Posts Tagged ‘family matters’
In over 1,100 posts on this blog, I have covered a lot of topics that lead to happiness. Today, I want to talk a little bit about the flipside of happiness – depression, because depression is a big issue for many families these days.
There are many depressed couples, depressed parents and more and more depressed kids. The most concerning of these are parents who suffer from depression, because they often raise kids that cannot handle life very well.
Some say depression runs in families. That is not surprising because I think if you take a perfectly normal and healthy child and raise them in a house where one or both parents are depressed, they will definitely grow up to be troubled.
Depression is something people do not like talking about. I know many families in which the depressed parent is dragging the whole family down but no one says anything. It is very much like having a parent who is alcoholic or terminally ill. Everyone walks around on eggshells but tries not to say anything. Not always because they are afraid, but often because they have given up trying to speak up.
I was born in a poor family and I think the people in my family had poor beliefs about money. I made it my goal to raise my kids with rich and wealthy beliefs about money. I think I did. You see, poor people adopt beliefs to justify the fact that they do not have money. Because of their beliefs, they do not take certain opportunities to gain money and their situation remains the same. My job as a mother is to keep my kids away from those thoughts.
Most people think that in order to have money, you need to make, earn or win it. I think that in order to have money, we have to have good thoughts and beliefs about money, about making money, about finances and wealthy people. If you have these thoughts, the money will come to you rather than you trying to chase it.
The best way to become wealthy is to examine your beliefs about money, get rid of the bad ones and adopt good beliefs. My strategy of getting rid of negative beliefs is to find just one example where it is not true. For example, if I believe money only comes when I work hard, I think of a time when I sat on my butt doing nothing and still got paid.
If you ever see my key chain, you will probably be very shocked by the enormous number of keys on it. It looks very similar to this photo. I have so many keys on there, it has become a little ridiculous. I have 3 keys for my house (two for the door, and one for the screen door), two sets of car keys (one for each car), and the garage door key. When I worked a day job, I also had a collection of work keys, which were even less easy to identify.
While I manage to find which key is used for what (most of the time), I find that kids struggle a bit with it. I came up with a few solutions to make it a bit easier. I have used all of them at some point or another and hope you will find them as helpful as I did.
In every family, some mornings are harder than others. How the morning goes often sets the tone for the rest of the day, so the way all the family members wake up can determine whether the day will be easy and relaxed or stressed and chaotic.
Imagine a rushed morning. You find yourself saying things like, “Get ready”, “Get dressed”, “Come on, put your shoes on”, “We are going to be late”. The kids are late for school, you are late for work, you spill coffee in the car, the kids forget their lunch boxes and when you think it could not possibly get any worse, you find yourself stuck in traffic. You end up thinking if only you had those 5 minutes you wasted hurrying the kids, you would have been ready on time.
It is not always easy to wake up kids. If they went to sleep later than usual, or they stayed up late in front of a screen, it can be even harder. The best way to help them wake up in the morning is to give them time. I know it sounds funny but enough time to wake up at their own pace is all it takes. Regardless of their age, waking up at their own speed is essential for a good start to the day.
Recently, our daughter Noff celebrated her 12th birthday. When the kids were little, we decided that we would celebrate their birthdays every year, with as many kids as possible. Often, we extended the celebration over a month. We think our kids are such a gift that one day of partying to celebrate their births is just not enough.
Every year, we invite kids over to our house. We prefer celebrating at home to the MacDonald’s parties. We have found that at MacDonald’s, the birthday boy or girl is usually anonymous. Everyone is mostly there for the ice-cream cake. We want our kids to feel special and make a huge effort to make their parties fun and happy. Everyone in the family helps and each year we try to do something different and age appropriate. Our parties have become such a hit that the kids are excited to come every year.
If you have siblings, you are probably going to get into conflict with them at some stage in your life. I can probably go as far as saying that if you have parents, you are probably going to end up arguing with them at some point too. Why? Because parents and siblings are pains in the backside, regardless of how much you love them.
One of my clients gave birth to her second son about 3 years after the first one was born. She says there is a constant struggle to enjoy them both at the same time. Let me explain. The eldest is magnificent, beautiful, and smart, a perfect kid. But he is so jealous of his new brother that he has become aggressive, angry, short-tempered and not fun to be around. When he spends the time with mom or dad on his own, he is completely fine, but when baby brother is around, he gets angry and upset. Mom has to make sure he does not hurt his little brother.
If you are familiar with this blog, you know that parenting is one of our key topics and that is why it is important to discuss parenting when you get to know your partner. This is the final installment of Know Your Partner, a series of posts to help you get to know your partner, and today’s post is about parenting.
You may find that you need to ask many questions that are not cover here. Also, keep in mind that people’s opinions about parenthood are often not fully formed yet. If you have never been a parent, you don’t know what you don’t know.
In this case, parenting is like a discovery zone – you pave the path while walking it. Focus instead on attitudes you think will benefit you or may become an obstacle in your relationships. If attitudes are an obstacle, do not worry. It is possible to change them. It is just good to know what they are at the start, so you can make an educated decision about whether to go into this relationship or not.
Comparing between the old and new generations bring lots of grief to children today. Last week we talked about the dangers of comparing, the risks of having an old vs. new mentality. This time, I would like to offer a more even way of comparing. A perspective where the old generation, my generation, learns to appreciate what each of us has brought to the table, rater than idealizing the old way.
Try to figure out how old the grandmother is in this story.
One day, a young boy asked his grandma about her thoughts regarding changes that happened in the world since she was born. This is what she said…
In my work with parents and teachers I hear lots of complaints about the “new generation”. Adults seem to think that “children these days are selfish, materialistic, impulsive and have no respect”. This makes me really worried. Not because kids today are like that but because the older generation, my generation, holds on to these thoughts. In life, we get what we focus on.
The rules of the self fulfilling prophecy claim that whenever you treat someone in a certain way, you will eventually make them behave like that. So, if the new generation is treated like they are disrespectful, selfish, materialist and impulsive, they will eventually be like that. In other word, you see the world through the lenses you put on. If you want to change what you see, change your lenses.
I learnt about Down Syndrome first hand during my first year of university. I was working with a child with Down Syndrome during my work experience. At first, it was scary and I felt devastated. After getting to know the kid, I learned that he was no different than any other child with intellectual difficulties. To my greatest surprise, he improved quickly and learned a lot. It made me wonder how far we could go. I had my doubts when he did not get things the first time around, but he taught me that as long as I continued to teach him, he would continue to learn.
This experience, coupled with my work on a project about creative thinking (where we tried to teach physics to grade 1 students), taught me that too often we limit kids by our expectations. If we allow them to move forward at their own pace, they will exceed our highest expectations.