune with your child; even then there’s no guarantee that you will be aware of what’s going on.

Here is what I can tell you:

• Watch for changes of behavior

• Mood swings

• Quiet and withdrawn in an otherwise outgoing joyous kid

There’s no guarantee that you’ll catch the clues then, but it least if you start a conversation beyond ‘how was your day’; if you talk about how to build resilience; if you let your child know that there is nothing worth taking their life over…

Have those hard conversations now when everything is good. Let your child know that correcting their behavior is your job, but that you are always proud of them and love them.

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 30, 2019 at 3:37 pm 2 comments

What Babies Mean When They Cry

We were flying to Charleston, SC and there were lots of families on the flight with babies or young children. Two toddlers got my complete attention because of how intense and long their cries were. Both were toddler boys and the one on the airplane cried for about 30-45 minutes – probably because his ears were popping as we descended. I felt so sorry for him and his mom. 

The other little boy was strapped in a stroller (at the airport) and none of his “kin” would take him out and soothe him. He was miserable!

I ❤️ watching children and their parents interact just because… Kids make parents earn their parent wings everyday because they are so unpredictable. Yet if you are in tune with your baby or very young child, you will be able to interpret what their crying means. 

Since babies and often young children can’t communicate in words we understand, their crying means different things at different times. A baby may cry if she’s too hot or cold, if she’s lonely, if she needs a change of scenery and wants to move around, or if she just needs to “let it all out.”

I suspect if the child in the airplane had been allowed to walk up and down the aisle, he would have settled down.

Here are several reasons that babies cry:

I’m hungry

Listen for: A low-pitched, rhythmic, repetitive cry, combined with other signals such as rooting for the breast, a sucking motion with her tongue, lip-smacking, or putting her fingers into her mouth.

My grandson does this and my daughter says to him “Oh you’re hungry huh?” They understand each other perfectly.

I’m tired or uncomfortable

Listen for: A whiny, nasal, continuous cry that builds in intensity is usually baby’s signal that she’s had enough (as in, “Nap, please!” — usually accompanied by yawns, eye-rubs or ear-tugs) or is otherwise uncomfortable (“I need a clean diaper” or “I can’t get comfortable in this car seat”). 

You will notice this in malls where Mom has been shopping and forgotten that her baby is on a schedule. The baby starts with a mild cry that builds in intensity. “Hurry up and take care of me Mom!

I’ve had enough

Listen for: Get ready for a fussy, whiny cry. She may try to turn her head or body away from over stimulating sights or sounds. 

This is a good time to change sceneries. If you are in a noisy place, move to a quieter area and rock the baby until he settles down.

This also happens when your baby or toddler is beyond tired. They are fighting sleep. You will have to settle them down, so that they can fall asleep.

Rub their back, say soothing things, or play relaxing music. There is a wonderful app by Calm that plays all kinds of music to help babies through adults relax.

I’m bored

Listen for: This cry starts out as coos (as baby tries to get a good interaction going), then turns into fussing (when the attention she’s craving isn’t coming), then builds to bursts of indignant crying (“Why are you ignoring me?”), alternating with whimpers (“C’mon, what’s a baby got to do to get a cuddle around here?”).

This is easy. Pick your child up; engage them; laugh and talk to them. It makes me crazy when people say “You spoil your child when you pick them up.” I guess at some point, you can spoil your child, but pick them up, talk and play with them, so that they are emotionally secure.

The power of touch and engagement is really important to a child’s emotional growth, self esteem and sense of security.

Go have fun with your child!

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

 

July 6, 2019 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment

How to Motivate Our Kids

Did you ever take music lessons or practice a sport to become the best? It’s called deliberate practice and there are important life skills that children learn when they practice becoming better at something. One lesson that comes up for me is resilience. My daughter wanted to take dance lessons, and once she started attending the class, she decided she didn’t like it and wanted to quit. That happens often with children. They will like something because their friends like it. The challenge is getting them to stick it out until a natural ending like a concert or the season ends. Requiring them to finish at a natural ending point, teaches tolerance.

