Family Matters is for parents all around the world, with the aim of making the world a better place, one family at a time. The blog now contains 1,357 posts on family matters, practical parenting, relationships and marriage, personal development, children, education and learning, happiness and self esteem. It is written by Ronit Baras, recognized as an international Parenting and Happiness Coach.
On my living room wall, there is a picture of a woman with peacock feathers for hair. I drew it six years ago and called it “Mother”. I wanted my children to see it every day so they can see how much I love them and how proud I am being their mother.
Last week, when my youngest daughter and my son performed together, I asked them at the end of the show if they were able to see my feathers. They knew what I meant.
Over the years, working to help my clients work on their emotions, I came up with a new form of therapy. I call it “Pride Therapy”. I believe it is the cheapest, healthiest, fastest and most effective form of self-therapy. You work on your emotions, become a happy parent, raise happy kids and boost your happiness by being very proud of whatever your kids achieve.
Many new mothers consider demand feeding "the right way to feed my baby". Every new parent considers the various choices: breastfeeding vs. giving the baby formula, feeding every 3 hours, maybe 4, vs. feeding on demand, waking the baby to feed vs. letting him or her wake up when hungry, giving water vs. not giving water, using a nipple shield vs. not using one, using a dummy (pacifier) vs. not using one, and many others.
These are serious decisions when you have your first baby and the more you ask around, the more confused you become. My oldest daughter recently gave birth to my first granddaughter (she is GORGEOUS). Watching her, I have discovered a relationship between breastfeeding on demand and emotional eating. It was amazing to notice things I never thought of when I had to make a decision how to feed my own daughter when she was born.
The stories I have from the last six weeks, since my granddaughter's birth, can spread over hundreds of posts about raising babies. Today, I want to discuss one of them, which is demand feeding.
"Teens today have an easy life" is a very common phrase. I tend to think that grownups say it because they have forgotten what it means to be a teenager. They say that teens need more discipline, more structure, more rules, more determination and more motivation. I say they need to be more resilient, because teens today have it tough and need to be able to bounce back quickly and very often. They need to bend, so they do not break.
It is easy to look at your own teenage years in retrospect, with the "creative dementia" that comes with age, and say that they were fun. People forget. We are programmed to forget the tough things in order to survive, but expecting our kids to perform where we have failed ourselves is a double standard. The reason I have not forgotten my teenage experiences was that I have been working with so many teens since then. Even if I would have forgotten naturally, they have reminded me that this period brings with it many challenges. The physical-hormonal part of adolescence is a myth that grownups have created to help them forget that the social-emotional side is where they failed.
Change is not easy and you can recognize the points that have changed your course in life only in hindsight. We call these points "quantum moments". I have had many quantum moments in life and the ones that have steered me in the right direction included reading books, meeting inspiring people and attending empowering events. I contemplated each of them until I got to some realization that later became part of my being.
My biggest change in life was when I was 15 years old. I remember how before it, I dreamed every day of waking up to a different life. I said, "I wish…" and had millions of wishes. I hoped to be the Genie of the Lamp, but every morning realized I was not. I built up hopes and got up in the morning to realize they were just illusions that I had no power to fulfill.
You see, it is one thing to want and another thing to make it happen.
Last week, I wrote about self-kindness and how to write a list of "100 ways to be kind to myself". Kindness spreads like a ripple, so it must start from within us. I hope that by now, you have a basic list, but if you do not, please stop reading, make your own list and only then continue to read my list below.
The process of making up the list sends a message to your subconscious that you are important. However, if you copy someone else's list, this does not happen.
Here is a list of things you can do to be kind to yourself. Only take those that suit your personality and adjust them to your preferences and to what makes you happy.
I have written a lot about kindness. I think that it makes the world go around and I like to think about it as a ripple. One act of kindness ripples and touches the lives of those who are far away from us.
The movie Pay it Forward showed the power of kindness in making the world a better place. I remember at the age of 16, I was a school captain and we had a teacher, named Reuben, who helped us a lot to change the lives of the students in our school. One day, a girl in the group asked him why he was dedicating so much time to us. He said, "If I make a difference in the lives of six of you, and each of you makes a difference in the lives of six other people, eventually, this world will be a better place". I was 16 years old and this gave me a perfect understanding of the ripple effect of kindness.
For the last 32 years, I have been teaching emotional intelligence and kindness. used to be the part in EQ that we relate to others. In the last 10 years, it has changed for me as I became the state director of a not-for-profit organization, called "Together for Humanity", which delivers diversity education.
Some parents are stingy with complimenting. I do not blame them. They probably grew up with stingy parents, who probably grew up with parents that did not compliment them either. I have said many times that we suffer today for things our ancestors did, which have not evolved.
Wake up, parents! We do not need to do the same things our great-great-grandparents did, because in some areas of life, they were not great at all. Giving compliments was definitely one of these areas.
The belief "back then" was that compliments got in the way of "building character". I have clients and friends who say it aloud, "If you compliment people, especially children, they become complacent".
As an experienced life coach, people often contact me and say, "I want to become a life coach. Teach me what to do". If you are thinking of becoming a professional life coach too, this post is for you.
Life coaching is an uplifting and fulfilling profession. I have been doing this work, in various formats, for 32 years now. I enjoy every minute of it and find it my life's purpose. I can highly recommend becoming a life coach as a fantastic option for those who want to help others succeed, achieve and be happy.
Because in coaching, the clients' success is our success.
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