Posts Tagged ‘family matters’
The end of the year is fast approaching. It has been another full year and it looks like it is going to end with some great changes for us. My family and I are going on a fantastic holiday just before Eden, my eldest, moves in with her fiancé and begins preparations for their wedding in 2015.
As at the end of every year, I am writing a summary of our adventures for the year. Here is my summary for 2014.
2014 has been a very full and active year for the Be Happy in LIFE family. Our children have enjoyed a great year and we had lots of opportunities for “pride therapy”.
Your extended family can be a great help once a new baby arrives. I didn’t understand just how much until Eden was born. I was in my last year of university and working full time. My parents lived over 3 hours drive from us.
I never had a close bond with my mom. When others talked about having their moms around when you had a baby, I didn’t really know what to think about it. When Eden was born, I was in hospital for 10 days. I got a terrible infection and my mom came to stay with us after we were discharged from hospital because I had to go back every day to change my bandages.
We got home and I didn’t really know what would happen. But my mom incredible. She had already had 5 kids of her own and she knew exactly what to do. She said to me, “You focus on eating, sleeping and breastfeeding” and that is exactly what I did. Meanwhile, she cooked, cleaned and played with Eden, massaged her and sang songs. I never knew my mom could be like that. She was awesome.
Expressing feelings in a relationship is very important. Feelings are at the heart of every marriage. We get married because we love and have strong and positive feelings towards someone, and we choose to spend our lives and have children with him or her.
As long as we express those happy and wonderful feelings towards our partners, the more happy our relationship with them will be. Problems start when we express those not-so-happy feelings and this can easily get out of control.
Many of my relationship-coaching clients confuse between thoughts and feelings. They learned that expressing feelings was important so they added the phrase “I feel” into their communication. Unfortunately, instead of expressing feelings, they disguised thoughts as feelings.
Imagine your communication with your partner as a ball game. You can throw the ball in a way that your partner will catch or you can throw the ball in a way that will probably hurt them. One of these is called communication and is a constructive way to create a happy marriage. The other is called “the blame game” or painful communication and it contributes to struggles in a marriage. No one wants to play a ball game if they need to protect themselves from getting hurt.
In the last chapter of save your marriage, I explained how a “king/queen” mentality can impact even the most wonderful of relationships. Over time, kings only strengthen their position of feeling superior, which can drive any “servant” out of the relationship.
In this chapter, I will talk about the king’s cousin, the nitpicker.
In a similar way to the king who adopts his mentality from his upbringing, the nitpicker adopts his habits from his parents. Growing up with a parent who is a nitpicker starts a pattern that children carry on into adulthood. Depending on their emotional state, kids will choose to either adopt or totally reject this mentality. They will either be like their parents or avoid their company and adopt a completely new way to communicate. This is not a conscious decision. Most people are not even aware that they do it. That is why external help is necessary if you want to change from a nitpicking communicating style.
After coaching so many parents, and raising my own kids, I have accumulated many essential parenting tips that I want to share with you. I hope you find them useful.
Take care of your happiness first. Just like they tell you on a plane, you should put the oxygen mask on your own face before helping your kids. If you want to raise happy kids, you must take care of your own happiness first. If you do not have oxygen, you are no good to your kids. Happy Parents Raise Happy Kids.
Be positive. It is very easy to notice what your kids are doing wrong but harder to pay attention to the great things they are doing. Parents tend to take the good things for granted. In life, you get what you focus on and parenting is exactly the same. If you focus on good thing, you will have more of them. If you focus on problems, conflicts, difficulties, bad manners, you will have more of them. If you notice your child doing something good, say it! Praise kids for being kind, congratulate them for making an effort, acknowledge their kindness and you will see more of it.
Being in a marriage or a close relationship is the secret to a long life. But it requires effort. If you want to save your marriage, it helps to learn about communication.
On our wedding days and during our honeymoon periods, we tend to be very accepting and flexible. Communication flows, even if we say nothing at all. It is the life that begins later, which tests the strength of our relationship. Slowly, day after day, the conversations, experiences together, arguments and stress create holes in our communication.
This can lead to the destruction of the relationship. In a happy relationship, time is a healer. In an unhappy relationship, time is a prison.
Some researchers claim they can listen to a married couple’s conversation and predict the success of their relationship about 90% of the time. 90%! That is a lot! With the couples that come to do my relationship coaching program, I can often tell from the way they talk to each other or about each other if their relationship is still as sweet as honey or whether they are feeling the bitter taste of separation.
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.