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20 tips to be an (even more) awesome parent

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Empowerment
20 tips to be an (even more) awesome parent

25558447.jpgIn this edition of LIFEadvice, life coaches Kim Giles and Nicole Cunningham share their top 20 tips for being a better parent.

Before we get into our top 20 tips, we want to caution you to not get overwhelmed by the long list. You don’t have to master them all this week. You might want to just work on one thing each week, or go through the list and pick two to practice this week. We are going for small steps of progress at a time.

The truth is, parenting is one of the hardest, most guilt-producing challenges on the planet. No matter how hard you try, you may always feel like it wasn’t good enough. So, don’t even try to shoot for perfection, just shoot for a little growth every day. Also, remember some children are a lot more challenging than others, and cut yourself some slack if you have a challenging child.

Here are our 20 tips to be a more awesome parent:

1. Teach your kids that all human beings have the same value and our value can’t change.

Make this the everyday language in your home. This will help all of you to be bulletproof, avoid judgment and have more confidence and self-esteem.

2. Trust yourself.

You are the only one entitled to know what is right for your child. Listen to your gut daily and follow your instincts.

3. Trust them and let them be different from you.

They will choose their perfect journey and it may mean making choices you wouldn’t make or approve of. When this happens, honor their right to be different from you and still have your love and admiration for the good soul they are.

4. Give lots of validation and praise on the right things.

Don’t praise their appearance, performance or property as much as you praise their kindness, honesty, love and other admirable qualities. Help them see those as who they are.

5. Do not compare yourself or your kids to others.

Teach them we are all incomparable and on a totally unique journey, so it makes no sense to compare.

6. Help your child learn to problem-solve.

Instead of solving their problems, ask questions like “Well what could you do? What options do you have?” until they figure out how to solve things on their own. Teach them to brain storm and to trust themselves that the answers will come, if we just keep looking.

7. Take care of yourself.

A happy parent is an awesome parent, so have a life and activities outside of being a parent (if you need them) and don’t feel guilty about that. The more fulfilled you are in life, the more balanced your parenting will be. Don’t make the kids your entire existence or you will lose yourself when they grow up.

8. Let most stuff go.

Choose your battles carefully, ignore garden variety annoying kid behavior, don’t create drama by getting involved in every little thing. Work on having thicker skin and more patience by trusting that things will work out.

9. Practice what you preach.

Kids lose respect for adults fast when we don’t do the very things we tell them they should do. Don’t yell at them for yelling, for instance. Watch the things you say and make sure you are teaching by example.

10. Let them fall, fail and be disappointed.

Your job is to prepare them for life in the real world and protecting them from all sadness does not prepare them. Let them make mistakes, forget things, lose things or fail now, while you can use the experience to teach them how to deal with emotions and the tough stuff of life.

11. Ask questions and listen more than you speak.

What your child needs from you most is to know he/she is important, valued and good enough. Spend time asking lots of questions about what they think, feel, see and experience. Help them have a place to process emotions and experiences, without advice or lectures. Just let them think things through and figure things out on their own. It takes more time, but it prepares them to be capable adults.

12. Treat them with respect and get respect back.

If you disrespect your children and what they think and feel, they won’t respect you either. Respect must be earned by modeling mature, kind, respectful behavior yourself.

13. Have one-on-one dates with each child regularly.

And do #12.

14. Work on being happier, more fulfilled and content yourself.

The single greatest thing you can do for your family is work on your own self-esteem and fulfillment in life. A happy parent is more patient, loving and wise.

15. Talk about uncomfortable topics often.

One conversation about sex, drinking or drugs won’t do it. Kids need to know you are a comfortable and safe place to discuss the hard stuff of life, all the time. If you aren’t comfortable, seek some professional help yourself.

16. Do one thing at a time.

Don’t try to help with homework while you cook. Do homework first and give them all your attention, then make dinner. You will not only make them feel important, but you will feel less stressed, too.

17. Limit screen time for everyone — even you.

Too many hours a day looking at a screen isn’t good for anyone. Plan outdoor activities and interact with real, live people daily.

