Tag Archives: postaday11

SHABBAT SHALOM


May you walk in peace and may the light of love shine in and through you, now and forever.

A QUOTE FOR THINKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERS

“Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time…The Sabbaths are our great cathedrals.”

                                                           Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Emotional fitness building TIP

No matter what your beliefs about a higher power, a day devoted to a simpler life is strengthening.  To me that means thinking about what matters, not spending money, not working on any  commercial ventures,  not using my beloved computer, turning off the cell phone,  connecting with friends, nature, my G-d.

Create your own version, your life will improve.   Try setting  aside one day a week for no (or minimal) travel;  no turning on the tv, radio, or computer and turning off your cell phone.  You will  save gas, reduce your carbon footprint, help solve the energy crisis, and stop the heating up of our planet. Try it you might like it.

PARENTING TIP

Force your kids to hold some time sacred.

STAYING STRONG

And yes, one of my ongoing cranks is how much harder it is on today’s parents to do these things.  David and I were both at home and it was hard enough, but it was during those years our only job.  We became foster parents in order to be at home.

So if you are working at more than being a parent, don’t guilt yourself if you can’t do as we did.  Do try to find some unconnected family time and the same for you.  Start small and spread.  Also if you have found ideas that get your family unconnected and spending quiet or play time together then share.  Also share if you’ve found a way to carve out some of the same for just you.

PRACTICE KINDNESS Share this post with others who might find it of value. Kindness gives to the giver as well as to the receiver.

Katherine

This post allines with this WordPress  DAILY PROMPT . My dream teacher in regards to this post would have been Rabbi Heschel.

cruel.IMAGE BY: adinadesigns.com

The Final Goodbye

Death comes when death wants to.  What you leave behind matters and for children  of any age, a goodbye letter lets your love live on.

alt="emotionalfitnesstraining.com Good letter image"

Writing a goodbye letter passes on your love and your legacy.  Yes, I am talking about a goodbye letter to be read by your children after your death.

Note this: I am absolutely not referring to a suicide letter. If you’ve found this blog post because that is what you are considering,  call 911 for help immediately.  Not willing  to do that, Google suicide help line. Life can be better, I know if seriously depressed, you probably do not  believe that at the moment, but in this world things change, always.

The goodbye letter I am referring to is, believe it or not, meant as a positive and life-affirming experience. That said, parents have a hard enough time writing wills and here I am suggesting writing a goodbye letter! I think parents need to write such letters as soon as they become parents. Why?  Because you never know. You never know.

A final reason: such letters document a bit of each child’s life and serve as a memory book for each child’s life. Children of all ages will profit from such a book of memory’s written by a loving parent. 

PARENTING TIPS ABOUT WRITING GOODBYE LETTERS

Tip one: Write one a year for each of your children.

Tip two: Write it on each child’s birthday.

Tip three: Make certain a trusted person knows where you keep the letters.

Tip four: Decide the age when you want your child to get the letters.

Tip five: Here is a sample written by a mother on the occasion of her first child’s first birthday. 

I have watched your growth this year, you have learned to crawl, then to walk, and now you are pointing to things and looking at me to name them.

Having you, watching you grow, has filled my heart in ways I never thought possible.  I look forward to many years in which to show my love and share your joys and comfort your sorrows. 

If you are reading this letter and it is the last one in the series, I died shortly after writing it.  Bad things happen.  Not as punishments or lessons, but just because life brings good and bad to all.

I know you probably have no memories of our short time together.  It is even possible your father remarried and you learned to think of someone else as your mother and came to love her as you would have loved me.  I hope that is what happened.

I also know that when a parent dies while their child is young, the child often feels to blame or at fault.  The child can also feel angry or personally betrayed and have a hard time trusting others. Those are normal feelings, but hopefully get left behind with childhood. 

I also wanted to tell you, kindness and love mattered most in my life and I hope your have found that they matter most.  If anything goes on after this life, I am hoping it is the love that caring people feel for each other.  It is my biggest hope that as you have grown from the toddler I held in my arms to the young man reading this you have known love, lots of love.

Your mother

Tip six: Keep the letters short, try to include one or two memories, not just of good behavior, but as the child grows applaud struggles and learning, provide sympathy and support.

Tip seven:  Think of adding a picture or memento.

STAY STRONG

Writing such letters  focuses you on what matters, your mission as a parent, your hopes and dreams for each of your children.  When you are clear about your mission as a parent, and what you hope for each child, you become a mission driven parent which means you go for the good, not the gold – you know what matters.

Care and share and thank you.

Katherine

This post was inspired by this  Word Press Daily Prompt: If You Leave  Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?

Granted at my age, I thought about the final departure. And if you read me regularly, you know I have written about this before.  But it bears repeating.

