How a Grateful Writer Thawed Before Thanks Giving.
by Susie E. Caron (c) 11/30/15
This Thanks Giving I felt grateful, relieved, and creative too.
I felt grateful because:
Thanks Giving seemed musical. We ate good food, played games, shopped, and attended events. I especially enjoyed hearing my grown-up kids and their friend laughing and talking long into the night (after I'd gone to bed.) This didn't keep me awake (I'm pretty sure it was the turkey.) Their sounds were happy music to my ears.
I prepared to retire in July, which meant closing my private practice. There were lots of loose ends and it all seemed very stressful. However, by September, things began to settle down. That's when I thought I'd get back into writing and creative activities. Instead I found myself frozen. I couldn't write, or come up with a creative idea at all and I didn't know what to do.
Creativity eluded me. Frozen and stuck I wondered if I'd ever write again. However, in October, my friend, author and illustrator Jo Linsdell helped me to get unstuck. In fact, she helped me just in time. With my creative drive restored, I was ready to participate in the annual PiBoIdMo challenge.
Jo Linsdell said my experience could help other writers. She invited me to write about it and guest post on the Writers & Authors site. I did and it's ready and waiting for you.
Find out how she helped me get unstuck by clicking below.
How I Moved from 'Frozen' to Flowing Creative Author
Twee means you and me,
Because Family and Friends are the best.
Listen as I speak this poem or read the text below. I hope my words bring you some comfort today and always. Hugs and Blessings. Susie
Comfort for Thanks Giving Day
by Susie E. Caron © 11/21/15
It’s the week of Thanks Giving
And everyone knows
We’re supposed to be grateful
And let it all show
But what if there’s something
That tore you apart
It’s hard to give thanks
With a broken heart.
Who do you tell?
Where do you go?
How do you manage
To put on a show
Losses surround us
And the everyday things
Make people move onward
Small comfort they bring
Who do you tell?
Who sees and who knows
You’re trying to manage
And let it all go
Where can you travel
To hug and to cry
There are fewer who notice
As time passes by
How do you manage
To put on a show
On a day called Thanks Giving
When they really don’t know
All the pain that you carry
And you wish for a while
You could lay it aside
And wear your true smile
It’s time for Thanks Giving
Friends and family all know
You’ll play your part
To let gratitude show.
But what will it cost you?
How much will you spend?
You feel really lonely
And need to pretend
That you’re really okay now
And getting along
But you wish to sit by yourself
And sing your sad song
How long will this take
Hours, days, week or years
For healing and comfort
To dry up your tears
I don’t know.
It’s different for everyone
Grief’s hard to do
Be good to yourself
Take time out for you
To feel all your feelings
Each and every one
Call to them and name them
Until your grief is done
I pray you’ll be comforted
This Thanks Giving Day
I hope someone will hug you
And hear what you say.
Someday you’ll feel better
When the past’s far behind
But remember how you felt when
Your life was unkind
And notice someone’s hurting
Reach out to them and pray
That they will feel you comfort them
On Their Thanks Giving Day.
A note from Susie Caron,
I hope you find comfort in my words, and with someone who loves you.
If this message has meant something to you, tell me in the comments below.
Please feel free to share this with someone who you know may be hurting, especially over the holidays.
Twee' Means You & Me
Taking time to care about each other
What do couples, with children, really need?
by Susie E. Caron © 11/15/15
Today's couples struggle to pay off school loans, get good jobs and find housing that suits them well. Most couples seem to do okay by working things out together. They usually do well until the introduction of tiny people into their lives – their children. That’s when couples forget to nurture themselves and their - oh so important relationship. This neglect grows after children arrive, almost without notice.
How Tyranny of the urgent multiplies.
“Tyranny of the urgent” seems to take over, after children are born. In the early years, children take up an enormous amount of energy and time. Most couples can survive this, on the strength of their earlier relationship bond. This is strength they built engaging in activities together that they enjoyed. However, if they continue to neglect their relationship with each other, there can be a terrible price.
Bonding before kids isn't enough.
Remember how you were, prior to having kids? You talked about everything, held hands and gazed into each other’s eyes and hearts. This probably sustained you and your love relationship through the early years of infants, babies and toddler-hood. However, the time and activities you spent together as a couple before you had kids, is not enough for the long years of child raising. It’s not enough for handling the adult life difficulties and decisions you will face. It’s not enough to sustain a relationship that can survive beyond the empty nest. (Statistics on separations and divorce after children are born support this.)
What’s the solution?
Couples need to spend time together without the kids, to reconnect, enjoy each other, talk about your current lives, and plan for a future. Kid's needs are certainly important, and everyone knows that there are times, situations, and seasons when it just seems unlikely or impossible to take time out to spend it without the kids. Kids and parents get sick, relatives visit, holidays happen, schedules and activities become overwhelming. That’s to be expected,however:
"The most important need in every family is for partners to
take 'time out' with each other."
