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A Huge Parental Opportunity: Making Changes Within

Remarkably, you have the opportunity at any time, to set goals unlike those you’ve ever set before

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Maybe you’ll never be the type of parent who comes home at the end of the day with boundless energy, all smiles and hugs and ready to play with your children until their bedtime. However, some room exists for you to expand your range of behaviors.

Leave the negativity outside and switch on an upbeat attitude you before walking in the door. Your family deserves that. Before you enter, look up, smile, and ask yourself what do you love about your family? Why are you lucky? Create the energy before you walk in the door. Then, engage them with your time, attention and affection.

If your goal is to be more responsive to each member of your family, you can undertake a variety of activities that will help.

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Below are many suggestions among thousands of possibilities. Although all of the suggestions and ideas for goal-setting presented are in relation to children, with a twist and a turn, they each could be applied to your spouse as well:

Applaud Accomplishments

If your child comes home from school with an ‘A’ on her spelling test or a piece of artwork she’s particularly proud of, seize the moment. Pick up the item, look it over carefully, ask questions about it, and show interest.

It’s not difficult to show interest in something once daily that your son or daughter brings to you. Indeed, it’s a worthwhile goal for many reasons. It tells your child that you’re interested in him or her, that what he or she does is important, and, most importantly, tells your child that the next time they’re taking a test or drawing a picture, they’ll want to do their best because after all, daddy will see it.

Listen to Their Favorite Music

You might like classical music or classic rock ‘n roll. Your kids might like pop, rap, hip-hop, or who knows what. Is it too much to simply sit with them for a few minutes and listen to two of their favorite songs, even if you’re secretly thinking, “How can anybody buy that, let alone record it in the first place?”

Have you ever wondered why teenagers in those jazzed-up cars play their music above the hundred-decibel level? They want others to hear what they’re hearing. Music, and specifically lyrics, has the ability to reach deep into the human psyche.

Listening to music together, much like eating together, is a form of bonding. People seem to want others to hear what they hear and enjoy what they enjoy. Usually this happens in the car. Devise a plan to alternate who has control of the music and motor along happily.

Include Them in Your Discussions

Suppose you’re talking with your spouse and your children are nearby. Do you exclude them from the conversation as if they don’t have a worthwhile opinion?

Once a week, what if you were to say, “Mark, don’t you feel that we XYZ…?” or, “Caitlin, do you think if we were to…?”

After the initial shock wears off, you’ll find that your children are pleased to be called upon. In essence, what you’re doing is respecting them on the interpersonal level. You’re saying that they’re full-fledged human beings, even if they are smaller than you, and that they have opinions and observations that count.

Drop in on After School Activities

No matter how busy you are, how demanding your job is, or how unreasonable your boss is, you can find a way to see a few practices and attend a few games your kids would love to have you see.

When you catch your child kicking the ball over everyone’s head, participating in a sing-along, or simply having fun with other kids, you do yourself and your child a big favor. You indicate to your kid that he or she is special enough for you to break your routine now and then and see what’s happening at school or with the other kids.

Visiting your child unannounced minimizes your child’s need to have you around every minute you’re at home and enables him or her to be more understanding when you’re traveling.

After all, if daddy or mommy drops in on me unexpectedly every now and then, they certainly love and care about me. This is especially effective: dropping by for lunch when they are in grade school, but make sure you sign in first and follow school procedures.

Maybe you’ll be the only parent who does this, but so what? Why not set as a goal to visit your child once each calendar month at an after school activity.

Say Yes A Little More Often

Kids ask to do so many things that for many parents it almost becomes automatic to say no.

Can I stay up later? No.

Can I have some ice cream? No.

Can I go across the street with my friends? No.

What’s the real reason behind some of these refusals? Is it fear for their safety or well-being? Do you think they’ll be corrupted if some family rule is bent on one particular evening? Or, are you exercising authority the same way your parents did?

Often, we forget that although our rules are conceived with good intentions, some of which could be rather arbitrary. I don’t have hard evidence that each of the rules creates a desired outcome, i.e., a goal we previously established for our family and specifically for our children. Saying ‘yes’ a little more often than usual has its place.

Set a goal of saying yes one more time per week than normally. This is not so hard to monitor, since you’ll have to ponder the situation for at least a few seconds, and realize that you’re about to say yes when your instinctive reaction was to say no.

If it helps, keep a running log of the times that you surprised your child with a yes. At the least, you’ll have ammunition for later when your child says you never say yes.

Seek Their Help

Do you have business and financial problems for which you think your children cannot be of much assistance? Think again for out of the mouths of babes sometimes come great ideas.

In his book, A Whack On the Side of the Head, Dr. Roger von Oeck contends that the solution to problems often comes by looking at a situation with creativity – taking a different view than you did before. Who better to help you than someone small who doesn’t know all of the givens of the situation?

When it comes to using technology, your son or daughter might have insight that you’ve never considered. How often have you asked your children for some type of support? Could you ask this of them at least once a week? If you’re self-employed, you can lawfully hire them at a young age, pay them, and claim the labor expense.

Go Ahead and Ask

Regardless of whether or not you believe your children can help you with a particular issue, go ahead and ask them. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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American Fail

I think we all agree that it’s time for conservatives to go on OFFENSE!

PolitiCrossing founder, Chris Widener, is announcing the launch of the American Freedom Tour, featuring Donald Trump Jr, Dinesh D’Souza, Kayleigh McAnany, Sheriff David Clarke and many more in Jacksonville, Florida Oct 9th! The American Freedom Tour already has a number of dates scheduled throughout the country. Be sure to check out their website to see the cities and buy your tickets by clicking RIGHT HERE.

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“Conservatives are tired of being on the sidelines and being told they can’t be part of the game,” Widener said. “They are tired of being told how bad America is. The American Freedom Tour is designed to celebrate America and how great our country is. We are going to take this tour all over America to declare that we will not let go of the American Dream! We are going to promote conservative ideals in each and every city we go to, because conservative ideas are what will save America from the growing tyranny that we face each and every day.”

So, bring your family and friends and come celebrate America with us in a city near you with America’s top conservative thinkers, media personalities, authors, speakers and politicians! Check out the full schedule HERE!

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