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I am Enough just the way I AM and You are Too

For years I struggled with feeling that I'm not enough, and to be completely honest, I'm still struggling. I've either done something I regret and couldn't possibly be loved through it or been selfish and haven't done something I felt impressed to do. I'm here to share with you that there is a God who loves you in the midst of you being you and me being me...yes, I've known it, but I haven't lived it because my heart hasn't fully believed it.

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My mind messes with me but I have to stand on the TRUTH and allow Him to reveal it fully. It doesn't matter what we do or don't do. He just loves us, no strings attached. He can never love us more because His love is perfect and has already surpassed the full mark AND He will never love us less. We are His creation and He ONLY sees us as such. He created each one of us and He did so in His own image; when He was done creating us he said, “It is VERY good.” What does that really mean? Well, to me I'm learning that He made me to love me, and I am beautiful and perfect to Him even when I am not to myself. I am asking Him to change my perspective of me. How about you, will you ask Him too?

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If You Want to Improve Your Girl's Self-Esteem and have all but Given Up...Here's Hope!

First, let us identify some obstacles to improving self-esteem.

1) Negative Self-Talk

2) Stinking Thinking

3) Mind Reading

If you as a parent practice any of these...STOP. You are the example your daughter follows. You can use yourself as a model and start working on these together with your girls.

Begin by plowing through these questions; then, work through them with your daughter:

What do you think when you look in the mirror?

How do you feel when you make a mistake?

What do you believe others think about you?

If it turns out that your answers are mostly positive, you’re at a decent spot. If the answers are predominately negative, let’s get to work. How? Retraining our thought processes.

Establish the Truth

I am beautiful. List several positive physical attributes.

Everyone makes mistakes. What can I learn from this mistake and what will I do different next time?

Can I read minds? I haven’t met anyone yet that can. The choice is yours. Consider why you believe what others think about you is important. Next, determine if it’s worth letting that affect you. There’s a good chance other’s think well of you and you may be self-sabotaging.

Cultivating positive thoughts patterns takes time, energy and effort. You CAN improve by creating new neuro pathways. You do this through repetition and visual reminders. Here is one for you.

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The Value of Money and the Payoff in Waiting

“Dad, can I get a pair of Miss Me Jeans? Everyone at school is wearing them.”

Remembering my Levi 501 days, I fully understand fashion trends and the importance of wearing the right jeans. “How much are they?” I asked my fashion conscience fourteen year old daughter.

“Around a hundred and twenty dollars…and I will use my own money.”

I think she added “use her own money” to make it easier for me to say yes. Now before I went into my rant about how I could go to the mall and buy 4 pair of jeans that would look just as good for $120 I decided to lay down a challenge.

“$120, that’s most of your money for one pair of jeans, I bet you could find a better deal on-line.” I said this wondering if she would take the bait.

“Where would I look?” she asked. I suggested starting with Amazon and EBay.

 She began her journey with Amazon which she was quite familiar with but had no luck, all the jeans were around the same price as the ones at the mall. She then went to EBay and found a pair of Miss Me jeans that were her size, used, but in excellent condition. (Thank God for growth spurts in young girls). I explained to her how the bidding on EBay worked and had her establish a maximum amount she wanted to pay for the jeans and to stick to it. I assured her “There will be other opportunities out there so don’t get stuck on this one.”

The highest bid was $21.00 and there were two days left on the auction. She told me the maximum amount she was willing to pay was, not $120 but $26.50 and she wanted to wait toward the end of auction to see where the price was. Deep inside I began to see the seeds of the challenge and opportunity flourish in my young girl.  The next two days she watched the auction and would text me if there were any changes.

Two days later we sat in the family room as the final minutes of the auction ticked away. The bid was at $22.50 and with less than a minute left. She quickly put in a maximum bid of $26.50 hoping to beat out any other max bids out there. The site refreshed, the auction was over and she won the bid at $23.50. With shipping the total cost was $28.00. She was excited and realized it was actually fun and worth the wait. But now the real hunt was on…

Her next challenge was to find a NEW pair of Miss Me jeans at a great price. So the next several days she Googled, Binged a searched the internet until she came across a brand new pair of Miss Me jeans, her size and in a style she liked at Zulilys for only $29.00. She asked me if it was okay to buy them and of course I told her “yes.” She scored two pair of jeans for half the price… success!