Besides ‘time out’ is not selfish and actually helps everyone in the family. Even short amounts of time can be useful.
Here are three big benefits.
Spending time without the kids, is not selfish.
It actually helps the children in many ways, like these:
Do you want some ideas for 'time out' as a couple?
You may not be able to get away for a two week vacation. However, with a little thought you can schedule time together. Here are some ideas to get you started building up your relationship to last.
No cost ways to get time out together.
Get up earlier than the kids and have coffee together and talk.
Write little notes to each other and tuck them in unexpected places to be discovered.
Turn up the TV after the kids are in bed and go to a room away from little ears to drink tea and talk.
Sit in the car when the kids are busy playing a video game. Hug each other, hold hands, and talk.
Pick up your spouse from work or an event, before you pick up your kids.
Low cost ways to get 'time out' together.
(Sitters costs less than a divorce.)
Schedule date night together without the kids. Put it on the calendar.
Go to the movies and grab an ice cream together.
Get the neighbor to watch the kids play and take a walk or bike ride.
Take the kids to grandma’s house and go out for breakfast.
Take action today to spend regular times alone with your spouse.
Hopefully, with this information and tips you and your spouse will take time out together, without the kids. Raising kids takes a ton of time, lots of attention. By working on it together and taking time out for yourselves, you will survive and especially enjoy each other long after they’ve left home.
What do you do to nurture your relationship?
Drop a comment below and please share this article with your friends. Remember to sign up to get the latest blog topics right in your email.
Twee’ means you and me
Helping spouses take time out for each other.
How to Stop Sibling Rivalry
by Susie E. Caron © 11/8/15
Parents struggle with ways to handle their kids when they fight, blame each other, and try to win the parent to ‘their side’ in every debate. You may think you can solve these squabbles by teaching problem solving skills or the art of negotiating. However, for some social skills to develop, your kids need chances to argue things out, by themselves. Whenever you step in and ‘help’ them, you often, rather subtly, choose in your mind, who you think is right, smart, cleaver, etc. You may not want to do this, but you are human and your kids can see right through you. They ‘read’ it, in your tone, eye contact, and body language, and recognize who you think ‘comes out on top’. This soon becomes the real reason they fight:
Every sibling wants to gain "Favored Child Status".
Where does Favored Child Status (FCS) come from?
FCS doesn’t come from the kind of attention kids get. Kids experience any kind of “attention” – positive or negative, as a good thing. (The opposite of attention is neglect which kids instinctively fear.) It’s a survival thing and it’s in their DNA. It doesn’t depend on the kind of attention. Instead, ‘Favored Child Status’ depends more on the amount of time and energy a parent spends on each child. So, depending on what you do and how you do it, the sibling who receives the most praise may not feel ‘favored.’ Instead, it could be the child who gets you upset, or wants you to explain (repeatedly) or who is more often non-compliant, uncooperative or disrespectful.
I know that encouraging more bad behavior is not your goal. Neither is ‘favoring’ one child over the others. However, that is exactly what happens when you spend a lot of energy and time involved in sibling arguments. One child nearly always feels they have ‘won’ somehow. Worse yet, the losers feel badly because they also recognize who got the most attention. This is not your goal either.
Your goal is to help your kids to get along with each other. You also what them to know you love them equally and also differently, because they are distinct individuals. So, you may be wondering, what can parents do to make sure all the kids feel loved and get along better?
Here’s the short explanation for managing sibling arguments.
Here is this solution fleshed out a bit more for you.
Kids ages 0-5 years.
When kids ages 0-5 years, fight, it’s usually a good idea to let them unless they are drawing blood, breaking bones, or destroying property. Of course you’ll want to teach them first the no hitting, biting, kicking, etc. rule. Then let them play and argue without interfering. If they need help to play together nicely, you can teach them how to share and negotiate. You can especially show them how their feelings get hurt when they fight with each other. Of course when they physically hurt one another or break, throw, or otherwise destroy objects, all children need to go to time out.
Kids ages 5-9 years.
After age 5, if they come to you to solve their issues, don’t do it. Instead tell them that you believe in them and you want them to go and work it out together. When one child comes to tattle, kindly send the child back to talk with their sibling and find a compromise. If that child or the others come back one to two more times, then all children need to go to time out. (It takes two or more to argue. Don’t choose sides.)
If your kids continue to struggle, or the noise level becomes too difficult for you to bare, you can step in with a purpose. Sit and help them to listen to each other and identify what they are feeling. Then if they cannot come to an agreement, separate all children until they are ready to try again. Don’t let one child dominate your time or attention and you won’t be encouraging ‘favored child status.’