18. Apologize and show them vulnerability.

When you make a mistake, react badly or lose your temper, own it and say you’re sorry. Kids learn great life lessons when adults are vulnerable and humble enough to apologize and then try harder. Don’t expect them to improve themselves if you aren’t, too.

19. See parenting as your classroom.

We often believe it’s our job to educated our children (which it is), but it is also their job to educate us. Your children are the teachers who will facilitate your greatest lessons in patience, forgiveness, tolerance, self-control, love and trust. See every parenting moment as your perfect classroom today, and you will be amazed how much more mature you behave.

20. Learn about your child’s core fears and values.

These are the factors that drive all their behavior. When you understand what they value most (people and connections, tasks and performance, things and money, or ideas and beliefs) you will understand their key motivator and your best leverage for discipline. Understand their core fear (either failure or loss) and you will understand their trigger and what brings their worst behavior out. While you are at it, learn about your own fears and values too, so you can understand how you are different. This level of understanding about each other is a game changer.

Also remember — you don’t have to be a perfect parent to be the perfect parent for your child. You may mess up a bit (we all do), but choose to believe it’s the exact way that they are supposed to learn, for their perfect journey to unfold. Trust that things will work out, and be patient and loving with both of you.

You can do this.

Living with an angry teenager

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Teens
Living with an angry teenager

Question:

I have an 11-year-old. Her body is changing and so is her attitude. I often find myself stooping down to her level when she says “I am not going to do that!”

Once she starts her daily arguing, throwing tantrums, calling names and/or pushing my husband and I away, I find that my husband and I start to argue with each other over the way we discipline her.

I am so frustrated sometimes I do not want to go home. We have tried time out, taking pleasurable things away, spending more time with her and telling her repeatedly that we love her. I am at a loss of what we should do to turn her attitude around and to make my home a place of harmony.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

You and your husband should read the book “Parenting with Love and Logic” by Fay and Cline. In the meantime I’ll give you a few ideas on parenting teenagers.

Most teenage bad-behavior is motivated by one of three things. It is either:

  1. A request for love and validation,
  2. A request for attention or
  3. A request for more freedom

Step back from the situation and ask yourself what is motivating this behavior today?

Once you can clearly see why she is behaving the way she is, you can assess your options for a response.

If she is angry all the time, which is normal for teenagers, she may need a little more space and freedom. If she is asking for validation, she wants you to accept her as she is. If she is creating drama to get your attention, you may need to spend more time as a family.

No matter what you do, you must stay calm and in control when dealing with your teen. You must stay logical and loving. A never-fail approach, no matter the situation, is to have a validating conversation with her.

Ask questions about what she is feeling and what she thinks about this situation. Listen without responding. Validate her right to see the situation whatever messed up way she sees it.

Respecting her right to feel the way she feels — even if she is wrong — shows her she is important and valued. Then ask if she would be open to a little advice from mom or dad? Only give it with her permission. If she says ‘no’ wait for another day. Respecting her in this way earns respect back.

The best way to validate another human being is by listening to his or her feelings. Teenagers aren’t always in the mood to talk though. You may have to wait for the right moment.

If freedom is her issue, give her the freedom to make more choices. Explain the natural consequences of her choices and then leave it to her to decide.

Remember the desire for freedom is a natural trait in all human beings. It is a fact of life that the oppressed will always rebel. As parents of teenagers, we have to find a balance between loving guidance and lots of free agency.

Our children learn their greatest lessons from their mistakes. Don’t be afraid to let a headstrong child make more choices on their own. Stay out of their way as much as possible. Care but don’t control. If she is pushing for more responsibility, give it to her. then give her more and more freedom as she ages.

As for the fighting in your home, it takes two to fight.

If you refuse to play it’s not nearly as fun.

You and your husband need to stop blaming each other. You are both responsible for these two relationships but the only thing you have any control over is you.

Ask yourself…

How can I make each of these relationships better?

How can I step it up and behave more mature, calm and loving?

How can I stop getting defensive and give love instead?

