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.
Some people think it's funny to talk about family goals, because they link goals with business and a family is not a business.
That's true! They are not the same, but what drives them forward is exactly the same. Please note the word "drive". Imagine that running a family is like driving a car. I can be a beaten car, no fuel, flat tires, squeaking wipers and no lights, or it can be in tip-top shape and race forward with air conditioning, a sound system, brand new tires and bright lights to show the way.
Which car are you driving your family in? What conditions are you creating for relationships to be strong and for the family members to succeed and be happy?
My first encounter with autism was when I was a Special Education student. From the very first year of studies, my classmates and I worked with children on the autistic spectrum and accompanied some children with severe autism at school. At the start of my second year, I had to choose a place for work experience.
I remember the day our head of department came to shows us the list of options. The autistic school was not on the list, so I asked about it - not because I wanted to work there, but because I was afraid of it.
You see, my philosophy was to choose all the things I was afraid of. I figured that it was the best time to challenge myself and get over my fears. This is why I chose to specialize in Math and this is why I asked about the autistic school.
The head of the department explained to all of us that they didn't offer work experience at the autistic school because we were not ready for it. She said people did this type of work after they graduated.
Generally, I think we need to live our life based on our own judgment be developing a sense of self that functions as a moral GPS (or compass), and not by other's judgment or external rules and beliefs. In life coaching, the task of finding who we are relies on our ability to strip away other's expectations and what they think of us. Instead, we learn to listen to our inner voice and "redesign" ourselves.
This process of redesigning who we are happens in the context of being part of a society, because connections and relationships form a huge part of our experience. When we "bare ourselves" and take off the "clothes" of what others think of us, the "shoes" of where they think we should go, the "coat" of others' compliments or criticism, we need to put on new "clothes" that we love and feel comfortable with to warm us through life's challenges.
Sometimes, looking at ourselves from the outside, can help us see things with fresh eyes.
In the last chapter I explained why using games and fun activities makes learning more enjoyable and memorable. In this post, I share 50 ideas to make learning fun. Remember, there are plenty more ideas and if one doesn't work for you, try another one.
I hope this list will be great help for parents and teachers who are sometimes stuck for ideas, so please share with the parents and teachers in your (child's) life.
Learning takes a big part of our life. As babies, we learn all the time. I can look at my granddaughter after not seeing her for 3 days and see she's learned new things. And she has a lot of fun learning.
Later in life, we go to school to learn in a structured, controlled environment that doesn't take into consideration that the brain needs to be open to absorb new knowledge. Sadly, I think that in the format it is now, school destroys a big part of our ability to learn.
I work with many children and the system has failed to instill the love for learning in them. I also work with grownups that consider school a traumatic period of their life.
I think most parents are worried their teens might be (or are) using drugs. Those who are not so worried typically used drugs themselves when they were young and keep telling themselves, "I turned out OK, so my child will 'get it out of the system' and grow out of it".
This is nice, but one small mistake will make sure your child will never grow at all.
Every parent of a teen hosting a party at home debates whether or not it is OK for the teen guests to use drugs and what to do about it.
There are some people who give their teens drugs to use in the company of their friends to be perceived "cool". They say they are using those same drugs themselves and don't see any harm in doing it.
Many children hate exams. If you ask them what they hate more than homework, they will tell you it is exams. They hate them because it is natural to be anxious in a situation that puts our abilities to the test.
Someone is looking at what you do, checking what you do and then judges you for it. Children don't like to be judged. Well, in fact, no one likes to be judged.
Many parents say to me, "This is life and kids need to learn to live with it!" and I wonder if this really must be part of life and whether we must live in such a judgmental environment. Maybe we can transfer the focus from what others think about us to self-awareness and what we think about ourselves.
On the third week of my parents' visit, after the withdrawal from her pain killer patches, my mom came back to life. When we played "3 things that made me happy today", she cooperated.
We still avoided long trips, but she was willing to walk in the shopping center for 4 hours to buy some gifts she wanted to take home with her. She also walked with Eden and Ayla around the neighborhood.
When we asked her about sweating at night, it dropped to once a night or none at all and she cooked a lot more, because her arm was stronger. For her, cooking is part of her identity. Not being able to cook made her feel useless. The results of her blood sugar were excellent, and she was in pain, but rated it much lower.
When I was studying special education, we used to say that if you hang around kids, it keeps you young. I always believed it was true. Kids are born clean and pure and their energy is only corrupted by the presences of the anxious, angry, frustrated and sad people in their life.
Only later on, I discovered that this is actually done through mirroring. When we hang around other people, we sense what they are feeling and our mind "lights up" in the same way they do.
Babies laugh a lot and trust fully. They love physical touch, enjoy every second and, although they can't do many things, it never stops them from trying again, and again, and again. There is a lot we can learn from babies.
My mom always loved babies. I first discovered this when my eldest daughter, Eden, was born. I was in the hospital for 10 days and my mom offered to come and stay with us for a week after I got out and help me.
I'm a strong believer in the power of the mind. Recently, I had a chat with a friend, who told me that her mom had died at a relatively young age. She'd had cancer for a while, and then, her doctors told her she had 3 months to live. She died exactly 3 months later. I think that what we believe manifests itself in our life.
For years, I have been using the placebo effect on some of my child coaching clients. I give them "special pills" that make them smart, happy, healthy and friendly (I can only use it on children, because I get consent from their parents, while they don't know the real deal). The success rate of my placebo treatment is 100%.
Because when I install in those kids the belief that they are smart, happy, healthy and friendly, they can't get it out of their system. Their subconscious mind makes it true.
The idea to use the placebo effect on my mother came up after we saw John the Wizard. He said it would take 6-12 months to get the painkillers out of her system and I read somewhere that we needed to go through all the seasons in order for the body to replace all its cells. At first, that freaked me out. My time was limited, and I knew that as soon as she went home, things would be out of my control.