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

Take Your Sister with You

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and she told me that her young daughters are constantly bickering and crying with each other and I thought about growing up with my sister. 

It seems like every time I left the house, my mother would say, “Take your sister with you”. I thought, “Why? She’s a crybaby!” It wasn’t until I went to college, that I discovered what a wonderful relationship I had with my sister and still do. I started thinking about sibling rivalry and what causes it, especially with girls.

Girls are allowed to be more emotional. I say allowed because behavior is learned, and if you get the attention of your parents by crying when things occur, then you’ll cry to get what you want. Make no mistake, boys do it too. It’s a great parenting idea to practice managing the emotions and the rivalry when they first occur because the longer you let it go on the harder it is to stop the behavior. Kids are brilliant! They watch us carefully and they know what we will respond to and what we won’t.

Try these three tips to help your children manage sibling rivalry:

1. When the whining and crying starts, have the girls sit down and talk with you about what’s going on.

2. Have them figure it out together without your involvement. Get them used to working through their issues with each other.

3. Put them in charge of each other. Usually the oldest is responsible for the younger sister.

On those occasions when the bickering doesn’t end, have your daughters take care of each other’s things by cleaning up each other spaces and doing each other’s chores. Create opportunities for them to spend even more time together as opposed to separating them when they can’t get along.

This is not an overnight parenting tip, and will probably take you several weeks before it begins to work.

Hopefully what you’ll see is that your daughters will start to rely on each other in a way you would never have imagined and the bickering will be a thing of the past.

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 & Motivational Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

May 9, 2018 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

Misconception of Grandparents As Parents

I try not to be surprised at anything I hear when it comes to parenting, but I was surprised during my last parenting class. 

One of the attendees spoke about her challenge as a grandmother raising her grandchild. Even though both granddaughter and son live with her, she spends more time with her granddaughter than her son does. But that wasn’t her issue. After having done parent activities like pick up report card, check homework and feed her “granddaughter”, her son’s comment the next morning was – “Why did you let her watch TV with those grades?” Really Son?

I remember hearing a similar comment from a grandfather who had taken care of his grandson the entire weekend, and the only comment his daughter had was why was her son so dirty? When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother. I loved her completely! Not only did I spend time at her house, but she often lived with us and took care of my siblings and I while my mom and dad worked. But she quit often. Usually on a Friday evening. I wonder was the responsibility and expectation too much?

Hey Parents – where is the gratitude? As much as your parents love your children, they are doing you a huge favor when they take care of them for an extended period, bring them into their homes, take over custody, or attend parent-teacher conferences on your behalf. They are grandparents for a reason. This is their time to enjoy your children, spoil them and then give them back to you. There is a misconception that your parents are going to provide the structure and discipline (to your kids) that they provided to you (when you were growing up). That may happen, but it’s not the norm. 

 

 

 

Here are five pleasurable differences between grandparenting and parenting:[1]

  • Grands are their hero (your child’s)
  • Grands have all the time in the world
  • Grands are the ultimate ‘good cop’
  • Grands do not have the same responsibility

So readjust your expectations of your parents and allow them to enjoy being the doting grandparents. It’s okay if you have some non-negotiables; but please don’t let there be a laundry list of things you expect your parents to do when spending time with your kids.

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

[1] https://www.bowerretirement.co.uk/family/difference-parenting-grandparenting

April 25, 2018 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

How Do You Protect Your Gang Connected Kid?

I would talk to her, take her phone and try to keep her away from it, but it was hard,” said Brown, who believed her daughter was trying to protect herself from people who had targeted her. “You got to put up a tough front. I knew she was scared. She was scared all the time.” 

My heart goes out to this mom as she explains what she did to protect her daughter from gang members, yet in the end, her daughter was still targeted and killed.

I’m reading this article in the Chicago Tribune and thinking about the influence that social media plays in the lives of our kids. Cell phones were important when my children were tweens and teens, but I would confiscate my older child’s phone at night or let her minutes run out. If the minutes ran out before the month was over, her phone didn’t work. Unfortunately there are many cell phone packages and providers, so paying for minutes is no longer an issue.

Kids now take to their social media pages to rant and emote (about pretty much everything). There is no difference between kids who are in or connected to gang members and social media and those who aren’t except for the retaliative violence that they tell their followers they are planning. If I lose a friend or family member to gun violence, I go on Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat and talk about what I plan to do. It’s a form of empowerment that gives our children a feeling of control and power.

The question is, as a parent, how do you manage this type of child? How do you keep them safe and help them feel empowered to make a positive difference? Maybe you send them to live with your family members in other cities where they can go to school and grow into adults.

That could work if you have family members living somewhere else and your displaced kids stay off of social media. These are two big questions and I don’t have the answers. Let’s start a online dialogue and figure out how to save our children.

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

April 12, 2018 at 9:46 am 4 comments

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