You must get control over your own emotions, if you are going to teach your daughter how to handle disagreements calmly. You must teach by example.

This means recognizing everyone is inherently good but scared to death most all the time. Fear that they aren’t loved and respected drives most of their behavior. Have more compassion for your spouse and child. They are doing the best they can with what they know. They just don’t know everything.

Choose to be the love in these relationships.

Focus on how you can make each other feel safe and validated. Once they feel safe, you can have great conversations about making things better.

I hope this helps.

How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She and her husband are the parents of 7 children. She is a sought-after life coach and speaker.

Uplift Parenting Conference By Nicole Cunningham and Kim Giles

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Empowerment
Uplift Parenting Conference By Nicole Cunningham and Kim Giles

Kim Giles is a featured speaker at this year’s Uplift Parenting Conference in Utah. Kim will be sharing the importance of parenting without fear and how to step into greater levels of trust and love with our children. Kim is a mother of 7 and has been a family and executive life coach for 15 years. Kim is an author, speaker and has over 9000 articles published on the topic of living fearlessly. She is president of upskillrelationships.com and co host of Relationship Radio on Voice America.

More Here!

Cracking the Egg Mystery, Purple Reign, Disciplining Children By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Cracking the Egg Mystery, Purple Reign, Disciplining Children By Cynthia Brian

Nutritionists and cooks are once again touting the health benefits of eggs, but the controversy over cholesterol and diabetes is ongoing.  Life-long chicken raiser and cottage industry egg-seller, Cynthia Brian, sheds light on the scramble with the newest statistics and research.

Purple, the color of royalty, wisdom, and luxury is favored in the majority of Cynthia Brian’s botanical blooms.  The nobility of the season is highlighted with the elegantly perfumed lilac, the scented grace of cascading wisteria, and the pride of the dark and handsome hellebore as it changes from its deep shaded amethyst of winter to the violet and chartreuse of spring.  Join the Goddess Gardener where purple reigns!

If you are a parent, how do you coordinate discipline with your spouse or partner? Is one of you more lenient while the other is strict? Discover a system that will benefit the family.

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Parents Are People, Too By Ariel & Shya Kane

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7th Wave
Parents Are People, Too By Ariel & Shya Kane

October 12, 2016 – Parents Are People, Too

Has it ever occurred to you that you don’t “own” your parents – that they are people, too? Tune in to this enlightening episode of Being Here with Ariel & Shya Kane and discover that if you stop referencing your parents for why you do the things you do (or don’t do) that you can be free to live your own life.

Listen Live this Wednesday, October 12th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
Podcasts app for iPhone
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device
VoiceAmerica app for Apple 
VoiceAmerica app for Android

Listen here!

 

EXPERT LEGAL ADVICE ON SURROGACY, COMMON CONCERNS ABOUT SURROGATES, AND A MOVING LETTER FROM AN INTENDED PARENT TO HER GESTATIONAL CARRIER

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Business
EXPERT LEGAL ADVICE ON SURROGACY, COMMON CONCERNS ABOUT SURROGATES, AND A MOVING LETTER FROM AN INTENDED PARENT TO HER GESTATIONAL CARRIER

After joining me on “Turn the Page” for a compelling three-episode series on surrogacy, my guests offered additional information to support you in navigating your exploration of, and foray into this family building option.
Jeni Head Shot-VA
Jeni Denhof, a former carrier and Program Manager with the surrogate parenting agency Circle, thoughtfully and sensitively responds to frequently asked questions and common concerns about surrogates in her blog post, “A Surrogate’s Point of View:” What if my surrogate wants to keep my baby? What if she becomes attached to my baby? Will my surrogate take care of herself while she is pregnant? What does my surrogate want from me throughout our journey? Will my surrogate be sad after the baby is born? What does my surrogate want from me after our journey?
Dean Hutchison Head Shot-VA
Circle’s Director of Legal Services, Dean Hutchison, Esq., suggests that comprehensive screening of both carriers and intended parents, with a similar due diligence applied during the matching process, and support for all parties throughout the journey, can prevent the types of horror stories that may dissuade some from considering surrogacy. His frame of reference includes 12 years with Circle, through which over 1,100 babies have been born to both international and domestic parents (43% same sex couples, 44% heterosexual couples, 7% gay individuals, 6% heterosexual individuals) from over 70 countries since 1995. Circle’s stats seem to align with Dean’s guidance that a successful process is very much tied into appropriate screening at the onset. The Agency’s April 2016 published fact sheet states, “Over 1,250 women, on average, start the process of becoming a Circle surrogate each month. Of those, about 1.7% ultimately match with intended parents.”

