Create change

Everyday a fourth grader would go home, sit on the couch, eat chips and watch TV.

Just like his dad.

His dog would bark and sometimes he would throw a ball for the dog to chase. Sometimes his friends would text and instead of TV, he’d join them on Xbox. When his mom came home he would call him in for dinner but sometimes she’d bring dinner to the couch. This wasn’t just happening every once in awhile it was every day.

This isn’t just one boy that does this. There isn’t just one family that makes this choice. There are many. Hundreds. Thousands.

It is one way of life. But it’s not the only way. In order for change to happen… for people to get up more often, outside and/or eating together as a family and having conversations, you can join the movement of change.

After being in a Healthy and Fun Choices® workshop, this boy tried a challenge. The workshop made such an impression on him because he had fun, thought of things from a new angle and had an opportunity to share and discuss new ideas. This boy went home and started taking his dog for a walk around the block and set up an agility course for his dog and him to do in the back yard.

He said he was laughing more and, well, living more. Soon his dad started walking with him and their conversations increased. They became closer and their family began eating together… at the dinner table. This one challenge changed everything. The boy felt more confident in who he was and he jumped at the opportunity to share his story with others.

Positive change begins with you.

You never know, as in this story, not only was it good for the boy and his dog, the boy’s dad increased his confidence which led to a new job!

Healthy Parenting Decisions

Parents can never be too early to begin thinking about the health of themselves, their family and their children. The health of an individual allows or burdens growth and learning. When we are the healthiest, our brain and body is open to all that surrounds us. We are able to love, listen, receive and participate.

As a parent you get to have an amazing experience raising your child. Imagine everything that you will learn, discover and see from a different angle. It is an exciting time of your life! Here are a few topics up for discussion:

Attitude
Your brain’s most remarkable feature enables you to think about how you feel. No other animal in the world has this ability. That’s also why your thought processes, attitude choices and communications can be so challenging.

In order to enjoy parenting to the fullest, to experience everything, a positive attitude is necessary. It allows you to lead with confidence and conscious choice. By demonstrating a positive attitude to your child(ren) you are being an important role model in their life.

Your attitude is seen the moment you get up. It’s seen when you react to something that happened whether it was an accident or not. Your attitude is what is shown as you walk, run or skip through the day. Your child(ren) pick up on your attitude, so if their attitude is frustrating you, look at yours first and make the adjustments to yourself.

Rewards/Consequences
How do you handle spilled milk all over the kitchen? Can you look at it as a new way to clean the kitchen! And a simple lesson about accidents…that they just happen. When an accident like spilled milk or a fall on the rocks happens, I do not believe it is the time for punishing, getting upset, or introducing a consequence. Your child will naturally feel bad about the situation. Your reaction will help them learn and give them ideas on how to creatively solve problems. You could simply ask them to help clean up the mess or play a game to see who can clean up the spilled milk in their area the fastest!

Time Outs
My daughter learned how to count to 20 by the time she was 2 because I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do as a parent. However, time outs for my daughter typically made her more anxious and frustrated. So I decided to turn it into a learning experience and have her count while she was taking a break.

I remember we had some friends at that time put their kids in time outs all the time. In fact, they had a time out chair and sometimes I believe their girls would do unkind behavior just to get the attention of the chair.

My son is always on the go, so a time out was just not possible for him. It took him longer to learn how to count, but I have realized that the time out consequence could be more harmful for his imaginary mind. When he does something that is unkind or harmful, we talk about it and use acting or play to show how it could be handled differently.

I’ve realized each child and each experience is different. The only right way is through love and conversation.

Chores or Cleaning House
Clean up is necessary on a daily basis. Having our children help us gives them responsibility and appreciation of the environment in which they live. Encourage friends after play dates to help clean up the play room as well. Play some music to keep it fun, introduce a contest or have children pick colors or choose specific items they pick up only.

By simply changing the word from “chores” to “activities” we can get more enthusiastic about the experience. My favorite is turning the dishwasher loading into a puzzle. How many items can I fit in at one time?