Friday, October 1, 2010

The Story of "A Round To-It"

One summer day many years ago, I dropped in for a brief visit with my dad where he was working as a supervisor in the substation department for a large utility company . As I glanced around his small office, I noticed a flat, round disk sitting on his desk. He saw me looking at it and asked, "Do you know what that is?" When I said I did not, he said, "This is "A Round To-It". We give it to our co-workers sometimes when one of them says he'll work on a task when he can get "A Round To-It." It reminds us that sometimes we simply have to make time for the important things because that time might otherwise never come.

Do you have "A Round To-It" list? What important tasks are on it? I noticed myself adding another item to mine today. This story reminds all of us that, if it is important enough, we need to recognize when we are putting off something and just dig in and get it done. 

What will you commit to doing today? Please share it with us in the comments below. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Overcoming Conflict at Family Gatherings

Summer is well underway. We are headed out to visit our extended family. If you are like us, we tend to stay up late, visit a lot and eat way too much food!

During summer, we have opportunities for great get-togethers with the extended family. Swim parties, barbecues, family reunions, picnics - the possibilities are endless.

With multiple generations and all the different personalities, conflict may seem inevitable - but it isn't! I recently appeared as a guest on the Texas Conflict Radio show. Pattie Porter, the Texas Conflict Coach and I explored easy and effective ways to avoid conflict at the many extended family gatherings we will have this summer. Please listen to it, take notes if you like and contact me with any questions or comments.

Click on the link to the radio program web page and listen to the show. (If the link does not work, copy and paste it into your browser.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Vacations Rock!

I hope your summer is off to a great start. We just returned from a wonderful family vacation in Galveston, Texas. This was definitely low-key and just what my family needed to restore ourselves and reconnect. This past school year was soooo busy with three teens in three different schools and involved in various activities.

We tried something new this year. My family traded houses with one of my husband's brothers and his wife. They spent time traveling in the beautiful Hill Country area of Texas. We got to enjoy time at the beach, fishing and just hanging out.

We also enjoyed the added advantage of a low-cost vacation away from home. Before leaving, we each made sure to thoroughly clean and straighten our homes. Each family also stocked the house with basic food and other staples. We exchanged keys and emergency contact numbers. And then we just relaxed and enjoyed the vacation!

Do you have a friend or family member who might like to trade houses? Your family could renew, reconnect AND enjoy an easy, low cost vacation.

Yes, Our Kids Do Grow Up!

We've had a wonderful celebration two weeks ago - my oldest son, Jeffrey, graduated from high school! My father and sisters joined my family of five for the graduation ceremony and days of celebrating and visiting.

We are very proud of the fine young man Jeffrey has become. Jeffrey has a kind heart, a great sense of humor and is very smart. He is heading off to Blinn College for a year or two and then finishing up at Texas A&M University. He has all the internal drive and skills necessary to succeed in life and I'm sure he will.

I want to encourage you as a parent that we can all still raise awesome kids. Yes, things can get bumpy along the way. Know that honing your parenting skills and learning how to parent each child where he or she is can yield the best of results. Believe me, NOW is the time to learn how to help your child succeed in life, so get started and good luck!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Taking Time to Reconnect and Renew

This past weekend, John and I enjoyed a wonderful overnight trip to the nearby Hill Country town of Fredricksburg. The wildflowers were in full bloom and the recent rains have transformed the gently rolling countryside. We visited a local winery and enjoyed listening to the "Almost Patsy Cline Band", taking an occasional spin on the outside dance floor. After dining at a local restaurant, we enjoyed a night in a quaint little cabin overlooking a beautiful valley. This trip had it all – a peaceful setting to reconnect, time away from our obligations, short travel times, low costs, and just the right mix of enjoyable activities.

Taking time to reconnect as a couple or for self-care if one is single is of paramount importance in the midst of tending our numerous roles as parent, spouse, worker and volunteer. Best-selling author and psychologist John Rosemond says that one of the best gifts we can give our children is to focus on keeping our marriages strong. In the case of a single parent raising his or her children, the best gift the parent can give is to take good care of himself or herself. While this may be challenging to pull off, time spent away can help the single parent or the couple to relax and renew. In either case, the parents return to their families better able to offer the love, patience and attention kids need to grow and thrive.

Share a comment:  What do you do to reconnect and renew?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Calming the Chaos in Your House

Does the atmosphere in your house sometimes feel like a scene from a reality show? Are the kids fighting, the television blaring, toys everywhere and dinner is late - with you about to blow your stack – again?

My hubby and I were blessed and challenged by having three kids in four years! Just about every time we went out in public when they were young, strangers would look at us sympathetically and say, "You sure have your hands full!"

The evening hours were particularly challenging when they were young, but we discovered the kids settled down beautifully with a bedtime routine and special evening rituals. The evening usually went something like this – supper, play time, bath, brush teeth, quick prayers, potty break, and then lots of cuddles and reading in bed. Once we got the bath started, it was usually smooth sailing because the kids knew what came next and looked forward to it.

There are several benefits to a good routine. As I've mentioned in previous articles, most kids resist a change in activity. Routines can be familiar and comforting and ease your family from one task to the next. Because the kiddos are familiar with the routine, they won't argue with you as much – what happens just happens. For parents, it is almost like putting the household on auto-pilot and giving your nerves a break.

Routines do need to be flexible in special cases like illness or an evening outing. Know, too, that routines will change as your kids mature; they'll outgrow the desire for some of these routines or start their own rituals. Because of the reading ritual we established when they were young, my teens are avid readers and often read when heading off to bed.

Post a comment and share:     Where can routines and rituals help you in your home?