Praveena Nallainathan Head Shot-VA
Intended parents who apply to partner with a surrogacy agency write an introductory letter that describes markers of their journey. Praveena Nallainathan, whose daughter, Priya Joy, was born in January of 2016 with the help of Circle, shared “People often ask how I found a carrier. I explain that I used an agency to help match me, but in truth it all started with a letter. When I had to write the letter, I scoured the Internet for samples, and didn’t find many, so perhaps excepts of the letter that I wrote to my gestational carrier will serve as a good resource for your listeners and readers.”

The circumstances that Praveena candidly describes may reflect some of the vulnerabilities of other intended parents:

“Dear Wonder Woman (She has always been my favorite super hero, and that’s what I think you are!),

Thank you for taking the time and genuine interest to consider me, and for wanting to help.

TODAY IS OCTOBER 4, 2014. Six years ago to the day, I lost my baby girl, Ayanna, at five months into pregnancy.  At each year anniversary, I write a short diary entry to honor and remember her.  This has become a favorite, private ritual.  This year, I am writing my letter to you. What could be more perfect?

MY JOURNEY…My ex-husband, Johnny, and I, had tried to conceive naturally for many years. We finally got pregnant six years into marriage through our first IVF try.  We were elated. Like any happy parents to be, we debated girl names, browsed HGTV for nursery ideas, and dreamt about how pretty and smart our baby girl was going to be.  However, this all changed on October 4, 2008. I went into pre-term labor.  It was a traumatic birth for me, both physically and emotionally. I remember being drugged up and delirious.  I could not connect to any emotions. Instead, from the hospital bed, I watched Johnny.  He slid down the hospital room wall sobbing.  He came to the bed, stroking my head with tears streaming down his face. I could tell that he thought this was unfair.  We were able to see and hold our baby girl everyday for three days while we were in the hospital. It always marvels me…she already had my nose.  I was a mother. We named her, Ayanna – an African and Indian name (a blend of her parents) meaning beautiful flower and innocent.

There were many medical theories for the loss. I had three different surgeries to address each possible problem – incompetent cervix, fibroids, and thin uterine lining.  We underwent 6 more unsuccessful IVF tries. I had trouble getting and staying pregnant. This took a toll on our marriage. Frankly, we never were the same after we lost the baby. We separated two years later and ultimately divorced. I feared that I might be also losing my opportunity to have a family.

Over the last many years, I have thought long and hard about what was possible…in me alone, as a mother. My doctors confirmed that I had no issues with creating good, healthy eggs. But the problem was my uterus. They explained that a gestational carrier would be a GAME CHANGER for me. I prayed. I thought. I cried. I talked to my parents.  I talked to my counselor. It became crystal clear – I can do this! LIGHTBULB! I wanted to be a mother. I knew I would make a good and loving mother. And, my mom, dad, brother, friends, and workplace were behind me.

When I got down to making embryos…success! When the nurse called me, she said, “Congratulations – you have 4 girls and 2 boys.” What next…My embryos and I are looking forward to meeting you.  After a very long time, hope soars in me again.”

A very moving letter that thankfully resulted in the miracle of birth, albeit not without challenges! Learn more about the realities that both Jeni and Praveena faced throughout their respective passages as carrier and intended parent by listening to our conversation.
Jen Rachman Head Shot-VA
Jen Rachman, whose now four-year-old son was born through a surrogate, talks about the surrogacy process from her perspective as an Outreach Coordinator with Circle. Jen brings a unique personal frame of reference to this discussion: Ovarian cancer, diagnosed when she was 26, left her infertile and prompted her search for alternate routes to parenting.