Links of interest

SHABBAT SHALOM


May you walk in peace and may the light of love shine in and through you, now and forever.

A QUOTE FOR THINKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERSTake rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  Ovid

A STAYING STRONG TIP:  Observing the Shabbat has been a major blessing becoming a Jew (I am a convert. bestowed on me.  No matter what your beliefs about a higher power, a day devoted to a simpler life is strengthening.  To me that means thinking about what matters, not spending money, not working on any  commercial ventures,  not using my beloved computer, turning off the cell phone,  connecting with friends, nature, my G-d.

Create your own version, your life will improve.

STAYING STRONG TIP ADDED VALUE:   Set aside one day a week for no (or minimal) travel, and no turning on the tv, radio, or computer and turning off your cell phone.  It saves gas, reduces your carbon footprint, might solve the energy crisis, stop the heating up of our planet. Try it you might like it.

And yes, one of my ongoing cranks is how much harder it is on today’s parents to do these things.  David and I were both at home and it was hard enough, but it was during those years our only job.  So if you are working at more than being a parent, don’t guilt yourself if you can’t do as we did.  Do try to find some unconnected family time and the same for you.  Start small and spread.  Also if you have found ideas that get your family unconnected and spending quiet or play time together then share.  Also share if you’ve found a way to carve out some of the same for just you.

PRACTICE KINDNESS Share this post with others who might find it of value. Kindness gives to the giver as well as to the receiver.

IMAGE BY: adinadesigns.com

CREATING COURAGE

Fear isn’t funny, and we all know it.  Cartoonist Doug Savage, however, started me on this post.  Thank you Doug for two great cartoons about fighting fear.

fearcontrol

In this poster coach I mention systematic desensitization. Don’t know how systematic desensitization works?  Well, here is another of Doug’s cartoons that spells it out fairly accurately.  I’ll add some practical ideas …

desentizingSystematic desensitization is a tool used by  Behavioral Therapists; they prefer action to talk.  They use two tools in combating fear. The first is called flooding.  I wouldn’t suggest using it with your kids as I think it is cruel.  Flooding in the case of spiders would mean locking your child in a small space with thousands of spiders and leaving him or her there until habituation sets in.  Habituation is the trait of getting used to anything if exposed to it long enough without being able to escape.

Actually when I suggested in a recent post about separation anxiety that parents just leave their crying child, that was a form of flooding.  I prefer to think of it as cutting the agony short.  All teachers and baby sitters know that once Mom or Pop depart, the kid gathers courage and invests in distraction ploys.

One other thought about flooding: the fascination older kids have with horror movies is a form of  habituation. Not only do your flood yourself, but at movies end, you get a survivor’s rush.

Anyway, on with Systematic Desensitization. First you have to strengthen the ability to self-sooth.  See my post on Right Breath and also visit My Emotional Fitness Easy Lesson Page.  Both teach self-soothing skills.

Then the child needs to be able to rate how scared he or she is.  No fear, something to fear looming on the horizon, itty-bitty fear, hearting-beating-faster fear, screaming out loud fear, running away fear, or dead faint fear.

One reason for the rating scale is so the child starts thinking instead of just reacting.  The second reason is to start self-soothing before the fear takes over.  Related to this is need to signal the parents when the kid can’t manage on his or her own.

As a crisis team manager in NYCity during 911, I did a lot of crisis debriefing. The training did emphasize re-telling the story, but that was soon seen as re-traumatizing some.  First teaching and strengthening  self-soothing skills and then teaching rating scales put the “victim” in charge.  You do not want your children to feel helpless and victimized.  The combination of self-soothing and rating increases the child’s sense of control and increases courage.

stay strong

Genes play a part in reactions to scary events.  The experts say there are shy kids, slow to warm up kids, and bold kids. Guess what? The same rating applies to adults. So if you have a shy kid, chances are somewhere in the family mix are shy genes. Yours? Then you need to build your courage, so you can model calm. Sorry, but that is the way it works.

Are you bold?  Well you aren’t home free.  Two problems: you probably are a risk taker and safety is a bit lower on your radar.  Dangerous if you have a bold kid, particularly when the teen years encourage more risk taking.  So do teach safety.  Second problem, you may get too pushy with a shy or slow to warm up child, particularly a shy child.  Slow down, accept what is and value your shy child’s strengths.  Here are two quotes that might help:

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.                                                                                         Nelson Mandela

         Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.
John Wayne

As always remembering what matters keeps you and your children on the path to the good life and combats fear.  My Twelve Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises  keep you on that path, and are the foundation of  a strong self-soothing program.

I am grateful for all you do to keep me strong and hope this is a post you can share with some one who will find it helpful.

Katherine

Links of interest