Start each day with a positive note!

A Positive Message is a Great way to Start the Day!

A Positive Message is a Great way to Start the Day!

Wouldn’t it be nice to start each day with a loving note from someone? Writing fun, positive notes to your child can help them start their day in a positive way. It could be a simple “I love you”, a fun “Happy ‘Whatever’ Day!” or any words of wisdom you felt your child needed to hear.

When my children were little I bought them each a white erase board for their room. At night when they were asleep I would slip quietly into their room and write a message on their board. They loved receiving a note from their mom each day.  It would usually be a positive message to help start their day off right or a behavior reminder note like “Peace starts with me not my Sister” for them to think about throughout the day. If they were struggling with an issue at school or having trouble with a friend I would write them some tips that might help.  Sometimes I would write a list of things they needed to do that day on the side of the board as a gentle reminder of what was coming up. When they were learning to read it was extra reading practice for them too. I would ask them questions so they could write a reply to me and vice versa. Lots of times they would surprise me by leaving a message for me after I had tucked them in. It became a fun tool for communication and helped start each day off with a good feeling inside. 🙂

February – The Month of Love!

Fill Your Heart With Love!

February may be the month dedicated to love but, why can’t every day be full of love? People spend their lives looking for love. Could it be love is within us and when we find the love inside we will feel the love all around us.  Take a small child for instance; children are full of unconditional love. They live in the moment and love every second of it. They are new to this world and have so much to explore they can’t wait to start each day and see what it will bring.

When my son was two years old he used to wake up every morning as I came into his room and say enthusiastically, “Mommy, It’s a Beautiful Day!” The first few times I would open his blinds, take a look outside, see the sun shining brightly and agree with him. Then one day it was dark and stormy outside when he woke up and still he said with a beaming smile, “Mommy It’s a Beautiful Day!”  I looked outside at the gloomy day and started to say “Actually it looks kind of gloomy out today.”  Then I stopped myself, it finally dawned on me, he wasn’t talking about the weather at all. He could care less if it was sunny, or windy and storming out he was just so happy to be alive and awake and to have his mommy whom he loved so much come into his room, greet him and take care of him that every day was perfect and Beautiful. He was so full of love for his world, all the exciting and new things he would do that day, all the people he loved and loved him he couldn’t wait to get started! I could feel his love for his world radiating out from him and my heart melted. I turned and gave him a warm hug and said, “Yes James, It is a Beautiful Day!”

Let us all work on living in the moment this month, look out each day and see the beauty in it, feel the love within ourselves and in our life. Do something nice for our selves and find the joy in our relationships with our loved ones. Let us make every day a Beautiful Day!

What is a Mental Health Day?

Have you ever had a really stressful month and just wished you could take a day off?  I remember times at work when it was stressful or I had had enough and I would wish so bad to take a day off I would end up getting sick just to have one. Had I taken the vacation day when I needed it to relax and take care of myself I would have probably stayed healthy. When I had children I made a promise to myself that I would teach them by example to take care of themselves.

Stressed? Maybe you need a Mental Health Day!

Stressed? Maybe you need a Mental Health Day!

Our children lead such busy lives today between school, homework, sports and afterschool activities no wonder they sometimes feel overwhelmed. Allowing them to take a mental health, me day or de-stress day and honor their bodies teaches them to listen to and respect their bodies needs and helps them keep up with their busy life.  My children would choose a day in the week when there were no tests or important events happening at school and take a day off. I would let the school know they were not coming in that day and write them a note. They would usually start their day by sleep in, relaxing, watch some TV or getting caught up on all the homework that was overwhelming them. Sometimes we would do something fun together like bake cookies, go out for lunch or go to a movie. Where we live it very rarely snowed so the first time it snowed on a school day in the year was always a Mental Health Day! They especially loved those days and spent all day outside playing only coming in for hot chocolate and lunch.

A Mental health day is a privilege I did not want my children to abuse so they were allowed three days per year. They got to choose when they wanted to take them and had to give me a few days notice so I could arrange a day off of work or a visit to grandma’s for the day. My children loved that they could control it and take one when they really needed it and always caught up on any homework they missed.