Dean Hutchison addresses common fears and offers advice related to both international and domestic surrogacy law in the final episode of the series.

Wishing you fertile outcomes in your family building pursuits, with hopes that your steps are encouraged, strengthened, and informed by these accounts of ultimate success!

“You Didn’t Do it Right Daddy!” by Ariel & Shya Kane

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7th Wave

June 15, 2016: “You Didn’t Do it Right Daddy!”

Are you still blaming your parents for how your life turned out? Join Ariel & Shya Kane in Being Here with special guests Dave Stern, father of three, and Andy Gideon, father of two, and discover that it is time for forgiveness – especially for yourself.

Listen Live this Wednesday, June 15th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also subscribe to BEING HERE on iTunes!

Special Guests:

Andy

Andy Gideon: Andy is co-owner of TAG Online, a full service web company, with his wife Amy and father of Alex and Aidan.

Dave

Dave Stern: Dave is a DevOps Engineer at FiftyThree, a technology company that builds tools for mobile creation. Dave and his wife Pam are parents of Gavin and twin girls, Maia and Leyla.

How You Can Become a Peak-Performing Person and Leader: Tackling Taboo Realities Like Sexual Violence and Tobacco Use Head-On by Hemda Mizrahi

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Business
How You Can Become a Peak-Performing Person and Leader: Tackling Taboo Realities Like Sexual Violence and Tobacco Use Head-On by Hemda Mizrahi

Peter Prichard Photo Cropped Sarah Beaulieu Photo Cropped

Leadership and social change experts Peter Prichard and Sarah Beaulieu joined me on “Turn the Page” to discuss two taboo topics—tobacco use and sexual violence. In sharing compelling personal stories that galvanized their social change missions, Peter and Sarah demonstrate how truth-telling can empower you to become a peak-performing person and leader who chooses to make a difference

Sarah and Peter extended their information sharing after the show to provide you with additional support and encouragement.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE IS NOT JUST A WOMEN’S ISSUE.
Sarah notes, “One challenge with sexual violence is that many people view it as a “women’s issue.” Sexual violence directly impacts about one out of four women AND one out of six men in the United States. You can learn more about the facts surrounding men and sexual violence at: http://theenlivenproject.com/convo-graphic-the-truth-about-men-and-sexual-violence/

OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOLUTIONS
Sarah is working on a book to help men support survivors of sexual violence in their lives and become stronger champions for sexual violence. If you’d like to contribute your perspective to this book, please complete her men’s survey and invite your colleagues and friends to do the same

She shares a few of the many practical ways that you can support stigmatized issues like sexual violence without re-vamping your company’s community relations efforts: follow an anti-sexual violence organization on social media; sponsor a table at a fundraising event; or provide skilled volunteer support to group that works directly with survivors.

She also suggests exploring how sexual violence might intersect with issues that you or your employer already support, citing the following examples: “while childhood exposure to sexual violence can impact your physical and mental health (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy), few organizations that focus on heart disease, diabetes, or obesity view sexual violence prevention and response as a part of their own work to eliminate these chronic conditions.

Similarly, sexual abuse or assault at home drives many adolescents into the foster care system, or homelessness, which in turn places them at higher risk. Groups committed to ending homelessness for teens ought to consider sexual violence prevention as a part of their strategy. Finally, sexual violence prevention can help to increase rates of high school graduation. According to America’s Promise Alliance (http://www.americaspromise.org), students need safe spaces and social supports to learn and thrive. That includes a home and school life free of sexual violence.”

WANT TO TAKE ON TOUGH CHALLENGES? Peter advises:

CREATE A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE THAT WILL DIRECT YOUR LIFE.
“In my experience as a leadership development consultant and career coach, individuals who create a specific statement about who they are and what they represent are better positioned to tackle taboo realities or other difficult situations that confront them.” He references Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” as a valuable resource for creating a personal mission statement (refer to Covey’s chapter on Habit 2, “Begin with the end in mind.”). In Covey’s words, here’s what this declaration can do for you: “Once you have that sense of mission, you have the essence of your own proactivity. You have the vision and the values, which direct your life.  You have the basic direction from which you set your long-and short-term goals.”

