Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Reminder For Those Who Need It

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. 
If you want to be happy, practice compassion".
~ Dalai Lama

Dear mama (or papa) who feels so much,

It is wonderful that you connect so deeply to your children. It is beautiful how in tune you can be and how you always strive to make sure your children feel "felt". It is amazing how you allow them to express their needs and feelings so fully and that you really, really listen. I admire you for always wanting to do better. 

And I hurt for you when you cry so bitterly and feel you have failed them. I wish I could take away the guilt and sadness you feel. You examine every word you said and worry that although you love your children completely, perhaps they don't experience it that way. You fear the future. You fear the culmination of all your wrong moves will result in your children bemoaning their childhood in the therapist's chair. You fear your children will never learn to love each other, to be kind, to be compassionate. I wish you could truly see how much you have done that is wonderful. But what you have done "wrong" clouds your vision. What you remember is your anger, your impatience, your resentment. But what you forget are all the beautiful moments that add up to happiness. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Will Our Children Succeed In Spite Of Our Education System?

Alfie Kohn. He doesn't look like he'd
be so subversive, does he?
"Few parents have the courage and independence to care more for their children's happiness than for their success." ~ Erich Fromm

“Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: “We are the proud parents of a child who’s self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.” 
~ George Carlin

In the 5 or so years that I have been a parent there have been a few people I have come in contact with whose philosophy about children spoke to me so completely that I instantly felt a bond. I have been so fortunate in my time as a blogger to have found an amazing group of like-minded people whose writings and teachings continuously open my eyes to better ways of being with children. Last week I went to a lecture given by Alfie Kohn titled "Pushed Too Hard: Parenting in an Achievement Crazy Culture" which not only opened my eyes, it blew my mind.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Feeling The Pressure To Be A Good Parent?

Even though we know the perfect family is a myth,
why do we try so hard to have one?
There are so many times, as a parent, when you just feel as though you are doing everything wrong. On those days when your find yourself slamming doors in frustration or muttering under your breath while your children are yelling at each other and you feel as though you've botched yet another attempt at remaining cool, calm and connected, it's pretty easy to feel like a lousy parent. 

And there are so many ways in which we compound this feeling by comparing ourselves to other parents and feeling as though someone else is doing all the things we're not doing. The more we know about parenting and how our children develop, the more we can become painfully aware of our own shortcomings.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Discovering The Joy Of Reading (Plus A Giveaway)!

“The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.” 
 ~ Anthony Trollope

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” 
 ~ Dr. Seuss

My fondest childhood memories revolve around the love of reading, writing and story-telling my parents shared with me. This passion for words and expression meant there were books everywhere in our house, librettos were read before going to an opera, deeply personal diaries were kept and long, detailed stories were told before bed. Now that I am a mother myself, I am doing my best to create this love of reading and story telling with my own kids.

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