The funny thing is that I don’t think she ever told her friends where she bought her new jeans or how much she paid for them; that will forever remain our secret. But I do know she learned a valuable lesson about money, and being patient that she can use throughout her life. Maybe it’s time to explain compounding interest to her….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Be True to You

BE TRUE TO YOU…
To learn more about your true inner self here are some questions to ponder. We encourage you to write these down to remind yourself what is important to you when you lose sight of the TRUE you.

What do I value? Some answers will be tangible and some will be intangible…. mom, brother, friendships, kindness, acceptance, honesty, etc…be specific, list at least 5.

What do I believe about me? I am nice, I care about others, I like to help out, I am unique and am the only one like me. 

If you think or believe negative things about yourself, write down the positive traits and values you hold. A good place to post these is on your mirror or next to your door, somewhere you will see them often to remind you. When negative thoughts try to sneak in, tell them "STOP!" Now, replace them with the positive traits on your list. It may feel silly, but you need to remind yourself the good TRUTH about you; do it every time one of this thoughts cross your mind.

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Safe Conversations Starters with your Daughter

SETTING THE GROUND WORK & MORE... Here are a few questions to get you started with your daughter.

You don't seem yourself today, do you want to talk about it?

Who is the most popular person at you school, and why do you think they are?

If there is one thing you could change about yourself, what would it be?

What is your favorite memory?

What would be your dream vacation?

Do you want to know something I did when I was your age? Be ready to share it.

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Don’t Let A Closed Door Stop You

It wasn’t until I read that girl’s self-esteem drops off dramatically at the age of nine that I came to the realization I had to be more proactive in my daughter’s life. After some reflection it became evident that I had serious concerns about my daughter apparent desire to be in solitude.

My daughter’s door was closed; I thought she wanted me to stay out. I just didn’t know the truth until I knocked on her door and asked, “Can I come in?” I really respected her privacy. “Sure.” She replied. I found myself sitting on the floor by her bed having a heart to heart. What a great conversation; we talked about her; I asked questions and listened.

If I’d have known the door wasn’t closed to keep me out I’d have asked to come in months ago. Sure she wanted her privacy, but she wanted my time and relationship and she didn’t know how to ask. It has taken time and effort to learn to refine our conversations. I had a bit of a learning curve with lots of trial and error. For instance, it took time for me to learn how to listen and not judge…once she sensed even a look of judgment she would shut down.

As I implemented new learning and strategies to bring out the discussion we both really began to look forward to our talks together and she began to open up. I loved this because it allowed me to be the support she needed; now she actually states her needs and I am able to encourage and help her assess what she’s going through. Our relationship has been growing ever since. I feel like I’m meeting her needs and being the parent she’s always wanted. It wasn’t until after 3 or 4 visits that she was able to share that she enjoyed having me join her and I learned she really just wanted to keep her brothers out of her room. I couldn’t believe the improvement I saw in her self-confidence. My advice is to remember that it’s never too lateSmall things can make a big difference in her life.  Contributor – J. Owen, Washington

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Movie Night

Last weekend we had a movie night for our 12 year old daughter.

Invitations – We attached movie tickets and made the invitation into a scroll with a ribbon tied around it. The girls absolutely loved them!

Our 15 year old son was the ticket taker and the snack bar host – he dress up in a tux shirt with a black tie and totally played the part. He was also the social director and had the girls play all kinds of fun games to earn money to use at the snack bar which was set up like a movie style snack bar.

We put up a poster of the film that was playing.

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Making a Difference…How helping others helps our self-esteem

Recently, I was reminiscing about family experiences that have truly made a difference in someone’s life. One that stands out, is when a co-worker suffering from cancer mentioned her son hadn’t been around to care for her lawn. Immediately we jumped into action; we rounded the troops, the lawn mower and yard tools. It would have been easy to put it off, due to the weather, but we made the 20-mile drive none-the-less. Although it was cold and damp, we spent the day together showing love and compassion to someone in need. She was overwhelmed that someone cared enough to make such an effort for her; but the biggest blessing was feeling the gratification of giving of ourselves. What a rewarding experience! Our daughter realized how little things can make a big difference in others’ lives.

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