BUILD RESILIENCY THAT IS GROUNDED IN SELF-AWARENESS.
Peter recommends Dr. Al Siebert’s book, “The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back From Setbacks,” and the confidential, free-of-charge, Resiliency Quiz available through Dr. Siebert’s site, www.resiliencycenter.com. The quiz will help you to identify and enhance the behaviors through which you respond to challenges.

ENSURE THAT YOUR AMBITION SERVES YOUR CAUSE & YOUR TEAM.
Referring to a June 2006 Harvard Business Review article entitled “Leadership Run Amok: The Destructive Potential of Overachievers,” Peter cautions: “Many overachievers act in a way that lessens positive feelings in others.” He points to the research of Jim Collins in his monograph “Good to Great and the Social Sectors,” which describes the most effective Level 5 Leaders as “ambitious first and foremost for the cause, the movement, the mission, the work—not themselves.”

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU BRING TO THE REALITIES YOU FACE?
Understanding what you have to offer is foundational to leading yourself and others through difficult change initiatives. Peter’s websites offer tools through which you can inventory the range of competencies that will enable you to contribute to a positive result:
www.makebigtobaccounprofitable.com  AND  www.workforthecommongood.com.

CREATE A BRAIN-HEALTHY LIFESTYLE PLAN.
Peter identifies Dr. Paul Bendheim’s, book “The Brain Training Revolution: A Proven Workout for Healthy Brain Functioning,” as a comprehensive, well-researched, and practical guide for accessing your mental capacity to confront challenges. Regardless of the resources you choose to engage, designing a lifestyle that enhances your physical and mental functioning will equip you to contribute to the common good more effectively and over a longer period of time.”

A MESSAGE FROM SARAH ABOUT WHAT’S POSSIBLE FOR YOU TOO
“Facing a traumatic experience like sexual violence has taught me about resilience and strength, and enhanced my ability to support others in their leadership pathways.”

READ ON.
Peter’s own mission statement is reflected in two books that he’s written to bring into focus realities surrounding sexual violence and tobacco use amongst teens, and solutions: “Dawn of Hope” AND “Dawn of the Tobacco Wars: The Sequel to Dawn of Hope”.

We all have at least one torch to light! Sarah and Peter have inspired me to light mine! How about you? Listen to our conversation and learn more

How You & Your Child Can Thrive Through Personal Style by Hemda Mizrahi

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Business
How You & Your Child Can Thrive Through Personal Style by Hemda Mizrahi

How can you present a true, clear message about who you are, both at home and at work? Personal Style Coach Allison Hamilton-Rohe reveals her formula during a guest appearance on my Internet radio show, “Turn the Page”

Our dialogue about launching you on your style journey continued after the show, when Allison offered an example of powerful personal style: “Look at the amazing Duchess of Windsor, whose husband literally gave up his kingdom and chose exile over life without her. While she was not a “classic” beauty, her charisma and appeal were undeniable — especially for her King!” This is one of the ways that personal style is distinct from fashion. The common personal style thread across your lifetime is YOU, what flatters and matters to you most, what you aspire to be and do.

Once you experience how the language of style can move you past image anxiety and into a more fulfilling reality, you’ll appreciate the benefits of discovering it earlier in life. Hopefully, this will motivate you to pass the learning onto younger generations, including your children and grandchildren.

Allison references Carol Dweck’s book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” in identifying ways you can support your child in achieving a positive self-image. Dr. Dweck’s research indicates that 40% of your happiness is a product of how you see yourself, and the corresponding choices you make.

As a parent or guardian, how can you help your youngster to look and feel good? These are strategies that Allison’s own kids have embraced:

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.
The number one thing you want to encourage, instill and empower your children to feel towards themselves, their bodies AND their style is love. You can do this any number of ways!