When my oldest daughter was in grade 8 she was so comfortable in taking care of herself that one day after midterms she went up to her science teacher and said, “Mr. Smith, I need time to catch up so I am not coming to your class today. Could I please have the notes for the day so I can review them for the test next class?” Her teacher was surprised at her honesty, as not many grade 8 students would come and tell him when they were going to skip his class. He still would not give her the homework until she brought in her parent note the next day but he did honor her reason for the time off.

Over the years my children have not always needed to use their three days per year but they always knew if they ever needed it, their mom would support them in taking care of themselves for a day.

Does your child have Trouble sleeping? Teach your child to Meditate!

Meditation Stories can help sooth a child to sleep.

Meditation Stories can help sooth a child to sleep.

It’s tough for kids to get to sleep sometimes and if a child has just had a nightmare it can take a long time for them settle again. When my children were little and had trouble getting to sleep after our nightly routine of stories and prayers I would talk them through a guided meditation.

A guided meditation is like a mind journey or a story to help settle their mind and relax their body for sleep. There is a great book called “Starbright Meditations for Children” by Maureen Garth that gives some excellent guided meditations for children. Maureen has written step by step meditations with different stories to choose from so there is something to catch the interest of any young child.

I made up my own guided meditations for my children loosely based on the “Starbright” books.  First I would say goodnight to them and remind them to keep their eyes closed so when I was finished telling them the “story” they could play in it until they drifted off to sleep.

Then, in a soft voice I would say, “Close your eyes, take a deep breath and let it out slowly feeling your body relax into your bed. Take another deep breath and visualize a beautiful white light coming in through the top of your head and slowly working its way down through your body, through your mind releasing all your thoughts into the universe to be taken care of. Another breath and the white light moves into your face and chest then into your tummy area releasing all your tight muscles and stress. Another breath and you feel the white light flowing down your legs, arms and out your feet into the earth releasing the remaining stress in your body and continuing to flow freely from the top of your head to your toes soothing and relaxing your body.”

Then I start their story, “Imagine walking down a beautiful garden path until you come up to a golden gate. Just outside the gate is a great gentle tree with wonderful branches and leaves called the Grandfather Worry Tree (pg 20). You can give anything that bothered you about your day or anything you are afraid of to the Grandfather Worry tree and he will take care of it for you so you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Now I want you to hang up all your troubles on the tree.” (I give them a couple of seconds pause before I continue), “Now slowly push open the garden gate and walk into a beautiful garden, there are flowers of every colour and butterflies flitting everywhere. Just inside the gate is your glowing Tree of Gratitude. I want you to decorate your tree with all the things in your life you are grateful for.” (I help them out by listing off a couple of things like their wonderful family, toys, friends, brother or sister etc. Then I pause for a second so they can add their own list in their minds) “Maybe step back and bask in the light of your Gratitude tree and all the wonderful things in your life. Now I want you to walk down a short path and as you come to the end it opens up into ____________________.

I would fill in the blank with a journey of whatever my child loved to do, sometimes we went to Barbie land, Fairy land, Lego Land, Mermaid land  the list could go on and on. All of my children loved going to Chocolate Land where everything was made of chocolate from mountains and rivers to flowers and butterflies. They would go swimming in the chocolate-rivers, pick the flowers to eat and play with chocolate animals.  I would take them into the story and they could invite a friend to share in their journey if they wanted company. Then I would tell them to enjoy their time in Chocolate land or wherever they were, whisper goodnight and quietly leave the room.

You can make the meditation as long or as short as you like. It would usually take me from 6-8 minutes to finish one. I did not have to do one every night but it sure helped when one of my children woke up with a nightmare and couldn’t get back to sleep or was so wound up from their day they wouldn’t settle down at night.

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Disclaimer

The information on this site is based on the personal experience of the author. There are no guarantees of a perfect method to raise a child, it is all trial and error. Please feel free to try some of the suggestions on this site and let me know how you make out. If you would like to use any words or pictures from this blog please contact me for written permission. © 2013

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