You see it a lot in some cultures where practice is relentless, but the outcomes are amazing. I think about the Olympics and Russians gymnasts. I thought they excelled because of their over-the-top work ethic. I also think about Chinese students and music. Practice makes their performances better!

This deliberate practice requires us (as parents) to perform our show and tell. It’s one thing to tell your child to go and practice their clarinet. It’s quite a different feeling when you share with them that on your job or in your business, you have goals to attain and the better that you are at setting those goals, the better you are at mastering them and achieving them or smashing them!

Parents, we have an opportunity here to build excellence no matter what your economic or social standing. When your kids are with you, get them to do more of what they like and practice it until it is amazing. You notice I’m not saying perfect because perfect means there’s no room to grow and be better and there’s always room to grow and be better. I’m also suggesting that you allow them to do something that they like, as opposed to what you like for them. It’s less of a struggle

By the way, this is not just a skill for musically and sports inclined children. For the kids who love academics; who love reading; who love writing; who love tech; help them find tune that skill and motivate them to become outliers.

An outlier is a person that stands out from all other members of a particular group or set. They stand out! That’s a positive thing. Our children are born with gifts that require motivation, nurturing and fine-tuning to stand out. As parents, this is what we can offer our children:

  • A safe home environment
  • Food to eat
  • Love
  • Encouragement
  • Structure

Sometimes the gifts that live inside of our child, are quite different from ours or anyone within our family. It doesn’t make the gift wrong or strange… just different.

So practice motivating your child and that gift of theirs, while they are on summer break. If you haven’t already seen their brilliance peek out, keep watching.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

June 26, 2019 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

Hey Parents What Are You Wearing?

When I was growing up, there were certain things that I could wear while playing outside (like shorts) that I couldn’t wear off the block. My mom and dad were really particular about how we looked and the impressions we would make on other people.

Not only was my mother specific about what we wore or didn’t wear, she and dad had a specific way they dressed as well. One of the family rules was no rollers out of the house. which simply meant that your hair was combed and you had on appropriate clothes and shoes. My father was formal (old school) and wore a shirt, usually a tie and pants. Depending on where he was going, he had on a brim. The only time he had on house slippers was in the house.

Image result for older black man with brim

There was no way my mother would’ve come out of the house with her house slippers or anything that looked like pajamas either. As she put it, she would never want to embarrass her family’s name or ours.

Fast forward to today’s times where some parents show up to their child’s school dressed really bad! So I wasn’t surprised to read the article yesterday where the Houston principal, Carlotta Brown gave her parents a dress code when coming to school. She was tired of them showing up inappropriately dressed and setting bad examples for her students.

To all of the haters who disagreed with the principal’s rules, saying that it was discrimination against those parents who had low income. I disagree! Have one dress or shirt (blouse) and pair of pants that looks respectable. And wear that – even if you wear the same outfit every time you attend a school event.

It’s really about the kids and the role that you play in your child’s life. It is completely inappropriate to wear see-through clothing around adolescents – your child’s or someone else‘s. Talk about early sex education! “Hey John, I could see through your Mom’s blouse! She’s hot!” How embarrassing is that? Also leave the hair bonnets at home too. They are just to protect the hair while you sleep.

I know you believe that as an adult you can do whatever you want. 

You can! 

Just remember that everything you do reflects back on your children and sets an example (for the rest of their lives) whether you like it or not.

Just my two cents worth.

Learn 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 be a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

May 2, 2019 at 3:03 pm 4 comments

The Blending Of Blended Families

my blended family

Falling in love with a man or woman is wonderful and exciting. But how will his children feel with you as their stepmom … or better yet how will yours feel?

Click on the link below and watch the rest of my video blog!

Want to learn more about your family’s dynamics? Order a copy of my book: Yours & Mine: A Winning Blended Family Formula

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

April 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

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