GIVE CONFIDENCE-BOOSTING COMPLIMENTS.
Dr. Dweck suggests offering process rather than person praise. This involves acknowledging repeatable behaviors that can reinforce a praiseworthy character trait, skill, action, or outcome. For example, rather than saying “you look pretty,” be specific about what you appreciate: “I love how those barrettes bring out the sky blue color of your eyes.”  A statement like this encourages your child to feel proud about doing something well. In contrast, “person praise” can create self-doubt when something goes awry, like the physical changes and emotional reactions that might occur at the onset of puberty!

INSIST ON LOVE.
When you’re shopping with your children or going through their wardrobes, only buy/keep things they love.  If they need a new coat, find a coat they love.  If you have a sense of their style and size, shop online with them.  You might select a few items and then ask them to look at the order before making the purchase. Ask them one question only: “Do you love what I’ve picked out for you?” If they say no, delete it. No exceptions. This sets a precedent that style is something that feels good and they can enjoy.

MAINTAIN STANDARDS.
It’s okay to insist that your children brush their hair and teeth, clean their bodies, and wear clothes that aren’t ripped. This is basic grooming. It’s important to teach your children these habits early on so they’re prepared when the time comes for them to “dress to impress.” It may take energy and patience, and consistent practice works.

Allison shares a personal illustration: “I posted a picture checklist by my kids’ door that I ask them to check everyday. They receive a star each time they complete their list. When they master a skill, I give them a bonus and we celebrate. Now, if I notice they forgot to brush their hair, all I have to say is, “Checklist?” and they go, “Oh!  Whoops!” and run back upstairs.” This tactic can be adapted to the specifics of your household. If you have a special needs child, creating a visual map of the checklist and breaking down tasks can be helpful. Teaching basic self-care is deeply important to preparing a child to be an independent adult.

ALLOW FOR PLAY.
If you’re dressing up for a party and your child is dying to wear a dress that’s a bit over-the-top, or put on lipstick, don’t sweat it.  If your kid puts on a shirt and pants that don’t match well and he’s three, let it go! If your son wears pink or your daughter wears combat boots, offer the freedom of experimentation. Allison reflects on rejoicing in her daughter’s self-expression: “I bought my daughter a button that read, “I dressed myself today. I loved posting her wacky outfits on Facebook.” Style can be fun and it allows kids to play with who they want to be. Allow your kids to enjoy it!

ENCOURAGE SELF-EXPRESSION.
Your kid is going to be who she is. If you do your job well, she’ll value her unique qualities and use them to propel her purpose in the world. If your kids settle into a style that unsettles you, have a conversation about the power of style and what it means for first impressions.  Allow your children to be in control of the message, and check in to ensure it’s the message they truly want to send. If not, work with them to change it. If your son loves his style and it STILL unsettles you, enlist a family therapist to address the underlying issues both for you and your child.

Identifying with any of these strategies as ones you’d like to adopt for yourself? Go for it!  Your example is the best guide for your children. If you’re kind to yourself, insist on love, maintain standards, allow yourself to play, and encourage your own self-expression through style, they will, too!

If you need expert guidance along the way, contact Allison through www.dailyoutfit.com. Mention this blog in booking a session on the “Work With Me” page of her site, and read on through her free newsletter and blog posts, including this one on “back-to-school” shopping sprees: http://www.dailyoutfit.com/2014/08/top-10-tips-to-make-back-to-school.html

If you haven’t yet listened to Allison’s guest appearance on my show, we invite you to learn about the three key components of her personal style formula. Find out how personal style can work for you

Parenting and Project Management by Rick A. Morris

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Parenting and Project Management by Rick A. Morris

Don Delashaw

Rick A. Morris welcomes a long time and valued friend Don Delashaw.  Rick worked with and for Don for a number of years and considers him a mentor in the Project Management field.  Over the years, Rick and Don have had a chance to get to know each other’s families and philosophies.  Tune in for a very humorous session where they discuss raising their children and balancing parenting with their lives as project managers.  This will be a can’t miss show where we investigate the true Work/Life balance and where we discuss whether or not successful business strategies work at home.

Tune in live every Friday at 2pm PST to The Work/Life Balance.

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