If they hit each other, or worse, time out for both, becomes instantly necessary. Tell them this, “Since you cannot play nicely together, you can’t play together at all until the timer rings.” Set the timer for the same number of minutes as the youngest child’s age. When it rings, they may go back to playing again. Repeat if necessary. They have to know that when they cannot work it out themselves, they all will go to time out.
When you practice these steps, your children will know that they will all go to time out if they hurt each other or property, or even if they get too loud and it’s bothering others in the house. Because you aren’t choosing sides, your kids won’t sense you favor one over the other. These combined reduce the number and severity of their sibling arguments. You will also notice they get along much better, cooperate with each other and even enjoy being together. This is what most parents dream of.
What else can you do besides time out with older kids?
When my kids got older, and their arguing got too loud, I used to hand my kids each a bucket, sponge and detergent and say, “Since you have so much energy that you are fighting, you can each clean________________.” They used up a lot of negative energy cleaning and were eager to get back to playing. Oh and I got a bit more of my own work done that day.
I hope you enjoyed this and the little secret I shared. If you know someone who could use this article, forward it right now, so you don't forget. It’s super to share on social media too.
Twee means you and me
Helping Siblings to Enjoy Each Other
How to get More Work Done with 15 Minutes of Fun
by Susie E. Caron©11/1/15
Do you struggle to get your own work done? Do your young children interrupt you whenever you have a task you need to accomplish? Do you respond in ways that you like, and which satisfies them? Or do you scold, yell or even just make frustrated faces? If you are upset with them, or feel guilty about your reactions, this article will help you. Using 15 minutes of fun will help you to get your work done, satisfy your kids, and make you feel great.
A quick story.
I discovered this neat little skill, while my kids were very little. Whenever I stopped what I was doing and read or played with them for short bursts, they were actually happier to do something by themselves, without me. That help me to ‘sprint’ into my work. I baked, paid bills, mopped floors, painted rooms, and other adult tasks. And, it all happened in between our 15 minutes of fun.
Would you like to know how to do this?
This will take a little preparation, and then some practice. After a few weeks, it will work wonderfully. Here are my tips:
Before you begin.
Tool: Get a kitchen timer.
Prepare your children: They will need to know the hand signal for stop. It’s the one traffic cops use to stop cars for short periods of time. Tell them they can use this ‘stop’ signal, for example when another child is bothering them. (They can use both hands if they really need to.)
Then explain that you will also use it, when you are working on something you need to finish. Tell them, whenever you raise your hand in the ‘stop’ position, they need to freeze, stop talking and wait until the timer rings. Then you will stop and talk, read or play with them.
Here’s how it works:
Your child comes to you and ‘interrupts’ something you are doing (let’s say you are paying bills).
Without looking at your child put your hand out to signal “STOP”. (This teaches your child delay of gratification – a very important skill).
Keep the “STOP” extremely short for very young children, (seconds) and lengthen it as they get older. When the get old enough you can even add directions such as, “I will speak with you in 2 minutes (5 minutes) as soon as I finish paying bills I will come find you. If you’d rather wait, please sit quietly until the timer rings.”
When the timer goes off, immediately stop what you are working on. Turn your body, eyes and full attention on your child. Thank him/her for waiting, then suggest doing something fun like reading or playing together.
Help them to understand this fun time you will spend with them and how it will end.
Say, “I am happy to come to read or play with you right now. When we are finished, and the timer goes off, (after 15 minutes of fun) you will read or play by yourself (or with a sibling etc.) and I will go back to my work. (Notice the underlined words. It is really important that you become an actor and believe what you are saying. Don’t make the mistake of saying so I can go back to work.” Your words will make a difference.)
At the end of the 15 minutes reading to or playing with your child, and the timer rings, hug your child and thank him or her for letting you spend this time together. Say, “Thank you for letting me read to you (or for our play time together). Now I will go finish my work while you _______________(make a suggestion) by yourself. The sooner I get my work done, the sooner we can read or play together again."
This works really well when you set the timer for your own work. It helps your children’ believe that you’ll stop working when the timer rings. They will also learn to leave you alone for longer and longer periods of time. However, this 15 minutes of fun is part of that training and extremely important to use when they are preschool ages.
When you prepare your kids and practice spending 15 minutes of fun, they will be more content to go back to reading or playing, and you can get more work done.
Here some of the additional benefits:
They won’t be little for long so take every opportunity you can to spend time with them.
One way to have fun together is by reading good picture books like these:
Click on titles to buy today:
Twee’, I Am Twee’ and Twee’ for Two .
Reading gives you both a 15 minute break, wonderful cuddle time and helps to build lovely memories for all.
Whether you have kids or not, what do you do to get your work done? Please share in the comments and always I love you to share on social.
Twee' means you and me
Getting our work done, with 15 minutes of fun!
Whether you have kids or not, what do you do to get your work done? Please share in the comments and always I love to be shared with your friends on your favorite social sites.
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!